Link Building Strategy - Here’s Why Yours Is Failing (and How To Fix It)

Last updated: 10-07-2019

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Link Building Strategy - Here’s Why Yours Is Failing (and How To Fix It)

If you are struggling to build backlinks to your site then this is the article for you, we explain why your current link building strategy is failing and how you can fix it.

Ask anyone who knows a thing or two about getting a page to rank and thus boost its visibility, and they’ll tell you that link building and having a good link building strategy is essential.

Building links is one of the prime ranking factors, with search engines using backlinks to determine how trustworthy, user-friendly and awesome a website is and that is why a good link building strategy is so important for your sites SEO.

The thing is, you’ve got a problem.

While other websites are putting together successful link building strategies, yours is failing.

You’re still not ranking, your rivals are way ahead of you, and your links suck.

Like with anything in life, there’s always a reason behind a problem.

In this article, we take a look at what you might be doing wrong – and we’ll also be showing you how to fix things.

Google wants you to maintain a natural-looking link profile.

However, many online marketers fail in this endeavour.

And it could be that you’ve overlooked its importance, too.

If a new website has a backlink profile that’s entirely made up of just one type of link, Google will get suspicious – and they might even penalize you.

If you obsess over either third-party link metrics or domain authority, you might end up with an unnatural link profile that catches Google’s attention for all the wrong reasons.

A diverse link profile should have backlinks coming from different sources.

These include blogs, directories, reference pages, and even news sites.

Anchor text is the phrase placed over the clickable link.

If I’m linking to an article about improving one’s productivity, the anchor text I might use would be “enhance your productivity.”

Each time you add a backlink to your website, you have to use anchor text.

A few years back, SEOs learned that anchor text matters when it comes to ranking for queries.

This is because Google uses it to determine how relevant your link is to the webpage content.

The problem is that if you’re linking to the same page over and over again, you might also be guilty of using the same anchor text over and over again.

If so, this is a practice that needs to stop.

How come? Because you’re at major risk of being penalized.

It’s good practice to even up your distribution.

Take a look at the anchor texts you’ve used so far.

How varied are they?

If you’ve used 20 different anchor texts so far, but you’ve used one of them 10 times already, you need to consider how you can mix things up.

If one particular anchor text is used this much, it’s going to trigger the search engines into an investigation.

How you balance it out is up to you.

Your branded terms might, for example, make up 50% of your anchor text distribution, while the other two split the remaining 50% between them.

On the other hand, if you’re a relatively new business that’s on the hunt for more organic traffic at this point, you might want to reduce branded terms to 25% and instead focus on keyword optimized terms more.

Either way, you need to mix things up.

If you’re still unsure how you can keep mixing things up, take a look at your competitors and what they’re doing.

See how many keywords they’re aiming for, and how many times they use each variation.

Although chasing links is a lot less glamorous as chasing money, the end results are often the same if you go too fast.

In short, you end up penalized by Google and you’re left with a burnt-out website.

See, when new websites chase too many links too soon, it says to Google that something fishy is going on.

It says that they’re trying to game the system by employing back hat SEO techniques.

It says they’re more focused on profit than they are on building quality relationships with their audience and improving the user experience.

And most of the time, Google is probably right.

If I launched a new website and knew nothing about SEO, I wouldn’t start a link building strategy where I chase links.

Instead, I’d be 100% focused on producing quality content that establishes my business as something people can trust and will want to buy from.

Over time, because I’ve got my priorities right, the links will come naturally.

On the other hand, if I put links first and content second, the links might come (though they wouldn’t always be of the best quality), but my content would suffer and that is an example of a really bad link building strategy.

As a result, I might end up with lots of money at first, but I would ultimately be found out – by both Google and my target audience – and I would fade away.

‘Link velocity’ is very real, and you have to take things slow at first.

The problem as I see it at this point is that no one is quite in agreement with regards to how many backlinks are too many.

However, there’s a fabulous resource for this, in which the suggestion is that 2-3 new backlinks per week per article are what you should be aiming for.

On the other hand, the article also suggests that as many as 100 backlinks per day won’t see you fall foul of a penalty.

Basically, just use your common sense and take a look at what your rivals are doing.

If it seems to you that you’re collecting links at an unreasonable rate, you probably are.

Oh, and you should probably avoid setting up 10,000 low-quality backlinks in one day, too.

Imagine if you’ve got lots of short-form (500 words or less) blog posts.

They’re pretty generic, cover topics your competitors have already covered … and still you’re not building links?

