Yes, I know how to get free backlinks for small online projects, as I’ve got some experience working with local SEO agencies, as well as regionally targeted client SEO campaigns. I believe that apart from the concept of local SEO itself, the main challenge here is building White-Hat links for businesses on a budget, even on a very tight one. And I’m always shocked at how many novice webmasters and unskilled website owners, particularly on the local level, keep betting on PBNs (Private Blog Networks) or even link vendors sometimes even openly stating they’ve got HQ and high PageRank backlinks for sale. No need to say that their “clients” are just playing a very risky and dangerous game - ultimately, it can lead to earning themselves a heavy ranking penalty with Google. Sometimes such penalty may become even irreversible, not to say hardly recoverable. So, let’s face it - you should know how to get free backlinks using only White-Hat methods of link building in SEO. Otherwise, you might as well get your website or blog completely removed from Google search, instead of getting any measurable progress with higher ranking positions. And let’s finally get back to the point - below I’m going to show you how to get free backlinks using three smart tactics specially designed for a small business. Of course, it’s hard to build high-quality links organically, especially on a tight (if not zero) budget. But the task is still a definitely manageable one when handled right.
Local Citations and Business Directories
Why should you start with local citations and business directories, first and foremost? Just because these types of backlinks are a great opportunity to start with. Remember, most of the local sites and online business projects have not many or no existing backlinks at all. What’s more - local citations, directories, and business listings are the first things to be done for establishing a physical location and indicating a sphere of functioning for every new business, particularly those operating on the local level. Here is how to get free backlinks out there - simply pick a local citation finder tool, put together a spreadsheet containing your business description with the rest of general data, pass standard submission procedures for each citation, listing or directory needed - and you’re done.
Hint: among the others, I recommend trying Whitespark to help you find the right opportunities considering your location and the main target key phrase.
Top Influencer or Local Blogger Outreach
Considering that sponsored posts are too often out of any question (particularly in the industries like finances, legal affairs, marketing, etc.), guest post exchange would be great not only to grab some extra quality backlinks, but to share your knowledge for a mutually benefitting exposure to a broader audience, and to start building your own strong authority and user trust over time. To the point of sponsored blog posts - I don’t recommend this definitely Grey-Hat solution because paying for a backlink with a sponsored post you’re still playing a quite risky game as if you were actually buying paid links.
Hint: when everything else seems to fail, you might as well try guest posting. Yes, it’s a really time-consuming task that will need you to have a certain skill set in writing good articles. But considering a tight budget of the early post-startup period, guest posting on some relevant sources can become a really good solution to get a kickstart link building for your small business. Just make sure you’ve settled all terms and conditions of the deal in advance, and work persistently on a unique piece of writing with real value - and have some deserved high-quality backlinks in return.