Have you ever wondered why some blogs rank higher than yours? Maybe they have better SEO or even better content than you do. Or maybe they have more backlinks. Whatever their secret is, it’s likely something you should emulate.
There are millions of blogs out there. And almost all of them want to get ranked high in Google searches. But, also, most don’t know the different ranking factors that are necessary in order to compete, and still others don’t know exactly what to do to get there, including link building.
You might be wondering whether link building is worth your time. After all, isn’t it only beneficial for big brands who can afford to pay thousands of dollars to get links from top websites? The answer is no. There are plenty of free ways to build quality links that will boost your rankings without spending a dime.
First, you have to know what your audience wants. You can’t build a successful blog or website if you don’t know who your audience is. The truth is that most bloggers fail to take this step. They spend so much time focusing on themselves that they forget to pay attention to their audience.
In order to figure out who your audience is, you need to ask yourself some questions: What are my goals? How do I want people to feel when they visit my site? Who am I trying to reach with my content?
If you have an answer to these questions, then you’re in the right place. If you don’t, it’s time for you to start thinking about how you can find answers to them.
Then, there are other things that kind of snowball from there. Link building mistakes then take the form of technical link building mistakes to other, common-sense errors that would have otherwise not taken place.
Not Considering On-Page SEO and Search Intent
The most important thing to do when it comes to SEO is to look at your site from a user’s perspective; what are they trying to accomplish? If you can answer that question, then you will be able to make better decisions about how to improve the experience for them. This means making sure that all of the content on your page has an obvious purpose and that there is no confusion as to why someone would want to visit your website in the first place.
If you have ever been confused by something on a web page or wondered if it was relevant to you, chances are you weren’t alone. The average person spends only 8 seconds scanning a webpage before moving on to another one. That means that every element of your page needs to serve a clear purpose and provide value to your visitors.
If you don’t know where to start with this, we recommend using Google’s free tool called “Search Console”. It allows you to see exactly which keywords people are searching for that relate to your business. You can also use this tool to find out which pages on your site get the most traffic so that you can focus more time and energy on those areas.
Before looking at link building, you want to make sure that you have strong on-page SEO and that you have fully satisfied the user intent behind the query you are targeting in your article. Then, you can examine your link building for any critical mistakes.
You Didn’t Create Linkable Content
Linkable content is one way you can leverage your existing audiences into creating new ones. This is especially true if you already know your audience well. If you are trying to build a brand new audience, it might take some work to figure out how to connect with them. But once you know who your target audience is, you can start thinking about ways to help them discover your brand and products.
In our experience, there are three main mistakes people make when it comes to creating linkable content. They either don’t think about it, they try too hard, or they just don’t do anything.
Let’s look at a few effective ways to create linkable content.
Step 1: Look at Competitor Content
You’ll want to identify high-quality content opportunities that align with your brand and industry. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, you might focus on reviewing products, or writing articles about exercise equipment.
Step 2: Find Similar Audience Interests
This will give you a better idea of where to place your content.
Step 3: Create Unique Content
The next step is to create unique content that leverages those shared interests. Make sure the content you develop is relevant to your audience, while still being original. A good rule of thumb is to avoid copying others; it’s much better from Google’s perspective to write something original than to copy someone else’s work.
You Do Not Have a Plan B In Place
When it comes to link building, there is always going to be a risk involved. Sometimes links won’t come through, sometimes they will come through but not in the numbers you expect, and sometimes they will come through in the numbers you expected.
That said, having a plan B is essential. If you aren’t prepared for these things to happen, then you could end up losing money and/or reputation because you didn’t have an alternative strategy ready to go.
So, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin your link building campaign.
First, don’t underestimate the power of quality over quantity. While it may seem like it would be easy to generate tons of backlinks, it’s actually very difficult to rank without doing so. So, if you want to succeed, you need to put the effort into generating quality links.
