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Five golden rules of link-building

Tessa Dempster
Marketing Coordinator
Link building has become risky turf for online businesses. With Google introducing more algorithms to penalise companies involved in link-building networks and other “frowned upon” strategies, it can be an easy marketing strategy to get wrong. However, when done right there can be huge benefits in acquiring and building links from high quality and relevant websites. Not only can these links act as a reflection of your business’ quality and popularity (think of them as online recommendations), they can also become a valuable source of referral traffic, helping to increase engagement with your own website. If you want to build links the right way, follow these five golden rules to avoid penalties and reap the rewards of your link-building strategy.  
Digital marketing results

Do your research - Like any great plan, a link-building strategy should always start with thorough research. Link building isn’t just about throwing the net out and seeing what you get in return. Before you even approach a partner or website owner, you need to find out whether a link is worth your time and effort. Start by researching the website in question. Websites with high trust and domain authority offer a more valuable link than websites with a high spam score. In fact, the latter could be seen by search engines as a sign of your own “spaminess”. Before following up on a link building opportunity, make sure the target website is likely to do your business good as opposed to harm.

Quality over Quantity - Following on from the previous point, always opt for quality over quantity. One link from a high quality website with relevant and trusted content is worth more than ten links from irrelevant spam sites. Whist acquiring these high value links may take more time, your efforts will pay off in the long run when you experience more referral traffic and higher rankings on search results.

Make sure links are relevant and natural - If you want your link-building strategy to take positive effect, you need to ensure the links you acquire are relevant. If your website showcases your restaurant business, a link from a site based on pet products is unlikely to give you any referral traffic. These irrelevant (and often bought) links also wave a major red flag to search engines like Google. If, on the other hand, you acquire a link from a restaurant review site, the link is likely to give you more referral traffic and a higher trust authority. Just ask yourself - does the link make sense?

There is no “fast track” method  - We’ve had many a client approach us after enlisting the help of a company offering them multiple ‘high quality’ links for a low cost. Just remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a company is offering you guaranteed links for a set price, you need to be asking them where those links are coming from. More often than not, they will be from spam sites or link-building networks that are already on Google’s radar (not for good reasons). When it comes to link-building, there is no magic method - quality link building takes time and effort, but it pays off when you do it right.

Link-building alone is not enough - Effective link-building can be a great strategy to drive referral traffic and improve your search engine performance, but links alone will not be enough to get you climbing to the top of search engine rankings. If you want to maximise engagement with your website and get a high domain authority, you will also need to pay attention to usability and on-page factors that impact user experience. You won’t see the full effect of your link-building strategy unless your website itself is up to scratch.

Need help developing an online strategy?

Whether your aim is to drive engagement with your brand or increase your business’ sales and leads, the team at Undergrnd Marketing can help you identify and implement a marketing strategy to meet your business’ goals. From quality content to effective link-building strategies, get in touch with our content marketing team to find out how we can help optimise your online presence.

Got a project in mind?

We are very interested to hear more about your project!

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