Link building is one of the most difficult and beneficial aspects of SEO. It takes persistence and planning to properly lead a link building campaign. But if you are a small company with a limited budget for SEO, how can you create enough quality links to make a difference in your business? There are ways and they are there.
- Reciprocal Links – I will link you if you make a connection with me. Be careful with that. Google does not tolerate excessive reciprocal links. For example, the link with each LinkedIn connection that you have will end badly for you. However, if you own a retail business and you link to a provider's website, it would be a healthy reciprocal link. Google appreciates the links that are relevant to each other, it makes sense. A landscaping company with a connection to a paver manufacturer makes sense as an example. Link to the sports bar where the owner goes after work, not so much.
- Article linking – Developing exceptional content that other web publishers will want to link is a great natural way to get links. If our landscaper has written an article on his site listing several types of mulch to use and how to spread it, a mulch company may want to refer to it in his own article. Presto, a natural link.
- Write Guest Messages – Another way to get useful links. If the landscaper can post the article on the company's mulch website instead of theirs, this would be a guest post. It is good and natural for the landscaper to put a link to his site at the end of the article. The link would be something like "this article courtesy of ABC Landscaping" with ABC Landscaping as anchor text back on their site. Do not overdo it! A link would be enough for SEO purposes.
- Web Directories – Listing your site on an online kazillion requires a lot of work and negative results. Listing your website in niche directories, plumbing site a directory of plumbers for example, is a good link building exercise.
- Buying links, … NOT – I know what you think about it. "I do not have time for that, why can not I just buy them?" NO! NEVER! You can get by for the short term, but over time you will find your website and business in Google Purgatory. Once you are there, it is difficult to go out. Believe me, you will not receive many calls when your site is on page 20 of a Google search. If you have bought links, the past will get rid of them. These links are problems. Useful information on how to handle old and dangerous links can be found here.
- Check Your Competitor's Links – Maybe they've found links that you do not have. Search your competitor's website with quotation marks "competitor.com", and the results will show you all the sites linked to it. Then you scroll down to find those who do not connect you. Too busy to do all this work. There are websites that will do it for you. Most charge a fee. Some give you a free look.
- Searching for dead links to your own site – If your website has been down for a while, you may have links that no longer lead to somewhere. These links are caused when a webmaster types the wrong URL of your site or if you have changed your website. The links create a 404 page. There are many tools for checking dead links on the Internet.
- Turn your popularity into a link – You've probably been mentioned in an article on the internet for something or other. Make this notoriety work for you. Contact the webmaster of the page you mentioned and ask them to link. Not everyone will agree but it's worth the call or the email.
- Support a local organization – Did you know that sponsoring this small league team can be a link building opportunity. At the local level, supporting local non-profit or charitable organizations can produce SEO results as well as good public relations. Most non-profit organizations will provide a link to a company that donates. A small weekend assignment can help find some in your area.
- Lists – Try to get a list. We got a list of the best SEO companies in Connecticut. We did not even know it existed but it was there. This is a good backlink for us. Beyond that, people click on the links presented as a list on a trusted site. This is human nature.
Finally, try to find websites with high confidence to link to. Moz has a measure called domain authority that measures the relative approvals of different sites. Use their Open Site Explorer tool to determine the reliability of a target site. For local business purposes, websites with an AD of 30 or more are good sites to link to. Once you have won a backlink, do not assume that you will be credited instantly. Get your links indexed by Google with these backlink indexing methods.