When you hear the term search engine optimization, you typically think of things like Google, keywords, links and the fun stuff that goes along with SEO. The picture I'm painting is that SEO is thought of as an online entity. It lives and breathes in this world wide web of ours.
Now enters the mysterious offl page side of SEO. The side that works quietly and sometimes without you even knowing it. In fact, just about everything you do with/for your business, can aid and abet your SEO efforts and before we proceed, know that when I say off page SEO I don't mean SEO off of your website. I am talking about SEO off of the internet altogether.
1. Word of Mouth: This can play a major role in link building/link earning. I have seen many instances where links were attained without any reason from sources that I had little idea about. Upon further investigation, it has come to light that the link earned was a result of human interaction with people outside of the web. They find out about your product or service and based on the impression you left with them, may link to you in future scenarios where appropriate.
2. Community involvement: Very similar to word of mouth. An old client of mine used to sponsor several events within their industry's community and they did this with no thought of SEO in mind. It was pure and meant to be a give back to the community. In the end though, these events, which were mentioned many times along side the company name, resulted in links people, suppliers, even competitors who attended the event. Some of these links would even come from high authority news sources which gave them a real high quality link to their website. This would directly help their SEO efforts and it all happened though engaging people offline.
3. Offline Advertising: I had to use the term offline because advertising is a large umbrella. Think more of the traditional marketing. Now how on earth does traditional advertising help my SEO? These two channels have been sworn enemies for years, stuck in an epic battle for a company's marketing dollars. The answer to this comes from SEO guru, +Rand Fishkin. Rand recently spoke about the death of anchor text and the birth of co-citation and this got me thinking. Before you read any further though on how Co-Citation marries your traditional marketing to raise their offspring called SEO, watch this video to learn about what co-citation is.
So now that you know about co-citation, the answer is probably clear. But, I will go into detail anyway. Google is becoming more and more intuitive and intelligent as the days go by. Now that they can pull relevant text from the internet that pair well together, they can establish a connection between a query and a company without the need for a link. Now let's say that the traditional marketing message for Plan2Profit pushes
+Paul Morgan as the small business expert. If we continue to hammer home this point, in time people who talk about Plan2Profit and Paul Morgan on the web may associate us with that term. Google may eventually pick up on this connection and without ever competing for this term in the sense of classic SEO, we may begin to rank for it all in part to co-citation. You can now see how traditional, offline advertising can directly effect your SEO. Remember to use this power wisely though because you are spending big marketing dollars at times.
There you have it. Three ways to show you that offline SEO does exist. Even the vinyl decals on your company car can help your SEO efforts. Think about it. The more people that see your URL, the more potential you have for visits. More visits can help search engines when they look short click vs long click. Read this for more insights into How Search Engines Work. In a nutshell, if you site is optimized and engaging and visitors stay on it for a long period of time, Google notices. The next time a search query comes up that you are targeting, Google will remember that searchers (who are their clients) like your site. Hence you may get rewarded with a better SERP. After all, Google is a business and they want to look good for their clients (the searchers) so they will place what they feel are the best sites in the search results. Once again, purely offline marketing tactics and how they can assist your SEO. Pair this with a tagline or message for a term you want to be known for (think link earning and co-citation) and now your potential to crack the top ten are even better.
We would love to hear more from you so if you have more ideas on offline SEO, leave your comments below or email us! We know there are plenty of other creative insights out there so let's have them!
Author: Matt Lacroix who runs WEB6S, a web design based out Niagara.