Off-page SEO - What?
I was recently presenting a talk to a networking group on how to plan your website. Part of my talk was about SEO. The audience was comprised of businesswomen in various stages of their business, from brand new to seasoned entrepreneurs. One thing that struck me was that the majority of the audience knew that SEO was important for their business website ranking in search engines, however they weren’t sure how to go about it. Fancy tech terms had been floated around, making them overwhelmed with the entire subject, and so many had pushed the idea aside to worry about later. Totally understandable.
Hopefully, with this article, I can break down one part of SEO to give the average business owner some insight into why they need off-page SEO and how approach it. I’ll discuss why off-page SEO is important, why business owners should have an off-page SEO strategy, and how to develop that strategy.
When I first started learning coding, SEO, and online marketing I was 29 years old. Before enrolling in a web development program I didn’t have a clue how search engines worked. I simply turned on my computer, launched Google and put in my search terms. Violà! The information I needed was revealed in a bunch of listings, I’d choose the one I wanted, and usually it gave me what I was looking for. The last part of this sentence is the key: “It gave me what I was looking for.” Website owners have to keep that in mind when they are developing their SEO. What is your web visitor’s problem? How can you solve it? What you have to do is write your website content in a way that solves these problems.
What is off-page SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. In other words, it is how search engines, like Google, Bing! and Yahoo, sort out all the websites and list them for the user. If you’ve heard of the term “rank” before, this is what is happening. Where you rank is the spot on the Google listings for whatever search terms a user has put in (search query).
Benefits of off-page SEO
So why should business website owners care about off-page SEO?
How it all works
Search engines use “spiders” which is a software program that scans web pages and then, using an algorithm, puts them where they belong in the search results according to what search terms a user has entered. So how do you get higher in those search terms? The answer is through a good SEO strategy.
SEO comes in two sections: on-page and off-page. I detailed on-page SEO in an earlier post. Today, we’ll discuss off-page SEO. Or, more pointedly, inbound links. Inbound links are links on external websites that link to your website. The more inbound links to your website the better. But, there is a catch. The links must be from related websites. So if you sell fishing supplies in Edmonton, but have an inbound link from a museum in Europe, it’s not helpful. Google wants to promote websites that are helpful and solve the user’s problem. An unrelated website does not help the user.
Inbound links can be from press releases, industry-related directories, guest posts, manufacturers of the products you sell, and media websites.
The other point to make about inbound links is that search engines also take into account how much traffic the website pointing to your site has. This is known as a “high-quality” link. The larger the audience a website has, the more likely that it will only point to websites that are of interest to its readers. Links should be from a trustworthy source.
Social media marketing
Social media is a great way to increase your reach. Through it, you will gain new audiences for your website by creating authentic “relationships” through social media marketing. This will increase the mentions and visits to your website, giving you an increase in quality traffic because the user is already interested in your services. A great article on optimizing SEO in social media marketing is “SEO boost your social media profiles” from Reliablesoft.net.
So get started! List some potential guest blogs that your ideal client reads, check out social media channels where your people “hang out,” and start developing your inbound marketing strategy. Over time you will build a solid off-page SEO strategy that will increase quality traffic to your business website.