Content creation for your educational institution website is not only about focusing on quality content. Professionals often feel that creating keyword-rich content and publishing them on the website regularly are the only necessary elements for good search engine optimization (SEO). This isn’t true. There are multiple on-page and off-page SEO elements that need to be considered so that your website’s search ranking is improved. One such important element is link building. Link building is a two-way aspect that refers to either dropping your web page or blog’s link on another reputed website or adding a link to your website content to other relevant and quality websites.

One of the tips that most digital marketers and SEO specialists will give you is to focus on quality link building and avoid the most common link building mistakes by educational institutions. According to Backlinko’s analysis in 2017, backlinks impact search engine rankings more than any other ranking factor. Any major or minor hyperlinking and backlinking mistake can affect your education website’s SEO value.

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Links Only to Homepage

Several bloggers make this mistake of linking to only the homepage of their website while generating backlinks. They overlook the importance of adding links to different web pages and blogs on their website. There are instances where you have the opportunity to backlink to web pages or specific blogs on your website, and yet, most of the links are added to the homepage. Looking at the internal linking structure of a website, it looks very odd to have lots of backlinks to your homepage but very few or no links to other relevant pages. There is every possibility that when there is an imbalance backlinks proportion among the homepage and other web pages, your SEO value is affected. To avoid this and to have a natural looking backlinks account, make sure you balance the proportion of backlinks across all your web pages. Link to other web pages which have SEO-friendly keywords and content while generating backlinks yourself. For instance, if you are writing a guest blog on some quality website about requirements for Modern Canadian Literature course, you can link it to the course detail page on your website rather than linking to the homepage.

Improper Anchor Text

Another common link building mistake by educational institutions is incorrectly hyperlinking the anchor texts. Avoid using anchor texts like “Click Here,” “Subscribe” or “Contact Us” as these words don’t carry much value. The anchor text should compel a reader to click on the link to know more about a specific topic. This is usually done when you cannot communicate everything about a topic on the same page. Therefore, if a reader wants to know more about that topic, he or she can click on the anchor text and move to the linked page.

Be careful that you don’t use the same keyword as anchor text for multiple links on web pages and blogs. This is known as over-optimized anchor text, and after Google Penguin update, it treats optimized anchor text links as a black hat SEO strategy.

However, you cannot expect others who link to your educational institution’s website or blog to add hyperlinks to different keyword terms. Many bloggers who generate backlinks using same anchor text result in over-optimization for a specific set of keywords. If you receive the backlinks for the same keyword phrases, then it can boost your SEO rank, but if the keywords are not relevant to what courses or services you are offering, then it can affect your website rank as well.

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Buying Backlinks

Buying backlinks is one of the biggest and common link building mistakes by educational institutions in order to get a high number of backlinks in a short span of time. Search engines are getting smarter as they have advanced algorithms that can identify if you buy paid links from other sources. Several companies may offer you high PageRank Backlinks for less cost, but understand that these links can be considered as spam or illegal after a point. Understand that quality backlink building takes time. Hence, don’t spend money and try to overpass efforts and time. Let good websites link to your educational institution’s blogs and web pages naturally so that your website doesn’t get penalized by search engines. Or you can also use several link building tools and resources to build authority links for smart link building.

In the same way, don’t even think about selling backlinks to others in order to earn some dollars. Even that can affect your SEO ranking.

Too Many ‘NoFollow’ Links

If you don’t know what does the term ‘nofollow’ means, here is the description for you. Nofollow links carry low or negligible SEO value as the nofollow attribute or tag ‘rel=”Nofollow”’ tells search engines not to crawl or follow those specific links. Talking about backlinks, search engines ignore the nofollow backlinks and don’t count them as a backlink for page rank. These nofollow links are not useful for the website to rank on Google in any way. However, these backlinks still hold some importance for Bing. So even if the backlinks are from irrelevant or toxic websites, adding nofollow tag to them will help search engines not to consider them at all. Although adding too many nofollow links to your education institution’s web page or blog post won’t hurt your SEO value significantly, a large number of these links can leave a bad impression for your web page. If you have excess unworthy links, you can consider removing them altogether rather than adding nofollow tags. As Google, the leading search engine still values the number of these links, you must maintain a balance between nofollow and dofollow links. Dofollow links are exactly opposite of what nofollow links are. So, start giving more importance to both of these links and don’t think that adding too many nofollow links will keep your educational institution’s SEO value high.

