Modern-day Off-page SEO is very different from what we used to do in the old days. Off-page SEO activities like directory submissions and social bookmarking aren’t as effective as they used to be.
According to a report by MarketDive, marketers see SEO as becoming more effective, with 82% reporting effectiveness is on the rise and 42% of this group stating effectiveness is increasing significantly.
Moreover, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
This means that you cannot rely on shady off-page SEO tactics. You need to build up a proper strategy for off-page SEO to ensure high rankings for your website.
If you’re a smart marketer, you already do proper on-page SEO for your website.
But to shine on #1 spot, you can’t ignore off-page SEO. And if you want to improve your rankings, this page is for you!
In this guide, I’m going to cover everything you wanted to know about off-page SEO. Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:
- The two most important umbrellas under which all off-page SEO activities fall.
- A strategic approach to proper off-page SEO that goes beyond traditional off-page SEO activities.
Before that, this beautifully animated infographic will help you get you a better understand of off-page SEO and how it’s done:
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What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page simply refers to the activities performed away from your website to optimize it and improve its rankings.
One big off-page SEO factor is link building. But off-page SEO is more than just about link building.
Some other factors that affect off-page SEO include social shares, website trust, authority, and more.
On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO
It is important to know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO commonly refers to the activities you perform on your website to improve its rankings.
These activities include targeting long-tail keywords, writing optimized headlines, using proper heading tags, and more.
On-page SEO tactics like the ones mentioned above are discussed a lot because it is important to optimize your page for SEO.
And these tactics are totally different from Off-Page SEO. On-page activities can be done instantly and are much easier compared to off-site activities.
Because off-page SEO activities like link building and improving social presence take time but yield great results.
George Zlatin from Digital Third Coast explains it in the best way:
What you rank for is largely determined by on-page factors, while how high you rank in the search results is largely determined by off-page factors.
Therefore it’s necessary to find the right balance between on-page and off-page SEO to ensure good rankings.
As it is clear from the image above, you need both your on-page and off-page SEO game on point.
Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors
There are many ranking factors and we already know 200 of them. These ranking factors include both on-page and off-page factors.
But it is not easy to keep track of off-page factors because of the changing Google search algorithm.
Still, there are some factors that are now important more than ever. The first one is (Yes, you guessed it right) links.
What are the factors?
There’s been confusion regarding other off-page ranking factors because Google’s statements regarding these factors are either incomplete or biased.
Due to this reason, it’s safe to say that all the off-page SEO ranking factors fall under two umbrellas. These two umbrellas are:
- Brand Presence
The first one is pretty obvious. The number of both internal and external links pointing to your page is an important indicator of how high you rank on Google.
Brand presence as a whole can be considered as a ranking factor. This includes the presence of your business on different platforms.
The more you are out there, the easier it will be for Google to realize you as an authority and give you the love you deserve.
Now that you know the two umbrellas under which all the off-page SEO rankings fall under, it is time to learn a strategic approach to perform off-page SEO for better rankings.
How To Build Natural And Relevant Links
Link building is very important and you already know it. But a lot of times, marketers fall into the trap of building hundreds of links in no time by following some black hat methods. That’s a great way to get penalized.
It is important that you build links that are relevant and natural.
There are tons of link building methods out there but you don’t need to follow all of them. If you do that, you’ll end up wasting your time because you won’t be able to focus your time and resources on just one method.
It’s better to stick to two or three link building methods that can be done over and over again to build high-quality links.
The methods that can help you build high-quality links are:
- Value-Centric Guest Posting
Let’s see how you can use these two methods.
1. Value-Centric Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is the best method to build links and Neil Patel even calls it the best inbound marketing strategy.
But your guest blogging efforts will be of no use if you just do it for the sake of a link. Guest blogging as Neil Patel describes is a free promotion.
And this free promotion will mean nothing to you if you don’t provide value. Ann Smarty says guest blogging is more of a relationship-building tactic than a link building tactic. You need to adopt a value-centric guest posting strategy.
What I mean by this is that you should be focused on providing value more than just trying to get a link.
And this doesn’t mean creating a random How-To or list post. Your content should be so great that it ranks for a keyword and also gets links.
Put simply, you should create cornerstone guest posts.
These cornerstone guest posts should be able to drive traffic from Google and attract links. Just take a look at this guest post by Neil Patel on Hubspot blog:
This guest post ranks #1 for the keyword “author bio” and other related keywords.
