From buying a new smartphone to purchasing new business contact database- one search in the right search engine is enough to take us to the right provider. Good ranking in search engine result (like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) is necessary for marketers- because your visitor is hardly going to look for the website which is ranking in the second or third page of the search engine results. Therefore, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is not a Greek word in the field of marketing communication anymore.
When on-page SEO can make your website search engine friendly, off-page SEO is there to improve your website position in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). But here is the thing, every 9 out of 10 people focus more on on-page and ignore off-page SEO almost completely (source: bloggerspassion.com)- which is extremely wrong if you want to rank better in search engine results. Let’s dig deeper into the field of off-page SEO promotions to find out exactly where its importance lies and what are the best practices for this.
What is Off-page SEO?
As the name suggests, this is the kind of SEO technique where it is possible for marketers to do some activities (like contents, links and relationships, etc.) OFF the website that can help the page to rank better. When onpage SEO happens within the site, off-page SEO happens outside the website. Basically, we do off-page SEO to ensure that the work we do on-page and as a brand are bringing effectiveness.
If you ask, how long one should spend on off-page SEO promotions then the answer will be the time varies according to the business nature of website owners. According to Dr. Peter J. Meyers, most of the site owners spend 70% of their time on on-page factors and 30% of the time on off-page factors- again for some owners these percentages are reversed (Source: moz.com). Now let’s take a look how effectively off-page SEO can be done to improve SERP ranking.
Develop and deliver Contents for Users
According to Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, almost 100 billion searches are made on Google every month for content (source: mashable.com). In order to attract your audience in the face of this competition, you need to serve them contents that they want to see. Yes, the implication of proper keyword is necessary, but you need to put your target audience beyond that. Stuffing your content with keywords will make them promotional, and frankly, no one likes to be sold.
And it is not just about keywords, it is also about what subject you are selecting and which platform(s) you are using to deliver your message. Only speaking about your brands and products will actually drag you away from your prospects. Understand your buyers’ persona and deliver contents accordingly.
Get Quality Backlinks
The magic of off-page SEO is hidden inside the power of link building. Do not forget that 99% of top-ranking sites in Google has at least one external link pointing to the website (Source: bloggerspassion.com). Building quality backlinks are extremely necessary for off-page SEO marketers. That’s because search engines will trust your contents more if they have an authoritative and relevant backlink in it. And here are some tips to get authentic and user-friendly backlinks effectively-
Guest Blogging: Guest blogging are definitely one of the most effective ways to get relevant backlinks. Through guest blogging, it is possible for marketers to establish themselves as a popular name in the respective industry, drive more traffic and of course, build backlinks to the website.
While starting with the blog, make sure the topic is focused on your niche, but again, do not make the mistake of keeping it “about you”, rather develop and deliver the content in a manner that the blog becomes all about your users. Try to keep the blog informative and educational. Remember, you are writing this content for blog audience- not general consumers.
Broken Link Building: This is more effective way of building backlinks than guest postings. You can get more relevant backlinks by just fixing the web. With this process, you can identify broken external links on resource websites in your field topic, discuss with the webmaster to know its authority and provide working links replacing those “404 error” ones.
If you are thinking that broken pages actually affect your site’s ranking or not, the answer is “no”. But the problem is, your targeted user gets a bad experience from this. So, fixing broken linked pages creates “win-win” situation for both the parties. The linking authority website gets to fix their page, your readers get to continue their happy browsing smoothly and you get a high-quality relevant backlink for your site.
Gripping Infographics: When your plan is to anchor attention of a huge number of your target audience and gain authoritative and relevant backlinks, then infographics can be your best off-page marketing weapon. There are 3 major factors that can make an infographic go viral- great design, well-researched data with a relevant topic and proper promotion.
Effective use of Social Media
In this era of social media networking, you can not bring any fruitful result out of your off-page content promotion if you are not using social media platforms effectively. In this time, it is not just Google where people collect information from. So when your target audience is searching for your brand, you should make yourself visible in most of the major social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
When it comes to increase visibility and popularity of website/ brand on internet, after developing off-page contents you need to choose right places to submit your website links and created contents to get better backlinks and improve ranking.
Blog Marketing: Through blog marketing, you can post comments for other blogs within the same niche as yours and add your website link in that comment section. These are usually referred as “do-follow” blogs.
Social Bookmarking Sites: In order to promote your brand and products/services, this is an effective platform. When you bookmark your web page or content (like a blog) on any popular bookmarking websites, you gain high traffic to your that. But remember, once you submit your request, that submission will be under review for some days, sometimes weeks to be activated.
Directory and Forum Submission: You can submit your blogs, articles and contents to high page ranking directories and forums. Before starting with the submission procedure, make sure that is a high authority domain and obviously, related to your niche.
QnA submission: These days when people have queries, they prefer to look for answers given in question and answer websites like Quora, Yahoo! Answers, eHow, etc. Therefore, it will be a mistake for you as an off-page marketer to ignore this opportunity while doing your promotions. Proper use of such websites while doing your off-page promotions can get you high traffic from your targeted market.
Well, these are some of the most effective practices for off-page SEO promotions. But there is one thing which builds the foundation of both on-page and off-page SEO promotions- use of proper keywords. According to Neil Patel, “Keywords are the fundamental building blocks for your content campaign”(Source: neilpatel.com). Do in-depth keyword research before using it in your content. Make sure exactly which keywords you are planning to target and then go ahead with it.
the senior marketing executive of MetricFox– a US based digital marketing solution provider. She has participated in various online business journals where many of her blogs on advanced Search Engine Optimization have been published.