In our previous posts we’ve discussed “on page” SEO strategies that can be applied directly to your website pages. But there is a whole other side of SEO, called “off page”. You see, Google doesn’t just pay attention to the keywords on your website, it also pays a lot of attention to what other websites link to yours. Getting lots of links back to your site increases your authority and popularity – both key factors with Google. It’s also important to get your website listed in popular directories, because your directory listing may rank higher than your actual website in many cases. The most successful websites (from a search engine point-of-view) use a combination of both on-page and off-page strategies. Off-page link building doesn’t (and shouldn’t) occur overnight. It is something you should work on gradually and it should be a permanent part of your marketing strategy. If you don’t continue to generate links, your rankings are likely to diminish over time. But how do you get these kinds of links? We’re glad you asked. Here are some tips and ideas:
- Social Networking Sites: Establish a page for your business on social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can use them to link back to articles on your website.
- Local Directories: Create a listing for your business in directories that specialize in local search, such as: Google Places (https://www.google.com/business/), Truelocal Australia (Yahoo) – (http://www.truelocal.com.au/), AussieWeb (http://www.aussieweb.com.au/ ), Yellow Pages (http://www.yellowpages.com.au/) and HotFrog (http://www.hotfrog.com.au/).
- Comment in Blogs and Forums: Find blogs and forums that are related to your industry. Offer helpful advice (don’t just shamelessly plug your product or they will kick you out!) and put your website address in your signature.
- Write Articles: Articles can generate back links in a lot of ways. A popular article can get mentions on blogs and in Twitter. You can submit them to article sharing sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious. You could also syndicate them (rather than posting them on your own site) on sites like Ezinearticles.com.
- Share Media: Share content you’ve created on sites like SlideShare (presentations), YouTube (videos), or iTunes (podcasts). A link back to your website can be included in the description for each of these.
When you do add a link to your site, be consistent! Google sees the following links as separate pages:
even though they all link back to the home page of demo.com. So always use the exact same link for your home page. Also, when you can use anchor text for your link, be sure to use your top keywords for the page you are linking to. For instance, Painting Services is much better than http://joethepainter.com. If you are looking for somewhere to invest money when it comes to SEO, off-page search services is the probably the best place to do so. There are companies who are far better resourced to build links back to your website than you are. But there is also no reason why you can’t do it yourself if you are motivated, and willing to spend the necessary time. Our series on SEO for Small Business will shortly come to an end! Our final post will talk about improving your local search results through Google Places. In the meantime, if you missed the beginning of our series, head over to “What Is Search Engine Optimisation?”