Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 15th, 2009

Off-Page SEO Strategies

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns require a well-balanced mix of on-page and off-page strategies in order to get your website shooting up the search engine results. Both on-page and off-page are important to your rankings, so skimping on either could affect your overall success. Some folks dealing with SEO understand the on-page strategies well enough, but don’t grasp the off-page optimization that goes on with their site. Here is a quick off-page optimization overview and how to best go about avoiding its mis-use.

Do You “Link” with the Wrong Crowd?

Off-page SEO consists of building links, or back links, to your website. Think of it as making “friends” with other websites. You want to make as many “friends” as possible with other websites so that the search engines see that you are popular, and give you the authority, where authority is due. But you can’t go around linking to just anyone, you need to link with relevant websites within your industry or niche that are also trustworthy and authoritative themselves. Do you want to be seen running around with the wrong crowd? Thought not. Here are three ways to build back links the right way:

1. Link With Relevancy

Links from other websites to your website must be provided by websites that are relevant to your niche market. If you are a florist, there is no reason you should link with a weight loss website because there is no value in such an action. You won’t be penalized by the Google gods, but the link will be ignored. Linking to irrelevant sites is a waste of your time.

2. Link with Consistency

The more links that you have the better, but there is some fine print to this statement. If you get 500 links this month and 15 links the next, it will hurt your ranking. Search engines are looking for more quality than quantity of links, but if you a huge quantity of quality links, “you’re money baby and you don’t even know it”. Two quality links with very high PageRank are more valuable than 20 links from websites with low PageRank and no relevance to your niche.

3. Link One-Way

Reciprocal links are no longer counted as favorably as they used to. Sure, you can reap the benefits of exposure to traffic and credit-card-wielding visitors, but you may not drink the link juice. Search engines will also not penalize you for having reciprocal links, but it doesn’t enter into their algorithms either. This levels the playing field a bit more against those link-swapping, savvy web wizards who made more link exchanges than Madoff made enemies.

Always remember that visitors will see your links and visit your website as well. One-way links will build your rankings while reciprocal links will increase your traffic. Off-page and on-page SEO is a delicate balance and by no means is either an easy process. Finding a trustworthy, effective SEO company to help you build your business online is one of the smartest decisions you can make.