Promoting your business in the digital age can seem like an insurmountable task. How can you possibly compete with all the millions of other websites in your industry for attention?

Having your own blog is a good start. However, you have to be proactive about enabling others to find your content and your business. That’s where promoting your business through link building comes in.

It’s an effective way to increase your search engine rankings and exposure without breaking the bank, making it perfect for small businesses. In this guide, we’ll run you through the basics so you can get started.

What is link building?

The name actually says it all. Link building is the process of getting links from other websites pointed to pages on your website. A link that points to your website is usually called a “backlink” or “incoming link.” Leads are internet users that go to your site by clicking through one of these links.

These links are also used by search engines through a process called “web crawling.” They follow links between and within websites to help index the web and to factor the findings into SERP rankings.

Why link building?

Google loves it

First and most importantly, Google themselves has identified links as one of their top 3 SEO ranking factors. More websites linking to your pages is a sign of valuable content and boosts your rankings. The caveat is that the authority and ranking of those websites affect how much ranking they pass on to you. This combination of quantity and quality is often called “link juice.”

According to Backlinko, the number of incoming links to a page had the highest correlation towards its ranking.

It’s relatively cost and time-effective

We will go into some link building techniques below, but you’ll see that most of them are totally free. They also don’t require a lot of technical skill. Most of the time, you just need the willingness to do some research and to reach out to others. Still, it can be challenging because there is little potential for automation and requires a completely hands-on approach.

Build industry connections

As a result of many link building techniques, you’ll strike up relationships within your industry. These types of relationships can be mutually beneficial, especially if you’re not in direct competition. On top of search engine rankings, these relationships can result in other business-related benefits.

The benefits go beyond search engine rankings

Yes, ranking higher on Google’s SERPs is probably your main reason for trying to build links. However, there are other benefits as well, of which industry connections is just one. Through link building, you’ll spread the word of your brand on other platforms. Secondly, leads gained through backlinks are generally considered to be high-intent leads with a higher conversion rate.

How can you build links affordably?

There are numerous ways to build links for your website:

  • Guest post on other blogs: Guest posting is the method of getting your content published on other blogs or platforms. In this guide by guest posting agency Luckyposting, you can see exactly how it’s done.
  • Write on sites like Medium: It’s easier to get your content published on sites like Medium, Smashing Magazine, etc. However, you might not get the same amount of juice per link. Right now, these two are probably the best link building techniques.
  • Write linkable and sharable content: Different types of content are more likely to be shared or linked List posts, infographics, and how-to guides are generally the most “sharable.”
  • Promote your content: Share your content on social media, with your subscribers, and any other channels you can. No one is going to spread the word for you.
  • Reach out to influencers: Influencers already have followings that make backlinks from them highly valuable. They are also great for driving social media engagement.
  • Reach out to other blogs: Ask other editors or blog managers to link to your content where you think it will be valuable. Looking for broken links and offering to replace them is one strategy.

Before you go: Good vs Bad links, know the difference!

If you’ve researched the topic, you’ve probably come across the odd negative opinion of guest posting and link building. When guest posting was just taking off, many abused it’s potential by paying for incoming links and just be overall spammy in using them. It got so bad, that some feared the end of guest posting altogether.

Good links are:

  • Valuable
  • Relevant
  • Not too promotional
  • From a high-authority site

Bad links are the opposite of these factors. Today, there are enough opportunities out there that it shouldn’t be necessary to pay for links. If your content is valuable and relevant enough, it should be a strong enough incentive on its own.

No matter which technique you use to build links, try and stick to building good links. Your SEO rankings will thank you.