Off page SEO is really all about getting incoming links—particularly high-quality links containing your goal keywords. Nothing else matters because links and keywords are the only things search engines understand.
What Off Page SEO Does For You
Incoming links can drive traffic directly to your site, but they also help tell search engines that someone thinks your site is valuable enough to warrant a visit.
Google famously used links to develop their initial PageRank algorithm which made them the billion-dollar company they are today. The more links you had, the higher you ranked in the early Google search results.
Today Google filters links to penalize sites for linkbuildng for SEO which appear to be buying incoming links. But there are still a bunch of easy ways to get people to link to your site so you rank higher in the Google search results.
Before You Get Incoming Links
Before you start trying to get incoming links to your website, it’s useful for you to create a incoming link strategy for your off page SEO.
Similar to your strategy for on-page SEO, you want to focus on keywords. Small sites should often focus on long-tail keywords for which they can easily rank.
When seeking links from other sites, you want them to link to you using your top keyword terms. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword phrase, “king of the mountain”, make sure you ingrain that keyword in the heads of anyone who might link to your page.
Three easy ways to get people to follow your off page SEO plan are:
1. Make sure your keyword phrase appears on the title of pages on your site. (You should be doing this anyway.) Many people who link to your site will link to it using the title of the article to which they link. For example, if the title of your article is, “How to win king of the mountain” their link will also say, “how to win king of the mountain.”
2. Repeat the keyword phrase in your article, especially in grammatically strong locations such as the beginning or ends of sentences, paragraphs, and sections. For example consider the following two sentences, one weak and one strong:
1. I used to love to play king of the mountain with my friends when I was a young boy.
2. King of the mountain was a game I used to love to play when I was a young boy.
3. Ask people to use your keyword when linking to your article. If a high-value site links to you, it may be worth it to send them an email asking them to change the link text (anchor text) to your keyword phrase. Most high-value sites know how off page SEO works and they’ll be happy to help you with such an easy request. On the other hand, you can subtly ask your readers directly to link to you using a particular keyword phrase. For example: “If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to tell other people about king of the mountain.”
Get Your Onpage Turned On
As I mentioned above, to get people to follow your Offpage SEO goals, you need to make it a clear choice for them. What is Offpage SEO without on-page being sorted out first? What is the point of going to all the effort of targeting keywords from beyond if your content does not follow up along the same line.
What if you are great at Off page SEO but when the visitor lands on your site they are bitterly disappointed with the quality of your content? Oh no how sad. All the work you have done on your Offpage SEO suddenly slides down the drain.
The only way for you to get your Offpage rocking is to make sure you have the entire package completed. NO I am not just saying that quality content alone will do the trick, because it won’t! Content is not the only king so do not make this the center of your world.
Creating a successful WordPress website is a lot like creating a successful meal, lets say a beef lasagne. One ingredient is not going to make this meal taste nice. You need all of the ingredients to create the finished product. Of course you can make variations of the meal but nevertheless we need more than one ingredient to get great results. This applies to building a successful website also.
So great content will not suffice, nether will great Offpage SEO alone or onpage SEO, it is a package deal. I like to start with great content, do on-page SEO with the best SEO plugin (SEOPressor of course), then perform Offpage SEO that directly relates to everything I have already done.
5 Ways To Attract Links
The easiest way to get incoming links is by guest posting, which means offering to write posts on other people’s blogs in exchange for a link back to your site.
Guest posting is a great way to appear on a high-value blog, but it’s a terrible long-term strategy for most people because writing posts for other people is a time-consuming process and the value of a single link to your site is rarely worth that much of your time.
An easier way to get links—and possibly a whole bunch of them—is through link bait. Link baiting is a little dangerous as an off page SEO technique because you’ll have no control over who will link to you or what keyword they’ll use, but it can be an effective technique.
The bait in link baiting is often a controversial statement which other people will want to support or refute on their own blogs. For example: “King Of The Mountain Kills 20 Kids A Year In U.S.”
Link bait has three complications:
1. You need an audience for it to work. If nobody reads your link bait, nobody will link to it.
2. It can alienate your audience if they think you’re cruel or stupid.
3. Publishing too much link bait will drive away any audience which values calm, reasonable posts.
The third off page SEO technique you can use to attract links is multiple media, such as YouTube and social media. Videos on YouTube and posts on social media accounts will let you link back to your site from high-value web properties.
Be careful not to spend too much time on these sites unless you have lots of video views or followers, because the search engines won’t give you extra points just for repeating your site URL over and over. (Not for SEO anyway)
The fourth tool in your off page SEO tool bag is linking to other people. The old expression that you get what you give applies to the Internet.
I highly recommend that you frequently link to other sites. They’ll see that you link to them and they may follow up by reading your site. Anyone who reads your site and likes it may link back to it in the future, giving you a high-quality organic link.
The last tool we’ll discuss today for off page SEO is finding link partners. These are people in your niche or in a related niche who will link to your site on a regular basis if you link to their site also on a regular basis.
Google and other search engines give the most credit to sites which get repeated links from other sites, not just one single spurious mention.
Please note: It is not easy to know if Google thinks a link you give to someone is ok or not so be careful. I guess the safest way to link to something that is external is to nofollow it.
Improving your ranking in the search engine results is easy: attract high-quality links containing your target keywords and you’ll win at off page SEO. Also for more help please see my SEO Checklist.