Backlinks are arguably the most important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Certainly quality content, social shares, low bounce rate, fast load times and having a mobile friendly website all help. But the bottom line is if nobody links to your content then you almost certainly won’t rank. In this post I’m going to describe the three best types of backlinks to get for your website. If you’re a small business then acquiring these backlinks will almost certainly give you a boost in rankings even in the most competitive markets.
Directory listings are very powerful, particularly for local businesses, or companies that serve a specific geographical area. It is perfectly natural for small companies to get their businesses listed in online directories. Places like Yell.com, City Search, Brown Book and Yelp all allow listings of businesses in their directories. Most of the time these are free and often times you will get a place to add your website which will effectively give you a backlink. There are hundreds of local and industry specific directory sites across the internet. While it isn’t necessary to submit to all of them getting several dozen or even a hundred or so listings can do wonders to your rankings. There are many service providers online that will do it for you if you want to do it yourself I suggest submitting to 3-4 directories each week, as it is very laborious to do this in bulk. After 6 months you’ll have around 100 listings with around 100 backlinks pointing to your website.
Press release are a great idea for small businesses. The better quality ones can be expensive, unless you have a connection with a journalist, but there are plenty of free press release platforms available. A press release gives you the chance to alert the press about news about your company. We often write press releases for our clients about new appointments within their company, awards or certifications they may have won or even the updating of their company website. Press releases often get syndicated to dozens of websites, each of which will have a backlink to the business’s website. You can also embed videos and images in some press releases which have even more SEO benefit.
Finally, the third backlink source is social media and other Web 2.0 platforms. Websites like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to create business pages where you can leave a link to your website. Blogging platforms like Tumblr and Weebly along with social sharing sites like Delicious and Diigo all allow backlinks on the profile pages created on their sites. These are all great places to get a backlink from an authoritative site linking back to your website. Once more, there are hundreds of these websites to choose from so I recommend choosing a couple each week to sign up for and drop a backlink on each one.
These three backlink strategies, while simple but time consuming, are very powerful in getting your website moving up the search engines. If you are in particularly competitive industries, then they should form the bedrock of links before more advanced strategies are deployed.