Are you getting little traffic out of your SEO efforts?

Or, are you feeling that the backlinks you built are not moving the needle?

Chances are there that you are using outdated off-page SEO strategies on your website.

You know that the SEO landscape has changed a lot.

The things that used to work 5 years ago, just don’t work now.

Off-page SEO refers to the SEO activities you do outside of your site to influence the search rankings of your site.

If you are making use of old-school spammy off-page SEO strategies like extensive directory submissions, web 2.0, chances of you getting good rankings will be very slim.

Effective off-page SEO techniques that work today

In this post, I’m going to present you some of the most effective off-page SEO strategies that you can implement today to skyrocket your Google rankings.

Have a solid onpage strategy (especially internal linking)

Internal linking

I know, this might sound irrelevant to this post topic.

But, I need to emphasize the fact that no matter how effectively you do your off-page SEO, if you fail to do proper on-page SEO – you just can’t cut through the competition.

Onpage SEO strategy is simple, and it refers to some activities you do on your site rather than offsite.

These include:

  1. Proper internal linking
  2. Semantic optimization (usage of LSI keywords)
  3. Site architecture (silo structure)

Do refer the above resources to get the onpage SEO right.

Internal linking refers to the act of hyperlinking related posts on your site together. It’s both SEO-friendly (helps Google to determine your blog topic relationships) and also reader-friendly.

Without proper onpage SEO, you’re wasting your time in building backlinks.

Flow of link juice

You see, if you link to your internal pages in your highly-backlinked posts, your internal pages end up ranking as well. Often, these internal pages will be the money posts on your site (the posts that really matter to you the most).

Having a good internal linking strategy helps with search engine crawlability on your site and also for link juice flow.

Brand building

Brand Building

Brand building is the new SEO! When people search in Google explicitly mentioning your brand, it carries more weight.

Branded search queries

Here it signals Google that “Nike” is a well-know brand and gives it a boost for even popular search queries.

Like this, you manage to publish great content and promote it effectively, people will start talking about you and search for your brand explicitly in Google search. It results in great rankings.

The recent core Google algorithm, stressed on E.A.T. – expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

If your site is not trustworthy, Google may demote your rankings.

Google published their search evaluator guidelines and have manual site evaluators that make sure the search results page will be free from untrustworthy pages.

They look at both on-page and also off-page authoritativeness of your site.

As outlined the search evaluators’ guidelines, these evaluators usually use the below search query to get to know what the internet is talking about you and what are you well-known for.

Search Evaluator Query

Like this, they determine whether you have an expertise on what you are discussing on your blog or website.

For example, if you have a weight loss site, with no personality attached to it and you are not associated with weight loss anywhere on the internet, the evaluators may rate your site as poor with regards with E.E.A.T.

To give you a background on EEAT, Google has updated its Quality Rater Guidelines to include a new “E” in E-E-A-T – Experience. Quality raters now assess a content creator’s first-hand experience with a topic. Trustworthiness remains central to E-E-A-T.

The framework focuses on a website demonstrating experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in order to receive favorable quality ratings from Google.

Overall, the update emphasizes the need for content creators to communicate their qualifications and build trust.

It’s also essential to always monitor the mentions of your blog all around the internet using brand monitoring tools to figure out any negative sentiments that I’ll discuss later below.

Inbound links

As per the SEMrush’s case study on Rank Factors 2.0, the backlink profile of a website is more important than that of keyword optimization and the content length.

Word Image

Backlink building is the most effective way to influence the Google algorithm for increased rankings.

Having high-quality inbound links continue to be the most effective off-page SEO strategy.

Quality content does not automatically rank well without backlinks.

Here are the characteristics of a good backlink – I would call it ART:

Backlink building
  1. Authority: The backlinks from high authority sites carry more weight.
  2. Relevancy: A single backlink from a niche relevant site is better than dozens of backlinks from unrelated sites.
  3. Traffic: If the page from which you got backlink gets great traffic on a day to day basis, and it leads to more referral traffic to your blog, then it boosts your rankings.

Along with this, you need to take care of the dofollow and nofollow attributes on your backlinks.

