In my last post on SEO I looked at On Page factors – in particular content. But, another key component to consider for successful B2B SEO is the Off Page strategy. In this post, I’ll go through 3 top tips to improve Off Page SEO.
Off Page SEO refers to techniques outside the website or page that can be used to improve its position in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Off Page SEO is very often associated with link building and, unfortunately, out-dated ‘black hat’ practices which can lead to knuckle wrapping ‘Manual Action’ from Google. Good quality Off Page SEO is actually about techniques which help rank a website higher in search results.
Why is Off Page SEO important?
Off Page SEO indicates to search engines how other websites and users perceive the particular website. A website that is useful is more likely to have references (links) from other websites; it is more likely to have mentions on social media (LinkedIn likes, tweets, Google +1’s etc.) and it is more likely to be bookmarked and shared among communities of like-minded users.
Some of the top tips to consider in your Off Page strategy
- Link building
Link building is the most popular Off Page SEO strategy. Basically when you build external links to your website, you gather ‘votes of confidence’ which help you bypass your competitors and rank higher. For example, if someone likes this article and references it from their website or blog, that’s the equivalent of telling search engines that this page has good information. A good example is when a reputable industry publication links back to your website. This is top quality link building and as a result PR and SEO are becoming increasingly interlinked.
Over the years there has been a lot of manipulation of links, which has been dubbed black hat SEO. In order to combat such malpractice search engines have been clamping down on poor quality and spammy links via continued algorithm updates. So the best practice approach now is very much about quality over quantity.
Look in your webmaster tools account under search traffic for valuable insights into what content is most popular and who links to you most. Also in Google Analytics, go into the acquisition tab and you’ll find all referrals, letting you see which sites link to you the most. These insights can help you to focus on where you could build more quality links and what content is most engaging to your audience.
- Social media
The fundamental aim of search engines is to provide quality content to searchers. And the best feature of quality content is that it gets shared more. Search engines like Google take social signals as an important metric for ranking web pages. Unsurprisingly Google +1’s are particularly being factored into SERPs.
If your business is on LinkedIn this is a great start, so post any engaging/relevant content you have such as a blog, whitepaper etc. Also, check your analytics. In the acquisition tab you’ll be able to see which channel you’re getting most click throughs from, helping you tailor your social strategy accordingly.
- Social bookmarking
This builds on point two. Basically if people share your content on Twitter, LinkedIn etc. or bookmark it to read later then the search engines pick up on this as a further indication of good quality content. This point reinforces the importance of creating relevant and engaging content for successful SEO.
Know your audience. If your content is relevant and compelling to a clear and defined audience then users will share among engaged communities and you’ll get the quality links and votes back to your website and brand.
What are the benefits of Off Page SEO?
As mentioned in the last blog, successful SEO campaigns have solid foundations which cover both the On and Off Page elements. I’ve outlined some key Off Page factors that should be considered as part of any SEO strategy. Make sure you focus your marketing efforts on maintaining a great website and promoting it correctly, as a lot of SEO will fall into place naturally off the back of a well structured communications campaign.
Have you invested in SEO and if so what’s worked best for you?
This blog was originally posted on BDB.co.uk where I was a Digital Project Manager working with international b2b clients.