And this guest post alone brings a lot of traffic on the Hubspot blog.
Lastly, the number of links on this post are high too.
This is the kind of cornerstone content you should contribute to blogs when guest blogging. A result like this is not easy at all but when achieved, it could help you improve your website ranking drastically.
To publish these types of value-centric guest posts, follow the five steps given below:
Step 1. Identify blogs in your industry that accept guest posts
Step 2. Carefully read their guest posting guidelines
Step 3. Come up with guest post ideas that have the potential to rank and attract links
Step 4. Pitch your article
Step 5. Promote your guest post after it gets published
Step 1. Identify blogs in your industry that accept guest posts
The first step is to identify and make a list of blogs that accept guest posts. There are many ways to do this but the simplest way is a Google search.
Simply search for the niche and add terms like “write for us”, “contribute”, etc.
Let’s say you want to contribute content to marketing blogs. Here are some queries you can use to find marketing blogs that accept guest posts:
Marketing + “write for us”
Marketing + “contribute”
Marketing + “submit an article”
Marketing + “write for our blog”
Marketing + “submit guest post”
This way, you can find hundreds of blogs in your industry that accept guest posts. But not all blogs will accept your guest post and also, not all blogs are good enough for you.
To find out the ideal blogs you can guest post on, first make a list of all the websites you found from your search.
Then, find out the Domain Authority and Page Authority of these blogs. But these metrics are not enough.
To get a good idea of the blog, get the traffic metrics and keywords they rank for. This gives you an edge over other people who contribute articles to these blogs.
Because now you know what kind of content will help them get more traffic and links and you can use this data to create content for them.
Once you have the data of each blog in your list, it’s time to start contributing content to these websites.
If you have never published any guest post or have only a few guest posts under your belt, it is better to start small and work your way up to big blogs.
This way when you will reach out to big blogs in your industry, you’ll be to showcase your content and get accepted easily.
Step 2. Carefully read their guest posting guidelines
The biggest reason why guest post pitches are declined is that no one reads guest posting guidelines seriously.
If you’re unable to land guest posts on blogs, it could be because you’re not reading the guest posting guidelines thoroughly.
These guidelines are made to help you understand the website and the type of content they accept.
Many marketers just skim through the guidelines and check the minimum word limit. This way you will never be able to write guest articles that provide value to readers.
Guest posting guidelines also work as buyer persona which makes it easy for you to research the type of content you should contribute.
Here are Hubspot’s guest posting guidelines for their marketing blog:
Guidelines like the above help a lot in coming up with guest post ideas for a blog. Their first point right out states that anything that’s been covered on their blog will not be accepted.
Sometimes, even if your guest post is good, it will not be accepted because it was already covered on the blog.
That’s why you should always research a website before sending a pitch to the editor.
The guidelines also talk about how to submit your post. This is also very important because blogs get guest pitches every day and it’s hard to read and review all submissions.
If you make this process smooth for them, you’ll have a higher chance of getting published.
Once you’ve read and understood the guidelines, it’s time to come up with a guest post to pitch to the blog.
Step 3. Come up with guest post ideas that have the potential to rank and attract links
This is the most important step and you shouldn’t just come up with a random guest post idea. Your idea should be good enough that when you publish the guest post, it ranks on Google and attracts links.
How to do that?
For this, you’ll have to do some keyword research. There are many tools you can use for keyword research but the best one I would recommend is Ahrefs. If you’re looking for a free alternative, KWFinder does a pretty good job too.
But for now, I’ll show you how to do keyword research for your guest post using Ahrefs.
Let’s say you want to publish a guest post on Hubspot blog.
To come up with potential guest post ideas that can rank on this blog, we will use the Ahrefs content gap tool.
This is a very powerful tool and gives you the list of keywords your competitors rank for and you don’t.
Find a list of blogs that are competitors to the blog you want to contribute content to. In this case, there are many, but I’m using these three websites:
Here are the keywords that Hubspot doesn’t rank for but it’s competitors rank for:
You can sort these results by difficulty and volume of searches to get keywords that will be easier to rank.
What’s important here is that whenever you’re conducting a content gap analysis, you should compare blogs that have same or a little difference in authority.
Once you have a list of keywords, pick a keyword and check whether the blog has published any content about it.
Often times blogs are unable to rank for certain keywords that’s why it is best to check.
Let’s search if Hubspot has published an article targeting the keyword “how to get more views on youtube”.
