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Step 4:
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization


Isn’t on-page search engine optimization enough?


The brutal answer is no. While the optimization of your web content is extremely important in ensuring that your site ranks well in search engines, search engine algorithms also take off-page factors into account in order to determine the relevance and importance of a web page.

Backlinks


Backlinks are the most important element of off-page search engine optimization. Also called inbound links, backlinks are links to pages in a site from other websites. Search engine algorithms use these incoming links as a kind of voting system to determine the importance and relevance of a website.

As a rule of thumb, a website should not only have many backlinks, but the backlinks should also be of high quality. The quality is determined by their topical relevance to a website and the importance and quality of the site the backlinks originate from.

For example, a restaurant website might have backlinks that come from restaurant review sites, tourist sites, the sites of produce growers or vineyards, city guides and so on. Such links would all be very closely related to the actual content of the restaurant website and accordingly considered important by search engines. Some of these linking sites may be very popular and well respected which would further enhance the value of the links. If, on the other hand, links originated from sites that are completely unrelated to the restaurant site (for example a site filled with nothing but advertising banners or affiliate links), the backlinks would not add to the importance or relevance of the restaurant site.

How to Get Quality Backlinks


There is a big difference between quantity and quality when it comes to backlinks. A lot of poor quality backlinks will offer little ranking benefit to a site unless it’s brand new, and even then the ranking benefit will not be great. Many companies sell hundreds of backlinks in one service, or backlinks from pages with a certain Google PageRank rating, but generally such services will struggle to provide you with the backlink quality that you need. In order to get quality backlinks, you have several options – all of which require patience and persistence:
  1. Submit your site to directories and get relevant directory links (for example, ineedhits’ G-Boost, Y-Boost and M-Boost services include a guaranteed link building component, with guaranteed inclusion in 5 new, quality directories each month).
  2. Create press releases about newsworthy events and distribute them online. Press releases that contain your URL and get picked up by online publishers will provide you with topical inbound links.
  3. Request backlinks from suitable sites. This is quite a difficult task since you essentially need to contact and establish a relationship with the website owners of every site. In many cases, be prepared to offer a link to their site (reciprocal link) in exchange.
  4. Make your website content so interesting that relevant sites link to you without you having to ask them for it. Yes, it’s difficult, but outstanding content should not only be good for your backlinks, but also for your customers! Valuable research, background information or an industry blog can be good ways to make sure other sites take note of your site and link to you.



Find out more about Search Engine Submission. (Go to Step 5)
Learning Center 

Introduction: Your Guide to Search Engine Marketing
Step 1: Understanding Your Website
Step 2: Understanding Search Engines
Step 3: On-Page Search Engine Optimization
Step 4: Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
Step 5: Search Engine Submission
Step 6: Paid Search Advertising
Step 7: ineedhits Search Engine Marketing Services
Step 8: Conversion Tips

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