When you’re building a digital strategy for your business, SEO will come up time and again. It stands for search engine optimization, and it’s all about ranking high on Google. After all, getting your website on the first page of Google results is a powerful way to grow your business.
One of the key ways that Google ranks your website is by analysing ‘backlinks’. In other words, how many other websites are linking to you and your content? More important, how authoritative are those links? The better quality links you build, the higher you rank. With that in mind, what are the rules to follow when actively pursuing inbound links?
- Aim for natural, organic links
In the past, the sheer quantity of links was enough to rank your website highly. You could purchase hundreds of spammy fake links, and still make it to the top. Nowadays, Google is much smarter. (You’ve got to adapt to changes in digital marketing!) It can quickly and easily tell when your backlinks are fake. With that in mind, aim for natural and organic links wherever possible. Only pursue links from a relevant website (one that would legitimately link to your content). And make sure the link fits naturally into the surrounding context.
- Manage your link velocity and consistency
Again, link building is all about natural and organic placement. If you suddenly generate 20 backlinks in two days, it’s going to look very suspicious indeed. It’s going to look even more suspicious if you then generate no links for four weeks. And then you suddenly generate 20 more links. Google will suspect you’re buying link bundles in packages. Instead, spread out your link building practices. Keep them even and consistent.
- Don’t just link to your homepage
Another mistake that many people make is sourcing links only to their homepage. A natural, organic link structure would include links to your blog content. It might link to product pages or ‘about’ pages. Relentlessly linking to your homepage is a clear sign that your are manipulating the process. Go deep with your links, and spread them out across your website.
- Vary your anchor text
Google has begun penalising sites with suspicious anchor text. Here’s an example to explain. Let’s say your company specialises in mortgages. You’ve purposely set your primary keyword as ‘cheap mortgages’ across your website. Now, if Google finds 100 backlinks all with the anchor text ‘cheap mortgages’ to your site, it looks suspicious. If you want to learn more about anchor text in your backlinks, visit a site such as https://www.gotchseo.com/backlinks/.
- Measure the impact
There’s no point running a backlink campaign if you don’t monitor the progress. Ideally, you should continually measure how much impact the process is having. Is your web traffic increasing? Are your referrals from Google improving? What keywords are generating the best response? Each of these questions will help you tighten your next campaign. Visit https://blog.kissmetrics.com to find out more about measuring the impact of SEO.
Backlinks are an essential part of your SEO campaign. However, if you get them wrong, it could spell disaster for your website. Follow these golden rules, and you’ll stay on the right side of Google!
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