Link building is key to improving your search engine rankings and driving more traffic to your website. It’s a notion that has long since been accepted, and SEO practitioners and online marketers are constantly looking for new and more sophisticated ways to create links on the web.
But you should never assume that all links are created equally. There are some link building methods that can actually do more harm than good, and should be actively avoided.
Here, we’ll look at five of the most common mistakes that could be damaging your site:
The opportunity to buy links is something that you’ll come across regularly when browsing the internet. Whilst it can seem like a quick and easy option, it should be avoided at all costs. The links are likely to be low quality and may be regarded as spam by search engines, and will therefore probably have an adverse impact on your rankings.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Not creating enough social signals
If you’re not incorporating social media into your SEO efforts, you’re missing a trick. Social signals can be a lot harder to manipulate, but it’s widely accepted that they’re the way forward when it comes to link building.
Imagine, for example, that you create a tweet that is retweeted 300 times amongst your audience. That’s a lot of sharing of your information, and a lot of links back to your business.
There are a few things you can do to make sure that you’re using social to its best advantage.
Never forget that it’s real people who are using social media, so you should be creating updates that are interesting, relevant and engaging. This is by far the best way to ensure that your content is shared.
Installing plug-ins on your site that aggregate your social content will help to make sure that it’s easily found by those who matter.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as just asking your fans and followers to share your content with their friends. If it’s high quality and will add value, they’ll just need a little push to spread it further.
Focusing on quantity rather than quality
A few backlinks from high quality sites is much more beneficial than having hundreds or thousands of links from low quality sites. The search engines will automatically associate your content with that of the poor sites, so this is a tactic that is best avoided.
It may take longer to build up high quality links, but it will have a much better impact on your site in the long run.
Using too many exact match anchor links
It can be tempting to use as many exact match anchor links as possible, but as it’s an unnatural way to build links, it’s safe to assume that it isn’t the best approach.
Try using similar words as anchor text, rather than using exact matches all the time. In addition, don’t be afraid to use generic anchors such as ‘read more’ or ‘buy now’. Not only is this a more natural way to use links and write copy, but it also provides your audience with a clear call to action.
Neglecting on-page optimisation
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all your SEO efforts should be focused on building links out on the web. Your main concern should always be the user experience once visitors hit your site, because a steady flow of traffic will mean nothing if you don’t have great content that turns them into customers.
You should also make sure that everything on your site follows the basic principles of SEO, and that you have an appropriate keyword density and proper internal linking in place.
Though link building is important, you should carefully plan your approach. These mistakes could be seriously detrimental to your search engine rankings.