In this second part of the basics of SEO, we will explain parts 3 & 4 of SEO as we defined them. Some may choose to define them differently but in essence, what we are talking about is the same. You can review what we said in the Basics of Search Engine Optimization Part 1, before reading this post.
3. Off-site SEO
Off-site SEO is the process of going to other preferably high-page ranking websites and offering some sort of direct benefit to that website in exchange for a backlink. Very simply this could be filling out a directory listing on a site like Yelp or YellowPages. Or it could be writing a blog for a local online publication.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is simply a link from another website that points back to yours. There are two basic different types of backlinks that you can have.
- The first is a direct link that the reader sees and knows is a direct link, it simply displays your website URL.
- The second one is called an anchor text link. An anchor text link is a link that hyperlinks a regular word in the midst of a body of content back to the website. Here is an example of one created using a popular social bookmark platform called to discuss, notice the words Benefits of SEO, it is a hyperlink that goes to our page.
Why do I need backlinks?
Backlinks are important for a couple of reasons. For one, the link will simply take readers back to your website so they can find out more about you. Secondly, Google acknowledges this as a form of authority, from another website besides your own. The more credible a website (in Google’s opinion) that the link comes from the relevant your website becomes, and over time the higher it will rank.
How do I get backlinks?
Generally, and to not make this too complicated simply get backlinks anywhere you can, with an eye toward the best quality sources you can. Backlinks can come from YouTube, they can come from the directories, and they can come from just about anywhere. There are different types of backlinks and there are different qualities of backlinks so I want to just focus on one for now.
The second part we mentioned was called content marketing, and this falls into the broader scheme of content marketing. But it is worth mentioning again here since it is also used off-site. In recent years there has been no more maligned and abused part of SEO than this. I mention that so you will selective where you put your content. Rather than go through all the ways these platforms have been abused and detail the ways Google is combating them, the more valuable thing is to explain how you should use this technique.
There are two ways to go about doing this; one is to use someone else’s platform to create a place to create your content and writing a “guest post” on someone’s site. Not a huge difference on the face of it but there can be from an impact and traffic perspective.
In the case of the first one mentioned there are a ton of places you can blog. Even Facebook has a section you can write blogs on. Some of the more common “web 2.0 sites” to create good content that can backlink to your site are:
There are many more but these are a couple good ones to get started with.
The second way is a bit more difficult but can generate better results. How? Because you want to find someone who has an established audience and write for them. Their audience sees your work and some end up clicking through to your site or social media pages to find out more about you or what you offer. The important point is they have visitors, in most cases thousands more per month than you. It’s an opportunity to showcase your know how.
Here is a good place to find some sites that offer guest blogs that may fit your business.
http://www.petersandeen.com/list-of-guest-blogging-sites/ Guest Posting
If none of these fit the bill, maybe you can find a local business directory that may accept a blog or two.
*An idea for either would be to FIRST have a great page or blog on your site about the top 10 hair designs of 2014, then write a blog explaining a couple. End it with, “to find out more popular designs, visit our site”. Then mention how to find that page or simply provide a link
Remember when I mentioned earlier the abuse of these sites? Well many today may not allow a backlink in the text. You may only get a link in your profile and that may be to your social media profile ie Twitter or Google+. That doesn’t kill the opportunity it just reduces the value somewhat. Unless you have a smashing social media presence.
4. Indirect SEO
Indirect SEO is honestly a simple phrase used to capture the concept that social media and bookmarking sites can have a great effect on your site’s ability to rank in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Not only could this be Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, or literally hundreds of other social media sites, but it could also include directory reviews, podcasts coming from iTunes, or a self-published book on Amazon.
No one is exactly sure to what extent social media plays in SEO, and some still don’t believe it yet does. We do know that working in “social signals” is something being worked on. It also drives traffic that once a person gets to your site, can get them to share or bookmark your page. Creating backlinks and possible future visits by others. Since there are so many ideas that could be listed here, that I wanted to list just some basic ideas to help you get started and benefit right away.