How to create a strategy for off site search engine optimisation
Chapter 4: How To Create A Strategy For Off Site Search Engine Optimisation
What is “off site search engine optimisation”?
“On site search engine optimisation”, or “on-page SEO” refers to all the things you can do to optimise your own website and web pages.
Conversely, “off site search engine optimisation” or “off-page SEO” refers to activity you do outside your website, to improve your search rankings.
You may wonder how doing things outside your website could improve your website’s search rankings. It’s a good question.
There are many factors that search engines like Google take into account when assessing the quality of your website.
The first thing to focus on is how your website is built – including ensuring your site has a mobile-friendly design, fast page load speed, and includes quality content. (If you’re building your website with Webstruxure, then you can tick those boxes!)
The quality of your site is also assessed based on what other websites and users ‘say’ about your site.
If you have other websites pointing to your site (backlinks), Google views that as a vote of confidence in your site (providing the links are from trusted sources). If you can get users to share your content, that’s another vote of confidence to Google. And, if users provide good reviews for your business – you guessed it, it’s yet another vote to tell Google that your website is high quality. All of these factors will improve your search engine rankings.
Based on these factors, putting in place an off site search engine optimisation strategy will help to ensure you get vital ‘votes’ for your business.
An off site SEO strategy is a plan that will help to:
- generate external links pointing to your site,
- generate shares of your content, and
- generate (positive) online talk about your business.
The following points will form your strategy and maximise your website’s search ranking potential.
Number one priority – create a Google Business page
If you do nothing else, DO THIS. Google loves Google – if you don’t have a Google Business page, your business won’t ‘exist’ in Google Maps listings. Without a Google Business page, you’ll be missing out on:
- Your business appearing on Google Maps. When users search for your business, or use maps to search for businesses like yours (e.g. “cafes nearby”), your business will appear on the map
- An optimised business listing in Google search results. Your business will stand out with an official business listing, including a short description of your business, your opening hours, a link to your website, directions and a quick-link to call.
- A space for users to review your business. The more reviews, and the better those reviews are, the more likely your business will appear above your competitors when users search for the products and services you offer. Users can review your business using a 5 star system, and a summary of your average rating will appear on your Google Business listing.
Using Google Business, you can post regular updates and photos to add interest, credibility and recency to your business listing, and provide useful information to potential customers.
When creating your Google Business page, you will be given two options:
- Storefront business: Choose this option if you have a business that your customers can visit.
- Service area business: Choose this option if you serve customers at their location. You’ll be asked to provide the area/s you service.
Now, go forth and create your Google Business listing. No, really – do it NOW, then come back and read the rest of this blog post. We’ll go grab a cuppa and meet you back here in 5 minutes…
Content distribution – sharing your website content
Sharing your website content will help to extend the reach of your content, and:
- create backlinks (links pointing from other websites to yours),
- raise awareness of your business, products and services,
- increase the likelihood of social shares (Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- increase traffic to your website.
All of the above is great for SEO – showing Google that your site is voted as relevant and authoritative by their users.
Hopefully you’ve committed to a blog or news section on your site – or at least project/portfolio posts (if not, head back to Chapter 3 and remind yourself why it’s important to add fresh content to your site, regularly). You’ve put a lot of time and energy into writing new content. Now it’s time to maximise the payoff from that by sharing links to the content in multiple places.
At Webstruxure, we have a checklist of all the places we share our own blog content – you could call it a ‘Content Distribution Plan’. Every time we post something, we go through the checklist and ensure we’ve shared or re-published the information on the following sites:
You may have some industry-specific sites for your business that would be relevant. Pinterest, Instagram, Neighbourly are other important platforms for some businesses to show off their products and services.
There are website plugins to help you automagically share content to various social media platforms, when you publish a post on your blog. But, be wary of blanket posting content. It’s important to share links to your content in a way that’s relevant to the audience you’re talking to – blanket posting will still create backlinks to your site, but won’t be as effective at engaging the audience and encouraging shares, limiting your chance to increase traffic to your site or extend your reach. As an example, Facebook is for catching up with friends; LinkedIn is for business networking and Neighbourly is for connecting with your local community – a single piece of text when you share a link to your website won’t fit three very different purposes, you need to re-write the post specific to the purpose of each platform.
When creating your content calendar (again, we talk about this in Chapter 3 – How to keep your website up to date with fresh content), include a plan/checklist to share or republish every new piece of content.
Plan and implement a ‘backlink log’ of relevant business directories
A backlink is a link to your website that appears on another website. For example, a link to your website on yellow.co.nz, is a backlink.
There are multiple great articles all about backlinks, including those that warn from putting too much emphasis on a backlink strategy. Here are some backlinks to information about backlinks (hehe):
Moz – Backlinks
…and here’s one internal link to our own blog post discussing the art of backlinking:
Webstruxure – SEO Audit – off Page SEO Techniques
Putting a strategy in place to create relevant backlinks to your site, isn’t a form of black hat SEO. It makes sense to list your business in local business directories. Some examples include:
For service or trade industries, you can place listings on the likes of:
The lists really do go on – there are tens, even hundreds. Do some research to find websites that are most relevant to you. Google your competition and see what business directories they appear on, and get a listing up for you too. Research your service in your local area (e.g. type “Wellington electrician” or “Auckland plumber” and see what directory websites appear.
Building a business network and sharing the link love
The best way of building genuine backlinks to your website, is by building genuine relationships. This can take the form of “in real life” (IRL) partnerships, or online connections.
If your business offers a service that complements other businesses, connect with other providers that fill those services. For example, if you’re a plumber and work with electricians and builders, find tradies who offer those complementary services.
Include links to their websites on your website, and get them to return the favour. Share their social media posts with your audience, engage with their posts by responding to them, and watch as they start to share your content too.
Follow relevant businesses and people online – engage with their content, share your content with them and offer to do guest blog posts (or offer for them to guest post on your blog). You’ll quickly extend your content’s reach to other audiences, and increase backlinks to your sites from theirs.
Share the content sharing load with Webstruxure
Writing and distributing your content takes time and effort, something we understand people don’t have. But the effort pays off with increased website traffic, improved search rankings and more sales – so it really is worth it.
Webstruxure can help to share the load – we can plan your blog content, write your blog content and share your blog content across multiple sites. We can do some or all of the work, to either make the task easier for you or to take it off your ‘to do’ list entirely. Talk to Webstruxure and get posting fresh, exciting and relevant content.
Create your SEO website with Webstruxure
You’ve reached the end of our guide to building your SEO website. By now, you should have the tools to get your website to rank well in Google search results pages – increasing traffic and ultimately increasing sales. If you need help to build a search engine optimised website, get in touch with Webstruxure today – you’ll be glad you did.
SEO Audit series
If you’re interested in reading more of Webstruxure’s SEO resources, check out the SEO Audit series on our blog: