Last Updated on July 31, 2020
Why Aren’t We Going Anywhere?
Link building forms the bedrock of any good SEO foundation and it seems it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Recently we’ve written about how to build inbound links, and how to stop your links looking like paid links. But we haven’t discussed that if even if your inbound links are solid, and you’re getting a steady amount of them, you still might not see your site shoot up the rankings. Here’s why…Ready to Talk?
You’re Picking the Wrong Targets
The sites you’re building inbound links with aren’t high enough quality for Google to increase your ranking. In fact, they may even be damaging your ranking. How do you make sure that you’re building links in the right places?
- Is the site relevant to your business?
- Authoritative and trustworthy (this is obviously a subjective judgment, but just look for a quality site that regularly updates its blog and site with interesting content).
- Do they link to other sites that you respect or businesses you compete with?
The question of relevance can be difficult to interpret. For example, as a digital agency, we have helped many clients create their own websites. These clients are not all marketing agencies themselves, but some have links to our site as we created their website. A kind of artists signature if you will. So will Google penalize us for these links, thinking they are a kind of paid link? Or does it understand that they’re relevant to our business? The way we get around this, is we ask the client to create a page adding context to why there is a link to an agency on their otherwise related site.
But even this doesn’t provide a clear result and you need to be checking your Google Analytics and Search Console to see what impact they have. But you will never know for sure and you run the risk of receiving a link penalty.
Your Links Go To Bad Pages
The links you create are not going to good enough quality content on your site. If someone’s linking to your site then they need to be given a link that takes them to original, detailed, engaging content. Not just a link to your homepage, or Contact Us page.
If they’re linking your site to an article talking about SEO practices, then give them a link where you talk in depth about SEO practices. Don’t send them to a landing page for your new eBook on how to design a great company logo. Google needs to be able to connect the dots on why the link is there. So if it can’t see why the content on your page is similar to the page that you’ve been linked from then it’s going to think it’s a bad link.
Consistency and Anchor Text
Another thing that Google looks for is the number of links you’re generating. Put simply, if you go from 0 links a month to 100 links a month, Google is going to think something is up. So when you’re creating links make sure you’re doing it regularly and at a rate that is realistic. Otherwise, Google may think you’re paying for links.
Another way Google will check this is by looking at the anchor text of the link. Anchor text is the term for the blue underlined text that is the visible link to your website on the other companies site. If the anchor text is the same for many different links, all leading to the same page, Google will suspect that the links are spammy.
They’re Just Better Than You
Another reason you might not be shooting up the rankings is that your competitors are building better links than you. They might be creating better content, or linking to higher quality sites. This is why you need to check your rival’s websites often to see what their backlink profile shows.
This can help give you an idea of what you’re missing in your content, or other sites you can target for your own link building. As well as giving you an idea of what’s going on in your industry.
Fixing Inbound Links
What results have you noticed from your inbound link efforts? Have you seen an increase in traffic and ranking, or have you noticed any anomalies? We’d like to hear how companies build their own organic inbound link programs.