How important is off-page optimisation compared with on-page optimisation? I get asked that question a lot and whilst it’s a good question I am reluctant to answer it because I feel it isn’t the right question. What we should be focussing on is how rankings are weighted between the two rather than one being more important than the other. On the face of it, off-page is more important because 70% of your website ranking is decided through off-page factors, leaving only 30% for on-page. But that doesn’t mean one is more important than the other, it just reflects how Google works things out.
It makes complete sense when you think it through. Owning a website is about popularity, and popularity is about association. If you are seen on a date with Mariah Carey your popularity rating will increase threefold, and in much the same way, if you have linking relationships with popular websites you will increase your popularity and overall ranking.
SEO is about popularity, so get into bed with as many big players in your niche as possible. No matter how many times you tweak your on-page SEO, if you are not associated with the right people (websites) you will not climb up the SERPs. Make yourself an authority in your industry, start rubbing shoulders with the big boys and it will reflect in your rankings.
Quality backlinks don’t have to mean reciprocal links. Seek out highly ranked classified sites, article directories, listing directories, forums, blogs, social bookmarking sites and local business listings etc. There a number of ways you can create solid backlinks. Backlinks reflect your level of popularity which ultimately plays a large part in determining you rankings. Set yourself a monthly backlink target, even one a day will eventually make a huge difference to your popularity.