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.
It’s that time of the year again, April 1st a day when pranking and trickery are considered common place. The internet has always had these types of things but today is when it’s stepped up a bit and taken to an extreme through viral marketing efforts. Today I went to check my Gmail and came across Google’s April Fools trick about how we are now able to back date e-mails months into the past and make them look like they had been read. It was pretty funny but that’s to be expected of Google. I would highlight them but Google doesn’t need SEO. Continuing into my e-mail I had 2 new newsletters. One from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 site and one from a favorite shopping site of mine ThinkGeek.com.
Microsoft’s newsletter had some “new products” for spring which included a gaming helmet with “rumble” effects, an Xbox 360 made of wood, the Xbox 360 board game, and a Xbox 360 that came with a solar power tv and generator just incase the world ended and you needed power. Their items were unconvincing and were all done with computer graphics. Regardless of this fact I clicked through to see if there was any more effort put into their campaign. Clicking through the newsletter took me to this Xbox promotion page and although it is a very pretty page its total lack of text makes it useless for SEO. After clicking on one of the items in the flash movie the page tells you it’s a joke and to e-mail your friends and the campaign ends there. So what did Microsoft get from their viral marketing efforts? Not much. They managed to get 1 visit to an obscure promotion page and maybe a few e-mails out to my friends. They effectively drove traffic to a site that did nothing but generate traffic to a site with no conversion.
A better example is a personal favorite of mine ThinkGeek.com. Every year this site has a new April Fools viral marketing campaign and is known to be one of the best on the internet (You can see past year’s items here. Their entire home page is transformed by this campaign. Product pages, movies, and user images are all created to support it. Great items such as this Beta-Max to HD-DVD Converter or this USB Pregnancy Test are highlighted on their home page. The fake products that have movies are uploaded to YouTube where they spread like wildfire by un-expecting victims. Other are spread though word of mouth, blogs and message boards.
By this time tomorrow ThinkGeek can expect thousands of backlinks to these products by people who either thought they were funny, clever, or real. I can’t think of a better example of viral marketing that also translates into amazing SEO results. ThinkGeek has a PageRank of 8. This score is higher than Buy.com, Half.com, and Overstock.com. Through its creative marketing and SEO efforts this little niche ecommerce site has sky rocketed its self 1 PageRank away from the likes of Ebay.com and Amazon.com the 2 largest ecommerce sites on the internet.
Examples like this are proof that you can build relevant backlinks through viral marketing and social media. It doesn’t take a huge budget it just takes creative marketing efforts to enforce your SEO efforts.
Many times when the topic of link building comes up, people cringe. This is because it is one of the most difficult aspects of SEO. Link building is a task that is never complete, and the rules are changing all the time. Many people focus on submitting their website to different directories relating to their site. This is a great way to build links, but not the only way. Check out these ideas for other ways to build links.
Create a top 5 or 10 list
People look for things to make their lives easier. If you can provide a “top” list of tips, tricks or other important things that help someone do something, they may link to you. The reason people like lists is that they are easy to digest, and they don’t have to read through lots of copy to find what they are looking for. The more helpful your list, the more likely someone will link to it.
Build a tool collection, or develop your own.
Along with lists, people like tools to make their lives or jobs easier. As an SEO Engineer, I am always looking for and building tools to make my job easier. If you can offer your customer or visitor helpful tools to, there is more of a chance that they will link to you.
By now many people have heard of or used LinkedIn. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it is a social site for the business world. You create a profile which can include a rÃ©sumÃ© and other information. The great thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to include websites in your profile. In researching companies with LinkedIn accounts, I have found that some search engines are counting links from LinkedIn as backlinks.
Submit Press Releases and Articles
Many sites already have a news or press section of the site. How many are really utilizing this content? There are many sites out there, which can syndicate these press releases. Not only will it be possible for another source to pick up this valuable information, but the release site will allow you to link to your site.
Start a Blog
Blogging is all the rage right now. Everyone and their brother has a blog. Do You? You may be asking what the fuss is all about. The reason blogs have become so popular and important is because it gives people the ability to share their views and beliefs to a mass audience. This is great for the individual. What about the business? In SEO terms, blogs are useful because they give search engines fresh content. Depending on how often you blog, you can see some fascinating results. I have seen Search Engines index a blog post minutes after it has been posted. If you can update your blog regularly, you can help the search engines as well as the user get more engaged with your site and product.
Many companies today are starting blogs to help boost their SEO results. Blogs can be a great tool to introduce new content to the site in an easy to use fashion and without the resources of a web designer or knowledge of html. One great aspect of these blogs is the comments feature that allows users to post comments about your blog post. This is great because the comments are usually about the same topic as the post and can add a lot of good, indexable content to the page other than the main post.
But there is also a darker side of comments, the spam side. Blog comments are an easy way for people to spam links to their site because many people leave the option in WordPress “on” that auto approves comments. I know there have been many times that I had read a comment along the lines of “Great site, keep it up” or “Just surfed in and I love your site”. Sure they seem harmless, but comments allow the user to post his url and name with their comment. So the above two comments were posted by a person named “Buy Viagra Online” and were actually a link to an online pharmacy. This is not good for your site at all. Comments like this can put you into bad link neighborhoods and associate your site with theirs.
The problem is that not all comments are like this. The option to add your url is so other blogs can link back to their blogs. The idea of comments is great and the rewards of building a solid community outweigh the risks of possible spam. But if you are going to allow comments, you need to moderate them all. Check the users post; make sure it is relevant to the topic of your post and not a generic post. Generic posts can be a sign of an automated posting spider trying to spam blogs with open comments. Check the users name and url; you want to allow them to post their url because it is part of blogging but you should always visit the url a user gives to make sure you are ok linking to that site before approving the comment. Comments are one of the best things about blogging but if you are going to enable them make sure you moderate them properly.