The keyword has over 9000 searches and keyword difficulty 12.
To search blog posts published on a specific blog, you can search it as follows:
Your keyword + site:domainname
From the search results, you can see that there are only three posts that talk about YouTube and there is no post targeting the keyword directly.
This means you can write a stunning article for this keyword and pitch it.
That’s how you can find guest post ideas that have the potential to rank and attract links. You can also do manual research but in my opinion, this is the best and the fastest way.
Step 4. Pitch your article
If your pitch is not perfect, you’re toast.
As I mentioned above, blogs receive hundreds of pitches every single day and to get your pitch noticed and read, you’ll have to do some preparations.
You can follow these tips to ensure your pitch is read and accepted:
Tip 1. Start building a relationship with the editors and contributors of the blog
This is the best way to get on the radar of the editors so that when you pitch them your article, they have an idea of who you are.
To do this, make a list of the editors and contributors of the blog. The best place where you can find them is Twitter.
On Twitter, use the following searches:
Editor + Website Name
Contributor + Website Name
Columnist + Website Name
This will help you find the people who either work for the website or are content contributors. Follow these people and start liking, retweeting and commenting on their tweets.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If they have a huge social media following, your chances of getting noticed are low.
That’s why you should find the content they’ve published on the blog and leave comments. You can also email them and thank them for the content they’ve written.
Tip 2. Leave comments on all the posts published on the blog
It’s not just the content published by the editor. You should leave long and insightful comments on all the posts that are published on the blog.
This not only gives you exposure to the editors and columnists but also the blog readers.
Once you’ve done this, it’s time to pitch your article. If the website has a form or an email address given on the website, then you can pitch your article there.
But if that’s not the case, you can pitch your article to the editor. There are two ways of pitching an article:
- Pitching some ideas and waiting for the editors to get back to you
- Pitching just one article directly
Both the methods have worked for me. But I’ve had higher success by pitching just one article. Here’s the pitch I sent to Sue Ann Dunlevie of Successful Blogging:
I’m not saying this is the best guest post pitch you’ve ever seen. But I’ve used this pitch for various blogs and got accepted.
- Proper introduction
It’s important to properly introduce yourself and tell the website editor about what you do. If you fail to do this, your pitch will be deleted instantly.
- Tell them why you want to contribute
This is the part where many people make mistakes. You should clearly state out the reason for contributing to their blog.
Don’t do the “I’m a long time reader of your blog and…”. This doesn’t work well if you want to get your article published on the blog.
I was a long time reader of Sue’s blog but I didn’t mention that because I’m sure she receives pitches like this every day.
That’s why I was straightforward and gave my honest reason to contribute to the blog.
- Share your expertise
List some of your guest posts you’ve done in the past. But don’t overdo it.
At the time I sent my pitch, I didn’t have many guest posts under my belt so I linked to some of the best posts I’ve written on my blog.
A big misconception marketers have is that they should only link their guest posts when sending a pitch. This is wrong!
You have to show your expertise whether it’s on your blog or any other blog.
- Mention the title and attach it
If you’re pitching just one article, mention the title and attach it. I have a habit of writing the article before sending the pitch.
And if you do the same, it’s good that you attach your article to your first pitch. It will save the blog owner from the time of reading your pitch, responding to it and then waiting for your article.
Step 5. Promote your guest post after it gets published
Once your guest post is published, you should start promoting it everywhere.
If you want maximum exposure, you should promote it in the following ways:
- Send it to your email list
- Schedule tweets using Buffer
- Promote on all social platforms
- Answer questions on Quora and promote your guest post when relevant
Infographics are link magnets. You can easily build high-quality links if you publish an attractive infographic on your blog.
And the Guestographics Method to build links using infographics is the best method out there.
There are four major steps involved in publishing an infographic that helps you build links. These steps are as follows:
- Research your infographic topic
- Create content for your infographic
- Design an awesome infographic
- Publish and reach out to people who have published content relevant to your topic
1. Research your infographic topic
Your infographic should be about something people talk a lot about in your industry. Picking a hot topic will help you land links easily.
And I’m telling you this from experience. I published an infographic on my blog about creating perfect ‘about us’ pages. The infographic was good, the content was good but the topic was not hot enough.
There are many posts on this topic but it’s not as popular as keyword research, on-page SEO, or landing page optimization.
This is why it’s important to pick a topic that’s hot in your industry so that you can build links easily. You might be thinking “If I pick a hot topic, I would have to compete with other infographics already published”.
