8 Can’t-Miss Off-Page SEO Strategies to Build Your Online Reputation

Posted by ronell-smith

Off-page SEO is the act of optimizing your brand’s online and offline footprint through the use of content, relationships, and links to create an optimal experience for prospects and search engine crawl bots. It typically leads to gradual increases in positive brand mentions, search rankings, traffic to your site, and conversions.

Sounds fairly straightforward, right?

Well, for the attorney seated in front of me in my kid’s elementary school lunchroom, I might as well have just told him the earth is flat.

“That makes no sense to me,” he said, pushing his chin forward and tilting his head, as if waiting for me to admit that I was pulling his leg. “You mean, there’s all this stuff [an SEO] does on my site? And there is stuff that we — me, my team and [the SEO] — should be doing off our site as well? That’s like telling me, ‘It’s not enough that you live and pay for a nice house in a gated community. You also need to guard the gate to the community and pick up trash along the road leading up to your driveway.'”

His example could not have been more apt.

“Not caring about off-site SEO is like having that great house in the gated community, but none of your friends want to visit because they’ve heard from others that it smells like vomit on the inside, and no one they talk to can either confirm or deny it.”

By imagining your website as a home you’d like people to visit, it’s easier to see the value of off-site SEO.

I continued: “It’s not enough to only care about your website/brand or your house/neighborhood; you must always be working to enhance its reputation to ensure others will desire to visit/learn more about it.”

He saw the light.

“So basically we do off-site SEO to ensure the work we do onsite and as a brand are most effective?” he asked.

Exactly!

What off-page SEO is and why your brand cannot afford to ignore it

In the SEO world, we don’t need to be convinced of the value of off-page SEO.

We know that well before people seek our brands out, they have formed an opinion of it based on reviews, comments from friends, family members, or online acquaintances, and whatever information we can glean online or offline (apart from your website).

Therefore, we’d be fools to disavow making off-page SEO a priority, given how important it is.

However, the more common mistake — among SEOs at least — is to see off-page SEO through only the prism of link building, which, while important, is not the be-all and end-all of off-page SEO.

That is, in working to build your brand’s off-page SEO prowess, links are certainly a benefit, not the goal.

Think of it this way:

  • Goal of off-page SEO: To accumulate positive signals and interactions for your brand, with the hope of those factors being a net positive.
  • Benefit(s) of off-page SEO: Brand mentions, positive reviews, links, etc.

So while it’s important to think of links when making off-page SEO a priority, it’s also vital that you (a) view them in context (important but not singularly so) and (b) give priority to the host of factors that lead to off-page SEO providing a boost for your brand.

Those factors include, but are not limited to, creating an excellent, worthwhile product or service; guest posting on popular, relevant blogs; building relationships with influencers; earning positive press; capturing positive reviews and responding to negative reviews; and monitoring mentions of your brand, to name a few.

Because our goal is to create a post that’s accessible, interesting and immediately useful, we’ll break down what we think are 8 key areas worth focusing on for off-page SEO under three umbrellas:

  • Brand
  • Audience
  • Content

The intention is to provide a prism through which you can more easily categorize your efforts and a framework by which you can make those efforts a reality.

Brand

“No amount of SEO in the world can help a crappy product or service (at least not for long).” This is a sentence I frequently utter to folks who refuse to prioritize what they offer in favor of trying to put lipstick on a pig.

#1: Create a 10X product or service

When your product or service is recognized as the best in its class, your job as SEO becomes much, much easier.

That’s because both online and offline, people are likely saying great things about the product and brand, which leads to visits to your website, positive reviews on third-party sites, and increased sales of the product.

This only occurs, however, if you focus first and foremost on creating the best product you can.

Easier said than done, I know.