Off Page SEO Techniques Previously Covered
I have already discussed the following off page SEO techniques in “SEO Tips And Tricks For Ranking High”:
- Picking a niche to focus on.
- Researching and selecting a domain name.
- Choosing a hosting service with fast page loading times.
- Why you need a mobile-friendly theme.
- Which plugins to install and checking for their effects on loading speed.
- Why an SSL certificate is essential.
- Measuring your website’s performance with Google Analytics and why you need this set up before you publish anything.
- Registering your website with the Google Search Console for guaranteed indexing and knowing when your website has errors.
Then I took a natural break from off page SEO to talk about on page SEO in “On Page SEO Techniques – The Route To Page 1”.
Now we are ready to resume our off page SEO techniques, this time actions that are best taken or can only be taken after you have published something.
Set Up Your Website For A Great User Experience
The longer that you can keep your visitors on your website, the more the search engines will think that your content is what their users are looking for and will increase your ranking score accordingly. So, make sure your site is set up to be user-friendly.
As well as making your compelling content easy on the eye and easy to read, make sure that is linked to other relative content on your site that can further interest and help out your visitors.
Your site needs to be easy to navigate with clear, simple to follow menus. Consider using anchor links to allow quick navigation to various sections of your longer posts, to save your visitors the effort of scrolling all the way through your page.
For example, to link further down your post to a heading that reads “Best App For Photo Editing”, you could write near the top of your post “Jump to Best App For Photo Editing”. Then you would link it by adding something like “#photo-editing” in place of a URL in the link box. The hashtag is the important thing. Leave the “open in new tab” selector off. Then, just above your “Best App For Photo Editing” heading, you need to insert the HTML code “<a name=”photo-editing”></a>. The name between the quotation marks must match the hashtag. Hit the save “save draft” or “update” button and you have your anchor link. Now when your visitor clicks on “Jump to Best App For Photo Editing”, your post will move straight down to the “Best App For Photo Editing” heading.
Equally or even more important than giving your visitors the ability to quickly navigate through a long post, you need to provide the means for them to jump right back to the top of the page. People find it frustrating, having scrolled down to the end of a post only to find that they have to scroll all the way back up again.
The solution is to install a “back to top” button throughout your website. Some WordPress themes include such a thing as an option or if you are using one that hasn’t got this facility you can install a plugin that does. I use the extremely customizable “WPFront Scroll Top” plugin for this.
Use Social Media To Promote Your Website For Free
There are two ways that you can use social media to make more people aware of the existence of your website, which are passively and actively.
Passive Social Media Promotion
What I mean by passive promotion is that you sit back and have your visitor do the job for you by sharing your posts on their social media accounts where their audiences, friends and contacts will see them.
You can do this by adding share buttons to everything that you publish. WordPress has many plugins available that will add your choice of social media buttons to wherever you want on your website, pages and posts.
I use the “AddToAny Share Buttons” plugin, which is as good as any. As you can see at the end of this post, I have enabled the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Mail buttons for this website as I deem them to be the most relevant to my subject matter. I have also added the universal share button so that readers can find their preferred media to share my content on.
My other website is less business orientated and as people like to see images of cute little dogs, I have the Pinterest button activated instead of the LinkedIn one. I like to keep the number of buttons I use to around five as more than five buttons starts to become confusing to the eye.
I have my buttons showing at the end of my posts. There are options with this plugin for situating the buttons at the top as well or at the top only but the way I see it is why would anybody want to share your content before they have read it? There is also an option to have the buttons floating. I find websites that have floating buttons annoying. Floating buttons just get in the way on small mobile screens and, as we well know, optimization for mobile devices is paramount, so I don’t use floating buttons.
Active Social Media Promotion
You can promote your website yourself by having a presence on any number of relevant social media platforms, either as yourself or as a brand or both.
The more social media platforms you can link your website to the better but it’s a lot of work for one person to write posts and make videos promoting a website using all the social media outlets, so it is best to concentrate on just one or two to start with. My personal preference is to have a page set up on Facebook and a channel on YouTube with all logos and cover photos matching the brand of my website. Then, whenever I publish new content on my website I will write some promotional material to post on these media.
It’s a bit slow to start with but as you build up a decent number of fans or followers, things start to snowball in terms of potential visitors to your website. For example, it doesn’t take long to build up 50 page likes on Facebook. When you post something on Facebook with a link to your website, if just five of these followers share your post and each of these followers have twenty Facebook friends, that’s 100 more people that will see your post. Some of these people share with their friends and the number grows exponentially.
Build Backlinks But Build Them With Care
Backlinks are links to your website from other websites and Google loves you to have them. If your backlinks come from reputable sources, websites with high domain authority, then these will boost your domain authority and the chances are that your page rankings will improve. If your content has a low SERPs ranking this improvement can be dramatic, so backlinks are worth having. These genuine referrals are known as “white hat” backlinks, after the good old days of western movies when the good guys wore white hats.