And you’re right. But the method I’m about to show eliminates the need to compete with your competitors.
Normally people create infographics about topics and then reach out to blogs that have used a different infographic in their post.
The problem here is that you’re asking someone to replace the infographic they already have in their article with yours.
Two reasons why this method fails very often:
- Why would someone add your infographic when they already have one in their post?
- Your infographic could be well-designed and informative but still, you’ll have a hard time convincing people to add your infographic.
So how to solve this problem?
By reaching out to people who have an article on the same topic but have not added any infographic.
Here’s why this method works:
- You are helping them improve them their content by providing an infographic.
- You don’t have to convince them to replace or remove anything. They just need to upload your infographic and that’s it.
Let me show you how to do this:
Let’s say you have an infographic on the topic ‘content writing tips’. This is a widely searched topic and has over 21 million search results.
This means there are many articles out there on this topic. And you can reach out to these blogs and offer them your infographic with some content.
Let me show you how. These are the pages currently ranking on the first page for the keyword ‘content writing tips’.
Let’s check out some of these articles.
This article on Enchanting Marketing is ranking on #1 position for the keyword. It has over a thousand shares.
The article shares content writing tips in a deep and insightful manner. But it doesn’t have any infographics in it.
You can check out other articles the same way and make a list of articles which don’t have any infographic added in the article.
2. Create content for your infographic
The next step is to create content for your infographic. You can use the above method to compile content for your infographic.
Here’s the advantage of doing this:
If you use the articles ranking for your target keyword as a reference material for your infographic, you can then mention the links to these pages in your infographic.
And that makes it easier to get links from those websites.
3. Design an awesome infographic
After doing this, you have to design a stunning infographic. Your infographic should not only be well designed but should provide good value and must be worthy of getting uploaded to the websites ranking for this keyword.
4. Publish and reach out to people who have published content relevant to your topic
Once your infographic is designed and published, reach out to the blogs and provide them your infographic with some content with it.
Here’s the email Brian Dean sent to one of the websites and got a link.
But that’s not it. With Guestographics method, you also provide them with free content they can use to add the infographic.
And that’s how you can build backlinks to boost your rankings. These are not the only two link building methods you should follow. There are many out there but I feel that these two can be replicated many times to build links.
Before we move on to the next umbrella of off-page SEO i.e. Brand Presence, you should ensure that the links you earn will help you improve your ranking.
That can be done by diversifying your anchor text. Using different but relevant terms as your anchor text is a good and safe practice for your links.
If you have many links pointing to your website with the same anchor text, you can get in some trouble.
There are many different types of anchors you can use as Nathan Gotch explains in this article.
He suggests using 70% of your anchors as branded because Google wants you to create a brand, not a spammy website.
Now that you understand how to build natural links and the importance of diversifying anchor text, let’s move on to the next section of off-page SEO.
Improve Your Brand Presence
The second umbrella of off-page SEO is your brand presence. Activities like social shares, brand authority, and your overall presence fall under this umbrella.
With changing Google algorithm, you can’t just rely on social signals as the second big off-page SEO ranking factor.
Google now sees how authoritative you are by examining your presence on the Internet. Again, this just doesn’t include social signals.
Your strategy should go beyond getting a high number of social signals and you should utilize other platforms to improve your brand presence.
As Brian Dean addresses this in his Google TrustRank article, you should appear like a big brand to Google by building brand signals.
In a nutshell, your brand presence is important to secure the top rankings on Google.
Here’s how you can improve your brand presence.
1. Utilize Platforms To Gain Trust & Authority
There are many platforms where you can share your content and grow your online presence. The more eyeballs on your content, the more people will search you on Google.
There is a direct correlation between your brand presence and your presence in search results.
Here are some platforms you should be utilizing to gain trust as a brand.
The platform is so popular now that new startups are creating their blogs on Medium.
Clearly, you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to get a slice of Medium’s 60 million readers.
But to see Medium with a perspective of boosting your website’s off-page SEO is a little confusing, isn’t it?
Well, let me clear everything for you in five words:
Start publishing content on Medium.
All the reasons mentioned in the infographic are hard to ignore but the most striking one is:
To improve your brand presence, it is obvious that you need to reach more people. And Medium is just the right platform for that.
Your content can be seen by thousands of people on Medium which can help you get more followers on social media thereby improving your overall presence.
