Link building is still the one thing that causes small businesses the most confusion and frustration. I’ve written about it before on Savvy Marketers and it’s one of those activities that really has to be done, whether you like it or not! Quality links pointing to a site is still one of the most important ranking factors, so I thought I’d share a few quick and easy ways to gain links if you’re starting out.
1. Business Directories
There are plenty of directories out there to submit your site to (some are better than others), but this is a great place to start with link building. It’s worth researching directories that serve your industry sector and also local directories if you serve a particular geographic area. Some good ones to look at are:
Open Directory (DMOZ)
2. Competitor Backlinks
You can find out where your competitors have gained their links from which can help a huge amount with research, saving time. To find your competitors links, the Yahoo Site Explorer is a good place to start. Type in your competitor web address and click on ‘inlinks’. You’ll be presented with a list of websites, which can also be downloaded into a spreadsheet if you use the ‘export results to TSV’ link.
Not only will this give you an idea of where your competitors may be gaining links from, but also an insight into what online marketing activities they’re doing. At the same time, don’t forget to review which sites link back to your own!
3. Blogs / Articles
Writing blog posts and articles which show off your expertise is another way of gaining links, which will also be more in context of what you do. If you’ve previously written articles, then work out how they could be recycled to use on article submission sites, guest articles on sites within your industry sector which may be looking for content, or even as a guest blogger on a blog that may serve your target market. There are usually quite a lot of opportunities when you start looking! Some of the better article submission sites include:
4. Social Networks
With the ever growing popularity of social networks, getting your content shared can also contribute towards the ‘link popularity’ of your website. The search engines are now taking activity on social networks into consideration in the way they rank sites (even if it’s not a large part of their algorithm currently), however, if your content is shared by more influential people, this can really help. Just make sure that what you share is good quality information! For more on this, please read our post ‘Social Media Does Affect Search Engine Rankings‘
If you’re embarking on a PR campaign for your products or services, make the most of the press coverage you get. Most ‘offline’ press articles are also put online and this is where a live link to your site would really help. Don’t forget to ask if the publication forgets to do this for you! If you’re sending out press releases, then make use of some of the press release sites out there too which include:
For more link building tips on Savvy Marketers, there’s a few posts worth reading in our Link Building category.
What link building tips can you share? If you’ve done anything that’s really helped spread the word and gain links for your business, then please add your comment here!