Business owners, and particularly, small businesses owners, often don’t know where to start when it comes to local link-building for their business website.
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Link building has remained the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO) for all types of businesses, regardless of their size. However, the quality of links and the methods of building or linking have changed over the past several years.
In SEO, backlinks are essential links that your website receives from external websites which represent an authoritative source within your industry. Put simply, “backlinks are sites that link to your site”. For most search engines, backlinks are the supreme ranking factor.
Technically, search engines like Google, consider backlinks to be a sign of trust and incorporate them as a ranking signal in their search algorithm.
Since your traffic is directly related to the quality of the backlinks to your website, the more authoritative websites that link to you, the better rankings and traffic you’ll get. This is why getting quality backlinks from reliable resources is a great way to boost search engine rankings.
While crawling the web, Google spiders look for your website’s backlinks, in order to understand how websites are connected to one another and in what ways. Certainly, there are several other ranking factors, but backlinks represent the most important metric for SEO.
There are a few smart ways to build or earn backlinks for your business in a certain location.
In this guide, we have stated the prerequisites for link building and have explained how to get valuable backlinks that will boost your online business.
Prerequisites of SEO Link Building
While backlinks influence search engine rankings, they also work in a cyclic form and rely on other technical SEO aspects to be effective. In other words, building backlinks without having an SEO-friendly site architecture may not produce desirable results for your business.
Answer the following questions prior to launching a backlink building campaign.
1. Is your website technically optimized?
You need to make sure that your website is technically optimized for search engine crawlers and offers a good user experience to your visitors. Ask your web development team to fix any potential technical SEO issues related to site speed, mobile friendliness, duplicate content, meta tags and many others.
2. Does your website have a strong site architecture?
Building an SEO compliant site architecture requires making your website easily crawl-able and discoverable for search engines. Moreover, it also means designing a site structure that your visitors can easily navigate. With an SEO-friendly site structure, you will get optimum value from your link building campaign.
3. Does your website have valuable content?
A website having a wealth of great content and useful resources is more likely to obtain quality backlinks. In fact, websites with valuable resources tend to attract high-quality backlinks more naturally than others. Therefore, you will need to invest in having great content on your website before starting your link building campaign.
4. Is your backlink profile safe?
Before building any backlinks you should run a backlinks audit to make sure your already earned backlinks are safe. If you find any toxic backlinks contact the webmasters to get them removed or disavow them using Google Disavow tool. There is no point in building backlinks if you’re website is going to be penalized for your previously build bad backlinks.
Building Links for Small Business Websites
The process of link building may drastically differ from business to business, depending on their SEO goals and online marketing budget.
Building a great backlink portfolio for a website revolves around creating great content and digital assets such as useful guides, insightful blog posts, infographics, and eBooks. Therefore, most link building techniques are based on content creation.
Here are some effective link building methods for small businesses.
1. Submit Your Website To Niche Directories
As a small business, you should submit your website to all the popular niche directories, particularly the ones that are relevant to your region.
In Google search, use your business niche (e.g. fitness) and directory to form key phrases that will create a list of directories for submission. For example, you can search for “fitness + directories + Leicester” and find a list of local directories.Make sure the directories are high quality and have some editorial guidelines. Don’t submit to non-relevant online directories.
2. Leverage Local Partnerships
If you’re addressing people in a particular geographic area such as Leicester, then forming partnerships with other local businesses in Leicester can be an opportunity to get backlinks from their websites. In that case, you already have existing partnerships, so all you need to do is get in touch with partner websites for link placement.
Aim for locally owned franchises and businesses instead of large corporations. You can also replicate the first link-building strategy by contributing to local blogs. Besides local business blogs, you may also come across official community blogs or local news blogs that welcome guest contributions.
3. Use Skyscraper Techniques
The skyscraper is a link building technique that helps you earn backlinks from relevant and qualitative resources.
Start by identifying your competitors and explore their popular resources. You could use various online tools to know what your competitors are doing and discover their content.
In the next step, you need to create similar resources (but with better quality) that can easily outshine the competitor’s resources. Make sure your content is comprehensive, interesting and relevant.
Once you are done building the resources, you need to create an outreach campaign and request relevant blogs if they could mention your resources. According to many reports, this technique has paid off in many cases.
4. Search for Business Mentions
If you believe your business has some brand presence across your industry, you could use online tools to discover sources that are using your name without linking back to your website. You can simply get in touch with them and ask if they could link back to your site.This is a great way to explore potential link acquisition opportunities and leverage your brand’s online presence.
5. Create A Resource Page
Depending on your town, you can create a local resource page that includes useful information for small businesses in your area. For instance, if you’re a clothing retailer in Leicester, you can create a list of the best wholesalers and manufacturers in your county.
When you provide useful information, other businesses (even competitors) will link back to your resource page. You can partner with local subject matter experts to create information-rich resource pages; the work put into these pages will pay off once they capture the attention of businesses in your industry.
A resource page can then be cited when participating in Q&A websites and local business forums. It might even land you interviews and guest appearances providing opportunities to build links from participated content.
6. Create Premium Content
If you want to get backlinks from major publications and leading industry blogs, you will need to create premium content. By premium content, we’re referring to content that demonstrates thought leadership and isn’t just a compilation of tips or lists from other small business blogs.
Premium content includes informational products like:
- Resource pages
- In-depth blog posts
- Case studies
- Co-created guest posts
7. Write Guest Posts
Guest posting has remained quite a popular way of earning backlinks for websites. The process is quite straightforward as all you need to do is find relevant blogs that are looking for guest bloggers.
For each blog that hosts you as an author, you earn at least one backlink to your website. Moreover, you can get a constant flow of relevant traffic to your site if your content performs well within their site or on a Google Search. Check our Guest Blogging tutorial.
Also, you should do blog commenting both on your guest posts and other posts to get some niche relevant backlinks.
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8. Build Internal Links
Internal links are a key factor for running a successful blog for your business site. With a good internal linking structure, you can help users easily navigate through your website and increase the overall user experience.
There are tools that can automatically create internal links on your blog, especially if you are using WordPress, but we recommend you do this manually.Keep the number of internal links per page below 100, for both usability and SEO purposes.
9. Hire SEO Experts
Link building is a continuous process in SEO, and earning links for your business is a tedious and specialist task. On top of this, SEO done badly can do more bad than good for your website, potentially leading to penalties and bad rankings, so it is best to leave the work to the professionals.
Hire an SEO agency that will do the required work in order to build backlinks for your website, giving it the boost it needs. They will also ensure that your website always has fresh and useful content and other digital building assets to earn valuable backlinks to your website.
It requires careful planning and a lot of dedication to build a strong back-linking profile for your website, but a team of SEO experts can make it easy for you. If you have a business, it is recommended that you choose a trustworthy SEO agency to make the best use of your local resources.
Earning high-quality backlinks can sometimes be challenging, but you can easily find link-building opportunities by using the right resources, agency and methods. Finally, remember that keeping your backlinks is just as important as building them up.