To get started with Medium, it is important to know what works on Medium.
Medium is widely popular for its short form content. So, your 10,000-word guide on ‘how to do SEO’ will not perform well on Medium.
Many marketers also republish their blog content on Medium. I have mixed feelings about this but I won’t recommend you to do this.
Instead, here’s what you should do to publish content on Medium:
1. Find publications on Medium related to your industry
You can publish content on your own profile on Medium but it wouldn’t be as effective as it is to publish on a publication.
There are various publications on Medium and here’s how to find publications that will help you get new readers:
Let’s say you want to publish content about startups. Head over to Medium and search for publications about startup.
These are publications are related to startups. Let’s see what type of content these publications publish.
These are the articles published on Startup Grind publication on Medium.
Looking at this articles, you can have an idea of what type of content is published in this publication.
You should pick publications that have a large number of followers and are relevant to your industry.
To publish an article on any publication, try to find their contribution page. Many publications don’t have a contribute page. In such a situation, find their about page.
Here’s the about page of Startup Grind publication:
The publication has mentioned that they are accepting submissions. To contribute an article, you can directly pitch any of the editors of the publication.
In many cases, publications also have a contact form where you can submit your guest post submissions.
2. Write A Great Story
Before writing a story, make sure to check the top stories of that publication. This helps in getting an idea of what kind of content will be loved by the readers.
And here again, don’t forget the submission guidelines. These publications receive a ton of pitches, so it is good that you do some research about their content before blatantly sending your pitch.
3. Send Your Pitch
Mike Fishbein has published a ton of stories on Medium and has received over 10,000 views on his stories.
He mentions four important components when pitching to a publication. These are:
- Introduce yourself
- Provide a link to your unpublished draft
- Explain what the article is about
- Make sure your email is personalized
Here’s the pitch he sent to land an article on Better Humans, one of the biggest publications on Medium.
4. Include links to your website and social media profiles
Don’t forget that you want to improve your brand presence. That’s why it’s important to add your website link in your author bio and include your social media profiles.
This way, you should keep posting on Medium to improve your brand presence. To analyze your performance, you can check your stories stats.
On top of that, measure your social media growth. The more people read your stories on Medium, the more likely they are to follow and engage with you on social media.
And a percentage of these people might visit your website. This is how you can use Medium in your off-page SEO strategy to improve your brand presence.
Guest blogging might be the best inbound marketing strategy but even that is saturated because of the millions of blog posts published every day.
It might be a good strategy to build links but you’ll need help when it comes to improving your brand presence online.
The only thing that’s set to grow in 2018 and beyond is the video industry. And YouTube is the best bet.
According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017 report, around 48% of marketers were planning to add YouTube to their content distribution channels next year.
Top marketers like Neil Patel have also started taking YouTube seriously and is going to spend over $140,000 on video in 2018.
This means that it’s about to get competitive in the video industry space. All in all, starting a YouTube channel not only to build your online presence but also grow your business is an idea you should start executing now.
Having a YouTube channel will benefit your website’s off-page SEO in significant ways. Embedding videos in your content help you give a boost to your rankings.
Getting started with YouTube is easy but requires a strategic approach.
Here’s how you can get started on YouTube to grow your brand presence:
Step 1. Create videos relevant to your website’s content
Many marketers start with YouTube by publishing content irrelevant to what they have on their website.
This is a red flag and doesn’t help you in improving your website rankings. Always remember that video and SEO go hand in hand.
By relevant content, I’m not asking you to create exactly the same content you have on your blog. But creating content that resonates with what you and your brand do.
Take a look at Brian Dean’s YouTube Channel:
His videos are relevant to the content he posts on his blog. There are two big benefits of this:
- Your videos can be embedded in your post easily giving them a boost in rankings.
- It helps you improve your overall brand presence in what you do.
To create content for YouTube, doing a proper keyword research is very necessary.
That’s how Webris managed to get over 82k views in just 11 months for their e-commerce store.
For your keyword research, you have to find keywords that show video results on Google. These type of keywords include:
- How-To keywords
The keyword you’re targeting should also have low competition and high-volume of searches. Again long-tail keywords can be targeted.
Step 2. Make your video highly engaging
This video by Neil Patel explains everything about creating a highly engaging video.
In the video, he talks about being emotional and passionate. If you’re not being emotional in your video, you will not be able to engage the viewers as they will perceive you as someone who isn’t interested or doesn’t have enough knowledge about the topic.
