Zero Budget Link Building Techniques To Grow Your Small Business

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For a small business, a successful link-building strategy can make a huge difference to the overall success of the company as a whole.

With the potential to help a small business gain more online visibility, climb the search rankings and increase website traffic and sales, it’s easy to see why so many companies make link-building one of their top priorities. 

But when you’re a smaller company having to compete with competitors who have large budgets and better visibility, what can be done to grow your business through link-building without spending too much in the process?

Well, as any good search marketing agency will tell you, the size of your budget is only a small part of a strong link-building campaign

To help your small enterprise get the best possible links without spending a fortune, this blog will go through some of the most effective “zero budget” link-building techniques at your disposal.

Why is link building important?

Before taking a deep dive into the way you can build links on a budget, it’s important to take the time to understand exactly why backlinks are so essential to small business growth.

Zero Budget Link Building Techniques To Grow Your Small Business

While it might seem like the main purpose of backlinks is to redirect online users to your website, they actually play a much larger role in your broader SEO strategy.

In addition to helping potential customers learn about and find your business, backlinks act as signals to search engines that your website has more authority.

Especially when those links come from websites that have already proven themselves as relevant thought-leaders in your industry. 

However, this also means that backlinks coming from the wrong places can do more harm than good, which is why it’s so important to be intentional about your link building strategy.

Here are some of the best ways to get started with building high-quality links on a budget.

Zero budget link-building techniques

Create and promote localised content

If you’ve heard time and time again about the importance of good content that serves a purpose to a reader, then it’s for a good reason.

Why? Because when you start to create content that’s impactful and provides use to others, it gives other websites something that they can actually link to that is worthwhile.

And while it’s true that there may be a lot of competition in content marketing, if you can target a local audience while making relevant content, you’re already onto a potential winner

For local businesses, this can give them a great deal of fuel to boost their local profile through content that highlights local issues.

If you can find that sweet spot of writing topics that relate to the community while selling your business at the same time, you’ll be gaining the best of both worlds.

For example, a local company that sells hiking boots and hiking gear can write about the best trails in their local area to enjoy a nice walk.

Get working on more guest posts

While writing guest posts is probably the most commonly done link-building technique, it’s still considered an essential piece of the link-building puzzle.

Get working on more guest posts

Much like your localised content, guest posting can benefit another website and your business at the same time, so that each party can provide something of relevance to an audience while gaining from the traffic that comes with it

There’s another benefit of guest posting that means you can spread a lot of ground in your search for earning your links.

With a guest post, you don’t have to necessarily be in the same industry as the other company in question. However, you do have to be able to link your company organically and make it seem like a natural part of the post itself. 

Before you start pitching, try to generate some topic ideas that will appeal to that blog's audience, including knowing exactly where your links could be naturally placed in that content without coming across as forced or unnecessary to the guest post. 

Try some broken link building 

Broken link-building is another classic tactic that’s both cost-effective and convenient for the websites and businesses you’re hoping to gain a link from.

Essentially, the aim here is to locate some examples of dead or broken links before letting the website in question know about them.

Finally, after contacting the website that hosts the blog, you can offer up your business an ideal replacement for that broken link

While it may sound like a time-consuming process, spotting broken links can be done via some useful SEO tools (although if you’re aiming to keep your budget as close to zero as possible, it may be best to do this manually).

When you’ve identified broken links, take the time to put together a polite email that makes them aware of the broken link and explain why your webpage is an ideal replacement for it. 

Apply for a few local business awards 

It’s never a bad idea to conduct a thorough search into local businesses and organisational bodies looking to give out awards to services and companies within the community. 

Depending on their criteria, you may be a shoo-in as a candidate and not even realize it!

If you don’t win, you’ve still made some valuable new contacts within the local area, and if you do win, you can hopefully gain a link to your business in the local coverage about the awards. 

Surveys can serve a purpose 

For this technique, you’ll need to make use of the new contacts you’ve made locally in order to achieve this goal fully.

Surveys can serve a purpose

First of all, create some kind of survey in relation to a common concern or issue that local people or businesses face.

If it’s a relevant enough subject, and your local relationships are solid enough, you shouldn’t have any problem getting a high volume of responses and signal boosts for this survey. 

When you feel that you’ve had a strong enough number of responses, look at adding some other visual elements like graphs or charts before you publish the data itself. Once this has been published, it’s time to promote the results online.

In time, this important information can be used as a reference point to back up the opinions of bloggers and journalists online. 

Once your survey has been mentioned, they’ll include a link back to that source material, giving your website a number of strong links directly to it

Prioritise quality over quantity

Link building will become more expensive and time consuming if the number of links you are aiming for is high. But luckily, less is often more.

It isn’t the number of links that you have that will make all the difference to your SEO goals, but rather how good the links you have are. When looking for guest posting opportunities or networking at events, be as discerning as you can.

Create high-quality content for only the best opportunities rather than spreading yourself too thin by writing hundreds of blog posts for lacklustre websites.

Link building strategies to avoid

It can be tempting to do whatever you can to cut costs, but some free link building strategies will only hurt your business in the long run. Here are some tactics you would do well to avoid.

Commenting on forums and blogs

It’s incredibly easy to post in the comments section of a blog or forum with a link to your website. 

Commenting on forums and blogs

However, these backlinks won’t help your website to build much authority, especially if they’re left without much thought. In fact, the more comments you leave with your link, the more likely it is that your content will be flagged as spam

If you are planning to leave comments on blogs then make sure you’re adding something valuable to the discussion.

Well-thought-out comments are more likely to position you as an industry leader and may lead to more visibility and guest posting opportunities.

Link farms

Some websites exist for the sole purpose of providing backlinks and they can be attractive to small businesses as they’re often cheap.

However, these links will only damage your business’s reputation and SEO rankings, as search engines can tell when links are genuine and when they’re forced.

Final thoughts 

Having no budget doesn’t necessarily mean having no resources to gain some strong links for your small business venture.

In fact, as the above techniques prove, having a strong game plan and developing stronger relationships on a local level can provide a huge boost to any small company and help them to grow in the process.

Eventually, these strategies can help build your online visibility, establish your brand as an authority, and get your small business in front of new potential customers, all without breaking the bank to do so.

Link building isn’t something that will happen overnight, but investing in cheap, fast results won’t help you to gain the authority you’re looking for. Avoid looking for a quick fix and have the patience to reap the rewards from your hard work

Your website will have a much stronger online presence that will carry on growing with the right strategy in place.

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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