Referrals help a website build authority, and this authority helps Google decide whether to index your website. Now, this isn’t like being an authority in real-life where you can become educated on a subject or receive the proper certification. In the online world, you need an off-page SEO strategy that will build trust with search engines. If you do this right, you can use referrals to climb the ranks. Let’s break down what off-page SEO means, the tactics you need to employ and how the right referrals tend to pay off.
What is Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO refers to the methods used outside of your website to help get a search engine’s attention. Sure, most SEO strategies focus predominantly on on-page SEO—what you do on your website—but you still need to build a reputation with other web properties to increase your own authority. Google uses off-page SEO to learn about your website. It is the digital version of word-of-mouth and it can take your business to a new level.
A huge proponent of increasing referrals is link-building, which includes backlinks. This is the process by which a website links back to yours. It’s a simple concept but it can take a lot of effort to master and execute. Backlinks are a vital component in how Google prioritizes its rankings. Google’s process is complex but you should work off the notion that the more quality backlinks you have, the better odds your website has of ranking for certain keywords.
Best Ways to Generate Referrals
Links help expand your website’s sphere of influence. You will want to do everything you can to backlink from two sources: Websites Link-building can be hard so you will want to cast a wide net. Be sure that the websites you target are:
- Reliable and respected
- Relevant to your business
Try these tactics to create inbound links to your website:
- Reach out to friends and families who have websites that you have vetted.
- Be a guest blogger on other websites.
- Offer to reciprocate link-building.
- Reach out to relevant bloggers.
- Connect with social media influencers.
Be sure to use anchor text and do not use any black hat tactics. Directories Directories need to be a central part of your link-building strategy. You will want to have inbound links on popular directories like:
- Google My Business
- Trip Advisor
Referrals from these directories are known to generate a healthy number of leads. There are directories specific to every region and industry so do your homework and don’t miss a referral opportunity. Remember to avoid those that are outside of your industry. For instance, list your plumbing business on YP.ca, not Yelp.