Link building is an essential SEO tool that can give your brand the boost it needs to draw in more customers. While the concept is simple enough, there are several pitfalls that people routinely fall into as well as key strategies that are frequently underutilize. To get the most out of link building, read on to discover the essential dos and don’ts in this link building checklist.
What is Link Building?
Link building is an incredibly powerful SEO tool that can see you and your brand climbing Google’s ranking system. In itself, it is a fairly simple concept. All that link building requires is other sites linking your posts. This is also referred to as backlinking.
You can generate backlinks via several different methods, including asking relevant brands to link your content, whether it be a blog post, infographic, or statistic, and adding your link to a forum or business directory. Over time, as you publish more content, you can also start to earn links. This is when other companies link your content on their own because of its quality and credibility.
Taking the time to invest in quality link building can result in a significant increase in traffic and an influx of new customers. The more your content is referenced and linked by other companies, the more credibility Google awards it. As such, your website will be placed higher in search results, increasing your visibility and, with time, your conversion rates. So, let’s start our link building checklist by the Dos.
Link Building Checklist: The Dos
Produce Quality Content
Regularly producing well-researched, engaging content is the key to creating relationships with other content creators and, subsequently, receiving more backlinks. When asking another brand to link your content, it must be beneficial for them as well. They won’t want to associate with a brand that could harm their own credibility or turn readers away.
Take the time to write engaging content that utilizes relevant keywords and is optimized for users across different devices. Whether it’s a checklist, blog post, or infographic, it can become a valuable linkable asset over time, so don’t rush the writing process.
Ideally, the content should be evergreen, so the link remains relevant for readers whenever they come across it.
Utilise Guest Posts
Guest posts are another highly effective SEO technique. When you produce content for another company’s website, you can include a backlink to your own site. This allows you to utilize another brand’s search engine rank and draw in new customers who may not have previously been aware of your company and its services.
As with content that is published on your own platform, ensure that your guest posts are well-written and thoroughly research. Additionally, you need to make sure that you are following the site’s guidelines – if you ignore them, it’s unlikely that they’ll publish your content and you could damage a potentially lucrative relationship.
By following the company’s guidelines and producing high-quality content, you can create the right first impression with new customers and give them a reason to click the link and explore your website for themselves.
Use An Organic Anchor Text
Historically, link building has relied on clunky keyword stuffing. Not only does this read poorly, but it will keep the majority of readers from clicking on the link. Rather than forcing links and their corresponding anchor text into your content at random, find ways to organically introduce the links.
The easiest way to do this is to only use backlinks that pertain to the topic you are writing about. If they are relevant to your keyword, the likelihood is that you will seamlessly be able to incorporate the link into your text.
In addition to this, only use anchor text that reflects the content of the article you are linking to. Even if you are desperate to build a relationship with another brand or creator, there is no point in linking their content at random with unrelated anchor text.
Create a Diverse Link Profile
Link building will see you steadily climbing up search engine results. However, if you only backlink a handful of websites it can generate suspicion from the likes of Google and Bing, and subsequently have the reverse effect and see your site ranked lower.
Cultivate a broad link profile by securing backlinks from multiple different sources. These can include social media posts, guest posts, press releases, and directories. The more diverse your link profile is, the more authentic and credible it appears to search engines.
It also has the added benefit of allowing you to build relationships with numerous brands across multiple platforms, thereby increasing your visibility to potential customers.
Contact Relevant Publishers
By contacting credible publishers with similar niches, you can quickly generate more traffic on your website by utilizing the crossover in your target audience. You need to write a persuasive, engaging pitch that accurately sells your brand and the mutual benefits that would come from backlinking. Manual outreach link building can take a considerable amount of time but the rewards are worth waiting for.
Be sure to only contact relevant publishers. Every brand has its niche, but there should be a genuine correlation between their content and yours to ensure that you can create an organic link. Some basic market research can help you establish who is leading in the market and how they relate to your brand.
Link Building Checklist: The Don’ts
Don’t Value Quantity Over Quality
It can be tempting to get backlinks from as many websites as possible, especially when you are starting to build your link profile. However, links from low-quality websites can actually do your brand more harm than good. Given their own quality, links from these websites will not award your site the credibility it needs to be ranked highly by Google.
Before partnering with another site, do some research into its organic traffic, domain authority, and domain age. These checks will give you a better understanding of the brand and can help you decide whether or not you should be working with them.
Don’t Use PBNs
A private blog network (PBN), also known as a link farm, is a collection of domains that are used to build links and subsequently manipulate a website’s search engine ranking. Typically, these networks are comprised of expired domains with a high authority rating. Due to their SERP authority, backlinking from these websites can get you quick results and drastically increase your traffic.
However, this is a black hat technique that can result in penalization from Google and being de-indexed. As such, the quick results aren’t worth the risk. Instead, invest in your brand by taking the time to produce quality content that will earn you backlinks over time.
Don’t Recycle Your Content
If you have managed to secure several guest posts, resist the urge to send out the same article multiple times. While this saves you time in the short term, it is frowned upon and can make your brand appear unreliable if readers repeatedly see the same content across different platforms.
Duplicate content can also harm how well an article performs on search engine rankings. If the same content is attached to multiple URLs, the search engine won’t know which one to promote and ultimately, may leave it out of search results entirely.
Take the time to produce a well-research and written piece of content that has been tailored to appeal to the audience of the guest site and you’ll receive far better results.
Don’t Engage in Link Exchanging
Link exchanging can limit your link profile and prevent you from growing an organic link network. As with the other don’ts on this list, if Google notices a mounting number of links being exchanged between two domains, it will be flagged, and the rankings of both sites will decrease.
This does not mean that you can’t ever engage in a link exchange, but you have to be very selective about which brands you give reciprocal links to. In addition to this, you should only accept a paid link from a credible website that has followed the webmaster and advertising guidelines outlined by Google.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
In their quest to generate an authentic link profile, many creators forget to utilize social media. Links from social media, as well as likes, shares, and retweets, are just as important as backlinks from fellow web pages. Social media is also the ideal platform for linkless mentions. This is when your brand is mentioned without a corresponding link which search engines perceive as a sign of credibility and authority.
A social media presence diversifies your link profile and makes it appear more organic to search engines. As an added bonus, more people use social media than ever before, so you can also draw in new customers by creating a social media presence that accurately reflects your brand and its services.
Final Thoughts In This Link Building Checklist
When it’s done properly, link building is one of the most effective SEO techniques available to content creators. So, be sure to incorporate all the dos into your link building checklist strategy and leave the don’ts behind. It’s undeniable that link-building is a time-consuming process, but the results are more than worth it.