Off-site Optimisation – 44 Step SEO Process
We’ve talked a lot in previous articles about all the many things you can do to your website to improve its position in the search engine results pages (SERPs). These have covered the technical aspects and the content – which could collectively be referred to as ‘on-site optimisation’.
In this article, we’re going to talk about ‘off-site optimisation’ – or the actions you can take outside of your own website to improve your SEO strategy.
Also known as ‘off-site ranking factors’, these measures are about building the reputation of your website, and therefore your business, and setting yourself apart as relevant, trustworthy and authoritative.
Not sure how to do that? Read on….
Building high quality backlinks
Backlinks are at the heart of any off-site optimisation campaign. This is where other websites include links to your website. There are various types of backlinks, for example, links naturally given by another author, such as a newspaper article or blogger, links you get through collaboration and ones you create yourself by adding your details in forums or directories perhaps.
Like with all other aspects of your successful SEO strategy, the trick is finding a good balance between quantity and quality backlinks. Too many dubious links will likely be seen as spam.
Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Strive for a decent amount of links in your profile but be aware of the authority and fit of sources linking to your website.
- Watch out for the proportion of dofollow and nofollow links. Dofollow is the tag you use for links you want search engines to track, and nofollow is for links you don’t want search engines to rank for, but which still might be important for your traffic – ie comments and forums. You should aim for an average of 20% nofollow links at least.
- Check all anchors that refer to your website and make sure they are effective.
- Make sure there aren’t any errors in your backlinks, such as broken links and 404 errors.
Check out the competition
As with all stages of the SEO strategy building process, it’s worth seeing what your competitors are up to. Look for the companies which rank the highest on the SERPs for your field then analyse their backlink profiles. You can do this by using a Backlinks Checker tool. Try to find out how many links they have, how many are from authoritative websites and how many are from similarly themed websites.
Creating your own back-linking strategy
Once we’ve done a bit of research, you should have a better idea of where you are currently in comparison to competitors and whether you need more or fewer links, better quality links or more nofollow links and so on.
The following are some of the key techniques you can adopt to get links.
Collaborating with other websites
A quality backlink comes from a relevant host and that means from websites that are similar in theme to yours – ie it would make sense to have a link from you to them. A way to do this is through co-operation and shared content, such as guest blogs on websites that are popular with your target audience.
Get in touch with the editor and explore the possibilities of a guest blog with a link to your website. It helps to do your research and suggest worthy topics, perhaps with the offer of a reciprocal blog on your own website.
Participating in forums
Forums are a good way of building traffic to your website and gaining the percentage of nofollow links you need. You can find these in places where people interested in your area might go to do some research and ask questions.
Here’s our quick guide to get you started on this:
- Find forums, blogs and Q&A platforms where your target audience posts with questions/reviews. Try places such as Yahoo Answers, Google Answers, Answerbag, Quora, Reddit etc)
- Create profiles in reputable places linked to your business and start building authority and reputation by answering questions and giving useful information. Use these to mention your website and increase your nofollow inbound links
- Be careful not to overdo it and avoid posting anything that’s out and out advertising. The trick is to make sure anything you post is adding value for your potential customers
You can use a similar approach to invite reviews from people about your products or service. These reviews are good at impacting ranking, particularly for local SEO. Look for popular review platforms in your industry, such as Yelp, YellowBot, LocalStack, Capterra and g2crowd. Create an account and a business description, then encourage people to write reviews of your business.
It’s understandable to worry about the possibility of negative reviews, but you can always reach out to anyone who posts a negative review, find out what caused their bad experience and seek to rectify it.
Another method of attracting backlinks is to create useful content for your target audience that has a high share value. This could include infographics, statistical analysis, webinars, podcasts, gifs, memes or images.
You can share content that would appeal to your audience through social media and media platforms. Boost potential share value by going the extra mile with your content creation, for example by creating videos featuring experts from your field, product reviews, behind the scenes snippets and posting them on channels such as YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Dailymotion and Metacafe.
And don’t forget, the above is all part of the service if you’d like us to create your SEO strategy for you.