You know SEO is important to your website, but do you know how to create an effective SEO strategy? One aspect of SEO that confuses people involves their link building practices.
With more than one billion websites for people to choose from, link building is essential to make your site stand out. To make this strategy work, you need to create quality links. This means understanding the top link building practices and avoiding common mistakes.
So, what are the common link building mistakes? There are 10 linking practices you should avoid.
What Is Linking?
Linking is the practice of creating links to your content on other websites and pages. This helps build your site authority and increase traffic.
Link building increases website traffic in two ways. First, the backlinks from other sites help Google rank your content as more relevant, moving you up in the search results. Plus, the links drive traffic from these other sites to your content.
Link building is a slow process. It can take up to 10 weeks for a backlink to affect your rankings.
Top Link Building Mistakes
While the process is slow, once the backlinks start affecting your ranking, the results will only improve. If you get frustrated and start making mistakes with your link building though, you will negatively affect your rankings.
It’s important to make sure Google doesn’t suspect your site of black hat SEO practices. These are the disreputable practices that seek to trick search engines and users with false keywords and content.
To avoid even the appearance of deception, it’s important to pay attention to how you build those links. This means avoiding those mistakes that can put you on Google’s bad list.
1. Poor-Quality Content
Poor-quality content decreases your chances of getting backlinks. It also hurts your rankings in the search results.
If people don’t find your content informative enough, they may refuse to link to it on their site. This decreases the number of links built on authoritative sites.
Content without value also increases your bounce back rate. This will cause Google to move you further down in the ranking.
Make sure your content answers a real question. You want to include enough detail that you add something to the topic. You don’t want so much detail that you drown out the point though.
2. Only Linking to Your Homepage
Google looks for natural links when ranking you based on backlinks. If you only link to your homepage, this looks like you’re just buying links to your page.
You need to link to different pages on your website. Diversify your link building strategy so your backlinks look natural.
3. Only Using One Type of Link
You also want to diversify the types of links you use. Diversity gains ranking. If you only link to the same type of material, it looks fishy to Google’s algorithms.
Make sure you link to different pieces of content. Pick several pieces of content that you want to rank. Spread out the use of these pages so your links appear more natural.
4. No Diversity in Anchor Texts
If you use the same anchor text for every backlink, Google could see this as a link building scheme. They will penalize you in the rankings for this.
Make sure you use different keywords when building your links. Try using your brand name and variations of the brand name. Also, try using variations and connected terms for your major keywords.
5. Using Useless Anchor Texts
You also want to avoid anchor texts that have nothing to do with what you want to rank for. Linking to wording like “check out” or “learn more” does nothing for your site ranking.
You want to do research to find a selection of keywords that fit with your niche. Mix these keywords for different backlinks so you can show relevancy to a particular topic.
6. Backlink Sprints
A handful of backlinks from authoritative websites to high-quality content brings more value than hundreds of links using the same anchor text linking to thin content. Plus, if you suddenly have a big jump in the number of backlinks, this can come across as another linking scheme.
Make sure you spread out your backlinks. This means spreading out the number of sites that link to your content. It also means spreading out the content you use for links.
7. Trading Links
It might sound beneficial to do a link swap with another website, but this is a no-no with Google’s algorithms. If you’re caught swapping links with websites you will lose your rankings.
Make sure people are linking to your site on their own. This doesn’t mean you can’t link to someone who’s linked to you. It just means don’t make this your way to get links on other sites.
8. Links from Low-Quality Sites
Part of your Google ranking involves the quality of the sites that link to your content. In fact, there are some types of sites you want to avoid altogether if you can. These sites include
- Pages with little content
- Unsecured websites
- Sitewide links
- Sites irrelevant to your niche
If you have too many low-quality backlinks, your pages won’t rank. Make sure you link to websites that bring value to your links.
9. Building Up Nofollow Links
Some websites will link to your content, but they’ll add a nofollow tag. This tag tells Google that the link is irrelevant to its ranking algorithm. You want to make sure that you have plenty of dofollow links on other sites.
This doesn’t mean nofollow links are worthless. You can still gain traffic from these sites. Just make sure that’s not all you have.
10. Not Tracking Backlinks
Link building isn’t just throwing the links into the world. You need to track how those links perform. Tracking links helps you identify which links work and which don’t.
Tracking helps you know which links you need to capitalize on. This also helps you determine which links to update or retire. Plus, this helps you know which websites are working best for your link strategy.
Link Building and Beyond
Building up top links to your website is just one step in the SEO strategy. You want to make sure you have a full strategy in place to get the best results. If you need help with this, contact us for a free SEO consultation.