Link building is key to developing a strong SEO presence.
And yet, there appears to be considerable confusion among marketers on what and what not to do.
To be fair, search engines are somewhat ambiguous about their algorithms and ranking factors, and why certain websites outrank others.
But a little bit of common sense can go a long way as you look to build valuable links to your website.
Here is several link building do’s and don’ts:
Create Great Content
Content marketing requires patience because publishing quality content may do nothing for you at first. But as you continue to publish case studies, research, stats, how-to posts and tutorials, and other types of engaging and informative content, you will generate more traffic and links to your website.
Develop your content with a purpose, and you will see good things happen.
Develop Worthwhile Connections
If you’re creating great content, you should be sharing it with industry influencers. If they see value in what you’re publishing, they may refer to it in an upcoming post of their own, or share it out on social media. Either way, you win.
It’s always worth being courteous and asking influencers if they’d like to receive the occasional update from you about relevant content before you send them anything.
Secure Links to High-Quality Websites
For instance, if you have yet to publish a course on Udemy, do so. Udemy is a high-quality website, and you can create a link back to your site when you post a course.
Similarly, look for ways to secure links from sites like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Wikipedia, and other major sites.
Don’t Spam Other Website & Blog Owners
The Neil Patel and Brian Dean method of reaching out to other industry blogs and asking for a link has grown in popularity.
But there are some critical components many so-called marketers still seem to be missing.
One, you must personalize your emails. The success rate of your link building campaign will significantly drop if you don’t address someone specific in your communication.
Two, you must reach out to relevant industry blogs. For instance, there’s a significant disconnect between email marketing and the music industry. So, if you’re pitching a post about email marketing to a music industry blog, there better be a good reason for it.
Three, you must add value. Just asking for the link isn’t enough. You need to explain why this is beneficial to the other party or offer something of equal or higher value.
Don’t Inject Links into Other Websites
It is possible to inject links into sites you don’t own. But this compromises the security of other websites and could do more harm than good to your SEO in the long run. You might have some angry webmasters calling you up too.
So-called marketers sometimes get impatient with link building and resort to comment spam, email blasts, and other tactics that end up harming their SEO.
A better approach would be to do your research and find out why your competitors are outranking you. Many tools allow you to see what links your competitors have been able to secure, which would let you come up with ideas on how to obtain the same links for your website.
Here’s a simple rule for link building – if it requires research, work, and effort, it’s probably worth doing. If it seems too easy or involves spamming others, it should perhaps be avoided. Using black hat tools or automating the entire process might get you a few “bites,” but in the end won’t be anywhere near as effective as personalizing your outreach and building solid connections.