Link building can arguably be one of the most frustrating components of every marketing campaign. Between Google’s constant algorithm changes from Penguin to Panda and more recently, Hummingbird, it seems like the rules for link building are always changing. Internet marketers always have to consistently build strong, quality links with extra precaution to avoid having their websites receive a dreaded Google penalty. But how do you create an effective link building campaign that will give your web presence a boost in the search engines without the fear of being penalized? The answer to that is by focusing on quality and relevance. There are still numerous ethical link building strategies to choose from to help create that natural, healthy, and robust profile that earns better keyword rankings for sites. In order to ensure you are building the best, high-quality links for your website, you should ask these four questions first:
- 1. How will this benefit my website? If the backlink you are creating isn’t going to offer any benefits, then why create it? Check the Domain Authority of the website you are trying to earn a link from. You really shouldn’t be looking for links from any site with a DA under 30. You can check it using research tools such as Open Search Explorer (OSE). Do a quick scan of the website to assess its overall quality and value and take a look at the volume and type of traffic volume the site receives. A link that sends highly-relevant traffic and leads to your site is obviously going to help you more than one that just passes on some trust signals for search engines. Does it look like a well-built, quality website? If the target is full of ads, looks poorly designed, and is written in multiple languages then you should avoid it. A low-quality website will not only offer no value in the form of a backlink, but it can actually be damaging to your link profile as it may be subject to a Google penalty later down the road.
- 2. Am I trying to rank locally? If you’re looking to rank locally then you may want to consider creating backlinks that consist mainly of business profile listings. Your audience may be searching using specific geo-specific keywords. For example, if your business is a moving company located in Chicago, people may be looking to find your business by typing “Chicago moving companies” into the search engines. High-quality business listings will be the most likely to rank well in search engines for these terms. When creating these business profile listings be sure to fill out as much information as possible especially your company’s address. You will also want to use keywords that feature the area where your business is located. Business profile listings and local citations will not work for every business. For example, if you’re an e-commerce business with no brick and mortar stores or service buildings, it would not make much sense to center your link building campaign around trying to rank locally.
- 3. What content is available on my website? Content marketing is now the norm in the world of SEO and link building campaigns. Take a look at your website and examine what content is available to work with. If your website has a lot of great blog posts, consider using them to create compelling presentations on platforms that host this kind of media. A website with a lot of images or videos may benefit the most from content curation and social sharing websites. PDFs can be used for document sharing websites. It always pays to work with the content you already have available and to find new ways to recycle or repurpose it before creating new content.
- 4. How can I make the most of this opportunity? Even the highest-quality website will not be very beneficial if you are not using it properly. Take some time to play around on the website or to look at how others are utilizing it before you create a profile or build a link on it for yourself. Make sure you create a strong profile with as much information as you can provide. This will help you to gain more traffic and rank better in the search engines. Add content, bios, links, images, and descriptions wherever possible. It is also beneficial to share the finished content or profile pages across social media for added exposure.
When you follow these four tips you’ll be sure to create high-quality backlinks for your website without having to fear being penalized by Google. Remember that one of the most important rules for creating a strong link profile is variety. Mix up your backlinks with a variety of appropriate sources. Always take the time to measure your results through Google Analytics to see which types of links are working the best for you. This will help you to identify the best link building opportunities and focus your link building campaign around these strategies.