Beginning your Off-Page SEO Campaign

The start of a business website can be complex and time consuming, integrating deep product catalogs and adding 1,000’s of items to your shopping system is the norm.  With the beginning of search engine optimization you must properly setup the foundation of your website which includes: on-page SEO, content writing and curation, keyword research and targeting, and the structure of these elements through W3C validated html/css and a sitemap.   Once this is established you can start implementing off-page techniques which will maximize that foundation and propel your website to the front pages of Google and Yahoo search results.
To quickly touch back on your previous on-page SEO and keyword research efforts, we must take into account those keyword phrases to write content for our off-page SEO campaign.   For example, let’s say our company sells sporting goods and our primary keywords are: sporting goods, sport equipment sale, cheap sports equipment, sport equipment online, and such.  The secondary keywords are much more specific and target lower competition keywords: baseball equipment for sale, hockey equipment, cricket gear, soccer shoes for sale, etc. Often we will be linking to deeper pages of your site that have correlated content, this provides a more diverse foot-print of backlinks that are spread to multiple URLs and pages/posts of your website, ultimately passing link juice throughout your domain.  This will be the blueprint for our off-page SEO content distribution and in-bound link building, creating unique content that is focused on specific keywords with in-bound links to a matching page or post existing on your domain is the key.  Intelligently incorporating your keyword research, on-page SEO, and link structure with the backlink source is an excellent way to create trust and reputation quickly with Google and Yahoo.
With the basic game plan set ahead of us, we can start creating relationships throughout the internet with other domains that can provide a beneficial effect in our search engine rankings later on.  The first step for any sized company is to look at your market and peers that are already established and successful online and to connect with them.  Use emails and blog comments to reach out and trade information and linking for a benefit to both groups.  Often times a company will write high quality articles and blog posts which another domain can use to attract visitors and add content, but giving you backlinks that will support your efforts for organic traffic and search engine results ranking.
Think about the following questions when writing that content or sending out an email to the webmaster.
  • What does your company offer that stands out or/and are high specialized in?
  • Where are your strengths that you can leverage to create a mutual relationship with these players in your market for success?
  • Can you develop higher level content and media than what is currently being shown and used?
  • What steps do you need to take to reach that quality? Imagery? Video?
  • Make sure to align the content your writing and posting with the keyword goals of your website  as well
There is no faster way to reach quality rankings in Google or Yahoo then to interact and build relationships with trusted, authority sites in your niche.  So keep at it and bring something positive to the table for both players, if you cannot offer your peers something worthwhile, then go back and re-work your angle.  Make it profitable and helpful for both of you. Second to that you’ll need to start incorporating your site with websites that will help build the credibility and trust behind your business.  These websites are going to be of the “directory” type.  As a rule, we do not want to form relationships (backlinks) from any directory that is associated with spam, junk, and other low quality sites.   That would give us little benefit initially and will drag our site down over time as those backlinks get de-valued and eventually de-indexed from Google and Yahoo site tools.
Foundation Backlinks – Directories
  • The #1 trust directory on the web – DMOZ
  • Trusted Advertisers give good backlinks – Yellow pages, Google Places, Manta, and more
  • Look for business directories of a page rank 3 or higher (make sure to file your link/info in the right section)
  • Specialty directories specific to your market/niche are excellent, good relevance and look for page rank 1 or higher here
At this point your company’s website should be interacting and developing linking ideas and exchanges with your peers, helping you gain trust and credibility with Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  Secondly, you should be building online reputation through business directories and listings.  A big part of this is that many of these website directories like Manta, Google places, and Yellow pages will not accept illegitimate companies in their listings.  You’ll verify your company to get the listing and this quickly establishes legitimacy in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
Though this is just a small step in the overall SEO campaign needed for a company to operate successfully online, it will setup a strong foundation for your continued progress toward reaching the search engine rankings and keywords you’re looking for.  Without this base it will be more difficult to establish trust quickly, especially if your backlinks are coming from “free ads” or other spam networks, they’ll not give you the association you want for success.  So make sure to tie into the trusted networks of advertisers and business directories that have been established for many years to provide the backbone of in-bound links to get your company ranking toward the top!

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