7 Off-Page SEO Techniques You Should Be Using for Your Ecommerce Website
To raise brand awareness and drive organic traffic to your site (the goal of any commerce business), you need effective off-page SEO practices. When a user makes a search query, they have one of two purposes: to find information (informational query) and to make a purchase (commercial query). Both groups of people are potential consumers whom you need to attract to your business, where they might become customers or subscribers. To help you reach this goal, we’ve put together a list of 7 off-page SEO techniques for commerce websites that you should employ for the betterment of your business.
The purpose of SEO is to make your brand stand out from the crowd, to get you noticed by potential customers.
SEO encompasses everything we do to try and get our sites noticed. Whilst fighting for the top spot on Google, you should also seek to satisfy your users' thirst for knowledge with your content.
SEO falls into two categories; on- and off-page. On-page SEO refers to many things such as optimized titles, search-friendly URLs, text formatting and so on. Off-page SEO refers to activities that take place beyond the boundaries of your website. Anything that takes place off your website, but still helps contribute towards your ranking is classed as off-site SEO; social media marketing, influencer marketing, mentions, and guest blogging are a few good examples. Also referred to as off-site SEO, it gives search engines like Google a look into how people and digital entities across the internet view your website and its overall features. This goes along with link building and promotional activities, but that’s not all it's about.
Using better off-page SEO techniques will help to show both customers and search engines that your site is trustworthy, authentic, relevant, and even popular. The benefits of good off-page SEO are numerous, it helps increase search rankings, gains more visits, accrues more social media mentions and actually helps promote visibility, just to name a few. Off-page SEO is passive, as it comes after all your hard work building great on-page SEO. Just looking at the outcome, what happens off-page is more valuable than what happens on it- having high-quality content on your site is wonderful, but with no online following to view it, it's useless. You need those endlessly valuable follows, likes, and shares. User perception of your website and business is paramount, and when it comes to winning over consumers, the best way is to simply have the best product out there. After that, your off-page SEO will do the work for you.
1) Link Building
Link building is the number one most popular marketing technique employed by eCommerce businesses today. Even though Google says that content is number one, link building is generally preferred by the masses as a way to generate traffic.
There are certain things that make a referring domain, hence a link, more valuable. Popularity, a topic match between the two domains (relevance), chosen anchor text, link freshness, website trustworthiness, domain authority (DA), page authority (PA) and the number of links used by the sender page all affect how valuable a link is to your business. Pay attention to the sites you choose to link yourself to, as you are intrinsically connecting the two businesses, and also the method you employ.
There are three types of links you could make use of:
- Natural links: When a customer or user knows the content of your page and what you offer and finds it beneficial to them, they may choose to share your businesses link
- Manually built links: These are links gained through direct link building efforts, such as when you ask people or influencers to share your content.
- Self-created links: This is when you post links yourself, in comments web directories, or forums.
The best option of these three is natural link building, and the best way to gain natural links is to simply build content worthy of linking. Be careful to build links at a normal pace, or search engines may turn against you. Don’t be afraid to link to smaller or newer brands either; as long as their content is relevant to your own and of high quality, it’s a valuable and beneficial relationship for both of you.
2) Social Media
The next off-page SEO technique you should be using for your eCommerce website is the use of social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are undeniably the internet giants of today, they are experts in engaging people, and this is invaluable to a business owner. Social media is now a hub for brands and online marketers, with likes and shares being the most valued currency. There are lots of ways you can grow your social media following, and we have a great article available on growing your success on Instagram.
Every time you share fresh and engaging content, it’s an opportunity to reach more of your audience. Here are a few tips on how to build your social media image, and make your marketing more effective:
- Be Responsive: Many people will use social media to interact with you as a brand, so engage with them! Each time you do, you build personal connections with your brand, making you seem more approachable, professional, and relevant.
- Make powerful friends: There are plenty of social media leaders, influencers, and skilled administrators who can be very helpful in spreading the word about your brand. By sharing your content, mentioning your business, or following you, they can give you a much larger platform and sphere of influence.
- Monitor your reputation: Brand mentions are a huge asset, so be sure to treat them as such, they actually count as links in Google’s search algorithms. We recommend using a brand monitoring tool to keep an eye on who’s mentioning you, and what’s being said. Use this information with care, to get in touch and make connections, as well as to win over new customers
If you’re looking to build your engagements, have a look into social media analytics.
3) Guest Posting
Guest posting is a well-known method of getting more recognition for your brand. However, many guest posts only aim to advertise their business or product, thus coming across to many as spammy and annoying. Your primary concern should always be giving relevant and high-quality content, so linking to your website should come as an added bonus.
Writing guest posts will not only help build quality backlinks and create more traffic for your site, but it actually can also help you display professional conduct, and help you build up your image as a brand. This is a well known off-page SEO technique for eCommerce websites, and utilizing it correctly will really help your business grow.
4) Build Trust
Off-site SEO techniques play a huge part in building trust for your brand, that’s how you get your social media interactions after all. Aim to be transparent in your content, post information that’s actually useful to your consumers, and don’t try to deceive them. This is how you create organic traffic for your site and is an off-page SEO technique for eCommerce websites that you should definitely be using.
Check your PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority) using a site explorer tool. This will show you how search engines view your site and provide valuable insight. SSL makes sure the relationship between your site and its user is safe and secure so that all data passed through remains private. Users tend to trust sites much more when they see that their data is secure and encrypted, so make the most of this in order to build trust for your brand.
5) Incorporate Videos and Images
Nowadays, augmented reality is a massive hit, with Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all funding on board in a huge way. Every day, videos and images go viral on the internet, and you need to make the most of this as an off-page SEO technique for your eCommerce website.
Use high quality and relevant photos and videos in association with your brand, as its a great way to gain attention, which is what SEO is all about.
6) Get Reviews
When it comes to customer trust, there’s no other form of marketing more valuable than positive reviews. Search engines love reviews because they generate clicks, which is why so many services now incorporate them into their content, just look at Facebook and Google.
Consider asking buyers or users of your service to leave reviews, as potential customers are much more likely to believe another consumer about the quality of your product than they are the business owner. The more positive reviews out there the better, so really strive to get a many as possible using this technique.
7) Be Present
The most well-known brands in the world are everywhere on the internet, you can’t escape them. They are ever-present, making it impossible for us to ever forget their names. However high above you, this is the recognition you should be aiming for as a brand. Well done off-page SEO builds reputation and authority. The more your brand is seen, never mind interacted with, the more authority your name will carry.
Try not to complicate things; think of easy to understand ways to communicate your brand to consumers, and always aim to make them feel special. Learn how to talk directly to your target audience, this way you’ll have the greatest chance of success.
Remember, good on-page SEO leads to successful off-page SEO. Always start with the highest possible quality content, and go from there. Consumers will only ever like, share, and spread awareness of content they enjoyed or found useful, so make sure your primary aim is always fulfilling these requirements.
Don’t be tempted to try and cheat the system using black hat SEO techniques. This will only risk turning away both search engines and losing customers.