Over 90% of internet users rely on search results. And 75% of users never scroll past the first page.
The further down your site is in rankings, the less likely potential customers are to see it. This means that you should be doing all that you can to place higher in search results.
On site SEO is part of the equation that determines where you rank.
But it’s not the only thing that builds your site’s optimization.
Off site SEO can be largely instrumental in helping to boost your rankings.
When most people begin strategies for site optimization, they usually start with on site techniques. But once you have mastered your on-page strategies, then it’s time to move off-page.
Want to know how to use off site SEO to climb your rankings?
Here’s your guide to mastering the art of off site SEO!
What Does Off Site SEO Really Mean?
By now, many of us have gotten used to incorporating on site SEO.
But, off site strategy, while not that complicated, may still be somewhat of a confusing concept to you.
What happens off your page that determines where you rank is known as off site SEO.
“Off site” is determined by how others let Google know what they think about your site. This includes how others link, reference, cite and share your content. It also includes guest posts and comments, and almost anything that promotes your online reputation or website.
If you produce content that is highly valued by others, Google will assume that your content is important, and that will boost where you place in their results.
But, how can you gain value, and get Google to recognize your site’s worth?
Off site SEO can help you get where you want to go.
The following is a list of the types of link building and marketing techniques that may be included in your off site strategy:
- Link building; back-linking and inbound
- Press releases and other media articles that directly reference your website
- Any article directory submissions you have made
- Competitor analysis
- Your social media posts and related marketing
- Keyword analysis – the popularity and accuracy of your keywords
- Leaving comments and links on other sites, blogs, forums, and videos
- Submissions to SEO-friendly directories
- Videos placed on sites like YouTube, properly optimized
- RSS feeds
- AdWords and other paid keyword campaigns
Google’s algorithm relies heavily on a site’s links. So, you have to make sure that you’ve planned your site accordingly.
Set Up Your Site to Facilitate Links
Here are some things that can boost your site’s link appeal.
1. Internal Page Structure
Before you seek external sources for your links, you should make sure that you have made the most of your internal link structure by optimizing your internal pages.
Think of your structuring your pages to create a pyramid of links that lead up to your home page. In other words, no page should stand alone.
Each of your pages should have multiple avenues to additional site content. For example internal linking and drop down menus with labels such as “most linked” or “related content” can help direct traffic to other areas of your site and let Google know that your site offers a wealth of related information. This is actually included as one of the 200 factors that determine Google’s search rankings algorithm.
Here are three tips that you may not have thought of that will help you to prime your internal pages for linking:
- Open Site Explorer and add the most linked to pages to “SEO landing pages”
- Interlink all of your target SEO landing pages
- Drop links to your home page
2. Perform Standard SEO Best Practices
You can rely on standard SEO best practices, such as beefing up your keyword strategy, meta tag usage and incorporating high-quality infographics and images in your posts, to get off page links to your site.
Basically, your on-site SEO should be impeccable if you want it to work as hard as possible for your off site SEO strategy.
3. Content is King
This old mantra still rings true with off site SEO just like it does in on site SEO.
Your content should be useful, engaging information that links out to high-quality, authoritative sources. Not only does this build your credibility among users, it builds your credibility among other sources to potentially link to your site.
The value of quantity can be overshadowed by the quality if you are producing unworthy content. Don’t race to put out content so much that you are reproducing or otherwise discrediting your site.
Going Off Page to Grab Links
Now that you’ve done all you can on your site to make it conducive to link building, you are ready to venture out.
This is when off site SEO can seem overwhelming to those that are just starting out with it. But, it’s probably not as difficult to grab outside links as you might think. And, even if it were, it’s still essential to building your site.
So, time to hunker down and get to it. There are a few fairly simple and trusted tactics that are likely to get you links.
3 Ways You Can Get Links
If you want to direct traffic to your page, start by doing these three things, and you are bound to gain off site SEO traction.
1. Be a Guest
Offer your services to guest post for others. You should ideally seek out “experts” who will have a steady stream of visitors that trust their content.
Often times, sites will allow you to write guest posts or articles for them. If you demonstrate some level of authority on a subject and offer your content without expecting payment, it probably won’t be too difficult to farm out some of your work.
Today, there are even sites that allow practically anyone to create an account and write a post. So even if you can’t seem to land on a top professionals page, you can still get some visibility. And, believe it or not, some of these sites (such as Reddit) attract high levels of traffic.
