In case you haven’t heard, on-page SEO has lost significant relevance over the last few years.
According to a June 2016 article by Ahrefs that outlines an extensive SEO study, on-page SEO carries an insignificant influence for page ranking and SERPs. What? Are you kidding me? We kid you not.
Ahrefs isn’t the only one pontificating this stance. Moz wrote an article in October 2015 about not selling SEO services anymore because the gap between what the average person thought of SEO and the reality was too wide. When most people think about SEO, they think of optimizing website pages by following best practices involving keywords, meta data, page content and internal links. And while we don’t recommend ignoring these factors by any means, today we’re going to talk about the more significant off-page SEO factors to consider.
Simply put, SEO is the measure of how the world wide web views your website. The more popular, useful and trustworthy your website is perceived to be by the search engines, the more likely it will come up in top search results. And remember, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, not Google Optimization. Think broadly about how to make your website more visible.
The following activities and best practices will help improve your off-page SEO:
1. Social Media
Social signals remain a strong indication of popularity and trustworthiness. Being active on the social channels that matter to your business is important for many reasons, including off-page SEO. But doing social media the right way takes knowledge and finesse. This article on social signals talks about how to tackle social media with a modern and strategic approach.
2. Inbound Links
Referring to when a reputable website links to yours within their site content, inbound links are the most popular, and traditionally the most powerful, signals that your web page content is well-known, useful and trustworthy. The absolute best way to get inbound links is to produce great content that people and businesses can’t resist linking to! A popular way to proactively produce inbound links is to guest blog. Finding affiliate businesses that welcome your expertise should be doable. A great research tool for link building is Moz Open Site Explorer.
You can also be creative with your link building strategy. For example, I recently granted an inbound link when a community manager reached out to me to tell me she liked an article I wrote (about her expertise). She offered some additional information she thought I might find useful. I checked out her product and really liked it, so I added her information (and link) to my article!
PMG Tip: to secure inbound links successfully, you need to be on the pulse of your niche. Some ways to do this is by creating Google Alerts for yourself, setting up keyword streams in your social media tool or searching on Twitter for your specialty.
3. Web Listings & Directories
Being visible and accurate where your audience is searching is integral to building your trustworthiness and popularity. Google definitely likes when your Google business page is claimed and complete. But don’t stop there: think about all the directories that are relevant for your business and make sure your business listing is claimed and completed. This is almost always free. If you work for a medical practice, for example, you will probably want to make sure your practice and doctors are listed on healthgrades, vitals, ratemds, and others in addition to search engine business listings. On specialty sites like these, you can research and complete this information yourself, or there are for-fee services that will digitally complete many of the biggest directories on your behalf (one of these services is Yext.com).
4. Press Releases
Online distribution of your press releases is a great way to spread your valuable news and message to a wide variety of sources and make yourself a little more of a go-to resource in the process. Using a service like PRWeb or Newswire makes this a fairly streamlined task.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the third category of SEO, which is technical. Technical SEO refers to how well search engine spiders can crawl your site, plus page load time, URL structure and mobile friendliness. We’ll dive into this another day!
We hope this gave you some ideas for your off-page SEO strategy! Give us a shout if we can help you further on this topic.