There’s no getting around it: If you want your tradesman website to rank as highly as possible in search engine results, you’re going to have to learn how to do off-page SEO.
What is that?
Essentially, off-page SEO is the name given to the strategies and techniques deployed outside of your website with the aim of improving its search ranking.
This includes building high-quality backlinks, optimizing your business’ presence on social media platforms, and engaging in various other online activities to increase your website’s authority and credibility.
In this article, I’ll talk you through the and outs of off-page optimization for tradesmen and provide you with ttop ips and best practices for improving your website’s search engine ranking through off-page optimization.
Without further ado then, let’s dive in.
Why Do I Need to Do Off-Page SEO?
If you read my guide to the five essential benefits of off-page SEO, you’ll know that taking steps to establish your brand outside your own website will not only make you more visible in search engines but will also help you drive more traffic to your website as a result of those rankings.
What’s more, by developing a concrete off-page SEO strategy, you’ll also be reaping additional rewards such as greater brand awareness and an enhanced reputation as an industry expert, something which can prove invaluable for demonstrating EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust), which is one of the most significant SEO factors trade professionals need to consider.
How to Do Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
1. Build Your Backlinks
Building high-quality backlinks is undisputedly one of the most important aspects of off-page SEO, so it’s important that your optimization efforts start here.
Backlinks are basically links from other websites that point to your website, which Google interprets as signals about the quality, trustworthiness, and validity of information on your site.
However, not all backlinks carry the same value, so before you go about building them, you need to know about their difference between high-quality and low-quality backlinks.
High-Quality vs. Low-Quality Backlinks
High quality backlinks are those that come from reputable, authoritative websites with a high Domain Authority and lots of visitors. They are viewed favorably by search engines, which see them as a seal of approval from a reliable and respected source.
Think about it this way:
Imagine there’s a well-respected master in your field. For this example, let’s say you’re a plumber, and this guy is the one plumber everybody respects and turns to fix their household plumbing problems.
This plumbing guru sees that you have a unique and effective solution to a particular plumbing problem, and so when people come to him for help with that problem, he directs them to you.
Because such a highly respected figure put in a good word for you, more people start coming to you for help with this problem, and you get a reputation as someone who really knows what they’re talking about.
Ultimately, this reputation pays off, and whenever someone asks a friend, “Can you recommend someone who can fix my leaky faucet?” you’re so well-regarded as the best leaky-faucet fixer in the land that yours is always the first business people recommend.
A backlink works the same way.
Except in this case, the “plumbing guru” is highly-regarded website, the “putting in a good word” involves linking to your website, and the “friend” that people turn to for recommendations is, of course, Google.
But wait, what about low-quality backlinks?
Low-quality backlinks are links from unreliable or spammy websites that point to your website. These backlinks lack credibility, authority, and trustworthiness.
While backlinks are generally seen as positive signals by search engines, low-quality ones can harm your website in several ways.
Firstly, search engines view these links as a negative indication of your site’s quality and relevance. When search algorithms detect a high number of low-quality backlinks, they may penalize your website by lowering its search rankings or even removing it from search results altogether.
This can significantly impact your visibility and organic traffic.
Moreover, low-quality backlinks can tarnish your website’s reputation. When visitors encounter links from dubious sources, they may perceive your site as untrustworthy, damaging your credibility and hindering user trust.
How to Get Backlinks
OK, so now we know what backlinks are, but how do we get them? Here’s four effective approaches:
A. Guest Blogging
One effective method is guest blogging, which involves writing a guest post for another website in your industry. In exchange for your content, you can usually include a link back to your website in the author bio or within the content itself.
For example, let’s say you’re an electrician.
You could collaborate with a home improvement blog and contribute an informative article on “10 Electrical Safety Tips for Homeowners.”
Within the article, you can subtly include a backlink to a relevant page on your website, such as “Common Electrical Issues and How to Fix Them.”
By providing valuable insights and expertise in your guest post, you not only establish yourself as a knowledgeable electrician but also attract the attention of readers who are interested in electrical safety.
When readers find your content valuable, they may visit your website through the backlink to learn more or even reach out to hire your services. Through strategic guest posting, you can build authoritative backlinks, increase your online visibility, and position yourself as a trusted expert in the electrical industry.
