When it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s extremely easy to get caught up on the on-site efforts that we often forget that most of our SEO equity comes from off-site tactics. Let’s pause for a second - yes, of course, make sure all of your on-site SEO aspects are locked down. For example, focus on optimizing your:
- Title tags
- Errors and site issues
- Alt tags
- Schema markup
- Internal links
And other points of your on-site SEO. Also, make sure that you are regularly conducting on-site SEO audits of your website to make sure you’re on top of your game. In fact, don’t focus on your off-site efforts until you’re sure your site is well optimized from a SEO standpoint and you’re providing a great user experience.
Now, unpause. As I was saying before, a lot of marketers and website owners have a hard time with the off-site side of SEO because it takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of patience. There’s relationships to build, links to monitor, and continuous branding efforts that require a lot of attention, so most of us put our attention in areas we can directly control - our on-site SEO and marketing efforts. But even with all of that said, there are areas you can focus off-site to help boost your brand's SEO visbility and continue to utilize moving foward as part of a more holistic SEO strategy.
Create Great Content
This goes without saying, and I’m sure you’ve heard these three words enough by now to make you roll your eyes, but it doesn’t make them any less true. Creating content that informs, inspires, and influences are signs of a true thought leader in an industry. When you design a content strategy that focuses on your key target audience, their specific needs and issues, and regularly put out content relevant to their searches, the search engines take notice.
But creating content isn't limited to just your website. I am also talking about creating content off-site via your partner’s websites or taking advantage of guest blogging and contributor opportunities in your industry. Numerous publications in your industry are always looking for contributors to their websites to keep their users engaged and informed. Contributing not only builds exposure for your business, but it also builds authoritative, high quality, and relevant backlinks that point back to your website.
Speaking of which...
Build The Right Backlinks
By now it’s no secret that one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, off-site SEO ranking factor is having a backlink profile that is filled with high quality backlinks. Sadly, this is easier said than done. It goes back to creating great content and providing awesome insights that people and publications link back to.
So now that you’re creating great content that will solve those who are reading’s problems and provide them with real solutions, it’s time to start sharing and distributing that content. When I say these words a lot of people will probably automatically think “social media”. Social media is great and is something you should definitely be leveraging if you’re not already, but there are a ton of great ways to distribute content, especially ways that will build your SEO authority.
What I suggest doing is creating a list of contributors, writers, influencers, or peers in your industry that actively share content or utilize expert insights in their own content creation. Be sure to regularly send them your new content or provide them with new information that would update their older articles. Not only will they appreciate the effort and information you’re providing, but they will also credit you with a backlink on their industry relevant website and share in their own networks (possibly leading to more backlinks), building your brand credibility and exposure, as well as your overall SEO visibility.
Bonus tip - Take advantage of citation building services such as Moz Pro or Yext. These are fantastic services that quickly build great business citations for your business that include a link to your website, provided by highly regarded and credible listing aggregators - Google and other search engines use to verify business information and return rich snippets. If your business information changes (such as your website, contact information, or address), simply login and update, and they will ensure your citations are up to date and correct.
Pay Attention To Your Reviews
Never let someone tell you that your business reviews online don’t matter. Not only do 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, but according to Moz, 7 to 13 percent of review signals contribute to local ranking factors. Here’s what your rankings look like in search…