Off Page Ranking Factors That Will Drive Traffic To Your Website
One of the reasons that SEO can sometimes seem daunting to those new to it, or who have never studied it, is that there are literally hundreds of ranking factors that can make a difference to where a website ranks in the search engines.
It can seem like a giant game of whack-a-mole where just as you have sorted out one ranking factor, up pops another one that needs to be optimised, and on and on it goes.
To add even more into the mix, many of the ranking factors come under different categories, with much of the optimisation either taking place within the website, known as ‘on-site’ or away from the website completely, known as ‘off-site’.
Many who are new to Perth SEO automatically assume that the work that goes into ranking a website only takes place within the website, and whilst there is plenty of SEO to be done there, none of it is going to have much of an impact if no off-page SEO has taken place as well.
So that you have a better understanding of what off-page SEO should be done, we are going to take a detailed look at seven of the more important off-site ranking factors. If you optimise these, then coupled with an effective on-site SEO strategy, you should see your website and its pages start ranking higher.
Why Off-Page Optimisation Matters
To answer this, we need to look at what the different signals that on-site and off-page SEO tell the search engines when they are ranking websites.
On-page optimisation tells the search engines what you want to rank for using elements like metadata. These are the page titles, descriptions, and H tags that you create when building or adding pages on your website.
On-page optimisation also shows the search engines how relevant to specific searches and how user-friendly, your website is. These can be measured using factors such as how many people immediately click away from your website, or how many pages visitors click-through to during a visit.
One point to note is that pretty much everything related to your on-page SEO is totally controlled by you, and as such, it is seen by the search engines as easier to optimise than off-page factors.
A lot of the important off-page optimisation you might seek to achieve relies on the actions of others, and thus it is not so easy to manipulate. For that reason, off-site can be given more weight by the search engines, than many on-site factors.
Another reason off-page SEO is so important is that many of its factors give the search engines an indication of the popularity, importance, trustworthiness, and authority of your website. These are all hugely important when it comes to the search engines’ algorithms calculating your ranking.
Think of off-page SEO as a kind of popularity contest, with the most popular websites having a significant advantage over those which are not so popular. Unlike a normal popularity contest where votes are cast, it is the links to a website that count as votes online, and as we will explain, not all links are created equally.
But the number of links is not the only off-site ranking factor, as the types and quality of those links also play a role. There are others, so let us look in more detail at all seven of the ranking factors we think you should be focussing on.
Relevancy of the Linking Domain
If we use Tom Hanks and the acting analogy again, compare how strange it might seem if he was giving you praise for how well you play the piano. Now, he is a talented individual and may well play the piano, but he is not famous, nor known as an authority with regards to piano playing, and therefore praise from him would seem to be irrelevant.
That is exactly how the search engines look at links between websites that have little or nothing in common. A high authority dog training site, linking to an accountant’s website seems bizarre to us, and it does likewise to the search engines too.
They may not totally dismiss it, but if a website has too many non-relevant links coming to it, they will assume it is trying to game the system and penalise its rankings.
Number of Linking Domains
We mentioned that SEO is a bit like a popularity contest, which is why an SEO campaign should always have near the top of the agenda, the aim of getting as many other domains linking to your website as possible,
However, this is not an exercise in simply blasting as many links as you can in as short a time as you can. Do that, and the search engines immediately see it is not natural, and thus you get no benefit from it whatsoever.
Instead, you want to build your backlink portfolio at a steady rate, and also ensure that the links come from a variety of different websites.
One thing you should never do is pay for services promising to get you ‘1,000s of backlinks’ with a few days. This goes against all of the search engines’ rules and is a sure-fire way for your website to be deleted from the rankings altogether.
Authority of Linking Domains
Part of the research undertaken when starting an SEO campaign should be to find high-authority websites within your niche, or that could be regarded as being somewhat relevant to your niche.
The reason is that backlinks which you can acquire from those high authority websites carry more weight in the eyes of the search engines than low authority ones. It is a bit like being given the thumbs up from Tom Hanks in an acting contest versus from your drama teacher.
Imagine the link from those websites as a conduit with some of the power being passed along it to your website. The more power that comes your way, the more authority your website is seen as having, and higher authority means higher rankings.
Link Anchor Text
You will find anchor text just about everywhere you look online. It is normally blue in colour, and when you click on it, it usually opens up a new window, with a website that is relevant to what the text says. So, if the anchor text says, ‘luxury villa’, when the page opens you should expect to see an image, video, or description of a luxury villa.
Using anchor text in the backlinks to your website is great way to gain ranking for specific keywords, but it must not be overdone. Having every single link with the same keyword as anchor text is classed as over optimisation and your ranking will be penalised for it.
Use a variety of keywords, use synonyms for certain words, use longtail keywords that contain four or more words, in fact do it all so that your anchor text profile looks as natural as can be.
Never underestimate the power of using basic branded backlinks instead of backlinks that have anchor text. Branded links that come from high authority websites still carry a lot of power although it does not add anything in terms of relevancy to specific keywords.
The other benefit of using branded backlinks or raw URLs as some call it, is that it once again helps to make your backlinking profile one that is seen as natural in the eyes of the search engines.
You should even seek to use branded backlinks from lower authority websites simply to balance the ratio between branded and anchor text links.
Power of Citations
If you are unsure what a citation is, they can be found on the hundreds of business directories that exist online. Examples of these are Yelp and Yellow pages.
Each citation has your business name, address, phone number and website URL. The key point is that every single citation has to exactly match all the others for them to have the desired effect.
Individual citations may not have the same power as a backlink from a high authority website but cumulatively they increase your online footprint. This gives the search engines further evidence that your business is trustworthy, and thus your website may deserve to be placed higher in the rankings.
Also bear in mind each citation is a link, and while their power is limited as we mentioned, each one adds to the overall number of backlinks you have pointing towards your business’s website.
Social Media Marketing
The likes of Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have never been so popular, and thus any business that does not include them in their Perth SEO strategy is missing out.
It is no coincidence that for most search terms it is the businesses which have the greatest activity and interaction on social media whose websites rank highest.
Again, the search engines see social media activity as a sign that a business is active and has followers which trust them enough to share posts, for example.
Bear in mind social media is designed for sharing so when your posts which contain links to your website are shared, the more chance there is of other backlinks being created.