Increasing your organic traffic takes more than onpage SEO—that’s the easy stuff that you’ve likely nailed by now.
Onpage SEO includes activities like:
- Writing really good content that you post consistently to your website and social media sites.
- Developing metadescriptions that include your focus keyword.
- Identifying keywords and phrases and using these in your headings and subheads, and using H tags
- Creating smart inner links among your website’s pages.
- Optimizing images and using alt tags.
Offpage SEO is an essential part of a successful SEO strategy
Despite what they may tell you, even great content and good onpage SEO are just not enough for you to show up in search engines.
It’s the activity that’s OFF your website’s pages. It’s your total online and offline presence. It’s social media sites where you’re posting on a consistent basis. Offpage SEO includes brand-building and PR. Pitching articles to local publications or industry newsletters. Getting guest blogging and speaking opportunities and including links back to your website. It means networking and meeting people to grow your overall presence.
- These are examples of ways that you can build your offpage SEO:
- Linkbuilding/Brand Building–Linkbuilding builds your brand. Building links starts with getting guest posts. Look for opportunities with online publications in your niche.
- Content Marketing—this continue to evolve to include everything digital media. Content marketing fundamentally involves developing and distributing content across a growing number of channels.
- PR—developing relationships with online and traditional print media. Interviews, articles in the local paper or interviews on a popular radio program.
- Local SEO—this includes Google Business Profile. Getting reviews on your GBP may be the single most important thing you can do to for SEO. It’s also more accessible these days—you can access GBPs from Google Maps, etc.
- Social Media—the social media universe is vast, and includes more than Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. Decide what you can manage and post consistently with backlinks to your website.
- Influencer Marketing—developing influencer relationships can help you reach new audiences that might not be available to you. Considered part of offpage SEO.
- Events—online and in-person events. Networking, meeting people and growing your community opens up new opportunities.
You’re familiar with the Local Pack even if you didn’t know it had a name
You may not have known that the Local Pack was a standalone product in the search space. Let’s say you’re going to be in Athens for a month and you’re looking for cafes with wifi near your airbnb. (This was my local search during May.) You’re served up a map with three listings, your location and three nearby cafes. This is your Local Pack. I found a delightful little café in my neighborhood that became my go-to home for the month. Besides the speedy wifi, I loved this little café for its yummy food and friendly staff—all thanks to Local Pack!
Quality: High-quality backlinks are key to increasing your Google authority
In their simplest form, backlinks are simply links from one website to another. But in terms of SEO, they’re powerful. Google uses backlinks as a ranking signal because the link implies that the content has value, is trustworthy and worth sharing. Local link-building should be your number two priority after onsite optimization. Earning backlinks from high-authority websites helps position your site as an authority as well. These high authority links work like a “vote of trust” from one site to another. Quality trumps quantity.
Backlinks tell search engines what your products and services are about. High-quality backlinks help increase a site’s ranking position and visibility in search engines. Our goal is to get relevant, high-quality links from websites with high domain authority (DA). Note that not all backlinks are created equal. If I get a backlink from The New York Times, it is more relevant and has a higher Google authority than if I get a backlink from a colleague’s website where I wrote a guest post about the five best meeting management applications.
Relevance: Identify and concentrate on your niche
Focus on getting backlinks from sites that topically align with your own. If yours is a website about biking, you should aim for most of the links you earn to come from other biking websites–bloggers, biking clothing companies, biking trails, biking equipment, etc.
Public Relations: The perfect way to earn authority links at scale
Digital PR is now the link-building tactic of choice for many SEOs. Use PR tactics to promote a great story and corresponding linkable assets. It’s possible to earn a significant number of links by pitching story ideas to publications, radio and other media.
Google keeps getting smarter and what that means for us
Google’s maturation has evolved as we key in longtail keyword phrases and get back detailed search results. Google now understands nuances. If I’m writing about weddings, Google knows that I’m also writing about photographers, dresses, caterers, honeymoon travel, etc. Adding a do-follow link to your website will help you show up in searches.
Pay attention to anchor texts
Anchor text are the phrases, URLs or words such as “click here” and “learn more”. If you are the one publishing an article on another platform, try to include your focus keyword in the anchor text. For example, if your focus keyword is “AI content writer”, the more backlinks with this anchor text you get, the better.
Google’s bots index information
Search algorithms measure the overall user experience to identify relevance and provide information that’s valuable for users. When someone includes your URL on a post or as a guest blog, the search algorithm counts that as a citation for your business. Citations are about sourcing—citing your website as a source. Offpage SEO calls for adding your website to those local directories that are appropriate. Relevance is key, so look for industry-specific directories.
GBP ranking factor guidelines
- Relevance: Complete and detailed business information will help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches.
- Distance: How far each potential business is from the location terms used in a search. Google prioritizes by location.
- Prominence: Your overall online presence. More reviews and positive ratings will improve your local ranking.
- Guest Posting—this is where backlinks begin, with good content. What happens if you’re not a writer? Think podcasts and webinars!
- Podcasts–the perfect medium for those who don’t write. Podcasts are part of offpage SEO, just as influencer marketing is.
- Reviews influence the way we spend our money. Getting reviews on Yelp and GBP should be a component of every marketing plan. According to Whitespark’s 2021 Local Search Ranking Factors report, reviews can influence both the Google Local Pack and Local Finder rankings as well as local organic rankings.
Reviews are important component of offpage SEO
A Google Business Profile (GBP) review well may be one of the first places a user encounters your name and brand. An estimated 79% of people said they trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation from friends or family. Your GBP acts as a mini-website that is displayed on the right-hand side of the Google search results page, which business owners can manage.
Feedback from your clients will produce more keywords and phrases—your company name shows up again and words about your services. It’s always a good thing to be drilling down into the big, robust Google network. You can use a vast inventory of proprietary apps for just about everything, including keyword research. But Google owns the search space. Using their tools means that you’re in synch with their way of doing things. We may as well take advantage of this.
Conclusion: If this seems like a lot, it is! But SEO builds on itself
Once you develop good SEO habits and start writing good content, getting quality backlinks and guest blogging opportunities, you will start building momentum. It’s important to believe in the process. Keep reading and start saving articles that would be the foundation for good blogs and guest posts. Add your own experience to make these articles meaningful. Include little case studies. Be patient because results are not immediate.
You may find that you need help or want to outsource part of the content development or backlink-building part of the process. Maybe it’s posting to your social media sites that someone else can take over. It’s for you to assess as you start to realize more success.