Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been narrowly viewed as website task. However, we would argue that SEO needs to be viewed in a much broader context of your digital brand. While your website is the canonical source for search engine indexing, as we elaborate later in this article, by using ‘signals’ from ‘other sources’, search engine algorithms attempt to rank perceptions about your brands, products, services or keywords. Normalised over a vast dataset, Search Engine Result Page (SERP) rankings serve as a pseudo metric of brand perception online for the query term.
Tactics & Strategies of SEO
Like various brand building strategies of traditional marketing, SEO involves a range of strategies & tactics. From content strategy with an objective of establishing authoritative narrative; to technical tweaks making to most efficient for search engines to capture and process your content – there are aspects of SEO involving different organizational stakeholders.
Commonly understood activities of SEO including:-
On-Page SEO refers to actions taken to improve web page & web site content for search engines and users. It involves activities such as optimizing page content organization, page speed improvements and more.
Off-Page SEO refers to action taken outside of your own website – on third-party forums, social handles, marketplace testimonials, etc – which signal site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness and authority.
Technical SEO refers to action taken to improve search engine crawl & indexing – and since this is for the assets that you own/control, it is usually (but not only) part of the on-page SEO improvements.
Local SEO is a recent addition to SEO activities and refers to improving your online presence with a focus on improving ranking or ‘local searches’. Complementing to Technical SEO, Local SEO is primarily focused on earned or paid digital channels.
Off Page SEO Signals
While Google’s ranking is a closely guarded secret, and it evolves with time, heuristically following Off Page signals are presumed to factor in the search ranking.
- Backlinks to the site, and their quality/’endorsement’
- Brand or domain mentions in publisher content ie. news, media, blogs, etc.
- Offline mentions of brands (culled from other Google properties).
- Social Media activities such as posts, & engagements.
- Field measurement of page experience from external data sources such as browsers, toolbars, clickstreams, search result click-thru, etc.
Link farming – Blackhat SEO
Traditionally and ignominiously ‘SEO’ has been link farming backlinks. Search Engines have come a long way, and thankfully such ‘blackhat SEO’ are easily snared and often penalised. Please stop wasting your marketing dollars on low quality repetitive content on discussion forums. Forums and moderators who care much about their reputation have safeguards already in place to avoid being flagged off as compromised sources.
Link-building the right way
There is legitimate link building strategy based on authoring content on niche (content wise) site, customer testimonials on their site, influencer / KOLs endorsement links, and more.
While considering your off-page link building strategy, evaluate for
- Popularity, relevance, trustworthiness & authority of the source site / platform.
- Site / platform & link ‘freshness’
- Link anchors
Social Media and Local SEO
Link-building, the legitimate way, is a long process and requires serious time, resources, and management commitment. In the meantime, there are ‘low hanging’ opportunities for Off Page SEO including:-
- Active and engaging presence on relevant social media platforms.
- Guest blogging
- Host linkable assets
- Monitoring and participating in brand mentions
- Influencer marketing & social proofs
- Link maintenance
We can help
As part of the overall digital brand strategy, off-page SEO is an important component bringing the ‘external’ dimension of brand perception. For an effective strategy, you need a partner to help measure, monitor, analyse and recommend actions based on these vitals. With proven experience of working with brands across fashion, retail, consumer electronics segments across Asian markets, we can help plan and execute your digital transformations.