Our Sales, Customer Service and Editorial teams here Marketwire tend to get a lot of questions about link-building because press releases are a great way to build links on high-quality, authoritative websites. The links you provide in a press release or social media release are preserved downstream, whether your content is automatically republished or manually selected by an editorial team. It’s important to get embedded links right, so here are some of the top “do’s and don’ts” of link- building.
- Do customize your anchor text, using descriptive words or your target keywords. Think of anchor text of a link as part of your SEO wish list; terms you’d like to rank for someday. Another best practice is to pad your text links on either side with descriptive text that may be used in longer tail search queries. For example, your anchor text might be London hotels (a highly competitive term), which may be padded by descriptive text such as “central London hotels.”
- Do consider potential visitor intent when reading your release, what motivators would cause someone to click your link and visit your website? Does your landing page meet that expectation? Remember, search engines use web analytics, too. They can infer user experience from metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, etc.
- Do achieve an SEO Trifecta™ by aligning the content of your release with suitable anchor text and a highly relevant landing page. Content — Anchor Text — Landing Page.
- Do consider competing pages, search term volume, and the content of pages that currently show up in results pages for terms you want to rank for. You may find niche keyword phrases that are perfect for your landing pages.
- Do use search engine-friendly 301 redirects  to keep your old links alive and pointing to the most relevant content forever.
- Don’t link to general pages such as your website’s homepage, as these are usually not the most relevant pages to link to from your news.
- Don’t use “calls to action” as anchor text, unless you want to compete with 1.4 billion pages that already rank for “Learn more,” 1.4 billion pages that rank for “buy now,” or the 806 million pages that rank for “visit our website.” Try searching for “click here,” for which 3.6 billion pages rank for, including Apple who’s at the top. Would you really want to go up against those top brands?
- Don’t use unfriendly redirects such as HTML redirects (meta-refresh) or pointer web pages with a single link on them. These aren’t search engine-friendly.
Avoid like the plague:
- Deceiving visitors directed to your website with inappropriate content is the worst thing you can do for SEO but a great way to get your website banned from search engines. A good example is the bait and switch tactic – when you advertise that a product or service is free, but in reality, it’s a scam.
Find out how you can make the most out of your link-building efforts by sending your news releases or social media releases through Marketwire. Or, learn about additional SEO strategies:
- How to optimize your videos for SEO 
- What is real-time content and can I make it SEO-friendly? 
- Tips from the Trainer: Social media optimization — How to optimize your Twitter page 
Do you have any other tips you’d like to add to the Do’s or Don’ts?