Today’s SEO Link Building Best Practices
Despite what you may have heard, link building is still an important part of SEO. That’s because the search engines still use a website’s inbound link portfolio as a ranking factor. The more high-quality, relevant links a site has, the better. However, it’s true that link building has drastically changed over the years. In an effort to minimize link spam, there are now many link building rules set forth by the search engines to follow. But that doesn’t mean that SEO link building is dead. Here are 5 SEO link building best practices to follow today:
Ask for a link
Not every person who publishes online content understands SEO. That’s why many SEO link building opportunities are missed. Any time your company is mentioned online, it’s important to ask for an inbound link back to your site. For example, if an executive at your company is quoted in an article it’s likely that the article mentions their position and your company name. Is the company name linked to? If not, don’t be afraid to ask them to add the link. They might say no due to their own internal linking procedures, but there’s no harm in trying. It might have been an oversight on their end or they didn’t understand the significance of the link. The marketing or PR department should be aware of any online press your company is getting. Always check to make sure that a link is included.
Nofollow any paid links
Think of a paid link like an advertisement. Any time there is an exchange of money for a link, that link needs to be nofollowed. This tells the search engines that you are placing this link to generate traffic, not to try and manipulate your link portfolio for SEO gains. When a link is tagged as “nofollow” the search engine bots know exactly why you are using the link so they won’t penalize you.
Keep link building top of mind
When you engage in any marketing activity, be sure to ask yourself how you can get an inbound link from the activity. For example, if you’re sponsoring an event, ask for a mention and a link on the organization’s website. The same goes for attending trade shows, attending college career fairs, forming partnerships, joining professional/local groups, appearances on local TV or radio stations, and any community service work your employees do. Nearly every organization has a website today and if you do any work with them, they can mention it on their website and include a link to yours. As mentioned above, sometimes you’ll need to ask for this link.
Use the correct link
When your company earns any online coverage, such as through social media shares, make sure that when coverage occurs, it links to the correct page. If an article mentions a specific product on the website, they might hyperlink to the name of the product. Yet, they might also link to the search URL and not the actual landing page if they used the search feature on the website.
Make sure the page is indexed
It is essential to make sure that the link that is used when promoting the page has actually been indexed. To some extent, you can’t really predict which links people use when they share information about you online. However, you can control which pages on the website you share in-house and can also attempt to point users in the right direction concerning which links they use to share. For example, you can create a call to action informing people which pages to share. For example, if you want users on social media to share your home page, let them know!
Be careful of anchor text
Another thing to consider when building links is that you need to be careful with the anchor text for each of the links. Keyword rich anchor text is something to avoid. Stick to either branded anchor text, such as your company name or a hyperlinked URL, or generic anchor text, such as phrases like, “Click Here” or “Visit This Page.”
Link building is still important, it’s just necessary to have the right mindset and follow the rules. Doing so will improve your inbound link portfolio and organic search traffic over time.
Categorized in: SEO
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