In our last EMA article we covered On Page SEO and the role it had to play in driving quality traffic to your website. This time we cover Off Page SEO factors.
To recap, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a term that is used to describe the way that websites ‘speak’ to search engines in a language that they can understand, to provide the search engines with more detail about your website.
Search engines utilise complex algorithms to determine which website pages:
- Should appear in their index
- Be most highly ranked in the search results page
- Appear most frequently in the search results list
SEO adds credibility to your website, increases your brand awareness and encourages high quality visitors to your site (ie ones that won’t just ‘bounce’ straight off).
There are two aspects to high quality SEO:
ON PAGE OPTIMISATION – optimising your website within the boundaries of the website itself.
OFF PAGE OPTIMISATION – techniques to increase your SEO search rankings that are OFF or outside of the boundaries of your website pages – generally in the form of links. Eg:
- Link building
- Video clips
- Social networking
- Online articles
- Social bookmarking links
- Press releases online
Search engines endeavour to bring the highest quality website search results and rankings to given criteria. Off page SEO tends to indicate to search engines how useful the ‘world’ views that particular website. Website rankings improve with:
Get as many other websites as possible to link to yours. If you post an article or information that other people find helpful or interesting, they may post a link from their blog or Facebook to your website, about that information, thus driving more traffic to your site.
By default search engines work on the premise that if other people are finding your information helpful, then it must be good, so they will increase your ranking in that area.
An ‘endorsement link’ from a well-respected source or industry guru adds more kudos to your site as opposed to an ‘average Joe’ linking to you. However, they need to be ‘natural links’ ie the user has chosen to link to you.
They may be practical video clips such as how to install a kitchen or they may be more of an advert for your product. It brings the user ‘another level’ of information where they can actually view the product in motion, doing what it does as opposed to just seeing an image. These clips can be loaded onto multiple channels – YouTube, website, Facebook, etc. Google owns YouTube, so loading your video onto You Tube will also result in increased search engine ranking results.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – the list goes on. Determine what social networks work best for your target market and get in amongst it! Ensure content is posted regularly, is interesting and accurate and that it has links back to your website.
Quality is key – quality of the blogger (eg industry experts) and of the information they share. Include details that are relevant to the audience, and that only include accurate information.
If you are a competent writer, or have a quality copywriter, publish industry-related articles on an article directory with a link back to your site.
If users find your site appealing and informative – or if it is one that they will want to reference time and time again eg investment tips, housing market trends – they will bookmark it, meaning they return easily to your site.
Press releases online:
Any newsworthy information you have to release to the press via online sources should also be utilized via links to your site. It needs to be: newsworthy, high quality information, relevant and timely to warrant a press release. Press releases have a large, influential audience, can add trust to your brand, and can enhance your expertise in your chosen field. Newsworthy press releases also tend to be spread virally. The search engines generally index them, so that they are permanently stored inside the search engines database for easy accessibility to clients, potential clients, journalists etc whenever they choose to search for them.
A combination of both On Page and Off Page SEO is an excellent strategy to drive traffic to your website. Not just any traffic – quality traffic, who will be interested in the information you have on offer, and will tend not to bounce off your site.
If you have the knowledge and confidence to take on board these strategies yourself – great! If you find the concepts a little complex, don’t be afraid to engage professional help from a digital/SEO specialist…to watch your traffic grow!
NB: This article was published in the EMA “BusinessPlus” magazine. Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world. EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.