Even people who are unfamiliar with search engine optimization often maintain a vague association between SEO and link building. A customer purchasing internet marketing services for the first time or a small business owner attempting to optimize his or her own site may not be familiar with the specifics, but chances are, they realize that links are going to be an important part of their efforts.
In this post, we’d like to give you (and them!) some time-tested information about link building. Whether you hire an SEO specialist or work on your own site, these guidelines can help you understand – and make the most of – your links.
#1 – Quality Counts!
The idea of obtaining hundreds or even thousands of links back to your website may sound like a dream come true, but unless those links come from related, high-quality sites, you should probably hold back. When Google’s robots evaluate your website, they want to find relevant, respectable sites linking to it. They don’t want to see a million links from spammy, unremarkable, irrelevant pages. In fact, these unrelated links can appear unnatural, and that can hurt your reputation.
#2 – Generic Text is Smart Text!
Inexperienced search optimizers may think that all their links should employ their top targeted keywords as anchor text. When arranging link trades or asking a webmaster to post a link to your company, you may be tempted to provide a keyword-rich phrase for every link. Don’t! Google likes links that appear natural, so think about realistic phrases real human writers might use to link to your site. Of course, it makes sense to use your keywords for some links, but it’s also wise to mix in generic phrases like “click here” alongside your web address (ex: www.yourcompanyurl.com) and business name.
#3 – Good Content Leads to Great Links!
It’s always been a popular mantra among SEO professionals, but “content is king.” If you write, record, or share excellent content on your site, you won’t have to ask others to link to you. They’ll do it on their own! Since you may not have a lot of your own traffic at first, look for other ways to share your content with the public. Social networks, blog syndication services, and guest posting or writing articles for other websites can be a great way to make connections and make sure that the content you produce gets noticed.
#4 – Be Consistent, Not Crazy!
Once again, there’s a reason that Google calls their search results “organic.” They’re meant to be natural. Suddenly building hundreds of new links in a month when you’ve previously only added ten or twelve to your profile can raise some red flags. Of course it’s great to add new links, and there are some natural reasons why your site might have a sudden influx of new ones (maybe you did a great job following rule #3)! However, when it comes to link building, consistency is important. Increase the number of links you obtain, but don’t be ridiculous about it.
#5 – Change is Inevitable!
Those of us who survived Google’s Penguin and Panda updates are still quaking in our boots, but when it comes to search engine optimization, one thing is certain: changes have happened before and they will surely happen again. Stay in touch with other website owners, follow the trends, and know that Google is always tweaking their algorithm to make for better search results. If you follow the advice above and use ethical link building strategies, those changes shouldn’t hurt too much!