For a highly engaging YouTube video, you have to make your videos longer. Videos from 6 to 12 minutes tend to perform better in terms of engagement and videos that extend over 12 minutes don’t.
Step 3. Do proper SEO for your YouTube videos
SEO for videos is as important as SEO for your website. To rank high in YouTube search results, you should properly optimize your video.
Here are some tips that will help you:
- Include keywords in your video title and description
- Use as many tags as possible and include relevant keywords in them
- Write a long description of your videos
- Design an eye-catching thumbnail for your video
2. Create More Engaging Content On Social Media
Social signals are a big off-page SEO signal but many marketers interpret it the wrong way.
Yes, there are many case studies that prove that social signals help in improving a website’s ranking.
But then there are case studies like this:
Jason Acidre from KaiserTheSage, ranked #2 for the keyword ‘get in content links’ in under 12 hours when his article got shared by some Twitter power users who have a big following.
But these results were short-lived and the page disappeared from the top 50 results 3 days later.
This, and many other case studies prove that social signals help in getting higher rankings on Google but the effects don’t last long and the pages slip back to the bottom.
So, what’s going on here? Do social signals help in improving website rankings?
Yes, and no.
Larry Kim has a pretty valid argument that social signals help in organic rankings but it’s not the number of social shares, it’s the engagement rates.
The higher the engagement of your post on social media, the higher will be its CTR and hence better rankings.
But how does this happen?
Here’s how Larry explains it:
Machine learning systems actually reward high engagement with higher visibility.
Higher visibility means higher organic rankings and more social shares.
To determine success, an algorithm looks at whether users engaged. If more people engage, that’s a clear sign that their algorithm is showing this right content; if not, their systems will audition other content instead to find something that does generate that interest.
So how to make sure your content is engaging?
Larry suggests that you should turn your best social stuff into organic and vice-versa.
In a nutshell, you should create inspiring and memorable content on social media so that when someone does a Google search for something relevant to you, they’ll land on your website.
Because they’ve heard of you before.
Now, there are many social platforms. And there is a different approach for each platform. What works for you on Facebook might not work well on Twitter.
But here are some platform-specific tips that will help you create engaging content on social media and get more shares.
Tip 1. Increase Your Character Count On Twitter By Creating Threaded Tweets
This nifty little feature introduced by Twitter recently gives you an opportunity to expand your thoughts in the form of threaded tweets.
You can use threaded tweets to promote your content or just express your thoughts about something in a continuous manner.
Threaded tweets are a big thing and you should start utilizing them for higher engagement on your content.
Tip 2. Convert Your Articles Into Videos Using This Tool
Creating video content for social media will help you boost your engagement. And to promote your blog content using social media, you can use this tool called Lumen5.
With this tool, you can simply enter a URL and this tool with help of A.I will convert your content into a video with text.
You can add beautiful background images or videos in your video and also add some music. This is the perfect way to create video content for social media from your blog content.
Here’s how you can create videos using this tool:
Tip 3. Create branded hashtags to improve brand awareness
Brand hashtags can help you increase your brand awareness and get more eyeballs on your content on social media.
Hashtag campaigns also help you interact with your audience by engaging them. Branded hashtags can be used for various purposes.
This article on Wishpond shares 3 key hashtag marketing strategies:
- Brand and campaign specific
- Trending hashtags
- Content hashtags
You should utilize branded hashtags to increase awareness about your brand. This will help you in getting more followers and high engagement.
To effectively use hashtags, Jonathan Chan recommends that your hashtag should be STRICT:
3. Leverage Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the advertising trend set to dominate in 2018. 84% of marketers planned at least one influencer marketing campaign in 2016.
That was two years ago!
Especially when businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.
And here are the SEO benefits of leveraging influencer marketing:
- It will help you improve your brand presence.
- It helps in getting more reach on social media.
- Influencer marketing also helps in getting more links.
With all these juicy stats and case studies, it’s time for you to invest your resources in influencer marketing.
How do you achieve results that will help you grow your brand presence using influencer marketing?
Since there are many businesses trying to leverage influencer marketing, it will be very competitive for you to get the attention you want.
But instead of leveraging influencers with tons of followers, you should focus on micro influencers.
Micro influencers are those people who have a small following but still can make an impact on their audience. Their audience is also highly-engaged and can help you get the brand reach you want.
Marketly reported that Instagram users with less than 1000 followers generated 8% of likes all the time, while users with over a thousand followers earned likes at a much lower rate.
