SEO Off-Page Factors

Off-site actions to improve SEO

In the world of SEO, off-page factors are variables that occur outside of your website but still impact your search-engine rankings. On-page factors typically drive 25 percent of your rankings, while off-page factors bear 75 percent of the weight. You should ultimately optimize for both types of factors.

One of the most important off-page factors are inbound links. Your goal should be to create a massive "online footprint" via linkbuilding. There are essentially two main categories of backlinks:

  1. Backlinks you build yourself.

  2. Backlinks from other people.


Linking to Yourself

Joining trade groups or community sites is one easy way to create backlinks. Most photo trade organizations have profile pages for their members, and from these pages, you can easily link to yourself. Because these trade sites typically have good domain strength (meaning they are respected and weighted heavily by Google), these are great backlinks to have. 

We also highly recommend a blog. Blogs give you a very easy way to self-publish. You control the content and the keywords used to describe your photos, and you can link back to specific images or galleries within your website. This level of specificity is crucial in building overall SEO, because having links to only your homepage will have limited effect in building SEO against a very large corpus of related terms.


Getting Others to Link to You

Simply stated, the best way to get others to link to you is to shoot something interesting. Flowers in your backyard aren’t interesting. A hummingbird feeding on your flowers taken with an ultra high speed flash is interesting.

There’s also the concept of “link bait,” which is a blog post or webpage that might be controversial, humorous, contrarian, newsworthy, etc. Maybe you got one of the first Nikon D4s and wrote a review. Bingo! Consider how things other than photos can help generate backlinks to your website.

Generally speaking, we advise photographers to build as many links as possible. Each link is a “vote” or endorsement of your website, which will improve your SEO. This is a very easy way to understand backlink creation. In truth, backlink analysis is a bit more complex, and all backlinks aren’t weighted equally.

For example, it’s much more significant for The New York Times Lens Blog to link to your website than for Cotton, Inc., because the Lens Blog has topical relevance. Also note that the best SEO links use keywords as the link text rather than generic phrases. For example, the following underlined text represents the link:

This is a gallery of my photos of the Empire State Building.
Todd Owyoung is a great photographer who shoots live music photos.

This is a gallery of my photos of the Empire State Building.
Todd Owyoung is a great photographer who photographs live music photos.


Other Places to Build Backlinks

Google Places and social media platforms are other good places to build backlinks to your website and thus help your SEO efforts. For more information on these and to learn how you can track your progress, check out our free SEO Guide for Photographers.

Still have questions? Contact us.