When it comes to link building for small businesses – no matter where you go, it will always start with some fundamentals, such as having a website, a home page, and displaying the primary service you offer.
It is easy for established businesses and websites to build backlinks without much effort as they have built an audience, credibility, and social proof over time.
But what happens to new small businesses when people don’t know much about their existence?
You can follow the given-below actionable ways to get more backlinks for your small business.
What is Link Building?
Before we jump to the smart tactics to build backlinks and link building for small businesses, let us talk about what a backlink is and why it is important for your small business.
A backlink is a link from one website to a page on another website.
Backlinks are based on the process of link building that revolves around value exchange and relevance between websites.
Google and other search engines deem backlinks as a “vote of confidence” for a specific page, which is why pages with a high number of backlinks also tend to have a high search engine rank.
Link Building – Why Does Your Small Business Need it?
Link building is considered a challenging part of SEO. This SEO tactic requires technical skills, creativity, and smart execution of the process.
Some people take the easy way out by paying for backlinks, but as a small business, you will have limited resources, so you shouldn’t be one of those people who buy backlinks.
Besides, paying for backlinks violates Google’s policy, making it easy to get your business website banned.
So, the question remains – how do you create backlinks for your small business?
As a small business owner, your best option is to build backlinks for free.
You should know that not all backlinks are created equal, and some backlinks might actually hurt your website’s ranking.
There are a few factors that can help you make this determination:
Domain authority describes a website’s relevance and trust of Google for a specific topic or industry.
While getting backlinks, high-quality backlinks are those that come from a website with a higher authority than your own website.
On the other hand, backlinks that come from a website with a lower domain authority than your website can sometimes hurt your SEO.
This aspect perfectly explains the following:
A single high-quality backlink can do so much for your small business than one thousand low-quality backlinks.
If you are confused about the domain authority of a website that links to you, you can use Moz’s free domain analysis SEO tool.
You will notice that this platform will also provide a lot of information about your competitor’s top pages and keywords.
The key point here is that you should aim at getting links from high-quality pages as they are more likely to have the greatest effect on the ranking of your small business’s website.
Another potential sign of a high-quality backlink is that it comes from a website and page that is topically related to your site.
It is also important to note that the backlinks from a website can lose their SEO relevance after the site has already been linked to you once.
This indicates that the first time a site links to you will have the most drastic impact on your small business ranking than any other time that the same site links to your website after that.
The job of a backlink is to tell search engines that the page or website they are linking to is providing useful content for the internet users performing searches. This aspect perfectly explains why link building plays such a big role in establishing the SEO rank for your small business.
However, not all backlinks impact the SEO when link building for small business. It all comes down to whether or not a link is a “DOFOLLOW” link or a “NOFOLLOW” link.
- Nofollow link – signals Google that the linking page doesn’t want to associate with the linked page. So, Google doesn’t count it as a point in the page’s favor.
- Dofollow link – passes value between web pages and allows Google (and other search engines) to point back to your website, increasing page value.
List of the Best Link Building Strategies for Small Business
Now that we have covered the basics, we can move on to the list of the best link building strategies for your small business.
1. Build Local Citations & Create Social Media Accounts
By building citations and creating social media accounts, you can establish the foundation of social proof and raise trust signals.
In link building, citations are online references and mentions of your small business. Citations are more commonly used in local SEO.
The Purpose of Local Citations
- As a local business owner, you will want to add your business name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP) in local business directories. According to research, citations help local customers discover small businesses.
- And NAP has also been found effective in improving local research engines. In other words, online citations help small business websites rank – in both the organic search and map pack.
Before implementing an online link building strategy, you will want to focus on connecting with real human beings. Serving others by becoming an active part of your local community can do no wrong to your business, which is why it should be an essential part of your link building strategy.
Here are two ways to build links by supporting your local community:
Get involved with a few local projects in your community – it could be something as simple as contributing to scholarships or volunteering at charitable organizations.
Such contributions require a financial investment but can greatly impact your business’s reputation and is also an easy way to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.
This way, you can encourage your target audience to get involved with your brand while raising awareness of the good cause that your local business is working for.
You will eventually establish yourself as a reliable, authoritative, and trustworthy company with the best interest at heart for the community and the world.
3.Pursue Other Potential Local Link Opportunities
These can be any links from other websites related to your area/ location or niche.
