For years, people have been using link building as a method to improve the SEO performance of their site. When done correctly, it can have a great deal of success. However, there are times where you could be shooting yourself in the foot. You may think your link building is helping you, but it can actually be harming your website’s search rankings.

So, to help you understand how to build links properly, I’ve decided to come up with five reasons your link building campaign isn’t as successful as you’d hoped:

You’re Using Outdated Tactics

If you want to make the most out of link building, then you need to use tactics that work in today’s world. A lot of people will try building links using outdated tactics that have no use anymore. Something a lot of SEO’s used to do is build links from Web 2.0 articles. This may have worked back in the day, but nowadays it’s a pointless method. Likewise, some will still spam comments sections in blogs with links to their site. Again, there was a time when this helped, but now it’s doing nothing for you.

When people first start link building, they become obsessed with creating as many links to their website as possible and they look for any site willing to link to them. This may seem like a good idea as you’re getting plenty of inbound links, which in theory could improve your organic performance. However, some of these sites may be untrusted and dangerous. Check the sites you want links from using something like Majestic SEO or Moz, as well as some due dilligence on your own part (check for a business address, contact details, look through posts and check the outbound links for relevancy) to make sure they’re legit.

If you want to build links to a blog post on a certain topic, you should approach high quality sites and make the content relevant. For example, if your content is about the best travel destinations this year, you need to try and find sites that are relevant to travel. Blogs would be a great place to start. You shouldn’t go to a finance blog to try take your content; it would make no sense. If you forget about relevancy, your website can suffer in the long run. It wasn’t too long ago that irrelevant backlinks could help - now it’s much more difficult.

No follow links aren’t always bad. This tag was introduced to try to combat link spammers. The idea being that no one would spam if they knew that Nofollow links wouldn’t pass link equity. However, having a proportion of inbound Nofollow links can look very natural and can assist in making your website's link profile look organic and blend in with your competitors.

Some SEO’s choose the easy way and pay for backlinks to their site. It seems like the perfect idea, you spend a little bit of money, and build loads of links. In theory, buying links could help to boost your search rankings. However, there are a few issues with this. If Google catches you buying links, you’ll be penalized. Google’s guidelines specifically state that buying links is dangerous.

So, you can now see five reasons why your link building campaign isn’t as great as you’d hoped. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Link building can be difficult and very time consuming. If you want to generate organic traffic, you need to be making sure that everything you do is of high quality and for the right reasons, otherwise you might struggle to make an impact.