Link building is an essential discipline in SEO work. It is among the most important factors for achieving successful rankings in Google’s search results. Typically you expend a lot of resources on creating backlinks to your website, so you obviously want to get the full value for your link building efforts.
It is important to know technical SEO mistakes may be the reason why you are not getting the full value from your backlinks. We explain them here, along with tips for monitoring your links.
There are many different ways to get backlinks to your website. Google consider you to be cheating unless the link shows up by itself because you have great content that is worth linking to.
Getting links take resources – so monitor your backlinks
Regardless of how you get your links, whether you pay for your links, do outreach, write posts as a guest blogger, or simply publish good content worth linking to, there is little doubt that it takes resources.
A link has great value, because it can increase your rankings in Google’s organic search results – and it takes time, effort, and sometimes money to get them. Therefore, you should always make sure you get the most out of them.
You can either do it manually, or you can choose a monitoring tool that can do the work for you automatically. The latter solution is easier, but no matter what, it makes sense to educate yourself on the factors that can influence the value of a link.
Technical SEO that can affect link value
If you want the full value from backlinks pointing to your website, it is important that nothing is blocking the transfer of the value. First of all, this requires that the website linking to you has been configured properly. The ultimate to-do for your own SEO is that you are on top of the technical things as well.
Below, you will see which factors you must be particularly aware of to ensure you are getting the full benefits from your links.
The first thing you should do when you receive a link is to check if the URL linking to your domain has been indexed. If it hasn’t been indexed, the link has no value. There can be several reasons for this – typically, Google has not yet come across the specific subpage with the link. In that case, you just have to wait for it to be indexed.
However, more serious errors may be the cause for the domain not yet being indexed. For instance, the page could be set to noindex, or the robots.txt file may not be allowing Google to crawl the site.
404 and redirects
A redirect is a rerouting from one URL to another. They are often used when a homepage is relaunched, or if a subpage is removed and replaced with another one with a different URL.
However, creating redirects is not just done for the sake of the user. If you have links pointing to a 404 page, the value transferred by the link will be lost. This is because the dead page is not redirected to a new URL. In practical terms, you risk giving up important link juice, of you have incoming links from external domains pointing to dead pages.
Typically, we distinguish between two types of redirects – 301 redirect and 302 redirect. 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that tells the browser and Google that the specific URL has moved permanently to a different web address. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect for when you want to redirect a specific URL to a different subpage on your website for a period of time.
Anchor text is the actual text you are clicking on when following a link. It is often meant to give users an indication of the topic of the destination website they get to by clicking on the link. At the same time, it helps give Google an indication of the topic of the URL.
It is important that there are no changes made to the anchor text linking to your website. If it contains a search term you want Google to index the URL by, it is important that the search term stays in the anchor text.
The rel attribute enables you to send a signal to Google about the relationship to the linked content. This may influence how much link value is transferred – and if any is transferred at all.
Nofollow: This value is an indication to Google that you can’t guarantee the content on the homepage linked to, so they should not pass on any link value.
Sponsored content: With this value, you are signaling to Google that the link is sponsored. This is often used for paid advertising, affiliate links, or advertorials.
User-generated content: This value enables you to signal to Google that there is a link not created by you, but rather a user has created it. It is typically used in comment fields and in forums.
Keep track of your links
If you want to make sure you get the full value from your links, you may want to use a tool that monitors them automatically. Several technical factors can influence the value of your, and it may be difficult to keep track of them manually.
There are several tools you can use to monitor your links. Below is a brief introduction to the most popular ones on the market:
- Linkody: Linkody is a fairly basic tool that enables you to monitor if your backlinks are indexed. Available from $13.90 a month.
- Linkcheetah: Linkcheetah is a little more advanced. Here, you can monitor indexing, redirects, and HTML headers. Available from $49 a month.
- SE Ranking: SE Ranking monitors HTML headers and enables manual correction of the price for a link and updating link status. Available from $39 a month.
- Monitor Backlinks: Monitor Backlinks is a simple tool that enables you to monitor HTML headers and indexing status. Available from $89 a month.
