If you are struggling to drive traffic to your site and raise true brand awareness despite pouring your heart and soul into creating high-quality content, you need to focus your time, energy and resources on off-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Keep in mind that the best organic SEO strategy always includes off-page SEO. As a smart content marketer, you often prioritize on-page SEO as an integral part of your marketing strategy. However, you need to know the things that matter to Google and other search engines often take place away from your site. This is where off-page SEO comes in.
Off-page SEO communicates to Google what others think about your website. Look – if you have several high-authority links pointing to a page on your website, search engine spiders will assume you have quality content that provides value to visitors. Ultimately, you will enjoy high rankings, which can go a long way to enhancing robust online brand credibility and awareness.
Unfortunately, there is little information online and offline about the activities you need to give your time, knowledge and resources to, to build credibility through off-page SEO. But today, you have come to the right place. In this article, we explore different techniques that can sharpen your digital marketing efforts and ensure your brand sticks out from the crowd.
Before we dive into some useful strategies for building credibility and reputation using off-page SEO, let’s revise our knowledge on off-page SEO. Basically, this type of search engine optimization includes all activities done outside a website in an effort to boost search engine rankings. Some of the main off-page actions include shares on social media, encouraging branded searches and building backlinks. In other words, off-page SEO is an effort to generate ratings and links so that a website rises in rank and credibility. Unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO is out of your control.
Below are some off-page SEO strategies to build strong online credibility that no one will tell you about:
Even if you engage in world-class SEO strategies and you don’t have a product or service that is the best in its class, you will not get the rankings and ratings you need to achieve your goals. Therefore, the first step towards successful off-page SEO is to create an outstanding product or service. Remember, modern customers are likely to say great things about what you provide – and this leads to positive reviews on third-party websites, more visits to your website and increased sales and revenue.
Building a quality product or service is, however, easier said than done. If you want to offer an existing product, ensure your prospects understand what they will gain by considering your brand instead of the competition. If you are offering an existing product, focus on the benefits the product will bring to the prospective audience.
Some critics dismiss link building as old-school and less effective and they discourage digital marketers from using it at all costs. If you ignore link building, rest assured you will not achieve your off-page SEO goals. Link building is, without a doubt, one of the most popular digital marketing techniques used by millions of professionals across the globe. To some extent, this off-page SEO technique yields the best results. But to achieve success, there are two important things you need to do:
• Build and chase quality links: This is the most important link-building strategy you need to keep in mind.
• Create quality content: Yes! Quality content is king. To attract links naturally, you need the best of the best content. When you provide value to your prospects, then they will keep coming to your business for more!
Even though link building can be hailed as applause to your brand, it is the same technique that led to what is today referred to as black hat SEO. Sometimes, you can be too desperate for links and opt for things like enrolling your site website content directories and engaging in link exchange schemes. Such things could hurt your site rankings. To build credibility, make sure your link building efforts are about quality and not quantity.
Tip: Getting links from large link aggregators such as .gov, .edu and .org sites could enhance the authority of your site.
Social media provides you with a platform to win the hearts of your audience. Also, social signals matter to search engines when ranking a page and harnessing the social media power could prompt them to like your content and eventually reward your site with high rankings.
Social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are some of the most powerful marketing tools. Top marketers know how to use these platforms as a playground for brand promotion and advocacy and you need to follow suit!
Using social media appropriately can make your business grow. As long as you constantly share relevant, valuable and engaging content, you will eventually win more followers that can result in leads, conversions and sales.
Being active, sharing quality content and being responsive to your social media community are off-page SEO techniques that can help you build trust, reputation and unrivaled credibility. They encourage brand mentions, which are regarded as links by Google search algorithms and could have a positive impact on your rankings.
Here are three social media takeaways that will strengthen your off-page SEO efforts:
• Be present: Having active social media accounts is not enough. You need to make sure that you are always there for your followers. In case you cannot engage them yourself, have someone to respond to comments and answer questions every day.
• Be natural: Online users love human interactions and not constant product promos or robotic responses. Be human!
• Be proactive: Make your social media platforms a resource that can be relied on by your followers for valuable content in your niche. Even if a person asks a question or requests advice on a product or service you don’t provide, offering some assistance doesn’t hurt! This is how you build trust and credibility.
Blog commenting is viewed by many as a black hat SEO practice and this is why many digital markers tend to avoid it. Truthfully, it is one of the best off-page SEO techniques that can drive organic SEO into a website and improve its SERP ranking. Therefore, don’t shy from doing it.
