Link building is a long-term strategy, not a short-term gain. But for small businesses with limited time and resources, it can seem like an uphill battle that’s impossible to win. If you Google “link building for small business” you’ll find loads of advice from old-school digital marketers who will tell you to partner with other websites, create blog posts and capture other sites using link bait to get backlinks. Sadly, these approaches are largely ineffective and outdated in the modern world of search engines that value user experience and trust signals. In this article we’ll explain why link building is so important for your website, the different types of backlinks you need to build trust with search engines, and what kind of link building works in today’s climate.
What is Link Building for Small Businesses
If you have a website, you need backlinks. If you want to rank higher in search results, you need backlinks. If you want to increase your website traffic, you need backlinks. The only obvious query is, how do you obtain them?
Link building can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re a small business that doesn’t have the budget for a bunch of link-building services. Luckily, you have plenty of options for building high-quality backlinks for your website that won’t break the bank, including the Links management tool.
Guest blogging is when you write content for another website and they publish it under their name. In exchange, you gain a backlink to your website. Most guest blogging guides will tell you to find websites in your niche and pitch your idea to their editors, but that’s actually a waste of time. Having a person of authority writing for your website gives you more credibility in the eyes of search engines. This can drastically improve the SEO for your small business because you can use expertise and insights to show others what it takes to be successful. This will give you plenty of exposure and establish your brand as an industry leader.
Most websites get thousands of pitches every day, and only the top websites will even read your email. In fact, only 15% of pitches are actually read. You’re much more likely to get a “Thanks, but no thanks” than a “Let’s partner!” And though if you still get a bite from a top editor, you will probably have to rewrite your material or your guest post will be posted with your name in a very unimpressive place – like the bottom of the homepage or in the archives section. If you want to guest blog, looking for websites that accept guest posts is best. However, you can get connected with a guest post outreach service and let the experts do the needful.
There are a few ways to succeed in guest posts when you do it yourself.
Use Google Alerts to track down websites that publish articles in your niche.
Subscribe to a content discovery service like Buzzsumo or Ahrefs to find popular articles in your industry.
Browse websites in your niche and see if they have a “Write for us” or “Publish your article” section on the “About” or “Contact” page.
How to build backlinks with content
The old-fashioned way of guest blogging is basically dead. Instead, you’ll build backlinks to your site using content marketing. In the content marketing world, guest blogging is one type of content you can create.
You can also write and publish blog posts on your site, publish guides and how-to articles, record videos, and create images and graphics.
There are a few types of content you can create to collect backlinks:
Existing blog posts. Re-publish your best blog posts on other sites to collect backlinks while also expanding your reach.
New blog posts. New content is always good to build links. Take advantage of seasonal trends and holidays in your industry by publishing blog posts on those topics.
Guides. Create an in-depth guide on a specific topic to earn links and build trust with readers.
Types of Backlinks
There are five types of backlinks you can create for your website. They all have their pros and cons, so you can use a variety of techniques to build the best links for your website. If you have a limited budget, focus on creating high-quality guest posts and guides. Guest posts are cheap but build strong links, and guides are valuable to readers and will help you earn links from other sites.
Infographics and visual content
Visual content is a great way to build links to your website, but you need the right images to find success. Create an infographic or an image guide based on one of your most popular blog posts. You can use one of two methods to build links with your images. The first is to look for websites in your niche that accept outside contributions. Find sites with an image or infographic deficiency and contact them about publishing your image on their site. The second method is to reach out to the websites that have linked to your image in the past. Let them know you have a new image and ask if they’d like to include it in their article again.
Paid advertising and sponsored ads
If you want to get links in a hurry, consider paying for sponsored ads or advertising campaigns. You can use an ad network to place ads on other websites and services. These ads will link back to your website, which is great if you’re in a hurry.
The downside is that they’re expensive and it’s difficult to find the right websites to advertise on. You can also pay search engines to promote your website. Google AdWords and Bing Ads both offer paid promotions. These paid strategies will build links quickly, but they won’t earn the same trust and authority links as the other strategies on this list.
If you’re a small business owner, you know that it’s difficult to get noticed online. You have to fight for attention against huge brands. You have to make sure your website has everything it needs to succeed. You have to set up your social media accounts, and you have to try to grow your reach and attract visitors. You might even have to work with designers, SEO agencies, and your marketing team to get everything done. Building links to your website is an important part of marketing and building your business, but it can seem like an endless task that you don’t have time for.
If you don’t have the budget to hire an SEO agency or pay for expensive link-building services, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to find the time and energy to create high-quality backlinks yourself. Luckily, there are plenty of cheap or free ways to build backlinks. You can write guest posts, create new content, and repurpose old blog posts. You can create images and visual content to build links. You can also pay for sponsored posts and advertising campaigns. Regardless of how you choose to create links, remember that link building takes time. You can’t expect to create one link and have it bring new traffic and customers to your website immediately. It’s a long-term strategy, but it’s one that’s absolutely necessary for your success.