Now that you have good competitive research, amazing content, and your on-page SEO is perfect, it is now time for off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is really where you put in a majority of the work once your site is optimized correctly.
I have stated this in the past, but SEO is like a popularity contest online. Search engines crawl the web and analyze the number and quality of backlinks to each website. The higher the number of relevant, quality backlinks to a given site normally means higher rankings. In a nutshell, the more backlinks your website has, the higher your rankings will be.
The term backlinks is nothing special.. It is just getting another website to link to your website. Plain and simple.
This is why I say it is an online popularity contest. The more backlinks you have pointing to your website, the higher your rankings (usually..). Backlinks are like online votes. A site linking to your website is telling search engines they vote for you.
That is a pretty high level way of thinking about it and there are tons factors that search engines take into consideration. It is also important to note, that search engines are getting smarter every day.
The reason I bring this up is because people try and out smart and game the search engines in order to get higher rankings. They do this in all kinds of different ways. A few examples include:
- buying backlinks
- spamming the internet to include thousands of backlinks on different websites
- creating networks of sites just to trade backlinks
These are just a few examples and I am trying not to get too technical, but just know that there are people that are constantly trying to game the search engines. The term used for this ranking strategy is called black-hat SEO.
If you have ever read or heard anything about people ‘losing their rankings because of Google algorithm changes’ it is mostly due to the backlink strategy those people have implemented. These people normally lose ranking because they are using black-hat SEO techniques.
This goes back to what I was saying about search engines getting smarter. They are constantly changing and can determine if you are trying to game the system. If they determine that your site is using bad SEO techniques they will remove your rankings.
My point is you must build backlinks the correct way. Taking shortcuts or using bad tactics may work right now, but don’t bet on them always working in the future.
So how do you off-page SEO correctly?
The short answer – build backlinks naturally.
Off-Page SEO the correct way
Building backlinks to your website takes time! The reason for this is because not every backlink is the same.
For example, lets look at two different local Fort Worth plumbers backlink profiles.
The first Fort Worth plumber, lets call him Bobs Plumbing has links to his business website from Facebook, Better Business Bureau, YellowPages, National Plumbing Association, BestFortWorthPlumbers.com, Plumbing.com.
The second Fort Worth plumber, lets call him Robs Plumbing has links to his business website from CircusAnimals.com, PetsInTheWild.com, NewYorkHandyman.com, PaintHouses.com, FootballIsGreat.com.
Looking at these two examples, which one would you think would do better in the search engines? If you were Google, which listing would rather show to people using your service?
Hopefully you said Bobs Plumbing.
The reason for this, is because Bobs Plumbing has relevant, quality links that point to his business website. Robs Plumbing has a horrible backlink profile. The links that point to his website are irrelevant to the services he offers and are not even in the same niche.
Again, not every backlink is the same.
So this brings up the question, “How do I build quality backlinks to my business website?”
The answer to this question is pretty simple, but to do better than your competitors you really need to get creative. Lets go over some of the obvious ways to build backlinks.
- Social Media Profiles – Yup, things like Facebook fan pages, business pages, Twitter profiles, Pinterest profiles, etc. These are all great backlinks for your site. Sign up for all the major social media sites, fill out your profile (100%), and be active on them.
- Remember that competitive research we did? Look at your competitors backlinks and see if you can get a backlink on the same sites!
- local chamber of commerce
- local Fort Worth bloggers
- niche directories
- submit guest posts on blogs that relate to your business
- sponsor local events
- build relationships with people in your same business in other cities/states
- create the best content in your industry as link bait
- answer online questions
- be active in forums
- supplier websites
These are just a handful of examples of ways to build backlinks to your website. I mentioned that you need to be creative because it is all about getting backlinks in unique ways. Ways that your competitors haven’t thought about yet.
Be the online leader in your market/niche!
This was a pretty long post about off-page SEO that mainly went over backlinks. If I missed something or if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.