ByDaclaud Lee, Project Manager / SEO Consultant at Archmore Business Web
Off page SEO is optimizing your website outside of your actual website. In the very early stages of SEO, this was simply called backlinking, but nowadays, backlinking does not hold as much weight as it did in the early days of the internet. We have gone far from the old days of off page optimization, where spamming backlinks could increase your domain authority.
In the early days of the internet, backlinking was one of the two major factors to get your website ranked high in the search engines (keyword spamming was the other). Not to say that backlinks are important now, there are just more ways to do it with varying degrees of effectiveness. How many backlinks a website had was one of the ways to determine how good a website was doing, but that metric is less relevant now. When it comes to off page SEO and backlinking, it's more about quality than quanity. Back in the early days of the internet, a backlink was considered a popularity vote. And we all know now that you can just cheese a vote.
Long gone are the days were backlinks solely determined your website rankings. Google (as well as other search engine) algorithms are very different from how they were before. Off page optimization has changed since the early days of the internet and is now more sophisticated than before. As a matter of fact, link spam is now considered a Black Hat SEO tactic, because it was such a cheap tactic, that search engine developers had to develop algorithms to combat this type of strategy.
Link building is the key component to every off page SEO strategy, but there are many different ways to get links. Not all links are created equal, but for the most part, these can all be classified as White Hat SEO until you do something wrong and it turns into Black Hat SEO (like purchasing spammy links to irrelevant websites generated by unsolicitaed sotfware scripts). Here are three different types of link building strategies.
Natural Links are links that you don't have to even ask for. If your website has relevant information, you provide a good product or service, then you will gain the attention of authors and webmasters who are willing to link back to you. These are the best links because the only effort you make in obtaining them is with a solid content.
Manual Links can be obtained through direct link building efforts such as reaching out to web masters and asking them whether or not you can post a guest blog.
Self Created Links are links that you create yourself. You can do this by commenting on forums, blogs, social media or even directory or classified ad listings.
We all have to start somewhere. Improve your ranking on search engines with a directory listing. Your NAP (name, address and phone number) will be consistent across online listings, improving your chances of appearing on the search engine results page.
The DIY Link Building Strategy
Are you having touble getting backlinks? If so, then the best way to start is to just do it yourself. Manual submissions to directories can be a long and tedious process, but it is the best start for your SEO strategy if you don't have the high quality content to do guest blogging or monetary resources to do PPC. Most directory listings are free to submit to. However, there are many software companies that can make this process easier (for a price). Bright Local is one of these software platforms. Just make sure you don't have duplicate listings. Having duplicate directory listings can hurt your SEO progress if you have too many of them.
Posting your Your NAP (name, address and phone number) and link to your website on a classified ad site is another form of DIY off page SEO strategy. Craigslist was actually the first and most famous classified ad website.
A Supplemental DIY Backlinking Strategy
Classified ads are a great way to get backlinks from specific niches and geographic areas. To create a classified ad, write a short attention grabbing headline that catches people's attention and helps them solve a problem they have. Then, provide a solution using concise paragraphs that cover the essential features of your product or service and connect with readers to connect to your website.
Youtube videos are a great way to get your message across, pitch your products and services, or generate links to your website. Posting interesting, informative and funny youtube videos will earn you backlinks and drive traffic to your site. You can do this yourself or reach out to an influencer to help you with a paid sponsorship.
YouTube Influencer Partners as an Off Page SEO Stratgy
If you have ever watched YouTube, then you may have noticed a sales pitch before a video begins. Most of these are paid ads from sponsers such as Audible.com or mobile games such as Titan Quest. The sales pitch will usually inform the audiance "there is a link in the description below". The YouTubers who are a bit more tech savvy may even include a link within a certain part of the video itself. Partnering with YouTube influencers can potentially get more traffic to your website it it's in the right niche.
Blogging for other people is one of the oldest and most direct ways to get a back link. A good, informative blog is an effective way to grow your backlink profile because you can reach out to other websites in your industry and offer yourself as a resource to their audience. If you guest post on relevant sites, then the quality, relevant links you build to your website will help improve your search engine rankings.
Develop Relationships with other Webmasters
Rand Fishkin the founder of Moz said in 2013: "Don't build links. Build relationships." (with other webmasters). The most common way a guest blogger reaches out for a potential backlink is through direct email. Certain blogs allow you to upload your content on a submission form, it really depends on what website you are wanting to get the backlink from. In order to reach out to different publications and webmasters that may accept guest posts, you have to write attention-grabbing emails.
