For years now and those to come, the phrase “SEO is dead” will continue to be a running joke. Why?
Because while the old ways of trying to game the system to get sites to rank are definitely six feet under, the concept of optimizing for search will not go away.
With that in mind, I want to explore a little bit about off-site SEO, which is about earning (not just ‘getting’) links from other sites.
This is the link building part of SEO, which is tough but not difficult.
I remember back in the day, having a blog and checking my page rank because I was getting a lot of traffic to a post. I think my page rank reached 7 and I punched the air because that number showed me it wasn’t all for naught.
Those days are done, especially since many tried to game the system by accumulating external links by the truck load regardless of quality. Google put a stop to that and getting quality external links became harder to attain.
These days having a good social media strategy, which includes content creation, distribution, promotion, engagement, needs to be a part of your overarching content marketing strategy. Social media can and will have a great impact on your visibility, if you’re consistent and relevant.
The more visible you are (in addition to providing value) the more traffic you’ll receive. This can help your online reputation ( building your authority) and subsequently your SEO. It’s a circuitous, indirect route that is more for marathoners than sprinters.
Those Oh-So-Important Backlinks
Getting backlinks isn’t easy, at least when you do it the legitimate way. It’s not about ‘getting’ anymore. You have to earn those backlinks and make sure they’re natural.
Going through this process can feel like walking on glass shards for miles on your knees with nothing to show for it. That’s why link buying has such a strong market because they feel it cuts out a few untidy steps and gets to the point.
But, and people need to remember this, Google isn’t stupid and machine learning is real.
How Does Google Consider Which Backlinks Are Good?
Two things they consider are relevance and quality: If you have a site selling red widgets, and another site selling red widget polish links to you, that could be seen as a good link. A link from a coffee house isn’t necessarily bad but not considered helpful.
Here’s Rebekah again to better explain how Google judges the links to your site:
If you’re not sure about what backlinks you have or if you have any to be worried about anything, check out a site called SEOProfiler.com. It’s free and you can see and judge your backlink data. Check it out.
How Social Media Helps With SEO
I understand that there’s still a question about where social helps SEO and I don’t understand why. Social media is about building relationships that will help to increase your brand visibility. When other people engage with you on social media, that lays a foundation of breadcrumbs for others to find you. That kind of attraction and visibility will help your SEO efforts.
Is it good to focus on a couple of platforms instead of all of them? Absolutely! The last thing you want is burn out while trying to keep up with social media platforms Tribble-like birth rate.
It’s also good to not put your eggs in one basket. Worried emails from app vendors are flying around because the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica situation. That breach has put a good chunk of compliant businesses on shaky ground.
But you don’t have to worry too much if you are smart about diversification. The idea is this: Go where your prospects are and work that platform with meaningful intentions. Over time, you’ll reap the rewards of having your content catch the attention of your target audience.
Social media is that drip system that will eventually see your bucket start to fill up. You’ll get the attention of your audience, who’ll engage with you in valuable ways that can include building your backlinks naturally.
I find that many are scared many because SEO has now moved from quick-shot tactics to a sub-strategy. This shift requires thought and planning. It’s got to fit into your overall purpose of earning your audience’s trust.
Again, this is a marathon and some people just don’t want to put in the training.
If you’re interested in learning more about off-site SEO and coming up with a plan to build better backlinks that won’t see you slapped, I highly recommend the SEO Fundamentals course, which opened my eyes on how I can better integrate SEO into my overall content marketing strategy.