*Updated for 2019*
When people hear the term “SEO,” odds are they probably think of on-page SEO. These days, it’s pretty common knowledge that you need to optimize your website if you want to rank highly in search engines.
However, even some professionals overlook the second component of search engine optimization–off-page SEO. No matter how perfectly planned your homepage is, you still won’t be ranked highly in Google unless you work on your off-page SEO.
Don’t let your website languish at the bottom of the search results page. Use this off page SEO checklist to get your strategy started.
You might be wondering why to even bother with off page SEO in the first place. Isn’t focusing on your own website enough work?
Quality search engine optimization does take a lot of time and focus, but the potential ROI is more than worth it. The same goes for off page SEO.
Off page SEO tells search engines that other people trust the information that’s on your site. That, in turn, helps it to believe that your site has valuable content, which helps to improve your rankings.
Without off page SEO, your website is missing the ‘trust’ element that will help to change its ranking from 15 to 1.
Your Must-Have Off Page SEO Checklist
Now that we’ve established why off page SEO is so important, let’s take a look at what you need to build an effective strategy. Many people just think of links, but a really stellar strategy will have multiple components.
1. A Fantastic Product
Yep, before we even talk about your website, let’s first take a look at what your company is offering.
Here’s the thing–you could have a flawless SEO strategy, but it won’t do you any good if people get to your website and don’t want what you’re offering. Once they’ve gotten to your website, you need to make sure you have a quality product or service to sell them.
How does this help with off page SEO? If you have a really great product, people are probably talking about it online–and linking back to your website to share with others.
2. Good Customer Service
These days, you never know what will go viral. This can either help or hurt your business depending on what message gets out there.
Good customer service both on and offline is an essential part of your business’ reputation. Take Chick-fil-A as an example. They’re well-known for their customer service both in the restaurant and online.
This has led to viral videos of cashiers using sign language for deaf customers, online memes about how great the customer service is, and–above all–lots of traffic and good PR for Chick-fil-A.
3. Active Social Media Accounts
The customers you want are probably on social media. Your business should be, too.
Social media marketing is its own field, but it’s very closely linked with SEO. Not only is social media an excellent place to link back to your website, but it’s also a way to interact with your customers.
This can help you build your brand reputation and customer loyalty, two important off-page SEO factors
4. Influencer Connections
While you’re managing your own social media accounts, see if you can leverage the massive reach of online influencers. Reach out to people who are giants in your field with well-respected opinions. If they get to know your content, they’re more likely to re-post it and promote your site to their audience.
In some cases, you can even enter into a formal partnership. You see this more often with YouTube or Instagram stars with millions of young followers.
Brand partnerships are lucrative for both the business and the influencer–the business gains access to a new audience and the influencer is able to earn some cash from their social media presence.
5. Focus on the Customer
Here’s a question you should always ask yourself when building or optimizing a website–am I thinking like the customer?
Are the keywords that you’re using something the customer would be searching in the first place? Are the elements of my website places a customer would logically look?
Research what your target audience needs. Understand where and how they’re sharing content. That will help you create the best strategy.
6. Optimized Internal Pages
As you begin to prep for the last item on our checklist, you need to make sure that you’re prepared to reap the benefits of all your hard work. Off page SEO will do you no good if your internal pages aren’t optimized, too.
You might just be focusing on a key page of your website, but neglecting other pages will only hurt your rankings. Do you have a blog post or a services page that you really want to rank well? You should be linking to it within your website.
This tells Google that the page is important, which then helps to boost your rankings.
Links may be last on our list, but they’re definitely not least important. Like we mentioned above, links help Google recognize that a page is important. Internal links are great, but inbound links help to establish you as an authority.
Don’t just post URLs everywhere and hope for the best–quality beats quantity here. Google can recognize spammy links. Try things like guest blogging or linking to other influential websites.
Just remember that while they’re an important part of off page SEO, you shouldn’t rely on links alone. Incorporating the off page SEO techniques above will help you out even more.
Grow Your Bottom Line
That first-page ranking doesn’t have to be elusive. With this off page SEO checklist, you’re setting yourself up for success. Don’t miss out on getting in front of your target audience.
Looking to learn more about SEO marketing? Need an experienced team to tell you where to start? You’re in the right place.
We’ll help you create a unique marketing strategy that puts money back into your pocket. Put your business on the map by getting in touch with us today.
President, Direction Inc.