off-page SEO

Off-Page SEO: A Simple Guide to Ranking Higher in 2023 (+Tips)

Off-Page SEO. What it is, why it matters, and strategies that’ll get your pages ranked like they should in 2023. Plus tips, tools and resources to get you started.

Wondering about off-page SEO? Like… what is it, exactly? Why does it matter? How do you do it?

We can help. In this post, we’ll—

  • Give you a concise definition of off-page SEO.
  • Show you why it matters and how it can vault your content in the search rankings.
  • Show you how off-page SEO is put into practice.
  • Get you going with a few tips, tools and resources.

By the time you’re done, you’ll understand off-page SEO, and how it can build your website authority. Ready for a boost in your content ranking? Let’s start with a quick tour of SEO in general.

A Quick Overview of SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is typically applied across three platforms–

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your post or page so it ranks higher in search results. On-page SEO has 2 main goals–

  1. Produce a quality User Experience for the visitor.
  2. Use title tags, meta-descriptions and other best practices to help search engines find and crawl your pages, and index your content accurately.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is a site-wide application of SEO which focuses on page and site speed, duplicate content, site structure and other considerations.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO, (also called off-site SEO) are activities performed beyond the website to promote your content and boost your search engine rankings.

off-page SEO

A Definitive Look At Off-Page SEO

What is Off-Page SEO?

Before it’s even published, successfully-ranking content will have met 7 key SEO fundamentals

  1. Crawl accessibility, so engines can read your website.
  2. Compelling content that consistently meets search intent.
  3. Keywords and relevant terms optimized for readers and search engines.
  4. Exceptional user experience featuring fast page loads and easy readability.
  5. Share-worthy content worthy of links, citations, and amplification.
  6. Title, URL, & meta-descriptions for higher click-through per search engine result.
  7. Snippet/schema markup to stand out in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
off-page SEO Basic SEO fundamentals (On-page SEO)

If you get your on-page SEO right, you’ll have checked most of these fundamentals off. But to complete the ranking journey, you’ll need the help of others, and that’s where Off-Page SEO comes into play.

Off-page SEO is what you do after you publish, and it is entirely interdependent with on-page SEO for the ranking success of your pages. How important is off-page SEO? This is what Google has to say

“Most of the links to your site will be added as people discover your content and link to it. But, effectively promoting your new content will lead to faster discovery by those who are interested in the same subject.”

Off-page SEO is you acting as an advocate for your content. It builds your brand, and it tells the search engines what others are thinking about your product, services, or website. And that builds authority.

In the world of search rank, authority is (close to) everything.

What’s Involved in Off-Page SEO?

off-page SEO

Off-page SEO involves numerous strategies for promotion, including—

  • Acquiring backlinks from authoritative sites.
  • Social media sharing, and Influencer brand mentions.
  • Guest posting.
  • Podcasts (links and mentions).
  • Local SEO (Google Business Profile; Reviews).

We’ll be giving special emphasis to backlinks, social media and guest posting. But any off-page SEO tactic can draw attention to your content, bring organic traffic to your site, and build reputation for your brand.

Why Off-Page SEO Matters

Websites who continually rank high in search results do so primarily because search engines recognize their Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). E-A-T is the reason behind off-page SEO, and nothing proves E-A-T better than when your content is shared or mentioned by social media influencers, or is linked to from relevant, authoritative sites.  

We won’t sugarcoat it– off-page SEO is a lot of work, and costs time and money. An ‘study’ of 450 sites showed the average cost of a single high-quality niche edit backlink was $361.44.

Daunting? Yes. But there’s no questioning the impact, say the folks at, a leading SEO site—

The relevance, trustworthiness, and authority that effective off-page SEO affords a website still plays a major role in a page’s ability to rank.

How major? Data from Moz’ own Search Engine Ranking Factors study shows that off-site SEO-related factors likely carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight.


Because a quality link or brand mention tells Google that you have what it most wants from a page

Authority Signals

Foremost among all ranking signals, authority is a measure of clout a website has with PageRank, the Google algorithm that uses backlinks to assess the authoritativeness of a page. Google itself may not evaluate a site’s authority, but one can often see a correlation between PageRank’s influence on search results and the sites that routinely (if not immediately) achieve page one search status.

Which is why experts like Mark Traphagen of, hold that backlinks are still the best way to demonstrate authority.  

Relevance Signals

A critical but unappreciated SEO factor, it’s the measure of relevance between your content and the site that’s linking to it.  

User Experience Signals

Effectively addressed with on-page SEO, Google places a premium on the experience your page provides your readers.  

So, now that we’ve made the case for off-page SEO, let’s dig deeper into each strategy.

Primary Off-Page SEO Strategies


Link building is a top ranking factor, because Google is built on PageRank, an algorithm that looks at a page’s backlinks for quantity and quality, which will add credibility, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority to your domain.

