Off-Page SEO techniques for small business websites in Toronto & Durham Region.
“Off-Page SEO” refers to any external factors used to get higher rankings for web pages, like social media, citations and backlinks.
OK, so you’ve heard about off-page SEO, but wonder what it is, how to do it and, more importantly, how YOU might be able to do some of it and save yourself a bit of cash in the process. Read on.
In today’s online world, simply having a website – as wonderful as it might be – is not even close to being enough. Social media rules and there are a host of other competitive advantages you can utilize as well to help your website rank higher overall. Why is everything more difficult than it used to be, you ask? There are two main reasons, one of which being that this is how things have evolved. The other reason, sadly enough, is because the spammers forced it to be this way.
Google, in its infinite wisdom, has focused on ‘encouraging’ websites to promote real, relevant content that is shared by others. Similar to the concept of backlinking, ‘social shares‘ are the current gauge when ranking a website and these can come from a variety of sources.
Off-Page SEO factors are an ongoing battle.
These days, you won’t get much out of your overall SEO strategy if you aren’t putting in the effort, so here’s a quick-list of free things you can do right away:
Reach out to other websites.
Find some blogs or websites that you know are considered “authoritative” and see if they will link to your content directly. Most won’t, but it’s worth a shot and you will real get real results if any of them do.
Get listed in decent directories.
There are still some good directories out there that Google won’t punish you for being included in, so find at least one that makes sense for your company or brand and get yourself listed. Yelp.ca comes to mind, but you already knew that, right?
Create a network of relevant websites.
Easier said than done, but there really is power in numbers and, since not everyone can have all of the business anyway, it might be in your interests to find others who are in the same “space” as you and help one another out. This can be a bit tricky as not everyone tends to share the sandbox as fairly as the others, but it might be worth a try.
Create some videos.
If people can post crappy and relatively useless videos about nothing that really matters, so can you. Except that your topic does matter and you actually have something to say, right? Whatever you do, be sure to brand it and create your own channel where you can keep anything you post all in one place.
Leave comments on relevant blog posts.
It’s a small thing, but it’s free and you’ve probably been reading their posts anyway, right? Contribute in a meaningful way, providing insights or helpful suggestions and be sure to leave a link to your website along the way. Flattering the author or owner of the website never hurts, but try to take it easy and don’t over-do it.
Join some message boards.
Message Boards and forums might “seem so 1998”, but a lot of like-minded people use them and you should be able to find something that suits your website’s theme or topic. Don’t spam them, but instead contribute in a meaningful way and you might just find a trove of support waiting to be unleashed your way.
Important: Some people on message boards love to argue incessantly, so don’t get baited by them and remember why you’ve gone there in the first place: to promote your website.
Join Facebook, & Twitter, & LinkedIn, & Google+, & Yelp, &…
Yep, join as many of the social sites as you reasonably can and then create some really good content for your website that people might link to or share. Be sure to complete your profiles and also add social share buttons on your website for people to click.
Post on Kijiji.
Personally, I never thought I’d see the day when the free classified websites would outdo anything, but I’m sure you’ve seen it come up at the top of the search engine results and it’s worth using to advertise your products and services. Now, your particular items probably won’t be put up-front, but the website as a whole has a lot of sway and anyone searching in your category might find them.
Important: Your ads will move down the page as newer ads are posted (and onto the second and third pages just as quickly). Because of this, you will need to be very active and keep re-posting on an almost daily basis. If you have the time, go for it. Or just give it to your kids to do on your behalf.
Get listed on Wikipedia.
As the number one reference site in the world, getting listed on Wikipedia would be the mother-lode of all backlinks. Then again, just about everyone knows this and they’re all either trying to get listed or have already tried and failed. And for good reason.
Wikipedia is well aware of their influence and the guidelines for listings are very strict. Feel free to check them out, but don’t be too disappointed if you don’t qualify. Most don’t.
And now you know what what Off-Page SEO is all about and how you can implement it into your own SEO strategy.
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