Top Eight Huge Link Building Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Link building is an integral element of your SEO strategy. But unfortunately, even the most experienced SEO experts get things wrong.
The landscape of ecommerce link building is ever-evolving. The need to create and implement result-driven link building strategies is critical to the success of any online business.
In this post, we’ll highlight the top eight link building mistakes you should avoid while competing online.
What is Link Building?
Simply put, link building is a process of getting hyperlinks from other websites to your own. The process not only facilitates users to navigate between different pages on the same website but also helps search engines to crawl the web and determine how a page should rank in SERPs.
There are different link building techniques (both wrong and right) that you can use to improve the viability of your online store. But it’s essential that you only engage in natural link building techniques.
White Hat SEO
White hat SEO refers to practices that improve your SEO rankings using natural and organic strategies. It is a time-consuming process. A quality link from a high DA website will have a greater impact on your search engine rankings but these links are harder to come by.
Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO, on the other hand, revolves around manipulative practices that increase your website’s ranking by violating the search engine’s terms of service. It’s highly recommended to stay away from such practices as it may result in getting your website banned from the SERPs.
Top Link Building Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
No matter how proficient and experienced you’re as a seller, common link building mistakes can ruin your rankings and make it difficult for your customers to locate your website on search engines.
So here are a few link building mistakes you should avoid to make your online store shine in SERPs.
1. Using Spammy Link Building Tactics
Website owners who want to get their pages ranked higher on Google should use the latest link building tactics only.
For instance, if you’re using links from article directories, web directories, or social bookmarking sites then it’s high time you should choose more authentic and high-authority sources for your link building strategies.
Similarly, you must not include Wiki links or use low-quality guest posts to increase your websites’ visibility in front of search engines.
Using blog comments and forum marketing are other nasty tactics you must avoid to gain search engine’s attention.
Pro tip: If you have already implemented some of the above-listed techniques, we’d recommend doing some link removal as soon as possible because Google tends to penalize websites that follow these link-building tactics.
Keep in mind, Google keeps track of the links that you have created earlier for your website.
2. Failing to Create Relevant and High-Quality content
The best way to get high-quality links for your website is by getting them editorially. You may want to reconsider your strategy if you’re still creating content for search engines instead of users.
Research suggests that user-focused content tends to rank higher on search engines than content that focuses more on keyword stuffing and cheap link building tactics.
Again, if you’re creating perfectly-optimized and high-quality content but forgot to pay attention to user experience (UX) then you’ve got a problem. Why? Because people love visiting websites that are easy-to-use and offer great value.
Here are a few things you should consider before you upload your content on your website:
- Are there too many paid ads running on your website?
- Is the theme installed on your website mobile responsive?
- Are there too many design elements on your website?
- Is your content unique and well-written?
- Is your content optimized (not overstuffed) for the right keywords?
- Is the content on your website valuable to the readers?
3. Failing to Personalize or Segment Your Outreach
When it comes to online market space, personalization is the key. The one-liner personalization is not valid anymore.
Websites that are still relying on standard old templates should try to establish a personal connection by leveraging personalized outreach templates to know their customers.
Here, you can also use a typical outreach persona to know your target audience’s likes, dislikes, and preferences to weave that information into your template.
In addition to personalization, you should also segment your outreach list to better target prospects that are more likely to become your customers.
Try to segment your outreach list as much as possible based on interest, location, industry, and other factors to make your outreach more targeted and personalized.
4. Not Taking Immediate Action on Low-Quality Backlinks
Did you know you could have low-quality links even if you haven’t done any link building for your website?
Many websites steal content from other websites. What if one of your competitors has used negative SEO strategies against your business?
In that case, Google will simply lower down the ranking of your website without knowing the reason for nasty backlinks.
Since recovering search engine rankings is a painstaking job, it’s better to take immediate action without waiting too long.
You can use online data resources like Google search Console and Ahrefs to pinpoint low-quality and duplicate links.
The next step is to contact the website administrator and ask them to remove your link. Again it’s a time-consuming process. Some website owners won’t respond, while others simply refuse to remove your link from their website. Make sure you remain patient and at least get some of the bad links removed to help increase your future search rankings.
5. Using Keyword-Stuffed Anchor text
If you’re targeting a common keyword like ‘smartphone covers’ search engine will torch your rankings soon.
It’s okay if your anchors are having just a few matching anchors over the web. But if your anchors are the exact match of plenty of other anchors available online, then you should be ready to witness a decline in your Google rankings.
