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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Understanding Off-Page SEO

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Off-Page SEO is about building online authority, digital reputation, and trust for your website. The quantity, quality, and relevance of the links that are attached to the website determine the quality of search result rankings.

When initiating a campaign to improve rankings for a leading brand, the focus was on off-page optimization and building authority for the site.  However, the existing authority was entirely dependent on the links that had already been established.  Enter "off page SEO".  The primary step to improve rankings and traffic was through the development of quality inbound links.

One must realize that off-page is more than link building. The way you diversify authority for your website, is through conversations people are having about brands, references they are making, and diversifying your link portfolio to establish your authority.

Link Building is the practice of building inbound links to create compelling authority around any item that is shared.

Compelling Content is the best way to optimize your website and other digital assets. Without compelling content it's hard to get a link building audience. The best way to earn relevant links from other sites to your site is through the development of compelling visuals, descriptive, and design, that excite others and are worth of being cross-promoted by other sites. As an example, something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie recipe or cupcakes are great items that can be used to promote food ingredients for the likes of Kraft and other major manufacturers. 

Co-Marketing is another opportunity for off-page SEO.  The effort of cross-promoting and marketing is a way of networking, and building relationships to create community.  When you can work with other companies to jointly market each other’s content, products, or services, you expand your reach and website authority. Co-marketing is similar to guest posting. A person has access to the other company’s networks, prospect, leads, or services, which ultimately increase reach. 

Social Media hasn't been on the radar as part of off-page SEO but it is now. The criteria around off page SEO is to build your reputation one step at a time and build community. The reputation created on social media is instant, and the authority established through various credentials can provide significant lift to your website authority in the eyes of Google and other major search engines. 

Public Relations or Public Affairs needs to be an integral part of your off-page SEO as well.  By having a well planned PR campaign that is optimized in such a way that it is easily shared can dramatically improve exposure. Positioning your communication as a message that needs to be shared as a fact or announcement is a powerful tool.  For example, if Kraft is expanding within the range of cookies, and adding more healthy cookies, it would really help to create sustainable messages around the sweet, and healthy benefits of the food, cookies.

In the above example, the quality of search result rankings would not be determined by the recipe of the food products that Kraft plans to promote, but by the publicity of social media efforts as others share recipes and tout health benefits. 

Using effective messaging an positioning can help to dramatically improve off-page SEO.  Whether you are creating original content that is easily shared or pushing messages via public relations, the more quality links you are able to generate to your site, the better!

Guest post from Karishma Sinha. An eye on consumers, and passionate about analytics and research tools that can make marketer stay educated about his or her creative instincts. I have worked in PepsiCo, and Quest International, managing product innovation for Snack products. In 2006, transitioned to the marketing services, and consulting world. Am a graduate from St.Xaviers, Mumbai, Master's from Symbiosis Pune, and a Full time MBA from Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business, North Carolina. 


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