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As many website owners are well aware of, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consists of two fundamental approaches: on page optimization, on the one hand, and off page SEO optimization, on the other.
As an SEO practitioner, you’ll need to strike the right balance between these two approaches for your SEO initiatives to succeed.
According to acclaimed web traffic guru Neil Patel, off page SEO optimization encompasses all your optimization actions that “you do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines.”
To clarify this point, off page optimization happens outside of your own website while on page optimization is those activities that you implement within your website.
To illustrate further, adding subheadings and H2 tags to an article on your own website is on page optimization. Conversely, posting an answer to an outside forum post (and linking back to your website) is off page optimization.
In this article, I’m going to show you powerful and proven off page SEO optimization techniques to make your content really attractive to the search engines and rise above the competition. Hopefully, this will translate to better search results rankings and bring in more traffic to your site and more customers for your business.
Promoting Content On Social Networking Sites
Links to your content or website shared on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. are extremely important to your content marketing success for two reasons.
First, there are millions of users on these sites at any given moment, and even if you only manage to attract a minuscule fraction of that massive traffic, this can already make a significant impact on your business.
Second, search engines consider social signals (how a particular content is shared and read or viewed by people from these social networks) as an indicator of that content’s authority and use this information for search ranking purposes.
The key here is to make the distribution to the different social networks part and parcel of your content creation process. Remember, content creation can be less rewarding if you don’t amplify the reach of your content online using all available avenues.
Guest posting is an effective way to gain massive traffic quickly, and if done according to the best practices of content marketing professionals, it’s also a robust link building and off page optimization technique.
Ideally, you will need to target blogs with high traffic, moderate to top page rank, and good domain authority (DA) for this technique to work. You can quickly obtain all these information using SEO tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Similarweb, and Alexa.
Getting an article (with links pointing to your website) published on a high traffic and high domain authority website can really do wonders to your traffic stats and SEO optimization efforts.
Target the right blogs and write about topics you’re well-versed with. Be patient when approaching blog owners about guest posting. It’s not an easy strategy to pull off if you’re new to content marketing but the payoff is well worth all the energy and creativity you’ll put into it.
Forum marketing is a legacy technique from way back when the competition for viewers’ attention and search engine rankings was not as hard as it is today.
The reason why this technique survived is that people in 2018 still go to forums to talk to their peers and discuss common concerns and issues. Forum sites have also evolved regarding policing and moderating content, and as a result, most search engines still trust links coming from forum sites.
Find a forum that caters to your own niche or industry and simply finds posts that need to be answered using your own expertise on the subject. Be helpful above all and minimize self-serving links. Forum goers are notoriously allergic to self-promoters and marketing/advertising messages.
Smart Link Building
There was a time when off page SEO optimization consists exclusively of obtaining inbound links at all cost to simulate authority and game the search engine results. Unfortunately for link spammers, Google got smarter and changed their algorithm downgrading the value of links they deemed unnatural or spammy and in one fell swoop. As a result, many of those sites using dubious techniques lost their search rankings and revenue after the updates.
Link building, however, is still an essential component of off page optimization and while Google frowns on the practice of creating unnatural links (or much worse, paying for links), there’s a smart way to go about it.
When you’ve created high-quality, substantive content that you know many people would find helpful, you’ll need to promote that content to the right people. The first step is to find the top ranked web pages that expound on the same topic (or target the same keywords) as your content.
Using SEO tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, or SEMRush, try to find the pages that link to those high ranked pages. The final step is to approach the owners of those linking sites and offer your content as an alternative or additional destination for their links.
This is a well-proven technique although you can expect not to get that many responses from website owners. Just be patient and work the numbers because even if you only get a single link back to your content from a high authority page (out of 10 or 20 approaches), that individual link will definitely make a significant impact in building your content’s authority.
Millions of people out there turn to the search engines every day seeking for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems and concerns. You can quickly build up your own reputation and credibility as the go-to expert in your industry or niche by helping people get meaningful answers and practical solutions.
Websites like Quora and Yahoo Answers make it easier for you to assume the role of the helpful expert because these are viral platforms where people post questions and expect to get answers from all sources.
Merely go to Quora and search for a topic or issue that you’re knowledgeable about and start answering any of the questions that come up. As in any social platforms where users are wary of self-promoters, try to keep self-serving links to your own site at a minimum and just be genuinely helpful and concerned about the questioner’s problem.
If your business has a brick-and-mortar location and caters to customers from a particular area or neighborhood, it will provide a tremendous boost to your search engine optimization efforts if you’re listed locally.
Websites like Kudzu, Yelp, Angie’s List, and YP.com are directory platforms that list local businesses grouped according to categories or specific locations.
Having your own business listed in these directories can significantly improve your search rankings with the search engines. Most importantly, these are excellent channels for your business to get found online and get new leads or customers.
There’s a good reason why YouTube (owned by Google) is one of the top search engines in its own right, today. A very high percentage of online users in today’s multi-media landscape prefer to consume video content over other types of content that they may come across browsing the internet.
Video marketing need not be a daunting or bank account-draining venture. You can easily transform any content to a 1 to 2-minute video to provide viewers a summary of your content. These short videos are incredibly effective and can be created in a matter of a few minutes using video creation tools like Content Samurai and Camtasia.
Post your videos to video sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Two things to remember: try to post natively to these platforms (upload videos with the proper dimensions instead of merely sharing links) and add links to your site in the video descriptions to get visitors to your own website from these platforms.
A picture may say a thousand words, but people still need all the juicy details and organized narrative that a high-quality text content can provide.
If you have the graphics assets to share, platforms like Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest are superb venues where people can appreciate your photos and click on links to your website to find out more about you or the stories you’re sharing.
Try to find an attractive photo that encapsulates a story or theme in your content and post it on these platforms. Create a well-thought-out blurb and use hashtags for users to easily find your photo. Don’t forget to add a link back to your website in the photo description whenever possible so interested viewers can find out more about your story or topic.
Like video marketing and photo sharing, documents submission is also an effective off page SEO optimization technique mainly for the reason that different people have different preferences when it comes to consuming content online.
If you’ve already created long-form articles or short videos, you might want to repurpose those type of content into other formats such as a downloadable pdf document or a deck of Powerpoint slides.
Websites like Issuu, Slideshare, Scribd, and Calameo are excellent platforms where people go to specifically to find pdf downloads or Powerpoint presentations about topics they’re interested in at the moment.
As always, it’s a good idea to put your best forward and create an excellent first impression with users on these sites. Share only your best content, build quality pdf or slide decks, and try to be unobtrusive and natural with the links pointing to your own website embedded on these documents.
These are powerful off page SEO optimization techniques and implementing all or any combination of these methods will almost certainly yield exciting results in your content marketing and SEO initiatives.
However, off page SEO optimization is just one side of the coin, so to speak.
You’ll need to ensure that the content your trying to promote off-page is of high quality and optimized on its own (on page optimization). Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your efforts because in today’s ultra-competitive search environment, quality content reigns supreme.
As we have seen, these powerful off page SEO optimization techniques are easy to implement and can make a lot of difference in your long-term traffic and search results ranking. If you have other optimization techniques you want to share with the rest of us, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you.