Reviewing your SEO strategy this 2016? Everyone knows Google’s powerful search engine changes a lot. To survive, you must stay updated, act fast and adapt to all the changes that can affect your site.
Typically, Google algorithm updates are geared towards dealing with abusive off page tactics. So without further ado, here is the only off page optimization checklist that will carry your SEO through 2016:
1. Review Relevancy
First things first, you need to review your backlink profile and check the relevance of most links. In addition to reviewing the niche of a linking site, you should also see to it that they link to a relevant page that makes sense with the content. If some of them link to outdated or unrelated pages, make sure to inform the source and provide them with an updated page.
2. Disavow Bad Links
Links are essential for ranking a website in Google’s search engine. However, links from PBNs, spam comments, dishonest websites and other dubious sources may cause penalties. A dirty competitor may also be spamming your site with links to overtake your position in SERPs. Whatever the cause, it is clear that you need to remove those links immediately. You can use Google Disavow Link tool for the clean-up process.
3. A Link Opportunity Worksheet
After cleaning up your link profile, you need to develop a new blueprint for link-building. An essential component of this is a link opportunity inventory. This is a worksheet that contains all the links you should target within the next few months. Of course, you should not forget a keyword research tool such as Google Keyword Planner to identify link opportunities.
4. Analyze Competitors’ Link Profiles
There are several strategies you can adopt when it comes to planning your link opportunity inventory. This includes going for long-tail keywords and optimizing for mobile searches. However, a time-tested strategy is to analyze the link profiles of your best competitors. Not only can you study their anchor text diversity, but you can also identify where their links are coming from.
5. Look for Unlinked Brand Mentions
Some websites mention your brand without providing an actual link to a relevant page. This has co-citation value and is a strong indication that your brand is being noticed in your niche. Unlinked brand mentions are also opportunities for link-building. All you need to do is to look for the site mentioning your name and offer a relevant page they could link to. If you provide a resource that improves the experience of their readers, then there’s no reason for them to deny your request.
6. Find Your Influencers
The secret to productive and fruitful link-building is investing in relationships with industry influencers. Bloggers, social media celebrities, industry experts – these are some of the people you should reach out and work with. There are plenty of tools you can use to find influential blogs. You can also use FollowerWonk to find social media influencers that can help extend your online reach. Lastly, don’t forget to prepare a template for your outreach email.
7. Participate in Discussions
Participating in online forums and niche-specific communities have plenty of benefits. First, it can help you establish your authority and build connections in your niche. Second, it can bring organic traffic to relevant pages and help you build a following. Third, it can help you earn good links from comments and forum posts as long as you do it naturally and offer something valuable to the discussions. Whatever you do, do not buy mass comment and forum links from shady SEO “agencies”.
Off page SEO is risky business as the activities you do today could be seen as spam tomorrow. This is why you need a solid plan that’s based on updated tactics. The checklist above should point you in the right direction.