Why does a small business need a backlink strategy? Because the quality of your backlinks demonstrates the kind of neighbourhood you hang out in. A whole load of spammy links tells a very different story from a moderate number of respected, high authority links that are declaring their trust in you.
Spammy links will always be just that; they don’t improve with age and they won’t improve your SEO ranking. Growing your backlinks slowly and strategically, however, makes good business sense and is a perfectly respectable way to enhance the authority of your site. Backlinks alone won’t get you a Page One ranking, and poor SEO backlinks can hinder your progress.
SEO Backlinks Help to Build Your Brand
Your brand is the way that your business is perceived by your customers, trading partners, and investors. Backlinks, in this context, offer small businesses an important vote of confidence from their peers. It’s a process that needs to be earned and it can’t be rushed. Seen in this context, growing your brand is synonymous with growing your backlinks.
5 Ways Small Businesses Can Build SEO Backlinks
Every business will have different opportunities available for backlinks, based on the sector in which they operate. These 5 suggestions for growing your backlinks organically are designed to help you recognise what those opportunities are, and how you can use them strategically to grow your business.
1. Who are Your Influencers?
Who would you like to be telling other people about you? If you’re a local baker you may want popular coffee shops to recommend your site. If you provide business removals you’ll want a prominent business singing your praises. The challenge is to make this happen. A call and a conversation is often a good place to start; networking is human. Find the people who belong in your domain, then work out how you can benefit each other.
2. Check Out the Competition
If you’re wondering where to start with linking, check out who your competitors are linking with. Don’t just go for businesses the same size as yourself. Pick the company you want to be in 5 years’ time as well as the company that’s got a couple of years’ headway on you. That way, you’ll be able to see what your long-term networking goals should be and take a look at the intermediate steps you can take along the way.
3. Who’s Linking to You Currently?
Do you know who’s linking to your site already? You can check this out by using a free domain SEO Analysis Tool such as the one provided by MOZ. This will show your domain authority score based on the number of sites linking to yours, and their quality. If you spot any high ranking sites check out what it is they’re linking to. Gaining an understanding of why people people link to your site, gives you clues as to what you can do more of.
4. What’s Your Expertise?
Sites like Quora and Reddit exist because people love to ask questions and get answers from specialists in response. There are thousands of topics that people have questions about so it’s likely that some of them will relate to your area of expertise. Anyone can get involved, you just have to register. You can also post links to external resources in your answers.
Your product or service may have specialist online forums. These provide invaluable data regarding the kinds of questions your customers are asking, whilst helping to build your domain organically.
5. On Site Content Creation
Content creation is a powerful way to attract SEO backlinks, if you find the content there’s a hunger for. The top generators of backlinks are:
- Online Tools. Tools that help customers calculate materials for a job. Tools that convert quantities for recipes. Tools that turn building a bookcase into a checklist. Free resources that help people are invaluable, and tend to get huge numbers of shares.
- Original Research. What could your customers tell you that would add to the knowledge base of your sector? Maybe it’s about the reasons for needing your product. Or unexpected benefits of your service.
- Case Studies. One of the earliest commercial films ever made was of a blacksmith at his anvil. People love watching other people at work. It’s as simple as that. Explain what you do. Create a video of your team at work. Show the difference your product can make.