Off-Page SEO: What Your Website Promotion Is Missing
Let’s start with explaining what SEO actually means. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about raising your website to a better organic or unpaid position on search engines for certain relevant phrases. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your website appears on the first page of results, in the top three organic listings (beneath the paid advertisements). There are two forms of SEO: On-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is the steps used to optimise a webpage you are creating. Until recently, on-page SEO was considered all you needed to do to get results. However, recently there has been a shift towards a balance of both techniques. Off-page SEO refers to all the actions that are required to promote your website’s organic position that take place away from your website.
SEO is not a static activity which achieves quick results. Sometimes it can take anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months or even a year to see the difference your work has made to your search engine ranking. And even if you do manage to improve your website’s position, it is not time to get complacent, as there are thousands of competing websites all vying to get to the first page of search results.
This means SEO is an ongoing activity which needs to become a part of what you do.
Since the vast majority of English speaking country searches are done on Google, we follow the best practice as laid down by Google in this article. Russia and China distort the world search data a bit as they don’t use Google that much but the main thing is that for most of the world, Google Algorithms dominate and guide what SEO principals we follow.
Increasingly, leading SEO experts advocate having a two-pronged approach for better success: utilising both on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
We have been looking at two companies in the USA in particular which are leading the way: Brian Dean from Backlinko and Neil Patel from NeilPatel.com. Both of these companies, and more particularly Brian and Neil have done huge amounts of work to shine a light on ethical ‘white hat’ SEO.
Here is the thing. Many SEO companies place a shroud of secrecy over what they do.
They may subcontract work out to get articles written by third parties. They may engage in dubious ‘black hat’ back-linking. Others might produce spam like pages and text. Some engage in coding to trick Google in ranking a specific website more prominently. A lot of the work is done under a cloak of secrecy and mystery. Because the SEO industry is not regulated, we feel there are more cowboys in this industry than in most other places.
Think about it this way. It’s a bit like there is a whole army of SEO service providers constantly trying to outwit Google on behalf of the websites of their clients! Quite often with these ‘black hat’ SEO techniques there is a significant short term improvement in your website page ranking results, only to be followed with a slow and steady decline over time.
In the process, things like skills, proper service provision, value, and satisfying customer needs are often forgotten. Google, on the other hand, is fighting back against these techniques by continually updating and creating more dedicated algorithms to deal with spamming, poor content quality and ‘black hat’ back-links.
Ultimately, if you want to ensure the long term success of your website, do not engage in unethical ‘black hat’ SEO methods, as you will be caught out and penalised by Google.
It is time to let off-page SEO marketing be done by knowledgeable Marketing specialists.
Let us explain.
Most companies understand that to get to the organic first page on Google is very important. To do this is becoming harder every day. Online competition has just exploded in the last few years. Keep in mind that aside from Google My Business listings, there are only 10 available organic listings on each page. You want to be on page one and really in the at least one of the top three organic listings. After the third position, visitors lose attention and are much less likely to click on your website.
Case study of many unhappy SEO clients:
Some SEO experts will get you to sign a contract whilst others do not. We believe you should stay out of any contractual arrangement as most clients do not understand Search Engine Optimisation well enough to make a value for money decision.
Being stuck with an unsatisfactory SEO service provider has led to so many disillusioned SEO sceptics. With a lot of fan-fare they start making changes to your website, linking to Social Media, setting up Google Analytics, doing keyword research, optimising pages on your website. Then, after a couple of months with no or little contact, the client is ready to pull the plug.
What has gone wrong?
Some SEO companies will pretend to do a lot of work and actually do very little. Many of these companies have too many clients and you will often only hear back from them when you complain. These companies won’t take the time to learn what makes your company different. Nor will they make an effort to write quality content for your website. Their efforts are as effective and empty as this table.
Other SEO service providers may be trying hard but not using the latest ‘best practise’ techniques. Their on-page techniques may be dated or they might even use third party ‘black hat’ back-link builders. Some may neglect website promotion altogether. Google has moved on and they have not. SEO businesses are not in an industry where many of the practices of 5 years ago will still work effectively today.
