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5 Tips for Off-Page SEO, 2016 Style

Many elements of SEO have evolved over the years and that includes those activities specific to off-page search engine optimization. As you put the finishing touches on your 2016 plans, pay special attention to making sure that you are not just blindly doing what you’ve done before because it’s what you’ve done before—even if it worked for you.

With SEO of any sort—on-page or off-page—the only constant is change. That means your strategy and approach should be open to change. The following five things should be integral elements of your off-page SEO program in the coming year.

  1. Healthy Link Building

Backlinks are something of an on-page SEO element since they literally appear on your site. However, the work that needs to be done to secure good links—and to remove bad ones—is most definitely off page. Hence, I’m putting it at the top of this list.

Your link building plan should feature a thorough assessment of your current link profile. Yes, that means getting rid of those links that are not of high quality or that put you at risk of receiving a Google penalty. Once you have done this, you should proactively seek relevant, high-quality links that can help your SEO—and help you avoid that nasty penalty.

  1. Dynamic Social Activity

Just having accounts on social sites is not enough. You need to get out there and be active on those sites. You don’t need to be on every single site possible—pick three that are most relevant for your business and audience and work them. A vibrant presence on three platforms will help you a lot more than a mediocre showing on 10.

The number of followers, likes, shares and activity in general that your social sites command will directly impact your ultimate ranking with Google. When developing content for social media, keep your keywords and phrases in mind as well—but, just as with on-page SEO, they must appear naturally.

  1. Email Marketing

Done right, email marketing can be a tremendous source of traffic to your site—and you know that traffic rates are integral to where you show up in a search result. Just as with social media, a “less is more” approach can help you here. You don’t need to send emails to as many people as possible. You just need to send emails to as many qualified people as possible. A smaller but more targeted list will generate better traffic than a larger, less targeted one could ever hope to.

  1. Digital PR

Garnering this valuable earned media is similar in a way to getting good engagement on your social channels. It lets search engines know that other people find your content and your business relevant and worthy of attention. Spend time beefing up your public relations program this year.

  1. Blog, blog, blog and then blog some more

At least for the foreseeable future, a really strong blog can be one of your best friends when it comes to off-page SEO. What makes a strong blog? Well, of course, it starts with the quality of the content posted on it. But, that’s not all. Readers need to be able to count on you so adopt a regular publishing schedule and stick with it. While frequency is important (and it is—once a week should be the bare minimum), consistency matters greatly as well. Whatever your posting cadence, never break it—unless you are increasing it.

None of these things are dramatically new, I realize, but they have each evolved to work more interdependently than they may have in the past. They have also eclipsed other activities in their level of importance for off-page SEO.

Perhaps the best thing for any company is that off-page SEO really isn’t all that hard. It’s about giving your customers—and prospects—what they need, when they need it and where they need it. Do that and the rest will follow.