Off-Page SEO is the delicate art of attracting quality inbound links to your website.
Most of the time, web designers talk to their clients about on-page factors that influence Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These include considerations like page titles, alt tags, and yes, keyword density (think Goldilocks). These are the core practices, the essential fundamentals, the necessary condition that must be fulfilled in order for your page to rank in the search engines.
But while page titles and other on-page factors are a necessary condition for a good page ranking, they are not a sufficient condition. In order to rank well in the search engines, you need inbound links. That’s the focus of Off-Page SEO.
What is off-page SEO?
Links to your web page from other sites are weighted heavily in the search engine algorithms. The purpose of Off-page SEO is to generate these inbound links: legitimate, high-quality, non-spammy links that point from other websites to yours. Optimizing web page content is essential for any SEO campaign; but this strong foundation is just the beginning. Bringing traffic to your site requires inbound links; not just from the search engines, but from other websites.
Off-page SEO and you: action items
When planning your SEO strategy for your website, it is helpful to consider the “Periodic Table of SEO:”
According to this analysis, you can see that on-page and off-page factors are both weighted in the ranking algorithm. You can’t just focus on one or the other. And if you’ve only thought about on-page factors so far, now you get to start thinking about the bigger picture.
Here are some of the things you can do now, to try to improve your website’s search engine rankings.
First: fine-tune your on-page SEO
Before beginning the off-page phase of your SEO campaign, all the main pages of your website should already be optimized using “on-page” techniques. You might read some of the excellent advice offered by SEOMoz, Yoast, and many more.
Add your site to local listings
This step is essential. We recommend that you do it first. Mardesco saw an increase in website traffic shortly after adding our business information to local listings. If you’re running a local business, then you need be in the local directory listings. Add yourself to Google Places, Manta, Yelp, and MerchantCircle for free. Getting listed in name-brand directories like the YellowPages or Dex may cost money, but depending on your target market, the cost may be worthwhile. Most of these sites will allow you to post a link back to your own site. This won’t instantly catapult you to the top of the search listings; but it could make a difference over the long term, and as Pink Floyd once said, it’s another brick in the wall.
Post to your blog
The next thing to do is to write fresh, engaging, relevant content for your website. You’ve already created the site’s main pages; now, say something else about topics related to those pages in a more informal format. This means, post to your blog. Post regularly. Post to another blog on a different website. Write blog posts that include links to your own web pages. Write blog posts that include links to relevant external sites: valuable resources, and the opinions of notable minds within your profession. Use (properly licensed) photos in your content.
If you’re busy (and who isn’t?), or if you’re not big on writing, hire someone to write blog posts for you. Of course, if you’re trying to promote your own personal reputation, and not just speak for your business, then you should write the blog posts yourself, even if you’re not confident of the results. The more you do it, the more confident you’ll become.
Leverage the power of social media.
I admit it: I wear so many hats at Mardesco, that I don’t spend as much time promoting the company through social media channels as I should for best results. I’m told that when properly done this can be a highly effective strategy. Don’t just post about yourself, like I do: participate in forum discussions on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. This helps establish your personal reputation with your professional community. These individuals are then more likely to link to your website in the course of their own SEO activities. This type of SEO ends up benefitting you both.
And obviously, if your company has a thousand “Likes” on Facebook, then this helps to establish your solid reputation, and may help turn a waffling prospect into your next big client.
Write articles and submit them to directories
This is a tip that I’ve heard about, but haven’t yet attempted. Writing articles demonstrates your expertise and helps to establish your reputation.
Including a link from your article back to your own website helps to improve your website’s reputation with the search engines. Update: guest blogging is officially discouraged by Google. This advice is no longer best practice. Same for the next paragraph.
Once you’ve written some useful content, you can submit it to websites to be released upon the world. You can create an account on websites like EzineArticles.com, ArticlesFactory.com, and ArticleDashboard.com; and they will distribute your content for you. This helps you leverage the power of the web to get your name out there.
That should be plenty to get you started on your Off-Page SEO project. It might even add a few items to my own “To Do” list.
Want to save time on your SEO and marketing activities? Hire Mardesco to do it for you. Contact us today!
Rawlins, T. (2010, August 25). The ABCs of off-page SEO tactics. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6487/The-ABCs-of-Off-Page-SEO-Tactics.aspx
Smith, Jeffrey. (2011, January 22). On page vs. off page SEO. Retrieved from http://www.seodesignsolutions.com/blog/search-engine-optimization-myths/on-page-off-page-seo/
Vaidhya, N. (2008, September 16). 21 off-page SEO strategies to build your online reputation. Retrieved from http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/21offpage-seo-strategies-to-build-your-online-reputation
Wilson, R. (2007, May 7). Top 25 article directories and free content sites ranked by Alexa and PageRank. Retrieved from http://webmarketingtoday.com/uncategorized/wilson-article-marketing-1/