What is Off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO, or off-site SEO, is the search engine optimisation technique that too many brands ignore. When you’re tunnelling all your energy into what’s going on on-the-page, it’s easy to throw off the behind-the-scenes action that could be just as important.
Off-page SEO tactics get to work on optimising your brand using things like content, links and relationships in order to please search engine crawl bots and customers that are trying to find you.
If you can make it easier for people to find you, why wouldn’t you?
Like most organic marketing strategies, gratification isn’t instantaneous. But, by keeping a close eye on development and putting work into what’s going on off-page, you will see gradual improvements in the areas you care about most. Search rankings, traffic, conversions and more positive brand mentions are some of the highlights you could be rewarded with.
But…Is it Important?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
You wouldn’t maintain a sparkling clean house but let the garden become overgrown with weeds, pests and next-door’s garbage. No one would ever want to visit. Pick up the trash around your palace and make the path clearer for visitors.
Everything that goes on around your site, off the page, counts towards your reputation to the outside world and makes them want to learn more about you, if it’s presenting you in a desirable light.
With search engine optimisation trends changing month-by-month, it can be difficult to keep up with advancements. Before you leap into checking up on your off-site reputation, check out this post from earlier this year about 5 top SEO trends for 2018. Now, when you combine those trends with off-page SEO tactics, they’ll work together harmoniously.
Ultimately, keeping your off-site well-manicured will make everything you do on-site more effective. So, yeah, we’d say it’s important.
Making off-page a priority in your marketing plan makes perfect sense when you think about how most people approach businesses these days. It goes a little like this:
- Conduct a mobile search about the business you’re potentially interested in
- Look at their website, reviews, Google ranking and local information
- Visit their actual business or website and purchase the service or product you’ve been wondering about
When 18% of local mobile searches end up in a sale within just one day, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they’d trust a friend, you should be using off-page SEO tactics to entice interested customers.
An Off-page SEO Checklist to Tick Off
Get your notepad ready because it’s time to get your off-site SEO strategy in order. This could be the worst type of to-do list, because it never actually ends. For maximum benefit, you should be working on every point on an ongoing basis.
Off-page SEO strategies can be grouped into 5 categories, describing the focus of our efforts.
- Brand mentions
- Search rankings
Here’s what you should be doing to fulfil your brand’s potential in all 5 aspects. You’ll notice that certain strategies spill into more than one category, which is all the more reason to get it right. We recommend employing a company that specialises in SEO services to help you craft a strategy, though some points on our off-page SEO checklist boil down to you.
#1 Create an excellent product or service
The best search engine optimisation in the world won’t bring about the long-term benefits it’s renowned for if your product or service doesn’t match up to expectations. Think about putting your product first and it will make your job – or the job of the company providing your SEO services – much easier.
When people are already telling others about how great your brand is, you’ll receive more positive reviews and leads to your website. As a result, more people will buy your product.
So, how do you go about creating the best product you can? The secret is the power of listening. Listen to your customers’ requests and complaints and think about how you can deliver maximum benefit to them. Take your own emotions out of the equation and try to look at your product with an objective eye. If you’re struggling to do that, get someone else to do it for you.
#2 Build relationships with top influencers and publishers
Regardless of what you’ve been conditioned to believe over the last few years of marketing, do not guest blog with the intention of building links only. Create high-quality content on relevant, authoritative sites to present yourself as an authority, and the links will follow naturally.
In other words, nowadays we’re seeing links as a benefit, rather than a strategy, of off-site SEO.
Instead, it’s better to build positive relationships with industry influencers and trusted publishers in a natural and organic way. Influencers are connected with all the right people and have earned a substantial following because of their knowledge and publicity in their industry.
So, get to know them via social media, or at events or other in-person interactions and then whenever you do share interesting content, they’re more likely to boost it for you. Later on, you might be able to collaborate on projects or specific pieces of content on either your site or theirs.
Obviously, people around the internet are becoming savvier to paid influencers. Rather than employing models just for their looks or following, partner with an industry-relevant professional. For example, if you’re an interior designer, work with a well-known architect, not Kylie Jenner.