Be sure to get in several links to additional content from your site in your guest post. You can even add a section of bulleted links at the bottom for readers who may be looking for further or related information.
2. Using Social Media to Your Advantage
- Grow friends and followers
- Share content frequently
- Comment and drop links on others posts and pages
- Avoid advertising self-promotion when inappropriate
3. Go for Broken Links
Surprisingly, this tactic does not appear to be widely used, and yet it is highly effective.
Not only can you grab links this way, but it gives you some control over where they come from. You can actually gain some pretty serious visibility from credible places, such as online journals and authority sites, just by checking for broken links.
You can search web pages for broken links by using Check My Links or another link checker extension.
Use your resources to discover broken links by searching for sources that are no longer relative, for example, a local business that is no longer in an existence.
Check Out Your Competitors
Another effective method for doing this is to monitor your competitors for sites that shut down and then grab their links.
Once you discover broken links, it probably won’t be very difficult to convince a site owner to replace it with your recommended link.
First of all, most people are grateful that you caught the blunder and notified them of the slip. Secondly, because it has likely caught them off guard they don’t have an immediate plan for replacing the botched link.
So, when you request that they use your link, providing that it is relatable and appropriately matched, they are unlikely to offer up much resistance.
However, don’t be surprised if you find that you do get turned down sometimes. Luckily, since this is a fairly easy to perform process, you can send out a slew of requests without expending too much time or energy.
And, just one yes from the right place can earn you thousands of visitors and boost your perceived expertise/online reputation by a great deal.
Top Two Off Site SEO Strategies
The top two off site SEO strategies that have powerful attraction potential are:
1. Guest Posts
This strategy is discussed above, but it should be noted that it’s one of the power players in off site SEO.
When you seek out guest posts, the more reputable sites that you can work with, the greater the influence will be. So, start with submitting posts to higher ranking sites.
Although, even the sites that are mid ranking but still considered a voice of authority in your industry, will help to grow your audience. So, you should consider every opportunity and realize that as you build your reputation within your industry, more doors are likely to open.
2. Content Promotion
You have to be willing to be your own biggest fan when it comes to content promotion. This basically means you will have to act as your own agent and represent yourself to leaders in your industry.
How do you do that, and do it so effectively that it works?
Well, you can start by listing every credible source and voice that you can think of where your content might fit.
Then, craft your best plea and contact them through a letter, email or via their contact page and state your case. You might even want to try more than one of these to get the best chance of having your request honored.
Follow-up with them often. And, even if you get a “no” initially, don’t be afraid to ask them again when you spot another opportunity.
When You Get a Nibble
When and if you do find someone who’s willing to allow your content, continue offering them your best work as often as possible without becoming a nuisance, of course. And, in addition to not bombarding them on a daily basis (but still often enough that you maintain familiarity), make sure that you don’t skimp on quality when you make subsequent requests.
Part of the payoff that you give them should be a pledge to commit to producing a consistent, high standard level of content. This will encourage loyalty and build authentic relationships with industry professionals.
Once you get your foot in the door with one of two trusted sites, you will have proven yourself to others who are likely to follow their lead.
In addition to the content that you provide others, make sure you are not neglecting the content for your own site. One of the best ways to promote links is by producing top notch blog content for your site. Not only will this help you to gain external links, it will give you material for internal links as well.
Build Your SEO Toolkit
To help you navigate your journey, we’ve packed up a few off site SEO tools that you might want to keep handy.
You may have others that aren’t included here, but these should at least get you started in the right direction.
First of all, download this SEO map, and use it as a reference and checklist for optimal SEO strategies. It lays out all of the components to SEO in an easy to understand “periodic table” formatted info graph.
Also, check out Linkio. It is a powerful automation tool for backlink planning that takes the repetitive and tedious work out of setting up link building campaigns.
And, finally, if you need help creating some really great infographics to incorporate into your content, then Infographic Love can give you what you need to come off looking like an infographic pro.
What’s Your Favorite “Go To” Off Site SEO Tool?
Got another value-packed SEO tool to add to our list? Don’t keep your treasure to yourself.
Leave a comment below to share it with the rest of the world.
Then head over to our blog to check out our full list of awesome and essential SEO tools that are so good, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them!