One incredibly common misconception about SEO is that SEO is just about keywords and content strategy on a website.
What’s important to keep in mind is that search engine optimization isn’t there for just human eyes, but mainly for the eyes of a search engine. Those engines aren’t looking at just the content – they’re looking at what other pages are saying about the content and who’s website is the most popular.
Off-page SEO is a huge piece of the puzzle in today’s SEO marketplace and a great way to make your site “popular”.
What exactly is off-page SEO?
It’s everything you do to promote and improve the ranking of a website on the search engine results page (SERP) that’s not on the site itself. This includes link building, social media, PPC advertising, etc.
Building an effective SEO presence doesn’t happen in just one day, though. Try increasing your ranking with these four off-page SEO strategies.
1. Build Online Relationships
There are no quick fixes in life. Ah, if only there were a magic button to shoot those search engine results to the top of the pile. Instead of quick fixes, what we get is the opportunity to build relationships with others online, and share links. The more long lasting the relationship, the better impact it will have on those search engine rankings will be.
Meaningful online relationships come from guest posting, commenting, and being featured on other websites. High quality off-page SEO comes from high-quality sites linking back to your content.
Doing the tedious work of reaching out to other websites for post trading, featuring related but non-competing niche companies on your site, and giving freely as freely as possible to build goodwill can be transformative for SEO.
You’ll often read about “influencers” in the world of SEO. An influencer is someone who has a wide reach in the online world. The power of an influencer is measurable in metric terms.
These online personalities are more than just flash – getting linked with an influencer means a tangible improvement in SEO. Working towards connecting with an influencer is worth the time and effort for online marketing.
Why do people go to those top search engine results? TRUST. They trust Google to provide the highest quality websites at the top of the search engine results page.
Google recognizes that and creates algorithms that assess how much a website can be trusted. The broader and deeper your relationships are with other high quality online sources, the more trusted you’ll be by both your audience and by those skeptical algorithms.
2. Build a YouTube Presence
Many of the savviest business owners and marketers don’t realize how large YouTube has become. It is the second most-used search engine on the internet, right behind Google, and there are 1.5 billion logged in YouTube users each month. Those two factors combined are why it’s so important to build a strong YouTube presence in order to improve off-page SEO.
People go to YouTube both to be educated and to be entertained. It’s easily accessible on mobile, easily embeddable in websites, and easily marketable through social media. Video is what people want, and YouTube is where they go to get it online.
Using YouTube as a tool for your marketing brings a whole other dimension to your customers. Simply embedding YouTube videos into your content can create a noticeable uptick in SERP.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming to add video to your online presence. Many businesses make the mistake of not getting into video because of a fear of it being prohibitively costly.
The real issue isn’t what it might cost to get onto YouTube effectively, but rather what kinds of opportunities you’re missing because of not being there. Simple, short, personal videos that showcase your brand, entertain watchers, or offer needed information are always a good idea.
3. Focus on Your Brand
Your brand is what makes your company stand out from everything else on the internet.
Building a strong brand goes well beyond just throwing up a cool logo or tagging on a catchy line of copy. It’s about your integrity as a company. Branding, like most things in life, takes time to create.
It’s the depth that you’re looking for in terms of customer reviews, testimonials, longevity, etc. Consistent, solid interaction with customers while delivering high quality goods or services are the core of every successful business brand.
Even those companies that we perceive as the “worst companies” are engendering trust and brand loyalty with someone, or they wouldn’t still be in business.
The online world today happens in real time, from people’s smartphones wherever they are. Connecting in real time with customers through a high rate of responsiveness on social media as well as on your website is crucial to building your brand.
Another key to focus on in branding is to be incredibly cognizant of what you put out there. That real time online presence can backfire for companies who make slip ups in integrity or in transparency. Perception is reality, so be aware of how your company is perceived at every turn.
Create a brand that you can be proud of if you want others to be drawn to it.
4. Spotlight Social Media
The first and most important strategy for improving off-page SEO is to get down and dirty with social media. Nine out of ten marketers are on the hunt for the most effective social media tools and tactics, which is a constantly growing portion of off-page SEO.
Where exactly you go to put down social media roots is entirely dependent upon your niche, your goals, your audience, your budget, etc. Finding your target demographic is a key element of building out a social media plan or reforming your current social media plan.
Facebook continues to be dominant in the world of social media, with more than two billion active users per month. That number grows every year with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. There’s a reason it’s the big fish in the pond.
That doesn’t mean neglecting other social media sites, though. You need to be posting and engaging on the social media networks that are the most active for your users. Twitter, Google+, and Instagram are all positive places for businesses to build their off-page SEO network. The key is to cast a wide net, using as many platforms as possible while still maintaining balance.
Improve your website’s off-page SEO starting today. While on-page SEO is fairly straightforward and under your control, off-page SEO demands a more nuanced and tactical approach. The more invested you are in your network of links and pursuit of brand recognition, the better your SERP will be.