In this issue of the Traffic Travis newsletter you’ll learn about the essential off page SEO factors that will contribute to how well your website ranks in the search engines. While on-page SEO is a one-time thing, off-page SEO deals almost exclusively with building links to your site and is what will get you the most results over time.
Here’s some of what we’ll cover:
- The number of inbound links to your site.
- The quality of the links to your site.
- The rate at which you should be buildling links.
- How to deal with anchor text.
Understanding Google PageRank
Before we get in too deep, it is important that you have an understanding of Google PageRank. Put simply, PageRank (PR) is a way that Google measures websites. It is based on a complex and evolving algorithm, but you don’t need to worry about that. What you need to know is that in general websites with higher PageRank are deemed more ‘important‘ than those with lower PageRank. Therefore, high PR websites often have a greater chance of outranking low PR sites in a Google search.
The easiest way to check the PageRank of your homepage is by using the Dashboard section of Traffic Travis.
Refer to the previous newsletter, for more on importing pages into Traffic Travis, as well as adding a website to the Dashboard.
In the ‘My Site’ section of Traffic Travis, you might notice that some of your pages have different PageRank, even though they are all on the same website.
This is normal, as seen in the example below.
You could say that Google PageRank is a reflection of how much a web page is trusted by Google.
Now let’s look at the essential factors that will help your off-page SEO and boost your PageRank:
1. Number of inbound links
By far the biggest force behind boosting your search engine ratings is the number of other web pages that have links pointing to your website. According to Wikipedia, a hyperlink to a page counts as a vote of support for that page (you can read more about links and their effect on PageRank here) The more links you have pointing to your pages, the more ‘votes’ you have in the eyes of Google, and to a lesser extent the other search engines
Traffic Travis offers a few ways of seeing the number of links pointing to your own site. The most useful way of doing this is to use the Backlinks analysis tool that you can find under the SEO tab in Traffic Travis.
It is also important that majority of your links come from unique domains. So rather than having 100 links from Site A, you have a few from Site A, a few from Site B, Site C and so on.
To check your links, add your website or page to the ‘Pages to Analyze’ section, click ‘Analyze’, then when the results come up press the ‘Overview’ button. This will allow you to see the number of links your site has in total, as well as the number of different sites those links are coming from (as well as a few other handy stats).
In the example above you can see that the site as a whole has 223,279 backlinks in total, coming from 10,637 different domains. It also shows that there are 12 links to the site from .edu or .gov domains, but more on that later.
2. Anchor Text To Specific Pages
You want as many links to your web pages as possible to have anchor text that includes your keywords. This will help search engines correctly identify what your pages are about, and know which keywords they should be ranking for.
Let’s say you have a page called ‘Labrador training tips’. Ideally, you would want the links you get pointing back to this page to have anchor text like ‘best Labrador training tips’ rather than ‘click here’ or simply the URL of the page.
In the image below you can see an example of HTML with a good anchor text link to a page, and also an example of ‘bad’ anchor text link.
The top example would show as a ink to your site with the text ‘best Labrador training tips’. This is the type of link you should try to get whenever possible.
Unless you were trying to rank well for the phrase ‘click here’, you should avoid using it as anchor text as much as possible. Although having said that, you don’t always have control over the anchor text, and links like this are still valuable.
It’s also worthwhile to point out, that if ALL the links pointing to your site have the exact same anchor text, it begins to look very suspicious to search engines. So although you want most of your links to have anchor text with your keywords, varying up the anchor text, and including some ‘URL’ anchor text links is a good idea.
3. Quality of links
Not all links have the same value. Quality matters. Links from well-established sites, especially ones that are considered an authority in your niche, are much more valuable than links from more obscure sites.
The type of sites that are more valuable include:
- High PR websites.
- .edu or .gov websites.
- Authority sites in your niche. If you are unsure of what an authority site is, they are the bigger websites that tend to feature a lot in the search results for your chosen keywords (and related keywords).
- Sites that have been around for a long time.
- Sites that are relevant to your topic (a dog training website will be better off getting links from other sites about training dogs, rather sites about women’s fitness).
4. How fast you should be building links
Another important thing to take note of (alongside the number and quality of the links your site is receiving) is the rate at which your website is building links.
It’s good to see a green up arrow next to your backlinks count in the Dashboard section of Traffic Travis (as seen below) as this means you are building more links to your site.
But. You don’t want to build links unnaturally fast, or create a huge number in one hit and then stop. This can raise the suspicion of search engines and result in your site being penalized (especially if your site is brand new – older sites can get away with this to some extent).
A steady link building campaign will deliver the best results. Though as long as you aren’t using automated tools that promise to generate thousands of links all at once you don’t need to be too worried.
Let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered in this Newsletter:
- Google PageRank is an indicator of the ‘trust’ and ‘importance’ of a site.
- In general, the more sites that link to yours, the better.
- The anchor text of the links you build is important too, and you should build links to individual pages on your site based on the keywords you are targeting.
- Building links steadily over time is the best policy.
In the next newsletter we’ll get into the specifics of building links to your site.
Wishing you every success, ‘til next time,
Source: Traffic Travis http://www.traffictravis.com/newsletters/0372