Beginners Guide on Off Page SEO
Basically, there are two types of webpage optimisation; on-page and off-page SEO. However, in this article, we are going to be focusing on the latter. So, as the name implies, Off-page SEO entails optimising your web pages outside your website. Unlike on-page optimisation, where you had to do all of the optimising on your webpages, in off-page SEO, you’re going to be doing all the work outside your webpage. Remember, the goal remains the same in both cases – Improve your search engine ranking.
In a nutshell, all off-page SEO entails is building links back to your site – these links you build back to your website will act as a vote of confidence – search engines trust websites that they think have enough links referring back to them. It seems to serve as a form of authority. Thus, making off-page optimisation different from on-page optimisation but aimed at the same ultimate goal.
Off-page SEO has to primarily do with Link Building. Link Building is simply the act of building backlinks back to your website. More like a hyperlink, except this time, it’s a different site referencing yours for more information. Think of it like this, every website that links back to you gives you a vote of confidence, if 100 websites reference an article on your website, to Search Engines, 100 websites think your article is top quality, and so for that, your site must be the real deal. Search Engines have smart algorithms that have a sweet spot for websites that are frequently being linked to.
So, the real question begs. How do you build quality and natural backlink to your website?
Let’s face it; Search Engines can tell when you are trying to play a fast one on them. So, the keyword here is quality and natural backlinks.
Features Of A Quality Backlink
Backlinks should possess certain qualities, not every mention or link of your webpage on a random website counts. Below are some of the features that Search Engines will be looking for in a backlink as they crawl the web. Also, these backlinks will yield the highest off-page SEO results.
- Backlink From an Authoritative Page
PageRank (PR) is a page ranking system, measured on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents pages with the least authority. Here, the goal is simple. Get backlinks from pages with a higher PR – preferably, a PR higher than that of your blog.
The better the source of the backlink, the stronger the vote of confidence you get. There are a couple of web plugins and online tools that can help you calculate your PR. WebRank Toolbar and PR Checker are worth giving a try.
- Vary Your Anchor Texts
Anchor text is the visible text that a web address is embeded in. Having the same anchor texts for all your backlinks is not advisable and could hurt your off-page SEO chances. This is logical, as it is almost impossible for all of your backlinks to have the same exact Anchor text – this is one of the ways Google algorithms find out you are trying to play a fast on one them.
A formula which has worked so far for me is 30% exact anchor text. 30% phrase keywords, 30% generic words such as read more, click here to learn more, find out here etc. and 10% webpage address.
For instance, if you have a website http://website.com/black-phones/, and you are looking to rank for the keyword “black phones” then aim to have around 30% of your backlinks with the anchor text “black phones”, another 30% with a phrase anchor text like “sleek black phones”, “best black phones”, “strong back phones”, “check here for more information”, and the other 10% with your URL as the anchor text.
- Dofollow or Nofollow links
The attribute rel=”nofollow” when included in a link directs the search engine not to affiliate the reputation of that webpage to the page it linked to. If this attribute is absent, then the link by default assumes a “dofollow” attribute, and this tells the search engine to pass on the webpage’s reputation to the linked page.
Hence, a webpage that uses the “nofollow” attribute for a link is directing the search engine to halt the passage of their build authority to other web pages – rendering them irrelevant for off-page SEO. Thus, you should aim to get backlinks with a “dofollow” attribute as this ensures that the site’s reputation will be passed onto your website.
Meanwhile, there is still a debate as to whether search engines completely follow the “dofollow” or “nofollow” attributes. However, getting quality dofollow backlinks can be difficult as most sites forums where you can leave comments are “nofollow” by default.
- Backlinks From Similar Niches
It is essential that you get backlinks from websites or blogs in the same niche as yours. For instance, if you own a car blog, you should try to build backlinks with a similar car blog and not a fashion blog or finance blog. Backlinks from completely different sites as yours will not help your off-page SEO cause very much.
- Desist From Black Hat SEO
Blackhat SEO is a process of driving thousands of backlinks to your website in a very short space of time. To begin with, these backlinks come from spammy sites and sites with very low PR and this act can drive your website or blog into oblivion.
Any sudden spike in backlinks to your website may alert Search Engines of something sinister going on, and this can prompt the deindexing of your website from Search Engines. Black Hat and other tricks are simply not worth the risk.
- Create Great Content and Leverage Social Media
Google is out to provide the most relevant search result for users, and good content gets more social media shares. So, Search Engines rate social shares highly. Grow a strong social media presence on your blog and encourage users to share the posts on their various social media platforms. If your content is great, you may not even need to ask users to share; they will do so by default.
Social bookmarking is also a great way to grow off-page SEO for your website. You can use any of the many online social bookmakers, and if your site gets frequently bookmarked, this can be a good signal that Search Engines can pick up on and rank you higher in search results.
In summary, Content is always and will still be king. Create great content, and the rest will fall in line. While content is 70% of all the work, you still need to rely on some of the strategies listed above to consolidate your off-page SEO efforts.