Off-page SEO & Backlinking (Expert Interview)

Learn about off-page SEO, backlinking, domain authority, and what common mistakes bloggers make about SEO in this expert interview.

Off page SEO and link building

There are many factors that contribute to the success of a blog. 

One major factor is search engine optimization (SEO). 

This means you need to focus on improving your rankings in Google and other search engines for keywords related to your site’s content. 

It’s so important to have a strong and holistic SEO strategy in place for your blog, because when done correctly, it will bring the traffic and revenue that you’ve always dreamed of. 


How can you rank your blog?


SEO plays such an important role in the overall success of your blog.

But most new bloggers ignore it altogether.

They find SEO can be too overwhelming when you’re just starting out.

But it doesn’t need to be!

The answer is by optimizing for off-page SEO and backlinking. 

Off-Page SEO includes the optimization of your onsite content, social media, website design, and other factors that are outside of your own site. 

Backlinking is when you have quality links pointing to your site from other sites with a high domain authority (DA). These two techniques combined will help any blogger rank their blog on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS).

So, I thought of inviting Debbie Gartner, who has helped tons of bloggers rank on Google with her SEO books and bundles, to share her expertise on off-page SEO and give you tips on what you can do today in order to improve your rankings.

If you’re in a bit of a rush at the moment, don’t sweat it! You can always pin it for later!  

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information. If not otherwise stated, all prices are intended in US$.

photo of Debbie Gartner for expert inteview

Debbie Gartner is known as The Flooring Girl where she blogs about flooring and painting advice.  She’s been blogging since 2010, and has 2 very successful SEO ebooks.  She now has a second blog, HealthySavvyAndWise where she shares blogging tips and her income reports.

Can you tell us a bit about your blog and your background and/or expertise?


My main blog is about flooring, painting and home décor.  I used to run my own local flooring business and also worked with a painting company, so I became an expert in this area. (I still occasionally do flooring estimates and paint/design consultations, but I don’t do them that often since I already earn over $20,000 a month on my blog).

I’ve been blogging since 2010 and learned SEO from the beginning.  My website gets over 500,000 pageviews/month with the majority from SEO traffic.  From there, I used to do freelance blogging and SEO for clients as well as train bloggers how to do SEO (via 75+ phone consults). From there, I designed 2 popular ebooks, as well as developed a mini-book on Google Analytics.

What’s SEO and off-page SEO?


The 2 main components of SEO are on-page and off-page SEO. They each count for about 50% of your SEO success.  On-page SEO refers to everything that takes place on your site – your content, user experience, speed, formatting, SEO optimization. 

Off-page SEO refers to anything off of your site with the largest component being backlinks, but also to a lesser extent social media and brand mentions.

What’s DA and why getting backlinks is so important?


Domain Authority is a scale from 0-100 used by Moz (not Google) to approximate how much authority Google really gives to your page.  Many get this confused. 

Backlinks are the biggest factor that influences Google (as well as DA with it). But note that DA does not drive Google.  Google drives everything.  DA is just a window in to guess how much Google values it.

What are your 3 best tips for a successful off-page SEO strategy?


  • Start using HARO
  • Guest post
  • Use Pinterest or some other social media platform that will get you a LOT of pageviews to your newly published post.

Best tip for a successful off-page SEO strategy: start using HARO today!

What are the most common mistakes bloggers make in their SEO (or lack thereof) and what would you recommend doing instead?


  • The biggest mistake is not getting started because they think it’s too complicated and confusing. It’s not!! And, if you read my ebooks, you will see that they are easy to understand.
  • The 2nd most common mistake is relying on Yoast and thinking that you are covered.  You’re not. At best, Yoast only helps guide you on 5% of your SEO.
  • The 3rd most common is not paying attention to site speed. Site speed is critical for SEO, as well as Pinterest, user experience and conversion.

Site speed is critical for SEO, as well as Pinterest, user experience and conversion!

Can you tell us more about your SEO e-books?


Sure. The 2 ebooks cover the 2 main aspects of writing a blog post that ranks well on the search engines. 

The first one is about On-Page SEO which covers all of the aspects of writing an article for people and search engines. It even provides tips on formatting and speed, as well as 2 helpful checklist. The first one is about all the elements of optimizing your page, and the 2nd one covers what to do immediate after you publish a post so it will get ranked faster.

The 2nd ebook is called Easy Backlinks for SEO  and covers backlinks – why it they are so important and how/where to get them.  It includes 31 easy ways/places to build them and many more advanced techniques. It also includes 60+ blogger that accept guest posts. It’s a guide that can help you for years to come as you can weave in a new technique every 6 months or so.

If you purchase both books at the same time, you get a $20 discount.

Where can we go to learn more?


I have 2 popular ebooks:  Easy On-Page SEO and Easy Backlinks for SEO.  And, I also have a FREE SEO course to get you started.  

FREEBIES: You can enroll in Debbie’s FREE SEO course where she shows you how to leverage SEO and covers 10 Myths and Mistakes newer bloggers make and how to avoid them.

If you need more SEO tips, save your seat for the FREE Masterclass How to Scale Your Traffic With SEO So You Can Make More Money Blogging hosted by Mike of Stupid Simple SEO. You will learn the 3 tactics and strategies needed to take your SEO to the next level. Whether you are a complete newbie or an experienced blogger who has tried EVERYTHING but you still feel like Google is ignoring you… at the end of this Masterclass, you’ll know exactly what steps to take to grow your traffic with SEO! Click here to save your FREE spot now.

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Lucrezia Iapichino

Hi there! I’m the founder of Blogging for New Bloggers®Tinylovebug®, Legals for Business Owners, and host of the popular Blogging for New Bloggers® Facebook group (36K+ members). Originally from Italy and currently based in Melbourne, I’ve worked as an international lawyer and university lecturer in different countries for over 15 years. I use the combination of my research, teaching, legal, and blogging experience to show new bloggers, just like YOU, how to blog profitably and legally. I started my first blog, Tinylovebug®, at a time when I needed to take my mind off my fertility struggles. Born as a creative outlet, this little lifestyle blog blossomed into a profitable business within the first six months. As the money grew more and more consistent, I went on a mission to empower other bloggers to do the same. Only a few years later, I’m now a mum and have helped over 30K bloggers, podcasters, course creators, coaches, and other online entrepreneurs start and grow their business and protect it legally with my courses and legal templates.  Whether you want to grow your traffic or make money blogging, I will help you achieve your full potential! Take my FREE course - Blogging for New Bloggers Fast Track or my FREE  Legal Course for Bloggers - Legally Blogs™ and set yourself apart from the average new blogger!

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