5 Off-Page SEO Best Practices to Build Your Reputation Online

Google and other search engines traditionally place websites with content they consider to be most relevant to searchers at the top of their search results.

To hit that position at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) takes quite a bit of work. You have to convince the search engines that your site has something that people crave.

And off-page search engine optimization, or SEO, plays a key role in this.

Off-page SEO: what does it entail?

Every activity outside the site itself that helps improve how the website ranks on SERPs is off-page SEO.

While many people think about off-page SEO in terms of inbound links and the processes of generating them, off-page SEO entails more than link building. It includes but is not limited to:

  • Social media activity
  • Paid advertising
  • Relationships with influencers
  • Positive portrayal in the press
  • Guest posting on popular, relevant blogs
  • Positive reviews that you earn
  • Response to negative reviews

These practices aim to gradually increase positive brand mentions and quality backlinks, with the eventual aim of boosting search rankings, inbound traffic and conversions.

1. Start with excellent product or service to hook prospects

A good product sells by itself as soon as prospective users encounter it.

When you take an excellent product to market, your SEO job becomes much easier. People only need to recognize your product as top of the range and they will want to buy it.

This results in increased visits to your website and increased sales of the product.

Normally, such a product tends to attract a lot of positive reviews both on the site and on third-party websites. Needless to mention, positive reviews on third party websites boost off-page SEO tremendously.

The more positive reviews your product or service gets the better your chances of ranking highly.

Ranking higher on SERPs often attracts more traffic, which may significantly increase your click-through rates.

Percentage of Traffic by Google Results PositionThe beautiful thing is that with a great product or service, users who discover you after clicking your site’s URL on SERPs are likely to recommend your offerings both offline and online, creating more brand mentions online.

Google and other search engines will treat these mentions across the world wide web as votes for your brand.

In this manner, creating an excellent product or service creates a cycle of events that spiral into better search rankings, more inbound traffic, higher conversion rates and increased sales.

Since every event in the cycle leads to the other, it will only regenerate itself and render continuous positive results.

Remember that creating an excellent product or service won’t be a walk in the park since everyone is working hard to be the best. But it’s possible with a good strategy and the right information.

One key area you may explore is to improve the existing product. Do your homework to find out what features customers are most interested in but are currently lacking, then step in to provide them in your version of the product or service.

Existing customer complaints and requests on competing products can be a great source of information for this strategy.

Alternatively, you may come up with a completely new product based on the same existing customer requests and complaints.

The idea is to fill a void with a product or service that benefit the customer in ways that have not been before.

2. Develop quality content and experiment with different content types

Quality content is the cornerstone of any SEO activity – off-page or on-page notwithstanding.

You need great content to be able to establish mutually beneficial relations with other industry players, which is an essential component of off-page SEO.

Search engines like Google will consider content alongside what other people and pages are saying about your brand to rank your website.

When it comes to off-page SEO, think about content holistically as the total experience that your brand creates, projects and shares across its online presences. This includes slogans, logos, signage, articles, images and videos relating to your brand.

It’s important that you focus on the broader aspect of content.

Quality content should include images, graphics and video, not just text. Be sure to experiment with various content forms to see what drives the most engagement.

As it is, images and videos can be a massive boon to your site’s off-page SEO as they tend to drive high levels of engagement.

Video drives up to 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs according to Brightcove.

Tweets with images are likely to receive 150% more retweets compared to those without images.

On Facebook, a post with images will earn 2.3 times more engagement than a post without images.

Both videos and images can be low-cost, high-impact vehicles for driving engagement and generating inbound traffic. Here’s some heads-up on how to go about it.

  • Share recaps or interesting reviews of recent events on Facebook Live. You will likely reach a huge section of your target audience since 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos every week.
  • Upload how-to videos on YouTube about 3 times a week. YouTube records up to 70% “how to” searches each year, and the number continues to rise.
  • Keep tweeting videos of interesting things that you encounter throughout the day, as social video generates 1200% more shares than images and text combined.

These are all things that you can do on the road, mostly from your smartphone.

Even better, images and video allow you to show quite a bit of personality which sits well with most audiences. People tend to relate more easily with a brand that feels real and personable.

When people can relate with your brand, they will naturally want to learn more about it, and that can significantly drive traffic back to your website – a score for your off-page SEO campaigns.

3. Strive to provide unbeaten customer service

You are looking for as many positive brand-mentions as possible – keep this at the back of your mind.

You cannot control what people think or say about you. Yet sadly, your off-page SEO success depends on it.

On the brighter side, you can influence what people think and say about you online.

If you sit back and do nothing, they will not discover you and thus will not mention you. You will remain unpopular.

