- 1.Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads: Part 1 – Site Design
- 2.Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads: Part 2 – Site Content
- 3.Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads: Part 3 – Lead Capture
- 4.Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads: Part 4 – Email Autoresponders
- 5.Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads: Part 5 – Onpage SEO
- 6.Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads: Part 6 – Offpage SEO
If you’ve followed the steps outlined in my previous posts, you’ll now have a business website which is fairly-well optimised for Google to find it… and ready to start handling incoming traffic.
Which brings us to the next part of this series – Offpage SEO.
What is Offpage SEO?
Offpage SEO is all about building links back to your website. This can be performed through various methods, including unique content posts on high authority (Google recognised) 3rd party blog sites, custom online videos, listings in relevant online business directories and more.
Books could be written about each method, but let’s walk through each one to give you a better understanding of what’s involved.
It Begins With a Plan!
One of the best strategies for your offpage SEO is to create a monthly content theme. Plan for say 3 to 6 months in advance, knowing that your content is likely to change based on industry news, sales & promotions, and other time-sensitive news.
The advantage of planning your monthly content is that it helps give you direction, and consistency in your marketing materials. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple suppliers or teams working on your online & offline marketing.
For example, in Month One, you may choose to talk about the biggest challenges people face in dealing with your industry. In Month Two, you may decide to debunk the biggest myths you see in your niche. In Month Three, you may choose to promote a new product or service – or create materials which address your new customers’ biggest questions when they first do business with you.
Truth is, you and your staff possess years of knowledge, experience and tips you can share with your prospects – even if you think it’s “obvious” to you, I can assure you it is likely to be “news” to them!
Creating Your Content - Offsite Blogs
The simplest content to create is blog articles on third party blogging sites, such as Blogger and WordPress. You can create a free account on sites like these, and write 300 to 500 word blog posts about your chosen topic. Be sure to mention your keywords, as well as your business name, and build links back to your website.
That linked text – the text which contains the link – is known as anchor text. Back in the “old days” of SEO, all your links would be placed on the keywords you were trying to rank for. As an example, if you were a Sydney plumber, your SEO content may read, “If you’re looking for a Sydney plumber” with your link pointing to your home page or service page.
While you can still use anchor text which relates to your keywords, for small businesses now Google seems to be giving more favour to a wider variety of anchor text. So you’ll want a good portion of your anchor text to be your business name, some to be your keywords, and some to be generic text (such as “this website”, “click here for more”, “get more information”).
By way of example: brands (such as McDonalds) rank online for their product or service, without having to build thousands of backlinks whose anchor text specifically contains those products. Similarly, Facebook doesn’t even allow you to use anchor text in its links – you have to just use the full URL address. And we all know Facebook is used a little bit, right… 🙂
Good Enough is Good Enough
Now, a tip: the posts on these third party blog sites do not need to be outstanding examples of literary achievement, at least not for SEO purposes. They should be unique, yes – as well as interesting, accurate and well-written – but they don’t have to be “amazing”.
Where it makes sense, and where you can make it work without it being awkward, you should strive to include your chosen keyword in your blog post title. For example, “7 Common Myths about Sydney Plumbers”.
It’s good practice to include an original image in your blog posts. This image should have a filename which relates to your keyword (example: plumber-in-sydney.jpg) or a variation on your keyword(s). Ideally, you’d also give your image an alt-tag & title tag (very easy to do in most blogging platforms) – these tags are strong indicators to Google because they tell Google what the image is all about.
Lastly, don’t go crazy trying to over-optimise your content to please Google. Put yourself in the position of your prospect, and write articles which they would find helpful or interesting.
This article (not affiliated with EasyWebLeads) contains very detailed specifics which are worth considering, if you’re more technically minded.
Content Creation - Embedded Videos
Similarly to my comments around video from the previous post in this series, video is helpful to your SEO efforts.
Fortunately, for offsite blog posts, you don’t have to necessarily create a new video for each article you write on Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and so on – but it is helpful to embed the video in your post.
Fortunately, this is pretty simple to do. And guess what? I made a video, just for you (yes, YOU!) which shows you how it’s done:
Offpage SEO for Images
The rules for images on third party blog sites and similar (for backlinking purposes) are the same as those for onsite pages. So rather than repeat myself, I’ll politely guide you to the previous post where I covered SEO for images 🙂
Integrate Social Media
Once you’ve created your offsite blog post, you’ll want to tell the world about it! Some blogging platforms allow you to link common social accounts such as Facebook & Twitter, so they automatically receive an update whenever you publish a post.
However there are plenty of other “authority” platforms you can use to promote your new content, including but CERTAINLY not limited to (at time of writing!):
Citations - Business Directories
If you have a local business, and you wish to appear in Google search results, then you really need to get yourself listed in the top online business directories.
You see, everytime Google finds your NAP – Name, Address & Phone – it counts as another “vote” for your website (most online directories will allow you to include your domain name for free).
So with a bit of manual effort, you’ll be able to build additional legitimate backlinks to your site. Be sure to add your logo, opening hours, categories and so on for the better directories.
Which directories are the ones to go for? Well, this list is a very good place to start:
And yep – I’m not to proud to give backlink juick to someone else’s SEO efforts 🙂 After all, it’s a great list!
Final Thoughts on Offpage SEO
When you’re trying to build backlinks to your site, more than ever Google cares about the quality of the sites you put content on. The sites have to be high quality, relevant and not “spammy” in order to help your rankings.
Gone are the days where you could improve your rankings by throwing cheap content on random sites, or paying someone in a 3rd world country to do the same.
No. Today it takes planning, care, and more effort to get results.