Our last post brought to light the fact that backlinks have become severely undervalued in terms of their SEO prowess. They sit right up there in importance with having the right content and ensuring your metadata is structured properly.
Google’s search algorithm relies on backlinks as an indicator of quality, after all. Business pages that have a healthy amount of links pointing to them from legitimate sites are more likely to be worth other people’s time. They also provide proof of interest in a page, allowing Google to improve rank for pages that people are talking about.
So, once you have solid, keyword-optimized web page copy down and have begun a business blog, cultivating backlinks should be your next priority. Here are five easy ways to get started:
1. Claim Your Google My Business Profile, Yelp Page and More
Businesses that have been open for more than a few months most likely already have profiles on Google My Business (Google+) and Yelp. Google+ is by far the most important thing to claim since it helps add critical details to your SERP (search engine results page) listing. If you want searchers to accurately know when you’re open, what your phone number is and a description of your business as you envision it, Google My Business is the place to start.
As a bonus, Google My Business Pages tend to pop up as rich listings when an exact or partial match occurs. They also help Google Maps populate your map pin with more specific, accurate details.
In addition to Google My Business, sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Zomato, Trip Advisor and more may have listings for your business you can claim. If not, creating a new one can be incredibly easy and often free.
2. Make a Facebook Page
We know that Facebook can turn into a huge time sink, but it also provides many benefits to businesses. Like a second web page, you can list your hours, policies and even host things like a menu with just a bit of quick tooling.
More importantly for SEO purposes, Facebook pages provide a host of backlinks to your actual business site from a highly-regarded traffic source. Any blog you write for your page deserves to be shared on Facebook for that reason alone.
In addition to Facebook, you may find that Twitter, Instagram or even Tumblr can provide SEO benefits if you dedicate enough time to them.
3. Claim Other Local Listings
Sites like yellowpages.com may be fairly bare bones, but they provide free basic listings for businesses. These local citations flesh out backlinks and allow you the chance at another SERPs spot.
You can obtain local listings from the following sites:
- Yahoo Local
- Better Business Bureau
4. Become the Local News
Local news affiliates are often hungry for a scoop with a small-town focus.
Help them out by offering to share your opinion on a recent news event or sending a helpful, unpublished post you wrote that provides value to the community. For instance, a personal injury lawyer could draft a write-up on how to avoid guest injuries when hosting summer pool parties. Or, they could comment on a recent auto accident with notable injurious consequences.
Another way to make news is to host an event with a charitable purpose and invite the press to cover it. Doing so helps you look good, provides a service to the community, allows you to obtain some slight tax deductions and boosts SEO at the same time!
5. Offer Testimonials or Sponsorships in Exchange for a Listing
Another source of listings can come from websites of local organizations or locally-based vendors. By providing the latter with a friendly review of their services in exchange for a listing, both parties benefit. Offering a sponsorship to the former in exchange for a mention and a link listing can also mutually benefit both parties while furthering an important cause — from charities to Little League and everything in between.
Stepping Up Your Backlink Game with Smart Content Strategy
The above techniques require little planning and only a small amount of follow-through. With a solid content strategy, you could earn even juicier backlinks from shares of your informative and valuable content. There are also other avenues to explore for improving your SERPs ranking through linking and other means.