What is Off-Page Optimization?
But there’s one other aspect to this, and that is off-page optimization. What that means is literally things that are off of your website. So Google for one looks at the content on your website, and that is a huge part of the way it determines which websites are the most relevant.
I believe that most SEO companies massively underestimate the value of on-page optimization because off-page optimization is sort of the more alluring and the thing that people don’t understand very well, and the thing that maybe people are willing to pay more money for because they don’t know how to do it themselves.
But today I’m going to teach you how to do it yourself or, if you’re hiring a search engine optimization company to do it, you’re going to make sure that they’re doing it the right way. Now, by the way, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a search engine optimization company.
In fact, I myself own a web marketing company called Titanium Marketing, and we are the best in the industry. I mean, we’re revolutionizing search engine optimization. And if you have those kinds of things, come to us.
Let us help you. But today I’m going to teach you exactly what we do so you can do it yourself. You don’t need our help unless you really want us to do it for you and you want to make it hands-off and easy for you. Additionally, if you’ve already got an SEO company, all you’ve got to do is make sure they’re doing these things. And if they’re doing these things then hey, you’ve got a good thing going.
How to Improve Your Website SEO
So off-site search engine optimization is this concept of link building. So you see Google has to figure out what websites are telling things that are the most relevant. The first way it does that is the content on the web page.
But what happens when there are a hundred web pages, and they all are talking about the same thing? So last episode, I talked to you about the fact that when you type in “why entrepreneurs fail,” one of the top results that comes up is an article that I wrote.
Now, that’s pretty impressive considering the websites that we’re beating. I mean, some of these websites are websites like Inc. Magazine and Fortune Magazine, and we’re right up there with Entrepreneur Magazine, which has the word ‘entrepreneur’ in it.
So how is it that my article is up in these ranks? Well, there are a couple of different factors. But speaking of on-page optimization, you have to think of Google as a voting system. So as I record this episode, we’re in election season, and in an election season, it’s all about how many votes you can get.
Google Uses Links as Part of a Voting System
Well, Google is almost exactly the same way, and there are delegates and super-delegates and all this other stuff and believe it or not, Google has a similar system to delegates and super-delegates. The way it works is this: Google is looking to see what websites are getting the most votes from other websites on the internet. The way you give a vote to a website on the internet, by the way, is by putting a link to it.
So imagine on your website, let’s say you’re in the real estate business and you have a website. On your website, you have a page about mortgages, and you have a link to a mortgage calculator that’s somewhere on the internet.
See, when you have that link, what you’re doing is you’re giving your users a really good tool that they can make use of. They can click that link, they can go to the mortgage calculator, and they can fill it out. It’s the key to off-site search engine optimization.
Well, whatever website has that mortgage calculator, you my friend have just given a vote to that website. That’s critical because if you and a thousand other people or 100,000 other people or 1,000,000 other people give enough of those votes, eventually that website is going to rank at the top of Google.
Now, for certain keywords that are not so competitive, one or two links are good enough. For other things, you literally need thousands or hundreds of thousands of links to be able to rank.
Now for most things, any link is very, very positive to have, especially if it’s a link that’s actually going to get used. So just like the way that an election works in an election season where we’re selecting a president, there are certain states that are those battleground states.
And in those states, votes matter more than states that are not quite battleground states, right? Same thing with Google.
So certain cites are more relevant; they’re getting more traffic. It’s the same concept as a state that has a higher population. So a link from a website that doesn’t get that much traffic is not worth as much as a link from a very highly authoritative website that gets a lot of traffic, and not just the website itself but the specific page that links to you. So what you want to try to do is you want to get as many of these links as possible. You’re going to say, “Arman, okay, well how do I do that?” Ah, good question.
Some Strategies for Getting Backlinks
Here are some off-site search engine optimization strategies. The number one way to do that is do what I told you to do about on-page optimization.
Create very, very high-quality content that sits on your website that does what? Yes, it answers people’s questions because Google wants to answer people’s questions.
The more people’s questions that Google answers, the more people will use Google. If they type a question and Google doesn’t give them the answer they’re looking for, they will run and go to the next search engine, and Google will no longer be at the top, I guarantee you.
Google is very, very, very focused on always making sure that it answers people’s questions, so that’s the number one thing.
Number two, see, if you have content that is answering people’s questions, Google is not the only one who’s going to notice. Other websites will notice, and other websites will link to your website.
Now, what’s really interesting is I have created such great content on my websites for all of my companies that many times my competitors’ websites are linking to my website. Think about that for a minute: my competitors are linking to pages on my website.
