Link building is one of the masterstrokes of SEO gurus. However, even these experts sometimes get it wrong. It takes time to master link building. You must also remain updated on recent developments in SEO to master get it right.
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Why is it necessary to master link building in the first place? If you have been in the SEO field for a while, you will recognize that internal and external links boost your ranking. However, not all links are helpful towards your SEO strategy, which brings us to the common mistakes SEO specialists do during link building.
7 Link Building Mistakes You Should Avoid
Let’s get started.
1. Adding Too Many Links
How many links are enough for your article? SEO experts agree that there is a limit but do not place a specific number. Judgment on the right number of links is at the discretion of your SEO team.
Interestingly, one link may be enough for your purpose at a point while another client achieves his goal using ten or more links. The number does not really matter, only that you should not overdo it.
Overdoing link building damages your content and strategy in two ways.
- It interrupts reading or content consumption. Links naturally invite readers to click. That invitation causes a subconscious pause as you read through an article. The color differs and the ‘live’ link will naturally call for attention. When the interruptions are excessive, the intake of ideas is interrupted. Your call-to-action might not be as effective.
- It takes away the reader from your site- the nature of links is to invite a reader to click for more information or to perform a particular task. While internal links keep the reader within your site, external links result in site abandonment. The more external links you have, the higher chances of the reader clicking away. While search engines register the act as availability of quality content, it will reduce the time spent on your site.
What Should You Do Instead?
Be reasonable when building your links. Do not put too many links such that people click away from your website. On the other hand, too few links mean that search engines will not recommend your website because it is not leading to authoritative counterparts on the web.
Study the performance of your external links and scale up or down in subsequent articles. Do not concentrate the links at one paragraph or section. You should also wait a while before introducing external links so that the reader will have savored your content.
2. Ignoring the Quality of Links
If you are into SEO, you must have heard about Domain Authority and such other metric used to rank websites. One of the top link-building hacks is to links to authoritative websites. The idea is that a higher ranking website will pull yours upwards.
Do not link your website to any portal for the sake of building links. Helpful websites are those with higher or decent domain authority ranking. The idea is to ride on the authority of the linked website.
A higher Domain Authority is not just a number. It means that these websites have worked on their content and SEO strategy to warrant a higher ranking. Indirectly, a reader getting to such a website is likely to get quality content that meets his expectations.
A lower Domain Authority will devalue your website. It also indirectly means that the strategies used by the website and the content available do not meet the standards to warrant a high ranking.
Even in real life, it is only natural and prudent to team up with a stronger person.
3. Choosing Any Link
Domain Authority is one crucial consideration during link building but there is more to a website. Such a website must be relevant to the reader. Since search engines have data on the content on different websites, they assess how well the linked websites match. Where the content is helpful, the search engine spiders will affirm the decision.
The trouble with picking any link or website will be highlighted on two fronts.
- The search engine will automatically detect the content mismatch. That decision is not conclusive and always awaits the reaction of the reader. If a reader spends more time on the page, the decision is receded and will not have a significant impact on downgrading your website.
- The reader affirms or disapproves a link based on the time spent. Where a reader spends significant time on the new website, search engines affirm the quality of the link. If readers exit the new site fast, the message is that your link was below standard.
What Should You Do?
Choose quality links that raise the standards of your website. Consciously choose a link that will add value to the reader. If too many of your links are weak, your website will be on a gradual slip down the slope.
4. Ignoring the Quality of Your Content
Links are secondary in your SEO strategy. Your main target must be the production of quality content. Indeed, you do not put a link on the first word. As such, if the reader abandons your article early, he will not get to the links you have built in-between the paragraphs.
The secret to a successful response to your links is to provide quality content. Captivating content keeps a reader on a page long enough to get to the links. Your aim, therefore, should be to get readers to consume as much of your content as possible.
What Should You Do?
A crucial demonstration of the value of quality content and how it affects your links campaign is at the Call-To-Action. A weak CTA means that the target reader will fail to click or take the desired action. The link must be natural and inviting such that a reader finds it irresistible.
5. Assuming the Existence of Seasons
Digital marketing, SEO, and link building are dynamic activities. Each season comes with unique requirements, challenges, and opportunities. Watch out for signs of changing seasons and adapt to these changes.
The seasons determine the keywords and type of content to use. Anticipate seasons while at the same time riding on unplanned waves. Constantly check the authority and type of content on different websites.
An example is trending content during winter or summer breaks. If you are used to linking to a particular website, there is no guarantee that it will deliver similar value throughout the seasons. As such, linking to the same site or category of websites translates into a waste of time.
Do you have content that you think will perform better in another season? Save it. In the interim, prepare content that is relevant to the season.
What Should You Do?
Link building must also be informed by your content calendar. A link may be good during summer but will flop over winter. Constantly evaluate your links and the content you create. Develop a plan but have contingency measures to ride on waves that come with good tidings.
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6. Failing To Work On Your Hyperlinks
What are people clicking onto? What bait have you put on the content to compel a reader to click on it? These hyperlinks make all the difference, especially determining whether a person will click onto a page.
Hyperlinks are useful in two ways, both of which influence the effectiveness of your link-building campaign.
- Search engines study the hyperlinks. They assess the words used and content of the linked website to determine whether the content is valuable. Just like keywords, hyperlinks have short and long keyword effects.
- Readers depend on the hyperlinked words to make a decision whether to click or not. If the words are appropriate, a reader will click. Where the words do not correspond, the chances of clicking reduce significantly.
What should you do?
The hyperlinks should be thoughtful and strategic. You do not hyperlink any word. Study hyperlink best practices to know the positioning, number of words, and type of content on which to add a link. Such steps make your hyperlinks more effective.
7. Giving Up Too Early
Hyperlinks are not a silver bullet in your SEO and content marketing strategy. Some of the strategies will work while others flop. Further, one link gives excellent results while another lets you down. It takes time to learn and win. As such, do not give up so fast.
What Should You Do?
Hyperlinks are a fluid area. A strategy that works in January might fail in June. A trick that works for a sports outfit may fail for an insurance firm. For this reason, you have to take your time with link building. Try several tricks and monitor the results to see what works and what will fail.
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Link building is a dynamic art that takes time to master. Each industry and business has individual strengths to be exploited so as to deliver desired link-building results. Try what works, build links ethically, and move with the seasons. Above all, evaluate your strategies from time to time to adapt to the new SEO rules and developments.