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For those organizations involved with content marketing to help improve their website’s SEO (search engine optimization), the game is starting to change.
At one time, the only essential SEO variables were keywords. For instance, if you were a dentist in Chicago, you would make sure all of your content, even if just a call to action, included SEO keywords such as “dentist in Chicago,” “Chicago dentist,” or even “Chicago dentist near me.” This last item takes advantage of the increasing number of location-based searches.
This is referred to as “online SEO.” It involves not only providing quality content on a website and repeating important keywords, but also incorporating keywords in the URL, in header tags such as H1 and H3 headings, providing alt text for images, and more.
However, in recent years, Google and other search engines have begun looking into what is referred to as off-site SEO, (also known as off-page SEO). With the exception of ensuring quality content is posted on your company website, off-site SEO has little to do with your website. Instead, off-site SEO can be defined as:
Off-site SEO is any tactic you or someone else conducts outside of your website to drive traffic back to your website.
Here’s a perfect example, using our Chicago dentist again. Let’s suppose a health website references advice found on our Chicago dentist’s site. The health site not only provides the information but also includes hyperlinks to the dentist’s site. These hyperlinks are referred to as “backlinks.” The visitor reads the advice and then clicks on the backlinks, taking them to the dentist’s site.
Now, let’s say Google sees this happening repeatedly. As more and more traffic is directed to the dentist’s site, Google believes that the site must have quality, authoritative, trustworthy information, and because of this, it improves the SEO ranking for the dentist’s site.
Many marketers are aware of this SEO tactic. This is why many are asking to be a “guest contributor” on another website. Typically, this secondary website caters to the same or a related industry or influencers in that industry. Both organizations can benefit from this strategy. Quality content, no matter where it is found, can help improve the SEO rankings for both websites. The hyperlinks help spread this quality content around.
Along with being a guest author, another way to get backlinks to your website is to take advantage of social media and digital marketing strategies. For instance, if you are posting articles on LinkedIn, you typically have two options:
- You can cut and paste the entire article into a post on LinkedIn, then leave a link to your company at the end of the article. Readers can follow that link to learn more about you and your company.
- You can post all the content on your company website. On LinkedIn, you can write a “teaser” or lead-in to that content, then finish with a hyperlink to “read more.” This will now take visitors from LinkedIn to your website where they can read the full article.
If the content is worthy, whichever option is used, it can draw more off-site traffic to your company site. This is an increasingly popular and important way to improve your SEO ranking.