If you run an online business, you probably love social media. After all, social media is a free marketing tool for your business, filled with tens of thousands (millions, even!) of users in your target audience. But the downside to many social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is that you can only include ONE link in your profile bio. So, what link do you choose?
Rather than link to your website home page, or your newest affiliate link, many creators instead turn to third-party tools to create a link page to promote digital products, services, blog posts, and affiliate links all in one landing page.
I hate to break it to you but, if you are paying for a website domain and hosting then you DO NOT need to purchase a separate link in bio page tool like LinkTree. Plus, it’s doing no benefit to your search engine optimization by driving consistent traffic from social media to a domain that’s not your own.
Keep reading this blog post to learn about the seven reasons why tools like LinkTree tank SEO. Be sure to read to the end to check out how you can get a custom link in bio page for your WordPress website for free!
Is LinkTree bad for SEO?
I’m not sure how much I’d say LinkTree is “bad” for SEO, but it certainly isn’t helping it either. There are several reasons why using a third-party link tool, separate from your own website domain (that you are paying for, mind you!) isn’t helping you in the search engine optimization department.
For starters, you work hard to have a website to be proud of (and if you aren’t, you should learn more about my Convert through Copy Bootcamp) – and that hardwork deserves to be shown off on a custom links landing page! Why spend extra money on a third-party tool when your website is fully capable of delivering a links page that will convert your social media audience to website visitors.
Not to mention, it’s hard to fully track your users experience and entry point to your website when coming from a third party link tool. So, if you are interested in tracking your website experience so you can continuously optimize your set over time (like maybe, while conducting a website audit) – you want to have the first entry point to your brand be a link on YOUR website.
Let’s get into the details on why LinkTree can hurt your website’s SEO.
Why Link In Bio Tools Can Be Bad for SEO
This blog posts outlines three main reasons why Linktree can be bad for SEO (Linktree. Or whatever third-party link tool you are using at the moment!) It’s hard when we as creators are limited to only sharing one link on social media, but there’s definite value in using your own domain as a social media landing page in 2023.
1. Link In Bio Tools Drive Consistent Traffic Away from Your Website
If you use a tool like LinkTree, Milkshake, or even Canva to share more information about your brand on Instagram or Tiktok, it’s important to know that this tactic can actually harm your SEO. Tools like Linktree direct your social media followers to .. Linktree, which lets Google know that Linktree gets a lot of traffic and referrals from social media. Not linking directly to your website means that your domain is missing out on all of the social media traffic your followers could have brought.
Why is this a problem, you ask? Well, Google values referral traffic, even if it isn’t a direct factor in SEO rankings. Having multiple sources of your traffic from social media sends a signal to Google that you are generating high quality content, since audiences on social media are finding it, sharing it, and resonating with your content.
Increased visibility from social media also helps you generate increased backlinks. SEMRush shares an example of an article going viral on social media, leading to over 50,000 likes and comments on Facebook. That social buzz signaled to Google that this was a popular article (and I’m sure a few extra backlinks from going viral didn’t hurt either) – and the article jumped to the coveted #1 spot in Google search.
Sprout Social also discusses the benefits of referral traffic, for increasing brand awareness and visibility, and also generating opportunity for more backlinks to your website (in a genuine, not spammy way!). Social media referral traffic helps boost the authority for your website, which is an important factor in Google’s SEO equation. A website with higher domain authority will be able to target more competitive keywords that likely have a larger amount of search traffic each month.
Keep this in mind next time you think about adding another link to your link in bio.. Think about all the valuable traffic and buzz you get by sharing your own links on social media!
2. Linktree creates too many links on a page
We went over how using link in bio tools as the entry point to your brand can mean losing powerful data to track your audience’s journey across your website. Doing this can make it difficult to optimize your user experience, because you may not know anything about how your audience arrived to your websites before your Linktree page.
And yes, you could pay for the premium version to have better analytic (including Google analytics integration) but why add another monthly subscription when you have a perfectly functioning website.. that also has Google analytics?
Let’s also consider your user experience on a tool like Linktree or Milkshake. Often times, people use these landing pages as a one stop shop for all affiliate links, partnerships, website offers, and blog posts. You ever click someone’s link in bio just to see a montage of links and you feel overwhelmed on which to pick, and just close the app entirely?
But, that’s NOT what we want for your target audience when they want to learn more about your online offers after finding you on social media. You want to include no more than 5 links in your link in bio to have a smooth user experience and streamline your audience to specific areas of your website to learn more.
Since user experience is an important factor for Google’s SEO, including too many links on your social media landing page is not helping you boost your rankings.
3. Third-party links in your Instagram “link in bio” are not crawlable by search engines
If you’ve been blogging for a while, or are learning more about SEO, then you likely know that Google ranking isn’t overnight. There’s a process, which starts from the moment you publish your content (or so we think). Google will periodically check back to your website to send out bots, known as search engine spiders, to crawl your website links and pages and determine if any new content is worthy of being indexed. And indexed content has the potential to rank!
If you’re in a rush or just feeling impatient about when your new blog posts will index, you can use a tool like IndexNow to automatically submit your new page for indexing to Google. Then, watch to see how the keywords you targeted rank after you submit!
I use RankMath Pro version, which includes IndexNow for instant indexing on my new blog posts. RankMath is an SEO tool that I’ve been using for several months and I love the data it provides for my website.
Linktree doesn’t really offer similar features to help Google crawl your website. And besides, don’t you agree that the most widely shared link for your brand should be hosted on your own domain?
Linktree and Link in Bio Alternatives
There’s so many link in bio tools on the market these days, it’s hard to keep track! Milkshake and Canva certainly offer more design features than something like LinkTree, but they still offer limited analytics and minimal SEO capabilities. Nothing is more original than using your own domain for your social media links landing page.
I will say the only link in bio tool that intrigues me is Stan Store – which is used by a lot of creatives and coaches on TikTok. Stan Store definitely isn’t helping your SEO for the reasons mentioned above, but it does offer a unique opportunity to monetize your links which is great when offering a digital product or service.
So, if you don’t have a website and wanted to make money online, Stan Store is probably a great tool for you!
And if you do have a website, I recommend optimizing your links page to lead people to your paid offers like a Stan Store page would!
As a subscriber to my Writer’s Block newsletter, you gain access to my free resource library for creative entrepreneurs, the Subscriber Hub!
One of the resources I created for the Hub is a free social media links landing page for self-hosted WordPress websites that you can customize to your brand. The mini-course includes a step-by-step tutorial on how to change colors, add links, and publish your new landing page to share on Instagram and Tiktok! Subscribe using the link above to receive an email on how to access.
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