– Ultimate SEO Blueprint –
This is the third episode of the Ultimate SEO Blueprint (USB) quick course where I teach and talk about the main fundamental basics of search engine optimization (SEO), and how anyone can adopt and learn the theory, terminology, and strategies themselves to generate organic traffic from the search engines like Google, Bing, YouTube, DuckDuck Go, Brave, and many more.
In previous episode USB #2 I’ve been talking about the critical foundations of on-page SEO, basically how setup your domain, web host, CMS, theme, plugins, and content, in order to appeal the most to the search algorithm. But in this article I will describe as best as I can the basics of the Off-Page SEO, which is everything that’s being done outside of your main website that you are trying to optimize for search engines.
What Exactly Is Off-Page SEO?
Most of you have probably noticed that I say in the title of this article Basics of Off-Page SEO, which doesn’t mean that that you receive just a half or less of a knowledge. It means that this is a short and quick version of the subject so it fits the average size of an article that would people actually read. Not many people read longer than 3000 words article about technical SEO stuff, well unless if they are tech nerds. ;-p
Off-page search engine optimization just as important as on-page SEO and goes hand-in-hand. Meaning that if your on-page SEO is a crap it’s going to be super hard or sometimes impossible to rank the website no matter how good your off-page SEO strategy is, and wise versa.
So the best way really is to do both well, remember it’s all about pleasing the algorithm of search engines.
Now, off-page SEO is everything that’s done outside your main website, the stuff like publishing press releases, guest posting on other people’s blogs and websites, creating social media accounts and publishing relevant content on them, or building your own blog network.
All that is mostly for one purpose, to get high-quality and relevant BACKLINKS linking to your main website. Of course, you won’t just get backlinks, another benefit of high-quality links from high-quality websites is that your website also often receives the traffic coming through that backlink which is also strong and relevant signal to algorithms that your website is important, therefor it deserves to be pushed up and rank higher on the list of organic searches in search engines.
It’s all that is to it, pretty simple.
The only catch is that these High-Quality links are super hard or very expensive to obtain.
The single publication with a single link to your site from the high authority websites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, or NY Times, costs anywhere between $1000 – 5000 dollars which ain’t cheap at all. But the truth is that one good link from one of these sites can be better than hundreds of links from the unknown low-traffic websites and blogs.
Biggest SEO Mistakes
1. One of the most common mistakes that SEO beginner do is going after high competition keywords and terms, thinking that they can out of a blue outrank old high authority websites.
I am going to save you months and years of frustration by saying that you don’t have to do that.
Unless you have a huge 7 figure budget, it’s always better to go after the keywords and terms that have low competition, but also low volume searches which most beginners disregard as no value. Well, the search volume may be much lower, but the relevancy is not. And what I often times see is that these low search volume keywords hold much higher CTR (click-through-rate) and customer value than those with thousands of searches a month.
Now, we usually refer to these easy-to-rank-for phrases as Longtail Keywords because they consists out of more than 2 words, sometimes 6 or 8. But what many people miss is that longer the keyword phrase is the more specific, detailed, and relevant the query of the user typing in the search box is, which again, is increasing the possibility of the person to buy, leave the email, or complete any action on your website.
2. Second big mistake is that a lot of people attempting to do the SEO think that they don’t need a quality and valuable content.
This may have been kind of truth 15 or 20 years ago at the beginning of internet and SEO Era, but it definitely doesn’t apply nowadays. One of the big and obvious reasons is that people are more familiar with internet and it’s content than they were 2 decades ago. You can think of this as, when you watched the big movie 20 years ago it seemed to you as the best movie ever, but if you would watch it now you would probably say how amateur and silly the whole movie is.
It’s all about perception, perceiving things in life and learning about them.
So make sure that you provide the real value in the content on your website or that you intend to publish somewhere else. When the real person comes to read it, you don’t want them to turn right away from your website, it causes something called the Bounce Rate and is negative for your SEO.
3. The third very common mistake is that most people and beginners do not have the patience and analytical mind.
The SEO is mostly about testing and analysing, and testing again. That’s how you get the data that can be used to form SEO plans and strategies. So the reality is that if you lack the analytical characteristics and do not have patience, SEO is surely not for you. It’s important to be patient and think outside the box.
The reason is that the data doesn’t come in instantly and it takes time, especially with ever-changing and updating algorithms, if something changes we need to know in order to be at the top of the SEO game.
The Best Off-Page SEO Practices
Now I kind of already mentioned what is off-page SEO about and what is it that drives organic searches of a website to go up in search engine listings.
