Off-Site SEO StrategyMediotype Off-Site SEO Strategy and Explanation
Many people forget to differentiate on-site from off-site SEO work. The two are for all purposes entirely different so it’s confusing why so many marketers seem to fail putting focus here. Now they may well be performing Off-Site SEO, but without having a separate strategy and focus on it, the two worlds can easily and erroneously be conjoined. Each area of off-site SEO needs to be understood and worked on in order to improve your overall rankings and site performance.
There is no need to fear link building. When it is done correctly and naturally, it is indistinguishable from good marketing. With that in mind you should continually attempt to receive quality inbound links from trusted websites that are relevant and related to your site. There are around 10 major factors that effect a Search Engines valuation of inbound links to a website to be aware of:
10 Points to Search Engine’s Valuation of Links
- Links higher up in HTML code carry more weight and only the first 100 links are viewed.
- External Links are still more influential than Internal Links.
- Links from Unique Domains are valued higher than those from previous linking sites.
- Links from highly trusted seed sites pass more value.
- Links found within unique and quality content pass more value than those in the footer, sidebar, or navigation.
- Keywords and links in HTML text pass more value than those in Alt Attributes of Linked Images.
- Links from more popular and trusted sites pass more value even when it’s from less important pages.
- Links contained within NoScript Tags Pass Lower Value.
- A burst of new links help enable a page to temporarily overcome other stronger sites and pages.
- If a page links to webspam, or another devalued site, other links on that same page, even legitimate ones, will be devalued as well.
Link Building Do's
- Link build. Just be mindful of the links you’re attempting to receive.
- Focus on distribution to trusted, quality, and related sites.
- Outreach and attempt to work with other websites to build links.
- Link Value = Quality Of Traffic. If you receive links from low quality sites, you will receive low quality traffic.
- Embrace No-follow links. Even though in the past receiving No-follow links was deemed worthless, they still provide a value. After all, it is still a clickable link to users; they just don’t pass link value.
Link Building Don'ts
- Beware of links you have control of. When doing guest blogging or something similar where you publish content on another websites, be mindful of the links you create, and especially the hypertext used for it. Don’t make them appear unnatural as they will be flagged and potentially devalued.
- Links that scale are those that become better over time as a webpage increases in value. However attempting to target low quality pages with hopes that they will get better is a fools bet. Focus on pages and websites you know are already doing well. Low quality pages are a dime a dozen and offer little real value. Taking the time to hand pick better ones is worth the extra effort.
- Never ask for specific anchor text. If another website is going to link to you, let them link to how they would naturally. Don’t have them attempt to stuff a specific keyword in where it would otherwise not make sense or fit.
- Be mindful of link placement, especially those that fall under the 101 + link position. If your single link is on a page wit 200 others, how useful is that link going to be there? This should also go without saying you should avoid having inbound links from most directories, and more specifically, link farms. These are carefully watched by search engines, and when they are found to be spammy, it brings into question all of the sites that were associated with it.
- Avoid inbound site wide links. Try to be specific and target links to desired landing pages when possible. Otherwise you will be dividing all traffic to various pages on a website, not pages that specifically matter to you.
Link Tracking and Maintenance
It is important to track all of the inbound links you’ve received. It is critical for understanding and maintaining inbound link quality. Perhaps you find that those who should be linking to you aren’t, or others that are linking to you shouldn’t be. For instance, perhaps you’ve done a trade where you offer bloggers products to review, you want honest reviews, and all you ask in return is a link pointing back to your site, preferably to the product page itself. But you realize that after they’ve published their review, whether good or bad, they didn’t include a link. Seeing as that was part of the agreement, making sure these links are included, and aren’t taken down over time, is important to maintaining your inbound link portfolio.
Another example would be finding that your site has been linked to from other more disreputable sites. Imagine if your store front for children’s boutique clothing had inbound links pointing to you from sex shops or porn sites. It’s not exactly the crowd you would like to be known to sort with. The biggest problem is anyone can link to your site, and to make matters worse, you have no control over it either. If you find that you are receiving some seedy links, the most you can do is contact the web master of the disreputable site and ask them to take it down, or set the link to no-follow. If they choose too blow you off, there is no course of action that can be taken.
Though, in the least you should inquire to find out if they’ll work with you. Some web masters understand and will be courteous while others will simply not care. But attempting to manage your inbound link profile is important either way, and you should routinely check in on it to see your standing.
In the past, Directory Submission sites, as honest as the name implies, were nothing more than link farms disguised as offering a useful service. For those that don’t know, a link farm is a web page created solely for the purpose of feeding link value to other sites. The link farm pages themselves would then receive traffic as they acted as a portal to certain industries almost like a search engine, save that the links are submitted and hand chosen, not shown based on an algorithm. Eventually they started to appear like Yellow Pages in a phone book, and in the end that was the idea. Once a directory submission site received enough traffic, they would then begin to charge for submissions (links) to be included on their site.
Now though Directory Submissions, on average, are pretty unreliable, there are still some for every industry that are worthwhile. You simply have to be careful when choosing to use one. Typically if the website looks trustworthy, and it’s a site you yourself would use as a resource, than by all means give it a shot. However, if it appears sketchy or untrustworthy in any way, steer clear. It’s better to be safe than sorry in these instances.
