SEO Audits in 2021: Off-Page
Off-page SEO is tough, much tougher than on-page SEO and no one but SEO agencies loves doing it. I mean, do you love going to the dentist’s office? Yet, if you want to have healthy and shiny teeth you will bite the bullet.
Let’s have a look at what you need to do to conduct an SEO audit of your website in 2021.
What to Look for When Doing Off-Page SEO
Domain age is a ranking factor and Google will look more favorably at a website that’s five or seven or ten years old, comparing to a brand new or young website.
There’s nothing that you can do if you’ve already started your website, but if you’re considering starting another one, think about getting an aged domain, or buying an older, already established website.
There’s plenty of websites out there that have a couple of years under their belt but are perhaps not monetized properly and therefore their owners want to sell them.
On the other hand, if you’re rebranding your current website with a new domain name, always do a 301 redirect from the old domain to the new one. This can be tricky at times, and a percentage of sites never recover their historic traffic. It’s like rolling a dice, yet still has to be done.
Social shares are a thing in 2021 and Google will look at the amount that your site is getting. Include share buttons via theme or plugin and start social media accounts if you don’t have them already.
Once you start sharing the content yourself, stick with what works best for your site and your niche. Some niches fare better on Pinterest, while others do best on Facebook, etc.
Number of Backlinks
This is still the most important factor that Google uses to determine how your content is going to rank. Brand new sites and sites that don’t publish good content don’t have a lot of links from other websites pointing at them and therefore have low domain authority.
The greater the number of high-quality posts that you publish the more backlinks you’re going to get. You can speed the process up by doing outreach, guest posting, or using HARO for instance.
You can use a backlink analytics tool to analyze your website and find out who is linking to it.
Quality of Backlinks
Not all backlinks are created equal, unfortunately. The more authority a website that’s linking to you has, the better for you. For example, The New York Times backlink is a great deal better than a link from the Back Yard Farmer.
Competitors’ Backlink Profile
Next on our list is to look at our competitor’s backlinks. You’ll do the same search as you did with your website. The results could be uplifting or devastating, depending on your competitor’s strength.
Nevertheless, it’s important to see who links to what pages so you can perhaps do an outreach campaign to get those websites to link to you as well.
Use the same backlink analytics tool that you’ve used on your website to analyze any of your competitors.
If you’re offering local services, or have a brick and mortar business, doing your local SEO due diligence is a must and you should put the majority of your resources into it.
There are good local directories like Google My Business, that your website should be in. But there’s also a host of bad ones that you should skip as they won’t do anything for you and may even end up hurting your SEO efforts.
Make a list of trustworthy directories and local citation websites, make a profile, or submit your info with the latest information like your address, name, phone number, etc.
Doing outreach is a time-consuming yet powerful link-building strategy. Your goal is to locate websites that would benefit from linking back to a certain well-written and/or information-packed blog post on your website.
That is arguably the easy part as now you have to pitch editors, webmasters, or owners of the said website to persuade them to share or link back to your post.
There are of course dozens of off-page SEO factors and over some of them, you don’t have any influence. The goal is to work on the ones that you can improve to take your website to the next level.