Second, don’t forget about social media. Social signals play a huge role in determining rankings, so it makes sense to include them in your link building efforts.
Third, don’t overlook guest posting. Guest posts are another great way to gain links, and they often lead to more traffic and conversions.
Fourth, don’t ignore paid advertising. Paid ads are a great way to get quick results, and they also provide a steady stream of leads and customers.
Finally, remember that link building isn’t a short term, one-and-done tactic. It takes time to build a solid foundation, and it requires consistent effort to maintain it.
You’re Performing Low-Quality Outreach
Outreach is one of the most important parts of any link building strategy. However, it can easily become a nightmare if done incorrectly. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when sending out emails.
- Sending too many emails.
- Not knowing how to write a compelling email.
- Writing generic emails that won’t stand out.
- Using automated tools to send mass emails.
- Forgetting about personalization.
- Failing to track open rates and click-to-open rates.
- Ignoring negative responses.
- Making assumptions based on past experiences.
- Being afraid to ask for help.
- Sending emails that look spammy.
- Sending emails that are too long.
- Sending emails that contain irrelevant information.
- Sending emails that are poorly targeted.
- Sending emails that are sent from different domains.
- Sending emails that are written by non-native English speakers.
- Sending emails that are copied and pasted from other websites.
- Sending emails that are formatted improperly.
- Sending emails that are missing images or graphics.
- Sending emails that are hard to read.
- Sending emails that are filled with typos.
These are just a few mistakes that contribute to poor outreach.
You Have Poor Expectations for Results
Link building campaigns are often plagued with poor expectations. Link builders think that they must build links to every single piece of content on the internet, and that it must happen immediately. They fail to realize that there are many scenarios where you cannot build links. In fact, most of those scenarios are very common.
The truth about link building is that you don’t always want to build links to every type of content on the web. Sometimes you just want to build links to content that is relevant to your audience. If you’re trying to rank for a specific keyword phrase, you probably don’t want to build links to articles that aren’t related to that topic. And sometimes, you simply don’t have enough time to build links to every article on the web.
In short, you need to understand what types of content you will be able to build links to. Once you know that, you can start thinking about how you’ll allocate your resources. The following includes a short list of the kinds of content one site might build links to:
1. Transactional Pages – These are pages that exist solely to sell something. For example, one might buy a book from Amazon because someone likes reading books. Their purchase is their transaction. However, Amazon doesn’t really care whether a reader reads the book or not. All they care about is that they bought the product. As such, they publish information about the book on their site. Now, when someone searches for “book,” they might receive a listing for the product on the front page of Google. This is called retargeting, and is something that happens with paid ads quite frequently.
2. Promotional Content – These are pages that contain useful information about a particular subject. For example, my local library publishes a monthly newsletter that contains interesting news stories and events happening around town. When people search for “library,” I’m listed among the results.
3. Editorial Content – These are pages written by experts in a certain field. For example, the New York Times publishes informative articles about current affairs. When people search for topics related to politics, I am listed among the results. If I write an article on that same topic, I can include a link to my work within the editorial content.
4. User Generated Content (UGC) – This includes things like blogs, wikis, forums, etc. The idea behind UGC is that users create valuable content that others find helpful. For example, if I run a blog about writing, I could post an article about how to improve my writing skills. Other writers would then see this as a resource and share it with their friends.
5. Brand Pages – Brands also use these pages to promote themselves. For example, Apple has its own website dedicated to promoting itself. It’s called apple.com.
6. FAQs – A lot of websites have questions and answers posted online. For example, if you go to Wikipedia, you’ll notice that there are lots of articles with lists of frequently asked questions.
7. Blog Posts – Blog posts are another form of user generated content. Instead of asking a question, however, a blogger writes a long post about a particular topic.
8. Events – Some companies organize events that other businesses attend. For example, conferences, trade shows, seminars, etc.
9. Press Releases – Companies regularly send out press releases to media outlets.
10. Social Media Accounts – Most social networks allow you to connect with other people. You can do this through profiles, groups, pages, etc.
