What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO is a popular method of creating trust and authority for your website.


Last Updated: February 1, 2024

 by Lari Numminen.


No matter how much time and effort you put into improving your on-page SEO, search engines won't trust your website unless you build up domain authority and trust.

Let's go through the key factors of off-page SEO from backlinks to digital PR best practices.

Definition of off-page SEO

Off-page SEO encompasses all optimization strategies that occur outside of your website, aiming to elevate your site's stature in the digital realm. Unlike on-page SEO, which focuses on optimizing elements within your website, off-page SEO involves enhancing your site's perception through external means. This strategy is vital in building your website's authority, relevance, and trust, thereby influencing search engine rankings.

The Importance of off-page SEO

Off-Page SEO plays a pivotal role in establishing your website's authority and credibility. It is a signal of credibility to how the world perceives your website. High-quality backlinks, social media marketing, influencer partnerships, and other off-site activities signal to search engines that your site is a valuable resource, deserving of a high ranking.

How backlinks impact off-page SEO

Backlinks, often referred to as "inbound links" or "external links," are links from other websites that direct users to your website. They are crucial in the realm of off-page SEO because they act like votes of confidence from one site to another. Each backlink serves as an endorsement of content quality, suggesting that the linked content is valuable, credible, and useful.

Search engines, particularly Google, consider these links as a key ranking factor. The quantity and quality of backlinks greatly influence a website's trustability. You can use metrics like Domain Authority (by Moz) or Domain Rating (by Ahrefs) to estimate how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Websites with a high number of high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites typically have higher domain authority or rating, which can lead to improved search rankings and increased visibility to users.

Core components of off-page SEO

1. Link building - Link building, the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, is the cornerstone of Off-Page SEO. These links act as endorsements, signaling to search engines that other sites view your content as valuable. The quality, relevance, and the authority of the linking sites are crucial factors that influence your site’s ranking.

2. Social media engagement - While social media's direct impact on SEO rankings is a topic of ongoing debate, its indirect benefits are undeniable. Active engagement on social media platforms extends your content’s reach, increases brand visibility, and encourages more organic traffic to your website. This enhanced online presence indirectly bolsters your Off-Page SEO efforts.

3. Brand Mentions - Unlinked brand mentions, where your brand is referenced without a direct link, also contribute to Off-Page SEO. These mentions, detected by search engines, act as indicators of your site's growing influence and reputation.

4. Digital PR - getting reliable websites and media publications to refer to your website is a core aspect that separates highly trusted websites from the rest. Digital PR involves reaching out to journalists to gain potential mentions in digital media.

How to improve off-page SEO

Guest blogging

Guest blogging involves creating content for other reputable websites. This strategy not only exposes your brand to a broader audience but also provides opportunities for acquiring high-quality backlinks. Selecting the right platforms and creating valuable content are crucial for the success of this approach.

Local SEO

For businesses targeting specific local markets, local SEO is a significant component of off-page SEO. This involves getting listed in local directories, managing Google My Business profiles, and garnering local customer reviews. These efforts enhance your visibility in local search results.

Influencer Collaborations

Collaborating with influencers can lead to increased brand exposure, traffic, and potential backlinks. Influencers with a substantial following in your niche can introduce your brand to relevant audiences, contributing to your off-page SEO strategy.

Digital PR and outreach

Reaching out to journalists with quality press releases, news or unique new research is a great way to gain organic brand mentions in digital media. Remember that journalists are flooded with low-quality SEO outreach, keep your message short, unique and valuable.

Measuring the impact of off-page SEO

  • Tracking Backlinks - Assessing the quality and quantity of backlinks is essential in measuring the effectiveness of your Off-Page SEO efforts. Tools like Ahrefs and Moz can help track the authority of linking domains, the relevance of the linked content, and the overall backlink profile health.
  • Analyzing social media engagement - Monitoring social media metrics such as shares, likes, and comments can provide insights into your content's reach and engagement levels. These metrics, while not directly impacting SEO, are indicative of your brand's online presence and audience engagement.
  • Evaluating Brand Mentions - Tools like Google Alerts and Mention can track unlinked brand mentions across the web. These mentions are valuable in understanding your brand's presence in the digital landscape and in gauging the effectiveness of your Off-Page SEO strategies.


Off-page SEO is an integral component of a holistic SEO strategy. It encompasses a range of activities outside your website, focusing on building your site’s authority and online presence. By strategically leveraging link building, social media engagement, brand mentions, and collaborations, businesses can significantly enhance their visibility and ranking in search engine results.

Remember, off-page SEO is a long-term investment, and its success relies on consistent, quality efforts tailored to your brand's unique digital footprint.

Off-Page SEO FAQ

1. Do social media shares count as backlinks?

Not directly, but they help spread the word about your content which can lead to backlinks.

2: How important are guest blogs really?

Guest blogging can be super important! They’re a great way to reach new audiences and can lead to valuable backlinks within a specific vertical or industry.

3. Can I just buy links to boost my off-page SEO?

Nope, bad buying links is usually a idea. Search engines can sniff out bought links, and it can hurt your rankings in the long term.

4. How long does it take to see results from off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO is usually a slow burn. It can take months to see significant results, so patience is key.

5. Is off-page SEO more important than on-page SEO?

They're both important! Think of them as a dynamic duo that works best when they’re together. You need to take a balanced view on SEO, while maintaining the quality of your content and building a website search engines and people can trust.

Lari Rounded 200x200

Looking for a growth partner?

As a growth advisor I help B2B and SaaS companies accelerate organic growth. As a CMO I was able to 22x organic traffic within a year using generative AI in SEO. Could I help you achieve superhuman growth?