Anyone with an elementary understanding of SEO is aware of the importance of links and the role they play in establishing website authority, enhancing search rankings, and driving traffic to web pages. Yet, despite the awareness of the significance of links, few understand how to launch, execute, and maintain a successful link building campaign. It’s regularly ranked as one of the most difficult elements of SEO and, as a result, doesn’t always get the focus it should.
For businesses that understand the value of link building, but aren’t necessarily getting the most out of it, it can be helpful to examine where other link building campaigns have gone wrong. In response, you can develop your own strategy – one that avoids a similar fate.
Two Types of Link Building
Before diving too deep into the intricacies of link building, let’s begin by exploring the two types of link building, or, as one trusted SEO link building guide describes it: the two theaters of link building:
- Link attraction. Also referred to as link earning, this approach involves publishing content and enticing people to link to your content based on its quality and relevance. Link attraction is valuable, but it can take months (and even years) to produce a worthwhile return.
- Manual link building. The second type is manual link building, which involves the process of discovering and securing linking opportunities on other websites and blogs. This type of link building is all about networking and connections.
Both types of link building can be used. In fact, most link building campaigns use both in conjunction to maximize results.
Why Link Building Campaigns Fail
Now that we’ve covered the two very basic approaches to link building, let’s get to the meat of the topic: Why so many link building campaigns fail.
- No Specified Objective or Outcome
It’s amazing how many businesses launch link building campaigns without any specific goal or measurable objective in mind. They simply invest in link building because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do. But in almost every one of these cases, failure is the only thing harvested.
Before you go out and build your first backlink to your website, you need to specify an objective. It should be tangible, specific, and attainable. You might not reach your goal, but at least you have something to strive for. If nothing else, it’ll help you channel your efforts.
- Short-Term Gain Over Long-Term Results
Few businesses are patient enough to see SEO through, which results in failed link building campaigns. If you want to be successful, you have to understand that it takes time. You can’t prioritize short-term gains over the long-term results that yield true value. Perspective is everything in this field.
- Black Hat Techniques
There are a lot of quick, spammy ways to get backlinks. New hacks and shortcuts are pushed by self-proclaimed “gurus” on a daily basis. The problem is that Google always catches up. You might get a few links here and there, but a black hat approach to link building ultimately leads to failed campaigns that leave businesses in a worse place than where they began.
- No Link Diversity
When a business finds a particular publishing platform or type of link that works, they’re prone to double-down and put everything they have into building these links. But at the end of the day, there needs to be some diversity.
“As with monetary investments, putting all of your eggs in one basket is not usually the best idea,” one industry insider explains. “But diversifying your link portfolio can help protect your site against search algorithm updates, the closing of sites that have linked to yours and other changes that can derail your link building efforts.”
Get the Basics Down
Link building isn’t nearly as intimidating as businesses make it out to be. The key is to understand the basics and to then make a long-term commitment. Along the way, you have to resist the temptation to latch onto advice that promises a quick return. There are no shortcuts to SEO success. It takes time, effort, and purpose. If you’re willing to do it the right way, your link building campaign will outperform 90 percent of the rest.
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