Link building campaigns often look attractive to website owners who want to optimize their websites for SEO. It seems like a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive solution that will net your website a wealth of new backlinks and propel your web content to the top of the search engine results for your most important keywords. What’s not to like?
It’s true that backlinks are critically important. But going about your link building the wrong way could get you flagged by Google and possibly even damage your brand. So here we present you with some of the “do’s and don’ts” of link building – starting with the no-no’s!
Don’t make these common SEO link building mistakes with your website. You should never ever:
• Pay for backlinks.
• Pepper other people’s forums or blog comments with spam that includes a link to your website.
• Use an automated link building service to generate lots of backlinks out of nowhere.
• Exchange links automatically with every website owner that contacts you and requests a link swap. Your links say a lot about you – don’t hand them out to just anyone! Before you agree to crosslink with another website, make sure the other site is reputable and relevant to your industry.
• Hide links on your website. That’s a Black Hat SEO trick from the earliest days of SEO, and the search engines are so over the “hidden link” thing that to use it is basically asking for your site to be penalized.
And now for the do’s – those SEO link building best practices that may not produce and immediate spike in your search engine results, but will help your website’s search results slowly but surely improve without getting you in trouble with Google. Do:
• Create useful, interesting, engaging content and make it easy to share all over the web – whether it’s a blog post, video, infographic or other content.
• Develop relationships with leaders in your industry and link to their content. Eventually, they’ll most likely do the same for you. (For more about how to go about doing this, see our blog post on SEO and Networking.)
• Write articles to publish on quality article sites – and always include a link back to your website.
• Promote other pages besides your home page. Sure, the home page gives a great description of what you do or sell, but your product and services pages have the real meat and potatoes that potential customers are searching for. So help those pages rise in the search engine rankings so they’ll be easier to find!
• Create interesting, newsworthy press releases about your company’s achievements, new products or services, awards, and anything else that will attract positive attention. Then distribute those press releases online through reputable PR services. And make sure to post a copy on your website, too.
• Participate in well-known, well-regarded industry forums and add useful comments to relevant blogs. It’s a good idea to get yourself known as someone who doesn’t just know your business inside and out, but who helps others, too.
And once you’ve started doing link building the right way, keep it up! It may take a few months, but the results will gradually make your link building campaign well worth the effort.