Franchise Marketing Solutions for Better Link Building: 3 Red Flags to Watch For

Franchise Marketing Solutions for Better Link Building: 3 Red Flags to Watch For

April 10, 2019 By

Today’s post is all about auditing your backlink profile to improve your franchise website’s ranking and visibility.

We know that might sound a little intimidating to those who came here looking for quick and easy franchise marketing solutions. But don’t worry: auditing your backlink profile is simpler than it sounds. We’re going to walk you through the basics and pinpoint 3 red flags to watch for when evaluating links.

What is Auditing Your Backlink Profile?

For the purposes of this article, “auditing your backlink profile” means looking over all the links that point users to your website in order to spot any dubious sources or activity.

Google penalizes what is referred to as “black-hat” link-building practices, which are used to exploit loopholes in the algorithm with non-human behaviors (think spam) in order to “hack” the #1 spot in the search rankings. Sometimes your website might get implicated with black-hat practices through no fault of your own, but Google will still penalize you for being associated with the fraudulent link.

Once you understand that, “auditing your backlink profile” makes a lot more sense. It boils down to reviewing the links people have made to your website. Then, when you spot any fraudulent links or spam sites linking to your page, you cut ties to prevent your site being “guilty by association.”

The SEO term for this cutting of ties is called “disavowing.” This is just a fancy way to say that you’re telling Google that you do not approve of that particular backlink.

Is Auditing My Backlink Profile Necessary in 2019?

Not all SEOs take the time to manually disavow links, citing Google’s ever-improving ability to recognize and ignore fraudulent links (rather than slamming your site with a manual penalty) as reason enough to spend that time on other tasks.

But not so fast. While Google’s definitely getting better at separating the wheat from the chaff, they’re still not perfect. That’s why the disavow option still exists, after all. And Google’s stance on backlink manipulation hasn’t changed–if their crawlers flag your site as containing fraudulent links, you will be penalized.

So while the odds of avoiding unwarranted manual penalties are ever-improving, there’s still a chance your site gets burned.

If everything’s going smoothly, you can probably hold off on a backlink audit. But if your site is underperforming–low ranking, high bounce rates, and minimal conversions–despite a considerable investment in franchise marketing solutions, low-quality backlinks could be the cause of the problem.

Auditing Your Backlink Profile: 3 Red Flags to Watch For

These three quick tips should help get your auditing started. And if you need more assistance, ClickTecs can help.

  • Irrelevance. Your franchise marketing solutions should be targeting local markets. But when you review your inbound links report, you see an abundance of links to off-topic blogs and countries you don’t serve. This looks like link manipulation and Google may treat it as such.
  • Duplicate anchor text. If you’re earning links the good old fashioned way, they’re not going to all be coming from the same sources with duplicate anchor text. This is a common warning sign for black-hat linking.
  • Cardboard cut-out websites. If you follow links back to their site, you can often tell the spam sites from the authentic ones at a glance. Spam sites are produced en masse, so they usually have the same background colors, templates, navigation, and logo. They also frequently lack contact information because the owners don’t maintain them–they’re simply used to host links. Disavow these links ASAP.

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