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Do you want to understand more about off-site SEO and backlink building?

In this post we will cover off-site SEO, expert tips, what backlinks are, and how to build high quality backlinks to your website.

Backlink building is one of the most important SEO skills that you can obtain, because when it is done properly, it gives your site authority!

We will start with off-site SEO, and then move on to backlinks and the best possible backlink building methods.

But before that, if you want to learn how to do an SEO audit on your website for free, read this post.

What Is Off-Site SEO?

Off-Site SEO refers to the actions taken outside of your website to help increase your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Off-Site optimization includes improving your site’s popularity, trustworthiness, authority and relevance.

This can be done by having other relevant and high authority websites linking to your website.

This will effectively act as a vote of confidence for the quality of your site’s content.

There are three main parts to Off-Site SEO, link building (also known as backlinks), social media marketing, and earning brand mentions.

Why Is Off-Site SEO Important?

Google has loads of different factors which come into play when deciding where to rank each web page.

Just having quality content won’t earn your page a high ranking, this is why there are many different steps to take in order to properly optimize a web page to give it the best chance to rank well in search results.

Looking at Off Site SEO, earning backlinks on high authority websites is incredibly important.

When a website links to yours, it is seen as a vote of confidence that your produce high quality and relevant content.

Gaining the right backlinks will increase your site’s authority in search engines, which will help your pages to rank higher.

It’s important not to forget about other Off Site SEO factors, including: social media marketing, and earning brand mentions.

Using social media to market the content on your website pages is another step you can take to help your pages rank higher and receive more traffic.

Posting links on social media to new product pages and blog posts will promote those pages to your social audience for free.

Finally we have brand mentions, another useful Off Site SEO strategy is to get relevant websites to mention your brand name on their site.

Brand mentions boost brand recognition, and earning one on a relevant site in your niche can help to grow your brand massively.

Off-Site SEO Expert Strategies

Here are my favourite Off Site SEO strategies that everyone should use in order to earn the best results.

Use Social Media

Using social media is a great way to boost your site’s social presence.

Add a link to your website in your bio on your different social media pages.

You can also post a link to social media when you publish a new product or article on your website.

Both of these can help increase traffic and build a social presence for your website.

I recommend using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but you can also use Instagram and YouTube.

Brand Mentions

What Are Brand Mentions?

A brand mention is an online reference to your brand, company, or product / service.

Brand mentions can be found in reviews, social media posts, news articles, and also blog posts.

Having other websites and businesses mention your brand name within their content can improve your brand’s reputation.

You will need to be careful though because negative mentions are not good, so you will need to address them quickly.

How To Discover Brand Mentions

In order to discover pre-existing brand mentions on the web, you will need to use a monitoring tool.

The best tool for this in my opinion is called “Mention”, this will listen for any mentions of your brand’s name on social media or on published blogs.

There are free and paid plans available, the free plan has a limit of 250 mentions per month which is adequate for a small brand.

The paid plans have more features available, and allow you to look for brand mentions in more places.

It’s quite easy to use…

Sign up, chose the plan that’s best for you.

Connect your social media pages & enter your brand name.

And there you go, it will now search the web for mentions of your brand.

You can then sort your mentions to see which have the most value.

Some other tools that you could try include: Brandwatch, Keyhole, Social Searcher, and Awario.

How To Earn Brand Mentions

There are several ways for you to earn new brand mentions to help grow your brand.

Guest Blogging –

This is probably one of the best ways to earn brand mentions that will put your name in front of  a new audience.

Find a blog that accepts guest posts in your niche, and write a high quality, comprehensive article for them that will engage readers into your brand.

Reviews –

Make it easy for your customers to review your products using trustpilot (or another site similar), and respond to all reviews (especially negative ones).

Share the best reviews on social media, and respond to negative reviews so that you are helping as many customers as possible.

Ad Campaigns –

Discover your demographic by using Google Analytics, and then create a social ad campaign on Facebook or another social platform.

Make sure that your campaign gives your audience the chance to interact on social media, a competition or special promotion will work perfectly.

Turn Mentions Into Links

Links are one of the most powerful ranking factors, so if you can turn any existing brand mentions into backlinks … you should!

This isn’t too difficult as it simply involves finding mentions on websites with a high domain authority, and then contacting the site owner.

Once you have found a mention that you want to turn into a backlink, you should email the author who wrote it.

Here is a rough outline for how you should write your email:

Hello {Name of site owner or author},

I was pleasantly surprised to see that you mentioned my brand in your recent article {name of article}.

I’m very grateful and I want to say thank you for the mention.

Would you mind linking to my site {Your website URL} if it’s not too much trouble.