Which brings us to the baddies, that is “black hat” backlinks. There is no doubt that at times in your spam messages you will be offered such things as “5,000 genuine backlinks to your website for only $49!”. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER buy any of these such packages. These black hat backlinks will come form websites of ill repute and little or no domain authority that Google and all the other engines consider as spammy. Although these backlinks may at first actually boost your rankings, Google will find you out in a relatively short space of time. At best you will be demoted way down the rankings and at worst your website will be banned permanently.
It really is best not to pursue backlinks at all and to just let them “happen” naturally. You can, however, safely promote your website in places where it may receive some good backlinks. Perhaps the easiest place to get started with attracting backlinks is on social media. Promote your website on as many social media outlets as you can comfortably handle and eventually interested people and brands will start linking to it. See my section on social media above.
Leaving comments on rival websites in the same niche is another way of attracting quality backlinks. It may seem bizarre to help a rival’s SEO by commenting on a post on their site but if you include your URL in the comment and it gets published, then you have a backlink. Google gives more ranking points for backlinks than they do for social proof (your comment) and as long as you are out-optimizing your rival you will outrank them anyway. Remember, the quality of your backlink is important so comment on posts on websites with good domain authority and topics related to those on your website.
Another way to get good quality, white hat backlinks is to make a guest post on another blog. This is harder to set up as you have to establish a relationship with a rival blogger and then negotiate what you are going to write on their website. Also, you may have to pay a fee or, more likely, allow them to write a guest post on your blog. The same rules apply as for comments, choose websites with good domain authority and topics similar to yours in the same niche.
Google’s take on backlinks has changed over the years. It used to be that with two similar websites, the one with the most backlinks would rank higher. Now it is possible that a website with just one very good quality backlink could outrank one with thousands of “iffy” backlinks.
Strictly On Page Rather Than Off Page But Worth Mentioning Here
Okay, the following tips are really on page SEO but they fit in with the after-publishing theme of this post.
Revisit, Assess And Improve Your Content
Once you have at least ten posts published on your website it is a good idea to do a little housekeeping, say, on one day a month.
Read through your content to see if you can add anything, remove anything or correct anything. At the same time check that all of your links are working properly and still land on the intended page. Also check to see if you can link any of your new content to your old content and vice versa.
Take a look at the statistics provided by Google Analytics and Google Search Console about your website. If you followed my SEO Tips And Tricks For Ranking High post, you will now know why I recommended registering for these tools before publishing anything. Use the results to see which of your posts need improving and where you can improve them. Pay particular attention to your content that is on the brink of making page 1. It won’t take a lot more SEO to tip it over the edge.
Take a look at your rivals to help assess what you need to do to rank above them. Just enter the focus keyword of one of your posts into a Google search then visit each of the ten websites that rank on page 1 to find where you can do better.
Consider Adding Video To Your Content
There is no doubt that video is becoming more and more an essential part of SEO. With cameras and microphones on smartphones improving immensely in recent months, you don’t even need any specialist equipment, other than perhaps a tripod for your phone, to shoot videos anymore. There are plenty of good software options, many free, for editing, too.
My favorite tactic is to either shoot a live video talking through a process featured in a post or a video constructed of animations and graphics illustrating a process or a combination of both. Then I would make a shorter promotional video of around 30 seconds to publish on my integrated Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. Both these media award extra ranking points if a viewer watches all of your video, so that’s why I keep these ones short. As for the video on your web page, this should be as long as possible without making it boring to keep your visitor on your site for as long as possible, which is good for SEO.
You will need a Google account to sign up for YouTube. If you have been following this 4 post SEO series, you will have already set up one for using Google’s research and analytics tools. But just in case you haven’t ……..
And Finally …….. One SEO Tip You Will Not See Anywhere Else!
Okay, correct me if I’m wrong but I believe you won’t see this SEO tip anywhere else.
When you are writing your content, if you just sit there for hours bashing away at the keyboard it’s easy for your mind to drift, you become tired and you lose concentration. The quality of your writing and therefore your SEO suffers as a consequence.
So my exclusive SEO tip is that for every hour you have been writing, take a ten to fifteen minute break. Get up out of your seat and walk around a bit to get your circulation pumping again. When you sit back down you will feel refreshed and, with more blood pumping up more oxygen up to your brain, you will think better and write better quality content than if you didn’t take a break.
You’re Now Ready To Rank High!
So that is the end of my four post series delving into why we need SEO and how to go about using SEO.
The four posts in the series are:
Off Page SEO Techniques – The Extra Boost
If you haven’t read the previous three, please go ahead and do so. If you implement most or all of these optimization techniques I am sure that you will soon be like me and have several keyword-focused web pages and posts ranking page 1, number 1 in the google search results, ensuring that your website gets noticed.
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions related to this topic or this website in the comments box below. If you prefer, you can email me through the Contact Stephen form.
I’ll be back with some more helpful content soon, search engine optimized of course!
Until then, bye for now.