This week I've been explaining the differences between Technical SEO
, and Off-Site SEO.
While the technical aspects of search engine optimization include a lot of analysis and analytical thinking, the on-site optimization requires a creative flair for writing, photography, and customer satisfaction that I explained yesterday.
I'm moving now to the sticky topic of Off-Site SEO. I'm calling it sticky because most of the off-site work we once did is now directly penalized by Google. All of these strategies are still valid, but now the process for each is long, hard, and mostly out of your control.
Here are a few Off-Site SEO
Let me simply say don't buy links
; this leads to Google Penguin penalties.
Google still measures the popularity of your website by the number of other web pages that link to you, but those links need to come naturally from people who want to link to you. Who are those people? They are blog writers, other business websites, local newspapers, and trade organizations. There are also lots of online forums where users might link to you for random reasons.
Linking does happen, but you can't aggressively pursue it or intentionally trade links with other websites.Sharing socially
Everyone seems to have a different opinion of the organic search benefit provided by sharing your website content to one of the social networks.
Does social sharing work today?
Will social sharing work tomorrow?
I say yes and yes.
Although status updates to your personal Facebook account don't seem to appear in Google SERPs, I've seen many business page updates in search results.
As for Google+, the entire topic of blog authorship and by-lines
helps to elevate you as an industry expert, but you have to follow the rules and share your blogs to Google+.
If you have a product catalog on your website, you should be pinning your products to Pinterest. This might not bring visitor traffic from Google search results, but it sure brings visitor referral traffic from Pinterest.
I'll also mention Instagram and that you should be sharing your latest jewelry design or custom designs to your audience there. Instagram is another source for quality referral traffic, but you need to build your audience, keep them interested, and use hashtags.Ask Customers to Write Reviews
I'm including reviews as an off-site optimization tactic because it works, and Google pulls those star ratings in from many different websites. At the time of this writing, the star ratings from Yelp and even Foursquare appeared in Google SERPs, but that can change at any time.
To start with the review process, you need to claim your business listing on Yelp, Yellow Pages, CitySearch, or Google My Business (previously known as Google+ Local/Places). Add your business information to the account and then ask your customers to write honest reviews.
You are allowed to ask them to write reviews; you just can't offer them a discount or some compensation to do it.Share Videos to YouTube
The future is in video. If you have a chance to do a video blog instead of a regular blog, then do a video blog.
Out in the real world, away from my computer, I've seen several people watching videos casually. On the bus, on the train; even while walking around the city, I've passed by people of all ages watching a video on their smartphone.
You can embed videos on your website, share them socially, or just invite people to visit your YouTube channel. The videos themselves will appear in Google SERPs and it leads people to your YouTube channel. For an added success of your video efforts, you should include some type of call to action in the video to lead viewers to your website.
Don't make long videos; something that can be watched in a few minutes or less.
All of these Off-Site SEO methods rely on the actions of others. You can't pay for this stuff, and if you do, Google eventually figures it out and penalizes your website.
You will develop trust and a positive reputation as people learn who you are. You can help them learn who you are by filling in all the information on your social networking accounts. Make sure you Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts all have information that leads people back to our website.
You should also include some information about your local community or the communities that your business serves. This local information helps Google associate your social profiles with your website and with people who search for jewelers in the town you mention in your profiles.
SEO isn't just job for one person anymore. In this Nugget I suggest that you share your blogs socially, but those blogs need to be written. I also casually suggested creating videos, but that in itself is a process comes with a large time commitment.
As I conclude this 3-part series on Technical SEO, On-Site SEO, and Off-Site SEO, I hope you have a better appreciation for the complexities of SEO service. The next time you think about hiring an SEO company to increase your ranking in Google, find out exactly what type of long term SEO stuff they work on. Every agency is different.