The dos and don’ts of link building: Seven common mistakes to avoid

If you want your website to thrive, it is important to practice link-building to obtain better volumes of traffic. But there are some common mistakes you need to avoid when backlinking.

Link building is crucial for an effective SEO strategy, but there are numerous misconceptions surrounding it. Poor execution of this strategy can lead to a decrease in your site’s ranking despite your efforts in organic link-building. As a result, it can undermine SERP positions and hinder SEO efforts, hampering the website’s visibility.

In this article, we will cover seven of the most frequently-made link-building mistakes that you need to avoid at all times.

What is link building?

Before we head over to the main matter itself, let’s make ourselves clear about what link building is. Link Building is all about getting other sites to link to pages found on your website. The term used for these is backlinks wherein its main goal is to boost your website’s search engine rankings.

Therefore, Link building is essential for driving traffic to a website. Blogs and e-commerce websites make use of link building to get traffic. The incoming traffic can become potential subscribers or customers. These sites would also sometimes avail the assistance of link building services to ensure backlinking is well-executed.

Seven common mistakes link builders make

As mentioned earlier, improper link building can lead to Google penalizing your blog or eCommerce website, resulting in reduced site traffic. In this section, we will discuss the common mistakes made by link builders and provide guidance on how to avoid them.

1) Disregarding the user’s intent

One common mistake made by link building companies is the misconception that an old backlink is automatically valuable. It’s a bit true, but it’s also not an ideal practice once you factor in the user’s intent. User intent is best described as the purpose for which the person is searching through the internet.

How does user intent factor into link building? For example, imagine that you have written a guest blog on another website and obtained a backlink. The guest blog is all about marketing but the page that the other site decides to backlink leads to irrelevant content. Google will identify this inconsistency and may penalize your website by reducing its traffic. 

Also, ignoring the user’s intent will cause visitors to bounce out of your site when they realize there’s no value in it.

2) Ignoring on-page SEO

Similar to user intent; on-page SEO encompasses the topic, title, meta description, and keywords shown on the page. All of them will tell Google what value it contains and when providing backlinks for the page, Google will be expecting them to be relevant to the topic. If it doesn’t then it may get flagged.

If your attempts at organic link building turned out to be spammy or questionable according to Google, it will flag it as a link scheme. Link scheming is not a legitimate way to increase the SEO score and traffic of websites as it is an artificial method. If Google catches wind that you’re doing this, the website you’re operating may get penalized for it.

3) Overusing the same anchor text

Anchor texts tend to get overused by a link building service since it contributes a lot to boosting a website’s ranking. While using focus keywords is a good use, overusing them can backfire instead. There are a couple of reasons why anchor text overuse will backfire:

  • Google might declare that your anchor text is spammy and may penalize you. It can be either your page not showing on search results or it gets ranked down.
  • You will also miss out on keyword variations that may encompass other search terms. Therefore, you are also missing out on potential traffic opportunities.

4) Producing low-quality content

Websites will require some form of value so that Google can declare them as reliable sources. For instance, the creation of very informative and detailed blogs that possess share-worthy content. High-quality content tends to draw more attention and increases the likelihood of obtaining a backlink.

Websites that stuff their content with too many keywords or have automatically generated content can be flagged by Google. They’ll suspect that the content there is of low value and isn’t worth ranking, so keep that in mind.

5) Prioritising backlink quantity over quality

The most recurring mistake that link building companies make is valuing quantity over quality of backlinks. They would promise that spamming backlinks all over your content will ensure your website will rank up in SEO rankings. In truth, low-quality backlinks will hurt your ranking instead and are referred to by Google as toxic backlinks.

Google wants to see backlinks that are from reliable and relevant sources. If they flag the backlinks as toxic backlink then it’s going to ruin all efforts to promote your website.

6) Disregarding dofollow and nofollow links

Both dofollow and nofollow links play a huge role in enhancing your site’s ranking. Dofollow links telegraph Google that you wish their bots to crawl through the content of your website. On the other hand, nofollow links function the opposite where it signals to Google that you don’t need to follow what’s on the website.

Regardless, both links hold authority in ranking factors. The best advice to take here is to use a diversity of links for your website. A healthy blend of Dofollow and Nofollow links to improve your organic link building.

7) Being hyper-critical of third-party metrics

Last but not least is that you need to stop being a backlink prude. Authority domains will indeed enhance your website’s standing on search engines. However, obsessing over peppering only the best backlinks on the content you’re creating will severely limit your options. In turn, this may also make you come off as too arrogant and may turn off potential backlinks from ever reaching you.

Many link building experts now also look to medium-quality backlinks. These are domains that are owned by small website owners who have the potential to become big in the future. So, if you’re adding backlinks to content you’re working on, you should consider these future greats for your link building.

Why is link building important?

Before capping off this discussion, let’s understand why link building is valuable to websites. There are plenty of reasons why organic link building is held in high esteem. We’ll cover some of the reasons that make link building important to any online site.

1) Link building assists in brand building

Link building when it’s done correctly can assist in building up your brand’s presence. It also places you as a figure of authority within your niche. If you want to ensure that your website is at the forefront of its niche, then you must craft high-quality content. Allow guest posts to your website as they can attract an audience from other sites.

Presenting your company’s expertise ensures that you’ll be known within your industry and niche. In turn, you will obtain inbound links for a well-done link building.

2) Link building boosts referral traffic

Good links that come from websites that receive a lot of traffic can help yours to skyrocket in activity. Take note that the websites that you’re receiving new traffic from must be related to your niche or otherwise, Google will flag it.

Be aware that this doesn’t apply to only high-traffic sites, sometimes small websites can contribute to the growth of your traffic. These small sites tend to house a very passionate community and audience that also knows things relevant to your field.

3) Link building helps to build relationships

Organic link building often needs outreach to various websites or blogs that are relevant to your website. The main goal of outreach campaigns is to obtain a link and also to build long-term business relationships. The relationships that you’ve managed to build can help you build your brand and network and become an authority in the field.

Regardless if they are the site master or one of the many influencers, connecting with them is crucial to the success of your website.

4) Link building improves sales and conversion

Referral traffic plays into this since if you receive traffic from relevant sites, you get to receive more customers. This means that you’ll get better sales opportunities. Link building also plays a role here since the backlinks in your website will signal to Google that your content is relevant. That means, more potential visitors browsing through your website and again, becoming potential customers.

As a result, this will allow you to open up more products or services if you’re running an eCommerce site. If not, you may then monetize your written content.

Ready to start link building without making common mistakes?

Link building is a process wherein site owners must employ so that they’ll receive better visibility from Google. The mistakes that were covered here were a result of misconceptions becoming bad practices for organic link building. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure that your backlinks are of great quality and will provide a lot of value to building the site’s ranking.