Off-site SEO: acquiring backlinks
As a reminder, on-site referencing represents everything that must be optimized on the website, we have seen that this goes through the structure and content of the site. Off-site referencing represents everything that is external to the site, this is called popularity. I will detail all this for you.
What is the popularity of a site?
The popularity of a website is like in real life, the more you are mentioned and quoted, and the more famous you are! For example, it is more rewarding to be quoted by a major newspaper such as Le Monde rather than in a local newspaper such as Midi-Libre. The popularity of a site or a page is therefore measured by the number of links present on other sites and pointing to the site concerned. Popularity is taken into account by Google to establish the relevance score of a site or page. Google no longer measures popularity via the number of links present, but by analyzing the quality of the links, i.e., it will above all attribute value to the links present on “trusted” sites. We must therefore prioritize quality over quantity!
The quality of links is measured in different ways, using different criteria:
- Anchors, as varied as possible, using synonyms, plurals and other variations
- The trust, which is a trust index: Trust Rank, Trust Flow …
- The juice, in particular the PageRank which is still used, but which has no longer been displayed to us
- Clicks, it is important that the links are clicked
- The do/follow, because you have to know that the no/follow links do not bring anything
- The context: coming from pages whose theme is equivalent to that of the targeted page, with links coming directly from the content of a page rather than from the bottom of the page, on pages that do not contain too many links, etc.
- The ranking, on sites well positioned on the targeted request
The ideal is that each link brings together a maximum of these different criteria…
The off-site referencing parts
Off page SEO services increase the popularity of your website, you have to work on your net linking. Net linking is a set of actions consisting in creating links pointing to a website or a web page in order to improve its positioning in Google results.
Here are the different levers to improve your net linking, and therefore your visibility on the Google search engine. Namely that all these methods must be regular and that too many links should not be positioned at once for it to appear natural.
What I recommend for integrating your backlinks
- Vary the source sites as much as possible: do not target only large sites, also target a few small sites
- Vary the type of page of the source sites: do not position the links only on the home pages, it is also necessary on the internal pages
- Vary the link anchors by targeting your brand name as much as possible
- Have consistency on the locations of the links: preferably in the middle of the useful content of the pages
- Keep in mind that backlinks are positioned over the long term: do not integrate too many at once, you have to be regular!
- Beware of link exchanges: Google doesn’t like it… don’t overdo it
It has to seem natural, when it is artificial!
Techniques for acquiring backlinks
These are backlinks that you can set up in different ways. Here are some examples.
Make free resources available
Create and make available resources related to your field of activity for free. For example:
- If you sell electronic equipment, put online articles or instructions describing step by step the configuration of these devices
- If you own a cottage, publish the list of all the activities, events, visits, etc. to do in the area, as well as the best restaurants in the area
- If you have a store selling spare parts for mobile repair, offer guides and tutorials that describe step by step how to make replacements
These resources can be published on your own site, on one of your blogs, on forums (by creating topics on hot news) …
Register your site in quality directories
In 2016, it is still possible to also post links in quality directories, it still works. I insist on the term “quality”! You will find a directory list on the Rank+ site as well as a selection from Yoda. To control the quality of a directory, I look at its Trust Flow and its Citation Flow on Majestic SEO services, this is a good indicator.
It is also strongly discouraged to carry out mass automatic registrations, or to succumb to certain offers of the style “200 directories for 30 euros” which will be more penalizing than beneficial for your referencing.
Also remember to list your activity locally, on review sites, professional and business directories, etc. Examples of sites:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages and Mapp
- The Later
- Euro Pages
- Hot Frog
- 123 Pages
- tell me were
- Mister What
You can also reference your site on: the site of your town hall, tourist offices, informative sites on companies in your region (CCI, business incubators, etc.), online CV sites, etc. All these sites usually have a strong following and will bring you “juice”.
Show yourself as a partner
Whether it is with your customers, partners, suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, ask to appear on their websites. Same thing with associations with a well-positioned website related to your activity, as partners you can be displayed and obtain a link to your site, and why not generate turnover by offering them discount codes. Kill two birds with one stone!
Create link exchanges
Create link exchanges, for example with tourist offices, cities, places to visit, etc. in order to be visible on their sites and therefore to obtain back links. For example: a link from the site of the tourist office of a big city is excellent because these are sites with high popularity!
You can also exchange links with sites with themes equivalent to yours. In this case, it is important to check several elements:
- The page where the link will be located must not be blocked by the robots.txt file.
- The page where the link will be located must be indexable (no index tag).
- The page where the link will be located must not be an orphan on the site. If this page receives no links, it will not pass any juice.
- The page where the link will be located should be close to the home page in number of clicks. The closer this page is, the more juice it will receive.
