Last Updated on by Artem K.
However, it can easily go wrong and you won’t see the results you are hoping for.
In this article, I go over the most common backlink mistakes that stop any website (not just SaaS) from growing.
Let’s get right to them!
1. Poor Quality Websites
Not too long ago, Google would penalize those that would be getting links from poor-quality websites.
This approach created significant problems like negative SEO and people’s better understanding of how Google’s algorithm works so…they changed that.
Right now, even if you are getting backlinks from poor-quality websites, generally (and there are exceptions), they will not harm your SEO (or, at least, the effect would not be as devastating).
Having said that, getting links from crappy websites will not help you to rank your SaaS either.
At the end of the day, you lose time and money.
To help you avoid it, I suggest going for backlinks with a significant amount of authority, traffic, and relevance.
We always pick links that have:
- 1000+ Monthly Traffic
- Relevant Pages (i.e. Contain the keywords your SaaS would want to rank for)
We also avoid magazine-style websites 19 times of 20 even if they qualify for all of the above guidelines (they just tend to look bad and exist solely for selling backlinks).
2. Lack of Link Velocity
Links take a while to kick in – that’s just how SEO works these days.
This is why maintaining link acquisition speed is vital.
Think about it, it looks weird when you get 10 backlinks in Month 1 and have no links in Month 2 and 3.
Google is less likely to help you rank better when link building done sporadically, so if you can’t maintain link building velocity for 6+ months, just don’t start building links.
Most of our clients go for 10 links per month.
However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do more.
In fact, PR-based campaigns with large number of backlinks arriving all at once can show brilliant results but, again, they need to be happening on regular basis.
3. Anchor Text Mess
Unlike the poor quality website choices, using incorrect anchor text can mess things up big time thanks to Google’s very own Penguin algorithm.
It’s especially true for anchor text overoptimization.
This is when you get a backlink that includes your main target keyword as anchor text…and that happens on far too many occasions.
The exact number of those occasions depends on the myriad of factors:
- Your SaaS website’s domain authority (higher authority websites are less likely to be penalized)
- Target keyword presence in your domain name (if you have it included in the domain name, you should be more careful)
- Niche standards & intent – some niches naturally call for more optimized anchor text than others
Even though you can have significant SEO gains by carefully optimizing the anchor text, I suggest you stay on the safe side because the downside making the wrong move is significantly bigger.
If you mess things your page will be downgraded very quickly.
You’d then need to remove the link altogether (and there is usually no refund for that) and get a few more links with anchor text that will mix things up – ouch!
Hence I highly recommend building links from relevant pages as they contain the keywords you wish to rank for so it’s easy for Google to understand what’s going on (hence you don’t depend on the anchor text optimization that much).
I also suggest the following anchor text rules:
- Use miscellaneous words like “here”, “check this out” etc.
- Use your domain name or brand name freely (provided they don’t contain your target keywords; then you need to be more careful)
- Use keyword synonyms (e.g. You are trying to rank for “cloud cost reduction” keyword, so you can use something that’s similar – “optimization of spend on cloud”)
- Don’t even use exact match keywords (yes, I’m that serious)
4. Unnatural Linking Pattern
If you look online, links are naturally attracted by several types of content:
- Thorough how-to guides
- Tools (e.g. Online calculators)
- Anything that’s remarkable (e.g. Interviews, opinions, humor etc)
Links are less likely to get attracted by typical sales or money pages.
That’s why if you start placing links to pages that are less likely to attract links, to begin with, you might be wasting your time.
You can also run in a situation when you have a lot more links to one page that all the others OR have more links to one specific page than your competitors.
All that may look like an unnatural linking pattern to Google so your chances to rank your SaaS for specific keywords may reduce.
Instead, and I always recommend that in the long-run, you shouls employ a holistic approach where you don’t pursue ranking page by page as if it was your checklist.
Create content continuously, build high quality backlinks to every single article every once in a while and you’d good!
5. Not Sending Homepage Links
This mistake is part of the previous point but I wanted to mention it on its own because it’s important.
SaaS companies that produce quality articles need to be getting links to their homepage as well because it’s a natural linking pattern for them.
Frequently it happens on autopilot as quite a few of them get featured in certain lists (e.g. One of our clients is based in Boston, so they get featured in Boston bound list of SaaS brands every once in a while).
If that doesn’t happen, you need to be sending links to your homepage so to keep the entire link building campaign looking natural and safe for your rankings in the long-run.