Why Link Building Is Still Important for Small Business Owners
Written by Robert Katai
16 May 2017
Link building results in value building, brand building and increased brand awareness. Websites in the online world are always at war with each other over increasing their rankings.
This is because a higher ranking in search engines increases the chances of the number of visits to the website as well as the chances of conversion.
Even though the online world has grown in sophistication, there is more than one way of getting traffic to your website; it is still important to focus on link building, regardless of whether you are a small business or a large one.
In this article, we will talk about what link building actually is, how it can be done effectively and if done effectively, how it will benefit your business, even if you are the owner of a small-scale business.
What is Link Building?
Link building is basically the process of creating backlinks from external websites to your own business website.
The idea is to create a referral website for yourself, which would help refer people from that particular external website to your business website.
The process of link building helps with search engine optimization. And today SEO is such a big deal that you need to stay on track with all the new things, strategies and tactics.
So, I recommend that you check out this source where you can learn how to do SEO effectively.
The greater the number of links you have to your website, the higher you can get ranked in search engines. This is because search engines associate number of links with popularity, and if you have a good number of links to your website, search engines find you more relevant and more useful.
Why Businesses, including Small Businesses, should be interested in Link Building
In the presence of new and latest techniques, link building may seem like a strategy of the past. However, it is still quite relevant for businesses with an online presence. Small businesses can especially benefit from investing time, money and effort in link building.
Here are 4 reasons why small businesses need to focus on link building:
a. Increased website traffic
If you are a small business owner and you want to get an increased traffic from search engines, then focusing on link building is a must for you.
First of all, if you have a good number of external websites linking to your business website, you will rank higher and therefore, the chances of your target customers clicking on your website, whenever they generate a relevant search query on search engine, will get increased.
Secondly, whenever your target audience is browsing a website relevant to your business and finds your business website link on it, it creates a new source of getting traffic to your website.
So, both ways result in increased website traffic for your business.
b. Brand Awareness
When your target audience is surfing the web and learns about your website from external links, they get to learn about your brand.
For example, let’s say you are a small business owner of sports wear. Your target audience reading an article on how to stay fit through exercise comes across a point which talks about taking up sports as a source of exercise.
The point goes on to suggest that wearing proper gear while playing sports enhances the experience from pursuing that sport and then provides a link to your website, it will increase brand awareness for your business, and more and more people will get to learn about the availability of proper sportswear with you.
According to Harvard Business Review, 64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.
Secondly, most links are built through blogs. If you research, write and publish informative material about a particular topic, you will gain a reputation of being an expert in that particular field.
This also helps popularize your brand and make you renowned in your industry.
c. Relationship Building
In order to get an external website to mention your website’s link on theirs, you need to communicate with them and build a rapport. This increased communication will help create an understanding and a bond between the parties that communicate with each other. If your supplier’s or retailer’s website mentions the link to your website, it will help create a stronger affiliation between you and your supplier and/or retailer.
You will get to create a relationship with the website that links to your website since it will help generate more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness and result in the growth of your business.
d. Greater Visibility & Strengthening the Repute
Link building makes you stand out and become more visible in the eyes of your target audience. It helps build trust and reputation concerning your business, which in turn brings repeat traffic and business to your website.
77% of B2B marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth. Circle Research
The Importance of Earned Linking
One way to build links to your website is to persuade external websites to link to you, which is called the push strategy. Another one is the pull strategy – this means you provide something worthwhile to external websites and make them want to get linked to you of their own will. The latter strategy is known as earned linking. Simply put, earned linking is about earning links by providing something valuable and useful to external websites, making them want to get linked to your website. The most straightforward way to do this is to create content which is worth getting linked to.
How to Create Content to get Backlinks
Outwardly, creating high-quality, valuable and informative content seems like a simple enough strategy to automatically generate backlinks; however, coming up with content which is worth connecting to is much harder. Here are a few tips on how you can create worthy content:
- Answer Questions – Understand who your Audience is:
Let’s continue with the example we used above. You are the owner of a sportswear business and you’re about to write an article about why it is important to wear proper sports gear while playing sports. Who can be your target audience? The most obvious target audience would be sports bloggers.
After them, fitness coaches with their personal websites may be the target audience since they may want to purchase sportswear for their trainees. Schools and Universities may also be your target audience, as they can provide proper sportswear for their teams. This is why answering questions is a really good strategy to get some interesting links. Today, it’s very easy to find out the places where people ask questions about your brand and industry, you just need the right tools.
- Create valuable content - lengthy content with great information and data-driven content:
There is no substitute for solid content which provides detailed and useful information about a particular topic. Using facts, figures and statistics is the best way to create content which is trustworthy and worth connecting to. Providing good data and information about a particular topic makes for an interesting read for your target audience and external websites that are relevant to the topic and would love to build a link with you.
- The importance of user experience on your website:
Providing useful information is good only if it is convenient to access it. These days, no one wants to wait too long for the page to load or spend time and effort searching for relevant information. You have to make sure that the user gets to access your website quickly and is able to clearly and conveniently detect relevant data that concerns him.
If the page takes too long to overload, if the design is not good, or if there is any other reason which negatively affects user experience, no website would want to link to your website.
Here is the ABC you need to know about how to create a good landing page.
1. Make sure your website loads fast
In continuation to the previous point, you need to make sure your website content is made available to the visitors within seconds. A one second delay increases the chances of your visitors exiting your website without taking a look at the amazing content you have created.
2. Be the best in your niche
Rather than competing with your competitors on the same lines, be different. By bringing in new and fresh data and talking about something no one has done before, you can stand out and be the best in your niche. This is a sure-shot way of winning backlinks to your website because everyone wants to be associated with the best in the industry.
Other Tips to Get High-Quality Backlinks
- HARO - Help A Reporter Out: This is a platform comprised of various media agencies and agents who are working on particular stories and want expert information regarding particular topics. By becoming a part of this platform and providing information about the area you are an expert in, you can get the reporters to quote your website. This way you can create quality backlinks to your website.
- Create infographics and promote them: Infographics are much easier to read and understand since they take less time and provide exact information in an easy to understand and interpret way. You can create engaging infographics and promote them so that external websites can mention these on their own website, thus creating backlinks to your website.
- Start doing video series: You can keep your audience engaged only if you keep providing updated content on a regular basis, without becoming repetitive or boring. One of the best ways to do this is to create a video series. This way you can create a theme around your content and bring fresh, yet relevant content to your audience without becoming boring.
- Guest post for other websites: You can post on other websites where something relevant to you is being discussed. When you provide your informative comments on a guest blog, you can mention the link to your website, thereby creating backlinks.
The idea behind successful link building is to do a genuine job of doing so. If you don’t pursue a natural looking way of doing so, link building will not work in your favor.
Good-quality link building is important as well as useful for all businesses, including small business owners.
Robert Katai is a Visual Marketer and Content Strategist at Bannersnack. He is passionate about Instagram, landscapes, coffee and warm chocolate croissants.