Off-Page SEO Checklist: Are you using these 10 strategies?November 1, 2014 - 13 minutes read - SEO
There are two ways to improve your positioning on the Internet: on-page SEO (which involves tweaking your website data and content) and off-page SEO (which involves using other websites to validate yours). As you may recall, we covered 10 on-page SEO tips to help you gain better search engine presence. Today we’ll discuss what you can do to improve your search engine positioning through channels other than your own website. This is where you can really get into trouble if you’re not careful. Many spammy tactics are still widely used, but can get your site banished into obscurity. Here at Mod Girl Marketing, we ONLY use Google-approved, white-hat SEO tactics that have proven to be effective.
1. Social Media
Social media has become the centerpiece of an effective off-page SEO strategy. On Twitter, when another user retweets your post, the signal is sent back to search engines that you are a credible source of interesting and relevant information. When multiple people share your content via social media, your website receives a “credibility boost” which also helps your rankings. Expand your reach by creating a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Each site has its own merits and fuels content in much the same way. If your brand is image heavy also utilize sites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Vine.
Hint: Use the actual URL of your blog post or page — not a shortened link like bit.ly or goo.gl. While those links are great for testing and tracking purposes, they are not the best for SEO and building domain trust. It has been noted that some URL shorteners do pass “link juice” but to play it safe try using your actual website URL.
2. Blog Promotion
Creating new blogs for clients is one of the main efforts we undertake here at Mod Girl Marketing. If your websites is currently not on the WordPress platform, we can sync a blog powered by WordPress with your main website for a seamless transition. The blog we create looks and feels just like your main site — except that it is technically a different website, so there is a continual link exchange between the two that helps tremendously with your SEO. If your website is already on the WordPress platform then you already have a built-in blog! The blog itself would be considered an on-page SEO element, however blog promotion is considered off-page SEO. Blog promotion comes in many different forms including: social bookmarking, social shares, and when other blogs mention your blog post in a link.
Hint: Although we LOVE Wordpress and highly recommend it. There are other alternatives if you don’t want to use WordPress.
If you really enjoy blogging, try posting blogs on other sites. Mod Girl Marketing recently launched our Mod Chronicles guest blogging opportunity.
Sites like YouTube and Vimeo are helpful ways to promote a business, as they allow you to include keywords as “tags” and meta descriptions as well. If you don’t have a professional videographer on staff, we can still create a compelling video for you from afar. We’re also more than happy to promote any videos you’ve had made in-house if they are just sitting on these sites, collecting dust.
Hint: You practically need to spend as much time optimizing your video as you spent creating it.
4. Press Releases
Press releases are not just for major company news. You can also tap into the zeitgeist of your industry to lend your professional viewpoint to late-breaking news stories and trends. You can conduct your own research or surveys to put your unique findings out into the ether and attract the eye of journalists who are searching the wires for an interesting story.
Hint: Include two links back to your website, optimize key areas like headers/descriptions/titles, and blast your PR out all over your social media sites for maximum punch. Include photos and spend the time creating a fun information box that people will enjoy reading. Be careful though – Google has cracked down on businesses who include “exact match” anchor text links in press releases. To be safe stick to the naked URL or common anchor text links like “here” and other generic keywords.
5. Web 2.0 Properties
Web 2.0 properties are a great way to own more digital real estate while also improving your main website’s search engine presence. Web 2.0 properties mainly consist of 3rd party blogs such as WordPress.com, Tumblr.com and Weebly.com, just to list a few. There are literally hundreds of Web 2.0 websites out there. Here is a great list of the top 90 Web 2.0 websites
Hint: Include 100% unique articles on your Web 2.0 websites. It is also recommended to include images and photos – make sure they are all optimized too!
Another Hint: Promote your Web 2.0 websites like you would your main website. Send social bookmarks and social signals to your new properties. This passes some serious “link juice” to your main website which helps boost your rankings!
Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, recommends uploading helpful documents (like PDF files and images) to websites like Scribd, DocStoc, and Slideshare. Rand says, by linking to other websites in a slideshow, “I know I’m making friends with everyone who is linked in my slideshow. They express thanks on Twitter and often reciprocate. In addition, there are 20 to 30% who will point back to articles I’ve written or tools on my site, sending traffic back to where it can convert to sales.”
Hint: If you have image-heavy slideshow presentations, Slideshare automatically transcribes what you say into text, so it’s easier for search engines to find you.
7. Blog Commenting
You have to be careful with your blog commenting endeavors, as this is an area Google has really cracked down upon. Anything viewed as inherently spammy will penalize the site they are associated with. Comments are best written by savvy marketers who know how to write conversationally — not robot software!
Hint: Leave insightful, genuine comments on carefully chosen, high-authority, industry-related blogs.
8. Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit helps your posts with fast Google indexing, improves Page Rank, delivers targeted traffic, and provide valuable DO-FOLLOW links. Be sure to check out the top social bookmarking sites listed here and take a few minutes to visit these sites regularly.
Hint: Do not promote every single post this way every time. Most of these sites have very strict rules about how often you can use the site as a promotional platform for your own content. Read up on the user guidelines and be careful not to violate the terms & conditions or you could be banned!
9. Business Directories
With Google’s Pigeon update this summer, business directory listings (citations) have never been more important. Local companies and national businesses alike can use sites like Yelp, Urban Spoon, Manta and Google Plus as high value backlinks that not only get you onto 1st page results with Google, but also improve brand recognition and build trust with consumers.
Hint: Make sure all your information is listed, updated and accurate on these sites — including address information, hours, etc. Also, add high quality photos to your listing and respond to reviewers on the site to add personalization.
Making sure all of your business citations are cohesive and updated takes a lot of work and requires a lot of time. Our team of professionals marketers can help make the process a lot easier for you. Contact us to see how we can help!
Audiences react enthusiastically to quotes shared for magazine or newspaper stories. For instance, Mod Girl’s Mandy McEwen received a lot of positive feedback and referrals from an interview she did with The Huffington Post. With luck, your writer contact will work you into future articles for ongoing promotion.
Hint: In the old days, “guest blogging” on large blog networks was all the rage. Now these sites are punished, so avoid association with them! Guest blogging is still effective, but only if the website is high quality and respected by the digital community. Focus on cultivating real relationships with writers within your industry. Send your pitches for creative and interesting stories, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get quoted.
What SEO Tactics To Avoid In 2015:
Google’s Penguin algorithm change from April 2012 was aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using “now-declared black hat SEO techniques” that artificially increase a webpage’s rankings through link manipulation. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you avoid the following:
– Spammy Backlinks: Delete inbound links from low-quality websites and link farms.
– Exact Match Anchor Text: If your website is “KansasCityPainting.com,” do not use “Kansas City Painting” multiple times as the anchor text link.
– Optimized Anchor Text: Do not use the same anchor over and over. Try to use different anchor texts for every link and include naked URLs as anchor text links as well. It is also smart to use generic anchor text like “here” and “website” in order to avoid over-optimization.
– Paid Links: Overly sponsored links that are on Google’s radar are now punished.
– Irrelevant Links: A KC painting company would not want a link on a pet food site linking back to them, as this makes no sense and triggers a red flag.
Want More Help?
Mod Girl Marketing offers full service search engine optimization, both on-page and off-page SEO, to businesses in various industries. We are known for our stellar and highly effective SEO services which result in hundreds of first page rankings for our clients. First page rankings = lots of quality leads! Click here to get started!Tags: Algorithm, Google, off-page seo, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Seo