As a business owner, you’ll be keen to see your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This way, more people can discover your business, and you’ll likely start to gain a competitive edge over your nearest rivals.
To ensure your website ranks highly, you need to focus on search engine optimization (SEO). This is an essential aspect of SaaS marketing, although every business type needs to consider its importance.
When you’re on page one of Google, you’re likely to receive more traffic to your website. This is because customers rarely look beyond the initial results page when browsing the web for the products or services they require.
Those who regularly implement SEO for SaaS will understand this due to the competitive nature of that particular sector. However, reminders are helpful for businesses in all industries.
There are two key ways to improve your site’s ranking: on-page SEO and off-page. We take a look at them below.
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the process of making changes to your website to improve your SERP position. You might include more keywords within your site content – for example, in your meta tags and meta descriptions to improve your SEO. You can do these things on your web pages, i.e., on-page.
Off-page SEO refers to the tactics you use outside of your website to improve your SERP position. Link building is one such tactic. However, there are other things you can try within your off-page SEO strategy.
Below, we consider some off-page SEO techniques your business should be using. As will become apparent, some are interrelated to one another. The more you can follow these techniques, the better, as higher website rankings will give you the competitive advantage you need.
Off-Page SEO Techniques
If you want to try your hand at off-page SEO, these are some of the easiest and most effective techniques to include within your marketing strategy.
1. Link Building
Link building is integral to any off-page SEO strategy—the more links you acquire from strong, high-quality sites, the better. SERPs will consider these when deciding where to rank your website.
When choosing where to link your website off-page, keep the following factors in mind.
- Authority. The higher the authority of the linking page, the more authority your landing page will gain. Several online tools can help you judge this, so use these before placing site links. A single link from a high-authority page is worth far more than a few links on a low-authority page. Focus on quality rather than quantity.
- Relevance. It’s important to link from sites that make sense to your business. For example, if you run a food business, aim for links that come from food blogs, catering websites, and other sites that align with your product. You will receive more clicks this way, as those who are likely to be interested in your site will be visiting those site pages.
When approaching website owners for backlink opportunities, keep your keywords in mind. Ask for these to be incorporated naturally into the text their writers create. This will give your keywords more context, ensuring they earn trust from Google and more people have a reason to click on them.
In reality, though, the best way to control the anchor text keywords for your links is to write the content yourself. One of the most common examples of effective link building is guest posting. That’s where you write an insightful article for another blog or site, include your chosen backlink(s), and they then publish the post.
2. Content Marketing
Publishing great content on your website is just the start. You can post content elsewhere online, too, with links that direct readers back to your website.
The most obvious place to publish content is on social media. You can create an engaging post on Facebook, for example, with links back to the products and services you mention.
You could even post a tutorial video on YouTube with the product URL linked in the description box. This is particularly pertinent for SaaS companies. A business providing a marketing platform, for example, might post a tutorial explaining one of the great features of their offering, and how to use it.
These are just some things you can do for off-page SEO within your content marketing strategy. There are many other options open to you as well.
3. Linkless Mentions
Links are not the only way to build authority online. Search engines can gauge a website’s reputation through any reference, even when it isn’t linked. These are known as ‘linkless mentions.’
When talking at a keynote conference in 2017, Google’s Gary Illyes had this to say about linkless mentions.
“Basically, if you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet – and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding … then you are doing great.”
With this in mind, you don’t have to search for every mention of your business online and ask for a hyperlink. Search engines can consider any mention of your business as a trust signal and take these into account when ranking your site.
What that means in practice is that anything you can do to get people talking about you online can help your SERP rankings. Getting engaged with discussion forums and engaging in social media are great real-world examples of how you can nudge along those linkless mentions.
4. Local SEO
It’s a fact that many people will include their location when searching for a business they need. For example, they might search for ‘key cutting business in London’.
For this reason, localize your keywords for any relevant piece of content you produce, especially when advertising your business on websites that cater to people in your area. By doing so, you will rank higher for local searches.
You should also optimize your listing for Google My Business. This will maximize your chances of appearing in local organic searches and should help you rise above your close-proximity competitors.
Studies have shown the average business receives 1,009 customer searches a month per Google My Business listing. 84 percent of these come from discovery searches, and the remaining 16 percent from direct searches.
If you’re not currently using this service, now’s the time to start.
5. Online Reviews
You’ll already understand the importance of online reviews. Any positive feedback from a customer is good for business, while negative critique can hurt your sales. For this reason, do all you can to impress your customers, from offering a great product to improving your customer service.
While this is old news, one thing you might not realize is that positive online reviews can improve your search engine rankings, too. Google can recognize these reviews, relate them to your business, and place you higher in their search engines. This is because good reviews boost a site’s authority.
As Google wants to give its users the best possible experience, they will deem you deserving of a higher rank because you meet your customers’ needs. Of course, you’ll also receive more site visitors because of your positive reviews, which will improve your ranking.
In practice, that means implementing a straightforward customer feedback process is essential. You might, for example, send automated emails to customers asking them to rate you out of five stars. Make it as easy as possible and keep your customer service standards high, and those five-star reviews should come rolling in.
6. Social networking and bookmarking
Google’s priority is to provide quality content to users. One way it recognizes quality is by the number of times online content gets shared. This is just one metric Google uses when ranking web pages, and you can capitalize on this with your off-page SEO strategy.
For this to work in your favor, concentrate on two things. Firstly, build a strong community on your social networking sites. Secondly, create content that has a chance of going viral. More people will share your content and, consequently, increase your chances of ranking higher in search results if you do this.
To improve the likelihood of a higher ranking, include links back to your website in this content. Gather feedback from your social network and find out the types of content they consider valuable. This way, you’ll have a better chance of going viral and improving your credibility with Google’s algorithms.
For example, you might run a social media poll asking followers if they prefer infographics, white papers, or customer case studies. The results can then guide you as to which content to create and share in future. What’s more, the discussion and engagement itself will add to your off-page SEO.
Social bookmarking is another way to improve off-page SEO. There are hundreds of social bookmarking sites online, and if your web pages get bookmarked often, search engines will pick up on this. Your content will be considered useful to online users and given greater authority. It should be ranked higher, making it visible to more people.
Work on your content within your on-page SEO strategy and fill it with keywords that will affect search engine results, focusing on providing value. People will then be more likely to share it on social bookmarking sites, giving it a better chance of being seen and shared even further.
- 7 Tips to Improve Your SEO Today
- SEO vs. SMO: What’s the Difference, and Why Should You Care?
- 5 Advanced SEO Tips to Boost Your Organic Traffic
- 6 Tips to Easily Optimize Blog SEO for Search Engines
- 9 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid
Never underestimate the importance of off-page SEO within your digital marketing. You will improve your search engine rankings by following our suggestions, becoming more visible to your target demographic, and gaining a competitive edge over your nearest business rivals.
The success of your off-page SEO hinges on a multi-faceted strategy. On the one hand, you want to publish great content on other high-authority domains where you can plug your own resources and build backlinks for yourself. There are also organic yet similarly effective strategies, such as linkless mentions and making sure you’re optimized for local SEO. Lastly, set up a system for your audience to help you through online reviews and sharing your content over social media.
What are you waiting for? Give these six tips a go today to see what they do for your SEO!
Written by our guest writer Nick Brown, founder & CEO of accelerate
accelerate is a SaaS digital marketing agency that exclusively partners with enterprise tech companies to scale their SEO and content marketing. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, written and published a book, and grown accelerate from a UK-based agency to operating across the US, APAC, and EMEA. He has written for sites like Airdroid and Pandadoc.