The Role of Usability and Trust in Link Building

How do you decide where your links should come from? If you’re like most webmasters, then you probably don’t think too much about your link sources. After all, a link is a link, right? This mindset might be the reason why you can’t outrank the competition in the organic search listings. Google’s search algorithm has come a long way. Building contextual links from relevant sources are no longer enough to climb up the rankings. Your link building strategy should now take into account usability and trust to get the best results.

Link builders like to look at metrics. Websites with high domain authority, Trust Flow, and referring domains appear to be excellent places from which to acquire links. And there’s some truth in this–at least on paper. The problem, however, is that you can’t expect to get the results you want just because your link sources meet the criteria for the minimum metrics you aim for. If your SEO outsourcing programs boast of having a huge network of “high-metrics” domains, then do yourself a favor and find another link building company to work with.

By now, you should know that building link is a matter of quality over quantity. It’s essential to realize that one of the biggest mistakes you’re making in SEO is ignoring the power of usability. This refers to how easy it is to use your links. Don’t forget that the primary purpose of links is to help users find their way to relevant sources, increasing the chances of satisfying their search query. Links shouldn’t be created for the sole purpose of gaining more links pointing back to your web pages.

While it’s nice to have links from domains that rank well and have excellent metrics, you should ask yourself first whether you’d actually click the links coming from these websites. You know how frustrating it can be when a page takes forever to load. The websites might also have annoying ads all over the place. Sometimes, you couldn’t even see the links because they are blended with the rest of the content.

It can be argued that no matter how unusable these links are, they still transfer link juice to your website. But again, links are not only meant to boost your rankings. When they come from the right places, links can prove to be your most valuable source of traffic. There’s a good chance that the people clicking on these links have a genuine interest in what you have to offer. This is precisely the reason why you should look beyond metrics to understand the real value of link building.

Before approving a link, it pays to do a bit of extra research about the domains. Do they attract targeted traffic? Where does this traffic come from? Are the websites mobile-friendly? Will your links appear on high-quality articles? How likely is it for visitors to click on these links?

Answering these questions will inevitably narrow down your choices. Remember, though, that quality beats quantity. Links with poor usability can’t be trusted by users. You’ll have a better chance of seeing your internet business ideas come to life if you do your link building correctly.

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