If you want to grow your business online, generate more traffic, and ultimately drive more sales, you have to invest in SEO. And if you’re going to do SEO right, you must have some sort of link building strategy in place.
Link building is part art and part science. It requires equal amounts of skill, technical competence, and creativity. And with so much misinformation online, it’s imperative that you also practice discernment. Because if you aren’t careful, costly mistakes will sink every dream you have of scaling your brand’s digital presence.
5 Link Building Mistakes to Avoid
Link building is effective, but it’s also highly sensitive. If you get too bold, you could end up violating search engine rules and cause your website to be suppressed or even delisted. But thankfully, other people have already learned these hard lessons on your behalf. And here are the link building mistakes these sacrificial lambs would advise you to avoid:
1. Thinking More is Always Better
The most common misconception is that link building is all about volume. In other words, the more links you generate pointing back to your website, the better your results will be. But this isn’t necessarily true.
Yes, you want as many links as you can possibly get, but quality plays a key role as well. In fact, you’re probably better off having 100 backlinks from websites with a high domain authority than 400 links from websites that are considered spammy or have low domain authority.
2. Doing the Same Old Thing
A good link building is diverse and eclectic. It’s constantly changing, improving, and iterating. If you’re doing the same old things over and over again, you’re probably not getting the kind of results you’re seeking.
Avoid directing all of your backlinks back to the same URL – even if that URL is the homepage. Spread your links out over at least three or four different pages. It’s also important to vary your anchor text – using both branded anchors and natural anchors. This helps your links look more organic to both search engines and human readers.
3. Linking to Thin Content
It’s amazing how many businesses waste money directing a lot of backlinks to a page only for the page to have thin, ineffective, low-converting content. If you’re going to take the time to generate backlinks – naturally or manually – make sure you’re developing valuable content that serves your brand well and pushes visitors into the top of your funnel. Otherwise, it’s all a waste.
4. Working With a Black Hat Link Builder
You can certainly do link building on your own, but it’s a much lengthier and intensive process than you probably realize. So if you’re serious about link building, you’ll eventually come to a point where you want to hire a link building service. And you have to be cautious!
Most link builders are what we’d call black hat link buildiers – meaning they use questionable tactics and outlandish promises. This ultimately puts your business at risk. Instead, look for a white hat link builder who follows the rules and uses proven, legal principles that position you well for the long run. These businesses will produce high quality content and acquire links through networking – not sketchy link exchange programs. And the only promise they’ll make is a money back guarantee.
5. Exchanging Links at Scale
There’s nothing wrong with guest blogging on another website and offering that webmaster an opportunity to guest blog on your site in return. Google has no way of sniffing out these exchanges – nor do they care. They do, however, care about situations where there’s a link exchange strategy happening at scale.
If you’re exchanging dozens or hundreds of links with the same domains, you’re going to get caught with your pants down. Not only are the links likely to be low in quality, but you’ll risk being treated as a spammer – something that’s hard to live down.
Do Link Building the Right Way
Link building is legal and effective – regardless of what some misinformed digital marketing “gurus” may try to claim. Google doesn’t like to use the term “link building,” but they’re very clear about the fact that they view authoritative backlinks as trust signals. Thus, the more you’re able to generate backlinks from the appropriate sources, the better your chances of climbing the search rankings and driving traffic back to your website.