Are you getting your link building right? 


When link building, it’s not uncommon for businesses to adopt outdated practices or some that will actually harm their SEO rather than improve it.

Despite being one of the oldest SEO practices, link building remains one of the most effective ways to grow your online presence and improve your website’s searchability. Which is why it’s a shame that a lot of marketers struggle in this respect.

In a 2021 Google Hangout, John Mueller – Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google – answered a host of questions about the practice. Amongst those, he talked about whether paid link building is necessary and what you should and shouldn’t do.

So, how can you get your link building right? Let’s take a deeper look.


What Common Link Building Mistakes Do Marketers Make?


Before improving your link building strategy, it’s crucial to identify the most common mistakes. We’ve listed three of the biggest errors below.


Allocating Money in the Wrong Places


Let’s not sugarcoat things – you need to spend money to grow a business, whether that’s on people, marketing, or improving your services.

But spending money alone isn’t going to get results. You need to know which areas of your company would benefit from it the most and where you’re better off avoiding.

As mentioned in this article by TechCrunch, Mueller said in his Google Hangout that paid links “have absolutely no effect”. And even more than that, he called this action “a waste of time” from his perspective.

Instead, you’re better off having a sit-down with your team and considering what is and isn’t worth investing in. While paid ads on a particular social media might be clever, paid links are not – and are also against webmaster guidelines.


Expecting Quick Results


Building authority in search engines and seeing success with your link building strategy takes time; don’t listen to anybody who thinks that isn’t the case.

Remember: Google’s search engine is over 20 years old. That’s more than two decades of observing the market and some of the world’s best technicians adapting accordingly. You’re not going to outsmart them with the same attempted shortcuts they’ve seen numerous times before.

Even worse than that, trying to seek short-term gains with your link building could lead to a ban later down the line.


Taking But Not Giving


Regardless of how good your link building strategy is, you’re not going to achieve results if all you’re interested in is taking.

Everything you share online must solve a problem or be of interest to your target audience. And beyond that, you need to provide value to the websites you’re looking to have your links featured on.

When putting together your link building strategy, think about what you can offer in return. How will what you publish also help to grow or engage their own audiences?


What Can You Do Instead to Improve Your Link Building?


Having success with link building might seem like you’re fighting an uphill battle. But don’t worry – there are plenty of things you can do to become more efficient and see results in this area.

Three of the main areas for consideration are below.


Invest in Your Content


If your content is terrible, no website worth having a link on will want to help with your link building. So, what you write and record is a brilliant place to start.

As Mueller pointed out, an intelligent way to approach link building is by “…actively creating content that you know will attract links and then going out and reaching out to other sites…”.

To create good content, you need a collective effort for both the research and production phases. This brings us on to the next point…


Work With Others


One common issue that many businesses face is that they’re adamant about link building by themselves. But sometimes, it’s essential to put your hand up and admit that you need some extra help.

When you become attached to a project, bias creeps in, and you might miss clear opportunities. Seeking help from an external source will give you extra expertise and provide a balanced overview of things.


Don’t Try to Cheat the System


Most importantly, successful link building means that you need to play by Google’s rules. Whether you think you deserve to rank highly from the off, Google is interested in providing the best possible user experience. So, you need to prove that your website is worth a high-ranking spot.

Create a long-term strategy that involves developing original and bespoke content, and make sure you read up on the webmaster guidelines. As long as you tweak when necessary, you’ll start to rank highly if you stick with it.


Don’t Hinder Your Link Building Success


When link building, it’s not uncommon for businesses to adopt outdated practices or some that will actually harm their SEO rather than improve it. Luckily, creating a solid strategy is achievable with the right mindset.

Focus on creating for users rather than search engines. Once you do that, you’ll improve your chances of success.

Ghostfoundry specialises in creating bespoke in-depth content and industry reports that we then use to reach out to publications. To find out how we can help you, get in touch today.

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