Off-page SEO encompasses all the aspects of SEO that take place outside your website. Off-page SEO includes the things you do as well as the things other people say about you. Your social media activity, your customer service practices, and the online reviews customers leave for you on other sites are all examples of off-page SEO.

Backlinks are also included in off-page SEO. These are incoming hyperlinks from one web page to another website, and help to improve your search ranking and online reputation.

Backlinks are arguably the most important component in Google’s ranking algorithm. That’s because backlinks deliver all of the authority that a website has, and as such it’s central to a website’s success that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your backlink profile.

Quick checks

It’s a good idea to do some quick top-level checks on your backlink profile to get a feel for the type of profile you’re analysing. It’s worth noting that backlink profiles come in a huge variety of sizes and forms depending on the business, the website, the products, industry, and so on.

Number of backlinks

This is one of the broadest, most top-level metric that you can look at. Looking at the number of backlinks you have will give you an idea of the size of the project.

Number of referring or linking domains
This metric is on a par with the total number of backlinks and will give a clearer picture of the backlink profile.

Links to referring domains

This metric provides context for the previous two measures, as individually they don’t allow for much in the way of insights or conclusions.

Simply divide the total number of backlinks by the total number of linking domains. The number you end up with represents the ratio of backlinks to referring domains. If this number is in the thousands, it’s a broad indication that you might want to look at the top referring domains to see if there is an outlier inflating this ratio.

Domains with the most links

It’s always worth checking the top 10 referring domains by the number of backlinks they provide your site with. There are often legitimate explanations for any anomalies, but in either case, it’s still worth checking.

Remove outliers

If a site accounts for 30% of the backlinks to your site, it’s worth removing from your analysis to get a clearer picture of the remaining 70% of your link profile. That is not to say you should ignore outliers; just that when analysing, it can be beneficial to see the data both including and excluding them.

Connect with your target audience

Rather than focusing solely on links, it’s a better idea to improve your off-page SEO by working on your reputation, authority, and popularity. Your objective should be to provide excellent value and connect with as many people as possible.

This is a long-term strategy, but patience now will pay off later on when your business will gain recognition, you’ll establish your expertise in your field, and you’ll start earning links from respected sites.

Interacting with the people who might need or want your product or service helps you to make more sales, which in turn improves your SEO because of the increase in traffic. But it’s important to connect with people the right way.

Instead of focusing on what you’re selling, grow your following by finding ways to help people without asking for anything in return.

Stay active on social media

Social media is one of the best ways you can connect personally with people who might need or want your service. Work out where your target audience spends time online and make sure you have accounts on those platforms.

In general, the more accounts you have, the better, but keep ROI in mind, because there’s no point wasting time on a platform most people don’t use.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you don’t have the resources to manage a lot of social pages, that can end up damaging your reputation. Start with the ones that matter most, post regular updates about your business, product, or service, and engage with your customers every chance you get.

Share your knowledge on forums and message board

If your target audience spends time on sites like Quora or Reddit, create accounts and start posting. Join interesting conversations and answer other people’s questions. Aim to provide value instead of just increasing your post count.

Your strategy on forums should be to build up your reputation as an authority in your field. Over time, people will start to recognise you and come to you for advice.