Vital Signs: On-Page Must-Know Hacks for Link Builders

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I know this blog is mostly about link building activities and readers mainly expect new link building tips and tricks from the blog. However today, I thought of trying something different. So today’s post won’t be about link building, but it might help those who are building links for websites and clients.


Let me explain! Link building is great but no link can help you achieve your goal if the basics aren’t correct. If you are in a competitive niche, there are low to no chances that you’ll rank for money making key terms unless on-page optimization is completely fixed.

In this post I’ll discuss a few issues on the on-page side that become hurdles for keywords to rank better in SERP results (even when you get links from high quality and relevant sources).

Whether you’re building links for your own website or other clients, these are issues that need to be fixed or else your overall link campaign might not give you the results you desire.

Here are some common ideas that you should consider identifying and fixing if you want to get the maximum out of your links.


Duplicate Content

Many people believe that Duplicate Content on the website is a penalty, and if you have duplicate content, it will get penalized and Google will kick the website out of the search engine’s result pages.

Even though having a duplicate page on the website is not good practice, keeping duplicate content on your website will never be penalized in search engines. You can still live with this unless you think about getting better visibility in search engines.

When it comes to rankings, especially first page positions, Google only picks the best ones, which means that they have great content, relevant to the query, got quality links in the link profile, good site speed, site structure and more. If there will be other websites that have more or less everything like you but they have less or no duplicate content available on the website, Google most probably will pick them over you (keeping all other things constant).

Reminder: No one knows what Google actually considers when ranking websites in search engines so whatever I’ve mentioned above is theory!

It’s important to get rid of duplicate content on your website if you want better rankings for money making key phrases.

Note for Link Builders: If you are building links for a website that contains considerable amount of duplicate content, chances are your highest quality links might not help the website rank.

Ideally you should do a quick audit of the website to check if there is duplicate content on the website and if you find any, it is best to inform the client and get it fixed.


Keyword Self-Cannibalization

According to Rand of, keyword self-cannibalization is the practice of heavily targeting the same keyword phrase on multiple pages of a site. When two or more pages are optimized for the same keyword, it becomes very difficult for Google to understand which page to rank and if Google picks the wrong page, chances are you will never be able to rank well for those key phrases.

When I faced the keyword self-cannibalization issue with one of my clients, I planned the permanent redirection of the less important page to the page that had more priority in the eye of visitors and potential customers.

Once done, the rankings fell for few weeks but came back and more link building constantly keeps me closer to my long term goal.

I had a detailed chat on this topic with Matt Janaway, the Head of Digital at Workplace Depot and this is what he has to say.

Link building will help but you need to sort the cannibalization too. If not, there are few to no chances that you will reach your target.

Note for Link Builders: If you want the client to stick with you for a longer period of time, not only do you have to build a certain number of links but you have to show that your efforts actually matter and your rankings are improving. But what if the website is going through this kind of problem?

The idea is to share this finding with client and ask them to fix it, this will not only build your trust but they’re more likely to give you more work.


Thin or Low-Quality Content on the Website

As a link builder when you get the project, your end goal is to build a certain amount of quality links in a month. But on the business end this should positively affect sales, traffic and rankings or else clients might stop working with you after several months.

We also know that Google in order to rank a website, not only relies on links and this is where the problem starts. What if your client is paying you for quality links, you are building good quality links that point back to your site but the rankings don’t improve?

Well, there can be several other issues and one of them is thin or low-quality content on the website. Google is very particular about ranking only original high-quality content in the SERPs so if content quality is bad or you have thin content within your website, you might not be able to rank well even with all the high authority links pointing back to your website.

At ClickDesk we simply change the content on certain pages and currently accordingly to SEMRush data we are ranking for more than 4.3k key phrases that include some of the industries’ more competitive money making keywords.


Note for Link Builder: The idea is to see if the website has thin or low quality content. If you’ve really found bits and pieces, inform your client and tell them that link building will not bring the kind of results they’re expecting unless they fix these issues on priority basis.


Wrong Keyword Mapping

Another important reason why your website might not rank well – even after building quality links pointing back – is when you map the wrong keywords on different pages of the website. Imagine you want to rank for ABC and your targeted page is talking about a completely different subject, there is no chance you will rank for that keyword unless your page and meta information relate with the key term.

Chances for this are low but imagine that your client is not willing to change their keyword focus and mapping and asks you to rank for a keyword that is pretty much irrelevant from the focus you see on the page.

Note for Link Builder: There is no way you will be able to rank for the key phrase that is irrelevant to the page. The idea is to explain this to your client and keep your reputation and client safe.


Site Speed

Oh dear! I learned this the hard way and from this I mean losing a client who hired me to build quality links back to their page. Page load time or site speed is a ranking factor which means if your website has a slow load time, your customers will feel irritated but your rankings in SERPs will also tank.

Doesn’t matter how good of a link you earn – if the site speed is low your referral traffic will bounce and your SERP rankings will not hit first page of Google for the money making key phrases. You must simply fix your page load speed and you’ll see improvement in rankings as well as conversions.

When you build links for a website with a site speed issue, the website should rank higher for key terms as the links are relevant and authoritative but this won’t happen because of site speed issues on the website. I suggested Pro Business Plans to change their site issues and as a result the website started to rank for many of its money making terms and overall website (according to SEMRush data) is ranking for 400 plus key phrases.

Note for Link Builder: There are tons of page speed testing tools available in the market. Run the website and monitor page load speed. If it’s below the red area, give the client a shout and tell them how and why it’s important to fix it and that it will help improve their rankings in search engines.



There are many more factors that might kill or deduce the result of your efforts as link builders. Stay ahead of the game and tell your clients in advance about the issues so that you can build trust and keep them with you for a longer period of time.
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Moosa Hemani

Moosa Hemani

I am a SEO Consultant, blogger and a link builder and regularly write on Checkout the book I co-authored with Venchito Tampon on effective Link Building Campaign

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