Here, the key is to diversify your anchor text as much as you can to increase your chances of getting more exposure in front of search engines.
6. Not Keeping Track of New Backlinks
As mentioned earlier, many fraudulent websites steal content from other websites. Also, you can expect your competitors to use negative SEO against your business. All of this may result in severe consequences for your business’s online visibility and SEO.
To avoid this, you have to work proactively. Make sure you pay special attention to new backlinks. Keep on tracking them so that you can know how those links are performing in terms of SEO.
Again, there are many online data analytics and monitoring tools available that you can use to monitor the progress of your link in real-time.
7. Only Getting Backlinks from High DA Websites
While having links from high authority websites is a good idea, you should use the right mix of high DA and low DA backlinks to achieve better results.
Remember, if you gather too many high authority links (and zero PR links), it will not look legit and may result in your website getting penalized by Google.
8. Assuming More is Less
One of the best ways to fuel your link building success is to create high-quality and relevant content.
But, one should always prefer quality over quantity.
While it may seem tempting to share loads and loads of content now and then on your website, make sure you invest your time and resources in creating highly relevant, reader-friendly, and useful content.
Do not extend the length of your articles just for the sake of increasing length only. Add images, graphs, tables, and other useful sources to support your data.
The process starts by conducting a thorough content audit. Remove content that’s less interesting or engaging.
The next step is adding more relevant and optimized content that attracts sales.
If you’re creating long-form content, then make sure you break things up for an easy understanding of your readers. To make your long-form content digestible for readers, try to incorporate some intriguing design elements on your page.
Also, invest in some custom navigation and videos and images to help your readers better understand the concept.
Getting No Follow Links
No-follow links are the types of links that are not counted in specifying the rank of your website in SERPs.
Since these links have zero impact on your Google rankings, they’re not beneficial for your website.
Yes, you can benefit from them if you’re targeting Bing instead of Google.
With no-follow links, you get fewer comments and engagement on your blog posts even if they’re highly relevant and useful for the readers. Also, your website visitors might hesitate in sharing your content online because your posts include a no-follow attribute.
Never try to buy or sell links as this practice is highly prohibited and you may end up getting penalized by Google.
Remember, search engines only prefer websites that follow natural/organic link building strategies.
According to Google,
“If you find information in Google’s search results that you believe appears due to spam, paid links, malware, or other issues that might violate our webmaster guidelines, follow the appropriate link below to report the issue. While Google does not use these reports to take direct action against violations, these reports still play a significant role in helping us understand how to improve our spam detection systems that protect our search results.”
So instead of wasting your time, energy, and resources on buying links, try to leverage guest posting opportunities. Simply hire a freelance writer and publish guest posts on relevant websites with a link back to your website – It’s safe, easier, and more valuable.
Not Diversifying Your Strategy
Unfortunately, not all SEO experts are familiar with the concept of link building. Even if they do, they’re not sure what they should add or exclude from their strategy to work.
It’s also a fact that the process of link building isn’t as easy as it may sound. Here, the key is to experiment with different link building strategies to see what works best for you.
Ideally, you should reevaluate and adjust your strategy regularly to make it in line with your recent metrics. Instead of relying on a single type of link, make sure you include different types of links from diversified sources to help make your website look more authoritative and reliable.
Having the Same Links as Your Competitors
You cannot outperform your competitors by just having the same links as theirs. Instead of chasing their link profiles, you can observe their strategy to see how you can readjust everything according to your niche and business operations.
Your link profile should be unique and reflect your strengths.
Trying to Build Lots of Links in a Short period
Another ecommerce link building mistake you must avoid is trying to build tons of links in a short period. Doing so will make your website look spammy in front of search engines and may even make Google exclude your store from indexing as well. Go slow and steady. Do your research, find relevant sources, create a foolproof strategy, and then implement everything strategically to witness real-time results.
If you have started a campaign in the past that failed to deliver the desired results and you’re not sure why it didn’t produce enough links, then you gave up too soon.
Your role as a marketer or ecommerce store owner is to determine why your campaign failed in the first place.
Remember, failing to determine the exact cause of your campaign failure will reduce your likeliness of getting better opportunities next time.
All in all, link building is one of the best ways you can increase your website’s visibility in front of search engines. We hope this post has cleared some of your doubts about link building. Make sure to avoid link building mistakes so that you stay ahead of the game and enjoy real-time, long-term success.
Author Bio: Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – free Shopify theme, helping drop shippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.