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Your online reputation is everything. That’s why it’s imperative that you do everything in your power to prevent irreparable damage. You might be thinking to yourself, “But where does it stop? What lengths must I go to keep my businesses reputation clean?”

Well, the answer is pretty cut and dry: with a robust on and off-site SEO strategy. You could decide that optimizing only your website and brand are important, and that might be just enough for you. But, you would also be doing it a disservice if you weren’t working to boost your brand’s reputation to ensure that others would want to visit your website and learn more about it. After all, what good is all the hard work you put into your site going to do if your brand’s reputation is terrible?

It’s a well-known fact that a large majority of people will at least know something about your brand before they even visit your site – maybe a friend or family member has used your services, or maybe they read some online reviews about your business. Based on this alone, it shouldn’t take much more to convince you that off-page SEO is important.

So, where do you start? How about here:

1. Have a worth-while product or service to support your brand. When consumers consider your product the best of the best, improving your SEO becomes a lot simpler. In short, if people are satisfied with what you offer, they won’t hesitate to spread the word.

2. Provide GREAT customer service. One thing that will always stand out to consumers is how you made them feel while working with you, whether it was through a simple sales transaction or a drawn out home repair project. Try to leave every customer interaction with the person feeling as though the experience couldn’t have been more positive.

3. Don’t forget to appeal to your audience. What is it that your good or service provides? How might someone go about looking for you? What terms would they likely use in their search? In my opinion, this is one of the most important points because, after all, a consumer probably won’t interact with your brand if they can’t even find it!

4. Be active on social media and engage with your audience. It doesn’t take much to be present on your social accounts. Enlist someone to monitor your accounts and respond to questions, comments, and reviews in a timely and genuine manner. On top of that, you should work to become a resource for your vertical audience; even if they ask about a product you don’t offer, shed some light where you can.

5. Build a relationship with online influencers. This is one of the biggest benefits of off page SEO. By befriending and nurturing your relationship with social influencers, you’ll be able to take advantage of their myriad of followers and far-reaching influence.

6. Consider making regular visits to forums, discussion boards, and making comments on blog posts. There’s no better way to reach your target audience than frequenting the same sites they do. Remember though, you’re not leaving comments on blog posts in order to gain links (that spammy strategy is dead and gone), you’re doing it to get your name recognized by your vertical audience. You’re reaching for the same goal when you visit forum sites like Reddit and Quora.

7. Give up guest blogging just for the links. Instead, use it as an opportunity to build up your reputation with top publishers. When you fish for links, they’re a lot harder to get. Take your time, build relationships with publishers, and eventually ask to write a guest post. Work for the high-quality link; don’t expect it to just be handed to you, that won’t happen.

8. Branch out with different forms of content. Videos are very quickly overtaking the traditional forms of content. In fact, by 2020, videos will account for more than 85% of shared content. Don’t miss the boat here, folks. I’ve talked before about marketing for businesses on YouTube, use this article as a resource for getting your feet wet.

Above all, be patient. I know – it’s easier said than done when you’re pumped about growing your business. Take a deep breath, make smart decisions, and before you know it you’ll be drowning in leads and sales. Good luck!