As someone who runs a website, you’re familiar with SEO. You understand that there are certain techniques and tactics that can take a webpage from the bottom of the barrel in terms of search rankings to the top. You’re probably aware that proper SEO is essential for being found on major search engines and that without it, growing an established online presence can be a challenge.
Now, think about your definition of SEO. Chances are, things like keyword optimization, meta-descriptions and even photo optimization are coming to mind. These are all wonderful, essential aspects of traditional SEO. They are also all considered to be on-page factors. Learn what off-page SEO is and about the tactics that really make a difference below.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO relates to all aspects of driving traffic back to your site that pertain to external factors – things that lie outside of your actual website. These include link building, social media, social bookmarking and other tactics that will be discussed shortly.
Off-page SEO is critical for rounding out on-page tactics. Off-page strategies can boost rankings, improve page rankings and garner additional exposure. All of this means more traffic and more potential for conversions in the long run.
A few off-page factors that really make a difference include:
Social Media Engagement
Your potential customers and clients aren’t a distant group of individuals that cannot be easily reached like they may have been just 10 years ago. Social media has changed the landscape. In fact, social media networks are designed to help individuals connect with other individuals and with brands like yours. Take advantage of it!
By building a social media presence – starting with the networks that your target market are most likely to frequent – you can offer opportunities for engagement that can’t be found elsewhere. While social media numbers and signals play an unknown role in page rankings, they play a definite role in online presence and brand appeal. As such, social networking opportunities to engage should be a major part of any off-page SEO strategy.
Local Search Optimization
Local search optimization is especially important for any business with an actual physical location, store or branch. The practice involves optimizing a website so that it is displayed according to the physical location of the searcher.
It’s nothing new, searches have been influenced by location for some time now using GPS and mobile technologies. While not new, it’s more important than ever. With a growing number of individuals looking to connect with local businesses and with technology that follows us everywhere, optimizing a site to show up in local searches is critical.
Look for local directories, register your site and business with Google Places and Bing and display your location prominently in social media profiles and other online locations for best results.
Building Business Reviews
Is there a better way to instill trust in your brand than to have positive reviews wherever you’re found online? Probably not. However, many marketers and business owners fail to see this as an off-page SEO optimization strategy. This should change; positive reviews help certain brands attract more attention than others, lead to higher conversion rates and play a role in page rankings as far as search algorithms are concerned.
In fact, a 2013 consumer review hosted by BrightLocal found that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation from a friend or family member and 85% of online consumers claim to read reviews prior to making any purchases or taking part in any business transactions. Important? Absolutely.
Yes, link building still matters. No, it’s not going away any time soon according to ‘one of Matt Cutts’ latest videos.
Link building – or, the process of getting your site’s link displayed on external websites to increase online presence in the eyes of search engines – has gotten a bad rep lately. This is mostly due to “illegal” link networks – illegal in the eyes of Google – that allow users to buy and sell back links. However, when done correctly, backlinks can be a search-approved way to increase rankings externally.
To increase backlinks, consider the following techniques:
- List your site’s link in your social media brand profiles.
- Submit press releases through PRWeb or other platforms that disperse releases to a wide audience.
- Use guest posting sparingly. Look for opportunities that relate to your niche and include your link in a natural way inside of the posts you create.
- Host a webinar, offering the recording on your website. If the material you share is useful and authoritative, you’ll have a better shot at it being shared.
- Create content that has the potential to be shared. By creating content – that you share on social media sites – that is useful, informative and catchy, you’re more likely to receive attention and a higher number of social shares.
- Mix up your site description and work slowly. Backlinking should be a process that takes time and patience, not a once and done effort.
Off-page SEO can be just as important as on-page SEO and should be taken seriously. Consider the ideas above when generating an SEO strategy or working with an SEO firm and think about the goals for your business. Are you looking to increase traffic and conversions? If the answer is yes – it should be – then adding off-page SEO efforts could be beneficial.