Search engine optimization is constantly evolving and never completely intuitive. It makes sense that only your own website would matter for your own website’s SEO rankings, but that isn’t actually the case. Off-site SEO actually matters a great deal. More specifically, having other high-quality, well-ranked websites with links pointing to your own website matters a great deal. This tells Google, or any other search engine, that your website is worthy of consideration from searchers since it’s being mentioned by authoritative websites.
Keeping that in mind, here are four important tips that can help you build an effective off-site SEO strategy:
1. Understanding Who to Target
It isn’t as simple as generating back-links to your website. They need to be quality links. These are the types of things a search engine looks at when it comes to back-linking:
- Authority of the linker – if you’re getting a lot of links from low-quality, low-trafficked websites, they aren’t going to help your SEO. In fact, they could hurt it. Focus instead on quality over quantity.
- Relevance of the content – if you have a business-related software solution and are receiving back-links from a sports blogger, it won’t be nearly as useful as it would be coming from a technology blogger. Unrelated links will raise the search engine’s warning flags and can also potentially hurt you.
- Context – this matters, too. The text used to link to your website matters a great deal. Keywords are preferable, but it’s important to use natural language. Your link also can’t stick out. It should be included in a way that makes sense, not just tossed in somewhere convenient.
2. Offer to Be a Guest Blogger
The simplest way to convince somebody to provide you with a back-link is by offering them something in return – content for their own website. As a guest blogger, you’ll write an article with the sole purpose of placing it on their website. Not only will you be able to include a valuable back-link (with any keywords attached to it that you’d like), but you’ll also have the chance to expose yourself to their audience. Simply look around for relevant blogs or websites that accept guest bloggers and put together your very best pitch.
3. Find Broken Links and Leverage Them
This is a tactic that many of your competitors probably aren’t using. The gist of it is that you need to find relevant industry websites that have knowledge databases or resources pages, and then scour them for broken links. If you find any, you kindly notify the owner that they have some broken links and provide suggestions for new ones. Of course, one or two of your suggestions will be your own website. Again, you’re providing the website some value so you are more than free to ask for the back-link as a favor in return.
4. Going Beyond Back-links
Link-building is integral to a strong off-site SEO strategy, but there’s a little more to it than just that. Any interaction or mention of your brand that occurs in the public domain can have a positive (or negative) effect on your SEO. One example is all mentions of your brand on social media or other websites, whether they include a link or not. You can see, then, why tactics like influencer marketing or encouraging product reviews can be so beneficial. Whether you’re getting direct links or not, the simple mention of your brand can be enough to help out your SEO efforts.
Off-site SEO is more difficult to put together simply because it’s out of your control. However, because it’s such a key piece of your overall SEO ranking, you have to put the time and effort in. By following the advice outlined above, you’ll have an advantage over your competition who isn’t considering off-site SEO and should see increased search traffic because of that.