We’ve already discussed on-site SEO in depth but in this article I am going to discuss the importance of both off-site and off-page SEO. Off-site and off-page SEO techniques can determine whether or not your website generates any web traffic, enquires or website sales. So take this subject matter very seriously if you want your online website business to be a success.
What is off-site and off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to the SEO techniques that you apply to generate traffic and high search engine rankings for your website from web pages and websites away from your own. So in other words, other websites on the web technically not associated with your own. I say technically because a Twitter or Facebook account that represents your brand, company or product is of course connected to you, but still on independent sites that don’t legally belong to you. Off-page SEO will generally cover areas such as:
- Paid website advertising – Think of Google adverts you see at the top of web searches or image and banner adverts you see across multiple websites such as at the start of YouTube videos.
- Social media marketing – This would be things like Facebook company pages or Instagram business accounts.
- Link building – Simple to understand yet quite complex and difficult to achieve. Link building otherwise known as backlinks centres around trying to get other resourceful websites to link to your own to boost popularity and help give your pages a higher rank.
- Blogging – Posting useful information to your website in the form of articles and blog posts.
- Other – There are other areas of off-page SEO and some of these are in some ways connected to general off-page marketing such as newspaper, radio or magazine adverts.
Paid website advertising
Paid website advertising will almost guarantee to bring you instant traffic to your website and is highly recommended for any website fresh on the web that wants to bring in instant traffic and boost sales.
When you visit Google and search for example “web design agency Thailand” you will almost certainly see promotional paid listings at the top of the page before the natural free organic listings. Whenever someone clicks the advert, the company who placed the advert there will be charged by Google x amount of money. This money will be deducted from a daily budget you have set with Google for your paid listings.
Not just Google
You will also have seen normal websites such as BBC or CNN who also have adverts displayed on their websites on various pages. Big companies pay big bucks to advertise on these sites because they know sites like CNN and BBC will receive a lot of website visitors.
You will also see adverts embedded before, in-between and after videos played on YouTube and other websites and media channels.
Paid advertising works, but it needs a lot of hard work to create your adverts and make sure they are seen by the correct audience. For example, if you owned a cat food brand then it’s unlikely you would want your adverts displayed on a dog only breeding website. So you can set up your adverts to run only on specific sites or when specific search terms are searched for.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing can be an excellent way to connect to your customers or target audience. Almost everyone uses social media in some capacity so having a Facebook or Instagram account for example can connect you to your customers in ways you never thought possible.
Ideally, you don’t want to do too much business on your social media accounts or if you do, then at least divert your customers who find you via your social media accounts to your website as much as possible. The reason is very simple and I will explain below.
Beware of other rival adverts
Somewhere on or around your business social media accounts your customers are going to see rival adverts from rival firms plastered everywhere with their own personal adverts. If your rivals are smart, they are doing this already and you are already losing business because you rely too much on social media accounts as opposed to your own website.
So every time you are sending people links to click on your social media accounts, you are sending them to a platform that will not only be displaying your own business information, but adverts and links to other sites similar and in direct competition to your own. So while social media accounts can be of good use, they are also flawed for reasons as explained. Be cautious when relying on social media to boost your business because the social media platforms are not designed to cater for your business only.
Focus more on bringing your customers to your own website where the information will be about your products and services only without any links or distracting adverts to rival websites.
So in simple terms – If you have a social media account, focus on bringing your customers away from social media to your own company website and not the other way around.
Link building and backlinks
Building high quality backlinks is probably the toughest job there is to do when it comes to off-page SEO. A backlink is basically a link from another website or web page to your own website or pages within your site. The idea is simple – The more sites that link to yours must mean your website is popular and of good value. The trouble is, it only half works like that so is not as simple as it sounds.
Google for example can penalise a website if it feels a backlink to your website is of a low quality or low value or if it thinks you may have put it there to try and improve your ranking and popularity. This is where things can get nasty or tricky because you can’t control who and what websites link to yours.
How to get backlinks naturally and ethically
The answer is simple – try to get your website linked to from various websites that are in some way connected to yours in respect to the same type of business. For example, if you own a candle manufacturing business, then it’s highly unlikely a site that sells imported oranges will be in some way similar to yours and so a link to and from both sites can potentially do more harm than good.
This can be unfair though because it might be that you genuinely do have a connection to the imported orange business because it could be you are their customer and you import their oranges to extract the scent to manufacture your candles and they are simply referencing you or your company website as one of their customers.
As unfair as it is, I have literally been witness to sites getting penalised for this even when they have done nothing wrong.
One must remember search engines are not fool proof and neither is the software or ranking procedure that they use to list sites as good as they claim them to be. You will always perform a search for a product or service and see some of the worst websites or worst companies sat at the top in the organic listings while some of the best are on the 2nd or 3rd pages of the results.
The only way to beat these sites is to constantly be one step ahead and do everything you can in your power to beat them. Spending the time to get good backlinks will aid you in your fight for the top ranking keywords you need.
I will keep this section short and sweet – get a web blog!!
If you have a website that does not have a blog in some capacity then you may as well give up on trying to make your online business successful.
Post news articles, post valuable information and reap the rewards it’s as simple as that.
Other off-site SEO techniques
Of course there are always other off-site techniques to bring traffic to your website and these are the tried and tested old fashioned radio adverts, TV commercials, newspaper and magazine adverts, billboard posters. I think you get the point.
All of these forms of advertising still work to this day even if many companies forget about them. So remember, there are many other areas of off-page SEO that are not quite SEO but still regarded as important ways to bring in traffic to your website.