Ask any SEO what their first thoughts are when it comes to building links and they will be quick to tell you how difficult it is. It is the equivalent to going out into a minefield. One wrong step and your website’s SEO results could blow up and it can take a long time to recover.
There are several temptations that will coerce website owners and managers to get quick results with their link building efforts. Little do they know that they are indeed investing in a ticking time bomb and Google’s webspam team are the ones holding the trigger. Only when they receive a manual or algorithmic penalty do they realise the damage. But by then, it is too late.
So given all of the changes and the updates that have occurred in the link building space, how should webmasters and website managers approach their link acquisition efforts in order to get SEO results that matter. Below are also a few approaches that should be considered in 2018.
Although this has been mentioned several times over the last decade, there are still SEO experts that focus on building links in a high quantity. It’s easy to compare the link volume that competitors have and feel that the only way to compete with them is if your link volume is at the same level as theirs.
This isn’t always the case. Highly relevant and authoritative links that also build traffic can positively impact the website’s SEO performance.
This is critical to your site’s SEO success. A guide from The Hoth outlines a couple of ways this can be achieved. The first is gaining links from websites whose content is specific to your niche. For example, if you operate a dog washing website, generating links from dog grooming and pet care websites will impact the SEO performance of the site more than getting a link from the Huffington Post.
The second approach is to build relevant content at the page level on an authoritative website. If you look at the dog washing example, a page from a local city magazine could feature a story dedicated to dog washing and grooming. Despite the general nature of the website’s content, there should be benefits to receiving a link from this type of page-level content relevancy.
Another area where people tend to miss the mark when it comes to link building is that they focus solely on building links to improve the authority of the site. This is common with SEO specialists who focus on improving the domain authority of the website.
It’s important to look at the portfolio of links that are built. Are they from various sources such as forums, directories, blog comments, Question and answer sites, and even blog posts?
The success of your link building efforts is determined by the perceived value of the content that you are pitching and the technical foundation that will allow the search engine spiders to crawl and index the site’s content and links on a page. Many SEOs bypass these factors in order to focus solely on the link acquisition.
Good content doesn’t have to be a series of articles (although it is a good place to start). It could be a tool, an infographic, images, gifs, memes, videos or anything else. The main thing is the content needs to be valuable to a scalable audience. (Usually a market of 10,000 people or more). Given that the average link acquisition rate is 2%, there is the potential to earn 200 links to a valuable piece of content.
Now that you have these suggestions, it is time to go out there and scale your link acquisition efforts in the right way. Build the foundation and invest in developing a link portfolio that will impact your SEO rankings and organic search traffic over the long-term.