With all the work that goes into sorting your on-page SEO techniques, it’s easy to forget there is more to search optimisation than your website. Almost all online consumer action starts with a search query, but a huge proportion of these searches are non-branded – which means even users that have seen your ads elsewhere can easily land on the page of your closest rival.
In fact, they may not even land on a homepage at all. Local SEO means users can search and find a whole bunch of information about local services without ever visiting their website. So your off-page SEO performance couldn’t be more important as the search game becomes increasingly competitive.
Of course links are the most obvious off-page element of a successful SEO campaign, but they’re trickier than ever to get right. Guest blogging is a tougher gig these days and highly “linkable” content like infographics and video are expensive to produce.
However, it’s worth investing the time and money to make these things happen so you can naturally gain links back to your site with content that people genuinely want to share.
Social plays a huge part in your off-page efforts – especially in the days of local SEO. Between a Google search and your Google+ business page a customer could walk right through your door without ever seeing your website. Or they could head to your Facebook page instead of checking out your FAQ page.
Social doesn’t leave your website out of the equation though with Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest especially powerful tools for directing traffic to your site. And it’s widely expected that social metrics will play an increasing role in search ranking in the future.
Email is the old dog of online marketing yet it remains one of the most successful. This may come as a surprise when you seem to start each day by deleting those annoying spam and promotional emails – but this is a strategy that refuses to go away.
Email marketing has evolved and these days you want to take a look at structured markup for your mail campaigns. Tools like MailChimp make it easier to create and manage successful email campaigns, while Google’s promotions tab has allowed marketers to create more engaging emails – much like Pinterest messages.
Online marketing may dominate the modern digital scene, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the offline world. Every day people are bombarded with offline ads, slogans, logos and chats with their friends. These offline influences result in online searches too, but you can guarantee most of these are non-branded.
A user can pass a bus stop ad for luxury watches and a seed is planted. Timepieces are on the mind but they don’t remember which brand was advertised. They may remember part of the slogan – or even recognise the model – so they hit Google with every keyword they have. So keep an eye on offline channels and incorporate potential searches into your keywords strategy.