On Page SEO

Um. No. You see… well, let’s start from the beginning.

On page SEO is that stuff you do to your website. It’s the meta tags, the image alt tags, the content headers. It’s the careful thought put into content, keyword placement, how you write your anchor links and what words you use. On page SEO is necessary for several things, including SERP ranking and visitors seeing your page as relevant to their search (see, it’s not all about the SEs).

Off page SEO is all that stuff you do that doesn’t include actually touching your website. There are a million and one ways to perform off page SEO, but it all comes down to a term you may be more familiar with: link building.

You need link building. Why? Because the SEs look at a website with few links and shrug their shoulders (metaphorically speaking, of course). This is especially true if the site has been around for a couple of years. Logically speaking, a relevant, useful site should have at least a few hundred links by that time.

Links point to your site and say, “yo, SEs, this site says it talks about a, b, c, and we agree.” The search engines take those links, add them up and decide how relevant your site is to a given search term. You need these links, so no, you can’t blow them off.

Now, here’s a hint: you need quality links. We’ve talked about quality links before, but let’s be a little more in depth, shall we? Especially since I love coming up with examples. Let’s use our favorite example of Miami shoes of the golfing variety:

You own a website that sells shoes. It’s based in Miami, but you’re trying to expand your business to a national (or at least state) level. As well, golf shoes are your most expensive type of product, and you want it known that you sell high quality golf shoes that last. While you can go out and try to push 15,000 links through directories for a ranking hike, you can always try it an easier way.

Now, you know and I know there are tons of golf resorts advertising online, as well as tourist sites, review sites, sites that talk about golf, city guides and so on. Links from these sites would be closely related to your content: this is a big plus. On top of that, however, many of these sites are probably popular, and can bring extra value to the links.

With relevance in mind, you could also try:

• Photo sharing: sharing your product pictures and make them public using places like Photo Bucket or Flickr
• Use social bookmarking to promote your website, but be careful to choose proper tags
• Submit articles about how to make golf shoes comfortable or which ones are all the rage now
• Submit your products to various social shopping networks, such as Kaboodale or Google Product Search
• Get into document sharing with Google Docs and other sharing websites. You can share product brochures and other information, thus branding you further

Of course, there are always directory submissions, social networks and blogging, among other avenues.

Whatever you do to increase your off page SEO factors, take the time to make sure your linking campaign is well thought out. It’s a campaign, not a forced search and seizure of the Internet landscape.