Backlinks are the backbone of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a large number of quality links have the potential to get your website on top of search rankings. For this reason, you cannot ignore proper link building if you want to create a solid online presence. At the same time, wrong link building practices can expose your website to penalties and do more harm than good. Therefore, it becomes essential to know the link building best practices and implement them as well.
Unfortunately, there are no documented rules for the same because search algorithms keep changing consistently. You cannot stick to tried and tested tactics as you hardly have ones that are proven. Still, there are some unwritten tactics that have gained recognition over the years. So what can you do to keep your link building game on the top? What should you avoid to sustain your ranking and avoid penalties related to wrong backlinking practices? Here are some dos and don’ts that can serve as guidelines.
Do focus on relevant and high-quality content
Relevant, high-quality content is, without any doubt, the foundation of a successful link building strategy. As a rule, you just need to create great content and backlinks will come naturally. Obviously, when you have informative, unique and relevant content on your website, the audience would want to share it. A larger number of shares translate into a larger number of natural links. Moreover, quality content attracts authoritative sources and motivates them to link to your site. Above everything else, quality content builds trust and credibility for your brand because the audience gets what they expect from it. The relevance of your content is another factor that gets Google in your favor, which translates into high search rankings.
Do pursue backlinks on relevant and authoritative sites
While quality content is the key to quality backlinks, you cannot ignore the significance of linking to relevant and authoritative websites as well. So you must have a robust outreach strategy in place if you want to build winning backlinks. Ideally, you should prioritize quality over numbers. Pick the high-authority sites and blogs in your niche and persuade them to link with your website through guest posting. This will give you a dual benefit; firstly, you get exposure to their huge following and secondly, you get the advantage of being endorsed by a domain leader.
Do look for quick-win opportunities
When it comes to creating a successful link building strategy, you need to look for quick-win opportunities. However, make sure that you stick to white-hat tactics so that you steer clear of penalties. Explore sources such as news sites and online communities because building links with then can give you a wider reach with lesser work. Search for unlinked brand mentions and leverage them to grab the missed opportunity. You can also hunt for broken backlinks and reclaim them for getting quick results.
Do maintain consistency
Another important tip for making your link building strategy a success is by maintaining consistency at all times. Keep investing in quality backlinks at a consistent pace, rather than having periods of silence and sudden activity. Build solid and lasting relationships with bloggers and influencers in your niche so that you are constantly connected with their audience base. Churn out quality content and guest posts on a regular basis and promote them across high-authority websites.
Don’t link with low-quality sites
While linking with quality sites can take your strategy to the next level, collaborating with low-quality ones can do just the opposite. You may feel the temptation to build on numbers because it is easier to link with them, but resist it at all costs. Bear Newman of BearFoxMarketing.com warns against getting backlinks on pages with too many ads, as those articles will often be marked as spam. Avoid low-quality blogs and directories as well because they will only damage your profile.
Don’t be a part of link-exchange schemes
Another temptation that you should absolutely resist is to participate in link-exchange schemes. They may appear like a great option on paper but can get you into trouble. Google is smart enough to notice an unnatural number of links between two domains and will definitely penalize your website if you do it. The best approach is to steer clear of such practices and adhere only to natural link building. Rather, give reciprocal links only to the niche-relevant sites that provide value to the audience.
Don’t buy backlinks
Just like reciprocal linking can be detrimental for your website, buying backlinks is dangerous as well. Do not ever buy backlinks because no matter how smartly you do it, Google will get hold of you sooner or later. It keeps a constant track of low-quality link websites that are engaged in link farming. The moment it comes to know that you are involved with them, it will penalize you. A single dishonest step can endanger months and years of work. So this is something that you should never do.
Another mistake that you should avoid while building backlinks for your website is over-optimizing. This refers to unnatural keyword stuffing in the content. At the same time, you should also avoid suggesting specific anchor text(s) in your backlinks repeatedly. When Google ranks websites, it favors the ones which show a healthy range of anchor text in their backlink profiles. Also, it prioritizes content with optimal keyword density and relevant and natural placement of keywords. If you want to create a link building strategy that really works, be careful with your keywords and anchor text.
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of link building, you will probably get the right direction to move ahead. Link building is all about going the extra mile because everyone does it, but the key lies in doing it better than the others. Your ultimate aim should be to build a strong backlink profile and sustain it over the years. Once you understand the magic formula for creating a robust profile, your website will surely emerge as a clear winner.