- The page where the link will be located must be measured, for this I recommend Majestic SEO’s Trust Flow by controlling the URL.
- The page where the link will be located should not include too many links. The more outbound links there are on the page, the more juice will be split between those links.
Also be careful not to position the links exchanged at the same time. Wait about 4 to 6 weeks between the first link and the one in return.
Post articles as a guest
These are links integrated into the breasts of articles that can be offered on blogs as a guest blogger. If from the launch of your site, you publish your content only on your own site, very few people will read it… It is important to expand the content of your site regularly, but it is also important to publish outside of your site. Guest blogging will therefore allow you to be known quickly, to obtain the first buyers for your products and services, to forge links with influencers in your sector of activity and to meet future partners.
Publish press releases
Do you have a new product or a particular service to present? It must be presented via a press release. Press release sites are relayed by many media which are a certain authority on the web. Find a list of press release sites on the Rank+ site.
What I recommend for publishing articles and press releases:
- Unique content per site, so it’s relevant to Google and visitors
- An article of at least 500 words, segmented with Hn level tags and using the targeted keywords
- Include links in the body of the texts and not in the form of a list at the bottom of the articles
- Integrate links with some well-optimized anchors
Offering contests will automatically generate links to your site. To set up a contest, you can negotiate lots with your suppliers, in exchange for advertising for them. These prizes will be to be won, for example, during a lottery in exchange for links and articles on the sites of the participants and/or on social networks. Another example, by asking your customers to take photos with your products and post these photos on social networks…
Ask to be interviewed, whether by specialized sites, the local press, the goal is to get people talking about you and get backlinks.
Work on your visibility on YouTube
You should know that YouTube belongs to Google and YouTube videos are very well positioned and are very often found in the first results of Google searches. You can offer videos that will present a product, a service, a podcast, an interview, a tutorial, … For each video, it is important to clearly target the title of the video and to integrate a description text of 200 to 300 words, because Google does not yet know how to analyze the content of videos, so the title and description will help it understand the theme of the video and to reference it well.
Work on your reputation on social networks
Popularity also goes through social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, even if they have no direct effect on the positioning of a site or a web page. The effect of social networks is rather indirect, if an Internet user likes content, he will actively share it with his contacts via a “share” or passively via a “like”. As a result, by snowball effect, this will increase traffic to a page and it will therefore gain authority vis-à-vis Google and will automatically be better positioned.
There are dozens of social networks but not all of them are relevant to your target and they do not communicate in the same way, so it’s up to you to choose those that suit you best, that will get people talking about you and that will bring you back targeted traffic!
Consider sharing your posts and pages on social media, you can automate this using tool like Socially map. To measure social shares, you can use the Shared Count tool by entering the different URLs of your website.
Show up on events
Get invited and participate in conferences and events related to your theme, you will automatically be mentioned and quoted on the event website. Or simply sponsor an event related to your activity, you will be displayed on the website with a link to your site.
Use expired domain names
Expired domain names have the advantage of having many backlinks. It is therefore necessary to find domain names that have a theme close to yours. It is possible to directly use one of these expired domains to launch a new site, or quite simply to put these domain names in redirection towards the site for which it is necessary to improve the popularity and therefore the visibility on the search engines. It is important to choose these domain names carefully, by checking: their popularity, their theme, the existing links, if they have not been penalized by Google, …
Use sponsored articles and link strategies
There are turnkey platforms for publishing sponsored articles. This gives you the opportunity to publish articles on popular sites with the same theme as yours. Of course, I recommend my own SEM Juice platform, which connects advertisers and publishers while deploying real linking strategies, while also taking care of the most restrictive: content writing.
The link strategy, also called net linking strategy, is clearly the best and most effective compromise to improve the popularity of a website. This makes your work easier and you won’t need to spend many hours on it every week, unlike the points mentioned above which will require a lot of investment of time and energy. A link strategy is the placement of articles and links on sites dealing with subjects close to yours. Each link is integrated into an article dealing with a subject related to your theme. The goal is to set up several links over several months and to analyze the evolution of your site according to the keywords and queries targeted on the search engines.
Other optimizations that I recommend
Obtaining new backlinks is an important step, but it is also necessary to monitor those that are already in place or that could be easily obtained:
- Watch your back links, if a link disappears, do not hesitate to contact the site concerned to ask them to reposition it
- Analyze the backlinks that point to 404 pages, this is often the case when taking over expired domain names, you must redirect the pages with 404 errors to existing pages on your website
- Detect the sites that talk about you and ask them to include a link to your site on the article concerned
- Analyze your competitors’ backlinks and also try to position yourself on these same sites, or even replace your competitors’ links with yours, if necessary for a few euros…
- Define low-quality links that point to your site and request their disavowal from Google