We’ve talked a lot about web design and best practices for setting up a professional business website, but once that’s complete, what do you do next? Generating traffic to your beautifully crafted website is the next hurdle to overcome. This is where backlinks come into play. Simply put, backlinks are inbound hyperlinks from one website to another website.
You may be thinking, “How is this relevant to my business?” Well, every backlink to your website increases your site’s popularity and pushes it higher in SEO rankings for your industry or niche; they improve your credibility and authority within the marketplace.
This is great news for you and your business, but getting people to link to your website is a whole other ball of wax. Larger corporations spend $50,000 for backlinks, but as a small business, you probably don’t have those kinds of resources. Today we’re going to explore 7 ways to get the most quality backlinks without paying for them. Let’s dive in.
Update your profiles
Go through every social profile affiliated with your business and double check that 1) the profile is complete, and 2) your website is included. Check everything from Google+ to YouTube. Wherever your brand’s name is listed, you want consistency and the correct hyperlink listed for effortless access to your website.
Claim your links
Search the internet for mentions of your business that do not include complete backlinks. For example, they may have written out your website, but unless it is hyperlinked, it won’t serve as a backlink. Once you have those sites rounded up, contact the authors and ask them to link back to your website. A quick and friendly email usually does the trick as they have already referenced you in their writing, so they should have a favorable opinion of your business.
Monitor your reputation and promote your content
In line with the previous tip, set up tools such as Google Alerts and BuzzSumo to scour the web for mentions of your business. These resources send daily or weekly emails that include any reference to your business or website. From there, you can reach out to the bloggers and authors who refer to you most often and begin building relationships with them. Again, a friendly email goes a long way and once you have an established relationship, these people are more likely to backlink to your website over and over again. You can also send them your content that is relevant for their site and promote your business in a soft way.
Comment, comment, comment!
Having a website or blog isn’t enough to get the amount of traffic you want. Start commenting on relevant blogs and forums so your name and website gain visibility. The more informed your comments, the greater the chance of readers checking out your website. Do your research and find the forms and blogs that pertain to your industry and are natural for you to comment on. Building your visibility within your industry is a surefire way to drive traffic and entice readers to link to your website.
Position yourself as an authority
Beyond commenting on other blogs and forums, start being interviewed. How do you do this? You can start by utilizing HARO (help a report out), which is a “service used by journalists when they need to quote an expert to flesh out an article.” This is an excellent means of establishing yourself as an industry expert and getting quoted in a plethora of places.
After you’re more established as an expert, you’ll receive invitations to guest post and be interviewed regularly. However, if the invitations are not streaming in, reach out to notable sources with topics you would like to contribute to. From there, you can develop relationships with these publishers, who will likely tap you for future contributions and interviews and refer you to other media outlets.
Include infographics and statistics
You love infographics, I love infographics, and everyone loves infographics. Why are they so popular? They make information easy to digest and visually communicate your message. They make great pieces of content to share, and thus generate backlinks. However, in order to stand out from the crowd, your infographics needs to be topical and relevant; otherwise they’ll fall to the wayside and you’ll have spent hours of time for very low return. When done well, infographics are shared virally and 100s of backlinks are produced from one image.
Neomam Studios put together a fantastic infographic that explains why we love infographics and reinforces how powerful they can be as visual tools to trigger social sharing. Click the here or image below to see the complete infographic.
Much like infographics, people gravitate to statistics because they are snippets of information that provide valuable insights. These bite-sized pieces of information are easy to share, and are incredibly useful when you’re trying to organically create backlinks. Keep in mind what kind of stats are of interest to your audience. Bloggers are always looking for research to site in support of their posts, and if your information is relevant, they will backlink to you. If possible, conduct your own research and cite a finding on your website. This positions you as an industry authority and will yield more backlinks.
If you have products and services you love and can write an authentic testimonial, do so! Companies of all sizes value honest testimonials about their products and appreciate a customer who is willing to write one without prompting. When you submit your recommendation, make sure to include your website. Businesses prefer to include a website along with customer comments as the information helps validate that the endorsement is from a real person, and not written by the company. It’s definitely an unexpected source of backlinks, but it will yield traffic if you provide genuine and unbiased assessments of products and services.
Now that you have these seven guidelines at your fingertips, hopefully you’ll see the bump in backlinks you’ve been looking for! Have others ideas of how to generate 100s of backlinks? Tell us below in the comments section.
About the Author: Julie Chomiak is the Content Marketing Specialist for Webs and Pagemodo. When she’s not scouring the web for small business trends, Julie loves traveling, interior design, and animals of all kinds. Get more from Julie on the Webs Blog and the Pagemodo blog.