Link-building remains a fundamental element in SEO success. Done right, it boosts website authority, increases organic traffic, and fuels higher rankings. Yet, despite its importance, link-building is surprisingly rife with common mistakes that can cripple your SEO efforts, among other things. They can be a serious hinderance in terms of navigation and it is very easy to confuse and irritate readers. So, here are five critical link-building blunders to avoid, along with actionable steps to rectify them:
Vague anchor text like "click here" or "learn more" tells search engines and users next to nothing about the linked page content. This lack of clarity reduces relevance and user engagement, hindering SEO benefits. Users will either simply not pay attention to those links, or get confused about what you are trying to do.
Try to use keyword-rich and descriptive anchor text. Describe the page you are linking to the best of your abilities, as concisely as you can without sacrificing too much meaning.
2. Dead links
Outdated or broken links offer a frustrating dead-end for users and harm your website credibility. Search engines also penalize websites with a high number of dead links, impacting rankings. Plus, they are relatively easy to get rid of. So, there is no real excuse as to why you should neglect this aspect.
Regularly audit your website for broken links using free tools like Google Search Console or W3C Link Checker. Replace inactive links with relevant, working ones on your website or external sources as soon as you can.
3. Too many links
Just like with almost every other element, bombarding readers with a barrage of consecutive links creates a visually-cluttered and overwhelming experience. This can deter users from clicking any, ultimately negating the purpose of adding links.
Spread out links organically throughout your content. Ideally, each link should address a specific point or add value to a related topic. Remember, less is often more when it comes to link quantity. In a 1000 word blog, you should aim for less than 10 links, preferably less than 5, unless you are focused on how informative the blog is.
Underlining excessively is both visually unappealing and SEO-unfriendly. Overlapping underlining can slow down the scanning and feed into the too many links problem. There is no real reason to underline entire sentences, unless you are citing something or directly referencing a claim, etc.
Opt for diverse visual cues to denote links. Utilize color changes, bold text, or subtle icons to mark links naturally. That enhances visual appeal and user experience without sacrificing clarity.
5. Not enough options
Only offering one linked page for a specific topic really limits user options and restricts navigation. Which can feel restrictive and force users to return to the previous page to explore related content. Provide relevant additional links when appropriate. Try to include at least one or two on every page. If discussing different SEO tools, link to articles on each tool, offering users greater choice and deeper engagement.
Do not underestimate the power of "nofollow" links. While they do not directly influence SEO, they offer valuable referral traffic and brand awareness from reputable sources. Try a holistic approach to link-building, utilizing both "dofollow" and "nofollow" links strategically.
If you want to check out an algorithm that helps you with sorting similar stuff out and provides information about their use, might wanna check out our platform Linkers.