Off-page SEO may be framed as the SEO you “can’t control,” at least not with content writing and direct page optimization. But there are plenty of ways to take at least some control of your off-page SEO.

You know the importance of building backlinks. But what other strategies can you use to kick your off-page SEO up a notch? We asked 14 experts to share their can’t-miss secrets below.

Medha Mehta of SectigoStore

Answer relevant questions on Q&A sites

“One of the best off-page SEO techniques is participating in discussion forums and contributing to Q&A activities. Platforms like Quora, Reddit, Stack Overflow (for techies), Google Answers, Yahoo Answers, and even Facebook group discussion threads give you the best chance to interact with your potential customers. You hear their concerns/questions and show them how your product/service can help them to resolve the issue.

“Make sure you don’t sound like a pushy advertiser, but someone who is genuinely trying to help.

“For example, I came across a question on Quora where someone was asking how they can reduce wrinkles quickly. The top answer provider (I assume she was a marketer for a cosmetic company) shared some great home remedies and lifestyle changes. And then, she slipped her company’s anti-wrinkle cream name in at the end, along with a link saying, ‘Apart from all these holistic remedies, if you use XYZ Cream, it will accelerate the wrinkle removing process, and you will be able to see the results not in months but in weeks!’

“That answer had more than 100,000 views! Not all of them will buy the product immediately, but that person reached 100,000 people concerned about wrinkles (a targeted niche) just by writing an answer for free!  

“Discussion forums and groups are one of the easiest and fastest ways to reach your target audience at the right time and right place.”

Brian Joslyn, Esq. of Joslyn Law Firm

Outreach for guest posting as an expert

“Focus on earned media outreach or digital PR outreach. These are opportunities for you to share your verified expertise on something and be a source of education for readers of that site.

“So many businesses (and marketers) always want the quick win options, which I get. But the most fruitful wins in my playbook are when I extend myself to writers and organizations on unique content opportunities they’re looking for.

“As an example, don’t write content and then shop it around to find a home. It’d be like a realtor taking on a client and then forcing a home on them without considering their needs. One-sided relationships never fare well, and shopping content is that. Instead, offer your expertise to anyone who would be interested, and then collaborate organically to create a unique piece that meets a website’s needs. It’s my opinion that the reader (and Google’s algorithm) can tell when a piece of content was shopped and when there was an organic collaboration in place between the sources/experts and the editorial team.

“Once you prove yourself as an objective, non-promotional, and thorough source for these writers, they start coming back again and again. Now, I have opportunities to be featured in fantastic outlets that have strong SEO metrics, actual traffic/readership, and good content – all of which I don’t perform the laborious outreach for anymore. Because we put in the initial legwork in the past, it’s paying off in dividends. Guest posting definitely requires a commitment and not every submission will be accepted, but that’s the process I’d highly recommend.

Janil Jean of LogoDesign

Get trusted and verified reviews

“SEO, off-page or on-page, has come a long way since the days of keyword stuffing and directory submissions. Keeping the threats of Google penalty, ranking and conversion in mind, the one off-page SEO advice I feel would greatly benefit webmasters and businesses alike is getting reviews.

“Trusted and verified sources of testimonials from credible platforms, like Google Reviews, Trustpilot, Sitejabbers, etc. offer solid credibility to your website, improve user experience, and most importantly, increase conversions.

“For those starting out, I recommend signing up and listing your website with these review platforms. Once done, make your customers aware that your brand is on the review platform so they can give positive feedback. When other customers searching for your type of service see a five-star business, they will most likely pick yours out from the rest. Review sites also work for the long term and Google is not likely to deny their links to your website.”

Josef Raczka of Twinkl

Don’t sneeze at no-follow links

“There is an assumption in off-page SEO that it’s all about building links and increasing authority. But there is still gain to be found in activities aside from link building and do-follows.

So often, we look at a website’s link portfolio and see only 1% or less of their links are no-follow. And while this may benefit the core aim of higher DA, it can have a negative effect on search appearances.

“Imagine if you bought fish and chips and what arrived was in fact a large piece of fish with three small chips. That’s what ignoring no-follows is like. Having some balance can make your site seem more reputable to Google, especially if you can build links to some high-quality, trusted sources, even if they supply no-follows.

“Of course, this is in addition to the referral traffic that no-follows can generate, which we’ve found to be as substantial as those with do-follow links – sometimes more if you can find the right source for your site.”

Freya Kuka of Collecting Cents

Use the double survey technique

“I love using the double survey technique by Kyle Byers when it comes to generating backlinks for my blog.