  1. Dofollow: These backlinks are most valuable to you as they do pass link juice to your site.
  2. Nofollow: Google and other search engines won’t really count the nofollow backlinks to rank your site

But the fact is that there should be a healthy ratio between dofollow and nofollow backlinks. I would ask you to avoid alling 100% dofollow backlinks as it won’t appear natural.

You can build quality backlinks using many blogger outreach strategies like Prolinker outreach and other natural link building strategies.

Here are some of the strategies to implement:

  1. Guest blogging
  2. Prolinker Outreach
  3. Broken link building
  4. Skyscraper outreach
  5. Resource page link building
  6. Reverse guest posting
  7. Guestographics
  8. Roundups and interviews
  9. Private link networks
  10. So on

Another goal with link building is to build links that your competitors can’t easily replicate. For example if you build backlinks from forums, directories they are easily replicable and abusable thus your link value will be diluted.

Competitor Backlink Analysis

You see, there are people already ranking top for the keyword you need to rank for – most of the times.

Why not replicate the strategies they are using?

Here’s where the competitor backlink analysis comes into play.

You need to learn the art of finding the top 20% of the most influential backlinks of your competitor sites that are contributing to their 80% of rankings and traffic.

Use SEOQuake


As a first step, I want you to install an extension called SEOQuake. It displays the domain metrics and other SEO data right in the form of SERP overlay.

It’ll display all the essential data like the number of links to the page, links to the root domain, alexa rank, age of the domain, and much more.

Here you can click on any domain’s link, and get the SEMrush load all the backlinks for that specific search result.

SEMrush backlinks

Here, the total backlinks and the referring domains section are very important. If there are more referring domains, it carries more weight as far as SEO is concerned.

You can get to know the link diversity by looking at the ratio between total referring domains and the total backlinks in the overview page.

The trust score helps you identify the trustworthiness of the backlinks in the backlink profile. The more this score is, the stronger the backlink profile for a specific URL is.

Backlink analysis

In this screen, you’ll see the overview of the backlink profile of a specific URL and also the list of backlinks with details like the anchor texts, internal links, type, etc.

You can also filter the displayed backlinks by only dofollow or nofollow.

SEMrush also has a metric called “trust score”, that helps you determine how influential is backlink for a specific domain. If for a backlink trust score is more, then it means it’s from a trustworthy domain.

If a specific webpage has got backlinks from highly trustworthy sources, then it means you may have a tough time to beat it in SERPs.

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Anchor texts of the backlinks

Anchor texts of the backlinks

In the next section, you can see the anchor texts of the backlinks to that webpage. This helps you identify what kind of anchor texts you need to use while executing your link building campaigns.

Using anchor text in backlinks


Here are some of the guidelines for anchor texts:

  1. Only 15% – 18% of your anchor texts should be an exact match
  2. 25% – 30% with other LSI or phrase match keywords
  3. 15% – 18% – Naked URLs
  4. 30 – 35% – Brand name anchor texts
  5. 7% – Generic anchor texts

In the past, even if you use 80% exact match anchors, you use to rank higher. But not now.

Just make sure you take a look at the anchor text section of your high-ranking competitor backlinks and get an idea about the nature of anchor texts Google deems natural.

Takeaway: The main idea of competitor backlink analysis is to determine what kind of backlink building strategies you need to adopt and as well as to know what areas of link building you’re lacking in.

Identify zero/low backlinked popular content

How awesome will it be if you were able to create content and it ranks easily without any link building efforts on your end?

Awesome right?

Content marketing and blogging are all about demand and supply game. If you manage to create content for which there’s massive demand, you get traffic even if your blog posts have no backlinks to them.

So, how to find content ideas that you can rank even if you don’t have backlinks?

It’s with zero backlink content analysis.

In SEMrush, you can make use of organic research and the pages of a website.

Organic research in SEMrush

Here you can see that the above site has an article on a Mediterranean diet, and it’s getting lots of traffic with only 14 backlinks.

Let’s explore this further.

Analysing the content with few backlinks

I found that among those backlinks, only 3 backlinks are actually making a difference.

