As SEO develops and becomes more and more sophisticated a field, so do its various branches, from link building to in-page optimization. For today’s post, we’re focusing on the value of back link profiles. Ever since Google’s Panda update (and possibly even before), the search engine has been putting a lot of focus in its communication on the value of quality content. ‘Content is king’, everyone has been hearing for the past few years – and while some things have changed, not all is well with the world, when it comes to proper link building strategies and practices. The webmasters of sites that do accept guest posts could tell you a thing or two about the ‘tactics’ you need to avoid, if you’re seriously invested in creating a strong back link profile. This is precisely why we polled them – and here’s a list of three major grievances we came up with.
Standardized pitch mails
You’ve seen them shared around the web as a counter-example, a sample of precisely what not to do, in case you ever want your content to be published on another site. These emails usually start out with a generic compliment about the quality of the targeted site, move on to the part about them accepting guest posts and eventually cut to the chase… by pitching an equally generic subject for an article. There’s nothing inherently wrong with crossing out all of the above points (courtesy, interest, and an article pitch). But the approach makes all the difference here. Simply put, it’s all about how genuine your email sounds. If it looks, reads, and sounds like just another template email, then it is more than likely to get you straight into the trash bin. This is why it often pays to work with a SEO marketing agency – they employ copywriters who (ideally) know that template emails are just as bad as spun articles.
The lack of a back record
Say you’ve successfully navigated the awkward beginning and gotten the attention of a webmaster. They read your email, approved the pitch, and are willing, in principle, to publish your content. Only there’s something that still doesn’t add up, from their point of view. There is no portfolio, no sample of works, no link to a blog they can go on, in order to assess the quality they are going to be receiving from you. This is standard policy for the best sites: they only publish authors with some degree of experience to their name. If you have nothing to show for yourself, how can you ever expect them to believe you’re an actual blogger, and not some newbie taking misguided stabs in the dark at writing? Hint: they’re not going to believe it. As such, it’s always a good idea to publish content on a platform that you own and/or manage, before attempting to build a relationship with other publishers.
Small Text Links
If a website does not offer advertising options, don’t go around emailing people if they do. Had they been open to it, they would have clearly announced it, since, after all, it’s in their best interest to sell as much as they can. However, small text links are a no-go even on sites open to advertising opportunities. This is actually a sound decision on the part of publishers, who simply don’t want their sites to be drenched in content that reeks of spam from a mile away. And experience will tell them that such requests usually come from brands of dubious quality, looking to get away with selling their products cheap. No one likes a cheapskate and such attempts should be nipped in the bud before they take off the ground.