Martina Bretous,

off-page SEO

The SEO expert depends on two types of backlinks to build page (and site) authority–

  • Natural— When a site acquires backlinks without soliciting them. (e.g. no external links in this post were requested). 
  • Manual— When a site solicits backlinks through outreach.

Link building is a top ranking factor, because Google is built on PageRank, an algorithm that looks at a page’s backlinks for quantity and quality, which will add credibility, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority to your domain.

Martina Bretous,

off-page SEO backlinks illusration

How Backlinks Work

Let’s use this post as a real world example.

A newer site like mine will naturally lack authority, and thus, the surest way for me to get authority is to build backlinks. So, with my Off-Page SEO post now published, I’ll email the folks at, and others and ask them to link to my content. Hopefully, they say YES!

off-page seo

Staying positive here, let’s say they do. PageRank sees that Moz (Site Example 1), an authoritative supergiant in the SEO world, linked to my site (Site Example 2). Now, PageRank doesn’t know (or care) how SEO-brilliant I am, or the age of my website. All it knows is that a high-authority site endorsed my content with a backlink. And that means a higher ranking for my article, and my site’s authority gets a boost as well.

Backlinks can be all of your off-page SEO. At minimum it should be part of it.

Backlink Equity

off-page SEO

The value of a backlink is measured by the equity it generates. Here’s a simple explanation—

Link equity, (link juice), is based on the idea that quality links pass value and authority from one page to another. This value is dependent on a number of factors, like the linking page’s authority and topical relevance, among others. Links that pass equity are one of many signals Google and other search engines use to determine a page’s rankings in the SERPs


So what equity factors make some links stronger than others? Here are 10 you should know–

  1. The higher the authority of the referring domain, the more boost you’ll get from that backlink. This is because authoritative domains tend to rank higher in search results).
  2. The higher the Google SERP rank of the post linking to yours, the more juice you’ll get from that link.
  3. The relevance of the backlink source to your site’s content (a link from won’t help an SEO blog post).
  4. The backlink is a Do-Follow link (No-follow links are ignored by web crawlers).
  5. The link is crawlable (the robots.txt file allows it to be seen).
  6. The link is contextual (found in body copy) and appears earlier in the post than other external links.
  7. The number of external links on the referring page (less is better).
  8. The recency of the link (newer is better).
  9. The number of unique domain links coming to your page (10 backlinks from 10 sites beats 20 backlinks from 4 sites).
  10. The number of linking pages pointing to your content (less impactful than unique linking domains, but it helps).
off-page SEO

How’s It Done

Quality backlinks are the currency of your content. And the methods for building them (even optimizing your site and pages to create backlink opportunities) are many. We’ll have a post specifically dedicated to link building coming soon. In the meantime, this article from shows you how to get started, and why you shouldn’t wait.

Social Media Sharing, Bookmarking, And Influencer Marketing

The brand mention (your site URL or brand name mentioned on another site without a hyperlink) is an integral aspect of off-page search signals.

–Neil Patel  

Social bookmarking, sharing, and influencer impact matters tremendously. People are attracted to community, and drawn to influencers—what they think, what they’re doing, and what products they’ve discovered.

Maybe it’s a timely mention given your brand, or an actual link to your content, but social media’s power comes through its sheer numbers, and the engagement between influencers and their followers.

The Value of a Mention

We all appreciate our social media posts being shared amongst others, but a mere mention has lots of power too.

Gil and Anya Gildner were talented digital marketers who grew tired of working for someone else. So in 2017, they started their own Paid Search agency—Discosloth. They were smart enough to have become successful on their own, eventually, but a very generous Big Mention from’s Rand Fishkin really blew things up for them. Since then, their agency has grown exponentially, and their book—Becoming a Digital Marketer– has been used in universities worldwide.

off-page seo
Gil & Anya Gildner

How It’s Done

Social media marketing takes time, savvy, and expertise to be done right. Like backlink acquisition, many well-known sites contract their outreach work to agencies and successful freelancers. But…you can get started on your own. suggests this nifty SEO tactic

Add a community-driven section to your article and reach out to well-known influencers in your niche via Buzzsumo. Request their insights by feedback, quote, or a review. Add some context to their quotes, highlight them in some way, and when you publish, ask them to share it within their circle.

Tools are critical if you want to DIY your off-page SEO in the Social ecosystem.’s Social Media Toolkit allows you to publish your content and monitor its impact.

Off-page SEO

And the Buzzguru Influencer Analytics tool, also by, helps you find influencers helpful to your brand, and key data like subscribers, price, and engagement stats.  

Finally, offers a slick social media management tool that tracks your brand mentions as it does your opponents, again, allowing you to reset strategy as you identify new opportunities.

Guest Posting

off-page SEO

We’ll be honest— as an off-page SEO tactic, there’s been some debate surrounding guest blogging. Google’s Matt Cutts gave it the thumbs-down back in 2014. And as recently as 2020, Google oracle John Mueller said their algorithms had acquired the training data it needed to identify guest post links and automatically devalue them.

