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December 6, 2021

Getting Started With Link Building

If you’re new to the world of SEO, it can be quite challenging getting to grips with the ins and outs of link building.  

This guide highlights some tried and tested ways of building backlinks that will get the ball rolling on this crucial component of SEO.

But first, let’s look at why you shouldn’t ignore link-building if you are serious about your SEO.

Backlinks are simply links back to your website from another website.  They are a major factor in how the search engines rank websites – and those pages that have a number of quality, relevant backlinks generally rank higher in the search results.

They’re like votes of confidence.  The higher the vote count, the more likely the search engines will see the website as having authority and trust and the higher they will position it in their rankings.  

Best Ways to Find Good Backlinks

If you’re starting out with link building, here are some of the best ways to find good backlinks.  And as you go deeper into your SEO strategy, there are plenty of other opportunities that you can explore. 

Edu links

Generally, .edu domains are reputable, which is why backlinks from these sites are extremely valuable.  But they take a bit of getting.  If you have a university degree, a good place to start is by finding a business directory relevant to your alma mater.  Simply do a Google search for ‘{the name of your university} alumni business directory’.  

If you have an affiliation with a university or can offer students something (this would obviously depend on the nature of your business) such as a discount, special deal, study guide etc, it may make it a bit easier to get an .edu link if they have a discount page for their students. This will take some research into the universities website, but it’s worth a look!

Local Authority websites

An easier option is to get backlinks from business directories aimed at local authorities.  These are becoming more prevalent with the growing focus on ‘looking local’ and shires/councils exploring opportunities for supporting small businesses in their area.  

Look for these types of directories by doing a search for the local authority plus business directory, eg ‘City of Stirling Business Directory’.  Then check out page one of the search results to see if there are any quality opportunities where you can add your business.

Local directories

Still on matters local, it’s worthwhile looking for local directories in your suburb/town/state.  As with local authority websites, you would simply search for the name of your suburb or town or state plus ‘business directory’ and see what comes up. Occasionally these business directories will ask for payment and generally I would avoid these unless the fee is low. According to Google’s Terms of Service you shouldn’t pay for backlinks but some websites state that you are paying for your website to be reviewed (and not the link!) which is a bit of a grey area. 

Industry directories

Look for directories which are relevant to the industry your business operates in.  Once you start delving into all the niche industries, you’ll probably be surprised at the opportunities you uncover.  For example, if you own a painting business, you could investigate directories in niche categories such as tradies, home improvement, building and construction, renovations, property management etc.  

As with the other searches, all you need to do is type in ‘home improvement directory’ and pick the results which are relevant to your particular business.  Remember, the quality of backlinks is key, so only list websites that are up-to-date, relevant and which look good.  You generally only choose directories from the country in which you operate, but there are some global directories that are OK too. 

Businesses within your niche or industry

If you’ve established good relationships with some complementary businesses within your industry or your niche, there may be opportunities to link to one another’s websites.  Here’s an example of how I have done this successfully for my digital marketing business.  I got in touch with a couple of close contacts and suppliers (eg a copywriter and social media consultant) and wrote unique blogs (relevant to their business of course) which they then posted on their website.  These included a link back to my website in my author biography.

You could also ask a few close business associates if you could write a testimonial which they then could post on their website.  There would be a link to your site on your business name which appears alongside your name as the author of the review.  

However, do this sparingly otherwise you run the risk of the links looking ‘spammy’ and attracting Google’s attention for the wrong reasons.

 Social Media backlinks

Even though social media backlinks don’t really qualify as backlinks from an SEO perspective, they still play an important supporting role.  Make sure you link all your social media channels and your Google My Business profile back to your website using the primary version of your domain name.  Remember your NAP (name, address, phone number) needs to be accurate and consistent, particularly if you’re optimising your website for local search.

A final word …..

SEO specialists all agree that a solid backlink profile is an absolute must for a top ranking in the search engine pages, and every website owner or manager should be focused on building quality, relevant links to boost their ‘vote count’, which give their website authority, which meet the expectations of Google’s algorithm and ultimately, which drive referral traffic.  

Link-building is just one of many essential components of SEO that I cover in my new self-managed online course, The SEO School.  I designed this course specifically to help busy small business owners come to grips with the basics of SEO and who want hands-on instruction and experience while implementing their own SEO strategy.

Participants in this self-paced modular course get guidance and support from a dedicated online group as well as specialist input and lots of insider tips from me.  I have 20 years of experience as an SEO specialist in Perth and hope to welcome you to the course and to SEO success! Find out more about The SEO School here.

 

  

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