Most SEO techniques used to improve web page rankings are considered “on-page SEO”. These are the things you can do within the content of your web pages to make your websites more appealing to Google and other search engines.
But there also are “off-page SEO” techniques you can use that don’t involve manipulating the content of your page.
Backlinks and Their SEO Value
The first are backlinks. These are links that lead to your web pages from other sites.
Google assigns additional value to a web page if it has a lot of backlinks, particularly from web pages that it considers “authoritative”.
Authoritative web pages are places users will go when they are seeking answers to questions about a particular subject. They include such sites as Wikipedia, About.com, eHow.com and any website whose address ends in the suffix .edu or .gov.
Social Approval Signals
Up until the Panda and Penguin upgrades to the Google search engine algorithm, backlinks were the primary determiner of a site’s ranking.
But because too many unscrupulous marketers learned how to artificially create backlinks, making their pages appear more authoritative than they actually were, Google changed its algorithm so that social approval signals played the most important role in a site’s ranking.
It’s Nice to Be ‘Liked’
Social approval signals are things such as Facebook “Likes”, Google+ +1’s, or how often the link is shared on Twitter. The theory is that because everybody uses social media to share sites they enjoy with their contacts, the more frequently a site is shared, the more useful it is.
SEO success today is inextricably linked to getting the most social approval signals for your page as possible. Make it easy for visitors to give you these signs directly from your page using the free widgets and plugins offered by most web builders, and encourage visitors to share your page with their social media contacts whenever possible.