Offpage search engine optimization essentially revolves around building backlinks. According to Who’s Talkin SEO, Links from other websites to your own are still a very, very important ranking criterion for Google.
But a lot has been manipulated in the past and Google is now looking very closely. Therefore there are a lot of things to consider.
Beside the pure backlink-structure there are of course still a few further offpage-measures, which directly or indirectly support the search engine optimization.
- Before you actively build links, you should first analyze them. How many backlinks does my site have, where do they come from and what quality do the links have?
- This can be done by hand or you can use a professional tool such as Ahrefs or Semrush.
- On the basis of the analysis you can then decide which direct or indirect measures are necessary for link building.
Recommendation: You should keep the backlink structure in mind at the beginning and also during link building. More about a natural backlink structure later.
- Before I come to the measures for backlinks, however, I would like to address the topic of content.
- In my experience, great and attractive content is the best prerequisite for link building.
- Blogs in particular therefore find it quite easy to collect many backlinks.
- Other types of websites, such as company websites or affiliate sites, have a much harder time.
Recommendation: Wherever possible, you should publish great content that readers recommend and link themselves.
As already mentioned, backlinks are the most important offpage SEO factor. In the following a few important tips:
- The anchor text of the backlinks should vary and not always contain the same. However, it is important to make sure that the important keywords appear in the anchor texts again and again. This can be achieved by including the keywords in the title and heading of the page in question. Many bloggers etc. link to the page title or the headline as anchor text.
- Backlinks with the domain as anchor text are also not bad. But ideally you should have the most important keywords in your domain.
- Besides backlinks to your own homepage you should also collect deeplinks. So links to single subpages/articles.
- One must actively market one’s own articles in social websites. Only so many others become attentive to it and link the articles.
- One should make it easy to link articles. That means for example also the installation of Social Media Buttons.
Recommendation: If you consider a few things, then you can relatively easily provide good backlinks. If, for example, an important page sets a backlink without a keyword in the anchor text, then you can also ask friendly if this can be changed.
4. Natural backlink construction
- Google automatically checks the backlink structure of websites. Therefore, it is important to maintain a natural structure, especially when actively building backlinks.
- The PageRank is no longer important for the ranking, but it shows the trust that Google has in a page. A natural backlink structure therefore also has a pyramid-like structure of backlinks according to their PageRank. So from PR 0 there are most, from PR 1 the second most etc. Who has one PR 0 backlink and two PR 5 backlinks is negative.
- The time factor also plays a role. The backlinks should be created bit by bit. Please do not sit down once a month and generate 50 backlinks in one day. This is also noticeable.
- Follow links certainly bring more than nofollow links. However, Google becomes skeptical if there are only follow links. Nofollow are part of a healthy backlink structure.
- The measure also plays an important role here. Backlinks from blog comments are not bad, unless you only have such backlinks. As long as a certain type of backlink does not have too much influence on the backlink mix, it is usually not a problem.
Recommendation: Those who actively build links should pay attention to these things. Google recognizes quite well, if you ignore these recommendations and operate an unnatural backlink building.
5. Backlink sources
- There is a very large number of backlink sources. The more different sources you use, the more natural it looks.
- But everyone has to decide for himself which sources to use.
- But also here very good and/or attractive content is helpful. This is because you usually get backlinks from different sources. In this context, link baits also play an important role.
Recommendation: Especially for new blogs and websites one should use the possibilities of free backlinks from different sources. This accelerates the entry into the Google ranking.
Image SEO Fundamentals
I love doing SEO with images, because it has an artistic aspect and not a lot of people are doing it.
And remember, in big cities like here in San Francisco, people do look for businesses via images, too.
So, it’s time to talk about this!
Like onpage optimization of your website, images have different levels of optimization: the visible layer, the meta layer and the image layer itself. Search engines like Bing and Google have become better and better in image recognition through artificial intelligence and machine learning, but are not yet able to read all image content exactly. For this reason, the context in which the image material is embedded and the meta elements are very important for image optimization.
Image SEO Aspects
- File size: To make it faster and easier for Googlebot to crawl an image url or file into the index, it is recommended to work with moderate file sizes optimized for the web. Thus, for example, no high-resolution outdoor shots with more than 10 megabytes should be used for SEO images. At the same time, the file size of the image has an important influence on the page speed of a web page. Since the loading speed of a website is one of the ranking factors, the optimization of image file sizes is therefore very important.
- File name: This plays an important role for the later ranking in the image search. It should represent exactly what can be seen in the picture. At the same time, the image with the file name is placed in the overall context of a web page. For Google and other search engines, the name offers an important orientation to capture the topic of the website.
- Image size: In SEO circles it is agreed that images that are too small, such as thumbnails or previews, do not stand a good chance of being ranked in the image search. A reference size of 300 pixels has been established for at least one side of the image.
- Image format: When displaying images in the image search, images in landscape format, or more precisely 4:3 format, are usually clicked on more frequently.
- Image source: The URL of the image also plays a role in the images SEO. It is recommended to use a thematically relevant folder structure.
If you want to promote the indexing of image files, you can also store all image URLs in a separate XML sitemap and upload them to the Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmastertools.
- Content: The content around the images is important for the ranking of individual images. The use of relevant keywords plays a major role here.
- ALT attribute: The classic function of the Alt attribute is to describe an image when it cannot be displayed in the browser due to technical problems. Accordingly, the alt attribute should exactly reflect the content of the image and should contain the main keyword.
- Title tag or image title: The meta title should also be used to store a relevant keyword. However, the title is primarily important for improving usability and less than a large SEO factor.
- Markups: With the help of schema.org and other markup languages, images can be provided with structured data that search engines can read. This data makes it easier for the bots to crawl and assign.
Linking with Images
If you link an image to a target website, you need to consider the following aspects for it to be effective!
- Strong internal linking: This can be done either “hard” or indirectly via thumbnails. However, action should also be taken in moderation here.
- Multiple use: In this case, images SEO behaves complementary to content SEO. The multiple use of an image with the same meta data is rather conducive to the ranking. This also applies to exact copies.
- Backlinks: These do not directly affect the ranking. Nevertheless, the more trust a website has, the more likely it is that its images will also rank well.
It is certainly also important in image optimization that the later ranking for a certain keyword or group also depends on the competition. It will therefore be more difficult to rank a celebrity’s name well with the image than with a photo optimized for a fantasy name. It is also conceivable, however, that so-called “longtail” keywords have better chances for good rankings than individual keywords in the image search.
That’s all for this post. We’ll talk more about image SEO soon! 😉