Off-page SEO factors such as link building will also improve how your content is ranked by search engines and perceived by users.
Link building and backlinks
Link building is the most common way of optimising for off-page SEO ranking. Relevant links from other websites will improve the content authority of your site.
Some benefits of link building:
- more visibility of your website pages in search results
- more traffic from other websites linked to you (referral traffic)
- links can help in getting indexed in search results quicker
Types of backlinks
Backlinks come in several forms such as an image or text. You should have more text links than image links.
Link building strategies to get external websites to link to yours:
- other relevant government sites with similar content
- write or produce content for other relevant sites
- public relations — can generate links especially with the media
- leverage partnerships and professional associations for co-linking
Follow versus nofollow links
By default, all links are ‘follow’ links, unless the attribute known as 'nofollow' is added to a link.
The 'nofollow' attribute stops the link from being followed by web crawlers. For example, internal site search pagination. This tells search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the SEO ranking when the page is indexed.
To do this, it will need to be added into the code of your website where relevant. The 'nofollow' code looks like:
The anchor text of a link is the text that is used within the link. It's the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink.
SEO guidelines for anchor texts:
- Include 1 target keyword of the page that it links to in the anchor text.
- Keep your anchor text relevant to the content of the page it's on.
- Make sure at least 50% of the anchor text (across all backlinks) does not target keywords.
- Use your department or agency name as this can also help with SEO.
Example anchor text
In this example, the anchor text (hyperlink) is news-blogs, which links directly to the relevant page.
Web analytics can help you measure the success of your SEO. This helps to understand which pages are working and which pages are not.
Your SEO strategy should be tracked and monitored by data from your analytics. When you look at your search data, include all search queries. This means top clicks, bottom clicks, nil clicks and search result clicks. This will give you a more accurate overview of how your content is performing.
Google search console is a tool to consider using for SEO. This tool helps you access the data, tools and diagnostics you'll need to create SEO friendly content. You will need a Google analytics (GA) account to use the search console.
Australian public servants can also look into measuring and understanding online behaviour training with the Google analytics suite.
SEO future proofing
Always remember you need to keep working on your SEO. Technology is constantly changing and SEO strategies need consistent review.