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Off-Page Optimization for SEO

On-page optimization has to do with techniques you can apply to your web pages to get a higher ranking in search engines. Off-page optimization has the same goal, but instead focuses on marketing your website,

Due to the gross overuse of underhanded tricks with on-page optimization, off-page optimization has become a much more relied on way of increasing your site’s visibility. Off-page optimization specifically deals with links to your website from outside sources. It’s not just about links to your home page, but rather to specific pages within your site.

Link Popularity

Link popularity is what you are aiming for. Essentially, it is off-page optimization. If you are a large company with a larger website, you want every other site in your demographic/market to link to yours, and that may happen. But that isn’t always possible or even feasible for smaller websites, but you can still take advantage of this concept by getting links from popular websites with high page rank to link to yours.

Think of it like this: If you hang out with the popular crowd, it makes you popular by association.

So how do I get link popularity?

You become a member of a topical community.

“What’s a topical community”, you ask, “and why should I care?” Link-Assistant.com describes it best:

“Topical
communities are measured by the search engines as groups of websites
who interlink to and with on another frequently and carry a similar
topic or theme. Since topical communities are relevant and ‘on-topic’,
the links from them carry great weight. A site that is included in a
topical community by way of links from many other members may be
considered more relevant and authoritative on the community’s subject
matter.”

You are not the only one who does what you do. And that’s fine, because you can use this to your advantage.

How do I find my community?

Start off by searching for your target keywords and approaching those sites that rank highest to see if you can get links from them. Just make sure that the site you choose follows the following guidelines:

Does the site have your keyword or phrase (or similar) in its page title?
The page title is text that appears in your browser’s title bar.

What is the page rank of the site?
It should be greater than or equal to yours.

How important is the site that will include your link? Is it considered an “expert” in your niche?
Basically, make sure the site is on-topic and has viable information.

Is there anything to know about the link itself?

Ideally, the site linking to yours should use a targeted phrase that includes your keyword as the link. The text that makes up a link is called anchor text.

Proper anchor text is a very important part of linking because it allows search engines (which read links, not context) know why your site is being linked to. Because you can’t always pick which anchor text will be used, make sure you have high quality content on your site to augment your rankings naturally.

Be wary of reciprocal links. Reciprocal
linking is when another site agrees to link to your site, as long as
you also link to theirs. Doing this will affect your page rank as you
are giving some of yours to the other site, so make sure the rank of the
linking site is equal to or greater than your page rank.

Finally, Links that are in the main body of the content are preferable compared to those in the footer or sidebar.

Is there anything I should avoid?

Link Farms

Link
farms are a group of site that link to every other site in a group.
Link farms are a form of spam for a search engine. Link farms are
similar to good forms of linking, so be careful when being linked to.
Try to make sure only relevant sites are linking to you.

Automated Link Exchange Programs

There are a few good link exchange programs out there, but most are spammy and will hurt your results more than help them.

Social Networking

Social networking isn’t about marketing your site to a search engine, instead, it’s about marketing to people. Networking with people gives you the opportunity to have a voice in a broader community and it can increase your word-of-mouth traffic.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking involves using an online service that lets you identify and share sites that interest you while letting your followers see them as well.

Social bookmarking doesn’t do anything for direct linking, but it can increase your site’s visibility and get other people to share your site.

Directory Submission

Directories are organized in a nested fashion with broad topics listed first and more direct topics listed below them.

Bob’s Box Emporium would use the following structure to submit a directory listing:

Directory > Business and Economy > Shopping and Services > Home and Garden > Housewares > Organization and Storage

You can submit your page, with an SEO optimized summary to the sub-directory of your niche. Just make sure you only submit to relevant directories.

Article Submission

There are two ways of submitting articles: article directories and related websites.

An article directory works similarly to any other directory, but instead of just submitting a link and a paragraph, you can create an entire article with more links to specific pages that shows what you do and why you are the best.

You can also approach a site within your niche and ask to write a guest article or blog. Do a bit of research first to find out how they like their articles written.

Forum Posting

Posting to forums, especially those whose topics pertain to your niche, help you create a sense of authority among people. Keep links to your website in your signature and not in the body of the post. Links in the body every once and a while are okay, but if you do it too much, you could be banned for spamming the forum.

To Sum It Up

Off-page optimization is all about links to your site from trusted sources in your niche. Get links from other sites, submit them to directories, write articles for yourself and/or others. And participate in a community whether it’s a forum, a topical community, or social media.

Get your site and yourself out there.

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