But once you come into the limelight, it better be for the good reasons. One way to give people something positive to say about your brand is by offering them great customer service.

People like to spread the news – when it’s so good and when it’s so bad. You cannot afford to be at the receiving end of the latter. With good customer service, you will succeed in giving them great experience that they will want to go around sharing.

Often, when shoppers or customers share good news about your brand, they are subtly marketing you. They are telling their friends and family to also use your product or service.

To benefit your brand, focus on converting everyone who uses your products or services into a brand ambassador. Give then reason not just to come back, but to come back with others.

There are many ways to go about this. Nonetheless, start with perfect grammar on each content you post online. Nothing can be a bigger turn-off than bad grammar.

Then enrich your blog posts and articles or videos with valuable information. This is in line with Google’s semantic search while also helps satisfy user’s needs for information.

Do your research thoroughly and ensure you share something that benefits your audiences.

One other major step in the right direction is to provide a perfect mobile experience. More people now browse the web using their mobile devices and so it’s extremely important to optimize for mobile first.

4. Focus on building relationships, not backlinks when guest blogging

While many SEOs solely target backlinks when guest blogging, it’s not the best approach to take.

Guest blogging with the sole intent of building backlinks can lead to sharing of poor quality content that does not sit well with industry experts.

Yet websites that accept guest posts are a great place to position yourself as an authority in your area or practice. It is best therefore to focus your attention on building a rapport with leading editors, publishers, brands and industry influencers.

People in any of these categories will be more inclined to work with you if they see that you have something valuable to offer. People want mutually beneficial relationships and not just transactional ones.

Such relations can go a long way in generating positive reviews and endorsements for your brand.

With a good approach, you not only will manage to get the links you need, you also will succeed to get positive brand mentions, which Google and other search engines regard very highly.

How do you achieve such relations?

Don’t be selfish. Read other people’s posts on these sites and leave constructive comments on these people’s blogs.

Consider approaching different publishers and inquire about creating guest posts for their platforms. That door may not open in some cases, but you’ll certainly be able to develop a rapport with most of them simply by the fact that you took the plunge.

Most of the industry players that you approach will develop interest in what you have to offer and some will accept to work with you.

Being able to write quality content by itself will open many doors for you and position you as a source of value.

With more influence, you get more attention, site visits, and more people start to mention you and your business across the internet.

Guest posting can be a very powerful tool if approached this way. It helps you build up a bigger audience for yourself, and some of the people who discover you through the guest websites end up on your own website, find valuable content there, and eventually link to it.

5. Establish a responsive presence on social media

Once you’ve created a Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter handle and probably more presences on other social networks, it’s important to be active on them.

People ask questions on social networks all the time. When they do, they expect you to be there to engage them.

On Twitter for instance, 72% of consumers expect your business to respond to their complaints within an hour.

They won’t always be complaining. Some of them post questions regarding your offerings. They want to know more about your product or service.

By responding promptly, you not only encourage them to go deeper in your sales funnel, but also benefit others who were interested in the same information but were unwilling to ask. A lot of them may therefore be encouraged to visit your site to learn more.

So, to make the most of your social networks;

  1. Be proactive. Regularly post valuable information that prospective users may be interested in. Do some research and share the information with your fans in form of videos, images and text posts.
  2. Be there. You may set posts to go out automatically on your social media pages. However, be sure to have someone monitor the activity and interact with the people and answer their questions – it pays off.
  3. Be human: Avoid offering pre-programmed responses to all questions. Each new interaction is unique and should be treated as such.
  4. Build networks with online influencers

There are people who have a lot of influence on the social media. You can tell this by the number of fans and followers they have and how actively the fans engage with their social media posts.

These are mostly bloggers and other popular personalities. Whether it is Instagram, Facebook or other networks, endorsement from such opinion shapers can give your brand a huge leg up.

You can leverage their networks by approaching them to directly or indirectly endorse your products or services.

Suppose you sell a form of tea or coffee for instance, a mere video of these person drinking the tea or coffee can spike interest in it. A huge section of their followers may start searching for your brand on the internet to try out the product.

If it is a cloth line you’re dealing in, they may wear it, take a photo or video with it and upload to their social media pages.

Their followers will become interested in the garment and look for your brand.

Alternatively, these influencers may take a more active route by vocally recommending the product to their users, providing them with reasons why they should use it and where to get it.

Whichever approach you take, establishing and nurturing relationships with influencers can be a powerful bonus to your off-page SEO campaigns.

Wrap-Up

The list of off-page SEO best practices can be much longer. To delve into all of it in details can turn this article into a huge eBook. Since that was not the original intention of this write-up, we have provided the few that are apparently in the can’t-miss category. Hope you enjoy.