So, if you have a diet site that’s a competitor to the above EatingWell site, you can consider creating epic content around the same topic and get traffic with less link building efforts.

The goal here is to find content on a site which is getting good search traffic but has got no backlinks. Those are low-hanging content ideas for you to leverage.

Guest posting

word image 3

Guest posting is working and will continue to work, as long as your intention is to increase brand awareness along with getting backlinks.

Any guest posting outreach contains 5 steps:

  1. Prospection
  2. Research
  3. Connection
  4. Outreach
  5. Relationship

Among this, prospection is the most important key here. Because the effectiveness of your guest post prospection determines your success a lot.

There are various strategies for you to find the guest post opportunities.

  • Competitor guest post research
  • Author bio research
  • SEO guest post footprints
  • So on.

In the first step, you need to identify where your competitors are publishing their guest posts.

Finding competitor guest posts

I think I stumbled across a guest post that resulted in a solid high trustworthy backlink to the site.

Let me research further.

Author bio research

It is a guest post. I can outreach the above site with my guest post pitch.

Now after adding it to your prospect list, just copy the author bio and search in Google.

Author bio research

This will return all the other places, where the same site has published its guest posts. As you can see there are over 100 results for the “author bio”, among which we get at least a few dozens of solid prospects.

You can also make use of SEO footprints to get blogs to guest post on.

Using SEO footprints

Keyword + “write for us”
Keyword + “guest post by”
Keyword + “contribute to”
Keyword + “become a contributor”
Keyword + “submit a guest post”

A quick Google search reveals many of the underutilized SEO footprints you can leverage when it comes to finding guest posting prospects.

Like this, you need to make a list of prospects and start outreaching them.

Here’s a sample guest post template that you can use. Make sure you don’t use the exact below template as it may be used by hundreds of others already.

Hi {{name}}, this is Joe from

I recently came across your {{site}}, such an awesome site.

I know that you are accepting guest contributions on your site. I would like to contribute a solid article on your article that’ll be in-depth and is of at least 1000 words.

Give me a small nod, I’ll be more than happy to send over some topics.


Of course, you may need to edit the above template to match your brand and add in more personalization according to the context aiming for more reply rates. Your emails need to be so personalized that they should appear as if they’re handcrafted for each of them.

For your guest posts to be accepted on big blogs, it’s crucial for you to develop a meaningful relationship with other bloggers and then pitch them for guest posts. You’ll also get lots of referral traffic, which has a powerful correlation with increased rankings.

Big brands tend to get lots of direct and referral traffic, so it makes sense for Google to treat non-SEO traffic as one of the ranking factors.

Big brands tend to get lots of direct and referral traffic, so it makes sense for Google to treat non-SEO traffic as one of the ranking factors.

Competitor analytics

Competitor analytics

You are now able to gain competitive intelligence when it comes to backlinks. How about getting the analytics data of your competitors?

It helps you a lot to craft your both onpage and off-page strategies by spying where your competitors are focusing for traffic and what results they are getting in terms of user engagement.

SEMrush has a site analytics section in their tool, wherein you can plug in any URL and get to know their analytics metrics.

SEMrush' site analytics

In here, you’ll get all the analytics data of the URL like visits, unique visits, pages/visit, average page visit duration, bounce rate, etc.

If you have a poor engagement metrics than your competitors, then it’s time for you to optimize your posts with updated content, formatting tags, and also add videos/visuals to increase onpage user interaction and engagement.

You essentially have access to all the analytics data of your competitors.

Analytics data of competitors

You also get data regarding the traffic sources of your competitor and as well as the geolocation of the visitors. With this data, you get a clear idea of where you need to focus your promotional efforts.

For example, if your competitor is getting more traffic through social media promotions then you may need to increase your social media branding and visibility.

Backlink gap analysis

If you want to get ideas to build backlinks more easily, you need to find the backlinks that are common among your multiple competitors.

That’s where SEMrush’s Backlink Gap analysis comes into play.

