Off-page SEO is when you do things on other areas of the internet to help your website rank better.
Let’s visually think of the internet as a huge spiders web that the spider bots are crawling. Imagine the spiders web will have a little tiny light on the web every time there’s a mention of your business.
That’s what you want to do – light up the internet with your business!
So, how do we turn the lights on?
First we need to make sure that our website is in really good condition so that the lights come on bright and strong. If you have weak connections then the lights might flicker a bit or be dull. Google loves a good strong twinkling light.
The following list is often referred to as technical SEO:
This is a way of giving the spider bots an exact map of our website to crawl. You can submit your site map by signing up to Google Search Console.
DIY platforms you will need to check in the help docs if you need to do anything.
WordPress users your SEO plugin will help with this.
Make sure your website loads fast. Those on the DIY platforms you can’t change this so sit back and relax. Those using their own hosting for WordPress make sure you are using a decent host with a fast server.
Your website should be fully responsive – this means it changes shape so whether you are viewing it on a 27” computer or a mobile phone it’s still easy to read and navigate around.
All websites need to have an SSL which gives your website the green padlock.
Again, DIY platforms this will happen automatically so you can go and make a cup of tea. WordPress users on their own hosting need to make sure they have an SSL certificate.
If you don’t have one there are serious consequences for your website, please read the following blog post for detailed info
The SSL grey screen of death explained blog post
We can turn even more lights on if we do these things:
Links from other peoples websites – otherwise known as back links.
Back links are links that show other websites that have linked to your website. They are important because they can help you get more people to visit your site, and can tell the spider bots how popular your site is.
Backlinks are basically votes from other websites. Each of these votes tells search engines: “This content is valuable, credible and useful”.
So the more of these “votes” you have, the higher your site will rank in Google..
All backlinks are not equal however, so a backlink from a trusted, authoritative website will be a stronger vote than from your Auntie Maud’s family blog.
Citations aka directory listings
Listing your business details in online directories can be an important part of your SEO strategy especially for a local service business.
I like to separate directory listings into two part: business specific and location specific.
The Good Vet & Pet Guide
Dotty 4 Paws
The Groomers Spotlight
Never pay for a listing unless the listings themselves have decent SEO and are ranking.
A simple check would be to find an existing listing on the directory, copy the business name into Google. Does the listing appear in the search results on the first page? Yes, then you can consider paying. No? Leave it this time.
A location directory would be any directory that is about your local area. Simply Google your local area and see what is coming up. Or search for ‘Your area business directory’.
Do the simple check above before paying for a directory listing.
It is ESSENTIAL that your NAP (name, address, phone) be absolutely matching across the internet and on any directory listing.
I am aware that most of us don’t want our full address online, luckily most directories now allow you to just list with an area name. If it doesn’t and you aren’t happy to do so then just move on to the next one – no biggie, there’s plenty of direcotroes.
Google My Business
This one is so important it needs a whole other mini series of it’s own!
What can I say? Signing up to Google’s free service is crucial to a local SEO strategy and get your website and business some MAJOR Google love.
It’s so important that I have a service to manage it for you if you don’t have the time. Read more about GMB on my service page
A fantastic way of driving traffic to your website. Blog posts can create a beautiful set of bright lights over our spiders web.
We can then further these lights by posting our blog post details over our soocial media networks making the lights shine super bright.
Digital & content marketing
Turn on more lights by talking about your website, business and services on all your social media channels, guest blog posts, videos and more.
Remember to keep in mind your keywords and use them consistently and naturally in all your online marketing.
Next up – to DIY or not to DIY, that is the question (that I’m asked ALL the time!)