If you can leverage micro influencers, you can easily drill down to a specific audience and grow your brand presence.
Here’s how you can find and leverage micro influencers:
Step 1. Find Micro-Influencers who have a highly engaged audience
Micro-influencers are everywhere. You might be attracted by the number of followers someone has. But the real metric you should be focused on is engagement rates.
Here are some ways you can find micro-influencers:
1. Do manual research
Enter your keyword to find micro influencers manually. You can use manual research to find influencers on various platforms.
2. Use hashtags
Many micro influencers use hashtags in their content and you can use relevant hashtags to find such influencers.
There are many other ways to find micro influencers. You can find agencies who provide such services. But if you want to connect to a micro influencer directly, then the above two methods will work perfectly for you.
Step 2. Choosing the right micro influencer
Before you reach out to an influencer, analyze their profile carefully.
Look at their posting frequency, likes, comments, and relevancy. These metrics are important to determine whether the person is fit for your needs.
This will also allow you to filter out people who aren’t the right influencers for you.
Step 3. Reach out to them
Reach out to these influencers and start a relationship with them. Having a long-term relationship with influencers is very important.
You can reach out to them via email or directly on the platform. If you want to reach out to an influencer on Instagram, then you can DM them directly.
This video by Gary Vaynerchuk shows you exactly how to do that:
Micro influencers can really uplift your brand and improve your online presence. The key to success is to leverage a higher number of micro-influencers.
This will help you reach a broader audience. And again, don’t get all caught up in the number of people you reach. The engagement is the metric that matters the most.
4. Be Active In Forums & Communities
Forums and communities are really underrated in terms of improving brand presence. If you truly want to show up and get on the radar of your audience, then you should start being active on forums and communities.
There are online communities and forums of almost every industry. Apart from that, there are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, subreddits on Reddit, and Slack communities.
You can find such communities by a simple Google search. Just enter your topic or keyword and add terms like ‘forums’ and ‘community’.
Here’s an example:
If your industry is big, you’ll even find posts like the above where you can get a list of forums and communities in your industry.
Similarly, you can find groups on Facebook.
Join these groups and be a part of the conversation. Reply to posts and comments so that people see you.
Remember that providing value is the most important thing when you’re a part of such communities.
5. Do Giveaways
Giveaways are social engagement generation machines. You can do giveaways to increase your social media followers, get links, and get more visitors to your website.
In other words, giveaways can help you improve your rankings because it helps you in improving your brand presence.
Here’s why you should use giveaways to improve your SEO:
- Giveaways attracts links
- You can utilize giveaways to get fans to like and engage with your content
- Giveaways drive high traffic to the website
Wishpond has a list of many giveaway ideas, but the one that you should focus on is a share prompt.
These types of giveaways ask the user to share the page on social media. Apart from this, you can also ask users to follow you on your social media accounts for extra entries.
But not all giveaways succeed. Follow these tips to ensure that your giveaway is successful.
1. Start with a goal
Always begin with the objectives of your giveaway. Do you want people to share your page, visit your website or anything else?
Your goal should be clearly set and easily trackable. For this, you can use various giveaway tools.
2. Attract Relevant Audience
Sometimes many marketers do giveaways by offering something which is totally irrelevant to what they do.
This is a big no. It works sometimes but unless you’re a big brand, this strategy could hit back on you.
Your giveaway should attract an audience that is relevant to your brand and sticks with you even after the giveaway ends.
3. Create hashtags
We already discussed the importance of branded keywords. For giveaways too, you should be using hashtags.
It is better to create a hashtag for your contest to easily identify the contestants.
4. Utilize micro influencers
Here you can easily utilize micro influencers to promote your giveaway. You can offer them the gift in return for getting your giveaway shared by them on their social media accounts.
Off-page SEO is a long-term process and takes time. If you invest your time and execute things properly, you’ll see great results in your website rankings.
And it is necessary to find a balance between off-page SEO and on-page SEO as both contribute to how well you perform on Google.
Link building and improving your brand presence is very important for off-page SEO. You should invest your resources in these two activities for the best results.
Also, stay away from black-hat strategies that can hurt your website rankings and brand.
If you enjoyed this guide, I recommend you to download the free off-page SEO checklist.
This checklist will help you to execute the various off-page SEO techniques mentioned in the guide. Plus, it includes one bonus off-page SEO strategy not included in this guide.
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