B. Broken Link Building
Another strategy is broken link building, which involves finding broken links on other websites and reaching out to the site owners to suggest a replacement link – ideally to your own content.
This is a win-win for both parties: the site owner gets a working link on their site, and you get a high-quality backlink to your site.
Here’s how to do it:
Here’s how it works:
- Identify relevant websites in your industry or niche – such as home improvement blogs or construction resources.
2. Use broken link checker tools to find broken links on these sites – Ahrefs Broken Link Checker is a great free option for this.
3. Suggest a replacement for the broken link – reach out to the website owner or webmaster, politely informing them about the broken link and suggesting a suitable replacement resource on your own website.
4. Provide URLS – Provide the webmaster with the URL of the broken link and the URL of your replacement resource.
5. Highlight the value and relevance of your resource – explain how it can benefit their readers and enhance the overall user experience.
If the webmaster agrees to replace the broken link with your resource, you’ve successfully built a valuable backlink to your website.
C. Use Business Listings and Advertising Sites
Business listings and directories offer an effective way to generate backlinks and increase the online visibility of your tradesman business.
You can find a bunch of such sites in my guide to the 13 best free advertising sites for plumbers.
Just keep in mind that although I originally wrote this for my plumbing friends, all the advertising sites listed will serve you just as well if you’re an electrician, HVAC specialist, bricklayer or any other type of trade professional.
To leverage these platforms successfully, start by identifying reputable directories that are relevant to your specific trade and have a good reputation.
Once you’ve found the right directories, create a compelling and informative business profile that includes all the relevant details about your services, service areas, and contact information, along with a link to your website.
Optimize your business listing by incorporating industry-related keywords and location-specific information to attract potential customers.
D. Resource Page Link Building
Resource page link building is another effective strategy for building high-quality backlinks.
This involves finding resource pages on other websites in your industry and reaching out to the site owners to suggest adding a link to your own relevant content.
Resource pages typically include lists of useful tools, blog posts, or other resources, so getting a link on one of these pages can be highly valuable for your SEO efforts.
By using these strategies and other effective tactics, you can build a strong backlink profile that will help improve your off-page SEO and drive more traffic to your website.
2. Up Your Social Media Game
Chances are, when you first started your tradesman business, one of the very first things you did was set up a few social media profiles to advertise your services.
That’s a great start, but did you know that your activity on sites like Facebook, Linkedin, SnapChat and others can all impact your off-page SEO.
- Increased Online Visibility – By actively participating on social media platforms, you’ll expand online presence and reach a wider audience. Regularly posting engaging content, sharing valuable tips and insights, and interacting with followers helps to increase brand visibility and awareness.
- Brand Building and Authority – Remember how we talked about the importance of Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust earlier? Social media is the perfect platform to establish your industry expertise. By consistently sharing industry-related content, showcasing successful projects, and providing valuable information, you’ll build trust and credibility among your target audience. This helps to position you as an authoritative figure in their trade, providing a welcome boost to your SEO.
- Boost to Your Local SEO – Social media plays a vital role in local SEO. By utilizing location-based keywords, hashtags, and geotagging, you can attract local customers who are actively searching for trade services in their area.
- Develop more industry relationships – Apart from sharing content and engaging with followers, you can also benefit by developing relationships with influencers in your industry. This might entail reaching out to influencers, sharing their content, and collaborating on projects. By establishing a relationship with influencers, businesses can boost their exposure, reach a wider audience, and enhance their online reputation.
By adhering to these best practices and utilizing social media platforms effectively, businesses can boost their off-page SEO, and in turn, enjoy better online visibility and engagement.
3. Improve Your Local SEO
Local SEO is critical for service-based businesses that rely on local customers.
By optimizing your local SEO, you’ll begin to boost your visibility in local search results, attract more customers, and establish a strong online presence.
Here’s some key strategies to help with this:
A. Listings and Directories
By ensuring that their information is accurate and consistent across these directories, businesses can improve their local search visibility and increase their chances of appearing in Google’s local pack.
B. Online Reviews
Online reviews are another important factor in local SEO.
Encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews on relevant review sites such as Google My Business and Yelp can help bolster your reputation and increase your brand’s visibility in local search results.