It would help me out more than you can imagine.

Kind Regards,

{Your name}

That’s all you need to do.

Most of the emails that you send are more than likely to work as many owners would be happy to give you the link.

I recommend that you only follow up with an email for brand mentions on site’s with a high domain authority.

What Are Backlinks?

A backlink is a link on another site that directs to a page on your website.

Search engines see backlinks as a vote of confidence for your website’s content, this can help improve your site’s rankings in search engine results pages.

In order to help your website’s SEO, you want to gain links from high quality and relevant websites.

If you get bad backlinks from low quality websites that are not relevant to yours, it will impact your website’s SEO negatively.

There are two types of backlinks:

dofollow backlinks – These pass on ranking power from your website, to the page that you are linking to.

nofollow backlinks – These links do not give ranking power to the page you are linking to, they just allow users on your page to discover the page you’re linking to.

Why Are Backlinks Important?

Backlinks are highly valuable because they act as a vote of confidence between websites.

There are many benefits you will earn from receiving quality backlinks:

Referral Traffic: If a website visitor is reading an article on a website and they see a relevant link pointing to a page on your site, they may click it and be directed to one of your web pages.

If the content on your web page gives them information that is relevant to what they were reading on the other site, they may keep reading.

This is known as referral traffic, as they were referred to your web page from the site that linked to you.

Increase In Authority: Backlinks assist in building your website’s authority.

If a high authority site links to you, your site’s authority will increase.

Website authority helps search engines trust your site, and therefore help to improve your ranking in search results.

Building your site’s authority will also make potential visitors find your content reliable, and keep them returning.

Faster Indexing: Search engines discover new web pages by following backlinks from existing web pages.

If your web page does not have any backlinks, it will take more time for search engines to find your page.

New websites specifically will be indexed much faster if they have other sites linking to their web pages.

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score produced by Moz that estimates how well a website will rank on SERPs.

Your Domain Authority score will range from one to 100, a higher score equals a larger ability to rank well in search results.

Domain Authority is calculated by multiple factors, including:

  • The total number of backlinks that a site has.
  • The domain authority of the websites that link to you.

Your Domain Authority score can be used to compare the search engine ranking strength between websites.

Another great way to use your domain authority score is to track it over time to see if your SEO efforts are making a positive impact.

It is important to remember that Google does not use your domain authority score when ranking your website, it is just a guideline Moz created to help when optimizing your website.

How Can You Check Domain Authority?

You can easily check your domain authority for free by using the Domain Analysis Tool by Moz.

Simply enter your domain and click “analyse”.

Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool

Backlink Building Techniques

Some of my favourite techniques that can be used to gain backlinks to your website.

All of these methods are highly valuable, and can be done by anyone.

Write Lists

If you write a high quality list of something in your niche, people will link to it and share it on social media! It can be a massive list with hundreds of items or a smaller, more specific list.

For example: If you are a vegan blog, you could list the top 10 vegan recipes.

Or if you are a digital marketing blog, you could list 12 Instagram growth tips.

Here’s a great example… this list made by timeout.com of the best restaurants in London has over 200+ backlinks.

Here is the article:

It is a very comprehensive article with a description of each restaurant, along with price range, and best times to go.

Comprehensive articles like this offer large amounts of value to readers and earn lots of links.

Here is the proof of backlinks:

The tool I am using to discover how many backlinks this web page has, is called Ubersuggest.

Ask People You Know

Ask friends, family, colleagues, clients, or anyone else you may know! Some of these people are more than likely to have their own website, or know someone that does. Politely ask them for a backlink from their site to yours.

Remember, you only want links from people who have a website that is actually relevant to yours.

If their website is in a completely different niche, it is not worth it!

Of course they are also unlikely to link to your website if your site and theirs both have completely different niches and have absolutely nothing in common.

Guest Blogging

This is when you post your article to someone else’s blog (with their permission) to give them quality content, you to gain yourself a backlink.

You can contact other blogs to see if they accept guest posts, as not all blogs do.

In the past, guest blogging has been a much better way of creating backlinks. Right now it still works but just not as well as it used to.

Send Personalised Messages To Contact Forms

If you send a message to contact forms on websites that are in your niche, you can get their attention and start to build a relationship with that website.

In your message, tell them who you are, compliment their website or what they offer and gently let them know about a recent relevant post of yours

They may just take a look, and if they like it, they could give you recognition or even link to your site.

Whether they link to you straight away, or if it just gives you the chance to build a relationship, this is a great way to potentially gain a backlink.

Email Signature

Linking to a recent blog post or to your home page in your email signature is a great way to automatically supply a link to your website to everyone that you send an email to.