Linking to Irrelevant Websites

A higher number of backlinks makes a difference in the SEO value of your educational institution’s website. But that doesn’t mean you get backlinks from random websites even if they don’t resonate with your type of content. Search engine algorithms are advancing each day, and they can identify if you try to create too many backlinks just for the sake of higher value. Hence, while searching for backlinks, you should concentrate on relevant sites only. No matter how good or credible websites you get, consider only the relevant ones for generating backlinks. Although it is quite difficult, aim for getting natural backlinks from relevant sources only. If you’re using guest posting for link building, make sure to target only those blogs that are relevant to your blog topics to build links.

Too Many Backlinks in Short Time

Generally, bloggers who want too many links and better SEO as soon as they create a blog make this mistake. They try to generate too many backlinks in a short period. Although there isn’t any harm in getting too many links in a single day, or there isn’t any thumb rule of search engines that how fast you should build links, you should avoid doing so. According to Tad Chef, if you get more links than you deserve, you risk a penalty even if the links are perfectly legit. So if your institution’s blog has hundreds and thousands of backlinks within a day or week of creating it, you may be penalized for the same by Google. Link building works perfectly only when done in a natural and correct way that doesn’t trigger search engines. If you are wondering what the upper limit of getting links on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis is, there isn’t any magic number. If you check the discussion “How Many Backlinks Per Day is Too Many” on the Affilorama site, you will find different answers. Therefore, focus on creating quality, helpful and factual information on your educational institution’s website so that people naturally link to your content.

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Getting Sitewide Links

You must have noticed the same links on every web page of a website. Those are known as sitewide links. Usually, these links are placed in the footer of a web page. This used to be a useful tactic of link building a few years ago. But today, the scenario is very different. Getting sitewide links is no more considered to be a positive method of enhancing your SEO efforts. This started after Google’s Penguin update where the sitewide backlinks can be a reason for your website getting penalized for too many exact anchor text optimization. Hence, if you want to be on the safe side while link building, avoid sitewide links and links that come from footer and sidebar. There are several other helpful sources of generating backlinks for your website which is considered to be ‘natural’ by search engines. Focus on getting backlinks from web pages, blogs, guest blogs, forum discussions, social media posts, and several other sources that are relevant to your educational institution’s content too.

Not Checking Quality Sites Regularly

People often get overwhelmed by getting too many quality backlinks that contribute to a good SEO value. This is where the link building mistakes by educational institutions are made. The quality of the websites and the SEO rankings can change over a period due to several reasons. There are chances that sites you had linked before may suddenly turn less reputed due to many reasons. Therefore, it is crucial to review the quality and credibility of the websites that link back to you from time to time. If you realize that these websites are losing their importance, consider removing them. Remove all broken or 404 Error links too as these websites can lower your website’s SEO value. Reviewing your backlinks on a regular basis will also help you understand if all your backlinks are from a relevant and reliable source.

Another serious mistake that businesses often make is not building links at all, whether backlinks or outbound links. Not adding links to your website or not trying to earn backlinks from other relevant sources is also a loss for your educational website. The science behind this statement is simple, no links, no increase in organic traffic, no additional customers. Therefore, in order to build organic traffic to your institution’s website, you must focus on quality link building because it is one of the most effective ways to obtain web traffic. If you want to know more about the secrets of link building, talk to experienced SEO experts. They can share tactics and techniques that can help you avoid possible and common link building mistakes by educational institutions.