Tips From A Backlink Specialist - Mistakes to Avoid When Building Links

Here are the key tips for link building and SEO:

  1. Ask for Internal Pointer Links: Request relevant internal links from webmasters to enhance the power of your backlinks.
  2. Collaborate with Content: Align your link-building efforts with the client’s or your own website’s content strategy for better results.
  3. Check Keyword Difficulty: Assess keyword difficulty and educate clients on realistic goals for better ranking outcomes.
  4. Don’t Disregard Older-Looking Sites: Don’t judge a site solely by its appearance; older sites can still be valuable for link placement.
  5. Focus on Relevant Context: Surround your link with a relevant paragraph that provides useful information, not just promotional content.
  6. Beware of Traffic Misleading: Consider the geographical origin of site traffic to ensure it aligns with your target audience.
  7. Secure Multiple Links from the Same Site: Don’t hesitate to get additional links from the same site if it provides positive ranking results.
  8. Avoid Excessive Competitor Link Sniping: Instead of spending too much time on link swaps, focus on acquiring links from better-quality sites.
  9. Limit Linking to Your Links: While linking to your own links can boost page rank, consider long-term strategies and building more links to your site.
  10. Understand and Apply Rules Strategically: Know the rules of link building but be prepared to break them when it makes sense for your unique situation.
  11. Avoid Rapid Link Deployment for New Businesses: Be cautious about building too many links too quickly for new startups; it can appear unnatural.
  12. Be Dynamic with Your Strategy: Tailor your link-building strategy to the unique needs and circumstances of each project, and be adaptable as SEO evolves.

Very interesting post, decided to share it with you guys:

Happy New Year all. I created a post a few months ago about backlinks and off the back of it a few SEO practitioners and business owners sent me messages asking more questions. I thought I’d address the most common mistakes (that I didn’t touch on in my last post) they were making below. I’ve been in the industry as a Freelance link builder for pretty much 7 years, before that I was in general SEO. I’ve built links for FTSE 100 companies as well small startups, helping multiple niches and business types scale. Here are some mistakes you’d want to avoid when building links, avoiding these mistakes have helped me do the best for my clients over the years.

Some of the more well versed link builders might find some of these obvious, but I hope they’ll help someone. They would have helped me when I was starting out all those years ago. There’s so much bad information out there at the moment. Whatever level you’re at, a backlink profile can be pretty daunting. Whether you’re doing it for your own website, looking for someone to do it for you, or building a profile for someone else. I hope you find this useful, any questions, stick them below or ping me a message.

To Not Ask For Internal Pointer Links

So usually, when a webmaster publishes a new post, they’ll go back through relevant posts and create a couple of internal links to the new posts (In which you’ve secured a link). If they can do this with authoritative posts, then it’s going to give your link more juice (like the above). However, so many of them don’t. For whatever reason, they might not link to the new post. When you’re speaking to them, and negotiating, ask them to do it and they will, it won’t cost you any extra and will instantly make your link more powerful. Just make sure it’s a relevant post they’re linking from. If their website is huge, with loads of posts, it might be helpful to find one and ask them to internally link from it.

To Not Work In Collaboration With A Client’s (or your own) Content

Again, you want the best for your client (or maybe for yourself), so work in collaboration with what’s going on on the clients website. If you’ve gone through some keyword consultation, then ideally, they want to be targeting that keyword in content as you’re targeting it for linking. It works really well and they tend to bounce off each other. It might be that they’re putting out content on their blog, or targeting the keyword on a product or service description. It doesn’t matter…just work in collaboration. Using certain keywords for the anchor text which aren’t targeted on the website at all will be a lot harder and take longer. Doable, but harder…

Check Keyword Difficulty Before Agreeing Work

The client (you can probably skip this one if you’re building links for yourself) might have a keyword in mind… There’s a lot of link builders out there who will simply agree and start building links. That’s a mistake. It’s hard sometimes going back to a client and saying no to a particular keyword. Especially if they really want to rank for it. But when you check out the keyword difficulty, as well as the age of the client’s website etc. it can become evident that targeting a certain keyword won’t get them the results they need. This is especially the case if the client themselves are new to their business, or SEO in general. Take the time to educate them, and find a better angle of attack which usually comprises a voluminous keyword with less difficulty. Do this and you’ll protect your relationship going forward.

Don’t Just Discount Old Looking Sites

It’s easy to do. If a site looks a bit old, it’s easy to discount it as “spammy”…sometimes, it’s a grave mistake. Some pretty brilliant sites haven’t been updated aesthetically for years. Yet they still receive huge traffic and put out stellar content. On the other side, there are some really awful sites out there that look really nice on the eye. Don’t decide not to place a link on a website just because it looks a bit dated.