List of Opportunities
- Local News, Magazines & Podcasts
- Job Postings
- College/ Universities
4. Learn From Your Competitors
When it comes to link building for small business, you are not only new in the market but also on the internet, which is why you can learn a lot from your competitors. To learn from your competitors, you might want to do the following:
Conduct Competitor Research
You should be focusing on the top competitor’s pages with the most backlinks. There is actually an amazing free tool that you can use to do this called SEMrush competitor analysis tools.
To use the tool, you will want to create a free account and then head over to the SEO tab and click on backlink analytics. Once there, you can enter one of your competitors’ domains and click on search.
Subsequently, you will get a list of the competitors’ top ranking pages and their backlinks.
Make a List of the Top Articles
Once you have the list of the top ranking pages of your competitor, you will want to make a list of their top articles that also relate to your niche and business.
Repeat the Process for All Competitors
While this may sound tedious, it is an excellent way to learn from your competitors. The more work you do for this step now, the less you will have to do later.
Re-write Your Competitor’s Articles – But BETTER!
This step includes writing better and more detailed versions of your competitor’s articles.
Suppose their article is 1000 words – make sure to double it. Perhaps even triple it – but this doesn’t mean that you should just throw in a bunch of keywords and fillers. Remember that you have to provide value!
Make sure your articles provide more value than all of your competitors by getting as detailed as possible so that your readers don’t have to look anywhere else to find what they need.
While writing detailed and high-quality content – make sure to add as many graphics and visuals as possible. You will want something to break up the text for your readers by making it more scannable.
You can also get creative and include videos and gifs. Don’t forget to add high-quality images and custom graphics.
Make Things More Interesting
Depending on your content type and topic, you might as well add an instructional video or quick snippets to highlight what you are talking about.
Doing all these things make your content super-detailed and very easy for the reader to consume the content, and this is also the ONLY WAY to produce better content than your competitors that other websites would want to link to.
Your content should be the one-stop shop to all potential questions the consumer may have.
Take your time in writing the content thoroughly as it is the key to make this backlink tactic work. You really cannot cut corners here.
If you don’t feel like writing high-quality content, you can avail yourself of the services of content marketing agency.
For your small business, the best way to create backlinks would be by earning them. The best approach regarding this would be to reach out to other website owners and bloggers and ask them to link to your business website.
And while this method might be hard, you should know that the harder it is to get a link, the more valuable it will be. For this reason, you should be focusing on email outreach.
Creating backlinks also means you – as a small business owner – need to reach out to other businesses, bloggers, and content creators and ask them to link to you.
Here comes the creative part – you will need to give them a good reason to link to your website. The better the reason – the greater your chance of achieving your goal.
So, to pitch a backlink, you will want to do the following:
- Build a relationship with the business/ blogger.
- Offer something of value in exchange.
- Create original & unique content.
- Promote your content.
6. Connect with Local Niche Bloggers
Connecting with local niche bloggers will help you render great results and get the right amount of backlinks – without paying for them.
Here is how to connect with your local niche bloggers:
Search for Your Popular Local Bloggers
To connect with popular bloggers, you will have to find other blogs in your industry before you can offer to do guest blogging for them. You can use a smart SEO tool to find other industry blogs.
Proceed to pitch and agree on a relevant topic.
Write High Quality Content to Offer Value to Your Audience
Guest blogging is when you create content for the websites of popular local bloggers. High-quality content always attracts links. To boost the value of your content, you might want to add infographics or seek professional help from the best writing services.
Create Locally Relevant Content
By creating locally relevant content, your popular local niche bloggers will get great content for free. And since it involves an equal value exchange, you should be able to get a link back.
You might as well ask the blogger for a review in exchange for your product. Remember – you should never ask for something without giving.
So, offering the local niche bloggers something valuable in return for their review can potentially be a great way to build rapport and get the attention of your target audience.
7. Focus on Free Guest Post Websites
We have already talked about creating and writing high-quality content.
Guest posting is creating content and posting it on other websites. Generally, guest posting comes with attribution and a backlink to your website.
Some guest posting sites won’t allow you to create a backlink to your site within the content – but most sites will with the condition that it adds value to the article and that the link makes perfect sense.
Here is what you need to do:
Find Industry-Relevant Sites that Accept Guest Posts
While looking for websites, you have to prioritize reputable sites with higher domain authority and take the opportunity to display your niche expertise to an audience that someone else has already built.
