We’ve all heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but many entrepreneurs and small business owners have a limited view of what they can do to improve their search engine visibility. Many of us think of SEO strictly in terms of the on-page changes we make to our content to make it more attractive to the algorithms that search engines employ. While this is undeniably a great way to improve the visibility of your content (and you should certainly consider using a plugin like Yoast to ensure that your content is as SEO friendly as can be), it’s not the only area in which you should place your focus.
Why should you care about Off Page SEO?
Think of your website as a beautiful house. The house is within a gated community with lawns, picket fences and picnic tables. Your on-page SEO is like the housekeeping you do within the house; cleaning, tidying and making the home as attractive as possible to visitors. The trouble is that people won’t be enticed to visit unless you tend to the more visible areas outside the house like the lawns and the picnic tables. Let’s say a rumor breaks out that your house is a real dump. How many people are going to be inclined to visit you in the hope of debunking those rumors? Exactly! Off Page SEO is the practice of building your brand’s reputation outside of what you do with your content and making your online presence felt.
What makes up Off Page SEO
If your u-bend springs a leak, chances are you’ll look online for a local plumber. You’ll likely be presented with several options. Which do you choose? Your decision will be based on each plumber’s online reputation; their customer reviews, testimonials and what people are saying about them on social media. This is the essence of Off page SEO, and hopefully you can see why it’s so important. Many prospective customers and clients will judge your business based on your off page reputation long before they attempt to engage with your content. Fortunately, an SEO consultancy will be likely to incorporate off page elements into their strategy. They can help you to address the individual elements that make up your Off Page SEO, but if you’re managing your own marketing, you’re far from powerless.
What you can do
The glib answer is… be the best! If you and your employees are putting 100% into your operations then you’ll be recognized as the best and draw essential traffic organically which increases your search engine visibility. But these strategies can also be very helpful:
- Link generation- Engage with customers and other businesses through social media and link them directly to your content.
- Incentivize reviews- Positive reviews are the lifeblood of your off page strategy, so give your customers a little incentive (like a discount off their next purchase) to ensure they leave one.
- Get to know your audience- Being a social media hermit can only alienate you from your target market. Engage with them regularly and they’ll invest in your brand.