- LinkOkay: An advanced tool that monitors HTML headers, indexing status, and enables manual status updates for incoming links. Available from $0 a month.
- Traxr: Traxr is a new Backlink Monitoring tool with more features than the other tools. Here you are able to monitor HTML headers, response headers, redirects, rendering, canonical tags, anchor text changes, and much more. Available from $27 a month. There is a free 7-day trial, where you can track all the links you want. You have the option of doing manual checks yourself, and at the same time, you can track how much you are paying for your links by entering a price for the paid link you are tracking.
4 Ways to Build Quality External Links in the Eyes of Google
The first thing you must understand is that external link building isn’t easy. It takes time, effort, and expertise. However, if you make it a priority, it will pay you. To achieve external link building success, you must master the following four key points.
1. Valuable Content
Publishing well-researched, valuable content is the best way to garner external links. When other authors are looking for online resources to cite, they’re not going to link out to keyword-stuffed garbage. Go out of your way to create the best posts possible, and you’ll have a much easier time with your link-building strategy.
You can’t shoot out a blog post every three months and expect it to actually contribute to your bottom line. Best practices dictate publishing new blog posts a minimum of once a week. According to HubSpot, posting 16 times or more every month quadruples your traffic when compared to businesses that post four or fewer times a month. Whatever frequency you choose, create a plan and stick to it.
3. Guest Posting
Website content doesn’t create itself. Many site owners offer guest posting opportunities because they don’t have the resources to keep up with their desired frequency. Others simply prefer to provide their audience with content created from various viewpoints. Regardless of the reason, these sites typically offer to link back to your site either through your bio or a strategically-placed keyword link.
Don’t assume that only small blogs offer guest posting opportunities. Learn how to pitch your writing, and you could be featured on sites like Forbes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Psychology Today, and Investopedia (just to name a few!)
4. Social Media Engagement
Having a business page on each of the major social media platforms creates even more link-building opportunities. Make sure you have a business profile on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Posting your content on your social media pages gives people the opportunity to share your information for you. Build a solid fan base, and you’ll have created your own free marketing team.
Internal Link Building Tips and Tricks
Even if you work really hard on building external links, your efforts won’t pay off immediately. Luckily, you can start enjoying the SEO benefits of link building right away by adding internal links throughout your website. This is a satisfying place to start, as it’s something that you’ll have complete control over. Here’s how to get started with effective internal link building.
1. Choose the Right Anchor Text
The words you use to anchor your link make a difference. Incorporating keywords into your anchor text makes it more valuable. For example, linking to “Bow-Wow Dog Walkers” is more effective than linking to “Bow-Wow LLC.”
More important than anything else, though, you must ensure that your anchor text and keywords flow naturally. Don’t ever try to force it as awkward or irrelevant keyword placement will do you more harm than good. Always keep your anchor text concise (preferably five words or less) and make sure it’s relevant to the topic you’re discussing.
2. Avoid Always Linking to Your Main Page
Linking to a specific page can help improve that page’s authority ranking. While you may be tempted to link back to your home page, linking to other pages on your site will help improve rankings for each of those pages. When choosing the pages to link out to, spread them out and avoid repeatedly linking to the same ones.
3. Don’t Overdo
Link building is a powerful strategy for improving your SEO, but don’t be obnoxious about it. While Google simply says the number of links per page should be “reasonable,” other experts recommend using no more than 100 links per page.
4. Create More Useful Content
Internal linking is only effective if you have pages to link to. Adding a blog to your site and keeping it up with tons of useful content is the best way to ensure you always have more room to link. When you’re choosing your blog topics, consider which may link together so you can publish strategically.
Why monitor your links?
If you have a successful website, you are surely spending both resources and money on creating backlinks. With a monitoring tool, you can monitor your links, so you can rectify the problem if you run into challenges affecting the link value.
If your link is removed from a page, you will see it immediately, and if you are using a tool for it, you will receive a warning, e.g. by e-mail.
I hope you enjoyed the article. Don’t forget that SEO is much more than just backlinks, but they will still remain a crucial factor for getting to the top ranks.