Link building is the essence of delayed gratification. You develop a strategy and work hard to build links that drive traffic to your site and improve your site’s PageRank. Then you wait…and wait. Nothing is more frustrating than hard work with limited results.
Search engines like Google evaluate websites to weed out the junk and deliver quality information to their users. Sites with high quality content and natural links based on that content rank higher than those that appear to be gaming the system. You can improve your PageRank by learning what to avoid and what to implement as a part of your link building strategy.
Select Anchor Text Carefully
Exact match anchor texts, or at least too many of them, are a red flag for search engines. They scream strategy and can actually draw a penalty that lowers your ranking. Exact match anchor text is just too forced to be natural.
Rather than obsessing on exact match keywords, build links around phrases and long tail keywords that are naturally relevant to the link. When you create links around semantic keywords that reflect that natural language of real people, you should see your rankings increase.
Focus on Quality not Quantity
There was a time when the goal was to build links wherever you could, however you could. Those days are gone. Every link you build must be relevant and high quality to give you the results you’re looking for. Practices like these should be avoided at all costs.
- Paid Links: Other than links from directories, paid links are a bad idea. Not only are they against the rules, they are no replacement for naturally developed links based on quality content.
- Exchanging Links: Why would you exchange links with a site that has no relevance to your business or topic? While you may benefit from a temporary bounce in your rankings, you will lose credibility with your target market and eventually with search engines as well.
- Linking to Low Quality Sites: Sites with lots of ads, poor quality content, or lots of content but low traffic are just not worth your time. Focus your efforts on linking to quality sites with something to offer.
Limit your efforts to building high quality links that increase your rankings naturally. When you build links to trusted sites with authority in your industry you benefit from their mojo. These sites attract the kind of traffic you’re looking for; traffic that doesn’t just increase your ranking but also converts to increase your revenue.
Keep it Looking Natural and Avoid Patterns
Above all link building must appear natural. You can achieve a natural looking mixture by using a variety of links including image, social media, and content links. Add a few nofollow links too, just to keep things honest. Use a variety of keywords and phrases as anchor text and rotate your anchor text regularly.
Of course, if you consistently provide quality content your site won’t need to appear natural, it will be natural. Ultimately quality content is the best strategy for link building.
Use Quality Content to Leverage Social Media
Increasingly the internet is all about social media. If you want your site to engage social media and create the tweets, shares, and likes that drive it up in the rankings you need to create worthy content.
- Trendy Content: Before you create your next blog post, do a little research and find out what’s trending now in your industry. Original content on a cutting edge topic is likely to create a buzz.
- Quality Images: Build your site using quality compressed images. Image links to sites like Pinterest can increase your rankings. If appropriate for your business, consider creating featured galleries on your site as a way to encourage image links.
- Original Useful Content: People love useful content. They talk about it, comment on it, and share it with their friends. Create it. Buy it. Whatever you do, make sure you post it.
At the risk of stating the obvious, make sure to provide links to social media on your site. You want them to share your content. Make it sharing simple.