HOW TO DESIGN A STRONG OFF-PAGE SEO STRATEGY
LESSONS LEARNT FROM EARNING OVER 50,000 CONTEXTUAL LINKS FOR THOUSANDS OF WEBSITES IN THE TOUGHEST NICHES
Almost every single business with a website is investing in their SEO strategy in 2020. Why? Because in such a tumultuous year, consumers are turning to the internet for contact-less purchasing, and it’s a great way to get ahead of the competition. Some have built in-house teams; others have an agency on retainer getting paid to improve their authority on search engines. However, very few businesses have a documented off-page SEO strategy.
If you look for resources online about creating an off-page strategy, you’ll find hundreds of opinion pieces and case studies, some of them sketchier than others. In fact, we’d wager there’s more misinformation on the internet about off-page SEO than there is accurate advice. This stops today. After helping over 5,000 websites attain great link building and SERP results, we’re going to share the strategies behind our success.
Why is it important to earn links?
The overarching goal of any SEO strategy is to increase rank and authority; all experienced SEO’ers will tell you that earning links is a crucial part of achieving this. Links signal to Google and other engines that your site is a legitimate source of information, trusted by others. The logic is that unique, high-quality and well-written
content will naturally be referenced by others if it’s good enough.
However, the process of obtaining contextual links is not always this straightforward. If your site is in an obscure niche, for example, it can be difficult and time-consuming to gain links naturally – not exactly practical when you’re trying to run a business. Thankfully, with solid on- and off-page SEO strategies, you can earn meaningful
links in a way that’s quick, scalable and most importantly, sustainable.
We see you rolling your eyes. You’re sceptical. You’ve heard that building links is against Google’s webmaster guidelines. Well, we’re not denying that, but let us explain.
Google Says No, We Say Yes – Here’s Why
Google has been demonising paid link building for years. Their firm public opposition is to prevent sites from manipulating search engine rankings in their favour, and ensure the content delivered to end users is the most relevant and high-quality information available. A noble cause. However, this assumption shoves every link
building practice into the naughty corner, with zero consideration for nuance.
As with all forms of SEO, there are black and white-hat strategies for link building. Some people are so fixated on acquiring a certain number of backlinks, that they don’t care how they’re obtained. They pay brokers for access to lists and entrust their off-page SEO strategy to strangers. This is, of course, a terrible idea. Often these third
parties promise the world and deliver nothing but low-quality links on websites built for the sole purpose of selling links. Google and other search engines can spot these black-hat practices from a mile away; by using them, you’re jeopardizing your entire site’s authority and risking the loss of all your rankings.
White-hat link building – that is, earning links as part of your off-page SEO strategy – is largely the opposite.
This low risk method involves contributing unique, quality content to publishers on topics relevant to your business and earning a contextual link back to your site in the process. Yes, you may pay for the privilege, but it’s no different to display advertising. By writing on topics about which you’re knowledgeable and being credited as the
reputable source, you’re adding value to both the publisher’s site and to readers.
This process is all about quality over quantity. A handful of transparently obtained contextual links inserted in well-written content will be far more effective to your off-page strategy than hundreds of black-hat backlinks.
Ultimately, if you’re earning links in relevant and informative content, there’s no way for search engine algorithms to tell whether you’ve paid for them or not. And why should they care? You’ve worked hard to earn them!
This guide will talk you through the steps to devising a strong, off-page SEO strategy that achieves sustainable
- Design a successful on-page strategy
- Determine your pillar and cluster pages
- Build themed link funnels
- Diversify your link profile
- Create a solid and actionable 12-month off-page strategy
First: Design Your On-Page Content SEO Strategy
You won’t move the needle in search engines unless your website has the solid foundations necessary to execute an off-page strategy. These include elements such as quality content, keywords, page load speed, metadata, URL structure and mobile optimization.
Google only cares about user experience. And if it thinks you’re more concerned with your bottom line than with consumer needs, well, the odds will not be in your favour.
Whether you run a goods or service-focused business, you probably want your sales pages to rank well and drive high intent, bottom-of-funnel leads. You’ll likely have these pages built to convert visitors. However, while sales and service pages are great for Google Ads and Facebook campaigns, they’re terrible for SEO.
Search engines are less likely to rank sales and service pages because they generally don’t answer questions for end users. Plus, Google is a private enterprise and would also prefer you pay for ads and contribute to the USD$162 billion it collects each year. Yes, you read that right. Billion, with a B. Instead, they want to direct people to content which answers their questions, adds value and educates, which is why you’ll find so much information online about the importance of creating regular blog content for your site.
So, while you may be tempted to focus solely on conversion, the key to driving traffic and improving overall SEO is retaining a broader focus on end users.
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