These are all just a few of the types of content pages you will want to consider as you work on building links back to your content.
You Are Only Linking Back to the Homepage
Google doesn’t like it when people just link to one page. It wants to see a variety of pages linked to. This makes sense because if someone is searching for something specific, they want to find what they are looking for. They don’t want to go into another site and look around. So, if there is no reason to link to multiple pages, don’t do it.
If you are only linking to one page, it may appear as though you are buying links for that page. For example, let’s say you sell shoes online. You might only link to your home page where you list all of your products. But, if you actually had a separate page for each product, it wouldn’t make much sense to link to that page.
The best practice is to link across different areas of your website. For example, maybe you have a blog about fashion, and you also have a category page for men’s clothing. Then, you could link to both those pages from your homepage. This way, when someone searches for men’s clothes, they will see your entire collection.
Don’t give the search engines room for imagination. Create a variety of pages that are relevant to your industry. And, don’t worry too much about being caught doing anything illegal. Search engines won’t penalize you for using tactics that aren’t against Google’s rules. However, if you continue to use these techniques, you risk getting banned from the search engine altogether.
You Are Using Only One Type of Link
Link diversification helps you to increase the chances of getting better rankings in the search engines. This practice ensures that search bots don’t see your site as spammy, and thus, won’t penalize it.
Apart from linking on various pages of your website, it is important to diversify the type(s) of links that you are making. Links like internal links, external links, anchor text links, image links, video links, etc., are examples of different types of links. While some of these link types are obvious, others aren’t.
For example, do you know what an anchor text link is? Do you use image links? What about video links? And even though it sounds simple, there are people out there who still fail to understand the difference between these link types.
The reason why it is important to diversify your link types is because the way in which the search engines crawl your site depends upon the type of link that you are using. So, if you are linking to just one type of content, you might leave what’s called a footprint. Footprints are patterns that can result in Google figuring out exactly what you are trying to do to cheat the algorithm..
So, how does this affect you? Well, let us take a look at the following scenario. Let’s say that you have a blog post about SEO. You want to promote this article on social media platforms. But since you are promoting a piece of content, you don’t want to focus on just one particular platform. You want to diversify your posting as well by posting to multiple platforms. Don’t just post to one platform once and think you’re done.
Also, if you are not sure whether you are doing enough link diversification, here are a few link building mistakes that you must avoid:
- Not Diversifying Your Links
- Giving The Same Content To Multiple Pages
- Only Promoting A Single Page On Social Media Platforms
- Ignoring Internal Links
- Not Having Enough Backlinks
- Losing Focus
- Focusing Too Much On Quantity Instead Of Quality
- Creating Fake Accounts
- Buying Links
- Getting Caught Doing Anything Illegal
- Not Understanding How The Search Engines Work
- Not Knowing How To Use Keywords In Anchor Text
- Not Optimizing Your Website
- Not Making Sure That All Your Websites Are Up To Date
- Not Paying Attention To Your Competitors
There is No Diversity in Your Anchor Text
This is not the same as the previous section. The previous section refers to links themselves, but not anchor text. Link anchor text is the part of the link that turns blue and that users read on the page. This is what we are referring to here.
If you want to rank well on Google, there are certain things you must do. One thing is to make sure that every single one of your backlinks includes a keyword phrase. This helps Google understand what each individual link is about. However, it turns out that many people don’t know how to build good backlinks. They often just copy and paste some text into the anchor field of their sites. But doing so might actually harm your rankings.
Google looks at the anchor text of your backlink and interprets it as a scheme to manipulate the algorithm. So, if you simply add your brand name into the anchor text, you could end up getting punished. To avoid this, try to diversify the words used in the anchor text. For example, you can use different variations of your brand name, like “yourbrandname.com,” “www.yourbrandname.com” and even “yourname.com/yourbran….”