Then there are some quality SEO providers. They have predominantly technical staff. Many of these employees may not always understand how to deliver quality customer service. They focus on doing great work but forget how to stay in touch with their clients. Their SEO actions and good results are not conveyed properly to clients. Even though they do a very good job, their client retention is poor. They quite often will be viewed negatively by some ex-clients even though their work was of high quality.
The reason they get it wrong?
They don’t understand the importance of regular good communication, clever persistent marketing and quality customer service. These three aspects are vital for client retention in virtually any industry.
What makes us different?
We are a boutique specialised company with only two members of staff. Our aim is to never take on more work than we can handle. We may subcontract some work out – nobody is an expert at everything that they do.
You would deal directly with educated marketers who own their company. Part of our unique approach is to study a prospective client’s products/services and their competitive trading environment. One happy client is of more value to us than 10 unhappy clients.
Our SEO strategies are designed to stand the test of time.
We provide great content web page production, ‘white hat’ gradual link-building and above all, effective marketing.
We want as many eyeballs on your website as possible. Our aim is to get more people to bookmark your site, more people that comment and review, more people that refer and link to your website. When you get these things right, your website will most likely get a good deal more traffic. Increased traffic leads to more enquiries, which can lead to more customers. We want our SEO work to be of lasting value.
All our SEO activities that we undertake on your behalf are transparent at all times. We let our clients know what we are doing to promote their website. We invite them to take part in the process every step of the way. No secrets. Just great content creation and constant marketing. It leaves you in a better position to determine whether you are getting value from our services.
We understand what it’s like to run your own business.
We understand that budget pressures and unforeseen circumstances will affect you from time to time.
For this reason, we allow you much greater flexibility to adjust how much work we do for you at times. Our focus is on you and your business. Our philosophy is that by having consistently great communication, quality customer service and effective online marketing practises, we are able to keep you satisfied that your business is in capable hands.
What do we do?
We study you and your trading environment.
We look at your website and talk to you about what you sell. Part of this discussion will cover aspects related to your profitability and current marketing practices.
We will help you focus on your current market location and how to plan for future expansion.
We also deal with customer profiling to identify your ideal target market. This phase of our investigation is crucial to get the most out of your company’s marketing strategy.
Conducting keyword research is crucial for both on-page and off-page SEO.
Extensive keyword research is the starting point of all online marketing. Don’t make the rookie mistake of trying to generate search traffic for one word. We will help you generate traffic with the optimisation of medium and longer tail keywords that will drive traffic to your website. One of the key foundations of SEO is keyword research. SEO companies that are unable to find the right appropriate and relevant keywords for their clients client that rank well, are destined to do poorly. Bad foundations lead to poor SEO and to client cancellation.
To do thorough keyword research, we will need to investigate your company, goods and/or services you offer, and your target market. The first objective is to get some generic ‘seed’ keywords and then to brainstorm related medium and longer tail keywords based off this.
For example, assume that one generic keyword is ‘carpet cleaning’.
The related search areas could be:
‘How to maintain carpets’
‘Keeping carpets clean’
‘Removing pet odour from carpet’
‘Removing stains from carpets’
From here we are then able to develop longer tail keywords like:
‘Carpet cleaning maintenance’
‘Pet odour carpet cleaning’
‘Carpet cleaning stain removal tips’
Something else that we would recommend is using the Google suggestions at the bottom of the search results to gain more keyword inspiration.
Still using the same example, you could type in ‘carpet cleaning’ into Google. Here’s what would be displayed at the bottom of Google search on the first page.
Searches related to carpet cleaning:
carpet cleaning sydney
carpet cleaning prices
carpet cleaning melbourne
jim’s carpet cleaning
carpet cleaning tips
carpet cleaning machines
carpet cleaning diy
carpet cleaning hire
Filter the ones that do not apply out of search options.