Now, many of them don’t realize what they’re doing. What they’re actually doing is giving my website a vote, which is making my website rank above theirs. But the concept is – and this happens for my Titanium Marketing company. This happens to our clients all the time where their competitors end up posting links from their site, and they don’t understand how this is actually giving them all of this link energy and our sites are ranking up high.
But the key is if the content is there and it’s high-quality, people will link to it. The beauty of it is this: as you have more and more high-quality content, you will show up on the top pages of Google more, and the more you show up on the top pages of Google, when other websites are looking for content to link to, they’ll find your site, and they’ll link to your site, and you’ll get even more votes. Votes lead to more votes, but it all starts with high-quality content.
Getting Backlinks Through Guest Posts
Now there’s another way that you can create backlinks to your website, and that is that you reach out to other websites and offer them what they’re looking for. What is it that all websites are looking for? Yes, that’s right: high-quality content that answers people’s questions.
Well, what if you call up Inc. Magazine and you say, “Hi, Inc. Magazine. I have some very, very high-quality content I would like to provide you, and that content is an article I wrote about some of the things that entrepreneurs do that hurts their business,” and you can convince Inc. Magazine to print that for you.
Now here’s the thing. Inc. Magazine is going to be tough for most of you to get into. But there are blogs, there are smaller blogs, smaller websites, things in your neighborhood, that would be more than happy to post some of your content.
But in my case, I’m reaching out to magazines like Entrepreneur, Inc., and big websites like that, and they’re publishing my stuff. It’s just a matter of establishing yourself as an authority, and once you establish it, people are more than happy to publish high-quality content, and that’s the key. It’s got to be high-quality, not a bunch of junk, not a bunch of crap. It’s got to be something that really answers people’s questions.
So now what happens is we get an article published in Inc. that talks about some of the reasons that entrepreneurs struggle, let’s say early in their career. Or, it could be an article about how entrepreneurs can improve their health or how entrepreneurs can improve their relationships. See, anything to do with entrepreneurs, and then somewhere in that article I can reference my own article that is on my own website or any page on my website. So in this case, let’s say I’ve written an article about fitness for entrepreneurs.
And as I’m going down, I say something about the seven biggest reasons that entrepreneurs fail, and I can just say, “Go here to read more about the seven reason entrepreneurs fail,” or I can just put a link under the word ‘fail.’ I could hyperlink that, which all this stuff is really easy to do if you’re freaking out like, “Oh my gosh! I don’t know how to hyperlink.”
This stuff is very easy to do. You just write the content, and they’ll take care of the rest for you. There will be a link to that article. That is now one more vote, and in this case, that vote is coming from Inc. magazine, which is a pretty big deal, my friends. That is a very authoritative website.
The other thing is you create content that gets links from Wikipedia, links from YouTube. Now, we don’t want to get into all of those other things. That’s a separate episode where we’ve got to talk about social engagement and social signals that give Google ideas of which websites are relevant and which are not.
But for today this concept of back-linking then, I just want you to understand that it’s all about getting votes from super-delegates. Now, what are those super-delegates? These are the high-authority websites that get a lot of traffic. The more authority, the more traffic the website gets, the more that link is worth, okay?
Now, there are a lot of services out there that will sell you links. Let me tell you, my friend, if someone is selling you a link, it’s almost always completely useless. For one, a link from a web page that does not get traffic is worth zero. In fact, in some cases it can count against you, so you want to make sure that you’re getting links from pages that get traffic – number one. Now, if you’re writing the content, that’s a very good way of ensuring that it gets traffic.
So in December of 2015, I wrote an article for Entrepreneur Magazine called (I believe) “14 Secrets to Doubling Your Profits in 6 Months or Less,” and see, this article was one of the most popular articles they’ve ever published on their site. Why? Because it was high-quality content.
Now, this article had links to my website. Aha…guess what? High-quality content gets a lot of traffic, and then there’s a link from that page. What that means is that the link is worth even more. Now, if you’re getting links from pages you didn’t write, it’s hard for you to make them better, so you just deal with whatever you’ve got. But the key is that you want those links to be links that people are going to use.
The other thing that’s really interesting that most people don’t talk about is links can actually hurt you if they are not relevant.
This is a really interesting point. Here’s what I want you to understand: when someone clicks on a link on a page that lands on your website, the key is you want them to stay there for a little bit, and you ideally want them to dig deeper into your website.
