The world of SEO is getting hotter by the day and the competition is absolutely unforgiving. Given the number of SEO firms out there, it takes a whole lot more effort to move from rank to rank on a search engine than it did a few short years ago and a single mistake can have you free falling straight off the index.
For newbies to the field and folks that need a refresher course, here’s a list of basic off-page SEO techniques that can kick-off your SEO efforts and protect your site from search engine oblivion.
Among the many, many different ways to garner attention online, blogging has got to be one of the most powerful. Set one up using WordPress or a similar service and get to writing informative and engaging posts that draw readers in. Writing about slightly controversial topics can generate a significant number of responses, as can genuinely interesting information, but on the whole you’re going to want to keep writing information about the industry your company is involved in. Submitting your blog to blogging directories and blog search engine indexes is also a good idea. Remember to guest post and comment on other, related blogs while trying to establish a reciprocal link sharing relationship.
2. Directory Submission
While many people think that directory submission has outlasted its usefulness, it can still be a strong driver of traffic, despite the fact that concrete results take a long time to materialize. The levels of traffic you can gain this way hinges on picking the right directories to submit to and avoiding paid listings. Google, Yahoo! Directory, ODP, WebSavvy and other top directories are your best bet.
3. Article Submission
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but still worth doing. Get your writing skills together and start crafting informative articles that enthrall the average reader. You can post these to article sites like Ezine, Buzzle, Squidoo and ArticlesBase to get a substantial number of backlinks. You can also upload PDFs, white papers, case studies, tutorials and all kinds of documents to help increase your standing online.
4. Promote Your Press Releases
Press releases serve two functions they give you valuable backlinks and they disseminate the latest news on about your company, keeping customers and prospects interested and aware of developments within the organization. Write and post press releases to sites like freepressrelease.com and Newswire Today.
5. RSS Feeds
If you’ve got a lot going on and need to get it out there, syndication can be useful tool. Set up an RSS feed and post it to Feedest, Feedfury, FindRSS and other highly ranked RSS sites and, depending on the quality of your content, you should have a steady stream of followers in a relatively short time. Just remember to keep your content engaging and on par with world-class RSS content providers, else you don’t stand a chance.
6. Social Bookmarking
Most social bookmarking website are updated very often and as a direct result, search engines are likely to crawl them on a frequent basis. Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and Twitter are by far the most popular social bookmarking sites and submitting your site to their indices can drive a whole lot of traffic to your site. Much of may be useless traffic however, unless you are consistent and relevant with your tagging. Try to create tag clouds that are highly congruent with the business service or product that you offer and you should see large scale traffic and conversions flooding your site.
7. Social Media Marketing
Integral to SEO and to web marketing in general, SMM can drive up your brand awareness and improve customer trust. Make sure you interact with your customers on a two-way basis, i.e., listen to what they say and respond accordingly. The idea is to cultivate a spotless brand reputation by building a transparently honest persona and increasing your credibility on social networks.
8. Forum Creation/Posting
Start new threads and contribute informatively to existing ones on online discussion and help forums. Not only do you earn gratitude from individual users but you are also perceived as an intelligent entity that knows his trade. Plus, once you have your own signature, you gain a backlink every time you post.
9. Classified Submissions
Every time you have a new development at your organization like a promotional drive a discount or a special offer, make sure you submit it to online classified directories. This may be thought of as a slightly out-dated technique, but from a search engine’s point of view it only increases your online ranking.
10. Viral Videos
Design supremely interesting videos and post them to video sharing sites like Youtube and Dailymotion. While making viral videos try to focus on current topics that generate a lot of attention and then attempt to create a funny or creative spin on that topic that is linked to your organization. Also, a core component of most viral videos lies in length. The shorter and more power-packed the video, the more likely it is to garner vast attention.
11. Write Reviews
Business review sites like Yelp! and Merchant Circle can be immensely useful in developing a strong online reputation. Ask satisfied customers and close friends to write you a powerful review on these sites and encourage reciprocity within your circle of suppliers and service providers. You can even create an objectively written Wikipedia article to improve visibility, although the merits of this are debatable.
Regardless of what people may tell you, always plan extensively before you implement any of these techniques. Remember the idea is not to execute SEO strategies in isolation, but to bring them all to bear simultaneously, pushing your site up the ranks and keeping it there.