The Benefits of Off Site SEO For Your Answering Services Site
You run a telephone answering service, and you’ve got a great SEO strategy. Everything’s running smoothly. How about your off site SEO?
If that question threw you off, don’t worry. You might have link building incorporated into your SEO strategy, which is one type of off site SEO. Link building is a really important part of your SEO planning.
But it’s not the whole picture.
Here’s how to get your answering services noticed by adding off site SEO to your marketing approach.
What is Off Site SEO?
Off site SEO is any type of strategy used to push your website up search engine rankings that isn’t directly built into your own answering services website.
By contrast, on site SEO includes things like site structure, internal content marketing, keyword optimization within your site, meta tags, the way you’ve coded your HTML and so on.
To put it simply, off site SEO is anything that happens online to do with your organization that isn’t directly connected to your own activity via your website.
Types of Link Building
As we’ve already said, link building is one type of off site SEO. This can be broken down into three categories, and you should be trying to use all of them effectively in order to maximize your linking network.
Generally, the more inbound links your site has, the more authoritative it appears to search engine crawlers. The more you leverage your links, the better your off site SEO will be.
Tread carefully here. You can make links yourself by putting them into online directories, forum signatures or online press releases that are hosted elsewhere online.
Self-created links can be helpful, but if Google spots what it deems “suspicious” or “black hat” behavior it might send your site hurtling down its search rankings.
These are links made by someone else who wasn’t encouraged or enticed to build the link. Think of them as freebies.
For example, this might be from someone who links to your answering services solutions web page from an industry news article talking about the best way to deal with high-volume customer phone calls.
These can be very beneficial for you since links from mainstream news organizations carry a lot more weight than a niche blog. Truth be told, however, most of your natural links are likely to come from smaller sites.
Manual links are links you put effort into getting placed on different websites.
These could be links created as part of a deal with another business or links you’ve asked someone else to put on their site in exchange for freebies. If you can negotiate links out of popular sites it could greatly impact the SEO of your website.
Being Mentioned Without a Link
If someone looking for answering services comes across your brand online and there’s a link directly to your website, brilliant.
If there isn’t a link, however, being mentioned is still good. As Oscar Wilde once said, “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
Being mentioned without a link may still act as a trigger for someone to search for your company’s website. So long as your on site SEO is working well, they should be able to find you and enter the on site purchase funnel.
Off site SEO could be said to be more about building brand recognition than directing visitors to your site. This isn’t a bad thing. Brand recognition is a formidable tool.
It can help to influence customers’ decisions and is something that can be built up over a long period of time. While people might not be able to jump to your site and make an order right away, the next time they see your name they just might.
A client doesn’t have to be a company’s number one fan to be swayed by the name. All it takes is brand recognition. For example, 16% of customers recall a brand better simply because it appears in search results.
If they see your company’s name often at least they’re aware of you. That’s how one builds trust with a brand even when they don’t know any details about them.
Let’s not forget the strength of word-of-mouth recommendations between customers is never to be underestimated.
About 43% of all Google searches are local searches. This means users include terms identifying a specific area rather than casting as wide a net as possible.
People like to see what others think of a business, particularly small companies they might not otherwise have considered. If they’re looking for services in their area, there may not be much to distinguish businesses from each other apart from reviews.
Just like word-of-mouth recommendations, customer reviews mean a lot to consumers.
It turns out 61% of people check reviews for products and services before making a purchase. It’s key that your own business has a good public image with lots of happy customers.
You can’t control what people say about you, but you can control how the messages are managed once they’ve said it. This is where social media can be a real blessing.
Social Media Marketing
On social media, you can push links to your services and messages about what you’re up to. Since it’s not directly attached to your site, social media marketing counts as off site SEO.
Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow you to interact with your users in a public space. By growing the number of followers you have you can make your brand appear more appealing to new customers.
You can also encourage link building using social, as people will share informative and engaging content on these platforms.
Sharing infographics and similar materials without an accompanying link can help to build brand awareness while not coming off as pushy to consumers.
Obviously, you need to make sure the people running these accounts are well aware that their communications may be seen by thousands of other people.
Handled correctly, social media can be a brilliant way to take control of your brand image and keep poor user reviews to a minimum.
Say you’ve got a customer who’s unhappy with your answering services and calls you out in public. Not good. Social media, however, gives you the chance to take charge of the story and put things right publicly.
Your reaction to a complaint can say a lot about your business, which gives you an opportunity to broadcast to the world what you’re really like.
Be proactive. Seek out complaints and find resolutions.
An apology and a well-handled complaint can turn a very disgruntled customer into a brand advocate.
Your NAP listing isn’t an excuse to take 40 winks. The acronym stands for Name, Address, Phone number.
The name, address and phone number your company uses must be the same wherever the information is posted online. This helps search engines be certain of who you are.
For example, this California Answering Service is called the San Jose Answering Service. If people started calling it the Answering Service of San Jose, or San Jose Answers while using with its original name elsewhere, this would confuse search engines.
Further to this, if you own more than one URL for the same company, such as www.mycompany.com and www.mycompany.net, you should pick just one to refer to at all times.
Make sure all your internal staff who write public material know which information to use. A house style guide can be helpful in this regard.
If you come across inbound links that use the wrong URL, consider politely asking the link owner if they’d mind swapping it out for the one you choose.
Preferably, this will be a URL which doesn’t redirect users to another. This is an on site SEO matter but it’s important you’re aware of it. Slow loading times and redirects frustrate users and increase bounce rates.
Building an Effective Off Site SEO Regime
We know there’s a lot to consider in order for your off site SEO strategy to be effective.
It might be easier if you consider it a form of branding. It’s really all about how people see your organization, even when they’re not directly interacting or doing business with it.
As with all SEO, it takes time and dedication to build up convincing off site SEO assets. But it remains a low-cost and low-risk strategy.
The results for your profits will be worth it in the end.