How Off-Page SEO Affects Your Search Engine Rankings

By Jason M. Cercone Icon

On-page SEO factors, including page content, the proper optimization of correct keywords in your meta and title tags, and the proper amount of keyword exposure on each particular page, are very important to your search engine rank. However, making significant improvements to your rankings also means focusing some attention on off-page SEO as well.

Off-page, or off-site SEO factors are found on other pages across the Internet. The most important element of off-page SEO is quality inbound links, which are links from another page that point towards yours. If you're looking to gain authority in your niche, an ample amount of inbound links from other authority sites will go a long way towards your efforts, especially in the eyes of Google when they consider where you fall in their page rankings.

If you want to grow the number of quality inbound links you receive, the first step in the process is to create incredible content that provides value, speaks to your audience, and piques their interest. The more incredible content you produce, the more websites and search engines stand up and take notice, thus earning you an authority status and, most importantly, higher rankings over time.

With interruption-based marketing campaigns on the decline in today's market, creating incredible content that educates your audience and points them in the right direction (your website) is becoming the ideal way for businesses to bridge the enormous gaps that used to exist between them and their customer. Understanding exactly what your customer wants is the foundation of creating content that will not only satiate their needs, but also spread virally to the rest of your audience and beyond.

One way to get an inbound link is to request one from a website owner. This can take time and may prove to be harder than it appears since most established authority sites may view a request for an inbound link as nothing more than spam. However, if you feel you have content that's beneficial to the readers of a particular site, it doesn't hurt to ask. But be sure to exemplify the fact that you read their content yourself and understand their audience. In essence, approach your request from the perspective of sharing valuable information. If they find your content useful, they may link to without you having to ask.

Another great way to optimize your content is to utilize article submission sites like EzineArticles, video sites like YouTube, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, blogging communities like Xanga, and social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Digg. These sites have widespread authority and contain communities of other users constantly adding and searching for incredible content!

Another factor to keep in mind is that creating content on other people's websites, most notably in the comments section on blogs, will not get you very far from an SEO perspective. With the ease of creating a link by commenting on blogs, Google implemented a no-follow attribute to distinguish between legitimate non-legitimate links.

The no-follow attribute is located within the source code for a page where links can be included and when Google sees the link marked as no-follow, it's an indication that the site's owner does not wish to pass SEO credit to the page in which the link points. If another site visitor wishes to click on the link, they can do so with no trouble. This is a great way to initiate conversations and build relationships, but it will not help the targeted website in the realm of SEO.

A website's authority can be passed on to your site if the content is deemed 'incredible.' In essence, you can piggyback on another site's authority by adding excellence to its community. Also, be wary of the number of links on each page that point towards your site. The more links there are, the less credit each link holds. Finally, utilizing anchor text, or the clickable text within your content, with desired keywords will prove to be an extremely valuable asset for your off-page SEO action steps.

Despite the numerous ways to gain inbound links, the key factor will always start with your content. If you consistently make strides towards improving your content and giving your reader something of value, more websites will begin to view you as an authority. Keeping a strong focus on the optimization of your content off your site will bring great results for your on-site materials. You can learn more about Inbound Marketing and off-page SEO strategies by subscribing to my blog.

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