The Best Way to Get High-Quality Backlinks for Your Clients
For small business owners, getting backlinks can seem like a daunting task. How does a local business get other people to link to their site online? That’s where a smart marketing consultant comes in.
You can help your clients get some basic backlinks up and running pretty quickly by tapping their existing partners and resources within their community. Things like the local chamber of commerce online listings, alumni directories for the founders’ schools, and church and community directories are great places to start. This is the low-hanging fruit, and getting these backlinks set up will make your client feel good about moving onto next steps.
Once you’ve established those links, it’s time to move onto more advanced tactics. Gathering more backlinks should be an ongoing effort, and if you’re looking for legitimate ways to get backlinks, these are the best way to do it.
Find Competitive Links
Start by investigating your client’s competitors. Where are they getting backlinks? Are they in industry databases or local publications that list providers in their city? Once you’ve discovered these additional places where your client can be listed, it’s sometimes as easy as filling out a simple form to get your client’s business listed.
Restructure Existing Content
Hopefully your client already has some content on their site. Sometimes, there’s an opportunity to restructure or refresh the content they already have in order to generate backlinks.
See if they have any blog posts that list providers or tools that might be helpful for their readers. Take a look through the list and add some new businesses onto them. Then, reach out to these businesses to let them know their service or tool has been featured; they’ll want to let their customers know that they got a shout-out on an outside site, and so you’ll likely get a backlink from them.
Write Guest Posts
Guest blogging has long been a popular, more advanced way to get backlinks. Reaching out to relevant sites and having your client guest on their blog is a great way to get links. However, over the years the trend of guest posting has waned a bit, so it’s now more difficult to get a guest blogging gig.
It’s worth the try, though! Put together a targeted list of blogs and publications that would be a solid fit for your client’s business. Write a compelling, error-free pitch email, outlining the topics your client could write about and why it would bring real value to their audience. Tailor your pitch to each blog’s specific audience, and take the time to research who you’re emailing so that you can send a personalized message. Finally, feel free to follow up with your contact in a respectful way if you don’t hear back initially.
Become a Podcast Guest
While guest blogging seems to be falling out of favor, guest podcasting is my new favorite way to get backlinks. Just like with guest blogging, guest podcasting is great because it allows your client to tap into the existing audience of the brand of the podcast they’re appearing on.
And there’s an additional benefit that guest blogging doesn’t have: It’s very little additional work. While writing a blog post requires research, writing, editing, and selecting photos and relevant emails, when your client is a guest on a podcast, they simply show up and talk about what they do every day. They’re the expert in their field, and so they should be able to speak comfortably on the topic with little preparation. And with most podcasts, you can call in from wherever you are to speak with the host, so within the 30 minutes or so that it takes to do the interview, your client has generated great backlinks.
Undertake Exclusive Research
While it’s sometimes challenging to convince others to let your client guest blog, if they have exclusive research to share, they can capture everyone’s attention. Offering up their research is a great way to get media links and to even open guest blogging doors.
Yes, exclusive research takes time. However, if your client is able to partner with one of their existing business relationships, they can both reap the benefits and halve the work. Ask both your client and their strategic partner to tap into their networks to find people to interview for the research. Then divide and conquer when it comes to assembly the data and creating visually-appealing ways to share it.
Name Drop in Posts
How can you get attention and backlinks for new content you create for your clients? Mentioning relevant influencers, community members, or others in your posts is a great way to get re-shares on new content.
Of course, you shouldn’t just stuff names into posts for the sake of name dropping. Make sure that the people you’re mentioning are relevant to what you’re writing about. For example, let’s say your client is a home remodeling business. Consider pulling together a series of posts featuring families they’ve done work for. If there’s anyone that’s a pillar of the community who they’ve worked with, ask if they’d be willing to be featured. Let’s say they helped the former mayor remodel her kitchen—ask her if she’d be willing to talk about the process and share how her new and improved kitchen has bettered her life.
Once the post goes live, let the person know and ask them to re-share with their network and followers.
Write Press Releases
With all of these new digital marketing tactics, it’s possible to forget about those tried-and-true methods. But press releases are still a great way to get attention and backlinks! Is your client launching a new product or opening a new location? Did they make a big, announcement-worthy hire? Are they participating in a local community event? There are plenty of reasons you might write a press release on their behalf.
If you need a refresher on how to write an effective press release, check out this guest post on our Duct Tape Marketing blog.
Incorporate External Linking
This is a long-game approach to getting backlinks, but it’s worth the effort. When you’re creating content for your clients, link out to tools and resources you genuinely like and think are helpful. If you’re featuring a specific tool or mentioning an individual person, you can email the business or person to let them know. But it’s good practice to include external links in every post, and many of those external links don’t warrant an email to the source.
However, it’s likely that the source is doing exactly what you’re doing for your client: monitoring their online presence. They’ll see an alert that they’ve been linked out to, and that simple thing gets your client’s brand on their radar screen. While they might not shout out that piece of content or link back to them right away, there may come a time in the future where they’re looking for a link to share that’s relevant to your client’s business, and it’s your client’s site that they’ll turn to.
It’s important for your clients to build up a repository of backlinks. It matters for their SEO ranking and their online reputation, and the more mentions they can get across the web, the more likely they are to win the attention of a new audience. But just as important as quantity is quality. That’s where you come in. A great marketing consultant can help a client gather backlinks that are relevant for their business.