Google claims that backlinks are one of its three top ranking factors. However, over 60% of pages don’t have backlinks. Without a backlinking strategy, you could struggle to reach the top of a Google search page.
The higher you rank on Google, the more often consumers will see your website.
It’s not enough to start link-building, though. You need to do it the right way. Otherwise, Google could recognize your link-building mistakes and penalize your site.
Here are the 15 mistakes when building backlinks you need to avoid. With these tips, you can strengthen your Domain Authority and rank higher than ever. Then, you can boost your business to reach even more customers.
Don’t let your ranking drop. Get started by avoiding these 15 tips today.
1. Not Understanding the Different Types
Before you develop your link-building strategy, it’s important that you understand the different types of links. Otherwise, you could fail to diversify your link-building strategy.
As a brief overview, backlinks are links you’ll receive from another website that links back to yours. Each time you receive a backlink, it’s a vote of confidence for Google. Google will recognize that other people are trusting your content.
The more backlinks you receive, the better your search engine ranking. A higher ranking can help you generate more traffic and leads. Ranking ahead of your competitors can also:
- Boost brand awareness and recognition
- Generate brand trust and loyalty
- Increase customer retention to improve your ROI
- Establish you as a thought leader in your industry
- Build your credibility
- Increase your online sales
One of the biggest link-building mistakes people make is thinking more is better. That’s not the case. You need to focus on the right links before you learn how to build backlinks.
Otherwise, the backlinks you generate will fail to help your website’s Domain Authority.
Five Types of Backlinks
First, look for trusted, high-authority websites. These are websites Google already recognizes and trusts. These websites are an authority within the industry.
The more authority a website has, the more authority its backlink can give your site. It’s sometimes difficult to earn high Domain Authority backlinks. Consider working with an experienced digital marketing or SEO company for help.
There are also links that contain your target keyword in the anchor text. Anchor text is the text that contains a link. Focus on finding websites that contain your target keyword.
Choosing anchor text that’s keyword-rich could benefit your ranking.
Next, look for websites that are relevant to your industry niche. Google considers how two websites relate to one another. If there’s no connection between the two, it could impact the user experience.
The next type of links are “doFollow” and “noFollow” links. The “noFollow” links don’t count in Google’s ranking algorithm. If a post has this tag, Google will ignore the page.
“noFollow” links can include blog comments, paid aids, and press releases. You don’t have to avoid these links entirely, though. We’ll talk more about “noFollow” links later on.
Finally, look for domains that aren’t already linking to you. Google will notice if the same website creates backlinks to yours. Instead, you need to diversify your strategy.
Don’t make the mistake of using one type of link. Instead, keep experimenting with different link-building tips and tactics. Experimenting can help you stay ahead of the trends.
You can adjust your outreach strategy to keep diversifying your links.
2. Never Claiming Your GMB Listing
If you want to avoid making link-building mistakes, start by claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Your GMB takes up prominent space on a Google search page. Consumers use your GMB to learn more about your business.
This listing displays your:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Customer reviews
Ignoring your GMB could make it difficult for consumers and other businesses to find you. If you want to learn how to build backlinks, make sure you’re easy to find.
Claim your business on any other directories, including:
- Yahoo Local
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Pages
- Bing Places
- Trip advisor
Keep your information consistent in every directory. While these links are “noFollow,” they can still benefit your online presence.
3. Failing to Create Link-Worthy Content
Companies that blog get 97% more links to their website. If you want to avoid mistakes when building backlinks, look at your own website.
Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages than other sites. Without content, Google and other companies will struggle to help you. Instead, you need to create content that’s worth linking to.
Try creating different linkable assets on your blog. Create a content marketing strategy to stay on a schedule. Your SEO team can help you get started.
A few different forms of content include:
- Blog posts and articles
Think about what your customers are searching for online. How can your content answer their questions? What is the customer’s search intent when they use Google?
Understanding their search intent can help you appeal to their search intent. As more people visit your website, your ranking will improve. Other websites will take notice and consider linking to your content.
Focus on quality over quantity. If your content isn’t high-quality, no one will want to link to it.
Instead, focus on the unique value you can offer readers. Show consumers you’re there to help. Other websites will realize you can help their target audience, too.
Consider using the skyscraper technique as well. First, look for a piece of content that has a ton of backlinks. There are analytics tools online you can use.
Then, create your own piece of content that’s even better. Start promoting your content to the blogs that linked to the original article. They’ll link to yours instead!
Once you start developing high-quality content, you’ll find it’s easier to build links.
4. Not Developing an Outreach Strategy
After creating high-quality content, you might find you’re still struggling to generate backlinks. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring outreach. Instead, develop an outreach strategy to boost backlinks.
How will you pitch your content to other websites? Start by creating an outreach template you can use in the future. This template will keep you organized.
Don’t stick to the generic template, though. Instead, personalize your outreach. An overused template can make you seem ingenuine.
Instead, learn what you can about each person you’re trying to reach. Personalizing your message will help you better connect with the people on your list.
