What Are Some Of The Top Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors?

Nov 03, 2022 by The Yellow Strawberry

It's difficult to distinguish between marketing communications and off-page SEO.

An example: Influencer marketing can increase brand mentions or backlinks (both of which are well-known off-page ranking factors). Does that mean an SEO specialist should be responsible for it?The short answer is no. If "off-page", means everything, it doesn't mean anything.

This article is a little different from your average off-page SEO article which lists every marketing communication tactic in the past decade as an "off-page technique".

We'll instead focus on the few known and direct off-page factors that every SEO professional should have, regardless of how they are influenced.

Off-page SEO requires a more comprehensive, holistic approach to SEO. It should not be a single strategy.

Your SEO strategy can be made or broken by knowing where these boundaries are.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO, also known as off-site SEO, refers to all search engine optimization strategies and tactics that you use to improve your rankings. However, they are not within your domain.

Keyword: outside.

Off-page optimization, unlike on-page SEO, which aims to improve SERP rankings through optimizing content within your website's pages. Instead, it aims to improve your SERP ranking by optimizing factors beyond your domain.

There are many factors that can increase your rankings. These include acquiring quality backlinks and increasing brand mentions.

What is the difference between on-page and off-page search engine optimization?

Relevance vs. authority.

On-page SEO makes your content more accessible, easier to crawl, and easier to index. Off-page SEO builds your website into a topical authority on the subject matter you are writing about.


Google wants to be able to say two things clearly

  1. Is the web page's content compatible with the search intent of the person searching for it? (On-page/Relevance)

  2. If we refer visitors to you, are you credible as a source of information? (Off-page/Authority)

It is not surprising that on-page and offline require two different approaches using very different tactics.

If the website publishing the content has little trust and authority, it is unlikely that it will rank highly on Google search. It won't rank high on Google search if it is competing with websites with higher domain authority.

Off-page SEO is responsible for domain authority (trustworthiness and relevance, authority).

According to a Moz survey, which asked SEO experts how important certain tactics are to ranking, over half of all ranking factors were off-page.

Ranking factors off-page

The SEO community agrees that there are off-page SEO ranking elements that reflect Google's actual ranking factors. There are also off-page SEO techniques which can positively impact those ranking factors.

SEO experts often confuse the two.

Social media marketing, for example, is not an off-page SEO. However, sharing content via social media can indirectly result in improved rankings. More shares can lead to higher organic traffic and more backlinks.

As we said in the introduction, this article will focus on the off-page factors that every SEO manager and webmaster must know. Not the endless number of tactics that can influence these factors, but those that might or may not be part of the SEO department.

What are they?

  1. Backlinks

  2. Brand signals

  3. Local SEO factors

 1. Backlinks

Backlinks are links linking from another domain to yours, not internal links that link to one page within your domain. Google and other search engines use backlinks to show their trust: If a trusted website links to yours then it is likely that you are also reputable.

According to Moz, page-level and domain-level backlinks carry 21% and 19.2% respectively of the ranking weight. Backlinks together make up 40% in ranking factors.

What does a good backlink profile look exactly like?

Quality links are not just links from any website, but links that come from websites with high domain authority (DA). A link from YouTube (DA 100), for example, will help you rank higher than a random link (DA 14).

Anchor text: The text portion of a hyperlink is called anchor text (e.g. This is anchor text. Google stated that anchor text is used to determine the context and relevancy of the pages it links to. This is something you can't control, but anchor text keywords may increase the link's value.

Backlinks that bring qualified traffic: rankings are not everything. Links that bring referral traffic to your site should be considered. Google may also consider links that send referral traffic as more valuable.

Relevance: A link from a pet food site is more valuable than one from an auto repair website if you are a veterinarian.

Dofollow: Links are "dofollow" by search engines. This means that search engines can follow them and pass on link juice. Some links may be "nofollow," meaning search engines won't follow them and don't pass on link juice. Dofollow is what you want.

2. Brand mentions

Brand mentions can be any online instance of your brand name being mentioned in a linkless manner, such as an article, case study, social media, or within a forum.

What contribution do brand mentions make to rankings?

Although it's difficult to know for sure, we are certain they exist.

We know that unlinked mentions are important thanks to Google patents, Google Search Quality Guidelines, Gary Illyes from Google and Duane Forrester, former Bing employees.

Bad news: You have very little control over the people who mention you and when. Brand metrics can be difficult to track.

How can you increase brand mentions?

These are great ways to increase brand mentions. How many of these fall under the SEO umbrella?

It all depends.

It could be any of the above or none depending on the business.

