You can easily understand what off-page optimization is by its name. The SEO things you do outside your website is called off-page optimization. You all know that optimization of your content is extremely important to rank well in search engines but at the same time search engine algorithms also take off-page factors into account in order to determine the relevance and importance of the web page.
You should work on off-page factors along with on-page factors for better result. There are many off-page factors to list and this article is written mainly focused for new websites. The below 3 elements are the most important off-page optimization factors to consider.
- Directory Submissions
- Social media
Just started a new website? Before you read any further, you need to do on-page optimization first. Don’t know what that is? Read our post on on-page optimization.
Backlinks (inbound, incoming links) are the first off-page factor that you need to focus on. Although we don’t exactly know every factor that search engines consider to rank websites, but backlink profile is one of the main factors in their algorithm. Search engines vote websites based on the quality and quantity of the backlinks. A backlink from another website that is related to your niche or from website that has good PR are considered as quality backlinks. Ever heard of do-follow and no-follow backlinks?
DoFollow & NoFollow Links
Search bots crawl from one webpage to another and they also crawl anchor links that are present in a website. The website that has your link may or may not make the bots crawl your page by using html rel attribute in hyperlinks.
Do Follow: For do follow links, the websites that has your links will simply add a hyperlink without rel attribute and by doing so, they are allowing the search bot to visit your page as well. Do follow links passes link juice and of course these links are extremely powerful factor that Google uses to increase or decrease your website page rank. Your website traffic will also be increased when you have more do follow links.
No Follow: If a website has your link but doesn’t want to pass link juice or let the crawling bot visit your webpage, they can stop the bot in two methods. This is an example of no follow link using anchor text. This is the way of telling search engines to ignore this backlink as a vote to your website.
<a href="http://yourwebsite.com" rel="nofollow">Anchor text</a>
Sometimes websites want every link on specific pages to be nofollow. For that they use meta tag in the head section to tell search bots to completely ignore every link appears on that page.
<meta name="robots" content="nofollow" />
Even though no follow links sound like no use, Google still take them into consideration while ranking your website. Try to get both do follow and no follow backlinks to your website.
Main keyword in Anchor text
A primary keyword is the term that you have optimized on that linked webpage. Having your main keyword in the backlink anchor text increases your keyword position in SERP.
A mistake to avoid
If you already have a website that has good search engine ranking and PR, don’t even try to add backlinks to your own website. Google wants everything to be organic and this does not look natural at all. If Google ignore those links then it’s fine but they may lower your website ranking for doing this. So don’t inter-link your websites.
Monitoring is must
Links from spam websites will affect your website as well. Always monitor where your links are coming from and protect yourself from getting penalized by Google. There are many websites to monitor backlinks. I use Majestic SEO to manage backlinks. It is of course a paid service but you can see each and every backlink for free once you claim your website.
Disavow unnatural links
When you find a backlink from website that seems more unnatural or spamming, your website will also get affected by that. The only thing you can do is to disavow those links in Google Webmaster Tools but it is not recommended if Google has not found any spam links to your website.
By disavowing, you are asking Google to not follow your links when crawling bot visits their website. Using this tool can be helpful and at the same time if you don’t know that those websites are spam, you will lose potential backlinks.
2) Directory Submission
Google like links from trusted websites. Article directories are one of the most trusted sources for getting backlinks. Links from article directories are very organic and one-way. Submitting your website to directories will increase your reputation and page rank as well. This is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website. Most of them are free but some of the directories requires you to pay for the submission.
Paid submissions will get listed faster but it depends on your marketing budget for your site. Backlinks from directories with PR 3 or above can be considered as good quality links. Anything above PR 7, will give boost to your new website in terms of search engine ranking, traffic and page rank. If you want to do paid submissions, then you should pick directories which are PR 7 and above.
There are hundreds of free directories out there. Here are the 5 High PR directories for free submissions.
- Free Find (PR 8)
- High Rank Directory (PR 7)
- DMOZ (PR 7)
- Scrub the Web (PR 6)
- Submission Web Directory (PR 6)
Note: These free submission directories can take days, weeks or even months to list your website. To speed up this process, you can place their link on your website. It’s called reciprocal link.
3) Social Media
One of the cost-effective off-page optimization factor to promote your business. Create business pages for your website in top social networks and start engaging with your users for improving your brand reputation. We all know how to use social networks but optimize it a bit differently when it comes to websites. Using professional cover images, adding verified website URL, a good business description and creating call-to-action buttons are considered as good practice.
Unlike usual social networks, social bookmarking sites are now very popular these days. But for social bookmarking to be a real success, Create more interesting content that will make users curious to visit your webpage. Most users visit websites that has interactive content. The content should attract users and this is where creativity plays an important role. You will have to look from the perspective of an internet user. Submit your best optimized and high performing articles/pages for better results.
These are the important off-page optimization for new websites. I’ll post another article which will cover few more important off-page factors.