SEO often begins with on page optimizations such as building high-quality content, improving page load speed, and incorporating keywords with site-wide elements (title tags, meta descriptions, etc.). After this, you can proceed with your link-building campaign and spread the word on your website.
Link-building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other authoritative sites. Remember that a website’s backlink profile is the primary driver of crucial SEO metrics, including Domain Authority (DA) and PageRank (PR). Hence, backlinks are one of the most important factors for off page optimization in SEO. In an analysis that covered 1 million websites, a high number of quality backlinks is closely tied to higher rankings.
This analysis is the reason why most SEO practitioners consider link-building as their bread and butter. However, link-building is never an easy nor simple task. Here are some of the fundamental guidelines you should remember:
1. Stop Doing Black Hat SEO
Simply put – Black hat SEO is a terrible investment. Black hat SEO includes purchasing mass links from link farms, spamming comments, using spun content, and so on. It may be possible to get your site a quick boost in SERPs, but if you are caught, it's probably over for good. With every Google update, more spammy SEO users get penalized. Some are even banned permanently, causing them to miss out on the biggest traffic source in the search industry.
2. Link from Authoritative Sites
Looking for authoritative sites is the number one rule for quality link-building. Make sure you generate and earn links from websites that are reputable and trustworthy in the eyes of Google. These are websites with a DA of at least 40. For this, you can use Open Site Explorer from Moz authority. Aside from checking the DA, you should also see the site for yourself and use your discretion in assessing quality. Remember these steps when carrying out link-building strategies such as blogger outreach and the Skyscraper technique.
3. Set the Pace
Although having a substantial number of quality links can benefit your SEO, having a sudden influx of links can arouse Google’s suspicion. It may give you increase your rankings initially, but it’s only a matter of time before Google pushes your site down for having an unnatural growth of links. Keep in mind to have a slow and steady approach when it comes to link-building. After all, building high-quality links in addition to great content takes a lot of time. If you’re suddenly churning out ten links per day, then those links are probably subpar.
4. Diversify Your Anchor Texts
Another thing you need to remember when building links is to use a diversified set of anchor texts. Keep in mind that using the same, keyword-stuffed anchor text for all your pages doesn't look natural. It’s also ideal to use specific anchor texts for every individual page. For example, if you have a page on “project management tools”, then you should focus on phrases like “top project management tools” instead of “read this post” or “click here.” It’s also a good idea to have about 40% of your anchor texts include your brand name.
5. Build Do-Follow Links
Do-follow means the backlink passes on link “juice” from one site to another. This effect indicates that part of the linking site's authority and credibility is passed on to the other site. In turn, do-follow links can increase your website’s crucial SEO metrics (DA, Trust Flow, etc.). By default, all links are set to do-follow, but some webmasters set them to “no-follow”. So be sure to adopt the right strategies for building do-follow links.