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SEO Basics Revisited: Off-Page Optimization

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This article comes as a follow up to our previous post ‘SEO Basics Revisited: On-Page Optimization‘. Now that you are familiar with the basics of on-page optimization, let’s move on to the next step – Off-Page Optimization. This too isn’t as complicated or as difficult as you would imagine. Off-page optimization is nothing but a number of strategies that you can implement off your web page to improve your search engine ranking and increase targeted traffic to your web site.

Here’s is a simple explanation for all the newbies: Let’s say you build a great product and invest  all your time and effort into making it the best. However, you do not spread the word about this great product and no one knows about it! What’s the use? So, just as you need to let others know about your product and get recommendations from them, you need to do off-page optimization for your site as well.

Off-page factors should be carefully planned and implemented to achieve a higher search engine ranking. Many people think that off-page optimization is just link building and go about it in a random and unplanned manner. However, this is not going to bring much benefit to their site. They’re just going to waste a lot of time and efforts and not get any results. They need to consider several aspects before starting off-page optimization for their site. Given below is all the information you will need to know about off-page optimization.

I.    Factors to Consider Before Building Links

It’s not enough to get just any websites to link to you, the quality of inbound links is also very important. You may get 100 links but may not see any difference in your results if you don’t consider the following points:

1.    Inbound Links from Authority Sites
Authority sites are popular sites that people frequent, get linked to on the basis of their merit,  or are referred by many when they need to check up on the subject. Getting links from known websites is priceless while doing off-page optimization for your website. It’s like a certificate from an authoritative figure who has acknowledged the quality of your page. For example, if your site is about current events or news, and CNN.com links to you, consider it as the best bonus ever!
Tip: Make your website as professional and informative as possible. If you give reliable and valuable information, it will instantly impress people. This will also increase the chances of getting linked by other such authority sites.

2.    Anchor Text of Inbound Link
Anchor text is the actual word or phrase of your link. It is important to have anchor text targeting your keywords because the search engines will notice this as a relevant link for your site. As you start getting more and more links with your targeted anchor text, your rankings for those terms will start to improve.
For example, if your site was about selling or renting houses then you should use your keywords in the titles: such as ‘Houses for sale’, ‘Houses for rent’, ‘Homes for sale’, ‘Homes for rent’, ‘Buy a house’, ‘Rent a house’ etc.
The most common anchor text is ‘Click Here’. Sometimes, it is not possible to choose the anchor text for your links from other pages, but for those sites where you can, you need to get it right. Some places where you can enter your own anchor text are online web directories and social bookmarking sites. However, for those sites which do not, you could try sending a request asking if the anchor text can be modified to make it more relevant for your site. You’ll be surprised to see many of them would make the necessary changes.
Tip: Try to include your keywords in your anchor text. Decide what keywords you want to rank for and include them in your anchor text. However, be careful because your anchor text should not read like a string of keywords, it should make sense as well.

3.    PageRank of Incoming Links
Google Page Rank is a tool developed by Google to determine the importance of a website or a webpage based on clearly defined set of algorithms. It is ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. Whenever you link out to another website, you pass on some of your page rank value. Similarly, if you get a link form a high PR page, your site will also benefit from a fraction of the PR value of that page.
PageRank is based on incoming links, but not just on the number of them – relevance and quality are also important (in terms of the PageRank of sites, which link to a given site). However, not all links weigh the same when it comes to PR. If you had a web page with a PR8 and had 1 link on it, the site linked to would get a fair amount of PR value. But, if you had 100 links on that page, each individual link would only get a fraction of the value.
Tip: While links from high PR sites may be beneficial to your PR, do not restrict your off-page link building activities just on the basis of PR.

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