Off-page search engine optimisation matters and more importantly it is something you don’t need a technical expert to do for you.
As a website or blog owner it is something you can and should be doing yourself.
As a small business owner you already know that to generate income you need to sell products or services.
You probably also know that to sell your products or services online you need to generate website traffic… and to generate that website traffic you need two things:
- To list well in the major search engines.
- To have inbound links to your pages from other relevant websites.
Google has the lion’s share of the search engine market, (approx. 80% in the UK). The remaining 20% is shared between all the others. This effectively means that to achieve good levels of traffic your search engine optimisation efforts should focus primarily on Google. I’m not saying you should ignore Yahoo! Bing and all the others, just that combined they can never bring you as much traffic as Google could.
To list well in Google you need two things:
- Optimised web pages. (On-Page SEO).
- Inbound links from other relevant web pages. (Off-Page SEO).
What is On-Page Search Engine Optimisation?
On-page search engine optimisation is in essence about putting the right keywords (or key phrases) in the right places on the page. It is the foundation of all SEO work. With on-page SEO There is and always will be room for improvement because you will always be aiming at a moving target. This is because your competitors (or at least some of them) will be doing it too. Read On-Page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Consultancy to learn more about this.
Why Off-Page Search Engine Optimisation?
It is widely accepted that to Google, this is without doubt, the most important factor in its decisions about where to list web pages in its search engine results pages (SERPs).
Off-page search engine optimisation is in essence about having links pointing to your web pages. Links which contain the right keywords (or key phrases) and are from other web pages which are highly relevant, of high quality and highly rated by Google. So off-page SEO is about link building.
Put simply, the more high quality, high ranking, relevant links there are pointing to your web pages from others, the better your pages will do in Google.
Unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO rarely requires technical skills. If you can use a computer, you can do your own off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO includes various elements, the two most important being:
- Inbound links to your domain as a whole.
- Inbound links to the specific web page within that domain which is being optimised.
What to do
To list well in Google, quite simply you need to build inbound links to your web pages from other people’s web pages. But before doing that, ask yourself a simple question…
Why would anyone create a link from their web page to another web page which is not theirs?
The answer will be one of two things:
- They stand to gain something from doing so (i.e. money, status, approval etc.)
- They genuinely believe the page they have linked to adds value to their own page.
The latter is consistently proven to create higher quality traffic than the former. Why? Because people are not stupid, they can tell why they are being sent to another page. So building inbound links that add value is easily the best way to generate high quality traffic.
But building inbound links is an on-going process. It needs to be done constantly. Your competitors will be doing it, so even just to stand still, you must do it.
There are literally hundreds of different techniques for building inbound links effectively. Some of the best include:
- Adding social bookmarking buttons to your web pages
- Blog commenting
- Using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Writing articles for article directories
- Taking an active part in online forums
- Submitting blog articles and their RSS feed to various websites
The majority of these need little or no technical knowledge, just an understanding of the techniques concerned. Many of them take very little time and can return results which are massively bigger than the effort needed to implement them.
By doing these things regularly your inbound links will grow steadily, organically and exponentially. And it shouldn’t be just you the business owner who is doing this; if you’re smart you will encourage everyone who works for you to do it too. Everyone in your business who uses a computer (or smartphone) could be contributing to your link building. Make it a part of their job description to build inbound links.
How to do it
There are literally thousands of great resources out there to help you with this including books, eBooks, blog posts, and training courses. Here are a few to get you started:
- The 7 Most Important Features of a Modern Website
- Perpetual Organic Link Generator
- 7 Tips for Writing Great Content Quickly
- Social Bookmarking (Sharing) & Networking Buttons: Explained
- 50 Easy Ways to Build Inbound Links to your Blog
- Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs
- Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online
- How to Create Inbound Links with Social Bookmarking
- Teach Yourself Twitter in 10 Minutes
- Social Bookmarking and Social Networking in a Nutshell
- Inbound Links: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- The Social Media Marketing Book
- What is an RSS Feed? RSS Explained
- Free Online Advertising
- Off-Page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Training
Short of throwing ever increasing sums of money at pay-per-click advertising like Google AdWords, building inbound links is the ONLY way to list better, drive more traffic to your website or blog and sell more products or services online.
There are no shortcuts, there are no ‘quick fixes’ and cheating will always get penalised eventually, (sometimes with a permanent and irrevocable ban from Google).
More importantly, organic links actually grow more organic links – yes, the process begins slowly, but over time the links will keep growing all by themselves.
The result is an extremely robust, sustainable high placed listing in Google for every page you put the effort into.