Whatever your choice, here are the essentials that every SEO must bring to the brand-building conversation.


You need to reach more people, no matter how many off-page strategies you use, to increase brand mentions. This means maximizing reach. Prioritize the opportunities that will get you and your view in front of as many people as possible.

Spheres Of Influence

You need to have other industry influencers talking about your brand in order to increase brand mentions. Customers can only do so many things (e.g. Leave reviews. Each SEO should play a part in creating a network of influencers within your industry. This could be individuals, blogs, thought leaders, disruptors, thought-leaders, and businesses.

Universal message

Your influencers need something to share with their audiences. No matter what medium you use to communicate that message, articles, thought leadership or podcasts, it doesn't really matter. Every brand-building program must have a universal message that appeals to buyers, non-buyers and future buyers. SEO should definitely have a voice in the development of that message.

3. Local SEO factors

Local SEO is search engine optimization that targets local businesses.

Three things are different about local SEO than regular SEO when it comes to off-page optimization.

  • Google My Business (GMB).

  • Citations

  • Review

Whitespark claims that GMB, reviews and citations account for 56% and 19% respectively of total ranking variables for Local Pack results, respectively.

Google My Business

Google My Business is Google’s business hub for local companies.

Google will provide a free business profile for customers if you have in-person contact. You can edit this profile and make changes to ensure that your business information is accurate in search results.

Local intent queries (i.e. Google lists GMB listings for queries with local intent (e.g. "dentist near my") in three places.

  • Results for Map

  • Knowledge Panel

  • Results from the Local Pack (also known as "Snack Pack")

GMB profile completeness

Each field must be filled in (images, business hours and business category, about, etc.). It all.

Keywords in GMB title

This is something you can't control. Your business name should be your title, regardless of whether it is keyword rich. If possible, include your category descriptor (e.g. "KlientBoost SEO Agency"

Primary category for GMB profile

There are many categories, and they might not be the right one for you. Find the closest one.

Secondary categories of GMB Profile

As many related categories are possible

Verified/claimed GMB listing

Verify your GMB page and claim it, every time. You can edit your information and manage it once you have verified.

Keywords in GMB landing pages title

In this instance, the landing page is your homepage or local page. It should be optimized for your brand + city.

Page authority for GMB landing page URL

Your GMB page can be linked to any other page on your site. Consider your homepage as the most authoritative page on your website.

GMB profile: Local area code

Google uses location to provide local results. An area code is used by Google to determine the location of a GMB listing.

Inbound links to GMB landing pages are of high quality and authority.

The world is ruled by links, even your GMB rankings.

Quantity of GMB reviews

Find more reviews from Google native users

Citations (NAP consistency).

Local citations are a mention of your name and address (NAP) anywhere on the internet, such as on a local business directory or industry-specific websites, social media, or apps.

This is an example of a citation that a Newport Beach plastic surgeon has submitted to RealSelf, a niche directory.

Three things are most important when it comes to citations:


It is important that your name, address and phone number (NAP), appear consistent across all your citations. NAP consistency is used by search engines to rank local businesses. Search engines will assume that your business information is inconsistent. This could lead to poor local rankings. Customers can also be confused by inaccurate information about your business.


Not all citations are equal, just like backlinks. A citation on Google, Facebook, or Yelp can be more valuable than one on a random site with low domain authority. A citation that is industry-specific will be more valuable than a citation that is not.


Volume of citations is the last. Just as backlink volume builds trust with Google. Citation quantity also builds trust. Google will be more confident in your business if you have more accurate NAP.

Off-page SEO strategies

Once you have a better understanding of the off-page ranking factors that matter most, you can begin to look at how marketing communications can impact them.

The most popular off-page strategies include:

  • Distribution and marketing of content

  • Marketing via social media

  • Marketing to Influencers

  • Guest blogging

  • Distribution of press releases (meh).

  • Link building (broken link building, linkable assets, etc.)

  • Brand building

  • Content syndication

  • PR

There are many other options.

It's not your responsibility to implement all these strategies, even if they have an impact on a few metrics. It is your responsibility to communicate these off-page ranking factors with anyone who may inadvertently be affected.

Wrapping up

It is clear that even though off-page SEO can be affected by almost every marketing communication tactic, it is a result of good marketing and not a list of tactics that you do in a silo.

SEO: Where does it all stop?

What should SEO do if every marketing communication tactic has an off-page influence?

I hope this article clarified one thing: regardless of the tactics used to influence off-page rankings factors, it is the job of the SEO specialist to advocate those factors for the entire marketing department.

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