You can also use related phrases, like “our products” or “website builder.” Another option is to use synonyms for your keywords, like “web design” or “search engine optimization.” And finally, you can combine multiple keywords into one sentence, which makes it easier for Google to determine the topic of your site.
If you focus on one type of anchor text and don’t have enough anchor text diversity, it could cause a negative effect.
You Are Doing Only Link Exchanges
The concept of exchanging links is pretty much common among bloggers. They do it because they want to increase traffic to their blog. But what most people don’t know is that linking out to someone else’s site without permission is against Google guidelines. This is why many bloggers end up losing rankings, even though they did nothing wrong.
Google doesn’t like it when people exchange links with each other, and this is especially true when it’s excessive. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines forbid doing link exchanges excessively.
When you are trying to promote your website, you might think that exchanging links is a great way to gain exposure. But Google isn’t interested in helping you achieve this goal. Instead, they are looking for ways to determine whether your website is legitimate. And one of the best ways to do this is by checking the quality of the sites that you are linking to. If they are low-quality, chances are that you also won’t rank well.
And don’t forget to follow the rules set forth by Google. Don’t just copy and paste an entire article onto another website. Also, don’t use a third party tool to automatically generate links for you. These types of tools can actually hurt your rankings.
You’re Only Getting Links From Poor-Quality Websites
Google wants you to build high-quality websites. If you want to rank well in Google, you need to make sure that your site is built well. A lot of people think that just because a site is popular, it must be good. This isn’t true. Popularity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. There are many low-quality sites out there that are very popular. These types of sites often use black hat techniques to boost their rankings. They’re known as “link farms.”
One of the worst link building errors is trying to get links from poor-quality websites. When you do this, you are actually giving away free traffic to someone else. Even worse, you could end up hurting yourself if the person you linked to decides to spam your site.
The best way to find legitimate sources of links is to look around your niche. Find blogs that cover similar topics to yours. Then, see what sort of links they have. Look at their social media profiles. See what type of posts they post. Do they seem like they care about the topic they write about? Is their profile clean and professional looking? If they don’t seem reputable, don’t bother contacting them.
If you want to start making money online, you need to focus on creating great content. People aren’t going to come to your site unless they know why they should. You need to provide value to your readers. In addition, you need to offer something unique. Most people won’t stick around once they realize how boring your site is.
You’re Thinking That More is Always Better
Link building is hard work. There are many different ways to go about it, especially now that Google has implemented changes to how it ranks content. One thing that hasn’t changed much since the beginning though is the importance of writing high-quality content. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write more. In fact,
we think that there is something to be said for adding more content to your site. However, what does that really mean?
When we talk about quality content, we typically refer to longer pieces of content. Longer articles tend to rank better because they provide more value to readers. They contain more information, which makes them easier to read and digest. And while shorter posts are great too, they don’t necessarily offer the same amount of value.
The problem is that people often assume that more is always better. As a result, they try to cram every piece of information into one post. While that might seem like a good idea, it actually ends up being counterproductive. Instead, you want to make sure that each article provides enough value to warrant its length. If you do that, then you won’t run out of things to say.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t include short posts. On the contrary, you definitely should. Short posts are great for sharing quick tips, news, answering questions, and providing helpful resources. But even those types of posts require some thought and planning. After all, if you simply copy and paste a bunch of text onto Twitter without thinking about why you’re doing it, then it’s unlikely to generate any interest. To put it another way, you need to understand why you’re posting. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of time and effort.
Link Building is Not a One And Done Effort
Just like websites, link building is not a one and done effort. It’s something that you need to spend time doing every day, from month to month.
Depending on how big your site is, you could potentially need an entire team in order to facilitate the correct link building efforts taking place.
Either way, don’t ever think that building links is a task that requires just one sprint and it’s done.
On the contrary, it could require months to years of effort in order to see results, depending on the kinds of results you are seeking.
When do you plan on starting on your next link building campaign?