And yet, as I researched this post, 7 of the 9 highest ranking posts for the target keyword Off-Page SEO recommend guest-blogging as a workable and accepted way of building backlinks.


Because Google values (and apparently rewards) excellent content found on authoritative sites.

And since I myself have gotten a favorable bounce or two from guest blogging, I’ll follow the crowd and say it’s an excellent way to build your brand, boost authority and harvest meaningful backlinks from relevant, respected sites. In fact, this study found it to be the most powerful link building strategy of any.

off-page SEO

How It’s Done

Snagging a guest-posting gig begins with finding out which sites are taking guest submissions. Here’s a simple approach from the folks at to get you started—

Run a search on Google with search operators like–

  • “your target keyword” + “this is a guest post by”
  • “your target keyword” + “this is a guest contribution”
  • “your target keyword” + “guest column”
  • “your target keyword” + “guest post”
  • “your target keyword” + “contributing writer”
  • “your target keyword” + “contributing author”

Your search result will show various posts written by a guest author, which means the host site is (at least occasionally) open to guest posts. From there, choose your prospective guest-post site, send an original email, mention their work, why you like it and how it’s relevant to your site. Propose a content concept, and ask them if they’re interested in your contribution.

In lieu of payment for your content contribution, you’ll negotiate for at least one backlink in your contributed piece that points to your site. And please write the post yourself. You may be shocked at how many savvy blog editors can tell AI-generated content from the real thing.  

Like backlink building and social media, outreach may require more time than you have available, so consider contracting this out to a freelancer through Upwork and Fiverr.

Other Off-Page SEO Strategies


Getting booked as a podcast guest may be rarer and harder than landing a guest-post gig, but the benefits are big. You’ll get brand boost, plenty of mentions of your site, and most importantly, a real chance to flex your expertise.

Popular podcasts bring big audiences and their content is widely accessible, so it’s easy to see the impact a guest appearance can have on your domain authority, and content rankings.

LinkedIn Posts

off-page seo--linked in promo

Did you know that LinkedIn posts appear in search, both its own and Google’s?

Develop your network of LinkedIn connections, and you’ll put your content in the hands of those in a perfect position to promote it for you. If you have a LinkedIn profile set up, use it. Successful practitioners recommend thrice-weekly posts, and just as many shares.

If you’re sleeping on LinkedIn, you’re doing so at your own peril.

Local SEO

If your business gets much of its traffic locally, you need to learn how to improve your local SEO rankings by attending to its fundamentals. These include—

  • Google Business Profile (GBP)— formerly Google My Business, your Google Business Profile is a free business listing tool that can be a key off-page SEO item.  
  • Reviews– Google uses local reviews extensively to gauge your site’s expertise, authority and trustworthiness. And they place a premium on your responding to them. A great way of staying on top of this is by using tools like’s Listing Management tool.

Off-Page SEO– Essential Sites & Tool Sets


off-page seo

All websites linked to in this post are SEO authorities. Great tools, blogs, a wealth of off-page SEO information, be sure to check them all out.

Cool Tools (Standard edition & better): Use its Keyword Explorer and Content Explorer tools to search keywords, identify high-ranking posts, and trace their referring domains and influencers. Use their Backlinks Analytics tool to see where your competitors are picking up backlinks and you aren’t. Their slick Social Media Management tool tracks your brand mentions and your competition’s, giving you room to identify opportunities or reset strategy. Their Social Media Toolkit lets you publish your content and monitor its social impact. Their Buzzguru Influencer Analytics tool helps you find key influencers and related data for intelligent outreach strategy. Their Listing Management tool is essential Local SEO software.

Create Content, Build Authority, Repeat

A Twitter poll conducted by showed that amongst practitioners, well-executed on-page SEO has greater impact on ranking success than does off-page SEO. Good news, since on-page SEO is inexpensive and something you have complete control over.

of-page SEO

The bad news? Without off-page SEO, your pages will struggle to rank, especially in highly competitive markets.

So, your ultimate job as a creator is to build authority.

Keep generating consistently high-quality, helpful content that’s a joy to consume, and easy for search engines to find and index. But, work hard at your off-page SEO.

And be patient.

You’ll find that as your pages continue to roll off the presses, and your off-page SEO follows, you will get there.

That’s your meanwhile. Enjoy it.

Off-Page SEO—Taking Your Pages To Page 1

off-page seo

There’s nothing like seeing your post on Page 1 of the search results. And solid off-page SEO will get you there.

Off-page SEO is work, but you can do this– on your own, and with the help of robust tools and SEO freelancers.

Think of it as you, content creator, looking for and finding those opportunities to leverage relationships. You’re building your site’s reputation, and you’re using backlinks, social shares, and guest-posting to do it.

You’re on your way.

See you on page 1.

Questions? Clarifications? Feel free to drop me a line. Check out our blog page for examples to model your own work on. You can shoot over to our portfolio page for inspiration too. And if you prefer to have an agency do it for you, read about our content writing and SEO services here.

In the meantime, Best of Luck. And Be Well.

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