Search engine optimization, SEO, is a key element of building a brand and creating a recognizable online presence. While SEO’s primary focus lies in practices used to increase a brand’s chances of surfacing amongst search engine queries, one cannot and should not ignore “off-page” SEO. Where traditional SEO works within a brands website to increase its overall SERP rating, off-page SEO works externally to achieve the same goal. Building links back to your site from other online sources, aka link building, is central of off-page SEO. One socialmedia today post on off-page SEO writes that “the only thing you can do outside your website is bring links back to it.”
The Introduction to Search Engine Optimization ebook contains an excellent chapter detailing techniques that should be kept in mind when working on one’s off-line brand building. Off-page SEO, more challenging than traditional on page SEO practices, necessitates the creation of relationships with other websites as well as the individuals who run them. The process known as link building includes three fundamental pieces: who is linking to you, how they are linking to you, and how your content is shared through social media across the web. Lets break down these three components and see what they really entail.
Who’s Linking to You?
- Determine what websites are already linking to you
- The more inbound links a website has, the more influence or authority it has.
- Not every link is created equal! One link from a major blog, publication, or educational website (ending in a .edu) could dramatically increase your brand’s authority.
How are they Linking to You?
- When possible, opt for the keyword-rich anchor text for a link that uses your domain.
- Use reciprocal links, but keep in mind that search engines recognize reciprocal links as such and may limit their overall value on a potential SERP.
- Paying others to link to you is bad business and prohibited by search engines. All paid links must include a no-follow tag, allowing search engines to discredit the links.
Spread Your Content!
- The amount of social network activity a webpage has, the better their ability to rank on the SERP.
- Make content easy to share by implementing social network sharing buttons throughout your site.
- Use email marketing but be weary of the multitude of other businesses doing the same. Make sure to have a clear message, or call-to-action, drive leads and convert them into customers, and lastly make email content easy to share.
Implementing the above strategies should be done after an online presence has already been created. And of course, this presence should be supplemented with an existence across the main social media networks. Social media accounts for the brand should be consistence and specific with the original website in message, especially with the use of key phrases and words. In a post about SEO basics, blogger Victoria Edwards reminds us to not forget to optimize our online presence for multi-channels with keyword-phrases. Platforms to keep in mind include:
- Off-line (TV/radio ads)
When building an brand presence, its just as important to consider off-page SEO as traditional on-page SEO. When used together, both strategies can dramatically increase a brand’s overall SERP rating.