Offpage optimisation: definition, SEO relevance and backlink quality features

Off-page optimisation (also known as off-page SEO or off-site SEO) refers to measures to improve the ranking of a website that are taken outside of its own web presence. Together with on-page SEO, it forms one of the two main pillars of search engine optimisation. The central discipline of off-page optimisation is the generation of links that lead from other pages to your own (backlinks).

Optimisation for offsite ranking factors essentially involves improving the popularity, relevance, trustworthiness and authority of a website by search engines and users. This is achieved by having other reputable places on the Internet (websites, people, etc.) refer to or advertise your own pages, link to them and thus speak in favour of the quality of the respective content. Such endorsements are taken into account by Google and others as strong quality signals for the ranking.

Why is off-page optimisation important for SEO?

At the centre of off-page optimisation are backlinks and their development or promotion in so-called link building. Corresponding backlinks are still among the top three ranking factors. For this reason alone, companies should not do without off-page optimisation - and more precisely link building.

However, the other off-page SEO channels and strategies are also demonstrably highly relevant. Various studies suggest that social media marketing, influencer marketing, reviews, local citations and the offsite factors of technical SEO can account for well over 50 per cent of positive ranking influences.

What are the most important quality features of backlinks?

Building backlinks is at the heart of off-page optimisation. Search engines use these links as indicators of the quality of the linked content - according to the (simplified) motto: "A website that is linked to and recommended by (many) websites on the same topic must be of high quality and is therefore worth appearing high up in the rankings for relevant search queries."

The links that pass on the most value or link juice make the greatest contribution to off-page SEO. The following signals provide a high link quality:

  • High popularity of the linking page.
  • Clear thematic reference between the pages.
  • High topicality of the link.
  • Contextually appropriate link anchor text.
  • Best trustworthiness of the linking page.
  • Number of other links on the linking page.
  • Authority of the linking domain and page.

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