Link building is an essential part of SEO, but like all things SEO, the rules are constantly being updated, and as such, it’s easy to employ practices that are no longer effective, or practices that have become downright hurtful. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some dos and don’ts of link building.
There are many different types of links depending on the function they fulfill. For example, you have links that will draw traffic to your site, links that will increase your site’s relevance, and links that will increase your authority. It’s important to consider the value of each link, and build a multi-faceted strategy.
You then want to take local listings into account. Links on these websites are very valuable, because they let Google know relevant information about your business, such as the name, address, and phone number, among others. However, local listings are populated with hundreds, if not thousands of entries each day, and as such, they are not always indexed by Google. To get around this issue, you can create a page on your website that links to all your listings. This way, Google will index those pages, based on the links on your website, creating a boomerang-like effect and improving your SEO.
If you run an influential website, you are most likely being mentioned throughout the web. Using Google Alerts, you can find out whenever your company is being mentioned, and you can check to see if you are being linked in the mention. If not, you can send an email to the company/blog/individual, and politely ask for a link back to your site.
Another great way to build links is by sponsoring charities and helping out non-profit organizations, in exchange for a link back. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for links directly from various blogs and websites. The response rate is between 4-7%, but if you have a dedicated social media manager, you can add this to his or her list of responsibilities.
Things to avoid
When link-building, there are several practices that you should avoid at all costs. To start, when you are on a link building campaign, where you ask for links directly, do not ask for a specific anchor text. This will stifle the conversation, and lower your response rate. Allow your partners to link however they see fit. It will come across more naturally.
Now, when talking about old practices that are no longer useful, you have hidden links, low-quality directory links, links placed in the header or footer of a website, comment links that have heavily-optimized text, link exchanges, and private link schemes or networks. All of these practices were useful on the outset of SEO, but they have become either useless or detrimental today. A good rule of thumb here is to avoid anything that is overtly artificial. Keep your link building as organic as possible, and you will start to see great results.