Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for the success of any web-based business. As such, it is important that you understand what SEO is, how it works, different SEO techniques, and how you can capitalize on its power to grow your online business.
Search engine optimization is a method used to describe a set of activities that aim to increase your website’s ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. Besides helping you attract quality traffic to your website, SEO can also improve your website’s user-friendliness and boost its credibility through off-page SEO techniques.
Understanding off-page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to the strategies you employ to improve your Google search ranking results and website’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Most people associate off-page SEO with link building. However, this is just one of the many off-page SEO techniques. Generally, off-page SEO has to do with your website’s promotion methods – beyond the site’s design – with the goal of realizing a higher ranking on SERPs.
On-page vs. off-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to anything you do on your webpage or post to help improve your site’s position on SERPs. These include anchor tags, keywords, meta tags, and meta descriptions, internal linking, and page/post titles.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to anything you do outside of your website to help improve its ranking on SERPs. These include things like influencer outreach, guest posting, link building, and forum posting, to name a few. Basically, off-page SEO methods are meant to help Google understand what others think about your website, products, and services.
Here are some of the most important off-page SEO techniques to help boost your website performance.
1. Guest blogging
This is definitely one of the most effective off-page SEO techniques because it helps with both reputation and link building (see link building analysis). When you create a guest post for another website, the site will often allow you to create your author’s bio and link the post back to your website. This adds a site to your backlink profile. Additionally, it builds up your reputation by having your name and brand feature on another website.
Useful guest blogging tips:
- Target the right audience
- Provide value for the host site
- Measure your results
2. Social networking
According to Pew Research, people hang out on social networking sites more than ever before. Therefore, a great off-page SEO technique would be to capitalize on the power of social networking sites to boost your content’s reach.
When your content is read by multiple users, it appears more authoritative, thus alerting search engines that readers around the world are accessing your content. And if your content has real-world statistics, then your readers will most likely share it with the people in their network, thus increasing its visibility.
Important social networking and signaling tips:
- Make a commitment
- Show off your personality
- Listen more, promote less
- Let passion drive content
3. Content marketing
Every social networking site has its preferred content form: YouTube is more popular for videos, Instagram for images, Twitter and Facebook for expressing thoughts. Most webmasters spend a lot of their time on Facebook and Twitter while ignoring YouTube and Instagram.
For instance, say you have written “a step-by-step guide to off-page SEO.” You can create a YouTube video to go along with it and add the content’s URL in the post’s description box. This way, visitors from Google will find your content on SERPs while YouTube searches will find your video. Always focus on repurposing your content with your audience and resource in mind, all the while taking advantage of the boost you can get from different kinds of content.
Useful content marketing tips:
- Create content that has a clear and measurable business goal
- Keep your brand voice steady across channels
- Understand your audience’s journey
- Ensure your content is consistent, factual, and up-to-date
4. Newsletter marketing
A newsletter is one of the most effective off-page SEO techniques you can use to interact with your audience without spending much money. However, it is a huge responsibility, too – people do not just give their emails to strangers. As such, it is important that you give your readers value. Plan your newsletter, including recently published content from your website. As a thumb rule, keep your newsletters short but rich with relevant and interesting information. Also, ensure that your newsletters are timely, always sent according to your audience’s local timing.
Important newsletter marketing tips:
- Make it easy to subscribe for your newsletters
- Let your subscribers know what they should expect
- Design newsletters that fit your brand
- Send people content they want
- Make it shareable
Off-page SEO strategies are important for the success of any online venture. However, they should never override other SEO techniques. No matter how strong your off-page campaign is, without a credible on-page SEO, your site may never rank high on SERPs. It is important that you have a well-designed website, fast loading pages, SEO optimized hosting, and quality and actionable content, among other features.
And the list does not end here. There is plenty to explore by yourself. Keep one thing in mind: the more that higher authority websites talk about you, the greater chance you have to rank high on search engine result pages.