Off-page SEO – five techniques you should be using
When it comes to Google’s pandas, penguins and pigeons, off-page SEO is equally as important as its more technical counterpart, on-page SEO. While on-page SEO refers to elements within your webpage which help improve its position in search engine results pages, off-page SEO goes beyond the design and code and refers to the things you can do externally to help rank your site higher. Here are five off-page promotional techniques you should be using if you want to raise your ranking.
- Link building
Search engines are fickle, so the more popular your site appears the higher it will rank. Google and other search engines treat links from other websites as an indicator of how popular or important your site is, so the more good quality backlinks you have, the better. However, the key word here is ‘quality’ – you want your links to come from high authority websites which are relevant to your industry. One good quality link is much better than lots of links from unrelated, low authority websites, so build up links naturally by creating quality content. Avoid paying for backlinks though, as this is considered ‘black hat SEO’ and you risk being penalised by Google.
- Social media
Social media is fundamental to any successful off-page SEO strategy. Find out which social media platforms your audience is using and make sure you’re there. Although each business varies, most would benefit from a presence on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and if your brand is particularly visual think about sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Vine. When your content is shared on social media it signifies to search engines that you are a credible source of information, which helps give your rankings a boost, as well as ensuring a larger presence across the internet. Make sure your website has a Google+ page too, as it’s likely that Google rewards those sharing content through its own social channel.
- Local SEO
Now that the majority of us have GPS or location services on our smartphones and tablets, local SEO – which provides search results that are based on the searcher’s current location – is bigger than ever before. Set up a Google Places for Business page and link it to your Google+ page, which will make your website more local search friendly. On mobiles, local listings appear directly under the paid results and Google looks favourably on business listings which contain useful information, helping to give your overall ranking a boost.
- Blog promotion
While blogging on your website itself falls under the umbrella of on-page SEO, blog promotion (the sharing of your blog posts externally) is an off-page technique. Every time you write a blog post you’re creating a new piece of content that you and others can share, so it’s important that your blog is made up of informative, quality posts that are likely to be shared on social media and receive all important backlinks from other websites. Consider guest blogging too – if you write an article or blog post for another relevant website, the site will usually link back to you. Likewise, if you enlist a guest blogger on your own site, it’s more than likely they’ll share the content across their own channels.
The use of video isn’t just an excellent way to communicate your brand message, it’s also an increasingly important off-page SEO technique. Submitting your video content to sites like YouTube and Vimeo allows people to find your content in other ways, and both sites have the option to include keywords, tags and meta descriptions. Like blog promotion, video plays a vital role in securing backlinks; a study by marketing software company Moz revealed that pages that use video receive 70 per cent more backlinks than those that don’t. Social posts using video receive increased shares and engagement – it’s creative, killer content that people want to link to.