A Precautionary Note on SEO
Why you should focus on off-page and offline SEO
With the rapid development of everything digital, it becomes tempting to try to “cheat the system” that is Google. While it is very important to stay updated with all things SEO and make sure your site is fully optimized (On-page and Technical), the most often overlook, most daunting, and the most important part (in my humble opinion) of SEO; is off-page. In fact, I would go as far to say offline SEO is another major area of focus.
Off-page SEO deals with the part of networking and growing a community that surrounds your business. Working with blogs and publications within (vertically and horizontally) your industry as well as influencers and community members. Think of it this way, as a small or local business owner, you could have the best technical design and best on-page optimization, but Google will only have one-half of the story (as explained in Neil Patel’s article, The Ultimate Guide to Off-Page SEO). “Off-page SEO”, as he explains, “tells Google what OTHERS think of your site”. What others think, has grown tremendously, as noted by Yelp and similar sites (love them or hate them, they are here to stay). People genuinely care about what others say about a particular business, good, service, T.V. show, recipe, celebrity. The list goes on and on! That is why word of mouth is so important. It creates strong feelings of trustworthiness and expertise towards a particular brand.
Off-page SEO deals primarily building online communities (i.e. social networks and email marketing lists) as well as demonstrating your brand as a thought leader in your particular industry through various off-page means (interviews, guest blogs, etc.). These will help create backlinks that will tell Google that your brand or page is the most relevant for this particular search because you have all of these trustworthy and engaging sources linking to you. This is why creative, unique and engaging content is so important.
I would like to extend this notion of off-page to offline actions. Implementing excellent offline business practices can go a long way to helping your business’ overall online SEO. Following up with customers who have had a good shopping experience is one way to build reviews. Public speaking, PR, direct mail, events, etc. are excellent ways to drive customers (or fans) and prospects to talk about your site and talk about it. Yes, I know, these tactics seem outdated in this day and age, but there will always be a human element that will transpire through the digital field that people will connect with. In short, Google loves brands, and developing a community around your brand is the best way to authentically grow and improve its SEO.
In conclusion, everything about SEO is important however, you must figure out in what order and how much time to dedicate to each solution. This field is very fluid and it is never a once and done project. What we recommend, is that once you have adequately set up your technical SEO and have a consistent on-page content creation schedule coupled with optimized on-page elements, begin dedicating more time to off-page and offline SEO. In the long run, these focuses will grow your brand’s SEO holistically, naturally and stronger.
How is your brand engaging with off-page and offline SEO tactics?