Off-Site SEO Tips for Beginners

Thursday 25 November 2010

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We covered the basics of Search Engine Optimisation in a previous blog entitled Search Engine Optimisation Tips for Beginners. In this blog entry we will be looking at Off-site SEO tips for beginners.

Search Engine Optimisation falls into two categories, on-site and off-site. On-site SEO consists of manipulating the on-page elements of a website, things like the site structure, code structure, content and various tags throughout each page (alt tags, title tags, meta tags etc). On-site SEO is by far the easiest step of the Search Engine Optimisation process as it should be done during the build process of the website and only really needs to be done initially, with a few minor tweaks along the way. Off-site SEO is by far the most challenging aspect, as it is an ongoing process that occurs once the site is live and continues for the however long your site is live. Off-site SEO is the process of building external links back into the site, helping build both PageRank and relevance between keyword and landing page.

PageRank is a number assigned to websites by Google as a means of determining link analysis. The purpose of PageRank is to measure the relative importance of a website in relation to the external links it has acquired. As links come into the homepage of a website, the PageRank or ”Link Juice” is then distributed across the website as it follows the internal link structure of your website.

There are various methods you can use to build links into your website, but one of the most important things to remember is to use the correct anchor text in your links. This will strengthen the relationship between your keyword and your landing page and therefore improve you organic search engine rankings. A great example of the importance of anchor text is if you search in Google for the phrase ”click here”. You will see that the first result is Adobe Acrobat reader, yet if you go to that page, you will see that the phrase ”click here” isn’t mentioned at all. Why is this? Try and remember any website you have been to that requires Adobe Acrobat reader to view a pdf document. There will always be a message which asks you to download Adobe Acrobat reader in order to view the pdf document, followed by ”Click Here to download it.” The power of using the anchor text ”click here” alone is the reason why Adobe Acrobat reader are first in the rankings, as millions of websites will use this anchor text to link to the Adobe site.

You can build links into your site in various ways, including:

  • Directory Submissions – There are thousands of free web directories online, you can use any of the free UK business directories, and there are also specific industry related directories that you can submit to.
  • Blogs – A great way to build links into your site are to write blogs about your specific industry, it also gives users a reason to come back to your site if your content is of value to them.
  • Article Submission – There are thousands of article websites online, similar to blogs, try and write articles about your industry and link the keywords you want to be found for back to your site.
  • Forums – If you find a forum which discusses your industry then why not join the community and get involved in discussions. You can usually add two links in your signature, so this is a great way to build links. Every forum post is then worth two links back to your site, so the more you get involved, the more links will come back you your website.

Hopefully this will give you an insight into link building and will give you some ideas of where to start. Remember that it takes time to build your links up so you have to remain patient, as it won’t happen overnight. Monitor your search engine rankings regularly so you have an understanding of which links carry the most weight and have the most effect on your rankings. This will help you focus your efforts on link building strategies that work.

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