May 28, 2020 Last updated May 28th, 2020 1,521 Reads share

Dos and Donts for Building Links

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If you have been in business for some time — and you haven’t just recently discovered the importance of the internet for building and maintaining an audience — you might be able to remember a time when SEO was easy. Building links used to be as simple as posting a URL in a comments section or nicely asking a blogger to include a link to your site. These days, because Google isn’t terribly keen on businesses manipulating its algorithm, building backlinks without incurring harsh penalties has become a serious chore.

If you need a refresher on how to build links successfully in this day and age, read on for some easy-to-follow dos and don’ts for SEO in 2020.

Don’t Link (Exclusively) to Your Homepage

Consider Wikipedia: It is the sixth most popular website in the world and ranks for almost any keyword phrase out there — but of its 606 million backlinks, only 1 percent point to its homepage. Admittedly, your website isn’t Wikipedia, but nonetheless you should consider building links to internal pages, especially those with content your audience might enjoy engaging with. Then, you can strengthen your site’s SEO and give the web users who click your links a way to develop a relationship with your business.

Do Use a Variety of Anchor Texts

Google uses anchor texts, or the clickable text that contains your link, to better understand the context of the link. Most often, anchor texts should contain or be closely associated with the keyword phrases for which you want to boost your site’s rank — but that doesn’t mean you should use the same anchor texts over and over again. It is far too easy to over-optimize if you are focusing on a single keyword phrase and neglecting to vary your anchor texts, and over-optimization will thwart all other efforts to improve your ranking.

Don’t Aim for Infinite Backlinks

More links generally equates to a better rank, but you should have a definite number in mind when you begin to build your backlink profile. Instead of trying to get “as many as possible,” you should research your competitors and try to garner between 2 and 5 percent more links than they have. This will help guide your SEO activities, helping you find a balance between link building and other SEO techniques, like on-site optimization and social media.

Don’t Judge a Site by PageRank Alone

The number of links isn’t Google’s only consideration; it also pays close attention to the quality of site hosting the backlink. You want your links to be on sites that are related to your business and have a good level of authority — but you shouldn’t make the mistake by judging a site solely on its PageRank. There are so many other factors that indicate a site is high-quality, such as a dedicated and engaged following, a trustworthy look and feel and more.

Do Focus on Producing Quality Content

SEO and content marketing are closely linked, so having quality content available on your website is a must. If your content is unique in some way — comprehensive, expertly researched, creative, etc. — you won’t have to work as hard to get other sites to publish your links, and many publishers will begin linking to you organically, without your request. Plus, more content is always better for SEO in general, so you should have a strong content generation strategy regardless of your SEO goals.

Don’t Automatically Analyze Your Competition

If I asked you to list your business’s competition, you might name a few regional competitors in your field — but those businesses aren’t necessarily your competition when it comes to search rankings. In fact, the top five organizations within your industry might not come close to earning the top five positions on the results page. It is imperative that you conduct the right kind of SEO research to guide your goal setting, so you know exactly whom you are competing against and what you need to do to win.

Do Take Advantage of Knowledgeable SEOs

You can’t manage your business’s SEO on your own because you are not an SEO expert. Just as you wouldn’t trust just anyone to manage your business’s books or manufacture its products, you need a professional SEO team, like Digital Current, to research, strategize, track and analyze your links — and all other elements of your SEO campaign.

SEO mistakes aren’t always easy to recover from, so you want to start on the right foot when it comes to building links. By knowing about some major linking mistakes, you should be able to develop a linking strategy that improves your rank for years to come.

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Clayton Richard

Clayton Richard

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