SEO doesn’t end with your website. You can use offsite SEO techniques to improve your reach and achieve brand ubiquity. Learn how to enhance your SEO strategy with tips for offsite optimization, brand expansion, and content marketing. MoreVisibility’s SEO experts can guide you through the most up-to-date offsite SEO techniques and methodologies.
Should we still submit to directories for SEO, or for any reason such as link building and website traffic? The short answer is: yes, but with many caveats. First, it is absolutely imperative that any new site, or any site that has not done so already, submit to the top directories. These are, but are not limited to:
What are directories? Put simply, they are websites that include links to other websites that are listed by topic. Directories used to be considered more important for passing “link value” to a site; the onslaught of less “SEO friendly” directories soured search engines, such as Google, from assigning too much weight to a backlink from those kinds of sites. However, the three directories listed above are the originals, are still some of the most important and can be useful in terms of attaining some quality traffic to your site. In actuality, it is not even known if Google even consider the “premier” directories, like Yahoo! and DMOZ for link value, so it’s best to just submit to them and forget about it and be diligent with other link building strategies, as well.
There are also a plethora of other directories out there, but the majority of them are of extremely low quality as they are very spammy. Essentially, do your due diligence and ensure that any directory you submit your website to is SEO friendly and well respected. The dubious directories can be very easy to spot as they usually look unorganized, have thousands of random links and advertisements on their homepage and tend to have a very low PageRank or no PageRank whatsoever.
Wouldn’t it be totally amazing IF…you optimized your website to be perfectly aligned with everything that the search engines (namely Google) wanted? Then, almost like magic, your efforts were instantaneously rewarded with top positions on every keyword that mattered to you? Amazing – yes. Realistic – hardly. Rome was not built in a day and neither is top organic placement. This is one of the most challenging things to explain to a client who wants results yesterday and quite frankly, who doesn’t? We’ve all become so used to instant gratification that we don’t find it acceptable to have to wait for anything, especially when it comes to the free positions in Google. Although, I always try to set the right expectation, patience is not one of my best attributes and I feel their pain when clients expect to see northward shifts in positions immediately, but don’t.
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to “speed up the process” and the way in which Google determines positions (aka their algorithm) can shift and change. As a result, your website should not remain stagnant and will never be 100% optimized, but more like a work in progress, with ongoing tweaks along the way. It would behoove you to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible with respect to what Google is currently (currently being the important word here) looking for when determining rank, as well as identify how Search Engine Friendly your website is. This exercise is one of the first steps our SEO Engineers take when a new client comes through the door for SEO. Commonly referred to as “the cornerstone of our Natural Search Program”, our Website Optimization Review is — for lack of better words — a report card on your website from an organic perspective. In addition to multiple other factors, it will address these four primary areas of optimization: Technical, Design, Content and Marketing. After providing a score of how your site ranks (per the current standards of Google) a priority list rounds out the Review, which pinpoints where your efforts should be placed in prioritized order.
When it comes to SEO, no matter what your path, it is advisable to gain a clear understanding of what Google is looking for and where your site is lacking before trying to optimize it, as you could do more harm than good. One example that comes to mind is Domain Trust. Often, clients will want to change their domain name to make it “sound better” or “be catchier”. This would not be a recommended practice if you’ve had the domain for 5+ years, as it’s likely to be considered a trusted domain by the major search engines. Trusted domains typically rank higher in the SERPS so you might want to think twice before changing it.
Everyone wants prominent placement in Google for their core keywords and everyone seems to want it to happen overnight. Invest the time in your website and be patient; the fruits of your labor will pay off over time.
Inbound links or “backlinks” (links pointing to your website from another one) can have great benefit in terms of both ranking AND indexing of your site. For instance, more links pointing to you emanating from a site that also has a lot of links will contribute to your site’s PageRank (A page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRank receives a high rank itself). This will sometimes aid the website in ranking higher for particular keywords. Also, the PageRank number (a scale of 0-10) is proportional to the amount of pages Google decides to crawl and then index. The benefits are really two fold.
Getting backlinks is not that easy, however. You must be proactive and attempt to garner new linking opportunities as often as possible. Granted, the better the content on the site, the more people who will want to naturally link to you, but that is only two thirds of the battle. Having a great website with great content does not mean that you will move from position 30 to position number 1 without getting your name out there and alerting other webmasters to your presence.
You also need specific types of links. The general consensus used to be that any link from a “.edu” or a “.gov” domain will automatically award your site great rankings, but the Google algorithm is savvy to this and Google is now specifically looking at the relevance of the website linking to you and how much of a “hub” site or authority it really is.