Incoming Links For Business Sites
This week we discussed Page Authority and Domain Authority and the fact that they are metrics which go a long way to determining Google visibility as they reflect the trust and authority of incoming links.
And as I said, don’t worry too much about what those numbers are – the important thing is that you focus on building good links, and that is what today’s episode is about – building backlinks to your business site.
Now before we get into it just let me draw your attention to a relevant distinction;
There is a slight difference of emphasis on what makes a good link in global SEO and local SEO.
In traditional, global SEO, the most important factor of a backlink’s quality is the authority of a linking domain. In other words, the more authoritative backlink source, the better the link.
In local SEO however, industry and local relevance often take priority.
Even a lower authority website but relevant to your industry or location might be a good backlink opportunity in local SEO.
And so, when building local links, you shouldn’t disregard low-authority sites if they’re relevant to what your business does or where it’s located.
OK, so let’s get into it – where can you get backlinks for your business website?
The simplest way to describe what local online business directories are is to call them an online version of a traditional yellow pages phone book.
all local directories have one thing in common: they allow listing a business along with crucial information (i.e. name, address, phone number) and a link back to the site.
Remember; Consistency of your contact information is one of the key local search ranking factors.
Publications from your city or area are another great source of backlinks.
First, they are hugely concerned with anything that’s going on in your area.
This means that if you run an event or have other newsworthy topic (i.e. won a new contract, made a new hire, renovated your premises or sponsor an organization), they may publish it.
And because these days most newspapers also publish an online edition, sharing your news with them is an opportunity to gain quality editorial backlinks.
Local Business Associations
There are many benefits of joining local business associations, from networking opportunities, recognition to receiving a business support.
And build links.
Many associations’ websites feature business listings that could include your company’s details and a link back to your site.
Similarly to local newspapers, bloggers interested in what’s going on in your city, area or neighborhood could mention and link to your business.
First of all, many local blogs regularly feature and showcase local businesses. Therefore, reach out to them to find out how you could get listed too.
Another way is to ask them to review your product. Contact local bloggers to find out if they’d be willing to try your product for some time and then share their experience on the site.
Testimonials from Clients, Vendors or Partners
If you’re working with other companies, be it as partner or vendor, you could use that relationship to gain backlinks as well and here’s how.
You could ask them to provide testimonials for your business on their sites.
Many companies have a dedicated suppliers page listing different companies they buy stock from/do business with.
What is that one-thing local events committees, clubs, societies, schools and many other local organizations need?
They need sponsors to help them fund whatever they are trying to make happen.
And that’s an opportunity to gain some valuable links and mentions for your business while doing something good for the community too.
Research Your Competitor’s Backlinks
Finally there’s one other way to quickly find new backlink opportunities – by analyzing your competitors’ link profiles.
Conducting a competitive analysis could help you: Spot links you could quickly recreate for your domain.
By checking your competitors’ link profiles you could identify new and quality link building opportunities.
Reveal link opportunities you’ve missed. What if there was an organization in your region that lists local businesses but you’ve never heard of it before? Or emerging publication willing to write up about local companies? An event or organization you could sponsor? Checking your competitors’ links profile could help you identify those and many other opportunities you may have missed.
Highlight their backlink strategies. Going deeper into their link profile could reveal what strategies your competitors use to rank their domains. This is invaluable insight that could help you make better decisions about your strategies and find a competitive edge.
There are a number of tools that could help you analyze your competitors’ backlinks. Some of the most popular on the market include:
SEMrush Backlinks Report
This is a powerful website backlink checker that’s also a part of a thorough set of online marketing intelligence tools. SEMrush allows you not only to analyze a competitor’s backlinks but also to research and monitor every aspect of their digital marketing strategies.
Ahrefs operate a large index of backlinks and allow analyzing relevant data for any website.
Similarly to Ahrefs, Majestic operates a proprietary index of backlinks and allows to research links pointing to any domain.
Open Site Explorer
Operated by Moz, OSE is another tool allowing to research backlinks pointing to a domain along with various authority signals.
Create Authority Content
Google says that by creating great content others will link to you naturally and these are the best links you can get.
Make Your Content Available For Others To Use
Add a line above/below your best content stating that others can republish the content so long as they credit you (via a link) as the source of it. Also, set-up Tynt on your site, which will automatically add an attribution link to your site if people copy and paste text from your site.
Find Out Who Has Copied Your Text
Search on Google for sentences from multiple pages of your site in quotation marks (i.e. “sentence from site”) to see if any sites are using text from your site without your permission. If they are, tell them they can continue to use it so long as they credit you (via a link) as the source of it.
Update Outdated Content
Search for outdated content about your industry or local area. Offer to update the contact in return for being credited (via a link) for the update, or create a new version of it for your own site and contact those linking to the outdated content to let them know about the new version of it.
Write For Local Blogs/Newspapers/Magazines
Whether it be your knowledge of your industry, your local area or something else, share it other people via an article or column in a local resource. You’ll be allowed a byline at the start or end of the article which you can use to link to your site.
Create Local Resources/Guides
Create content that’s helpful to your local community. For example, free wi-fi areas, family friendly restaurants, things to do for free, etc. Contact locally relevant sites and institutions (newspapers, libraries, etc.) to let them know what you’ve created.
Comment And Post On Blogs And Forums
Comment on blogs and forums related to your industry or location. On most blogs, when you leave a comment, your name doubles up as a link back to your site, and on most forums, you’re given a signature area that you can use to link back to your site.
Offer Discounts To Certain Groups Of People
Offer discounts to parents/seniors/students/teachers/nurses. Contact sites that those groups visit, and also local institutions (newspapers, libraries, etc.), and ask if they can mention the discount on their site with a link to your site.
Sign Up With Coupon Websites
Lots of coupon sites, where you list discounts or special offers on your products/services, allow you…
Sponsor a meetup group
While of course we're talking about links here, I always like to see the other side of a link and the actual benefit it will give you. Did you know you can sponsor meetup groups and get a link as well as get in front of your potential customers?
Meetup.com is a powerful website that connects like minded groups of people together through events they call meetups. If you have a good grasp of your target audience and you know where they hang out, you can get in front of them more easily.
For example, let's say that you're a bike store. Would it make sense to sponsor a local meetup biking club? Yes, it would!
Leverage business relationships
In many cases small businesses may already have complementary businesses that might be willing to give a link to your website. In fact, it might make sense from a referral standpoint too. If you use or refer your business to another type of business this is a great opportunity.
Ok that is it for today – and obviously today’s action step is to go out and use some of these tactics to get some links to your website – and remeber: link to all your important pages, not just the homepage!