However, when doing blog commenting, avoid doing things that could land you into trouble with Google algorithms such as exercising comment signature. Simply mention your brand in the body of relevant content and attract attention to it. Even though this off-page SEO technique might take time to bring results, success will eventually come.
Creating guest posts regularly can help you get quality backlinks and trigger massive organic traffic to your site. Also, doing this could enhance your authority in your niche and this, in turn, helps you build unmatched online credibility.
As a rule of thumb, don’t contribute to any guest blog that comes your way. To ensure the quality of the links you build, make sure you only write guest posts for high-authority websites.
When you visit the sites of blogs of reputable brands in your niche, you will notice most of them have Rich Site Summary (RSS) subscription boxes. This is for a good reason – RSS boxes provide page information in XML format and help those who subscribe to get information directly into their emails without having to search for it on the web. Using this form will enrich your subscriber and contact agenda and have intrigued recipients who you can constantly send your company’s communication.
People are happy to benefit from quality content without having to manually look it up. If you write persuasive calls-to-action (CTAs) that prompt users to subscribe to your RSS box and continually share valuable content with them, there is no reason why you shouldn’t build strong credibility that could place you ahead of the competition.
When was the last time you commented on forums such as Yahoo Answers, eHow, Reddit and Quora? If your answer is never, then you are missing out on the benefits that ride along with this off-page SEO technique. These forums provide marketers with the right place to meet their peers and chat with them on topics that interest them.
When in these forums, do not mention your brand too bluntly. Instead, provide actionable information on the topic of discussion and fit your brand where relevant. These forums could greatly enhance your off-page SEO efforts as long as you contribute using the right words, style and tone.
Tip: In forum commenting, make your contributions transparent and relevant. Provide valuable information in every topic and only speak to your brand when it’s relevant. When you do everything right, you will enjoy more organic traffic to your site.
In off-page SEO, you only gain customer votes and social media following through trust. To build trust, you need to be transparent in all you do. Constantly post valuable content and engage your followers on social media. Don’t say that you typically reply to messages in an hour, but take two days to reply to a customer request. Similarly, don’t add attractive titles to your blog or website but provide poor-quality content. Doing this could have an adverse effect on your organic traffic and site rankings.
Also, remember that users bestow their trust on a site if they are assured that their data is secure. Therefore, use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which will ensure your site’s relationship with the user is secured. With an encrypted link, users will feel safe when entering sensitive data such as usernames and passwords, personal information and credit card numbers.
Another way to enhance customer trust is to make sure your website has ratings. Request your current customers to leave a contribution to your rating section. Let them know why their contribution matters and encourage them to leave positive reviews if they were happy with the services you provided. Reviews is an off-page SEO tactic that is often overlooked, but one that can yield incredible results.
All off-page SEO strategies revolve around content. If you do everything right, but you fail to complement it with top-quality content, then all your hard work will be futile. But content is not just text-based as people believe. Don’t be afraid to experiment with videos and images, which can be a huge boost to your off-page SEO efforts. According to available data, video contributed to about 85 percent of content shared online in 2019. Video and images are low-investment content types that can drive traffic and brand awareness – therefore enhancing credibility in the process.
Influencers and webmasters are busy people, but most of them are often more than willing to inspire, guide and help. Therefore, start building connections with them and deliver quality content that inspires them to share it with their huge online community. Regularly communicate with them and ensure you feature them and their services in your content. By building mutually beneficial connections with these people, they are more likely to share your content on their websites and social media channels. This will go a long way in improving your brand’s visibility, reputation and credibility.
Huge brands are present everywhere – even in places you don’t expect. This is a strategy that helps them remain relevant in their niches. This is an off-page SEO tactic you should borrow from them. Apart from offering A-class products/services, live every moment to make your brand heard. Be present everywhere. In every platform, make sure you identify your audience and devise the best ways to communicate with them and make them feel special. When you do this and do it well, your authority and reputation in your industry will increase in no time.
If you want to increase your site’s ranking and improve your credibility, it’s time you got out of your site and focus on off-page SEO. As you do this, ensure you are up-to-date with the latest search engine algorithm updates to avoid engaging in black hat SEO strategies that might hurt your marketing efforts. Work hard to build quality links and create quality content to complement them. Most importantly, achieving your goals with off-page SEO is not an overnight approach. The hard work you put in today will ultimately pay off and result in the rankings and credibility you dream about. Don’t have time to follow the tips? Browse through SmartSites’ best organic SEO marketing case studies to see if they have the relevant experience to help your business.