June 17 2021

3 Do’s & Don’ts of Link Building

link building best practicesBuilding a list of strong backlinks can be a helpful strategy for forming a digital presence. Although link building can bring lots of benefits for your company’s or institution’s reputation and visibility on the internet, unfortunately if done incorrectly, it can have adverse effects to your brand and online credibility. Take a look at the top three do’s and don’ts of link building, so you can get your link building strategy set up the right way.

Do this as part of your link building strategy:

Demonstrate Authority in Content

If you are hoping to improve your backlinks, it’s important to put an emphasis on building a list of links that are high quality – not high quantity. One way to ensure the quality of your backlinks is up to par is by demonstrating authority within your content. When it comes to any successful content marketing strategy, blogs are a great way to establish your knowledge within your industry. With a constant need for new and fresh topics, blogs offer a chance for your content to be seen by others in your industry. Once you have established your authority with search enginse, other more reputable voices in your industry will become more comfortable linking to your content. By performing keyword research that relates to the topic of the page and featuring a natural flow of content that matches the intent of user searches, you can promote the visibility of your page on search engines which can lead to other companies viewing your website. If you want to know which companies to target in your link building strategy, simply search for target keywords and phrases in your blogs and see which websites rank higher than you. From there, you will know exactly who you will want to form an online connection with.

Utilize Social Media Channels

You can also encourage companies to mention your brand by being active on social media. Social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram all have the ability to build your reputation in your industry and show off your niche. The more active and engaging you are with your followers, the more likely your content will have appeal to those in your industry who have a large following. To make it easy for your website to be shared by others, make sure your profile includes a link to your website in the contact section. In addition, each social media post should include a URL to a relevant page on your website so users can easily access them. By promoting different URLs on your social media, other followers in your industry will have a better chance of seeing your content and link to it.

Submit Your Links to Reputable Directories

Our final recommendation for encouraging companies to link out to your website is as simple as asking them to do so. It never hurts to ask, but you also don’t want to come across as a spam website and diminish the value of your brand. To accomplish this successfully, it’s best to focus your energy on the more reputable companies, institutions or organizations that are relevant to your industry and submit your links to those directories. Bing Webmaster has a link building tool that allows you to submit links to encourage healthy backlinks. To help appear more professional, keep your profile natural and submit your links to websites that have similar content and target audiences.

Do not do this as part of your link building strategy:

Buy Paid Links

Although reaching out to companies through directories offers a great opportunity to be seen in your industry, any third-party website that is asking you to pay for links is something to heavily avoid. Paying for links can tremendously hurt the reputation of your brand and may even lead to a large quantity of low-quality backlinks. If Google perceives your external links as being manipulative, it will have a negative impact on your rankings on the search engine result pages (SERPs). So, if still you feel compelled to pay for links, just be sure to be extra diligent that the company is highly authoritative, and they are including the link in a natural way. If not, Google will recognize it and will consider your company, institution or organization to be spam. In general, if you get an email about a link building opportunity, it’s probably something to ignore.

Trade Links

Trading links is another frowned upon method when it comes to link building. This is because many times companies who engage in trading links do so in an abnormal quantity and aim to trade with any website they can find. This method then leads to a large number of low-quality links which flag your website as spammy. It’s not that you should never ask another company, institution or organizationto link to yours in exchange for linking to theirs, however there are some rules:

  1. Always be sure to put an emphasis over the quality of the website over the quantity of the links.

  2. Steer clear of sites that have nothing to do with your industry.

  3. Avoid businesses that appear to have a website that isn’t secure (check the security icon in your browser).

  4. Always include the links in a naturally flowing way in your content and ensure the same is done for you in return.

If you engage in link trading and are unable to follow these steps, Google can put a damper on your search engine visibility.

Disavow Toxic Backlinks

Although you may have heard that a solution to having unhealthy or toxic backlinks is to disavow them, this is a method that you should steer clear of unless you know for sure which ones to disavow. It’s not a practice that is recommended by Google and really should only be used under very specific circumstances. If you do have an abnormal amount of spammy or low quality backlinks which have caused a harmful effect on your search engine rankings, then you may qualify for this method, but make sure to follow the steps laid out by Google to do so properly. The best method to not have toxic backlinks is by avoiding them from occurring altogether. By following our three do’s and avoiding our don’ts, you will have a better chance of doing so.

Resume Building Links the Safe Way

Link building is not an easy task, but it can be easy to fall into some frowned upon methods for a promise of fast results. However, this can only create more work to try and fix in the long run. To avoid this, be sure to boost your content marketing and search engine optimization strategies. At ZAG Interactive, we offer ongoing SEO services maintenance to ensure you are remaining visible to other reputable sites. Contact us to get started.

posted by
Carley Corraccio
Carley Corraccio
Digital Strategist

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.