If you have links out there that people are clicking on, coming to your website, but they are not staying on your website, and they’re immediately leaving, they’re bouncing and the time they’re spending on your website is very short. That can actually hurt your rankings, believe it or not.
So let’s say there’s a website about parenting and there’s one specifically about how new mothers can put diapers on their kids. There’s a link from that page and let’s say it’s a very high-authority website and that page is actually a page that gets a lot of traffic. Somewhere on there, there’s a link to my entrepreneurial article.
Now, think about it for a second. Someone who is looking for how to put a diaper on their baby is probably not interested in my article, so that link can actually hurt me because if people click on it, they’re going to click to my website and they’re going to bounce off the page immediately, and they’re going to go back.
The Goal is to Get People to Stick Around and Explore Your Website
That back button is the most dreaded thing for you when you’re dealing with Google. You don’t want people to go there and go back because there’s so many things that Google can see, and there’s all kinds of debates about is Google really using this data or not.
Let me tell you, they’re using it. They’re using everything they can get their hands on to make sure that they’re sending relevant traffic and they’re putting the best websites at the top.
So now what you’re getting is you’re getting all these clicks that Google sees that people aren’t interested. Now, Google isn’t going to take the time to understand, “Oh, well that’s because the link is from a diaper site. That doesn’t matter.
All Google sees is that your content must not be all that great. So what you want to do is you want to make sure you’re getting links from relevant sites, relevant pages, where it’s very clear what your website is about. Because once people land there, you want them to read it, you want them to stay on it.
If you have a video, you want them to watch it. You ideally want them to click around and go to other pages, so they don’t bounce off your page and they’re on your site for as long as possible.
Now, that my friend is a summary of off-page optimization. SEO, search engine optimization, is a really, really complex subject. But if you break it down to the basics, which in my opinion these days, you can break it down into three simple components. In my opinion, those three components are number one, on-page optimization.
This is the content you have on your website which is written content that’s not related to how beautiful your website is. Number two is off-page optimization, which is very simply how many links can you get from relevant websites that send traffic to your website, and we’ve talked about that today. The third part of it is going to be social signals and traffic to your site, which is a separate topic I’m going to talk about in the next episode of this podcast. So join me for that episode, so you get the third piece of this.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot more to off-site search engine optimization. But if you can master these first two concepts and the third one that I’m going to share with you, you will dominate just about any business. And when you go out, and you hire a company now to do your search engine optimization for you, when they start talking about building you a website, you’re going to say, “Wait a minute. Are you trying to build me a beautiful website, or are you trying to build me a website that is going to have high-quality content that people want?”
And let me tell you, 99 times out of 100, they are not building you a website with high-quality content. Why? Because high-quality content is really hard to come by. Beautiful websites? A dime a dozen. In fact, you can literally buy templates of gorgeous websites for like $50 or less online.
So get out of this whole beauty thing and focus on the content. Look at Craigslist and see what they have and understand that all you need is a site like that. Now, I’m not suggesting you build yourself an ugly website like Craigslist. But I am suggesting that you build high-quality content that people want like you see on Wikipedia, Craigslist, and other awesome sites like that.
Getting the Most out of SEO Companies
Now, the second part then I told you about is this off-page stuff, creating backlinks. So if you talk to the company who is going to do your SEO, they’ll tell you about how many backlinks they’re going to create for you. “We’re going to create you 100 backlinks.”
All you’re going to say is, “How are you going to do that? Where are these backlinks going to be? Are they going to be on relevant websites? Are those pages going to have high-quality content? Are those authority websites?”
By the way, at this point, what’s probably going to happen is most SEO companies, the guy trying to sell you this stuff is going to take out his notepad and be like, “Wow, these are really good ideas because I’ve never thought about actually doing it this way.” Because let me tell you, most SEO companies don’t do it this way because it is very expensive to do and sadly, most clients will not pay you for it.
Most clients don’t understand the value of doing these things, and they don’t understand that a few high-quality links will do way more for you than a bunch of random links from random pages that will never, ever generate any real traffic that sticks on your website.
So, next episode we’re going to talk about social signals and generating real traffic to your website. This is an essential part of search engine optimization, and it’s the newest addition that has only been around for a couple of years.
Believe it or not, social media is not that old, and Google did not embrace social media until very recently, and many would claim that even today, Google is not fully embracing social media.
But let me tell you, social media is not going away you’re going to see it grow and you are going to see this third aspect becoming more and more important because it’s the real people placing real votes on what they like and what they find to be relevant. So join me in the next episode.