Avoid These 10 Common Link-Building Mistakes for Optimal Success

Davit Nazaretyan
18 Jan 2024
5 min read

“It's said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others' mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others' successes.”

There are a lot of extremely obvious and not very obvious mistakes a link-building specialist can make. These mistakes have nothing to do with your best and worst strategies. They can be made by the newbies in the sphere and by experienced specialists. So, let's be wiser, and learn what kind of common link-building mistakes there are.  

Let’s start! 

The first and most important process of link-building is outreach. Reaching out to people who don't know you and your company can be challenging and risky. That's why many link-building mistakes can be made during the outreach. Let's look at these errors in order.

Outreaching Not Relevant Website or a Person

When reaching out to get links, focusing on websites and people in your field is essential. If you go after ones that don't fit your content or audience, it can mess things up in many ways. 

Firstly, it is only possible to get a positive reply if you are outreaching relevant websites. Secondly, if you constantly reach out to irrelevant websites, you will gain a negative reputation and make future efforts harder. Lastly, every search engine values relevancy, so even if you get a backlink from an irrelevant website, it would need to be more high-quality.

There is another case as well. Imagine you have found a perfect website where you want to have a link. You've conducted research and found the company's video marketer's email. Please, don't waste your time. Your outreach message might not reach those who can help you get a backlink. You have to contact people actively involved in content creation or decision-making. You can establish genuine connections and acquire valued backlinks if you target the proper people.

ME! ME! ME!

When you have chosen the right website and a person to contact, you have to write an attention-grabbing email. Indeed, you have to tell about yourself and your company to gain trust. But there is an essential law in marketing, sales, and link-building: instead of just talking about yourself, concentrate on the value you can offer the recipient. 

Tell them what benefits they will get if they collaborate with you. Understand beforehand the main goals of the company or an individual you're planning to text, show appreciation for their work, and give examples of previous beneficial collaborations.

Not Offering Something in Return

Following the previous paragraph, there is another possible mistake. Needless to say that any cooperation must be mutually beneficial. So offer something in return after showing appreciation for one's company and work.

Anyone will be disinterested in your "perfect" company if they do not understand further cooperation's personal profit. Recipients are more likely to reply if they see what they will get in your first message. Build trust and confidence by providing value upfront. It demonstrates that you have good intentions and are seeking a committed partnership.

Conducting Unethical Practices

Practices like offering direct link exchange or offering money in your first email are something you should never do. These actions can give you quick advantages but frequently hurt your website's reputation, search engine rankings, and overall online presence. Always prioritize ethical and long-term link development strategies. They emphasize producing worthwhile content and forming sincere connections.

Avoid inserting hidden links, as it is deceptive and violates search engine guidelines. Another example of unethical practice is guest posting abuse. Creating low-quality or irrelevant content to get a link is deemed manipulative, even though guest posting itself is not unethical.

Using Complicated Words

While conducting an outreach, you must understand that your main goal is getting a backlink. So you should avoid trying to impress the recipient and use complicated words. Using complex terminology might need to be clarified, reduce the impact of your outreach messages, and possibly result in misunderstandings. 

Instead, concentrate on stating your intentions clearly, emphasizing the advantages of cooperation, and stressing how the recipient and their audience may profit from the partnership. This approach helps lay a solid basis for upcoming encounters and collaborations while raising the chances of receiving a positive response.

Missing Proper Follow-ups

After reaching out to a recipient, your work still needs to be completed. Consider following up to your message when you send an email and don't get any reply. A number of link-building mistakes can be avoided thanks to follow-ups.

Follow-ups play a crucial role in link building. They act as a bridge between the first contact and forming meaningful connections. These follow-ups are essential because they help relationships grow. Businesses and individuals can show their genuine interest and commitment by sending well-timed and personalized messages. This approach not only builds relationships but also shows professionalism and dedication. Follow-ups also allow one to address concerns, add value, and stay on the recipient's mind. This increases the chances of getting positive responses and getting valuable backlinks.

When should you send a follow-up to your message?

  • You should follow up in case you have sent the first message and didn’t get any reply. Your message could actually be unnoticed, unread, or accidentally deleted. Just wait approximately a week to do your follow-up.
  • If you were already having a conversation, and it ended unexpectedly, you are free to follow up within 2-3 business days.
  • Always consider the national holidays of the recipient, time zone, and working hours. Don’t expect someone to text back on the weekend.

Doing Mass Email Outreach

In the context of link building, sending many emails at once to many recipients is known as "mass email outreach." This approach requires contacting multiple people or websites to obtain backlinks to your website. "How is it bad?" you can think.  

  • Firstly, your message can be seen as spam because it lacks personalization. Would you reply to similar messages from different senders? I don't think so.
  • Secondly, search engines may penalize your website if they consider your bulk email outreach spammy or deceptive.
  • Lastly, you won’t save as much time as you would love to. Doing mass email outreach requires time and effort. It is not easy or fast at all. So if you have enough resources, you better spend your time on targeted outreach.  

Not Specifying the Link Placement

Even though the main link-building mistakes will likely be made during the outreach, you must be careful afterward. The place of the link is significant. Users are more likely to notice and click on links that are positioned in conveniently located parts of a website. 

Besides, your link should not be placed in one paragraph with many other links. If it is, it will be unnoticed. Users may become overwhelmed by an excessive number of links grouped, making it difficult to choose which link to click. Links should be prioritized and spaced correctly to avoid this problem. 

Finally, imagine a situation where you want to place your product and link within a listicle. If possible, always place your product within the top three products. This way, you will get immediate visibility and trust. Besides, the possibility of scrolling through the top three products of the article is very low.

Using Keywords with no Search Volume

Using keywords with no volume is one of the most common link-building mistakes everyone should avoid. So what are high-volume keywords? Terms or phrases with a high search volume are those that people frequently use on search engines. 

High-volume keywords are essential to your content and SEO efforts as they represent phrases many people actively seek on search engines. You can reach an influential and engaged audience by focusing on these keywords, increasing the organic traffic to your website. 

The keywords are advisable to have at least 100 search volumes. You have to use keyword research tools, such as Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz Keyword Explorer, to find out the numbers and statistics.

Underestimating Further Analysis

The last but not least common mistake is moving forward with another client after link insertion. In link building, it's essential to do a further analysis. The reason is that it helps you get links that are not just about numbers. 

So, what kind of research can be done? You can find several platforms to check your work's improvement. For instance, you can try keyword.com to monitor the keyword performance and ahrefs.com to check organic traffic changes. These platforms offer insights to monitor and improve your work.

Besides, every link-building company should conduct client calls, reporting the campaign's impact. The outcomes should be assessed with an on-page team for further development.

To succeed in link-building, you must avoid mistakes and follow recommended practices. Ensure your outreach is relevant; target organizations and individuals in your industry. Emphasize the value you bring to your partners instead of just promoting yourself.

Cooperation should lead to mutual benefits and ethical principles must be upheld. Use clear language, give importance to follow-ups, and stay away from sending mass emails. When placing links, consider accessibility and click-through rates. For SEO purposes, use high-traffic keywords. Finally, assess the results after linking, and adjust your strategy based on the outcomes.

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