If you can afford it, you can pay a reputable website or media company for an article and/or a press release about your products. This can help your brand to be seen by many people, and can get you a backlink that adds authority to your website. Most media websites have a high domain authority, so it will be benefical in that regard too.
PPC and Banner Ads for Off Page SEO
Paying for a press release is more a more permanant form of off page SEO, but if you are looking for something fast, then PPC and banner ads are two off page SEO strategies that also work. If your website is not ranking organically for relevant keywords in Google, Bing, and other search engines (such as Yahoo), then you should opt for paid advertising. By doing paid advertising, you can actually rank for keywords that are typically very competitive and not possible to rank for organically.
A well maintained social media profile is an essential component of any off page SEO strategy. While optimized content, mobile responsiveness and a solid content strategy are all important for improving your website's ranking, a good off-page SEO strategy can increase your visibility and boost traffic to your site. Paid advertising strategies such as Facebook ads or Google Adwords can be extremely effective in introducing your website to new potential customers.
Paid Social Media Ads for Off Page SEO
Social media ads are a great way to gain exposure to a new audience. By using Meta (Facebook) Business Manager, you can create customized ads, set your demographics and audience. You can link your landing page to the ad and when the user clicks on it, they will be taken to the appropriate page.
Don't worry if you're not able to out rank the websites vying for your target keyword. As the old saying goes, 'If you can't beat them, then join them.' You may use the 'link bait' technique by posting comments in other websites that have a commenting system built into their social media, blog or web page. This may not be the best or most authentic off page SEO strategy, but it is one that won't be penalzied since you are just expressing your opinion in an area where you are allowed to.
Social Media Post Commenting as Off Page SEO
Let's say for example, there was a social media post from a page describing the benefits of green tea. If it so happens that you have a tea shop, then you can use this as a perfect opportunity to post a link to your green tea product. Since the topic as about green tea, you really aren't going off topic or trolling anyone.
To have an off-page SEO strategy, you need to do research on forums and niche social media that would be relevant to your business. Once you find a relevant forum, make a post about your products/services by linking it to your website as a backlink. This can help improve your SEO ranking since Google crawlers will recognize reputable websites talking about your product or service!
Great for Niche Products or Services
Forums are a community of people who have something inc common. There is a forum for everything, from guns to diapers to food. A good example of a niche forum is the Warhammer Empire forum. This is a community of people who enjoy this miniatures painting and / or table top gaming. Let's say for example you are a company that produces miniatures, then you can actually post a link as well as photos of your products in the forums discussions. If you are to do this, just make sure you are on topic and don't appear spammy.
Below are some examples of popular forums where you can post links to:
You can cost-effectively promote your website, goods and services by getting your message directly into the hands of customers. Business newsletters also provide knowledge about other products and services that help streamline or solve challenges for your audience. If a newsletter writer is able to create a range of relevant topics to write about, it will be viewed as an informative resource.
Get More Traffic with email Marketing
Have you ever made a purchase off of Walmart, Lowes, Kroger, or some other brick and mortar store? Of course you have (that was a retorical question). At some point, you may have opted in for their email promotions. Most of the time you may just delete these emails, but occassional, you may click on an email ad just to check it out. Therefore, email marketing is still relevant even though it is an old school tactic.
If your website is older, then you may already have some backlinks from different sources that you may not even know about. This is why doing a backlink check on your website is important. You also need to make sure your web page URLs are conistent, and if your website no longer has a working page that the other website is linking to, then it could effect your bounce rate. A user is most likely to click off your site if they see a 404 page because the average person may just assume that your website is no longer active.
Do a 301 Redirect for Broken Links
301 redirects can help you avoid a high bounce rate and keep users on your site for longer. When you have updated your website’s URL, all ready-made links and bookmarks will no longer work. By 301 redirecting your page, you’re able to forward old links to a new URL without having to tell everyone to re-bookmark your page.
On Page SEO is Just as Important
If you think that you should only focus on off page SEO strategy, then you are wrong. If you're only focusing on off page SEO, then you're ignoring one of the main components of a good marketing strategy; content. Off page SEO is important, but it is only a supplemental force. You need to have great on page SEO content that is engaging to your audience. If your on page SEO strategy is week, then you won't be able to grow your website. Therefore, you should not just create a website and abandon it. You should always be adding new and fresh content to it!
ByDaclaud Lee, Project Manager and SEO Consultant at Archmore Business Web
Find out how Archmore Business Web can help you get MASSIVE traffic to your website!