SEMrush’s Backlink Gap analysis

With this tool, you can research the backlinks that all your competitors are getting but you’re missing out. This is very helpful to acquire backlinks that most of the players in your niche are getting but you’re missing out.

Brand mentions

If you have a fairly well-known brand, and if you are not doing brand monitoring for it, you may be missing out on large opportunities or will not have any idea about your brand sentiment among the masses.

You may be thinking “Are Google Alerts not enough?”. I also had this question before, but Google Alerts consistently fail to deliver relevant mentions or sometimes do not deliver emails at all.

You can make use of exclusive brand monitoring tools like BrandMentions, Awario, etc.

If you are looking for some brand monitoring solution within your SEO tool to streamline the process, the SEMrush has a functionality called Brand Monitoring.

SEMrush Brand Monitoring.

Here you need to create a new campaign and mention all the keywords you need to monitor for mentions on the web.

You can also include the mentions of your competitors or the keywords related to your product. With this, you’ll be able to track the promotional activities of your competitors anywhere on the web.

Whenever there are mentions about your brand or keyword related to your offering, you can do two things:

  1. Claim your backlink: Whenever people mention your brand online but have not linked to it in their content you can outreach them and remind them to add the link. Or, if you are monitoring some relevant keywords on which you have awesome content you can outreach them to link to your resource as well.
  2. Get mentions: If you are tracking the keywords of your competitors, you’ll get to know all the places your competitors are featured on. With this, you can formulate your similar strategies as well.
  3. Do nurturing: Whenever people mention your brand or related keywords in social media, forums, blogs, you can just right in and engage in the discussion.

It helps you involve in the discussions that matter the most to you as a brand, create rapport with the influencers across various channels on the internet.

Brand monitoring is very crucial when your brand is growing. It lets you monitor your brand sentiment across various channels. If your competitor is trying to do negative SEO or spread hatred against your brand – you’ll be the one to first get notified.

If you do not wish to get any of these tools for brand monitoring, you can do it manually as well.

Brand monitoring manually

Here I’ve searched for the mentions of my brand “BloggingX” all over the Google indexable web, except the mentions on my site.

I need to dig deep into the pages of SERPs to monitor the brand mentions. This strategy is just time-consuming and will not notify you when new mentions occur.

Apart from this, brand mentions is relatively a new SEO factor. If your brand gets more mentions in the internet (unlinked), you’ll likely get more rankings. There are many awesome articles on the web discussing the powerful relations between unlinked brand mentions and rankings.

Backlink audit

You know what?

Sometimes backlinks may hinder your site from growing organically. You need to periodically get rid of toxic and low-quality backlinks.

So how to do it?

You need to do backlink audit.

Before doing this, first you need to check whether there’s any manual action penalty for your site. For this, first, you need to head over to Google Search Console and go to manual actions section.

Google search console

In that section, if there are any messages like this, you certainly need to complete the steps I’m gonna present to you, make a list of toxic links and disavow them. After disavowing them, you need to submit “request a review” with a detailed explanation.

Even if you are not affected by Google manual penalty, it’s always good to check if there are any unnatural links to your site through backlink audit.

Just make use of SEMrush’s backlink audit tool. The tool is included in the free account as well.

Backlink audit

Here in this screen, let me click “Start Backlink Audit”.

After you click on it, you need to connect SEMrush with your Google Search Console account.

It’ll analyze all the backlinks you have, and returns you the reports about the trustworthiness of the backlinks and also suggests you remove/disavow the toxic backlinks.

Knowing toxic backlinks

It’ll return you the audit report once the analysis is done. As you can see, my site BloggingX has 2 of the backlinks which are flagged as potentially toxic.

Filtering the backlinks

For the backlink results, you can add “Advanced filters” and filter the backlinks that you may need to manually review.

While reviewing, you need to add the suspicious backlinks in the highly toxic score to the “remove list”.

You need to then inform Google to negate the disavowed backlinks that are affecting your overall search engine rankings.

Most of the times, if the overall “Toxicity” is low, then you may not worry about it.

As you may have guessed, backlink audit in itself will not boost your rankings. It may help you identify the bad links that are preventing you from ranking making it one of the crucial off-page SEO strategy.

