While link building is challenging for any business, backlinks are still one of the major factors that Google and other search engines consider when ranking web pages. According to Andrey Lipattsev – a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google – links are one of the most important rankings factors apart from content and RankBrain.
Basically, links to your domain from other websites help to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts because they show search engines that your content is valuable to users. This is why it’s crucial that your business tries to build a strong backlink profile.
Here are 12 strategies that any business can use to acquire more backlinks in 2021 and beyond.
1. Ask Your Suppliers
If you’re regularly purchasing something from another business, ask them to include a link to your website. As you’re a regular customer, they’ll benefit from your success, so they should understand that linking to your business will be mutually beneficial.
2. Write Testimonials
Similar to the last point, contact other businesses that you use and offer to write a testimonial in return for a backlink. You could write an in-depth review of their product or service, or write a concise testimonial. All businesses appreciate positive reviews, and some will be happy to publish your review and link to your site.
3. Publish Expert Roundups
An expert roundup is a piece of content that features various industry experts giving insights into a particular topic. You choose the topic, so you can make sure it’s tailored to your specific audience. It takes some time and effort to reach out to experts in your field and create the post, but the results can make it worthwhile.
Once you publish it, simply ask your contributors to share or link to your content. The benefits are threefold: you’ll build your reputation, drive more website traffic, and increase your search engine rankings.
4. Offer Content Upgrades
If you have useful material such as an ebook, infographic, or report, reach out to relevant websites that might want to include additional resources in their content. Find content that is ranking quite well for a particular keyword or phrase, but could benefit from your additional content. Some sites will be happy to link to your resource if it adds value to their content.
5. Claim Your Links
If you’ve been around for a while, your company is likely to get mentioned across various online channels. However, not everyone that mentions your business will include a link to your website. To take advantage of these mentions, ask the webmaster in question if they could convert your mention into a link.
To find mentions of your brand, use tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Mention, and Mentionlytics. Alternatively, set up a Google Alert for mentions of your business or blog.
6. Fix Broken Links
You need to use software for this method, but there are many tools available online. The strategy here is to find websites with external links that result in a 404 error. Then, if you have content that is relevant to the link, ask the webmaster to link to your resource instead of using the dead link. The best tools will let you search for broken links on specific industry websites.
7. Optimize Your Directory Listings
It’s important to regularly update your directory listings. First, make sure you’ve claimed your listings on Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, YellowPages and other main directory sites. Then, search for niche directory sites relevant to your industry and get your business listed. Make sure your listings are accurate and up to date. Providing accurate information is crucial to improving your search engine rankings.
8. Reach Out to Other People You Mention
The most successful content online often links out to other helpful resources. You should take the same route whenever you create new content. Including links to other useful pages not only offers your readers more value, it also shows search engines that you create useful and trustworthy content.
But there’s one other major benefit: these outbound links are giving value to other websites, so they might link back to your site. Whoever you link to, let them know via email that you’ve mentioned them in your new content. If they like your content, they might share it with their followers or even link to it from their website or social media channels.
9. Build New Relationships
Networking has always been an important aspect of business. It can help you meet new people and exchange ideas, it provides sales opportunities, and it can even lead to new partnerships. In today’s digital world, it also creates more linking opportunities. Think about all the people you already know. They probably have somewhere online where they could link to your business.
And what about people that you don’t yet know? You could join niche online forums, social media groups, and industry associations for a start. Also, start following the social media accounts of influencers in your industry. Listen to what they have to say and join in the conversation. There are many opportunities to expand your network.
10. Write a Guest Blog Post
Writing guest posts for other blogs has been a popular link building tactic for some time. It takes a little more effort, but it can pay off. If you target the right blogger in your industry, you can acquire a quality backlink that reaches a whole new audience. Obviously, you need to choose blogs that are relevant to your business, but you can use Google to search for blogs that accept guest posts. Type in your industry keyword and “submit a guest post” or “guest post guidelines” and you’ll find plenty of blogs that you could write for. Just remember to strictly follow their submission guidelines.
11. Conduct Original Research
One of the best types of content for earning links is original research. Studies centered around your industry might be more difficult to execute, but this is what makes them so valuable. One of the simplest options is to survey your customers. You can use email or social media to gather data, but what really matters is the finished article.
Crucially, take the time to interpret the results and present the information in an easy-to-read format with clear visuals. After publishing your original content, spread the word on social media. When you get it right, an original study can steadily generate backlinks for years.
12. Regularly Promote New and High-Performing Content
If you have a quality link-building resource such as a long-form evergreen article or original study, that’s great – but people still need to know about it to link to it. This is why content promotion is vital to link building and improving your search rankings.
Regularly promoting your content via email and on social media is key. Even though email open rates and social media shares have no direct impact on search rankings, the more visible you make your content, the more website traffic and engagement you’ll receive – and this is what Google and other search engines care about. For this reason, you should always include social sharing buttons within content and ask people to share your content.
There are many ways you can build links to your website, even if you’re on a tight budget. Some of these techniques might take more time to implement, but none of these strategies require you to spend any money.
Ultimately, link building should be an ongoing part of your online marketing strategy. Acquiring backlinks involves reaching out to others, building relationships, consistently creating quality content, and regular content promotion. When all of these things are brought together, your business will reap the rewards for years to come.
If link building sounds too challenging for you, get in touch with our SEO Agency, our digital consultants are here to assist you.