I think you may well have answered your own question.

We’ll get into the importance of creating in-depth articles in a bit, but for now, if your website is only made up of generic short-form posts that don’t really offer much, you need to start diversifying your content marketing efforts.

Essentially, you need to create more of the right content.

Killer links come from killer content – content that’s different to anything your rivals have got, and which offer something unique and even surprising.

Take visuals, for example. Visuals boost engagement, and while you might be protesting that you already “include stock photos with my articles,” I’m talking about visuals that go the extra mile.

These are the types of things that bring together lots of information into one neat-looking place.

They inform your audience, and they’re easy to digest.

Not just that, but they’re also easy to link out to and are a must for your link building strategy.

There are lots of other websites in your niche who rely on stats and research to back up their points.

They love linking out to infographics because it boosts their own credibility.

The caveat is that they’re too lazy to create the infographics themselves.

So what do they do?

They link out to websites like yours!

Here’s an excellent tool that will help you create an infographicin just 5 minutes.

If your content is just plain dull, you’re going to struggle for links.

If it’s hard to read, poorly presented and lacks even a sub-heading or two, the links won’t come.

To jazz things up, I suggest going with more list posts.

According to BuzzSumo‘s research, list-based posts generate more traffic than any other type of post.

And with more engagement and more traffic comes more link opportunities.

Essentially, it’s all about creating content that’s different, unique and a bit surprising.

Carry out your own research instead of relying on other people’s research.

And also, consider this next point …

Especially if you’re in the game of guest blogging in order to build more links, you’ll know that content is king.

But is your content valuable enough to be king?

Or is it a mere court jester?

Google is on the lookout for valuable content that improves the user’s experience.

It prefers long from content (800+ words) to short form, and it wants you to offer in-depth solutions to your audience’s problems.

It wants you to have the answers they need.

Not just this, but long-form content gets shared more than short form content.

As such, you can see that long-form content = more link building opportunities and should be part of any good link building strategy.

Your content needs to be different from your competitors, and it needs to better than your competitors.

Brian Dean at Backlinko wrote an excellent piece on the Google Rank Brain algorithm, and what essentially happens is that internet users recognize when a piece of content is super valuable, and they subsequently help it to rank.

How do they do that?

If a user lands on your page and realizes within 3 seconds that you’ve not got the answers they need, they’ll bail out.

If this keeps happening, Google will realize that your content just isn’t good enough, and as such, you’ll slide down the SERPs.

On the other hand, if your users arrive on your content and realize you’ve got what they want, they’ll stick around.

Their time spent on your page will increase; Google will notice this, assume your content is valuable, and they’ll bump you up the rankings.

The higher you are in the SERPs, the more link building opportunities there will be.

And it all starts with top-notch content that goes the extra mile.

If you’re perspiring at the thought of having to create lengthy articles, just take a look at similar content produced by your rivals.

Then, look for any weaknesses in the content – what key points have they missed?

Look for ways to improve and build on their content, and then execute.

It’s also a good idea to come up with fresh topics that concern your audience, but which your rivals haven’t yet picked up on.

You can ask your audience directly on social media what their pain points are and what they want to see content on.

Quora is a great question and answers social that you can leverage for this reason.

It is also great for driving organic traffic to your site ????

Lastly, if you’re running a blogger outreach campaign that’s just not working at all, you might want to take a look at your approach.

I mean, I get it: Reaching out to bloggers all the time is exhausting.

It’s also disheartening when you either don’t hear back, or you do hear back – but then your article is later rejected anyway, even after you’ve written it!

But this is why I recommend that you make your outreach campaign more personalized.

This doesn’t mean simply referring to the webmaster by their name and telling them how much you love their blog.

It means doing much more than that. It means building actual proper relationships.

This will take time, and it’s a good idea to put together a small team specifically for your blogger outreach efforts.

I would spend time getting to know the blogger on social media – engaging with their posts – and really getting to know them and their website.

Then, I would work my information into my template so that it’s personal and unique to them and their needs.

And always remember to make this about them as much as you make it about you.

What do they stand to gain from the relationship your building?

How will you post on their website benefit them and their audience?

To sum up, link building doesn’t have to be difficult.

We make it hard by chasing too many links too soon, and by exhausting ourselves with bloggers who aren’t interested in our salesy pitches.

If you relax a bit and put quality content and proper relationships first, the links will come.

People will see that what you’re doing is amazing and they will start to engage and work alongside you.

So do you have a link building strategy?

What is it that you do to build quality backlinks to your site?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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