If you have recently acquired a dropped or expired domain with a previous owner using it, you may need to run this tool at least once.

Influencer outreach

Influencer outreach

If you are not leveraging the power of social media influencers to market your brand and products, you’re missing out big time.

After you publish your blog posts, you need to outreach the people whom you linked to or featured in the article. You need to also outreach the people who are likely to share your article or have shared similar content before.

For this, you can make use of prospection and outreach tools like BuzzSumo, NinjaOutreach or Mailshake.

Let me take an example with BuzzSumo.

Buzzsumo - content analyzer

In BuzzSumo you need to enter the seed keyword in which you created your content. After this, BuzzSumo will return all the viral content when it comes to that specific topic.

In this screen, you need to consider clicking on “View Sharers”.

Getting the influencers

This will return all the visitors, who’ve shared the content on Twitter when it comes to that topic.

You can consider outreaching them asking their feedback about your content or even a social share.

Here is the template to reach them out.

Hi [First Name | There],

I follow you on Twitter ( Twitter Url ) and noticed that you retweeted great articles related to [Topic].

I’ve written a post that I just published and would love your feedback. It matters a lot to me 🙂

Here’s the post – [Post link]

I’m sure you will love it!

Keep rocking 🙂

Joe ~

If the post you’ve written is genuinely epic and is with the interests of the influencers, open your floodgates for great traffic. Often these outreach templates are overused, it’s very essential for you to use pattern interrupts in outreach campaigns.

Social media promotion

Social media promotion

Apart from influencers promoting your content, it’s also important for you to promote your content on social media channels regularly.

But creating and updating content on various social media channels takes a lot of time.

So, I advise you to use social media scheduling apps like Planable or Hootsuite for this. This kind of apps lets you easily collaborate with your social media managers and also plan ahead a months’ worth of social media content beforehand.


If you already have access to SEMrush, you can use their “Social Media Poster”, there’s no need to spend extra money for a dedicated social media planner.

Like this you can schedule your content ahead of time to various channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

You can also select an evergreen scheduling so that your content gets auto-published every 2 months or so. It’s very helpful for Twitter reach.

The free version of SEMrush is good enough if you want to handle social media postings in any two of your promotional channels.

It saves you a lot of time than manually going to each of these platforms and posting the content.

Here are some of the tips for you to make the most of your social media marketing efforts.

  • Focus on the creation of visual content instead of only textual content
  • Do Facebook Live frequently (it has got more reach)
  • Ask comment provoking questions in your posts
  • Do some giveaways to raise your social media boost
  • Include more stories in your social media content. Storytelling creates rapport with the people and they emotionally connect with your brand.

Getting more social shares on your content is very important. Because social signals is one of the crucial SEO ranking factors as far as Google is concerned.

Getting more social shares is one of the best off page SEO techniques you can implement today.

Repurpose content

Repurpose content

In order to crack SEO and traffic in the coming years, you need to follow the omnichannel approach.

Google when realizes that you are getting traffic from different channels other than SEO, it gives you more rankings as your brand seems more popular to it.

But I hear you. Omnichannel marketing requires huge marketing and content creation budgets.

That’s why we have content repurposing.

You can repurpose your blog content as:

  1. YouTube videos
  2. Turn videos’ audio to podcast episodes
  3. Turn blog post outlines to SlideShare presentations
  4. Use sections of your blog posts as Quora answers
  5. Republish your blog content on Medium or LinkedIn – using canonical tags back to your site
  6. Create infographics out of your content
  7. Submit the infographics to infographic directories
  8. Create short snackable videos out of your blog content – use it for social media for increased engagement

This kind of repurposing caters to the need of people who prefer different kinds of content. For example, do you know that Slideshare has 80 million users worldwide? You’ll be missing out on those audiences if you are not properly leveraging the platform.

With content repurposing, you increase brand awareness, and people are likely to prefer your content when searching for information. This leads to more direct visitors to your site and this, in turn, boosts your search rankings.


