Off-site SEO: The Basics | astute

Off-site SEO includes every activity that is done off your website in order to try and increase the site’s ranking in a search engine. Typical off-site SEO tasks include increasing social media presence, building backlinks, and encouraging branded searches. Everything that you do outside of your website to help Google or Bing see you is considered off-site SEO. 

This is important because Google still uses backlinks and other off-site indicators to structure its algorithm. Google has even stated that they take “page rank” into account when deciding on how to rank your site. Factors that go into your page rank are reviews, mentions by trustworthy sources, expert recommendations, and more.

off-site vs on-site SEO

on-site SEO is everything that you can directly control on your website such as content, URLs, titles, and meta descriptions. Website owners typically have little or no control of their off-site SEO. An example of off-site SEO would be if someone shared a link to a blog that you published on their social media account. This could help your site ranking without any direct action on your part. 

Backlinks are a great facet of off-site SEO because you have more control over it. When it comes to getting backlinks for your site, quality is much more important than quantity. If a website with an already high authority ranking links to your website as a source, that in-turn helps improve the rank of your website. You’re basically benefiting from the reputation of another site. 

While you probably have no say over whether another site links to your or not, you can attempt to seize control of this scenario by actively reaching out to industry-specific sites to inquire about linking to your content. Be sure to present high-quality content as the better it is, the more likely they are to accept it.

Brand Signals

Brand signals are an under-appreciated part of off-site SEO. Brand signals are used by Google to decide whether your site is a legitimate brand or not. The best way to assess your brand signal is to check how you’re ranking when people search for your brand by name. Google Search Console is a great place to view this. 

Not impressed with your brand search ranking? A good way to improve your brand signals is to invest in a YouTube campaign. Having a video campaign on youtube can get your name in front of thousands of people every month. The more visibility that your brand has, the more likely it is that someone will search for your brand’s name through Google.  

Another great way to check your brand signals is through brand tracking tools. You can use a service like mention.com to see metrics like how your branded terms are trending and where you’re being mentioned.


The acronym “E-A-T” stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The best way to improve your E-A-T and be seen as a reputable source is to start getting mentioned on sites with higher authorities. Even if a large site doesn’t link to you, but mentions your brand name, that mention could still help improve your branded search. Additionally, you can try to link on “seed sites” which are sites commonly linked to by high authority sites. 

Reviews are also a big component of off-site SEO because they are actual testimonials from people who have interacted with your brand. The more bad reviews you receive, the lower your trustworthiness and, consequently, the less that Google wants to show you. 

Final Thoughts

Off-site SEO is an often overlooked and underutilized part of SEO. By taking the time to improve your site’s authority and reputation off of your own website, you can start to increase your site ranking organically. The next time that you start to notice your brand not getting enough love on Google, try some of these tactics to boost your site’s authority.

Written by Jonah Ericksen

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