What are backlinks? They’re nothing complicated – just simply a link from another website to a page or resource on your business website. So, if another website links to any of your page content (or vice versa), that is known as a backlink.
Backlinks come from a variety of sources, including:
- Online press releases and news sites
- Industry journals and professional associations
- Other blogs in related subject or professional areas
- Guest blog posts
- Listings in online business directories (the modern-day equivalent of the Yellow Pages!)
- Event listings and booking sites
How Do Backlinks Drive Website Traffic?
By gaining a backlink on another website, you’ll get noticed by new potential customers if they read the page the backlink sits on. If the website has a large readership, you could potentially gain many new visitors. Or if your business features in an online listing like Yell or Yelp, your business has the chance to be found when people search for a business or service like yours.
It’s obvious that increasing the number of eyes on your brand will boost web traffic. But getting backlinks is also important for search engine success. Google sees backlinks as a sign that your website is trustworthy and genuine. If your business name and contact details feature in a number of online business directories, then they will trust your business over a competitor with conflicting contact details.
Gaining backlinks to your blog content also shows you’re an expert in your field or have something useful to say about your specialist topic. This all helps to build the domain authority of your website in Google’s eyes, which in turn helps to move your website up the page ranking and results.
Getting Started with a Backlink Strategy
As you can see, backlinks aren’t particularly complicated. As with most things marketing, it’s mostly a case of getting organised, mixed with a sprinkling of planning to get going. The main tasks will be to:
- identify the types of backlinks you want/need to create
- researching your market and industry for websites in your niche
- making a plan of action to start doing the work needed to make them happen!
Getting backlinks is an ongoing online marketing strategy that you should make time for regularly. Starting gradually is no problem at all. Indeed, some backlinks are much easier to gain than others, so you can start with any easy wins and plan longer-term for others.
Types of Backlinks
What sort of backlinks you target will depend on your business goals, target market, budgets and all the usual individual circumstances our businesses have. But the following ideas should give any business owner some food for thought on what could work for them:
1. Business directories and NAP (name, address and phone number) citations
This includes business listings in directories like Google My Business, Yelp, Yell etc. Most offer a free listing, but you can pay for a featured listing if you wish. This is a great place to start for some quick backlink wins and to start increasing Google’s trust in your business as it can see your business contact information is consistent over several platforms.
Don’t forget to do a Google search to see if there are any specialist listings in your industry you can take advantage of. Likewise, if you are a local business, check for local listing directories in your area.
2. News Websites – including national, local, business or industry news
Research and compile a list of potential websites where you can send press releases or contact about new products, competitions and events news. Just like old-fashioned PR, but digitally!
Again, what works for you will vary wildly depending on the type of business you run so get your search on again to research the most likely candidates to reach your target market.
3. Clients, Associates & Affiliates
Think about your current contacts and business associates and how you can leverage your links with them and bring them online. Ask if they would be willing to feature a guest post, case study, or review of your service/work with them?
If you’re part of a business or professional association, check you have a link on their website as part of your directory listing.
If you sell a physical product, ask your customers to feature reviews of your products on social media or Google. They can use a Google My Business profile to add reviews and photos to help your listing pop.
4. Local and Event Listings
If you run a business or service that serves a local area, keep an updated listing in any relevant local listings or news sites you can find. There are many national sites like Netmums, that offer local listings. So, if you sold swimming lessons for babies in a specific area this would be just the place to have a backlink.
To get together a list of potential websites to target for backlinks, start researching what type of content is available to your readers, and whether those websites offer any opportunities for your business to backlink to.
5. Guest Blogging
Have a look at opportunities for guest blogging on other websites. Share your expertise with others, gain a new audience and some extra brownie points with Google! Ask current business associates or social media connections if they’re interested in guest posting. Or look for interesting websites in your niche and approach them with your proposal.
And there you have it! A simple SEO strategy to get started with creating backlinks for your small business website. Small, consistent steps will reap huge benefits over time, so don’t delay and get started as soon as you can.
Find out How to Implement a Backlink Strategy for SEO and you can also sign up for a FREE Backlink Tracker Template below, to get started on your backlink strategy today.
Link Building Plan with FREE Worksheet Template
The Backlink Tracker Worksheet includes details of the different types of backlinks your business could be targeting. Use it as a guide and template to get organised and track your own backlink-building progress!
Request a copy of the FREE Backlink Tracker Worksheet now to get started on creating backlinks for your business website. Link building is a long-term, on-going SEO Strategy so the sooner you get going, the sooner it will start showing results for your small business website. Just pop your email in the box below and it’ll be on the way to you!
Learn more about SEO for Small Business
Creating backlinks is just one SEO strategy that can increase traffic to your website.
An SEO Audit is like a health check for your small business website. Discover its strengths and weaknesses in areas such as:
- which keywords the website ranks for
- your score for on-page optimization
- technical errors
- competitor analysis
Gaining this knowledge will help you to become a more SEO-savvy small business owner. You’ll gain a better understanding of what tasks need to be done in order to get your website moving up the rankings and get an SEO strategy that you can follow to help your business to achieve it. Learn more by reading What is an SEO Audit?