3 Apr 2012

The art and science of off-site SEO

Thoughts on web publishing #2
What really matters: Off-site elements

The first part of this series provided an overview of some useful techniques for optimising the on-page aspects of SEO. But the truth is off-site elements are far more important in terms of helping to increase your ranking and visibility through search engines

Building link relationships

Google’s algorithms primarily rank your website based on links from other sites to your site and particularly links from ‘key’ or authority sites. So whilst all links are useful to an extent, getting a popular and trusted industry expert or a major organisation in your geographic area to link to your site is invaluable. You can use all the on-page techniques (metadata, content) in the world, but the key is getting authoritative sites to link to you in order to ensure your site is ranked highly in search results

Use social media and networks to maximum advantage 

Now is a good time to follow @libfocus on Twitter :)

People tweeting links to your content and sharing your website on facebook or linkedin, also generates valuable links (and potentially network effects) which will all contribute to enhancing your page ranking as well. This will also help in terms of branding generally, and is often a successful channel for ensuring your content is visible to relevant user communities and your key target markets.

There are lots of neat tricks you can use to increase the effectiveness of this aspect. For example, for Facebook you can utilise open-graph protocol by including specific meta tags in the headers of your pages for images. This will ensure that Facebook uses the particular image you have specified (e.g. your logo) to accompany your page when people share a link to your site (rather than just any random image which could be meaningless and irrelevant such as a Twitter icon or navigation button)

Contribute value to similar blogs and forums

Writing blog comments and forum posts are a great way to promote your content as well, but make sure you are not just commenting for the sake of getting your link displayed. Writing guest posts for other blogs can also be a good way to promote your own website, as well as to build collaborative relationships with other content publishers. You can also share your content through sharing sites like Slide Share and Google Docs to increase its visibility.

Too much of a good thing? Off-site over-optimisation

Be careful not to go too far with off-site techniques however. Make sure it is 'natural' and relevant - you don't want sites to link to you if there is not a logical reason for it. Google's algorithms will also analyse unnatural link profiles and anchor text and it may negatively affect your ranking if Google believes your site is artifically or unethically optimised. For more information, check out this SEOMoz Whiteboard Friday video on off-site "over-optimization."


Post a Comment