How To Get Quality Backlinks for Your Small Business Website

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You have poured a lot of time, money, and other resources into your niche blog or small business website. But you can't seem to get even an inch ahead of the competition. The Internet is saturated with branded information, and smaller online businesses are routinely trampled over by corporations with their humongous ad budgets.

To stand out from the crowd your little website needs to get quality backlinks from larger, more authoritative sources.

There are free and paid ways to get them.

What are backlinks and why do you need them?

Even if you are not running a content-rich project you still need a well-thought-out backlink strategy. Google and other search engines determine the quality and the number of such links and decide whether your site is a trusted source.

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Low-quality, spammy backlinks will penalize your rankings while even a moderate number of high authority backlinks can elevate you to the top of the search page. SEO is always a long-term game. If you invest your time and money into building your backlinks, you will see your traffic slowly grow.

And users will trust you more when they see you mentioned by respected, authoritative sources. 

Are backlinks still important after recent Google updates?

Time and time again some industry "experts" proclaim that a recent Google update or a new search algorithm have pushed backlinks to the brink of extinction. This can't be further from the truth. Backlinks are important for your rankings because they form the foundation of Google's PageRank. They are not going to become obsolete for a long time.

A number of independent studies have proven that these links can improve or hinder your performance in organic search. So investing your time and money into building them is a solid business decision.

According to a study, performed by SEO titans, Backlinko and Ahrefs in 2020, there's a strong correlation between a site's link authority and its Google rankings.

How To Get Quality Backlinks

A similar study, performed by SEMRush, has shown that all backlink factors influence one another. In terms of their impact on the search ratings, backlinks took 5th place among 17 factors analyzed by SEMRush.

semrush study

In short, having a website accumulate high trust in the form of backlinks leads to a better SEO performance and more organic traffic coming from Google. Funnily enough, if you get a good ranking, you'll receive even more backlinks. This is known as the Matthew Effect.

You need to spend 80% of your time on backlink building

Industry experts, like Nathan Gotch, state that you need to devote most of your SEO efforts to link-building. It's a long-term strategy that will yield the best results if you are serious about your business. More than 60% of web pages don't have even a single backlink. For blog posts, this number exceeds 90%. These figures come from the previously mentioned research by Backlinko and Ahrefs

5 basic ways to get backlinks

There are plenty of ways to gather external links for your website. Some are free, others require money. There are many easy ways to get lower-quality backlinks. But if you are an entrepreneur who takes future prospects seriously, consider some of the better approaches that are harder to implement.

Link building is a time-consuming activity, so you should delegate it to an SEO expert or a link building services company. At least, spend several hours trying out these approaches. You will get a better understanding of them which will make you knowledgeable enough to choose and hire a professional you can trust.

Get listed in authoritative directories

There are many business and industry directories that you can get listed in. They serve as the Internet's "yellow pages". Most of these directories are free, others require a small fee to join. Beware of freelancers that promise to get you listed in thousands of directories for a paltry sum. It's nothing else but spam.

If Google scraper catches your spamming on these link farms (and it will), you will be heavily penalized and forced to start over. You will end up paying double to a company that specializes in bad links removal.

These are some legitimate options that you should consider: 

  • 1. Official business directories (Better Business Bureau).
  • 2. Niche directories (farmers, veterinarians, plumbers, hardware stores, etc).
  • 3. Local listings (directories in your town, region, or state).
  • 4. Chamber of Commerce directories (join your local chamber to get listed).
  • 5. Shopping mall websites (if you run a business in a space rented from a mall).
  • 6. Alumni directories (contact your school or university and get included in a digital yearbook).

Link to your website from social media profiles

It's an easy-to-do tactic that is often overlooked by many entrepreneurs. Use all of your profiles, from Twitter to Linked-in and place the link to the website in your bio. It works even better for landing pages if you are planning to sell an information product. You can put a naked link in the bio or use a shortener like Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder. You can check the number of times people have clicked this link from the Google Analytics dashboard.

Provide interesting, relevant testimonials

Testimonials are an easy way to get some quality external links. You probably use a lot of business-related products or services. Write an interesting and helpful testimony or a review and get featured on the website of that product or service provider. Even popular services need fresh testimonials from time to time, so it's a true win-win proposition. They get social proof, and you receive a valuable backlink.

Give answers to popular questions on platforms like Quora

Quora is a goldmine for solopreneurs and businesses in health, fitness, finance, or consumer tech niches. If your business requires sharing expert advice with the customers, and your products need some explaining to sell (usually happens with tech like smartphones, cameras, etc), then popular Q&A sites are the place to be.

How to Write a Good Quora Answer

By providing helpful and informative answers you will not only gather backlinks to your website but also become more known as an expert in your niche. It can result in traditional media attention or will get you acquainted with bloggers and podcasters. It all just snowballs from there.

Make some guest appearances on blogs and podcasts

It works great for active bloggers that are passionate about their niche. But even if your website doesn't have a ton of content, you still can get invited to make a guest appearance on a blog or a podcast in your niche. Bloggers always need new interesting information for their audience. If you can provide that (you have probably tried Quora by this point), you'll get an interview or a guest post option.

Additional link building options include: 

  • asking your friends and relatives for referrals;
  • promoting other people and asking them to give you a link from their websites;
  • interviewing known industry experts;
  • finding dead links on other websites and creating similar content to link to;
  • writing a research post by analyzing your niche and distributing it;
  • using websites like Help a Reporter to provide journalists with expert info;
  • commenting on other people's blogs;
  • syndicating your content on Linked-in;
  • sponsoring local events or local charity cases;
  • distributing viral infographics;
  • getting mentioned in local or regional media;
  • reaching out to bloggers, influencers to promote your product or service;
  • joining e-commerce partnerships.

Buying backlinks the right way

Free (or semi-free) ways of building backlinks are great, but they require a lot of your time and effort. Another widely used option is buying backlinks. If you find a trusted provider by checking out reviews or asking other online entrepreneurs, you can buy backlink packages that suit your budget.

Paid options will also provide you with faster results. But you need to be careful and plan ahead because Google doesn't like webmasters buying links and can penalize your website.

How to manage paid links in 5 steps: 

  • Determine how many links you need by using tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
  • Optimize your anchor text.
  • Schedule your drip dates to simulate organic backlink growth.
  • Purchase quality backlinks from trustworthy sellers.
  • Optimize existing backlinks by trying different anchors, recovering lost links, repurposing content. 

How to get quality backlinks for your small business website: conclusion

Building backlinks is an important part of the SEO strategy for your small business website. Whether you choose free or paid options, be patient, plan ahead and stay compliant with Google terms and conditions. 

Don't hesitate to hire a professional, since SEO will take up precious time that you need for other business-related activities.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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