Though improving your on-site SEO is an absolute must for website owners, this isn’t the only thing you need to worry about if you want to rank highly in Google search results. If you want to improve your SEO rankings so more potential customers can find your business, you must also take the time to improve your off-site efforts.

The following off-site factors will be key in driving new traffic to your website.

Directory & Review Site Listings

A key factor in building your Google rankings is the presence of authoritative inbound links that direct to your site. It’s not always easy to snag link placements on high-ranking sites, but as a business, you have the distinct advantage of being able to list your brand on online directories and review sites.

These sites are especially helpful for companies with a brick and mortar location, as well as those trying to build their presence on a local scale. As a business owner, you can create profiles on Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, Foursquare, the Better Business Bureau, and more.

Each of these platforms has a very high domain authority, which will give extra weight to the links heading to your own site. Take the time to build out your profiles on each site with accurate contact information, company descriptions, and multimedia. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on these sites to make these profiles more prominent.

Social Media

As we’ve written previously, social media should also play a major role in building your online brand. This doesn’t mean that getting a post to go viral on Instagram will suddenly give a huge boost to your SEO. However, social media once again provides an opportunity to generate high-authority backlinks to your site — which definitely does build SEO.

A well-done social media profile can even rank in the search results itself, particularly when someone uses your brand name as part of their search.

And of course, social media serves as a discovery point for many potential customers. As digital marketer Chloe Mason Gray writes, “If someone wants to check out your company, they’re likely to open Twitter and Facebook and do a quick search to see what kind of presence you have on each channel…Companies should expand their concept of SEO to include not just the traditional search engines — Google and Bing — but also social search engines.”

Guest Blogging

Finally, those who have the time and resources should consider guest blogging. While you should never neglect your own website’s blog, guest blogging gives you the opportunity to share your expertise with new audiences who might otherwise never discover your business.

Not only does this give you the opportunity to position yourself as an authority in your niche, but posting on a quality industry site will also generate quality backlinks. Though linking policies differ from site to site, most editors will allow a single backlink in each article, or at least a link to your site in your author bio.

These links can lead readers to your business, while also signaling industry authority to search engines. Editors are always willing to consider articles that provide real value to their readers — so find a relevant blog and get writing!


Establishing a strong online presence takes time — and it’s not a “set it and forget it” task, either. As you continually use these methods to build your brand online, you will see your SEO rankings improve so that you are better equipped to reach your target audience.