“The double survey technique combines two of the most famous blog post formats – original research using surveys and roundup posts. The first step is to narrow down on a topic that’s lacking good survey material. Once you have one, you can start conducting surveys. This will create original data and statistics that act like backlink magnets.

“After you have a reasonable amount of people take your survey, you can move on to the second step which is to get quotes from experts in the field. The combination of survey data and quotes from experts is a backlink magnet, because what article wouldn’t link back to a good statistic? Your original research will serve as a resource for tons of writers and you are paid in backlink currency.”

Visnja Zeljeznjak of Logit Internet Services Ltd.

Don’t be shy – ask for backlinks

“Marketers and small business owners don’t bother to ask for a backlink from other media outlets where they contribute valuable and original content. They spend so much time writing up great posts and giving interviews, assuming the media outlet will make sure they are properly credited with a backlink.

“I believe marketers don’t ask for a backlink for two main reasons:

1. They assume they’ll get a no and being rejected is tough for some, or

2. They don’t understand the power of the compound effect a simple tactic, such as asking for a backlink, can have on their business.

My advice to other marketers and business owners is this: In most cases, if anyone asks you to contribute original content, they either have to pay you with money or with a backlink. Of course, apply common sense. If a huge media outlet wants to interview you or put your face on their cover, a backlink is probably not that important.”

Nathan Sebastian of GoodFirms

Take advantage of influencer marketing

“Influencer marketing is a super effective off-page SEO technique that helps businesses amplify their content, reach new audiences, and create a powerful brand identity. But often, marketers ignore this important approach.

“Celebrity endorsement is considered as a crucial marketing strategy to strengthen a brand. You can win the marketing game by finding your niche-specific influencers with a high engagement rate and audience trust. Links from these authorities are far more preferable than getting links from spam sites.

“You can invite influencers to create content that expresses their opinions about your target market’s concerns, and then show how your product or service can resolve those issues.

“Nowadays, it’s not only an A-list celebrity who can influence consumer buying behavior. Real personalities with less followers, such as macro- or micro-influencers, also have the power to gain customer trust. You can partner with the most befitting influencers, depending upon your product/service type, audience behavior, and goal.”

Chris Hutty of Jellyfish Training

Pitch your content to sites that have linked to competitors

“Off-site promotion of your site should always be a key part of your content marketing strategy. Google likes to promote the idea that links will naturally flow from great content. This is a fallacy you need to put aside (See this great study from Moz for more, based on the analysis of one million articles).

“While social media shares might occur organically, good content nearly always requires well-focused promotion to acquire links.

“My main tip for this is competitor backlink analysis. Identify other successful pieces of content on a similar topic and investigate who has linked to those pieces using a backlink analysis tool, such as Ahrefs or Majestic. Doing so will help you identify sites that not only demonstrate a clear interest in your topic but, crucially, also have a history of linking to similar content.

“The process goes something like this:

1. Identify other successful pieces of content similar to the piece you are creating. You can do this by searching in Google to see which pieces rank well, or use social media tools to identify similar content that has gained a lot of buzz (likes, shares, etc.).

2. Take the URL of the content you have identified and analyze it using a backlink analysis tool, such as Ahrefs, Majestic, Moz, or SEMrush.

3. Analyze the sites linking to the competing content. Ask yourself why these sites have linked, and whether or not your content would be of interest to them.

4. If yes, add these sites to an outreach list. When your content is ready to be promoted you now have a list of sites you can reach out to.”

Mollie Earnshaw of Zeal

Establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche

“You would think every market would want to establish themselves as a thought leader, especially content SEOs. But this isnt always the case, and it’s very often overlooked as a goal. There is so much content on the internet, people feel they need to push so much of their own content out there – usually focusing on quantity over quality.

“Creating content that will establish your business as a thought leader will take longer than writing a quick blog post. It’s all about doing in-depth research, sending out media requests to get expert opinions and comments, and also, being reactive to what’s happening in the industry now.

“Marketers need to be up-to-date with the latest industry news and react quickly. They need to create content about the news, building conversation (and sometimes controversy) around their piece to get people talking.

“The main takeaway is that content needs to provide unique value to readers.  

Many marketers miss the point – they are just trying to push content out for the sake of content, they are not actually thinking about reader intent. Instead, establish leadership through continuous creation of quality content that has been researched thoroughly.”

Alice Stevens of

Establish Expertise, Authority, Trust (EAT)

“Off-page SEO is essential for establishing expertise, authority, and trust (EAT). If others use your content as a trustworthy and authoritative reference, you’ll do better in Google’s ranking algorithm.

