Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors

I have excluded any myths and focused on proven factors that will add legitimate value to an SEO campaign.

Company Reviews

Company reviews are particularly crucial for local SEO; however, they are advantageous for all campaigns. The main reasons for this are:

  • They increase brand awareness.
  • They help to build brand authority and improve trust with both customers and search engines.

Online reviews can be from any of the following locations:

  • Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Directory citation websites such as Yellow Pages and True Local
  • Forums.
  • Reviews websites such as Product Review.

Search engines will use these signals to determine how ‘popular’ your website and brand are.

Now imagine yourself in the current situation: You require a landscaper, and you have two options:

  1. You noticed that your neighbour had a brilliant job done and further to that, the neighbour strongly recommended them, or
  2. You can search for ‘landscapers’ on Google and try your luck finding a good one.

In this example, almost everyone would go with the first option and Google understand this.

As a result, search engines are gradually applying more and more weight to reviews.

One of the problems search engines have is trying to identify which reviews are genuine; However, that is a discussion for another article.

Online reviews are becoming more critical, and they are not just useful for local SEO anymore.

Try to gain as many genuine reviews as possible and for best results, set yourself a monthly target and try to get them regularly from well-known and trusted sites.

Number of Referring Domains

Do not confuse this with the number of backlinks because Google only includes the best backlink from any domain within their algorithm.

Other backlinks from the same domain will have no additional ranking value.

For example, all things being equal in terms of website metrics, two backlinks from two domains will have more value than one thousand backlinks from one domain.

For this reason, it can be beneficial creating other forms of backlinks such as directory citation backlinks.

Page Rank (PR), Domain Authority (DA) & Domain Ranking (DR)

PR, DA & DR are all interchangeable and refer to the same thing, the strength of a website, relative to every other site on the world wide web.

Every website has a score between zero to one hundred with one hundred being the highest a website can have.

A brand-new website on a brand-new domain will typically have a rating of zero while Facebook, which has the highest rank of any website, has a ranking of one hundred.

The reason there are three phrases is similar to the same reason why Apple and Samsung call the same technology different things – competition.

A websites backlink profile determines the PR/DA/DR of a website.

All backlinks have a value that is either positive, neutral or negative, and this will all attribute to a websites final score.

The higher your score, the better but remember that you only need to have a higher score than your competitors.

Visit the following link to check the strength of your website:

 This metric is one of the most valuable when it comes to SEO because it helps to build your relationship with Google.

As a result, it will also increase your trust-flow and therefore, the online visibility of your website.

Organic Click Through Rate (OCTR)

The layout of a Google search results page can be itemised into the following:

Google Ads

This is typically the first section of the page and will display anywhere from zero to four ads.

The number of ads displayed can vary and is dependent on several factors, such as:

  • Screen size availability
  • User activity
  • Demand for the given keyword

Map Pack

Google will generally only display this section if the user is searching for something location-specific.

It usually displays three results, and if considered appropriate, one paid result may be visible above all three (2A).

Organic Search Results

Below this are the organic search results and there are typically up to ten per page.

Sometimes Google may display expandable FAQ (3A) for specific listings.

Doing so may reduce the amount of available space on a page, thus decreasing the number of organic listings shown.

Google Ads

This is a repeat of step one.

Customisable Pages

Google pages are dynamic, which means they can be customised dependant on a given search query.

As a result, you may not see all elements outlined above on every page.

Organic Impression

Each time a search engine displays your web page within its organic search results, it is considered an impression.

The organic click-through rate is calculated by the number of times a webpage is selected having been displayed in the organic search results.

The number of times a web page is selected, relative to others, helps provide feedback on the popularity of a page.

The more popular a page is, the more likely it is to get a boost in the search results.

To help improve your OCTR, you must have a fully optimised title tag.

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