In my last blog post, On-Site Content: The Foundation of Organic SEO, we discussed a variety of different factors that affect the on-site optimization of your website and what we are keeping an eye one when we, here at Anvil, work on a client’s site.
In my opinion, on-site optimization should always be the initial place to start when you begin optimizing your site because, as I stated in my previous blog, if you don’t have quality content or lack content, there is no real reason to begin off-site optimization.
However, once you have “completed” on-site optimization, which is always ongoing at the end of the day, then it becomes time to focus on the external or off-site optimization of your website.
You might ask “How do I externally optimize my website?” or “What does off-site optimization even mean?”
One explanation I have used over the years to explain this concept to clients is:
“External optimization is the process of getting your domain name (website) to show up externally in other places on the web other than your actual website.”
This can be done through a variety of ways such as reaching out to existing and potential partners to ask them to add a link back to your website from their website, by setting up Google Alerts to “listen” for mentions of your company or brand on the web and then make sure that these “mentions” contain back links to your website, or using social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest to generate unique, share-worthy content that contains a link back to your website.
“But why must I do this ‘external optimization?’ It seems like a lot of work.”
The reason the development of external optimization is important is because “Links” along with “Content” are the two top organic search ranking factors, according to Google, with RankBrain coming in at #3.
“So where do I start? What should I look at when I am developing my off-site optimization?”
Below are a few of the Off-The-Page factors, elements affected by readers, publishers, and visitors, that I look at when I am taking a look at website’s off-site optimization. (Note: these are not in any order of importance):
- Links – As this is one of the top 2 ranking factors this is always something that I look at to see how a website is performing “externally.” Things that I am looking for include, but are not limited to:
- Quality – Are the links from trusted, quality websites?
- Text – Does the anchor text of the links back to your website use the keywords you hope to be found for organically?
- Number – How many links do you have pointing back to your website?
- Trust – the trust of a website determines the quality of the link that comes from it so back links from a website with a higher domain authority show that the domain is trusted. Some of the factors that affect the trust of a website that I am paying attention to include, but are not limited to:
- Identity – Does the website use methods to verify its identity to the search engines (Google Verification, Bing Verification, etc.)?
- History – How long has the website and/or domain been active online and operating in the same way?
- Authority – Do links and shares of the website make it a trusted authority in regards to the content it provides?
- Social – Social Media has become a huge factor in off-site optimization and also allows an extensive amount of control over how share-worthy content is developed and implemented, allowing for the continuous addition of new back links to your website that you can control. A couple of the aspects that I review include, but are not limited to:
- Shares – Is the content of your website getting shared on Social Networks by others?
- Reputation – Are the individuals sharing your content respected and reputable on the social networks they are sharing your content on?
Again, these are just a few of the different aspects of external optimization that I look at when I am reviewing a website. Remember, Organic SEO is an on-going process so this is something that you will want to be looking at consistently to make sure that the off-site, as well as the on-site, optimization of your website, is performing well.
If you are interested in having your website reviewed, give Anvil a call so we can audit and develop a plan to grow and enhance your exposure!