Off-page SEO is a general term for all the non-technical work you can do to maximise your business’s web presence across search engines. Off-page SEO is essential to your business’s search ranking. Leveraging social networks and building quality content will drive traffic to your business and help you to develop your brand, online. These sorts of marketing activities must be balanced by conscientious on-page SEO.
The first step in this approach is to start by identifying the keywords you want your site to rank for. You need to research and select your keywords carefully, using tools like Google Insight for Search or Google Adwords Keyword Estimator. However, consider how ‘difficult’ your chosen keyword is; if you are trying to get to the top of the search results for the keyword ‘free’, for example, you are going to have a rough time. Instead, concentrate your efforts on a more attainable goal.
Link building should be done gradually; avoid spikes which can alert the engines to unethical practices. When linking from an external site, ensure you use your key words in the anchor text of the link. If you have multiple links from an external site, use different keyword in the anchor text. Use keywords near links to emphasise the contextual relevance.
To monitor the effectiveness of a campaign, track the performance using reports such as our quarterly report service.
Become a member of as many social networking sites as you can and actively participate on a regular basis. Some networks may be more appropriate than others for your specific business, but popular sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Meetup, etc., will generally be relevant. By participating, you can extend your network online, build your reputation, and allow others to recommend you.
Blogging is a very powerful tool for promoting your company and connecting with your customers. You should aim to write a blog post at least once a month, including unique, relevant content about your company. One of the reasons blogging is so powerful is because there are many blog directories and search engines, which provide another route for users to find your website. So you should always promote your blog post after you write it, and ensure you regularly post comments on other blogs which will link back to your blog.
Forums are another way to connect with potential users. Find forums related to your products and services and participate regularly. You don’t need to always advertise – in fact this will probably put people off. Instead, concentrate on helping people out and giving advice as this is likely to provide longer term benefits. If possible, include a link in your signature back to your site. Not all forums allow this though and some those which do will mark the link as ‘no-follow’.
Search Engine Submission
Search engines allow you to submit your site for crawling and there are online tools which will submit to multiple engines in one go. Make sure you submit your site at least to Google, Yahoo and Bing
Target Local Customers
As a local business, you have an advantage in your local area – instead of targeting a global audience and facing huge competition, emphasise your local credentials on your website. There are many local business directories, e.g. Google Local, Maps services, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Superpages, Hotfrog, Thompson Local etc.
Make use of social bookmarking services like Facebook Likes, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon and others. Ideally, make it easy for your users to share a link to your site with a toolbar or share widget.
Rather than always linking to your homepage, make sure you also build links to internal pages in your site. This will increase the popularity of your internal links which is thought to be a factor in the Google PageRank algorithm. Ideally, try to get some links from sites with similar content to your own.
Media Sharing Services
Consider posting photos of your products on Flickr, PhotoBucket, Picasa, Imgur, Photobox etc. Allow comments which will drive traffic. Post video reviews on popular sharing services like Youtube, Vimeo, etc.
Write articles for article directory sites like Ezine, Hubpages, Squidoo, etc. They should contain all your keywords and links to your site, and subtly advertise your services. Be very careful not to copy material from other sites; search engines will penalise this.
Ask your friends and clients to write reviews of your product or service in local business review sites like Yelp, Bview, etc, and in consumer review sites like reviewcentre.co.uk. There may also be specialist review sites for your business, e.g. mybuilder.
Polls and Surveys
Develop a poll or survey about your product or service using polldaddy, facebook etc and make it easy for users to share it. It will include a link back to your site, and you will also get valuable feedback on how you can improve.
Answer questions on sites like Yahoo Answers, Answerbag and WikiAnswers. You can share and demonstrate your expertise, and increase the popularity of your site and links.