Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the biggest tools for expanding your reach and growing your presence online. Whether you’re trying to promote your blog or you want to sell more products, appearing within a relevant search can help you attract new customers who are prepared to learn more about you or make a purchase.
However, when we consider our SEO strategies, we most often think about the keywords, content, and pages we build on our websites. While all these aspects are important, they aren’t the only factors. If you truly want to reach the top of a search engine results list, you also need to consider what you’re doing off-site that can help improve your ranking.
Off-page SEO factors are often forgotten about with small business. Because they can be a bit more difficult to complete, they may be pushed to the side and ignored. However, if you truly want to appear at the top of a relevant search, you’ll need to include at least a few off-page techniques to improve your ranking.
Developing an off-page strategy doesn’t need to be difficult, but if you don’t want to waste time, you need to be efficient. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to improve your off-page SEO and increase your content ranking. In fact, you may find that you’re already doing some of them!
Let’s take a look at four different strategies you can implement to improve your off-page SEO and rank higher in a search engine results list.
Off Page SEO Strategies: Create a Guest Post Strategy
If you are serious about SEO, you probably already know about the benefits a great blog post can bring you. Not only does a blog give you an opportunity to target new keywords, but it also allows you to share new information with your target audience. When you’re able to provide your audience with new content, you can push them back to your website and improve your traffic.
However, posting blogs on your website isn’t the only way you can improve your SEO. Posting on other websites and blogs can help you reach new audience members and improve how your content ranks. A strong guest posting strategy can move your content to the top of a search engine results page.
Guest posting can improve your SEO in some ways. First, when you post content on a popular site, you’re increasing your chances of getting traffic from that page. Audience members and followers of the blog may click through to your website, improving your traffic and showing search engine crawlers that you’re a popular page.
Guest posts also give you an opportunity to grow your backlinks. Backlinks are one of the biggest off-page factors for SEO because each link acts as a stamp of approval for your website. The more links you have to your page, the more authority you will hold with Google and other search engines.
Your guest posting strategy should consider your target audience, the topics they may be interested in, and the blog posts or website they frequently visit. With each guest post that you upload, you want to be sure you’re effectively reaching your target audience and accurately portraying your brand. When developing your guest post strategy, be selective about the websites to which you decide to pitch.
Off Page SEO Strategies: Get Active in Forums
If you’ve ever visited a site like Reddit, you know how active and helpful forums can be. As a place for users to gather to discuss problems, give feedback, and ask questions, forums allow for conversation in a way that social media hasn’t been able to capture. Because of this, forums can be a natural place to market your business.
Forums can help improve your SEO strategy in a few different ways. First, when you share your content within a forum, you’re typically able to include a link back to your website. Like with guest posting, this strategy can allow you to improve the number of links to your website. In some cases, you’re able to include links in your signature. With each post you leave, you’re also leaving a new link to your site.
Getting active in forums can also put your content in front of new audience members. When you’re answering questions, sharing information, or giving feedback in a relevant forum, you’re introducing your content, brand, and products or services to new individuals. That can increase your website traffic and your authority with search engines.
However, if you simply enter a forum and begin marketing your products or services, users are likely to grow pretty frustrated with you. One of the biggest benefits of a forum is that they’re typically free of spam content and marketing materials. That means you need to focus on the value each time you contribute to a forum discussion.
If you’re going to use a forum to promote your business and improve your off-page SEO, then be sure to follow the rules established by administrators or moderators. Depending on these rules, you may be limited to the links you share or how you converse. Be respectful of the forum and try to participate as naturally as possible.
Off Page SEO Strategies: Ask Customers for Reviews
When a new customer or client is considering making a purchase online, they’re typically going to do some research before they end up buying. That means they’re going to hop on review sites, look for testimonials, or find any other content that can support whether or not the purchase will be worth their money. To appeal to those customers and clients, you want to ensure you have reviews from past customers.
However, reviews can be beneficial for more than just your customers. Having a high number of positive reviews can also help you appear closer to the top of a search engine results list. Because it is one of the main factors, a crawler will look for when recommending a company — especially those that serve a local demographic — you want to ensure your customers are leaving you positive feedback.
Securing online reviews doesn’t need to be difficult. However, many customers are not likely to jump online on their own. You want to be careful about how you entice shoppers to leave you a positive note. Sometimes, it’s enough to just asking your past customers if they would be willing to say something kind. With prompting, you can improve your number of reviews.
If you’re going to gather online reviews, you want to be sure they’re spread out across different websites. Depending on the industry you serve, you may want to secure reviews on sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google My Business, and Facebook. While you may have one platform that is more popular than the others, be sure you’re landing positive reviews on each. However, Google will give preference to their My Business pages, so take extra precaution that this is well filled.
The best way to grow your number of reviews is by going above and beyond to deliver a superior service. When your customers are happy with the products or services they’ve purchased, they will want to help you succeed. If you let them know how much you would appreciate a positive review, they will leave one.
Off Page SEO Strategies: Use the Power of Social Media
If you’re running an online business, there is a strong chance you already have a social media strategy. As one of the best tools for connecting with your target audience, a strong social media strategy can help you reach new customers and rekindle a relationship with past buyers. Social media also gives you an opportunity to share new content, learn more about your target audience, and keep an eye on your competition.
Your social media platforms can also be a powerful tool for growing your off-page SEO. There are a few different ways that a strong social media strategy can improve your ranking. First, your social media platforms provide you with an opportunity to let your audience know you have posted new content on your website, which can increase your traffic and show search engine crawlers that you have popular content.
Social media can also help improve your search engine ranking by giving you an opportunity to grow your backlinks. Like getting active in forum discussions, social media posts allow you to include links either to your website or back to a specific post. Each link that you post counts as a backlink to your website. When a fan, follower, or friend shares your content, this counts as a backlink as well.
However, you won’t create a successful social media presence if you’re simply posting links to your website. To truly improve your SEO ranking, you want to develop a strategy that connects and resonates with your target audience. If you’re only posting links to your content, products, or website, you’re going to ignore your audience, and they will unfollow you.
As always, consider the value you’re delivering when you create each social media post. Each Tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram image should provide some clear value to your followers and friends, even if it is just entertaining or helpful. However, before you hit publish, be sure you know what that value is.
Your SEO strategy doesn’t end once you’ve done your keyword research or posted your new blog post. If you truly want to reach the top of a search engine results list, you need to get active off-page as well. However, you can use these four strategies to improve your off-page SEO and see your content reach higher and higher rankings.