Photo Credit: sxc.hu/budadams
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s rankings in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, in order to drive more organic traffic (visitors that you get for free) to your website. SEO can involve both on site optimization and off site optimization. On site optimization refers to the techniques that are applied to your website to make it more SEO friendly, including such techniques as using appropriate keywords for your content or installing SEO friendly plug ins which make your site easier for search engines to index. Off site optimization is the process of improving the ranking of your website by raising your website’s profile on other people’s websites.
This particular article will focus on the different approaches that you can take to improve your off site optimization. Here are some popular methods to increase traffic to your website:
Blog commenting is a popular approach for improving SEO. It involves finding relevant blogs in your niche topic and making comments on these blogs, including a link to your website. Important points to take note of with this technique is to find relevant blogs in your niche and to find blogs that have a high page rank authority (which is Google’s measure of the importance of the site). When you make a comment about a blog post on another website, take the time to read the blog post and try to write something that will add value to the conversation, and which will allow other readers to realize you have expertise in the topic, increasing the likelihood that they might follow the link to your site for more information. Comments like “interesting post” or “I like your article” don’t achieve either of these goals, and should be avoided.
Contributing to forums is also another good method of getting some link love from the search engines. Similar in approach to blog commenting, you will need to find relevant forums in your niche, preferably those with a lot of activity and conversation. You will also need to find forums which allow you to add a forum signature with a link to your website. It is important to read the forum guidelines to find out the types of links that you are allowed to add to your forum signature – some forums allow links to affiliate products and websites of a commercial nature, whereas others don’t.
Again, take care to add value to the conversations in the forum, get to know other forum members, and allow them to slowly get to know you as an expert in the niche. It’s not all about joining a forum, immediately claiming to be a guru, and then trying to sell people your product – it’s about building a reputation on the forum as a valued, well liked expert who other members will naturally turn to for help and advice. This takes a little time, but once you achieve this, it is much easier to use the forum as a method to attract traffic to your own site, and your chances of making a sale from these visitors who already know you and like you is much better.
Improving the visibility of your website through adding it to social bookmarking sites is also another great way of driving traffic. There are a great number of social bookmarking sites to choose from including popular ones like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and Technorati.
These sites allow people to share and rate content from anywhere on the web. This content may be in any form such as a newsworthy article, video, funny story or photos. Users of these sites can then vote on whether they like or dislike such content. If you have a popular newsworthy article which is featured on the front page of a social bookmarking site because it has achieved a high number of votes, it can go “viral” and send massive amounts of traffic to your website just from this one article alone.
Guests posts on other people’s blogs are another good way to improve the visibility of your blog. Try to develop long term relationships with bloggers in your niche area. Bloggers are always looking for good content to provide to their readers and many are happy to use guest authors. Make contact with the bloggers you would like to write a guest post for and introduce yourself. Tell them a little bit about your blog, the type of readers that you have, and the niche area of your blog. Take the time to form relationships with bloggers and get to know them before you even think about asking them whether or not you can guest post on their blog. Remember that it needs to be a mutually beneficial situation for both of you – they need a great post from you, and you want a highly visible link back to your blog or website.
Hope this article has provided you with some useful ideas on off site SEO techniques to drive traffic to your website.