Want to improve your website’s visibility in search engines and get more traffic? Effective link building strategies are the answer to achieving both!
It will not only increase the chances that someone comes across a link to your website, but it also adds to your reputation factor in the search engines (your website has essentially been given a vote up by another website), giving you a boost in the search engine rankings.
With that in mind, what link-building strategies should your small business use?
Whether you’re the busy business owner or the person designated to marketing the business, consider the following strategies as part of your traffic and SEO strategy, all of which can be done with very little resources.
14 Link Building Strategies for Small Business
1. Look for Mentions Without Links – And Claim the Links
You might be surprised by how often your business is mentioned. However, these mentions are unlikely to include backlinks. If you find those, you can ask for them to include a backlink. Of all of the link building strategies you can utilise as a small business, this should be a simple sell – if they are already happy enough to mention you, it is very likely they will have no issue with including a link.
Of course, take the time to look at the mention before reaching out and asking for a backlink. The tone of the mention will dictate how you approach your outreach, particularly if it was a negative mention!
There are both paid and free ways to find mentions of your brand name. Here are a couple of free options:
- Social Searcher is a free service that allows you to track what’s being said about you or your brand across social media and the web in real-time. This tool quickly gathers insights from conversations about your company, brand, or product, giving you an in-depth analytics report and the ability to set up email notifications.
- Google Alerts allows you to monitor your brand’s online presence with email notifications of mentions across the web. When the service discovers new results – such as web pages, newspapers, blogs, or scientific research – that meet the criteria of your search term, it will send you an email.
2. Support the Local Community
One of the best ways to naturally build links to your website is to be active in the community. If you support or even just volunteer with local charities and nonprofits, or sponsor one of their events, they are likely to mention it. At the very least, you can write a press release about it that will be picked up by the local paper.
If you go for a larger sponsorship or donation, the organisation you help will almost always give you backlinks.
Get creative with this, and don’t just focus on local charities. Don’t forget about schools or any other type of local event.
3. Consider Offering a Scholarship
Another way to support the local community and get some backlinks in return is by offering a scholarship. As a bonus, some of your backlinks may be from .edu websites which historically have been considered very good for SEO because they typically don’t link to other websites, and when they do they are typically to more authoritative websites.
Of course, you will need to budget for this, but it can be highly effective. Ideally, you want to limit applicants to those in the local area. You could also limit it to majors that are relevant to your industry.
4. Collaborate With Other Businesses In Your Area
Partnering with other local businesses is an effective way to build relationships and increase link building. This strategy has been proven to be successful, as experts have named it the number one tactic for successful link building according to a BrightLocal survey.
By researching other local businesses in your area that do something related to what you do, you can create meaningful connections and collaborations. For example, if you’re a gym, you could partner with dieticians, chiropractors, massage therapists, and a local shop providing fitness and/or wellness supplies. This will not only help build relationships but also expand your reach and visibility in the community.
By partnering with other local businesses, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship that will benefit both parties. You can offer each other discounts or promotions on products or services which will help drive more customers to both of your businesses.
Additionally, you can collaborate on content such as blog posts or social media campaigns which will help spread awareness about both of your brands. Partnering with other local businesses is an excellent way to strengthen relationships while increasing link building opportunities at the same time.
5. Reach Out to Local or Niche Bloggers
Partnering with influencers in your city can be a great way to leverage influencer marketing. Local bloggers are always looking for collaboration opportunities, as they may not have enough content ideas on their own.
Offer to write a guest post for their blog. Or offer a free service or product in exchange for a review or mention (note – do not offer a free service or product as a reward for a Google Review as it is against Google’s terms of service). Be sure to nurture the relationship by sharing their content, too. They will eventually do the same.
To get the best results, select a blogger who is relevant to your business – this helps to make sure you have relevant content, that is more likely to include the keywords you want for SEO, and relevant links which increase the “link juice”.
6. Write Guest Posts
Local bloggers are far from the only ones you can offer to write guest posts for. Look for other websites that are relevant to your industry and accept guest blogging. You will have to find relevant websites that accept guest posts and come up with a compelling topic. Then, you will have to pitch the topic and get approval before you can even write the piece.
If you are already giving and receiving referrals, your referral partners are a good place to start as you already have a relationship of trust that makes the proposal and acceptance of a guest post almost a 100% certainty.