Don’t Just Focus On The Keyword, The Paragraph Around It Has To Be Relevant

So many people will just throw the keyword into the article and call it a day. By doing this, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to add contextual relevance to the link in question. The paragraph around the link shouldn’t be promotional. It shouldn’t suggest that you use the product/service that you’re linking to, instead, it should focus on giving the reader pertinent, and relevant information that you think they’d genuinely find useful. This gives Google more information when indexation occurs. Just make sure it’s information that’s relevant to the service/product/website that you’re linking to. It’s pretty powerful and an easy way of making your link pull more weight.

Falling Into The Traffic Trap

Everyone knows, or should know, that DA/DR/website authority etc is a vanity metric, and you shouldn’t look to acquire links from sites based on that metric alone. Which is why most people will look at traffic instead. Traffic is 100% better to look at than vanity metrics, however traffic itself can be misleading. It depends where the client is based. If you’ve got a client based in the USA, finding a site with 100k Indian traffic isn’t going to do as much good as a site with 50k traffic all based in the USA (unless they’re looking to expand to India, or any given country, or are offering their products and services internationally). Check where the traffic is coming from before jumping in and contacting the site owner.

Don’t Be Afraid To Secure Another Link From The Same Site

So many people, both link builders and indeed, businesspersons, are obsessed with referring domains. While a number of referring domains (good domains, mind you) are good, there’s no harm in getting another link, using a different keyword, from the same site. This is because sometimes, for whatever reason, a link from a certain site can absolutely send your ranking for said keyword into the stratosphere. I’ve seen a large FTSE 250 corporate client go from second SERP to no.1 on SERP 1 after one keyword placement on a site (it was very niche, but still). Sometimes you secure links on a site that really pulls weight, so go back and use it again. It’d be a mistake not to. At the end of the day, it’s not about having a chunk of referring domains or a large number of backlinks, it’s about climbing the SERP’s in your given keywords. That’s all that matters.

Don’t Spend An Age Sniping Your Competitors Link Profile

Sure, if you can get a few swapped out, great. However, speaking to webmasters and asking them to swap out links is a long and tedious process. Especially if the client (or yourself) doesn’t have better content to link back to. If the profile is huge, you can spend an age doing this. Instead, get links off better sites. It’s as easy as that. If they’ve got some good links from good quality homeware websites, get links from better ones, or even the same ones. Don’t get lulled into sniping theirs away when you’d do just as well putting the effort into your content and fresh links.

Spending Too Much time Linking To Your Links

If you secure a link on a website, and secure other links which point to the content you have a link on, the page rank will increase and the article will become more authoritative, thus increasing the link power. However, in doing this, you’re securing quality (hopefully) links to someone else’s website. It’s a strategy that works, sure…but in my experience, you’d be better off just building more links to your website on a long term basis. That is unless you’re in a particular position and know it’s the right thing to do.

Know The Rules Before You Break Them

As with all professions, there are usually rules. However, rules are broken all of the time, sometimes to the detriment of the person breaking them, but sometimes to the advantage. The trick isn’t in breaking rules whenever you feel like it, but in choosing the appropriate time to do so when you’re confident it’ll work in the unique situation in which you find yourself. For example, I was building links for a FinTech company who wanted to “explode onto the scene”. Usually, with new start ups you can’t build too many links (see below) because that wouldn’t logically happen. However, the CEO had won a small business award which generated a fair chunk of traffic/media reporting. So, we built more links than I usually would have (breaking the rules) using specific keywords referencing the past success. It worked really well. Point being, if you know the rules, you can break them in certain instances.

Cracking Out Too Many Links

It depends what the business does, but if you’re a start up or haven’t long launched, knocking out too many links too fast isn’t a good strategy. A large corporation, whose been around for a long time can take a multitude of links because it’s a logical thing to do and happen. A brand new business getting too many links is unnatural, so don’t do it. Why would a load of webmasters link to a startup that has no ranking and no presence? Knowing the right amount can be hard and varies from one niche to the next, and of course you have to take individual circumstances of the startup/business into account. There is a variable here. If it’s a complete local service, then local outlets might write about the new business opening…for example, local food blogs etc. might write about a new restaurant opening and link to your website.

Be Dynamic With Strategy

If you own a bunch of websites or businesses, replicating what worked for one in terms of link building might do nothing for the other. Even if they’re both in the same niche. You need a new strategy and thought process per project. You also don’t want to just keep doing the same thing month on month. Being proactive is great, but in SEO, as you’ll know, websites don’t always react the same. You need to tweak as you go along on a reactive basis. Sure, using what you know works for a certain niche might be a start point…but if you’re not taking the uniqueness of each individual business into consideration and reacting to different movements month on month you won’t be doing the best for your client’s website (or your own website)…

Hope this has been useful or given you something to think about. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. Thanks for reading!

Original post from Reddit: