Small business website tips: Offsite SEO
We’ve covered small business website tips for onsite SEO, such as what content to put on your website, but now we’d like to address offsite SEO: promoting your company’s website in various ways online to drive traffic back to your website.
Here are a few offsite SEO ideas for your small business website:
Contributed articles & blog posts
A time-consuming but critical way to build links back to your website is by writing original articles and pitching them to blogs and online publications related to your industry or target markets. These articles should not directly reference your company or product, but instead cover a related topic in which your customer base is interested, with a short bio and a link to your website at the bottom. It’s a time-consuming process because each article or blog post should be exclusive; so not only do you have to write an original piece each time, but you also have to pitch it around to relevant outlets, one-by-one, until it’s published, and then start all over again with a new article. It’s best to blog for websites that are ranked higher than your site because a link is a vote of confidence from the other website, and Google takes the votes of higher-ranked websites more seriously. This is an excellent way to receive legitimate, quality backlinks to your website, boosting your SEO.
Online customer reviews
Register your business on consumer review websites like Yelp! to boost your website’s SEO organically. However, keep in mind that the very nature of consumer review sites means you have no control over the content, and therefore may have to contend with negative reviews along with the positive ones. To combat this, simply encourage your happy customers and clients to review your business through personalized emails or calls to action on social media.
Earned media coverage
Garnering media coverage on major websites and blogs will also improve your small business website’s search engine optimization, whether through feature stories about your company, or simply mentions of your company name with a link to your website. To accomplish this, try offering yourself or other experts in your company to journalists for expert sourcing opportunities; or, pitch a unique story idea about your business, product or service to relevant media outlets online. This will result in positive backlinks to your website from trusted sources that will boost your search engine ranking.
Companies today don’t strive to create the next big viral video for nothing! Sharable content that links back to your website such as video, memes, photos, etc, are great ways to boost your SEO. Start by creating a YouTube account for your business and use it to upload original videos, whether professionally produced or guerrilla style in the office. Just like you would create an editorial calendar for your company blog, start a content calendar to stay on track for creating a steady stream of sharable marketing content that will drive traffic back to your small business website.
Perhaps the first and most basic step for offsite SEO is listing your website in website directories. These are private websites that categorize other websites by type and let visitors look through the categories, giving your website a valuable link and providing a hub for customers to more easily find your site. Think of these like phone books for websites—just like businesses 30 years ago wouldn’t forget to list themselves in the Yellow Pages, you shouldn’t neglect to submit your company’s site to website directories. List your website in the appropriate category related to your industry for correct indexing.