Is Offsite SEO Just Sales Talk Or Does It Work?

With so much information overload floating around the internet, it’s impossible to keep up with it all. This is especially true in the world of online marketing because business owners have so much else to focus on besides the latest, greatest shiny marketing tool. They have to a business to run. It’s natural to want to cut through all the hype and strip down to the bare bones of what’s actually necessary to succeed with online marketing.

While it’s true that some techniques are merely fads (article spinning, I’m looking at you!), some marketing strategies, although cumbersome,  are well worth the time and effort spent in learning how to execute them well.

Offsite SEO is one of those things.

Using things like the correct tags, metadata, ALT text and keywords is crucial for setting up your website to be indexed properly by Google. For optimal ranking and exposure, however, offsite SEO is an essential element to add to your online marketing strategy. There are several effective ways to achieve good offsite SEO (offsite optimization). Here’s a look at a few of the most common methods for creating quality offsite SEO:

Social Media

Many new business owners set up their social media accounts, post a few updates, add links to their own articles — only to abandon their timeline when they don’t seem to be getting any strong responses. The most important thing to remember here is that social media is not a sprint or a way to build an army of followers overnight. Unless, of course, your last name is Kardashian.

Forget about going “viral,” and focus on achieving staying power. Try to be more intentional about the content that you post. Get in the habit of keeping a social media “swipe” file of interesting articles, quotes and images, so you can easily create a regular schedule for posting relevant content. The key is to maintain a consistency of presence and message so that people really begin to get a sense of who you are and what your business is all about.  Your branding (cover graphics, shares, quotes) should all be aligned in some way with your company’s core message. Over time, as people notice your genuine engagement, they begin to trust you and rely on your consistent messaging. In a sea of virtual noise and misdirection, you become a safe constant. It is from this position that you begin to build a loyal following. On this journey, keep reminding yourself of two things: 1) it’s going to take patience and 2) it’s going to take some time. So stay the course  and buckle up for a long ride. The payoff in the end will be worth it.

What to do:

  • Post regular personal updates, pictures, quotes and questions on your own social media accounts, not just links to your latest posts
  • Join social media groups in your niche and engage regularly with members
  • Share other people’s’ social media updates
  • Join discussions on sites like Quora or Reddit and try to occasionally answer questions or offer information and resources that might be helpful to other readers
  • Don’t just blatantly promote your own website or products when you’re on discussion forums, try to offer genuinely useful information. Remember, it’s all about building trust.

Guest Posting

Simply put, guest posting is writing content for other blogs in order to drive traffic back to your website. This happens through a link that you add within the content or as part of your bio before or after the article.

What to do:

  • Look for sites that are closely related to your niche and reach out to the editor about submitting a guest post
  • Make sure you fully understand the site’s submission guidelines before sending your post in. This lessens the risk that your article will be rejected
  • Try to choose blogs or communities that have a large, or at least a highly engaged audience so that you have a better chance of actually attracting readers to your own site.

Article Marketing

This idea goes back to the dark ages of the Internet when article spinning was a popular “black hat” marketing tool. Marketers would basically create one long article and then several variations on that same article by simply switching the words around and using a lot of synonyms for the words used in the original content. Spun articles had no intention of offering any fresh, useful information, just in stuffing enough keywords in them to get good search engine ranking on Google. Most people gave up on the idea of article marketing after the many Google updates started cracking down on duplicate content. These days, however, there is a more ethical and useful way to use article marketing to your advantage. All of the old article directory sites, like Ezine Articles, are mostly dead, but places like  Medium, LinkedIn and HubPages still offer the opportunity to write authoritative articles that display your knowledge and, eventually, drive traffic back to your website.

Creating Products

Books, eBooks, webinars, eCourses, conferences — these are all marketing tools created with the express purpose of positioning yourself as an authority on a subject. The end goal, of course, is to expand your audience base. Hopefully, if you’ve done a good job at creating your product, you’ll also be able to make some money by actually selling some of your products.

What to do:

  • There are tons of resources and tutorials available online about how to create, launch and market information products. Invest in the time, money or both to make sure that your product is the best possible quality so that you don’t waste any time in setting up your list-building strategy and sales funnels
  • Use your product to promote your website and services at networking events and speaking engagements
  • Use a shortened version or snippet of your content to entice people to subscribe to your email list or to follow your social media channels

Creating Videos & Podcasts

Much like creating products, creating vlogs or podcasts work to set you up as being a knowledgeable expert in your field. You can share insider information on your podcasts or vlogs or you can interview other experts in your industry. One of the biggest benefits of creating videos and podcasts is that those mediums are both so popular right now that there is enormous community of websites and social media channels built around them. Your vlogs and podcasts allow you to promote yourself and your website to a whole segment of people who may have never come across your blog.

What to do:

  • Even though you’ll post your videos and podcasts on your website and social media channels, you should also be posting them on sites that have communities specific to vlogging and podcasting.
  • Don’t just post and drop, though, unless that’s what the site expects you to do. Wherever possible, try to engage a little bit with other content creators on the various sites.
  • Share your content, yes, but also comment on and share other people’s stuff when you enjoy or relate to it.

Getting Publicity

This is another way of setting yourself up as an expert in your particular niche. You can volunteer to participate in industry-specific interviews or panels and then announce those appearances on social media and in press releases that you can distribute to various media outlets.

What to do:

  • Browse websites like HARO and PitchRate, which posts requests from media outlets for expert sources to use in upcoming stories. You can simply sign up on their websites and view hundreds of listings that offer opportunities for media exposure.
  • You can also reach out to your local T.V. or radio stations to offer yourself up as an expert if they have any upcoming featured stories that involve your area of knowledge.

Whether you use one or all of the above methods, the key word here to remember is consistency. As the saying goes “plan you work and work your plan.” Offsite SEO, just like on-page SEO, is a long-term marketing strategy that takes time and consistent nurturing to fully yield the most benefit.

Need some help in implementing some of the offsite SEO strategies listed above? See our guide to Internet Marketing or contact us to learn more about our “done for you” solutions.

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