Search Engine Optimization involves a number of activities and initiatives that businesses can implement to achieve high search engine rankings. Such activities address both on-page and off-page ranking factors that can affect a website’s or web page’s search engine rankings for specific search terms, resulting in a high placement in a search engine’s “organic,” or “natural,” or “unpaid” search results.
The goal of off-page optimization is to promote a website in the right ways to improve its reputation, so the ranking of the website rises. Off-page optimization refers to off-site factors that have an effect on a website that are not controlled by coding on the website.
Some of the factors that deal with off-page SEO are:
- Search Engine Submission—The website needs to be submitted manually to the most popular search engines to get listed for free and quickly.
- Directory Submission—The website needs to be submitted to high quality directories.
- Social Networking—A presence in social networking sites, and creation or involvement in online communities, increases the reputation of a website considerably. Search engines place a higher ranking on sites that are active in social networking.
- Blog and Forum Posting—This is one of the most powerful ways to promote your company’s website. Writing quality blogs and participating in public user forums is a great way to increase the online reputation of a website. It is also a good idea to create a blog and forum as part of the website itself.
- Link Building—Link building is a standard off-page optimization technique. There are several ways to increase backlinks to a website. However, it is important to note that search engines are very strict with respect to unethical Link Farming. A site that has thousands of links, often to unrelated sites, will be considered spam by the search engines. Reciprocal linking is common and generally accepted if it is not excessive and provides value to the site visitor. Public blogs, forums, and directories are great sources for backlink building.
- Article Submission—Writing industry-related articles and submitting them to popular article sites such as ehow, Ezine, Go Articles, Hubpages, and Buzzle help to establish an online reputation and can also be used to increase links to the website.
- Press Release Promotion—PR submissions in popular online PR websites, such as PRLog, PRWeb, Market Wire, PR Newswire, 1888pressrelease, 24-7 Press Release, Open PR, and PR Leap, increase a company’s online reputation considerably.
- Document Sharing—Sharing business documents, information brochures, and presentation slides in document sharing websites, such as Google Docs and Slide Share, helps to increase online brand visibility.
- Questions and Answers Sites—Participating in popular question and answer sites, such as Quora, Google Questions and Answers, Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers, and Stack Exchange, is another great way to increase website link popularity.
- Business Reviews—Participating in business review sites, such as Google Reviews, Yahoo Local Listings, Consumer Search, Trustpilot, and RateitAll, increases online reputation.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, other off-page optimization activities such as Social Bookmarking, Photo and Video Sharing and Promotion, Search Engine Local Listings, Yellow Pages, Maps, Social Shopping Networks, and other activities help to increase the online reputation of a website leading to improved search engine listing.
It is also important to note that different search engines assign different weights to the various SEO activities. These change over time as new standards and formats are developed.