[UPDATE: Though this post was written back in 2011 before the many Google SEO changes in 2012 and 2013, the content is still very relevant and will help you understand what is required for off-page SEO. Read with understanding!]
For over 3 weeks running we've been dealing with the very important topic of wordpress search engine optimization. However, much of what we have covered so far touched on what is commonly known as on-page seo techniques. In this article therefore we want to turn our attention to those seo techniques and tactics that happen outside your blog also known as off-page seo strategies.
Now, it must be pointed out that though on-page and off-page seo techniques are two sides of the same coin they are actually approached differently. You must understand is that while on-page seo is mostly under your control, off-page seo is not. The reason is because on-page seo happens on your blog and therefore can be easily manipulated by you but off-page seo happen outside your blog out of your control!
However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your off-page seo tactics produce the right results. But before touching on these things it is important that we have a clear understanding of what off-page seo really means.
What is off-Page SEO?
Here is my simple definition of off-page seo:
Off-page seo is a search engine optimization technique whereby you focus on building relationships between your blog and other blogs through links with the mind of enhancing your blog's search engine rankings in the SERPs.
The core of that definition can be simply rendered as, “building relationships with other blogs through links.”
Of course you know there are different forms of relationships being fostered online. Most of these are based on our interactions as humans using the social networking sites like twitter and facebook and through blogs or email. However, as much as these are useful to us as humans the online interactions between sites recognized by the search engines are the relationships based on the links between these sites.
The search engines places much value on these link relationships. For every inbound link pointing to your blog, the search engines count it as a vote for the quality of your content. It is a combination of these inbound links (votes for your content) and the on-page seo strategies (most of which we have touched in previous posts) that the search engines uses in ranking your blog in the SERPs.
The purpose of off-page seo therefore is to acquire as much inbound links as possible because the more inbound links your blog is able to acquire the more influence or authority it will have in the SERPs.
Off-Page SEO Techniques/Strategies
If you desire to effectively use off-page seo techniques to optimize your blog there are basically 3 things you must take into consideration . These are:
1. Who is linking to you?
2. How are they linking to you? and
3. How is your content being shared in the social networks and across the web?
1. Who Is Linking To You?
For sure, all links are not created equal. The reputation of the sites linking to your blog matters. For example, 30 inbound links from your friends’ blogs may be good but may not equate to just one link from a major publication or educational website. An educational website with a .edu domain or most of these major websites and blogs visited by millions of people every day provide more link juice than a simple blog that averages hundreds of traffic a month. Therefore a link from any of these major websites will give your blog more authority in the eyes of the search engines. Acquiring inbound links from such major sites and blogs should be something you will need to aim at.
Conversely, there are sites that you must avoid like a plague! These sites instead of helping your blog will only “tarnish” your blog’s image. Sites that fall into this category are content farms and adult sites (except you’re targeting that niche). A link from any of these sites is always a suspect to the search engines. It is simply a matter of birds of the same feather flocking together if you know what that means!
The bottom-line? Be careful of who is linking to you or who you link to!
2. How Are They Linking To You?
How are the links pointing to your blog built? As I said before, you have little or no control over much of these off-page seo techniques and strategies. However, one essential factor that you must seek to have control over is the anchor text with which other sites link to your blog.
For example, if your blog is about photography and you’re able to acquire a link back from another site in the same niche with an anchor text like “expert photography tips” you’ll be getting more relevancy for your blog with those keyword phrases than a link like “visit Chadrack’s blog here.”
It must be pointed out here that as much as the idea of reciprocal links is good their value is certainly not as good as a one-way link to your blog. Simply exchanging links with other blogs is not of much value when trying to optimize your blog with off-page seo strategies. The strategies you should concentrate more on are one-way links and not reciprocal links.
3. How Is Your Content Being Shared?
With the explosion of the social media sites like twitter, facebook Google+, LinkedIn and other social networks sharing content online, the search engines have begun to gauge the authority and influence of any site through the amount of social activities on that site. In this wise, the search engines now regard a blog or site with its content massively shared on the social networks as more influential than one without any shares.
Of course this is understandable. Or is it not because someone like some content that he/she shares such a content online? So, the search engines are only trying to mimic humans and reward such content with high rankings!
The good thing is that you can capitalize on this by implementing social network sharing buttons on your blogs and encourage your readers to share your content with their friends, just as I'm doing here! 🙂
With a wordpress blog this is really simple with a plethora of plugins available to do so. But don’t forget the fact that your blog readers will be more open to share your content if they find it both interesting and useful. So again, the onus falls on you to produce useful and interesting content.
Ok, I’m sure you’ll want us to continue with this, or don’t you? Not to worry we’ll continue with it in our next post. In that post we'll look at some practical ways of putting these off-page seo optimization techniques into action. Ensure you are here when that post is published. One way to ensure that is for you to subscribe for our free updates. You can do so using your RSS reader or by email in the box below.
Alright let me practice what I've been preaching here by asking you to help promote this article by sharing it with your friends and bookmarking it to your favorite social bookmarking sites. I’ll truly appreciate that. Ok, thank you for sharing!
Over to you: How much of off-page seo strategies are you implementing right now? On-page and off-page seo which one do you think a blogger should give more attention to? Let’s hear your voice in the comments below!