You recognize the value of content marketing and are churning out content on your website. But, despite your best efforts, you still aren’t budging in the SERP ran
What’s going on?
If you’ve optimized the heck out of your website already, off page SEO could be the culprit.
What is off page SEO?
SEO actually has two components: on-page and off page SEO. You have complete control over on-page SEO because it’s concerned with your page speed, user experience, and every other feature on your website.
Off page SEO, however, isn’t within your control. You’re affected by every decision your competitors make to outrank you here—and you can’t do much about it.
If you’ve heard about off page SEO before, you might think it’s about link-building and nothing else. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Off page SEO encompasses all activities that happen off your site that affect search engine rank. Backlink strategies, social media, guest posts, and more will influence your position in the SERP.
In fact, a lot of off page SEO success comes from your content marketing efforts. Yes, the very same content marketing you use for on-page SEO can boost your off page efforts, too.
Two birds, one stone—nice, right?
While we love off page SEO, Lingble always advises our clients to start with on-page first. Once you exhaust all of your wins there, then you can move on to the more advanced off page strategies.
If you’ve already maxed out on-page SEO, congratulations: you’re ready for off page SEO now.
At its core, off page SEO shows search engines how trustworthy you are. How do people interact with your site? Do they recommend it to their friends? Do they link to your site in their own content? All of these factors will influence your SERP rank.
What’s difficult about this is you can’t control other people. With an assist from content marketing, though, eCommerce brands can get more control over their off page SEO.
While off page SEO is difficult to control, you can still influence it. Rely on the power of savvy content marketing to boost your off page efforts. Follow these 6 sneaky tatics to create a strong backbone for your SEO initiatives.
Strategy #1: Master on-page SEO first
Lingble works with a lot of eCommerce brands across the globe. If you want to see true, long-term success, we tell our clients to look at their on-page efforts first.
Remember, off page SEO relies heavily on on-site content marketing. We can only create thumb-stopping content if we understand the value of quality content marketing.
That means focusing on:
- Exclusive content: As a brand, you have access to exclusive information and experience. Don’t hoard that knowledge; share it! Lingble encourages all of our clients to share your perspective and expertise.
- Multimedia content: That means videos, infographics, ebooks, and more. Don’t get sucked into a black hole of text-only content. There’s a rainbow of options to explore. Plus, did you know that 72% of shoppers prefer video content over text?
- Localized eCommerce content: You could create one piece of content and just translate it. But Lingble suggests something bigger and better than Google Translate. After all, does a German shopper get the same pop culture references as a Korean shopper?
- Targeting more relevant keywords: Give your shoppers what they want with long-tail keywords. These keywords are 3+ character phrases that give more context to a search. For example, “red shoes” would become “red shoes size 8” or “where to buy red shoes” in long-tail form.
Off-page and on-page feed into each other. Since you have more control with on-page strategies, always start here first before moving to more technical off-page efforts.
Strategy #2: Invest in buyer persona research for targeted off page efforts
Off page SEO is about reading your audience’s mind. In marketing terms, it means you’re understanding a buyer’s intent. What do they need when they go to your site? Why are they there?
When you prepare for backlink research, media pitches, or blogger outreach, target sites that your persona already engages with.
But how do you know what a shopper wants, anyway? How do you know where they are online?
You’ve got to dive headfirst into audience research. That means conducting a buyer persona analysis. That means asking questions like:
- What are my shoppers’ pain points?
- What kind of content do they want to consume? Blogs? Videos?
- Where do my shoppers have conversations online?
- What unique perspective or expertise does our brand offer?
- How can we match our expertise to our shoppers’ needs?
If you’ve never done this before, you’ll likely create 3-5 buyer personas for your brand. When you understand your shoppers, you write better content that they have to share with friends and family. And that’s a boon for your off page SEO.
Strategy #3: Build a backlink plan with technical savvy, social media, blogs, and forums
Okay, here’s the deal: off page SEO isn’t only about link-building, but link-building does matter.
We could write a book about off page SEO and backlinks, but the main point is that you want more quality links to your eCommerce site. A handful of quality links shows search engines that you’re a trustworthy expert.
And no, you can’t buy links. That used to be a common practice to work around Google algorithms, but search engines are smart today. Never, ever pay for backlinks. These are almost always going to low-quality, sketchy sites that will actually hurt your off page rank. Focus on these 3 link-building tactics instead.
Tactic #1: Invest in a technical backlink strategy first
You can ask people for backlinks with outreach and sometimes they’ll oblige. But you can earn backlinks another way: technical optimization.
Using tools like Google Search Console, you can try improvements like:
Technical backlinks are pretty complex, so dig into this guide if you want to nerd out on the intricacies of SEO backlinks.
Tactic #2: Boost off page SEO with an active social media presence
Social signals aren’t a huge ranking factor, but they do have an effect on your search engine presence. If a customer has to choose between you and a competitor, your social media is often the tie-breaker.
Engagement of any kind on social media indicates you’re a quality brand. That’s why you need a responsive social media presence from the start. At Lingble, we encourage eCommerce brands to foster genuine interactions on your posts (no more of the corporate crap). That means:
- Asking questions.
- Hosting polls.
- Using live video.
- Tagging engaged followers or doing shoutouts.
Social media significantly increases your chances of gaining shares and backlinks. Plus, it connects you with influencers and VIP customers (AKA “fanfluencers”) to give more recognition to your brand.
Tactic #3: Get the word out on forums
Off page SEO is about being near the action. Popular blogs and forums in your niche are the perfect places to win some easy backlinks for off page optimization.
Of course, links shouldn’t be your main priority. Your goal is to leave thoughtful comments that catch people’s eyes. Surf through sites like Reddit or Quora to answer questions, connect with people, and build yourself up as an authority in your niche. You’ll be able to leave a few links to your site, too, which is great for off page SEO.
Tactic #4: Get more traffic by conducting blog outreach
This is a long-term strategy, but look into conducting blog outreach. Hire a virtual assistant or marketing agency to ask other website owners to link or feature your content.
They won’t always say yes, but sometimes they do! This takes a few quick, free emails and can’t hurt, so always conduct outreach to boost off page efforts.
Just make sure you’re pitching to blogs that your customers actually read. This is where the customer persona comes into play. Don’t waste your time pitching a blog if your customers don’t read it; make the most of your off page efforts by thoughtfully pitching to relevant blogs and media outlets.
Don’t forget to invest in off page SEO strategies
You can do so much with on-page SEO, but it has its limits. When it’s time to get more mileage out of your eCommerce website, Lingble suggests you dip your toes into off page SEO.
Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy. When you pair that with quality content marketing, you steadily improve your standing with your customers and with search engines. None of these strategies will work with mediocre content, though, so always invest in good content marketing first.
Whether it’s audience research, content production, or a solid backlink strategy, off page SEO can increase your eCommerce traffic for the better.