Are links from trusted, quality or respected websites?
When you have links back to your website, because you have a good plan to get backlinks, make sure you're getting quality over quantity. It's better to have 10 links from CNN than 45 posts from random blog websites. This is hard science and we haven't done tests to prove this thought - however there are plenty of research findings available to prove this idea.
The old way of SEO was to obtain quantity because the numeric value was more important than the quality. Search engines have evolved and now give better rank to quality than quantity.
Do links pointing at pages use words you hope they'll be found for?
When sites link back to your website are they using keywords and search phrases that are relevant to the content they are linking to? It's common for people to use phrases like "click here" or "read more" but those leave a lot of available value on the table. It's like ordering the New York Strip streak with mashed potatoes and only eating the mashed potatoes.
Your links should be named in accordance with keywords and search phrases that are appropriate for the page they are listing to. A good link will read "Traverse City Web Design" instead of "click here for more". This might mean you have to restructure your phrasing to accommodate the different words - but the value is there to make that happen.
Do many links point at your web pages?
Like we talked about above and in other articles we have authored - the quality is more important than quantity. If you can achieve quality consistently - then go after quantity. Your time and energy will be better rewarded by putting effort into the quality of a link instead of the quantity.
This is also true from the perspective that 100 thinks will mean far less from the same site compared to 100 links from 100 sites. Think of back links as the search engines way to ensure quality content. If many websites are linking to you site - they'll give it more positive influences than the same site linking a bunch of times. This can be related to the quality concept also - there is better quality is more websites linking to you than the same one over and over.
Have you purchased links in hopes of better rankings?
If you want to conduct a study on how to quickly get your site penalized and start falling in the search engines - start purchasing links. Google combats "link farms" or paid links very aggressively. They issue penalties without care on websites who are found guilty of purchasing links.
Your linking strategies need to be thorough and thought out to have positive results from your SEO efforts. Linking is a time consuming process - but when done right the results are worth every minute spent.
Have you created links by spamming blogs, forums or other places?
Are you tempted to go site-to-site dropping keyword rich links to your site or use automated software to try and do the same? Understand that those links aren't going to have the influence you think they will and you'll find yourself on the sharp end of the penalty sword.
Do those respected on social networks share your content?
Just like websites can be trusted more than others - so are social influences. Considering that anyone can create any sort of social media account on almost all the popular platforms, this is important to understand.
If you're looking to gain social media influence for your SEO - use it through quality content and reputable accounts. Participate on relevant social media platforms in a genuine and authentic way just like you would with your customers in person.
Do many share your content on social networks?
Getting your content shared on social media is as important as ensuring it's shared by reputable accounts. The more shares your content gets on social media platforms - the more potential customers you can reach.
Again, make sure you're on social media platforms - but make sure you're on them in a positive and useful way. Don't just create a Facebook page and share content but never interact or market your page. Don't tweet about your new blog post but never do anything else. Give users a reason to interact with you beyond just your content. Engage with your users - create that lasting impression and build that relationship.
Links, links and more links. Having a quality link program is crucial to the success of any search engine optimization campaign. Without this crucial aspect appropriately utilized, you're wonderful content will never be found. Get your content out there and get is shared by genuine users. Creating quality content will help users feel the need to share it and expand your audience.
Important Reminder: If you choose to ignore the rules, be prepared for no mercy if caught.