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How to identify link building opportunities that are right under your nose

Don't rely on content marketing and PR alone to be successful in search

Read in 3 minutes

By Benedict Adam

Co-founder, GOAT

How to identify link opportunities that are right under your nose.

To be successful with your search marketing strategy – and be more visible in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS), it’s important to focus on more than online PR and content marketing. Never neglect the building of good quality, relevant links to help your business succeed.

We’ve compiled a quick list of tips to get you on your way to being a more visible and trusted site, in the eyes of both search engines and users.

How to mend your site’s broken heart – OK, that’s a little dramatic, but read on…

1. Check Google’s Search Console for page not found errors

Google Search Console is a free service that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google search results. It’s an often overlooked service, particularly by small businesses – some of which may not be aware it exists.

How frequently should you use the Search Console?

The size of your website will govern how often you need to use the Search Console and to an extent, how many relatively quick-fix link / site architecture opportunities there are available to you.

What type of errors might you uncover?

Errors on your site, such as 404 errors, where a page appears to no longer exist, or broken links are mainly caused by:

  • A changed URL
  • A page or product being removed
  • An external site, or internal link, linking to an incorrect URL on your site

Why does this matter?

  • If Google visits a URL that returns a 404 error, it will drop that page from its index
  • A link to a 404 is a lost link
  • Landing on a 404 offers a bad user experience; Google rewards sites that offer greater user experiences

What you need to do

  • Register your site with Google’s Search Console if you havent already
  • Go to ‘Crawl’ > ‘Crawl errors’
  • Select the ‘Not found’ tab
  • Click one of the links
  • In the pop-up select ‘Linked from’
  • Look at the linking URL, if the error is being caused by a link from an external site, either ‘301 redirect’ the erroneous URL, or contact the webmaster of the external site and ask them kindly to update the link
  • If it’s your own page, fix and update the broken link quickly!
  • If the ‘not found’ links don’t look like pages on your site, it may be that Google is trying to ‘follow’ links that they shouldn’t be, such as social shares. To prevent this, identify the offending links and add ‘nofollow’ to these.

When a ‘bad’ apple is actually a good apple

It’s also worth noting that a 404 error page is not neccessarily a bad thing, if a page is genuinely removed from your site, then a 404 error page is the prefered response of a search engine, allowing them to quickly know that that page no longer exists and to say ‘goodbye’ to it from its search results perspective

2. Unlinked mentions

Use free monitoring tools, such as Google Alerts and Talkwalker to monitor mentions of your brand name. You’ll receive an email for every mention you receive online. If you’re kindly mentioned in an article, it’s always worth asking the author or webmaster if they’d mind adding a link.

3. Ask partners and suppliers for links

In business, it’s so common for companies to partner up with others, but a lot of people don’t take full advantage of the relationship. Perhaps you’re a wedding planner, who regularly works with photographers, caterers, stylists and more. Getting a link on each of your suppliers / partners websites, perhaps on a reciprocal basis, is a great way to build the authority of your site, aiding visibility in the SERPS.

To chat about your search marketing strategy, give us a call – we’re always happy to chat and discuss ideas.

You can also follow @GOATDigital on Twitter, for all the latest digital marketing news and updates.

Leave a comment and continue the conversation – we love getting your opinions and discussing your questions!