Offsite search engine optimisation

Understanding off-page SEO

By Rhian Harris

Now that you’ve mastered your on-page SEO, you need to concentrate on how your website is optimised ‘out there’ in the bigger digital space.

It’s no good having sound meta data and great content if no one can find it, and it’s no longer just about working on getting as many inbound links to your website as possible.

Users will only buy into your product or service if they see you as a trustworthy source of information with a good reputation, and the same goes for search engines. You have to become an authority on your subject to create that trust so that both engines and users believe that what you are telling them is relevant to what they are searching for.

So what are the stages?

Link building

Buying a load of cheap links from low-quality sites is not what we are talking about.

In assessing inbound links to a website, search engines can detect whether they are bonafide and have been acquired via white hat SEO techniques, or if they have just been purchased. Buying links is a no-no, and we’ve all heard those horror stories about Google penalties for black hat SEO methods.

At risk of seeming dogmatic:

You are looking to acquire links from a diverse portfolio of good quality websites of relevance to your content.

And the way you earn those, is through providing content that is of value and that others want to link to.

Content

There is no point just adding content to your site for the sake of it. And don’t assume that duplicating it so that you have more will benefit you. In fact, duplicate content will do quite the opposite.

Make sure that when you add pages to your site you are creating unique content on a subject matter that is (or could be) popular. In other words, provide ‘link bait’ to attract inbound links.

For example:

  • A rich product description page
  • A product review
  • An opinion of a recent trend or launch
  • A video blog or podcast
  • A white paper
  • An e-book

There is no right or wrong if it is relevant to your users and make it shareable through sharing buttons (cheap plug: like the ones you see at the end of this article).

Cross-promotion marketing

A good way to increase your reach and make some noise about your website is to engage in co-marketing through a partnership.

Cross-marketing your products or services via an existing community or network is a great way to create trust in your brand, and also benefit from your partner’s marketing efforts. I mean, what’s better than another established brand singing your praises?

The more sites of good quality that mention your product or service mean not only are there more SERPs with your name included, but also it’s likely that you’ll get better back links too.

Social media

Social media is increasingly influential in SEO.

Search engines are incorporating social content into their SERPs as they categorise results differently. For example, content that has a social connection to a user is prioritised as they believe it will be of more relevance.

For this reason, social media is more than just another form of advertising – it is a way of reaching an engaged audience, and for this reason businesses that get involved in those conversations are maximising it to the full potential.

Online PR and bloggers

Online PR is a vital resource for your business or product (and it’s more than just blasting announcements too).

If you are not engaging with bloggers, influencers and social media leaders, you are missing an opportunity for your brand to be talked about and shared in a genuine way but people with a powerful reach.

These people are ‘pillars’ for their online communities. Perhaps you are party to some insider information about a new launch, or maybe you just have access to a great product that might excite them? Now wouldn’t it be nice if they shared some information about your brand?

Once you have worked out what you can offer or how you’d like to work with them, get in touch with them!

There are plenty of tools out there to analyse who you should be outreaching to, such as:

And now we know what good off-site SEO looks like. Time to look at some of the bad guys…

Jump to:

What is SEO and why do you need to do it?
Setting the framework and understanding your objectives
The basics of onsite search engine optimisation
The basics of offsite inbound marketing
Good practices in link building
Not forgetting the role of social media in SEO