Responding to both positive and negative reviews can also show that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing quality service.
Make sure to add your location to your social media posts through geotagging.
This feature allows you to tag your specific location, such as your business address or the site of a recent project. By doing so, you make it easier for potential customers to find you when they search for trade services in your vicinity.
D. Location-Based Keywords
When you create social media posts, use keywords that are specific to your location. Incorporate your city or region name in your captions, descriptions, and hashtags. This way, when potential customers search for trade services in your area, your social media profiles and content will show up in their search results.
In summary, optimizing local SEO is essential for service-based businesses to succeed in today’s competitive online environment.
By utilizing directory listings, online reviews, and other tactics, businesses can increase their visibility in local search results and attract more customers in their local area.
4. Manage Online Reviews
I’ve touched on the subject of online reviews multiple times throughout this guide, but if you’re really going to learn how to do off-page SEO effectively, it’s worth taking a closer look at them.
Because online reviews can make or break a business’s online reputation, making them an important factor in off-page SEO. Positive reviews can boost your credibility and visibility, while negative reviews can hurt your reputation and deter potential customers.
One of the best practices for managing online reviews is to respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews.
Responding to positive reviews can help strengthen the relationship with the customer and encourage more positive feedback. Responding to negative reviews can help mitigate the impact of the negative feedback and demonstrate the business’s commitment to customer service.
Another strategy is to encourage customers to leave reviews.
This can be done by providing exceptional service, sending follow-up emails requesting feedback, or even offering incentives for leaving a review.
It’s also important to monitor and track online reviews on different platforms, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and social media. This can be done through online review management tools that help businesses track and respond to reviews across multiple platforms in one place.
5. Measure Your Success
Measuring the success of off-page SEO efforts is essential to ensure that they’re producing the results you want.
By tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and analyzing relevant metrics, businesses can gain insights into their off-page SEO performance and make data-driven decisions to improve their online visibility and engagement.
Some of the key KPIs to track for off-page SEO include:
- Website Traffic – The number of visitors to a website, an indicator of how effective your efforts have been at driving more people to your site.
- Domain Authority – A measure of the strength and relevance of a website in the eyes of search engines, which can be influenced by off-page SEO factors such as backlinks.
- Backlink Quality – A measure of the relevance and authority of the websites that link back to a site, This factor can also impact domain authority and search engine rankings.
Tools and Tips for Tracking Off-Page SEO Success
Google Analytics is a great place to start when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your off-page optimization strategy.
This popular popular tool can provides a wealth of insights into website traffic, such as the number of visitors, referral sources, and engagement metrics.
Other tools you can use to get information on backlink quality, domain authority, and other important metrics related to off-page SEO include the aforementioned Ahrefs and my personal favorite SEO tool, Semrush.
When analyzing off-page SEO performance, it’s important to consider the specific goals and objectives of your business, as well as the competitive landscape in the industry.
By setting realistic goals and benchmarks and regularly monitoring and analyzing performance data, you can make informed decisions to improve your off-page SEO efforts and achieve better online visibility and engagement.
How to Do Off-Page Optimization for SEO: Your Frequently Asked Questions
How long does off-page SEO take?
Is off-page SEO still effective?
Which off-page optimization strategy should I start with?
How to Do Off-Page SEO for Your Tradesman Business: Key Takeaways
By learning how to do off-page SEO effectively, you’ve armed yourself with some crucial strategies and techniques for strengthening your tradesman business’ online presence and attracting more customers.
To recap, here’s a few key takeaways:
- Build high-quality backlinks – Use strategies like guest posting and broken link replacement to get links to your site from popular, respected sites in your industry.
- Social media can affect your search rankings – Take the time to share valuable content, engage with your followers and communicate in social media discussions to grow brand awareness, increase web traffic, and establish your expertise, all of which will help you get better rankings in search results.
- Use business listing sites effectively – Take the time to create fully optimized profiles on business directory and advertising sites. For sites that allow reviews, remember to encourage your customers to leave feedback and be sure to respond in a timely and professional way.
By focusing on these areas, you can create a comprehensive off-page SEO strategy that can lead to significant improvements in your ability to attract new paying customers from the web.