Select Page

5 Red Flags that Indicate an Improper Link Building Strategy

Why Implement a Link Building Strategy for SEO?

When we think about SEO, naturally our first thought is centered around keywords. The key to a successful keyword strategy is ensuring your keywords and content speak to each other. Links are the cornerstone of your website, but not all links are created equal. Link building for SEO is getting links from other sites back to your own site. Links are one of the top SEO ranking factors, and Google uses them to measure the authority and relevance of your site for particular search terms.That is, there is no point spending time creating content or optimizing your site if you aren’t using the keywords that target the right people.

Are you doing the proper SEO link building for SEO right? We’ve put together this list to give you a frame of reference of what you shouldn’t be doing when it comes to link building. While the right kind of links can enhance your online reputation, the wrong kind can totally tank it – and it can take a long time to recover.

Red Flag #1. You’re Ranking for Keywords without a Keyword Mapping Strategy

A keyword map is a vital first step to uncover any instances of keyword cannibalization, where multiple pages are ranking for the same keyword. You don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time researching keywords and only to realize the page you created needs to be removed, redirected or canonicalized. Keyword maps can also serve as a guide to the highest ranking sites, and to glean keyword opportunities on pages that could be ranking higher than they are.

Red Flag #2:  High Bounce Rate or Low Time on Page

Bounce rate can be misleading—after all, the mobile-first customer is distractible and often jumps from page to page, maybe even converting later. But for a new piece of content intended to inform and drive action, it could be a measuring stick worth looking into, especially if the bounce rate is extremely high.  Bounce rate also has varying levels importance at the different stages of the sales funnel.

However, if you are creating a piece of content that is intended to inform and drive an action, you don’t want them landing on a page and immediately leaving. It could be a harbinger that something is off with your keyword strategy.

By doing some keyword and competition research to see what kinds of results your target keywords produce, you can glean information on the search intent of the keyword (s) in question. When you study keywords, you can then identify such pages that may not be optimizing for the keyword correctly, and from there you will have three options:

  1. You can adjust your keyword targeting strategy and include LSI keywords for searches related to your keyword
  2. You can remove the page from the SERPs.
  3. You can change your H1 and meta description so searchers understand the page’s purpose

Red Flag #3 Low Organic Visibility

How you write content and choose keywords must marry up with what the search results are showing. If you’re writing an article related to a new content marketing strategies, make sure your content matches the intent of the search results— the keyword “content marketing” shows a number of page 1 results that focus on what the strategy is. It will be difficult to rank for and may not fit the purpose of the article (a new content marketing strategy).

Of course, ranking for the best keywords may be a priority and  Use Google Search Console to see how you’ve improved with longer tail queries and building backlinks from other locations can help provide additional visibility.

Still not seeing any movement? Maybe you need to enhance the content a bit more. Remember, there are always ways to make your content better.

Red Flag #4 Your Backlinks are Misleading or Don’t Represent Your Keyword Strategy


Guest posting is a cost-effective SEO strategy, as long as it’s done right. If you guest post includes misleading anchor texts or adds no value to the reader, your keyword research strategy could backfire.

A link building strategy for guest posting should accomplish the following:

  • It provides contextual information that substantiates a topic and provides more value to the reader.
  • It cites a reference using facts: Include statistics, quotes, numbers, and whatever data is necessary to drive the message home with the proper attribution

The real purpose of a link in any guest post is to support the content, so if you disguise a link to one of your product pages and hope the editor doesn’t notice, you break the user’s trust and hurt your chances at future guest posting.

Red Flag #5. High Impressions / Low Click-Through Rate


Is your link building strategy off base? One indication is a high impression, low click thru rate which tells you your content is performing well in search results, it’s just not doing anything to help your business. You seem to have missed the search intent or a draw — think of implementing


Aligning Your Link Building Campaigns & Content with Macon Raine

There is no point spending time creating content or optimizing your site if you aren’t going to reach the right people. People-first marketing is what we do.