5 + 1 Link Building Habits You Need to Stop Doing
The importance of a strong link profile has grown substantially over the past few years. An important factor that correlates with higher search engine rankings, backlinks can boost a site’s authority, generate more organic traffic, and drive more sales. Yet many marketers are guilty of making some common link building mistakes. But Google is unforgiving — and not following their Webmaster Guidelines can lead to penalties, usually in the form of lower rankings or removal of the site from their index.
Outlined below are the most common link building mistakes you may be doing — if you’re guilty of any of them, then it’s time to stop!
1. Not Reading Their Advertising Policy
So you’ve found a website that you’d love to link back to yours — that’s great! But does the website accept any text links? Most won’t, as they’re probably trying their hardest to avoid being hit by a penalty. There are also websites that do accept text links. To know if yours does, look for their Advertising page, where you’ll find information on their advertising policy and acceptance of links.
If they say they don’t accept links under any circumstances, don’t bother contacting them — it won’t make them change their mind.
2. Not Listening to Webmasters
Yes, you’re the marketer — but webmasters often know their readers better than you do, and can determine whether an article will benefit them or not. If their website is about real estate, and yours focuses on cars, then you obviously can’t provide a valuable resource for their readers. If they tell you that your article won’t be appreciated by their audience, even if it’s quite similar to what they’re targeting, listen to them — they know better.
There may be the case when your content is okay, but they won’t accept it because they already have a similar resource on their website. Ask them to suggest another resource they need, and provide it if you can.
3. Not Knowing Who You’re Talking To
One thing that annoys many webmasters is not addressing them by their name. We’ve often seen emails addressing the recipient as plainly sir or madam, especially those whose sender doesn’t know the name of the person they’re trying to contact. Before you send any such emails, take the time to learn as much as you can find about the person you’re reaching out to. Is he/she the founder, CEO, or manager of the company? What is his/her name?
If possible, try to find his/her email address, so whoever opens your message won’t have to pass it on. If you can’t find any contact information other than a generic email address, consider sending your email along with a message explaining that, due to the absence of additional contact information, you could not address the correct department within the company.
4. Not Vetting the Site First
Vetting a website before reaching out to the webmaster is critical to ensuring that you’ll be getting only quality backlinks. Sometimes, marketers contact the webmaster, who is ready to link, but discover that the website has unintelligible writing, and doesn’t even rank well in Google. Even more, it appears that Google has deindexed the website. At this point, a link on their website would do more harm than good, and you’d be better off without it.
Digital Search Group, a top digital marketing agency in London, advises marketers to take the time to look up the website, navigate on pages, and try to see if it’s ever been penalised to determine if it’s safe to get a backlink.
5. Not Knowing Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
Simply put, if you don’t know — and follow — Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, there’s a good chance your website will be hit by a penalty. While we don’t advocate that you’re violating any of them, it’s a good idea to consider rechecking the guidelines to ensure you won’t ever do that. Remember that, if you tell someone that nothing bad will happen to them if they link to you, you’re making every respectable marketer look bad — and that’s something you want to avoid.
Tip of the Day: Optimise Your Website for Local Search
There’s one great way to get more backlinks: optimise your website for local search. In other words, submit your site to local business directories like Google My Business and Yelp, and create a local presence for your company. This can have many benefits in the long term: it helps prospects find you, gets you reviews, and increases your authority in search engines.
Are you making any of these link building mistakes? If you’ve pleaded guilty, then it’s time to change your habits and make the most of your online marketing strategy!