Small Business Marketing: Phase II – Off-Page SEO

linnk buildingContinuing with the series of small business marketing resources, it is no secret that the search engines rank websites by search term relevance. Having discussed keyword research and placement, we are moving into Phase II of search engine optimization – link building or commonly called “off-page SEO.”  Off page SEO accounts for roughly 75% of in website page ranking.

Off-page SEO is the process of attracting and building links to your site.  Each inbound link is a nod to the search engines that your site has relevant content and should be looked at.  The better quality the inbound linking site is, the more weight your site is given.  For example, if you are receiving link from CNN or the like, the more credible your site becomes.  Links from smaller sites play a large role as well, providing they rank high and have relevance to your content. Here is where the relevant, “content is king” plays a large role.

The process begins once your pages are indexed.  Your page will appear in the organic search results when a term that you have targeted is entered.  Where you appear depends upon the popularity of your site which is determined by the inbound links.  The goal is to create as many one-way inbound links from credible, trusted, well-respected sites.  Where and how do you start?

Beginning Steps to Building Links

1. Submission to business directories. DMOZ, Yahoo, etc. Many are free and require you to submit your URL, company name and description of what you do. Be consistent here.

2. Creating a blog. Writing a blog and targeting keywords keeps the content fresh which is search engine friendly. Promote your blog through article marketing and press release optimization.

3. Commenting on blogs. This starts to build relationships so long as you add value and are viewed as a resource. It is not a platform to sell yourself, by more to introduces yourself to all the others who have commented on the blog as well as the author of the blog.

Ultimately you want to be viewed as someone who adds value and is a resource.  The various social mediasites play a role as you are able to update readers with your content a well as content and articles from others that you find useful.  It is all about taking the time to engross yourself in your industry and positioning yourself as a true resource.

Most importantly, your site needs to work harder than everyone else in your industry.  New, relevant and unique content is the stepping stone to all search engine optimization. Off page SEO is a process that takes time and is not a race. Slow and steady and really engage others to build relationships so you are top of mind as a resource.  Link building is ongoing and grows as your site and blog grows.

What link building strategies and processes have you inco