Free SEO tip for you….this post looks at offsite optimisation and offers some tips and tricks…
Offsite optimisation combines link building and social media marketing….both of these are a form of marketing, in terms of bringing traffic to your site, but they are also both forms of purely link building for the purposes of moving up the search engines.
Let’ start with standard link building. The thing to always keep in your head is pretty much common sense…..links all have different values in terms of SEO, with the most powerful links come from the most relevant and established websites. If you are selling shoes, then a link from a popular blog about shoes, is going to be worth a lot more than a link from an irrelevant blog that gets no traffic. You can judge the relevance yourself, it’s simply a case of making sure the content on the page, and preferably the whole site, is related to your site/product/service. The other thing to consider is the authority of the site; one way to judge this is the page rank (PR)….the higher the PR the more value the link has. PR is a useful tool, but it shouldn’t be relied on too heavily. Consider downloading the SEO Moz toolbar which gives you an alternative to the page rank.
It’s worth bearing in mind that google would rather people link to naturally, rather than you going out and building links yourself. The argument being that if you write good content then people will naturally link to it. This is an important thing to remember, make sure your content and site are worth linking to…..but it seems a bit naive, given the millions of sites, to presume that all good content will get naturally linked to.
….but where to I get these links from??? That’s the bit that takes hard work, there is no magic solution. Generally, the more valuable a link, the harder it will be to obtain. Directories are a good place to start, there are lists of free and paid directories that can be found by doing a simple search on google….remember the point above, choose the directories that are more relevant to your business. In terms of paying for listings in directories, it really depends on your business. Sites such as business.com and yahoo.com have well established directories that offer very powerful links, and if you have free budget then I would say go for it. There are plenty of other sites that will try and get you to pay for a submission, you just need to choose carefully, most of them are likely to be a waste of money.
Forums are another good source of links. Find relevant forums and start posting on there. Don’t trying whacking links in straightaway, make a few friends and then ask if people mind the odd link. If you are courteous most of the time people won’t mind.
Blogs…these offer multiple sources of links, guest blogging, blog rolls, permanent ads, blog comments. Again it takes time to find relevant blogs, and get in touch with these people. With persistence blogs offer a great source of relevant links.
Social media….like blogs these offer a variety of places for links. If you set up profiles then generally you put a link to your website. Social bookmarking is now very popular and again creates links back to your site.
All of the above takes hard work and a fair amount of time. If someone tries to sell you link building done on the ‘cheap’, then beware. The likely outcome of that is that you will get a load of links from crap, non-related sites…..and these will do very little for you.
The final tip to think about is to do some analysis on your competitor’s websites….see where they get links from, and copy them.
One thing i am yet to cover is ‘no follow’ links – google set these up so that no PR would be passed. In theory this makes the link less useful to you, however don’t avoid these links completely. It is good to have a mixture of follow and nofollow links…..focus more on the follow links but don’t worry too much about this, focus more the relevance and authority of the site.