Ask Yourself These Questions Before Pursuing a Link

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Inbound links pointing to your website play an important role in determining where your website appears in search. The search engines use these links to determine the trust and authority of your website. Earning inbound links naturally is the ultimate goal but it’s also in your best interest to seek out link opportunities. However, not every link opportunity is going to be a good one. Before pursuing a link, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

Is it a good website?

Take a good look at the website. What is the content like? Is it well-written or obviously written by a foreign, outsourced writer that isn’t informed on the topic? Is it easy to navigate? Is it mobile friendly? Do they have a presence in social media? Trust your gut on this one. If there are any “spammy” or low-quality elements to the website, you probably want to skip it.

Is it a good fit?

In addition to the website looking nice and being easy to use overall, it should also be a good fit for your industry and your target audience. Remember, links are good for SEO, yes, but ideally you also want these links to drive targeted traffic to your website. If their audience doesn’t really jive with your audience, no matter how good of a site it is, it’s not the best fit.

Is there a catch?

What does the website want in return for your link? Do they expect payment? If so, this link isn’t going to help your SEO at all because it’s a paid link that needs to be nofollowed. If you think it’s a great fit and will drive traffic, go ahead and pay for it, but remember you’re doing it for traffic and not for SEO. Another thing website owners could want is a link on your website, “you link to me and I’ll link to you.” This is a link exchange and also frowned upon by the search engines. These types of exchanges really only make sense for partner websites.

Who else are they linking to?

What sort of company would you be in? If this website is linking out to any and every website under the sun, there’s really no value in it. Ideally, the only other sites with links are other websites in your niche that would also be of interest to your target audience.

Is this link worth my time?

Perhaps the most important question. What is this site looking for? Content? Do they expect a 1500 word article in order to add a link to your website? Writing this type of content obviously takes time. Weigh the time vs. return and consider their audience, traffic numbers, and social media presence. If it’s not going to get much exposure, you’re probably better off saving that article for your own website.

Since inbound links aren’t always easy to get, you might be tempted to take any opportunity that comes your way. However, that’s really not the best approach. You’re better off saving your time and energy for the really great links, instead.

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