Even if we live in an age of enhanced interconnectivity where an online presence is crucial to a business’s success, many organizations are still far behind when it comes to using the internet in their favor. Nearly half of all small businesses don’t even have a website, according to Clutch research, and those that do fail to optimize it properly for a mobile audience.
Furthermore, many businesses that do have an online presence focus solely on their website for drawing in traffic and building a loyal customer base and tend to ignore other possible venues for increasing their reach and visibility. One such alternative, off-page search engine optimization, can have a major impact on your traffic and revenue, if successful. While many people associate offsite SEO with link building, it goes beyond that.
Off-page SEO basically tells Google what others think about your website and can help you become an authority in your field by increasing your visibility and getting others to mention your brand and link back to your content. Here are several ways you can build off-page SEO effectively as recommended by 13 Forbes Agency Council members.
1. Acquire Links From High-Quality Domains
If you could only focus on one off-site activity, it should be building links. Google recently announced the top factors it looks at when ranking web pages and the No. 1 factor is links. Some good methods for obtaining links include guest posting on authoritative sites (like Forbes), submitting to high-quality directories, or getting .edu links through scholarship campaigns. – Chris Dreyer, Rankings.io
2. Do Your Outreach First
A common mistake that publishers make is that they produce content and then they do outreach to try and get other sites to link to their content. An effective way to build off-page SEO would be to do your outreach before you publish your content. Not only will you get great feedback before you hit publish, but you’ll ensure that relevant, quality sites will be linking to your content when it goes live. – Vinny La Barbera, imFORZA
3. Improve Your Pages
When most people think of off-page SEO, they think link building. However, too many people take a brute force approach to link building (begging, bothering and buying). Instead, improve your pages. Creating better pages can make people much more likely to link to them. While improving pages is necessary, it’s not always sufficient. Once you’ve created better pages, market them! – Gyi Tsakalakis, AttorneySync
4. Build A Positive Brand Sentiment
Off-page SEO is about building a net-positive brand sentiment. Keep it positive by producing unique content that revolves around your audience and your brand. Keep your audience in mind as you build connections with influencers and compatible services, as you create a responsive social media presence, and as you contribute to forums and blogs. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
5. Take Advantage Of Parasite SEO Tactics
A powerful off-page SEO tactic to help your site rank for a specific keyword is parasite SEO. This is where you create content on a high-ranking, high-authority site and link back to your site. For instance, submitting a guest post to a popular blog or a content page on a social community site like Buzzfeed. This tactic uses the authority of the primary site to direct referral traffic back to you. – Brock Murray, seoplus+
6. Keep In Mind That Quality Content Is King
Offsite SEO is becoming more and more similar to PR. This means that the more quality content a company creates, the easier it will be to get quality, long lasting backlinks to your site. Most companies are starting to hire full-time writers to focus on quality content rather than getting bad backlinks that will result in a site penalization. – Rocco Baldassarre, Zebra Advertisement
7. Contribute Expertise Broadly
Earning high-quality links is especially hard to do in competitive niches. However, serving as an industry expert and contributing high-quality content to authoritative and highly visible platforms will build a long list of valuable links. Serving as a quality content contributor acts as a competitive advantage, earning links that competitors cannot gain themselves. – Aaron Henry, FOUNDRY512
8. Build Relationships Before Links
The best way is to create relationships by showing value and becoming an asset for the company you are looking to get a link from. You need to distinguish your company from the others by offering a value that is not the norm. Nowadays you can use LinkedIn, Facebook and many other social channels that allow you to do this but I always find face-to-face generates the best results. – Scott Darrohn, fishbat Media, LLC.
9. Measure The Key Metrics
If you are going to work on building off-page SEO, you’ve got to measure the work and your actions along the way. Measuring key metrics such as backlinks, referring domains and keyword search positions enables a marketer to identify what helped improve performance. By understanding what works, an SEO strategy can evolve and focus on the priorities. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
10. Start With Competitive Research
There are a lot of tools out there to find out where all your competitors get their links. You can reverse engineer the websites with the top five rankings on Google. With that information, then you will have a chance to find some high-value off-page opportunities that are relevant to your vertical. – Dan Golden, Be Found Online
11. First, Solidify Your On-Page SEO
This includes internal link building, site navigation, content optimization, etc. Spending the majority of your time/resources focusing on on-page SEO allows you to better present your desired digital connections with a quality site. If your site does not have a strong on-page SEO foundation before you network, others will most likely place you at a lower site level and disregard your outreach. – Jeff Grover, BestCompany.com
12. Research, Create, Promote, Repurpose
There are four keys we use to for our link building strategy. The first key we use is to research your topic. The second is to create engaging content; content is still king, but engaging content rules the land. The third key is to promote and share the content on many social channels. And the fourth is to repurpose, rewrite or edit your content into videos and podcasts. – Breynan Hammons, Innvio
13. Develop An Offsite Content Strategy
Creating and sharing optimized content in social channels and forums, as well as developing high-level content on other authoritative sites with a link back to your site, is very powerful. Doing backlink research to see where your competitors are appearing, monitoring keywords for alerts on related content, and being included in any industry guides or directories on the topic, is also effective. – Debbie Williams, SPROUT Content