Off-Page SEO: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

No Comments

Photo of author

By tom.baldridge

While on-page optimization establishes the foundation, off-page factors like backlinks take SEO to the next level.

But with limited time and resources, determining the most effective off-page activities can be challenging.

Follow these tips to maximize the return on investment from your off-page SEO efforts:

Understand Google’s Link-Based Ranking Factors

At a basic level, Google uses links to assess two major ranking factors:

1. Popularity – Measured by the quantity of sites linking to a page. More backlinks signal greater awareness and references.

2. Authority – Assessed by the quality of sites linking to a page. Links from authoritative, trustworthy sites indicate endorsement.

So both the volume AND type of links pointing to a page influence rankings.

This means not all links have equal SEO value. You want to focus on earning authoritative, relevant links versus any links possible.

Audit Competitors’ Backlink Profiles

Which types of links are helping your top-ranking competitors? Using tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush, analyze where their backlinks come from:

  • Do they have a few links from major publications or brands?
  • Are there certain blogs driving a lot of referral traffic?
  • What link-earning strategies seem to be working well?

Reverse engineer what’s working for leaders in your space. Then model and expand upon those high-impact link building tactics.

Set a Realistic Goal Based on Competitors

If top pages for your target keyword have between 20-50 referring domains, don’t expect to snag 200 links overnight. Set an incremental goal like gaining 10 authoritative backlinks in three months.

Focus on quality over quantity. Even getting links from a couple of the sites your competitors rank well for can boost search visibility.

Diversify Link Sources By Category

Any given site will only link to you so many times. That’s why link diversity across different sites matters too.

Look for linking opportunities in these buckets:

  • Industry media – Getting featured, interviewed, or covered in trade publications.
  • Business directories – Optimized profiles on niche directories or aggregators.
  • Influencers – Securing brand mentions from leaders in your field.
  • Educational properties – Links from manuals, courses, or tutorials in your space.
  • Associations – Getting involved on sites from related professional groups.
  • Retailers – For physical products, links from online stores selling you.
  • Review sites – Optimized listings on SaaS review sites, Yelp, etc.

Cast a wide net to avoid over-optimizing for one link source.

Prioritize High Authority Site Opportunities

A single link from a recognizable publisher often outweighs multiple links from small blogs.

Analyze your competitors’ link profiles to ID the highest authority sites worth pitching for backlinks. Then brainstorm creative ways to get on their radar, like…

  • Publishing original research and data of interest to reporters
  • Creating tools or resources their audience would find useful
  • Contributing as a guest author if they accept contributor posts
  • Monitoring who they interview as experts and pursuing the same opportunities

Landing links from authoritative hubs boosts credibility.

Take Time Nurturing Relationships

Avoid a transactional view of link building. The best links stem from genuine connections built over time by:

  • Consistently sharing others’ content and praising their work
  • Commenting on industry blogs and joining discussions
  • Suggesting collaborative opportunities like co-hosted webinars
  • Meeting influencers at events and engaging socially
  • Supporting partners through actions, not just words

As you nurture relationships, links will develop naturally.

Balance Outreach with Remarkable Content

Don’t spam people only asking for links. The most powerful way to earn links is creating content so compelling that others can’t help but reference it.

Develop truly unique, useful resources that stand out like:

  • Data-rich studies with original research
  • Interactive tools, quizzes or assessments
  • Expert interviews on trending topics
  • Case studies with impressive results

The more awesome your content, the more others will link without prompting.

Getting the most SEO impact from any effort requires strategy and efficiency. But thoughtful link building focused on value above all else is worth the effort for long term wins.

Leave a Comment