Off-page SEO strategies are crucial to generating quality free traffic to your website… that’s a fact. A high quality site is more likely to gain recognition from other websites, more likely to be shared on social media sites, more likely to be bookmarked. A high quality site is, therefore, more likely to be noticed by Google and the other major search engines.
Any technique or strategy performed off-site, such as guest blogging, social media activity, social bookmarking, participating on forums, etc., are all considered off-page SEO and do matter when your goal is to get free targeted traffic to your website from the search engines.
Strategies to Improve Off-Page SEO
While SEO is an important component in the strategies and tactics you use to improve the traffic coming to your website, you don’t want to rely on any single technique exclusively. Let’s face it, Google routinely changes its algorithms. You don’t want to subject your website to the vagaries of any search engine.
That said, there are several off-page SEO strategies you can implement so let’s discuss some of your options.
Link building is still an effective way to gain “votes” for your website. You do need to be mindful of the kinds of links you want linking back to your website. First and foremost, you want quality links rather than quantity. Of course, the more the merrier is fine as long as the links are relevant to your site.
If your site is in the weight loss niche, then links related to weight loss would be relevant. Links from websites pertaining to auto insurance, dating, auto repair, etc., are completely irrelevant to weight loss. These links can actually do more damage than good so pay attention.
Not only do you want to have a diverse link profile, your linking efforts need to look natural in the eyes of the search engines.
You want to stay clear of shady linking tactics. So, when in doubt, don’t do it. And if you do need to clean up links, e.g., remove “bad” links from your website, then go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links and use Google’s Disavow tool.
But, before you do that, read Neil Patel’s article, “When and How to Use the Google Disavow Tool” and he’ll show you, step-by-step, how to use this tool safely.
Social Media Websites
Join the social media websites that you are sure your audience participates in but don’t spread yourself too thin. Always remember that the first rule of social media is that you have to show up. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest pretty much cover anything and everything as far as niche popularity but you still need to do your research.
Create profiles that stand out. Use the site; participate and engage with others. Share your content from your website or blog, be it articles, images, videos, infographics… anything that enhances your status as an expert in your niche.
You can also share content that you think your audience will enjoy just for the fun of it. It doesn’t need to be all business all the time. Be yourself and have some fun!
Using social bookmarking sites like Reddit.com, Stumbleupon.com, and Digg.com can be helpful in improving your search rank, and thus the traffic you receive to your website. As with your social media sites, be selective; don’t sign up to these sites unless you can show up regularly and be sure to use only social bookmarking sites that your audience uses.
In the “old days” of Internet marketing you could easily use the same blog post or article on many different blogs and article marketing sites. Today, it’s imperative that you create unique content for any guest blogging or article marketing that you engage in.
It should be written just for the publication in question, and the publication should be highly regarded and ranked. It should cater to your target audience and the content you write should be made especially for their audience. Your biographical information links should direct back to your website.
Again, and I cannot stress this enough, when writing for other blogs or for your own, creating quality content is paramount. Quality begets quality and you want to be noticed by other high-quality websites and blogs.
Let the Content Flow
Content marketing isn’t just about posting articles to your website or blog… it’s much more than that. It’s everything you can share with everyone who has an interest in your niche.
You can share images, infographics, memes, videos, lists, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, how-to guides… and the list goes on. Anything that is informative is shareable. Anything that evokes emotion is usually a winner and will get lots of shares.
The purpose of a content marketing strategy is to drive traffic to your website and to build your email list. The beauty of it is it can all be done utilizing free methods.
Using one or all of these off-page SEO techniques will improve your website traffic. Just keep in mind that getting traffic to your website is a long-term endeavor. Will you become a superstar overnight? Probably not. But with persistence and a plan, you will have success and you will be in a position to build on that success.
Secure Your Website
Another ranking factor to consider, regardless of whether it’s on-page SEO or off-page SEO is the issue of making your website more secure by moving to https.
Google has made the decision to “encourage” all websites to become more secure by adopting the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, or https. To that end, they announced they will use https as a ranking signal. That means if you adopt the https protocol, your site will be looked upon more favorably by Google.
For now, the weight given this protocol is light, but that could change at any time. Here’s a pretty good article explaining the pros and cons of switching to https.
If you’re just starting out, you might as well bite the bullet and get on board if your plan includes selling products from your website or includes membership sites. Doing this when you’re in the planning stages of your website or is still in the early stages and has very little content should be easy enough.
If your website has been around for a while and you have lots and lots of posts and pages, then you need to give this serious thought. This is a big decision you need to make because it’s going to take a lot of work to get it right.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep banging this drum… you must keep your audience in mind when creating your content, not just Google. I think the point that most people miss is this; if you’re going to write a post or article, or create social content, or create videos for your sales pages, or do some guest blogging, you’re doing it for people first.
Your readers don’t give two hoots about on-page or off-page SEO. They just want to get the most out of the article they are taking the time to read; they want the information they are looking for. Period.
Yes, you need to consider all the points discussed here and in on-page SEO. You can and should tweak your keyword phrases and find images suitable for the topic; you can and should take the steps necessary to optimize your page, but keep in mind that your audience will be the beneficiaries of your efforts. Google will begin to recognize the value of your work and subsequently reward you for your efforts, both on-page and off-page.
If you’re creating quality content that is relevant to your audience, they will keep coming back to your site for more. And when your audience is happy, Google will take notice and send more traffic your way… that’s the point of SEO.