Link building isn’t a completely irrelevant tactic for driving traffic to your page, but it’s no longer a single point of entry into the top of the SERPs. In fact, link building experts agree that if you’re relying too heavily on link building without backing it up with other SEO and marketing efforts, you may be wondering where your traffic is.
Why Link Building Alone Doesn’t Work
The backstory on backlinks is important to understand. Years ago, black-hat SEO was in vogue for many companies because it was an easy way to boost your page to the top of the search engines. It involved a lot of keyword stuffing and writing content for backlinks alone, which resulted in thousands upon thousands of repetitive, low-quality pages pointing back to other pages.
In short, it wasn’t a very good system for the user, who had a hard time mucking through all that poor content to find anything useful. Google and some other search engines took note. Google made a series of adjustments to its algorithms to help fix this problem, and part of the fix meant putting less weight on all these links.
Fast-forward to today, and the search engines and content marketers are all focused on user-centric content. The goal is to add value for the user, and spam-like backlinking is actually penalized by Google.
Link building experts will tell you that link development doesn’t drive more traffic because it’s harder to get your links out there than it has been in the past. For them to work, they have to be included on relevant, high-quality pages.
3 Reasons Your Link Building Isn’t Working
But that doesn’t mean that link development isn’t important. It just means that links are a part of an overall digital marketing strategy. It also means that you have to pay attention to exactly how you’re building links to your content. Here are a few specific reasons your link development strategies may be falling short of the goal.
1. Links Are Coming From Low-Quality Pages
Links on low-quality pages are bad for two reasons. First, if Google doesn’t see the originating page as being high quality, it doesn’t give as much weight to the link. A few poor-quality backlinks generally have a neutral impact on your SEO strategy (assuming you have more than a few links to begin with), but if the bulk of your links come from such pages, it can have a negative impact on search engine performance. Google has been known to drop sites completely from the SERPs because of spammy backlinking.
A second reason this is a bad idea is that you’re less likely to get quality leads from low-quality pages. If Google doesn’t think the originating page is authoritative or trustworthy, readers won’t either. That reduces the chance they’ll click to a page recommended by the content they don’t trust. In fact, they’ll probably bounce from that page before they even get to your link.
2. Links Are Coming From Pages That Aren’t Relevant
Pages that house backlinks also need to be relevant to your pages to generate traffic. Again, this is something Google demands. If the search engine notices a lot of backlinks coming from pages that have little to do with yours, you could get penalized.
It’s not just the search engines that are a concern: users are much more likely to click a relevant link than a completely random one shoved into content. If someone is reading an article on the benefits of dental implants and there’s a link for a dentist office that offers this service, that person is probably already interested and more likely to click through to find out more. The same can’t be said of a link for something like clothing.
It also helps that the anchor text itself is relevant to your page and the intent of the link — both for Google and the reader. In the dental example above, a link to a page about dental implant services with the anchor text “get dental implants in Dallas” is more likely to perform than a link with text that says “find out more” or even “dental services.” Link building experts only utilize backlinks that are relevant to the reader, which also helps Google and other search engines identify quality links.
3. Links Aren’t Going to the Right Pages on Your Site
Link development may be driving traffic for you, but it might not be going to the right page. You don’t have full control over how other sites link to yours, which means links could be going to the home page, other landing pages or blog posts. If you want to direct content to a specific page, consider creating a high-value piece of content (such as a blog post) that other people will want to share. Within that blog post, link to the page you want to drive more traffic too.
Contact Our Team of Link Building Experts Today
Ultimately, in today’s online marketing culture, links aren’t going to get it done alone. But they can be a valuable part of an overall branding and traffic building strategy. Contact our team or give us a call at 855-473-6582 today to speak to one of our dedicated digital marketing and link building experts!