7. Promote Your Content
When you write something on your website or blog, go ahead and share it. Promote your content on more than just social media. You can even post on LinkedIn, Medium, and more – places where your content might be indexed by search engines.
8. Offer Testimonials or Case Studies
The idea of offering case studies or testimonials may seem a bit odd from an advertising perspective. After all, you want to gather these things for your company, not offer them to others. But most of the time, when you offer a testimonial or participate in a case study, the company in question will link back to your website.
The caveat is that there is no guarantee they will backlink (you might check for existing testimonials and case studies on their website to see what their linking practice is). On top of that, you are putting your reputation on the line, so only do this if you believe in the company.
9. Create listings on business directories
Business directories are a great way to get backlinks – in local SEO terms these are often called citations. From Google Business Profiles to Bing Places, and many other websites, you have the opportunity to list your business online. Some will be free listings, and some will give extra options for a paid subscription.
When creating your listing, be sure to include the exact same information across all of the sites you list on. This will help ensure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across the web.
10. Join Local Professional Organisations with Business Directories
Joining local professional organisations with directories is a great way to increase visibility for your business. Not only can you benefit from the networking opportunities and resources available through these organisations, but you can also gain access to their directory listings. This will help your business get noticed by potential customers in the area, as well as other businesses that may be looking for partners or suppliers.
Chambers of commerce are a great place to start when looking for local professional organisations with directories. Most cities have at least one chamber of commerce, and some even have multiple chambers focused on specific demographics.
In addition to chambers of commerce, there are often industry-specific professional organisations that offer directory listings for members. You might even take a look at your local council website – they often have a business directory on their website, or on another website they have created, or sponsored, for this purpose.
By joining these organisations and taking advantage of their directory listings, you can increase your visibility in the local community and make it easier for potential customers to find your business.
11. Look for Relevant Round-up Pages
Round-up pages are a great way to get your business noticed in the local community. These pages highlight the best businesses of different types, such as “The Best Sunday Brunch Spots in Parramatta” or “The Best Coworking Spaces in Western Sydney”. If you think your business could fit into one of these categories, it is worth reaching out to the author and seeing if they are willing to include you on their list.
However, this strategy may not always be successful. The blogger may have to invest extra effort to consider your business for the “best” list and decide if you’re worthy of being highlighted. But if they are willing to give your business a try and see if you belong, it could earn you both a link and be the start of a relationship with a new local blogger.
12. Create Awards
Creating and giving out awards is a great way to get positive attention for your business. It’s a great way to engage customers and build relationships with other businesses in the community.
For example, if you own a local gym, you could create awards for healthy restaurants, natural food stores, or vitamin brands that your customers are likely to value. You can open up voting to your members and have them decide who should win the award. This provides an opportunity for your customers to be involved in the process and gives you an entry into connecting with the businesses that win.
You might even use this as a way to create good will with other local businesses – ask them to provide member discounts to give your members the opportunity to visit these businesses to experience them… you’ve just created new business for them, and even he chance of repeat business.
The winning businesses are likely to share news of the award with their own audiences and link back to your awards page. This helps spread awareness about your business and encourages others in the community to recognise what you’re doing. Plus, it’s always nice when people feel appreciated for their hard work! Creating and giving out awards is a great way to show appreciation while also getting some positive attention for yourself.
13. Apply for local awards
Applying for local awards is a great way to get recognition for your business and the people who work for it. Not only can you gain more attention from the local community, but you may also get links from the website announcing the awards as well as additional links from local publications that cover the award.
To be eligible for these awards, you should keep an eye out for any relevant local awards that are available in your area. Once you find one that fits your business or employees, make sure to nominate them right away. Doing so will give you a chance to showcase what makes your business unique and why it deserves recognition. If successful, not only will your business receive more attention, but it could also lead to increased visibility and potential customers in the future.
14. Apply For Industry Awards
Applying for industry awards is another great way to get recognition for your business. These awards are typically given out by industry organisations or publications and can be a great way to show off the work you’ve done in your field.
Not only will applying for these awards give you a chance to showcase what makes your business unique, but it could also lead to increased visibility and potential customers in the future.
Industry organisations often have high authority, so links from their website to yours may have high SEO value, and when people get to your website…. How much better does it look to potential customers that you have received industry awards!
By no means is this an extensive list of ways you can get backlinks to your website, but these are easy win link building strategies for your small business website you are very likely to get results with. As you build backlinks, this should lead to an increase in traffic and more sales.