In the vast landscape of digital marketing, small businesses often find themselves navigating the complexities of search engine optimization (SEO). One crucial aspect of SEO is link building, particularly backlinks. Understanding what link building and backlinks entail, and how small businesses can leverage them to enhance their online presence, is pivotal in today’s competitive digital environment.
What is Link Building and Backlinks?
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. You may have seen this before on the web when a blog post references another website’s content and provides the link to the original blog. Backlinks, also known as inbound or incoming links, play a significant role in determining a website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines (The A in the Google E.E.A.T ranking system). When reputable websites link to your content, it signals to search engines that your information is valuable and relevant. Before delving into the strategies for building backlinks for SEO, let’s dive into the term “link building” and understand the significance of creating backlinks for your website.
Link building is the proactive effort to acquire hyperlinks from other websites to your own. It’s essentially the process of building a network of connections across the vast web. Each link acts as a vote of confidence for your content, indicating to search engines that your website is a valuable resource. There are various strategies to build new links, the most common being reaching out to individual websites and asking if they could link to some of your existing relevant content, or new content that is being created. In business, many websites are open to adding backlinks as an exchange deal, where you link to their site and they link to yours. If you find a credible website with content that is relevant to your business, it is a great practice to reach out and ask if they could link to a piece of your relevant content and offer to link to a piece of theirs. If your business is creating content around local news or industry changes (e.g. writing about the newest update to the Google ranking algorithm), then you could reach out to news based websites in your industry that might benefit from posting your content as a guest blog on their site, where they publish your complete content with a listed author and link to your website. This can be very beneficial for other websites since they won’t have to create the content themselves, and can stay up to date on current news and trends.
The Significance of Backlinks
Backlinks are the backbone of off-page SEO. They serve as recommendations, vouching for the credibility and relevance of your content. Quality backlinks contribute to higher search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and improved domain authority. Backlinks from websites that are relevant to your industry and come from established companies help show your standing among big names and big brands. The ‘quality’ of the backlink is dependent on the industry of the blog providing the link, the relevance of the content surrounding the link, the page authority of the website where the content is hosted, and what content on your website is being linked to.
Now that we’ve clarified the basics, let’s delve into the core of our discussion—building backlinks for small businesses through the creation of shareable and noteworthy content.
Building Backlinks for SEO: The Essentials
Identifying Link-Worthy Topics
Conduct thorough research to identify topics within your niche that have the potential to attract attention. Addressing common pain points, providing solutions, or presenting unique perspectives can make your content more link-worthy. Understanding the dynamics of building backlinks for SEO involves a strategic approach to content creation. Evaluate what content has been beneficial to you in your company’s growth, ask customers what questions they have around your services, and research other companies in your industry to understand what is currently being written about.
Crafting High-Quality Content
The cornerstone of organic backlink building is crafting content that stands out. Your content should be informative, engaging, and offer value to your target audience. When users find your content helpful, they are more likely to share it with their network. When businesses or content creators find your content informative and insightful, they are more likely to reference it in their own content, creating organic backlinks that you didn’t have to work to acquire. While creating the content strategy for your website, make sure to consider the contents potential to be shared and highlighted by other websites.
Leveraging Visual Content
In the digital age, visual content has become increasingly popular. Infographics, videos, and images are highly shareable and can significantly enhance your backlink-building efforts. Create visually appealing content that simplifies complex information or tells a compelling story. Just one well made graphic can be shared and referenced on over hundreds of sites, strengthening the linking on your website exponentially. Consider finding an employee with solid creative skills to create new visual content for your content, and measure whether those blogs generate higher linking than others.
Guest Blogging for Backlinks
Guest blogging allows you to contribute content to other websites within your industry. In return, you receive a backlink to your site. You can create guest blogging opportunities by researching relevant businesses and reaching out to them to offer a piece of content in exchange for a link to your site. Ensure that your guest posts are informative, well-written, and provide value to the host site’s audience.
Building Relationships within Your Industry
Networking is not only crucial in the physical world but also in the digital realm. Connect with influencers, bloggers, and businesses within your industry. Collaborate on projects, share each other’s content, and naturally accumulate backlinks as a result.
Link Building for Small Businesses: Content Strategies and Benefits
Creating Shareable Resources
Developing shareable resources such as ebooks, whitepapers, or guides can attract attention and encourage other websites to link to your valuable content. Make sure these resources are well-researched and provide comprehensive insights. Share these resources on social media sites to increase traffic to the resources and encourage sharing. Next comes some actionable strategies to make link building effective for small businesses who lean on local customers.
Optimizing for Local SEO
If your small business caters to a local audience, focus on optimizing for local search. Register your business on Google My Business, get listed in local directories, and encourage local partnerships. Local businesses are more likely to link to content that is rooted in the community. Adding in location based keywords like ‘Salt Lake City’ or ‘Utah County’ can add to the relevance of searches from local customers. If you host recurring events, registering these events on sites like Eventbrite can add a link from your own profile, and then your event can be accessed by bloggers who compile information on local events. Do some research to find other local directories that are relevant to your business (e.g. Angi for local service businesses). Create a backlink from a directory website can help build your website’s authority, but also makes your services more visible to your prospective customers.
Encouraging User-Generated Content
Empower your audience to create content related to your products or services. User-generated content not only adds authenticity to your brand but can also lead to valuable backlinks as users share their experiences on various platforms. For the goal of increased backlinks, make sure to engage with users that have websites or blog form content. Encouraging your audience to share their experiences in written form will help drive links back to your products. This will ensure that their experiences with your product will help strengthen the authority of your website along with increasing customer trust.
Conclusion: The Road to Organic Backlinks
In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, the road to organic backlinks lies in creating content that resonates with your audience and encourages others to reference it naturally. Small businesses, with their agility and unique offerings, have the potential to carve a niche for themselves through strategic link-building practices. By investing time into acquiring new backlinks for your small business website, you will be investing in the future of your digital presence, and these benefits will pay off exponentially.
By understanding the fundamentals of link building and backlinks, small business owners can embark on a journey to strengthen their online presence. Craft content that is not only noteworthy but also shareable, and watch as your organic backlinks grow, elevating your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines and, consequently, your target audience.