Local Places Management
Often time’s people believe that local listings are only important for businesses with brick and mortar storefronts. However this is simply not true. Google local places should be set for every business regardless of your industry or whether you have a physical location. It is especially important for local listings to be set when someone searches for your business specifically. You should obviously come up in search results, however it is also very powerful when your businesses local listing comes up. This provides another area for users to learn more about your business. Whether they want to quickly find an email address, phone number, physical address, or simply look to see some photos of your office or location. You can also give a little blurb about your business, which further helps establish trust with users.
In the end having a Google local listing helps to establish legitimacy, it makes clicking on your website more trustworthy. Furthermore, if you come up in a search result as well as have a local listing, you’re appearing multiple times on a page. To make this even more effective, if you come up in AdWords as well, you will be showing viewers that for a specific search query, you are the trusted source to click on.
Often times you may find that your websites organic and direct traffic is a bit slow, or you may want to generate more profitable leads to specific landing pages. In these instances, paying for traffic is an excellent option. With paid marketing online, you don’t necessarily have to throw heaps of money into oblivion hoping to see results. With every penny spent, you can track its ROI. Every view, impression, click, and conversion is accounted for and the money you spend can be finely tuned to target specific users and demographics.
10% of all users who make searches online actually click on an ad. That number may sound dreadfully low, but there are two important points to keep in mind. One is that click-advertisements, unless a user clicks on your ad, your account is not charged. This means free exposure in the least, and a potential sale if the ad is actually clicked. The second point is that users who click on ads have a much higher likelihood of making a purchase as these users specifically have a high commercial intent. Roughly 65% of users who click on ads are actually looking to make a purchase.
If you are looking to increase site impressions, brand exposure, and traffic… you must definitely consider using paid marketing, and more specifically Google’s AdWords. When using Google AdWords, there are a few key areas to be aware of:
- YouTube Ads
- Text Ads
- Display Network Ads
- Product Listings
- Bid Optimization
- Ad Copy Refinement
- Keyword Targeting and Refining
- Landing Page Correlation for Quality Score
These are the major overarching points to Google AdWords, however each area takes time and patience to understand and use efficiently. Depending on ones budget, there are a number of solutions available and by no means does everything have to be done. For most, text ads, display network ads, and product listings are sufficient. In time, and upon success, better ads can be crafted, with other options becoming available.
Social Media is to content what SEO is to a website. It promotes it. Now you might think, “Well shouldn’t Social Media promote my website?” The answer is yes, however, your website is made up of nothing but content. Therefore it is the content being promoted… not your websites. Now the next question you might have is, “Well shouldn’t Social Media promote my products or services?” The is answer is no, not entirely.
Social Media is two words. One, Social, means to share, talk, chat, laugh, sigh, and cry…. In short to communicate. The second, Media, means content of some form; videos, imagery, audio, games, tools, widgets, interactive devices, etc. So Social Media then should mean, the sharing and discussing of content. Now that content can be promotional, meaning you are trying to sell something. But fundamentally, Social Media is not meant, nor expected, to act as a direct funnel for sales. Social Media is meant to be used as a social interactive device. It enhances your ability to engage with your customers and potential customers. Furthermore, you can even engage with competitor’s customers, and people you would never have the opportunity to interact with. In short, Social Media is Social, not promotional.
Social Media can result in direct sales and indirect sales if used correctly. You simply have to be clever and tread lightly. You would hate to be viewed as an annoyance, blasting people with ads, rather than being viewed as an informational, educational, or entertainment source. Social Media is best at promoting brand awareness and helping to keep your business in the forefront of consumer’s minds. This point cannot be underestimated. Imagine why after 100 years, and the whole world knowing their brand, Coca-Cola continues to remind you that they exist. It’s not because you’ve never heard of them, or that you haven’t tried their product. It’s that they don’t want you to forget… if even for a day.
Beyond branding, you are able to shape and form brand image with Social Media. You can determine the exact light you will be viewed in based on how you promote yourself. The words you use, the jokes you crack, the images shared, and information given all dictate how you are viewed. Further still, when users engage with you, and you engage back… this action stands out more in the mind of a user than anything else. Often times Social Media can feel like shouting into a vast void. But when people interact and engage with one another, there are bonds formed and impressions made. Be sure you make the right impression to your users.
Content may now be king, but that’s only after Email Marketing had been dethroned. Over the years, email marketing has taken on a rather nefarious and sinister character. You often hear horror stories of failure, mishaps, and shortcomings. Though, this is mostly the fault of marketers as it’s a poor workmen who blames his tools. Email Marketing is itself not to blame for it’s poor performance, because for those who use it correctly it is still alive and well, despite the slander people throw at it. The biggest issue, as with anything, is that Email Marketing is not used properly by most. How many Spam emails do you receive daily? Why are you on those spammy emailing lists anyways? Chances are you were forced to sign up for, or didn’t notice the option to unsubscribe, when installing, signing up for, or using some service.
If you ever wonder why Email Marketing statistics are so poor and low, first look at what exactly it is you are emailing, and second look at whom you are emailing to. If the content within the email is high quality and the people receiving it actually want to see this information (meaning they willingly signed up to receive it), than why would the email campaigns performance be sub-par? It shouldn’t be. Performance on Email campaigns should, ideally, be much better than most campaigns are able to achieve. If you offer a free service people want, whether for it’s usefulness or enjoyment, why wouldn’t that service be used?
When answering all of these questions, the absolute most important factor to keep in mind is user intent. Understanding what people signing up for your email expect will greatly help you to create content that is enticing and engaging.