For a website to attract visitors, the first step is to create it with on-page SEO (search engine optimization) in mind. However, what is done on-page can only go so far, and accounts for well under half of what decides site rankings in most searches. With this in mind, most webmasters also need to do off-page SEO to get links to their sites and pull them up in the search engines.
There are countless ways to do off-page SEO, and no single way is right in every situation. Below are some of the most common and cost-effective ways to carry it out. In general, a combination of different methods, implemented simultaneously and gradually over time, is the best way to approach SEO. Experiment and try various techniques to see what gives superior results for the site being optimized.
Article marketing is popular both because it can be inexpensive and effective if done properly. It involves writing articles and submitting them to article directories. In return, these directories will give links back to pages on a website the writer would like to promote. In themselves, these links in the articles will not count for much with the search engines, unless they start to rank well (for this reason, some people also build links to their articles on these directories). The main value in this type of publishing comes when the articles are republished by others on their websites and thus start to create more backlinks every time they are republished.
A variation of this type of marketing is social content communities to include HubPages and Squidoo where people publish their articles with video or other media and often share in the revenue generated.
Those promoting websites in a certain niche will probably want to keep up with the forums for that niche regardless. Find forums that allow backlinks in their signatures. Participate in those forums with thoughtful comments (do not spam). This will bring in both links and direct visitors.
Just as following forums can be interesting and informative, so can blogs. Blog commenting involves finding popular blogs that allow links in the signature and making informed comments on the articles.
Social bookmarking services and websites such as Digg where people share information about websites and news are increasingly important to SEO as well as for the direct traffic they bring in. Find out how to make social bookmarking and social buzz work most effectively.
While simple link exchanges are no longer amount to much, guest blogging is now one of the most effective methods of SEO. Find quality, related sites and offer to write articles for them in return for some type of return link, usually in the article.
Building a blog makes one an expert on the niche it is in. Use this knowledge to give advice in places to include Yahoo Answers. While it is important not to overdo it, include some links back to relevant pages of the site being promoted. More details on how this is done can be found at answer sites for web traffic.
With the growing popularity of online videos, there is an increasing number of ways to build links through video marketing. While links in the video itself will not count for SEO purposes, those in the profile will. Create videos and distribute them to as many sites as possible.
Building traffic always helps in building links. Consider these email marketing tips if interested in this form of marketing and link building.
Although web directories do not count nearly as much as they used to, it still can be worthwhile to submit to at least some directories. It may be best to do these submissions through freelancers, services that specialize in directory submissions or with software.
If a newsworthy story can be written about a website, a press release can easily be created and distributed. These will draw attention and links to a website. More details on how to write and distribute them in what is a press release.
When this is successful, viral marketing is an ideal way to create both traffic and links at the same time. In a nutshell, viral marketing involves creating things that consumers of the content will want to pass around. This can involve anything from games and giveaways to videos people want to send to their friends.
Social network marketing
Search engines are putting more emphasis on social media, and social network marketing is a great way to draw attention to any site while having fun and interacting with people at the same time.
Creating and promoting RSS feeds for your website is a great way to keep readers aware of your website, pull in more visitors and create backlinks all at the same time. RSS promotion covers the entire process of creating to submitting RSS feeds.
Infographics are a way of representing information in a graphic that is very easy for readers to understand and share. They are popular on social media as they can get points across quickly and are a cinch to pass around. Therefore, they are a way to both make your content more attractive and improve rankings when your image is shared with an embedded link.
Creating PDF files and uploading them to PDF sharing sites or your own site is a less known, but effective, way of building backlinks. Learn how it is done a PDF files for SEO.
Using SEO tools
The right SEO tools can automate some of the more tedious parts of off-page SEO and make it more productive, but you need to be wary of those tools that promise everything but do little more than spam. The single most effective tool for calling attention to a site, that is primarily automated but does not spam, is Synnd.
With so much that can be done in so little time, many of those promoting websites utilize at least a limited amount of SEO outsourcing. This can range from using a service someone on a forum is offering to freelancers and SEO services. Choose these services only after checking reviews and careful consideration, select those that offer ways to verify they are doing the work that they promise.
Points to keep in mind when doing off-page SEO
- Remember that just building more traffic to a site is in itself SEO. A percentage of people visiting any page are likely to favor it or link to it in some kind of way. This, and the fact that the search engines take search engine traffic into account when ranking a site, all means that increased traffic in itself is a form of SEO.
- Always vary were links are going to. A majority of the linking should be done to pages other than the top page of a site. This strategy, knows as deep linking, helps bring more pages of a website to the attention of search engines and is more natural.
- Measuring the effectiveness of different off-page SEO work is also critical. This can be done with paid and free SEO checkers as well as backlink checking tools.
SEO is far too big of a topic to be covered in one article or even an entire book. For those who want to become real experts, there are a number of SEO classes to take. However, for the typical person promoting their own websites, the information in the articles above should be enough to at least lay the foundation for a successful SEO strategy.