What to Avoid When Launching a Link Building Campaign

The link building of 2019 is dead, long live . . . 2020? Anyone who works in the online marketing space these days knows that links are all the rage, and there’s no sign of their impact slowing down or stopping any time soon.In fact, at this point, for all intents and purposes, as long as there are search engines, links are still going to matter.

Before you hustle on over to your company’s marketing Asana board and open a new card or start drafting an email to your marketing team discussing your next link building campaign, though, it’s important to make sure that you’re up to snuff on the industry best practices.

Things to Avoid When Link Building

Below are some crucial “don’ts” to keep in mind as you go about creating content and building those backlinks as part of your 2020 online marketing strategy.

Of course, these are just a few of the hottest items. If, at any point along the way, you feel that any activity you engage in may not be entirely “above board,” make sure to take the time to research if it’s okay or not. It’s always worth the effort, as a penalty from Google can instantly undo countless hours spent link building.

Don’t Link to Crappy Content

While guest posting may still be still alive and well, even the best-crafted guest posting strategy will always fall short if you link back to awful or irrelevant information on your site. Even if a site editor allows a link to slip past (which is unlikely), any traffic you get through that link will probably do little more than increase your bounce rate.

As a rule of thumb, always make sure that you’re linking back to high quality, relevant information on your site when executing a link building campaign. If you’re guest posting, in particular, make sure that you can always answer the question “why is this link in your post?” with the answer “because it’s uniquely relevant to your site’s readers.”

Don’t Buy Links

Anyone who markets online is aware of the fact that money changes hands from time to time. For instance, pay per click ads are still heavily used in SEO strategies and freelancers are hired to help produce content on a regular basis.

However, as you go about considering the assets that you can use in your link building campaign, you may find an opportunity to use money to straight-up buy a backlink — and when that happens, always run the other way.

Purchasing links is a big no-no for Google, and if you’re caught engaging in this black-hat SEO practice, it can mean a much larger penalty than the links were ever worth in the first place.

Don’t Skip Your Home Base Cleanup

It’s tempting to run out and start working on quality backlinks as soon as possible, but one important place to start your link-building strategy is right on your site itself. If you have a plethora of old, broken links cluttering your site, it can go a long way in counteracting all of your hard-earned link building efforts.

Comb over your site and look for any broken links and then fix them. If you have a larger website, there are many different tools available that can help you check your entire site for broken links in a jiffy. Once you’ve patched up your existing links, it’ll be time to start building new ones.

Don’t Just Spam Links

Every link in a link building campaign must be earned. Simply scattering links across the interweb with a “let’s see what sticks” mentality may have worked ten years ago, but nowadays Google’s algorithm is far too smart to trust for that kind of approach.

Instead, make a genuine effort with each link. Strive to generate a strong backlink profile as you go by:

  • Creating strong, quality content to house your links.
  • Actively utilizing and sharing content on your social media.
  • Using email promotion, thoughtful guest posting, and influencer marketing to strategically boost traffic.

If you treat each link like gold, chances are Google will, too.

Don’t Use Blog Commenting as a Cheap Link Building Tool

While there are perfectly reasonable ways to use blog comments for link building — such as including engaged, quality responses that link to genuinely useful content — it’s also very easy to use and abuse blog commenting as a link building hack.

If you find yourself crafting blog comments purely with specific keywords in mind or you’re dropping comments on posts that you know no one will read, it’s time to stop, check your motives, and look for a more meaningful way to build those backlinks.

Link Building in 2020

There are numerous above board, ethically sound ways to build a solid link building campaign. However, there are also many temptations and pitfalls that can crop up as you go along. If you’re looking for linking success in the upcoming year, make sure to keep all of the above tips in mind as you go about creating your strategy.

If you can stay “white-hat” in all of your efforts, you’ll be able to use backlinks to garner that website traffic, build your brand’s online credibility, and rank higher in those search engine results pages.

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Eric Vidal

CEO at The Marketing Scope Eric Vidal, an industry expert with over 25 years of marketing and technology experience is passionate about providing insight and education on the latest martech trends and techniques. Eric speaks and writes for various publications like The Marketing Scope and Future Of Work to name a couple. Eric has been a marketing leader for companies of all sizes. He has extensive experience working to achieve measurable business results for organizations like IBM, Cisco, WebEx, Canon USA, West Corp., Dynamic Signal, SAP and more. Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.

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