Off-Page SEO Matters More Than You Think.

on SEO, Online Tips, Creators, Content Marketing

Of course you've been doing everything you can to get the content on your website aligned for SEO. You've been doing keyword research, and making sure it ends up in your messaging. You've got that elevator pitch down to an art. You've been perfecting your meta description, your titles, and generating relevant content. Awesome!

Do you think that's where your SEO homework ends?

Nope. 

 

Domain Authority.

Your domain authority is scaled from 0 to 100 and predicts a root domain’s ranking potential in search engines. In layman's terms, this is a quick snapshot of how big of an influence your website is online.

By improving your DA (Domain Authority), it will be easier to rank on search engines. Here are some examples of large brands and their DA:

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You can use a domain authority checker to get your current score. If you have a score above 60, that’s great. You’re a thought leader online! If not, that’s not a big deal and shouldn’t discourage you.

Over time, you can improve your DA by publishing quality content online and following the steps and tips found in this article. Trust me, you don’t become an online thought leader overnight. It can take years!

 

Social Links.

It’s no surprise that social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others) have taken on a much larger role in ranking search results. The bigger and more credible your brand is online, the higher the chances that search engines will notice the content you are publishing online. 

If you’re wondering what counts when it comes to social media, let’s make it simple: EVERYTHING COUNTS.

From the number of followers you have, to shares, likes, re-tweets and everything in between, the goal is to be considered an authority online. How can you do that? Post quality, engaging content and make sure to link to your website.

One thing to keep in mind, is the importance of focusing on quality over quantity. Spamming your inner community won’t help boost your SEO, but publishing quality content that gets shared certainly will!

 

Internal Links.

A common mistake when building a website or writing an article is underestimating the importance of internal linking. When a bot crawls your website, they will navigate from page to page by following the different links on your pages.

So why is this important?

When following a link, the crawler is picking up important clues about your website structure and what your pages are about. This is why Anchor Text (clickable text that embeds a link) is so important.

Here is an example of what to do …and what not to do:

anchor text.pngOn the left, you'll notice how the Anchor Text is using relevant target keywords to describe what the page is about. On the right, the click “here”, “learn more” and “read the article” links do not add any value to the link.

Another important structure component to linking is the number and the quality of your internal links pointing to any piece of content.  A common best practice is using the “Hub and Spoke Technique”. Here is an example of how this works:

hub and spoke technique SEO.pngYou publish a long-format piece of content that is targeting your broader and higher volume keyword, (for example, SEO). You then have several other pages or pieces of content that link to it. A support article could be “10 Tools to Help your Keyword Research” that links to the more general “SEO” article.

As the number of links pointing to a given page increases, Google gets more and more clues about the importance of your page.

 

External Links 

Getting external links is one of the most important (and difficult) SEO tactics you can use. 

It's the holy grail of SEO. It's the foundation of what "Castle Google" was built on. Getting an external link (also called a backlink) from another domain is a BIG signal for Google and helps Google understand what your page is all about. If you’re getting lots of them, you must be on to something.

 

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Just as with internal links, it's VERY important to get quality links over quantity. 

If you’re getting thousands of links from unreliable or spammy websites, they are not worth as much as 1 link from a very credible source. They could actually harm you!

If you believe your website is getting “attacked” by spammy links, you should disavow them using Google Search Console. By doing this, you are telling Google that you don’t want to count those links towards your ranking.

So how do you get the backlinks? Good question! Some of them come naturally when you post quality content.  (For example, if you think this article is good, we’d love for you to link to it!)

Other links will require you to actively reach out. PR releases, media connections, influencer relationships, friends, and forums are all viable options for getting links. The only case of having "bad links" is if you have to pay for them. Quality SEO is done organically!

 

A few tips:

  • Be friendly, and offer mutually beneficial scenarios to anyone you approach for a backlink. For example, if you have an article about Budgeting Best Practices and you find a website with an “Budgeting Best Practices” anchor text pointing to a 404 (Error page), you can approach them to ask if they want to switch the broken link with yours. Talk about a win-win situation!
  • If you are looking to get reviews for your new product, and you find websites that are reviewing your competitors, reach out and ask if they will demo your product so that you can be included in the reviews.

  • Make sure to get into all the directories. If you have a local business, this is even more important. Directory links are one of the fastest ways to get credible links to your website.
    In summary, there are hundreds of ways to get links, so be creative, it’s worth it!

 

Reviews.

Reviews are great for SEO, period. When they are positive reviews, it’s even better.

Whether these reviews are on hosted on Facebook, Google, or elsewhere, they have multiple benefits. Reviews usually have a link to your website, sending credibility signals to Google that you have an actual bonafied business.

So where do you want to be reviewed? It depends on your business. I’d suggest looking up all your competitors with the keyword “reviews” added, to see the top websites your target customers have been looking at.

You will find two types of reviews: editorial and customer reviews.

Editorial reviews are blogs and industry professionals that usually have to be approached. Make sure to only do this when you are ready to get reviewed, and don't jump the gun. They usually only review you once! 

Customer review websites will allow your customers to rate you. This is great, because it not only helps your SEO, but also helps undecided customers to convert when they are searching for reviews of your product or service online before committing. You will also get an insight into your customers' experience.

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