Then, create an elevator pitch for your content. Focus on the unique value you’re offering.
Developing an outreach program will help you generate more backlinks.
5. Focusing Only on High DA
About 65% of marketers measure their link quality by looking at their Domain Authority (DA). About 48% use domain rankings and 36% use page authority to determine link quality.
Focusing on websites with a high DA is important to your link-building strategy. However, it’s not the only route you want to focus on. If you obsess over websites with a high DA, you might never see other opportunities.
You could fail to set yourself up for success in the future, too.
You don’t want to start getting poor-quality links, though. Instead, look for websites you think might grow over time. Getting backlinks from those websites now could benefit you in the future.
6. Selecting the Wrong Anchor Text
Remember, anchor text is the words that hold a link. Choosing the wrong anchor text could impact your backlink strategy.
If you receive a link with generic text, you’ll still generate some authority. However, Google looks at anchor text to determine what the linked-to page covers. It also helps Google understand if the link is relevant to a user’s search.
You don’t always have control over what anchor text is used on someone’s website. If you can, ask them to change the anchor text. Choose anchor text that’s relevant to your content.
You can use your SEO keyword research to determine the best anchor text for your target audience.
Make sure the anchor text doesn’t seem awkward or spammy, either.
7. Not Vetting Before Guest Posting
If you’re looking for more link-building tips, consider learning more about guest blogging. As a guest blogger, you’ll write a post on someone else’s website. Then, you can link to your website within the post.
This strategy allows you to leverage the site’s existing audience to increase your own. Many website owners are happy to have someone else create content for them.
Before you start guest blogging, take care when choosing which websites to write for. Remember, relevance is important. You need to find websites that are relevant to your business.
Try to complete an audit of the website. Do they have low-quality content? Avoid that site.
Instead, focus on websites with inbound linking domains and an engaged audience. Your SEO expert can help you find these opportunities.
8. Choosing the Wrong Pages
When learning how to build backlinks, you’ll start developing partnerships with other companies. You’ll need to help them recognize the value of linking to your website. You don’t want to pitch the wrong pages, though.
Otherwise, you might find it more difficult to make your case.
Don’t focus on your big money pages, like product pages. Instead, focus on your blog pages and content. Blog content is more likely to appeal to a broader audience.
Businesses will see the value within your content and start linking to your posts.
Don’t link to the homepage too often, either. Remember to diversify your links to build your link-building strategy.
9. Getting Poor-Quality Links
Remember, Google looks at the quality of the websites that send readers to your website. You’ll want to avoid getting links from non-reputable sites as much as possible. Otherwise, they could impact your ranking.
These sites include:
- Unsecured websites
- Site-wide links
- Sites that aren’t relevant to your industry
- Pages containing little content
If you start obtaining too many poor-quality links, your ranking could suffer.
10. Forgetting Internal Links
Internal and external link-building are important to your entire strategy. Unfortunately, many people tend to favor one while neglecting the other.
Internal links send readers to other pages on your website. You can use internal links to better inform and engage your readers. Internal links can also boost your dwell time and clickthrough rate.
These two metrics can improve your search engine ranking.
Make sure to include internal links in your content.
11. Using a Link Exchange
Also known as reciprocal links, this strategy involves exchanging one link for another. In other words, you’ll create a backlink for a website that links back to you. Using this strategy excessively is forbidden by Google’s Quality Guidelines.
If you have too many reciprocal links, Google might penalize your website.
Try to avoid using this strategy as much as possible. Otherwise, trading links could hurt your ranking.
12. Not Tracking Backlinks
About 65% of marketers say link building is the most difficult SEO strategy. One of the main link-building mistakes people make is not tracking their progress.
It’s not enough to get backlinks from a range of sites. Instead, you need to track their performance. Which links are generating results and attracting traffic?
You can use this information to better inform your strategy. It can also help you avoid mistakes when building backlinks in the future.
13. Buying Links
Buying backlinks can do more harm than good. Google’s algorithm is growing smarter every day. You could end up with a toxic or low-quality link.
Google might even penalize you for purchasing these links. Your ranking could drop as a result.
Avoid purchasing links. Instead, work with an SEO expert to improve your strategy.
14. Building Only doFollows
Many people focus on only gathering “doFollow” links. While “noFollow” links don’t add much value, Google looks for both. Google might even penalize you if you only have “doFollow” links.
Work to find both. For example, you can add a link to your content in a blog comment. A mix of both links can diversify your strategy.
15. Getting Links With Weak Social Shares
Try to generate as many social shares as possible on your posts. Google rewards posts with high social performance.
If you’re not focusing on social shares, you could miss an opportunity.
Link Up: 15 Link Building Mistakes You Need to Avoid for Strong SEO
Ready to give your Domain Authority a boost? Make sure to avoid these 15 link-building mistakes first. With these link-building tips, you can boost your reach and avoid penalties!
Need help boosting your ranking? That’s what we’re here for.
Contact us today to get started.