It can be all too easy for a brand to lose credibility when Instagram influencer campaigns go wrong – or the celebrity doesn’t pay attention to their content – like in this dodgy copy and paste example.
#3 Create relevant content
Consider what your potential customers are searching for and create detailed content around that. When your customers know where to look for you, they can find you. Use the keywords they’re using so you can match your services to their requirements.
Then place the content in locations away from your site such as social media or wherever you know your target audience are hanging out, so you can drive them to your website. This is one of the off-site SEO tactics that you can tweak as the results come in. Only with experimentation can you determine where the best places to drop your content are.
#4 Social media
Your social media presence needs to sing musicals about your brand, because it could be the first point-of-contact with some new prospects. It’s also the place people go when they want to find out more about you. They can see how you interact with customers, can check out reviews and understand more about the person behind the brand.
Social adds more value than just the place to offer stellar customer service. Mentions on social media indicate the health of a website and tend to lead to more traffic to that website.
Covering the basics of social media is easier than you might think. Keep these 3 tips in mind and you’re heading in the right direction:
- Stay on top of social. Make sure at least one person is monitoring your accounts, so they can respond to interactions quickly and consistently.
- Be human. Don’t solely use social media to promote your brand. Be human, show your real side and respond genuinely. Do not copy and paste responses to negative reviews but craft each one so that it’s unique.
- Join in the chat. Even if you see conversations taking place that don’t revolve around your product or service, don’t be afraid to jump in if you have valuable information to offer up.
#5 Provide exceptional customer service
Don’t leave any room for customers to believe their interactions with you are anything less than positive. During in-person events, make sure all employees go out of their way to provide exceptional customer service and to come across as pleasant and eager to help.
Your online customer service should be no different. If you receive direct complaints or queries, respond in a timely manner and in a way that the customer goes away satisfied and feeling positive about your brand.
#6 Monitor brand mentions
Do you know what people are saying behind your back? It’s not vain to search yourself on Google, Twitter or Instagram because there might be some content out there that demands a reply, whether it’s positive or negative publicity for you.
Reply gracefully to positive mentions and respond well to any negative reviews. Remember – the internet is quick to pick up any public friction and might even manipulate your content given the chance! Stay up-to-date with your reputation on social media, any negative comments and even websites set up to destroy your brand.
The bigger your brand, the quicker a fire can spread. Stick to your voice – use humour if that’s what you do – but remember to respond in a timely way. Get in there before any trolls do, as in the case of fast food giant Wendy’s.
Here is Wendy’s actual response, which throws some shade at Burger King, but maintains Wendy’s own reputation.
Here is the false reaction that did the rounds on Twitter and paints Wendy’s in a worse light, making them appear that little bit more confrontational and inappropriate.
Luckily, Wendy’s Twitter team are on the ball, so they were able to quickly clear up the fact that this was a fake news story.
#7 Level up your content
Content isn’t purely about words. Go beyond the text because often, words without images or videos get ignored. Scrolling through your Facebook feed nowadays, you’ll find the majority of content is in video format. By next year, internet video traffic is going to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
Use text, not voice-overs within your video to get your message across, because 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound (probably because they’re watched on public transport – or during work hours!)
Video is the low-cost way to peddle traffic to your site, because people are more likely to pay attention to that than a paragraph of text. Go behind-the-scenes and show what’s happening in the office, share how-to videos or post GIFs and you’ll see how easy it is to create engaging moving content.
On and Off-Page SEO Services
As you can see, it’s not just on-page activity that matters. Everything you do around the edges of your site acts as a support system for your on-site efforts. It’s likely that you’re already attacking some of the off-page SEO checklist we’ve provided here, but you should be making a conscious effort to address each point consistently.
Impress!ve is a digital agency in Australia that knows what we’re good at. We’ve narrowed down our services to the things we believe are most important to boosting the health and success of a business. That’s SEO services, PPC and Facebook advertising.
Your entire search engine optimisation network is important to us, so our team nails both on and off-site SEO and you can see the benefits of that. Our aim is to get your domain authority grading higher than that of your competitors, for better traffic, higher rankings and an overall brand boost.
Give us a call on 1300 191 943 and see what we can do.