What to Do When You’re Stuck in a Link Rut
Links are critical for improving your search rankings — you already know this. However, what you might not realize is that building links in the same way over and over again isn’t doing you any favors. If you rely too heavily on tactics or relationships that have benefited you in the past, you might be missing significant opportunities to gain authority and expand your link network. Plus, as SEO strategies slowly shift over time, older link habits tend to become more apparent to search engines and web users alike, punishing bad links in various ways.
While link ruts are bad, settling deeper into those ruts is worse. Fortunately, you can pull yourself out of that rut with the following tips and tricks:
Work With a Content-driven SEO Agency
It can be said with some certainty that your job isn’t link-building. It probably isn’t even anything to do with creating or optimizing content. It makes sense that your knowledge and creativity surrounding links would atrophy over time as you pay more attention to your more pressing responsibilities than to linking trends.
Fortunately, you don’t have to devote any of your time or energy to links ever again — and you can perpetually stay out of the link rut — by hiring an SEO agency to manage this task for you. Link-building services come with entire teams devoted to analyzing your business’s data, building premium content, and optimizing links for maximum effect. SEO agencies must stay abreast of changing link strategies, so you are all but sure to enjoy cutting-edge link practices when you outsource your linking to professionals.
Strive to Connect With Newer, Better Publishers
There are a few ways to improve your links, and the best is obtaining links on higher-quality websites. Websites with greater authority are those with impeccable linking practices, a large amount of web traffic, and notably superior content — like CNET, the New York Times, or Medium. Though it’s unlikely that you will be able to put links on the best of the best websites, you can drastically improve the websites where your links appear by making a concerted effort to connect with high-authority publishers.
You should search for websites related to your industry because the relevancy of surrounding content matters — but expanding your link network beyond your industry can be valuable, too. You should make bigger and bolder pitches to excite and entice higher-quality sites.
Collaborate With Newer, Better Guest Authors
It seems like a brilliant, cost-saving strategy to use your staff to produce content — but that’s a mistake. While your employees know more about your business and products than outsiders, your employees also have skills and responsibilities unrelated to content production. As a result, it’s unlikely that you’ll get enough quality content to execute a more effective link campaign unless you use professional content creators.
While you should cultivate long-standing relationships with freelancers, so they get to know your business and brand, you should also always be on the lookout for new authors, video producers, and other content creators who can lend a unique perspective and thus diversify the content you can offer to publishers. Often, content-driven SEO agencies come with a crew of content creators to shake up your existing portfolio; this is another good reason to work with a link service.
Cut Ties With Underperforming Publishers and Authors
While you are on the hunt for the latest and greatest publishers and authors, you should spend time evaluating the connections you currently have. Some publishers and authors don’t perform as well as you need them to; they might not offer much authority or have low output and high cost. Over time, links can go bad if they no longer conform to search engines’ qualifications, and older linking practices that some publishers maintain can go out of style. Every few months, you should conduct an audit to identify which publishers simply aren’t benefiting you, so you can cut ties and move on.
Your eCommerce business will never succeed if you don’t care about links. Fortunately, link building is a relatively wide-open field with plenty of opportunities to grow and expand — you need to get out of your rut and start trying something new, ideally with a link expert by your side.