It’s the Backlinks, more specifically the quality of backlinks.
So if that is a problem and your visitor dwell time and action-based conversion rates are terribly low than it must be fixed, otherwise it’s a bit waste of time and money to invest in solid SEO strategy.
The best practices vary, so it depends what kind of business you are in and what is your best type of a customer.
Once that is fixed, you are ready to move on.
Backlinks For SEO
There are many types of backlinks that you could get, and I don’t want to go through all details how, what, and why about all of them since it would take too long and this article is long enough already.
But perhaps the best kind of a backlink is the one that has the traffic of real people going to, and then going to visit the link that goes to your website. This gives the signal proof to search engines that your site is important and algorithm will do its magic. But hear me again, if those visitors coming from that backlink will almost immediately leave your site because it sucks in one way or another, then it’s a bad thing and your website won’t receive that much of love from the search engine.
So it’s the quality, consistency, plus good user experience that makes needle to move up.
How To Get Good Quality Backlinks
As mentioned already, the best kind of backlinks are those from real blogs and websites that have the consistent amount of visitors coming in on daily basis.
Those are hard to get, or are expensive.
But there are individual services that allow you to submit a guest post for $50, $100, or $200 dollars, and those links are really good.
And/Or you can start building your own network of blogs and sites that are pre-powered already with strong backlinks. These domains could be purchased and obtained from domain auctions for a few or several hundred bucks.
This way could also get pricey and it takes time, that’s why the best strategy is to not rush and be consistent.
So to summarize things, here are the main ways how to get good or high-quality backlinks to your website.
Press Release Publications
Press Release publishing services are the great way to increase the visibility of your business/website in relatively short amount of time, and depending on the business niche, this strategy could be really beneficial and rewarding to start with.
There are many ways and places how and where to publish the press release, and some could be more expensive and less effective than the others. You would have individual writers and journalists offering the publications in popular magazines and media such as Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, NY Times, etc. These are really great sites but prepare to pay anywhere between $1000 – 5000 dollars per publication.
On the other hand there are cheaper Press Release services like PRWeb but still not as quite cost effective as we would like it to be.
But there is one SaaS (software as a service) company that has the best prices in the industry, and their press release publishing and distribution is highly effective and cheap compared to any other company.
It’s called the Ampifire.
I highly encourage to check them out, I personally use them for the last 6+ years to promote my own, or my client’s business websites. I actually have been using the services before it was called Ampifire.
Guest posting is great way to get decent quality and highly relevant backlinks. Guest post is an article written either by you or the blog/website owner that is published on the highly relevant site with do-follow backlink going back to your main website.
These are personal individual sites and blogs that individual people have and maintain either as their hobby, side business, or sometimes as the full time business.
The prices vary a lot, and depend on the quality of the site/blog, amount of daily visitors it receives, and quality of those visitors, prepare to pay anywhere between $50 – 500 dollars per article guest post.
Social Media and Web 2.0 Sites
Social media and Web 2.0 websites play the role in SEO as well, but more like an additional boost, unless you have social media account with thousands or millions of followers.
The good thing about social media is that it’s real people engaging with your website and content, meaning the real visitors to your website, which gives a positive signal to search engine’s algorithms. But as far as backlinks, they are less powerful and valuable than press releases or guest posts.
Web 2.0 are the third party sites where anyone can create an account and start publishing and sharing content. The great example of web 2.0 is Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger, Google Sites, Wix, etc.
Most of the times these can be built for free, and although they carry less power in terms of backlinks, it’s good to mix them into your backlinking portfolio strategy.
Private Blog Network
These are blogs and sites that you own and host yourself. There are certain criteria and rules that must be followed in order to build an effective private blog network.
We use pre-powered domains with relevant backlinks that once were real sites or someone’s business, usually bought at the domain auctions. Sometimes you can buy these as expired domains for the price of a domain registration, but it’s rare to find quality domain that expired and hasn’t been picked up by domain auctions.
It’s important to have separate and unique good quality web hosting account for each blog with unique IP address and content. There are SaaS SEO web hosting services that save you a lot of time and money if you intend to build bigger network of 50 or more blogs such as Easy Blog Networks. You can deploy a blog with a few clicks and software will automatically install the WordPress CMS and assign a unique ip address.
Private Blog Networks is a one huge topic that I won’t have enough of time and space to talk about here, but I have the article talking just about PBNs, the best practices to build them, and their purpose for SEO.
Where and How to Get Free SEO Traffic?
Unfortunately, there is really no way such a free traffic.