Buffer conducted an experiment wherein, they stopped publishing new content for a whole month. Instead, they repurposed their existing content in various forms like ebooks, slides, Quora, videos, audio, Medium, Emails, etc.

You know what?

Traffic growth with buffer

In the end, their organic traffic boosted by 4%! This proves the strong correlation between the omnichannel presence and the boost in SEO.

This approach with continued consistency over time will certainly have a snowball effect.

Press releases

When it comes to press releases, having a good relationship with journalists or writers of various news media outlets is crucial or else you need to be ready to shell out top dollars.

People think that you need to do press releases for the sake of backlinks.

Although PRs results in high-authority backlinks from news media outlets and also from webmasters who include the news in their blog posts, the untold advantage is the brand awareness and the branded search queries that press releases result in.

If you are into the SEO game from a couple of years, you already know the importance of branded search queries.

Branded search queries

You see, when people search for something explicitly mentioning your brand name, you get a search engine boost.

For this to happen, you need to increase your brand awareness among the audience segment you’d like to target.

You do need to remember that press releases often results in a high number of backlinks. So it’s always advised to use the nofollow links in press releases or else you’ll be inviting Google unnatural links penalty.

You also need to remember to only distribute the press release to the relevant sources.

If you are not good at writing press releases you can consider outsourcing it using platforms like Upwork.

Monitor your SEO efforts

Monitor your SEO efforts

What’s the use of doing SEO and link building, if you’re not properly tracking the results?

You need to have a list of keywords in a good rank tracking software and you need to track the position of the rankings regularly.

It helps you instantly identify if any of your money posts are declining in rankings, and you can do something about them. Rank tracking also motivates you to carry on your off page SEO strategies if the rankings are rising.

There are good rank tracking software like SEO Powersuite and also Accuranker. These are dedicated SEO rank tracking softwares.

If you are using SEMrush already, you no need to shell out money on yet another tool.

SEMrush comes with a position tracker tool.

SEMrush's position tracker tool

First, you need to enter your domain name, choose the rank checking location, choose your competitors and then you need to enter in the keywords you need to track.

It auto-populates your high-traffic driving keywords, or else you can manually add them too.

Pulling high-traffic driving keywords

It takes some time and populates the search rankings data in the position tracking dashboard.

You can filter the results by adding competitor domain names, position, changes, SERP features (like carousels, knowledge graph, etc), estimated traffic, and also visibility.

When you go inside any of the keywords you are tracking, you can see ranking history in the form of a zoomable graph.

Rank tracking is very important for any business. Instead of checking your rankings daily, make a habit of seeing rankings summary once a week and make the necessary tweakings in your onpage and also onpage SEO strategies.

Without rank tracking, you can’t track and tweak your off-page SEO strategies effectively.

Off-page SEO checklist

  • Measure the number of links you have and your link profile using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.
  • Make sure that your link profile growth does not contain any abnormal spikes. Keep good natural link velocity.
  • Build more dofollow inbound links to your site using techniques like guest blogging, blogger outreach, and others.
  • Research the high-quality links on your competitors and try to get them.
  • Pay attention the anchor texts your top ranking competitors are having in their backlinks.
  • Using brand monitoring tools get to know when people mention your brands, and outreach them to add links to their unlinked mentions. Do link reclamation.

Social media promotion checklist

  • Be active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and regularly promote your blog along with other awesome content on the web.
  • Grow a Facebook group around your brand, and encourage people to actively engage and promote your content
  • Get more social shares on your blog content using social lockers and also using tools like Quuu Promote.
  • Repurpose your content on social media sites and also places like Quora to get more referral traffic to your blog as it has strong correlation with rankings.

Wrapping up

These are some of the off page SEO strategies that I’m implementing personally on my blog.

Some of these strategies vary on the basis of what niche you’re in.

You need to also remember that no matter how religiously you follow these strategies if your onpage SEO and content quality is not upto the mark, you won’t make a difference in your rankings.

On-page SEO is something that you have total control over. First, you need to get it sorted, then even a small off-page SEO effort on your end will have a great impact when it comes to increasing rankings.

Hope you found this guide on off page SEO strategies helpful.