“As long as your brand is being mentioned consistently in positive ways, it establishes your site’s EAT. So, track linked and unlinked brand mentions. Of course, do-follow links are always nice, but not every brand mention needs to be linked. The brand mention brings more awareness to your company and what you do.

“Another factor that influences EAT is customer reviews. Reviews are what your customers say about the quality and value you provide. People who have bad experiences are more likely to leave reviews than people who had good ones. It’s important to actively work with review sites to generate customer reviews to give the most accurate presentation of your brand.

“Pay attention to the feedback given in reviews so you can improve your business to better serve your clients.”

Michelle Alese of Kantaloupe

Increase EAT with truly unique content

“Although EAT is now more important than ever before, linkbait-style articles are still often overlooked by digital marketers. In order to create linkable content or content that will naturally generate passive quality backlinks, one must first create unique content that’ll excite readers. “Linkbait articles must have a differentiating factor that makes the content one-of-a-kind, such as intriguing statistics about a certain topic. Even better, work with your team to conduct your own data research, as opposed to simply citing statistics from third-party sources.

“Also, always remember that just showing unique data points doesn’t necessarily mean the topic will be interesting to readers. A great way to find an intriguing topic to write about is to first research the questions readers commonly have around that topic. Answer The Public is a tool I recommend to any content team to better understand their reader’s questions, interests and obstacles, prior to writing a stats-driven linkbait article.

“By following these steps, you’ll be one step closer to earning relevant, passive backlinks from high-quality websites and strengthening your website’s EAT.”

Mike Sheety of That Shirt

Engage with the online community and solve their problems

“Blog and website owners often forget how critical their role can be in solving problems for their potential customers and engaging with the community. I think many sites have a very shallow presence on social media that doesn’t offer anything more than is offered on the main site. That’s a problem that causes many people to stop paying attention to social media handles of popular sites and blogs. It turns them away and they miss new content when it finally comes out.

“Because of that, I really love to see different sites engaging with people, commenting, and replying to them. One of the best ways to do this is, at least in my experience, is through sites such as Quora. Creating a profile that serves as both a link to the main site and a completely separate tool for solving problems and engaging with people is fantastic.

“Most sites miss that human touch where you can see and feel the genuine interest and engagement with the community. This alone brings more people to the site than simple link trading or similar habits that try to circumvent the effort it takes to create an engaged public.”

Sydney Myers of Dallas Hoops Cast

Don’t overlook podcasting

“Podcasting is overlooked as a simple but effective SEO strategy. It accomplishes three things at once.

“First, it gives you additional media content that can reach an audience that maybe isn’t interested in reading 2,000-word blog posts. With Google Podcasts integrated into Google Search, podcast episodes give you more search impressions, and that’s in addition to the page you create for each new episode.

“Second, it’s very easy to jumpstart your backlink profile by registering your podcast with every streaming service. Most of these are do-follow links. While these links aren’t as valuable as contextual links in relevant articles, they’re a quick method for getting started.

“Third, once you have an established podcast, you can simply reach out to other podcasts and offer to be a guest on their show. This grows your brand’s footprint and gets you more backlinks when your site is mentioned in the show notes.”

Oli Graham of RightlyWritten

Find unlinked brand mentions

“One of the most underused link-building techniques is one of the simplest: link reclamation.

All it involves is finding pages that mention your company but do not currently link out, find out the person responsible for that page, and ask them to add a link.

Although many marketers do this, using tools like Mention and Google Alerts to track mentions of their company, most leave easy links on the table because these tools are not very thorough in their indexation of pages.

It is better to use Google to find pages that mention your company. The best way to do this is to Google: [Company name] –

This will bring up mentions of your company that are not your company’s website. You can repeat this for keywords that uniquely identify your company. This can include key personnel in your company, any unique products or services, or any recent PR activities.

You can use a scraper to put all these results in an Excel file, and check them manually to see if they currently link out.

For those that do not, just send an email to the person who manages the website and ask them if they can make their mention of your company link to you. Ideally, you want to add a screenshot of their mention in the email to make it as easy as possible for them to make this change. In my experience, this converts at 20-30%, so with 20 prospects you can expect around five links.”

In conclusion

Hopefully, these expert strategies and secrets have given you some ideas on how to enhance your off-page SEO. Thanks to our experts for sharing their detailed insights!

 If you’re looking for more off-page SEO tips, check out what marketers believe are the best overlooked off-page SEO strategies.

Also, don’t miss out on our roundup where marketers tell us whether on-page SEO or off-page SEO is more effective for increasing page rankings.