Blog > Top 5 Small Business Link Building Tips
Posted By Create
Link building is arguably one of the more important and influential aspects involved in getting your website to rank well in search engines. They are important as Google and other search engines use them as a mark of authority in order to judge what websites are most relevant in answering the user's query.
We have compiled some tips and information on good practices for building links back to your small business's website.
Make Content Worth Sharing
The very best way to get links back to your site is to write good quality, informative content that people will want to share and link back to.
Have you ever linked to an article that you really enjoyed or found helpful? This is exactly what you want people to do to you.
A great way to do this is to start a blog. In your blog, write about things you think your target market would like to hear about - something of value. For inspiration on blogging, check out Create's blogging tips.
Google wants link building to be natural. If it looks too forced (or too much like you are trying to ‘cheat’ your way up the rankings) then it's likely that your link building efforts will have the opposite effect.
Try contacting relevant bloggers or online article writers and getting them to feature mention of or a link to your website on theirs.
Do some research and find websites that might be able to feature your website.
Link building is not just about getting lots of random links back to your website. Remember that you are also advertising your website. You want people to actually click that link and visit your website, so try to include your link where you think your potential customers could find you.
For example, if you sell baby clothes, putting a link on a farmer's forum would do you no favours.
How about running a competition through your Facebook page, in which you give away a prize to the person who writes the best blog post about one of your products? (Please be sure to comply with Facebook's Terms & Conditions regarding competitions).
Or how about contacting a local magazine’s website and getting them to feature your website?
While doing this, do be careful to avoid ‘paid for’ linking. If you see a website that claims to help to get you a good search engine rank by having you pay them to link to you - don’t! If Google spots this, you could be penalised and this link will not be considered in your ranking.
However, on that note, adding yourself to a free web directory is fine, but try not to do it too often to keep your link profile looking natural.
Here are some tips on finding good websites to link from:
- Look for trusted websites (avoid any websites with spammy connotations).
- Look for popular and well-established websites.
- Look for relevant websites (websites that are complementary and relevant to your website) as these will add far more value than a random website that is completely unrelated to yours.
Low Value Linking
There are a lot of places online where you can add content to others websites now.
For example, comments on blog posts, guest book entries, forum posts and so on all offer easy ways for you to post links back to your website yourself.
However, there is a lot of evidence that suggests links like these have a very low impact on your ranking, but then again a lot of this could then aggregate in your favour. Generally though, Google will devalue these links and your efforts will be wasted.
Social Media Profiles
Linking on your social network posts such as Twitter and Facebook are ‘nofollow’ links, which means that search engines will not count them. Don’t discount this as a method though, as it is still highly valuable marketing which may lead to your content being shared elsewhere.
Written a new blog post? Remember to tweet and post about it on Facebook, this helps it to reach more readers who may then share your content.
Keywords in the Anchor Text
Search engines value a link based on several factors, and one such factor is the text of the link itself.
The text that you actually link with, commonly referred to as anchor text (in this case the text 'anchor link' itself), should contain relevant keywords indicating what the link is connecting to. So, for example, if you have a custom jewellery website called "Lindsay's Gems", rather than linking the text "Lindsay's Gems", you should link text like "Bespoke handmade silver jewellery".
There is a lot of evidence that suggests this can help improve your rank on those keywords. This is because if text reflects the content of what is being linked to rather than the title, Google has a better understanding of the relationship between the link and your website. Just imagine how many times Google sees the link and anchor text 'click here' and wonders, "Where's that going, then?" So be nice to Google, and Google will be nice to you.
As mentioned before, link building is not a quick process. Just like any kind of SEO, it is best to approach it as an ongoing and gradual job. It can take time to build and then more time to start seeing results as Google picks up on the links. If you try to make link building a routine part of your ongoing website maintenance you should start seeing great results.
If you have any questions about link building, or any advice for others on how to build links, please leave your comments below!
If you are new to the practice of link building, you may want to read our introductory blog post.
Check out our other articles in the 'Improving Your SEO' series: