Search Engine Optimisation Part 5 - Offsite SEO

June 26th, 2012 - Posted by Jonathan Silvester, Brand Development

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The more difficult but equally important aspect of SEO is the off-site optimisation which is concerned with making the search engines take notice of your site and give it higher priority in the SERPs. The first things you should do to increase your site's visibility are:

1. Create a google webmaster account (see www.google.com/webmasters/)
2. Create a sitemap and upload it to google webmaster (see www.sitemaps.org)
3. Fetch your site homepage with googlebot and request webmaster to index it with all linked urls

These actions will ensure that google has as much information as possible about your site and will understand what to look for.

Another aspect of off site SEO is cross media marketing that backlinks to your website. Beware of people offering backlinking services in return for payment as these will most likely involve the use of ‘link farms’ or spam blogs and will have a negative effect on your SERP in the long run. Search engines have grown wise to spam sites and link farms that contain no relevant information and are simply filled with links and spam blogs. These types of site can no longer rank well themselves following the recent ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’ updates to Google’s ranking system so the value of their links is low to zero. Good quality backlinks cannot be bought but some of the things you can do  are:

1. Encourage your visitors to list your promotions on high profile discount sites.
2. Build your profile using social media such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
3. Post your content on high profile sharing sites such as Youtube, Digg, Delicious, Pinterest, Flickr and Stumbleupon.
4. Install the Alexa Toolbar in your browser and visit your site regularly.
5. Add a link to your Alexa profile and ask people to leave reviews of your site.
6. Include links to other non-competitor sites in your news articles and ask them to link back to you.

SEO takes time and effort and if you want to be top dog it will take a great deal of time and effort however the results could really help your business and can be very satisfying.  It is vital that you add content such as news and blog articles, infographics and videos on a weekly basis and always post links to your new content on the social networks. As you continue this off-site optimisation you should see your site to rise up the SERP rankings, ultimately how much it will rise is dependent on your efforts.

In order to understand exactly how SEO is helping your site ensure that you include analytics in your pages. There are now a number of providers, most of whom offer a free entry level service that will give you a lot of insight into who is visiting your site and where they are coming from. Ideally you should have the analytics running for a period of time before you start to implement changes. As your SEO improves over time you should see your site traffic, and hopefully your revenue, increase.

That is it for my beginners guide to SEO, we have covered many of the basics in the over the last couple of months. If you missed any you can go back over them here:

SEO Part 1 - Picking Keywords
SEO Part 2 - SERP And Click Through Rates
SEO Part 3 - Optimise Your Website Technically
SEO Part 4 - Optimise Your Website Content

As SEO is a moving target there is always something new to learn and implement and it can be a full time job in its own right. However it is certainly a subject where a little bit of knowledge can be a good thing, you should be able to achieve significant increases in your SERP and which should ultimately lead to more revenue without third party help. If you are going to market the fact that you have a Web to Print solution (and you definitely should!), then start with some or all of the suggestions I have given you, they will certainly put you on the right track.