In this example, we will choose the keyword ‘carpet cleaning Sydney’ and click this phrase. Then we will see the following:
Searches related to carpet cleaning Sydney:
carpet cleaning sydney reviews
carpet cleaning sydney inner west
carpet cleaning sydney deals
carpet cleaning sydney pet urine
cheap carpet cleaning sydney
steam carpet cleaning sydney
carpet cleaning sydney northern beaches
carpet cleaning sydney budget
From these, we may select the keyword ‘carpet cleaning pet urine’.
Searches related to carpet cleaning pet urine:
best carpet cleaning machine for pet urine
nature’s miracle urine destroyer
pet stain remover
carpet cleaning dog urine old stains
pet carpet cleaner
As you can see, we are now quite far from the original seed keyword. Many keyword search term appear that we will then explore further.
Many great medium/longer tail keywords suggestions have appeared in this exercise. Be aware that you should have a balance between keywords with information bias and keywords where the purchase intent is pursued.
Compare “carpet cleaning tips” + “carpet stain removal guide” (which have an informative slant) with “carpet cleaning discount” and “carpet cleaning special offer” (which have a sales slant).
It is our opinion that a truly effective SEO campaign has to have quality landing pages for both of these types of keywords. Information type keywords might attract more traffic but convert less into sales, whilst the call to action sales keywords may attract less visitors but have a far superior conversion rate.
The implications for off-page SEO…
Having an extensive keyword list will help not only with creating unique quality content for on-page SEO, but also with off-page SEO.
Using the keyword data, you can more easily identify associated niche bloggers and influencers for the purpose of “white hat” link building. You can strike up a conversation with them in a comment on their website or in an email. From there, you can ask them if they would take a look at your webpage. If they like it, they will share it without being asked.
Tips for off-page SEO
Off-page SEO is about the promotional activities that need to be conducted to gather interest in your webpage.
This involves engaging with your customers and prospects on various platforms. Social media is one aspect which encompasses use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn among others. Often small businesses either don’t have a company account or simply struggle to generate any interest from followers. Unfortunately there is no magic solution, especially as Facebook is increasingly making it difficult for business’ content to be seen by those who have ‘liked’ the page.
Of the various off-page SEO tools you can use, arguably the two most popular are: the effective use of LinkedIn and gaining legitimate links with bloggers in related fields.
LinkedIn works particularly well for off-page SEO for B2B customers. As LinkedIn is largely used by business people, you can form connections in forums and become part of the community by providing free advice. If the people like what you say, they will pursue you for more information about how you can help them. Avoid direct selling as your presence and expert advice is more subtle and effective over time.
Off-page SEO is not a quick activity. It requires time, research and planning. Once you have a fantastic webpage which looks nice, you need to promote it effectively.
Another key aspect of off-page SEO is finding broken links on other websites with a similar topic. Once you have found such an example, you can reach out to the referring domain or website manager to suggest they replace the link with your similar link. They will often appreciate you discovering the link and helping them to fix it.
Things to beware of…
Don’t build dodgy back-links.
Link building should be a gradual process. Getting 20 good quality links from high quality associate sites (like wikipedia.com) is much better than 100 links from websites with no local or industry alignment.
There should a natural look and connection with the links. A mix of good links with some less relevant links can help to authenticate your website.
We recommend that you avoid link farms like the plague. Websites will be penalised in instances where Google detects click farm activity.
Although some SEO professionals favour buying links from places like Fiverr.com, we again will not take part in this artificial process. Our back-link building is visible and transparent for all to see in our Webmaster tools section. We have no secrets and no surprises. We cannot control every backlink to your website but our back-link building is to drive real traffic with commercial potential to your landing pages.
We will be encouraging you to get your own backlinks from friends, competitors and suppliers. Our goal is that you learn as much as you can about the process of quality on-page and off-page SEO to succeed.
We won’t stop there either. We provide a wide range of quality online marketing services for small businesses. And the best part for you? We don’t make you sign a contract, so the pressure is on us to get you results!