This way, you can get exposure backed by the trust through your guest posting. Make sure to write high-quality, engaging, and informative content to provide value to the readers.
Here are the key attributes of a linkable content:
- Content is non-commercial (no one wants to give you money without getting anything in return).
- Content is high-utility – it is helpful to the readers.
- Bloggers and websites should want to link to your content because it provides value to their audience by directing them to relevant resources, such as informational blog posts.
- Calculators & tools – these are also link magnets.
- Data & case studies – a great way to earn a link from referring domains.
The key point here is that if your content is a helpful resource for the audience of your industry, then your potential chances of earning backlinks increase.
Understand the Importance of Link Placement
While creating content or adding links to your website – you should know the importance of link placement.
The links that hold prominent positions are more likely to be clicked. It is also believed that Google takes link placement and the click-through rate (CTR) into account when determining the rank of a website.
8. Opt for Resource Page Link Building
In this strategy, you get backlinks from web pages that select and link to useful industry resources. This strategy is perfect for link building for small businesses because the only purpose of the existence of the resource page is to link out to helpful and useful niche resources.
So, make sure that your website content is great and bring it to the attention of the resource page- this way, you will also be helping the page fulfill its purpose.
9. Try Broken Link Building
Broken link building is a link on a website/ webpage that no longer works because link of numerous issues.
Broken link building involved the following steps:
This step is easy – all you do is search on Google for a broken link checker, and you will find many free options to choose from.
Enter Your Competitor’s URLs
The next step is to enter your competitor’s URLs and see what they have linked to. If there are any broken links, copy and paste them somewhere.
Create content similar to the content originally linked to the broken link. You might think this is loads of hard work for just one backlink, but trust us – the reward is great.
Now use a backlink analytics tool and paste the URL of the broken link and check it. The subsequent report will allow you to see all potential websites that have linked to the broken link.
This is an amazing opportunity for you to get backlinks as you can offer a quick and high-quality replacement for that broken link.
10. Use the HARO Technique
In case you don’t know – HARO stands for the following: Help a Reporter Out.
This service connects journalists with sources and vice versa.
Here are the steps:
Firstly, you will have to sign up as a source to receive emails with a bunch of queries from potential journalists from different publications, such as the following:
- Business Insider
- Reader’s Digest
- The New York Times
Since there will be tons of queries, you might want to use a simple Gmail filter to sort out the relevant queries.
Respond to the Right Queries
Just because you have responded – doesn’t mean that the journalists will cite you. But, you should go the extra mile and provide unique and useful information.
Look for questions where they might be looking for multiple niche experts.
Just keep providing your best answer and move on to the next question.
Don’t go Off the Topic
HARO is a super convenient way to get high-quality backlinks to your small business website, as the journalists are soliciting sources, not vice versa.
So, make sure to create a relevant and informative on-topic pitch that isn’t only helpful for the reporter(s) and gets your small business backlinks.
11. Crucial Mistakes to Avoid with Link Building
Don’t make the mistake of building loads of links with keyword-rich anchor texts, as this might get classified as a link scheme, which can lead to a Google penalty.
Here are some common examples of anchor texts used in link building:
- Title of the page
- Name of company/ brand
- The URL
- “Click here” and other phrases
12. Find a Cost-Effective Link-Building Agency
Another strategy to get backlinks for your small business is hiring a reputable link-building agency to outsource your backlinks.
Here are some tips for hiring the services of an agency that will benefit your business in the long run:
A transparent link-building agency will let you see and understand how they will build interesting sites by using white hat links for your small business.
Transparency will also ensure that there are no spammy links.
Check Case Studies & Reviews
Before hiring a link-building agency, you will want to check the reviews of the link builder and see what their previous clients have to say about their results.
See if you can find any testimonials on their website or talk to their clients, and also can you check the overall quality of their link-building services?
Pricing is such a simple yet powerful way to check the quality of a link-building agency.
When it comes to backlinks, these require so much care and attention, and it is essentially a time-consuming process.
So, if you see prices significantly lower than anyone else in the industry, steer clear, as chances are that you will waste a lot of time, money, and energy.
Link building can work splendidly for your small business. Even with a limited budget and technical resources, you will have to be strategic about where you put your efforts. Instead of looking for quick fixes and spammy tactics, spend your time, money, and energy on the tactics mentioned above that work – and before you know it – you will start seeing great results.