A great free tool to help you make an awesome looking email signature is mail-signatures.com

I highly recommend doing this as it is professional to have an email signature and it is a way to link back to your website.

Fix Broken Links

It is likely that you have some broken links that direct users to your website. This can happen when you move a page or even delete a page.

It is also possible that the site that linked to yours has incorrectly typed the URL.

You can see if you have any broken backlinks by using the backlink checker by ahrefs.

Once you find one you can redirect any broken links to a similar page on your website that is live!

Post Your Blog To Blog Directories

If you are building backlinks for a blog, a super easy way to gain links is to submit your blog to blog directories.

Good examples of blog directories you could use include: bloggingfusion.com, ukblogdirectory.co.uk.

These aren’t the most high quality backlinks that you can get but they are a good starting point as they are easy and anyone can submit their blog to many of these directories.

Email People You Mention In Your Blog Posts

Whenever you mention or link to another website in your content, kindly email them to let them know.

They may like your content and link back!

Answer Questions On Quora

Quora is a website where people ask questions about all different topics.

What you want to do is look for questions that people have asked in your niche, and simply answer them.

You want to try and give a detailed answer so that people can trust that you know what you are talking about, and within your answer you should link to a relevant blog post on your website to give them more information.

You can also add a sentence to the end of your answer explaining who you are and what you do along with a link to your site.

This is a very easy way to gain relevant backlinks, which will also be seen by people that see your answer.

So make sure you always give high quality answers that show people that you know what you are talking about.

They might then go to your site to see your blog posts to see if you have any other relevant information that can help them out.

Contact Sites That Use Your Images

If someone uses your images without giving you credit, you can give them a nudge and ask them to credit you by linking to your website. To find websites that have used your images, you can use a number of tools, but my favourite is TinEye.

It lets you input an image and then it shows you all of the sites that are using that same image.

Once you have found an image of yours that has been used by someone else without crediting you, email them nicely asking them to credit you.

Write A List Of Statistics

Everyone loves data and statistics.

If you write a blog post stating statistics along with an infographic, other sites will use your infographic and link directly to it.

A good example of this could be:

A list of Instagram stats along with a high quality infographic. People who use your stats in their work may also credit you as their source.

Use Forums In Your Niche

A forum is a website where people from all around the world discuss particular topics in different niches.

There are many forums for every niche, so there will be some that are more relevant than others.

What you want to do is sign up to a forum in your niche and start joining discussions that you can provide quality information to.

On most forums you can have a link to your website on your profile page, so when you answer questions people can click onto your profile and see the link.

Add A Blog To Your Website

Adding a blog to your website will make it a lot easier for you to rank in search engines simply because you will have more content to rank.

If you consistently publish high quality, relevant posts to your blog, people will link to your posts.

So starting a blog will help improve your website’s SEO in multiple ways.

I highly recommend this.

Take a look at our blog here for a good example of what you can make.

Make A Tool That Your Website Visitors Can Use

For a long time high quality blog posts and guides have been one of the best ways to gain backlinks to your website, now one of the new ways to gather backlinks is to have a tool on your website that your visitors can use.

This can be something simple, it doesn’t have to be complex.

A few examples can include: an invoice maker, tax calculator, or maybe a bmi calculator.

The tool that your add to your website should be relevant to your content, for example if you are a fitness website, a bmi calculator would be a good fit.

If you don’t know how to make a tool like this, you can hire a freelancer on a website like fiverr or upwork.

Submit A Press Release

A press release is a written document that summarises important news regarding your company.

Once you have written a press release, you send it to the media (otherwise known as the press) with the main goal of having reporters, editors and media outlets use it in a publication.

In the digital age, the goal is to have them publish it within an article on their website.

If you successfully manage to have media outlets publish your press release, you can earn backlinks, brand mentions, and it will be seen by journalists.

Should a journalist like what they see, they may also write about your brand!

Google have said that they don’t positively reward links from press releases, but your press release can still lead to other writers seeing the publication and then decide to write about it on their website, resulting in the possibility of a quality backlink.

There are many reasons why a business may write a press release, such as:

  • Product Announcement
  • Employee Announcement
  • Company Announcement
  • Achievements & Awards

Once you have written a press release, send it to relevant news publications in your niche and in the location that your business operates.

Conclusion

Backlinks are of course very important, so whether you implement one of these backlink building strategies into your SEO plan, or all of them, I hope that it helps you to improve your website’s authority and ranking.

If this list of backlink building methods was useful to you, be sure to give it a share on social media so that it can help other people too.

Did we miss anything?

Leave a comment below to let us know.

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