10 Actionable Link-Building Strategies For Small Businesses (2021)


Ever wished someone could teach you effective link-building strategies to help improve the SEO of your small business website?

Rejoice, I’m about to do just that.

The truth is:

Backlinks are challenging to gather—especially for new websites.

But the good news is that the process gets more comfortable and much faster when you follow proven strategies.

In this post, you’ll learn ten link-building strategies that can help you land quality backlinks fast.

1. Feature in Case Studies

Case studies are useful marketing tools. If they weren’t, then most brands—including popular ones—won’t be using them. 

Fortunately for you, you can also harness this tool to publicize your business and land backlinks.

Below is an example of what I’m talking about. It’s a case study on Clearscope:

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How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: List your favorite brands. Specifically, those whose products/services helped you achieve amazing results.

Step 2: Research the websites of the companies on your list to see if they publish case studies. You might want to take a close look at the header/footer menus:

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If you don’t find any relevant links on the navigation bar (or footer section), then you can type “case study” into the search bar on the website to see what shows up.

Step 3: Reach out to each company on your list and ask if they’d love to feature you in a case study.

Share your wins in detail within the email and include any necessary screenshots as proof of success.

Here’s a template you could use:

Hi {name},

I’ve got good news!

I just… {share your achievement}.

Here’s how I did it:

{highlight the exact steps you took}

I wouldn’t have done this without your assistance. Thanks a lot!

I’ve included screenshots of {proof 1} and {proof 2}.

I noticed that you often publish case studies on your website. Would you love to feature my story in one of your future case studies? I have some free time this weekend and wouldn’t mind hopping on a call to provide any information you might need.

Thanks for {say something nice}. And thanks, once again, for your assistance.

Best Regards,

{your name}

Here’s what an actual email might look like:

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2. Claim All Unlinked Mentions

Do a quick check now, and you’d probably find a couple of places where your business is mentioned online. Unfortunately, some of these mentions might not have a link back to your website.

These kinds of backlinks aren’t just useful for SEO. They can also help drive referral traffic to your website, which can, in the long run, land you new customers/clients.

So your goal is to find every mention of your brand without a hyperlink and then request a link. Simple.

How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Head over to Google and type intext:{business-name} to find blogs that have mentioned you.

Here’s an example:

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You can also read this guide if you’d love to learn other ways to find unlinked brand mentions.

Step 2: After listing out all unlinked mentions, send an email to everyone on your list. 

You can use this template:

Hi {name},

I see that you mentioned {your brand} in one of your blog posts {link to the post}. Thanks a lot!

But I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t include a link back to my website. Was this a conscious omission?

I believe a link back to us will make it easier for your readers to check us out if they want to.

I just felt I should inform you in case you might want to add a link back to us whenever you decide to update the piece.

Whichever way, thanks for the mention, {name}!

Best Regards,

{your name}

3. Write Quality Guest Posts

Google has long frowned on guest posting for link circulation. So the goal here isn’t to submit guest posts to tons of crappy, irrelevant websites to land boatloads of do-follow links. NO!

On the contrary, your aim should be to shoot for a few reputable websites in your industry and then share your valuable content with their audiences. If you do this right, you should get a handful of backlinks in the process.

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How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Make a list of reputable blogs in your niche that accept guest posts. 

You can find these blogs on Google by searching for “{niche} blogs that accept guest posts” because it’s likely that someone must have already compiled an enormous list for your niche.

Here’s what I mean:

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Step 2: Carefully read the submission guidelines of your target blog(s). Note the kinds of guest posts they publish and how they prefer the piece submitted.

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Then finally, create the piece and then submit it for review.

You can check out this guide to learn more about guest posting.

4. Create Shareworthy Infographics

Infographics make content consumption a breeze. And since readers love them, many brands (and bloggers) include them in their blog posts. So if you can create beautiful infographics, you will surely find bloggers willing to use them.

How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Use Google Trends to find a topic that’s trending in your industry.

So let’s assume I run a business in the health industry, I might look up “physical fitness”:

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Or better yet, I might narrow down my search to “stationary bicycle”:

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By taking a close look at the results, it’s clear that the topic is trending, and so it will be a good idea to create my content around it.

Step 2: Once you find a perfect topic, the next step is to create an Infographic around the topic. In my case, I might create an infographic on:

“10 Best Stationary Bicycles to Buy in 2020” or “15 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Stationary Bike.”

For the designing of the infographics, you can hire a skilled designer on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork

Step 3: Once everything is set, generate an embed code and then publish the infographic on your blog.

Since your chance of getting backlinks (with this method) depends on the amount of traffic your post gets, you can spend a few bucks to drive paid social media traffic to the post.

You can also try guestographics to land more links from your infographic. 

5. Get on Relevant Directories

People love to get all the information they need in one place. So it’s not surprising why there is at least one online directory for every business under the sun.

So if you would love to publicize your business and gain natural backlinks, then add your business to relevant directories.

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How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Find and then make a list of relevant directories in your industry. To do this, search on Google for “{niche} directories in {location}”.

Let’s assume you own a plumbing company in the United States. 

Your search should look like this:

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Step 2: Locate the submission guidelines of each directory.

Links leading to the guideline page are usually sprinkled everywhere in directories—literally. So this process is pretty straightforward.

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Finally, follow the instructions on the page and then wait a while for whoever is in charge to add your business to the directory. 

6. Make a “Top X” Honorary Post

People love certificates, badges, and other similar things that showcases them as experts or superheroes. 

You can capitalize on this:

Write a “Top X” post and then create a fancy badge that winners can add to their blogs/websites, like the one below.

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In case you’re wondering if this strategy works, here’s proof that it does work: 

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How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Write a post using the “top X” format.

There’s no particular rule guiding this. Your list can feature anything/anyone:

  • Top restaurants, if your business is in the food and drinks industry.
  • Top fishing hooks manufacturers, if your business is in the fish farming niche.
  • Top blogging tools, if your business is in the marketing industry.
  • Etc.

After picking a topic, create a beautiful badge that those featured on the list can add to their website.

Step 2: Once you publish the post, email everyone you included in it. Depending on the number of brands on your list, you should get a couple of backlinks in a short time (especially from businesses that aren’t too popular yet). 

7. Claim All Pilfered Images

Everyone loves to have attractive images on their website. And when people can’t produce theirs, then they simply use that of others. 

Few bloggers/companies are likely using your images (screenshots, charts, infographics, etc.) without giving you credits. So the job here is to fish them out and then request for due attribution.

How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Go here to search online for your images. You might want to target ones that have attracted a couple of backlinks already.

Here’s an example:

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Step 2: Once you find a couple of websites using your image(s) without linking back, reach out via email using the template below:

Hi {name},

I’m {your name} from {your website}.

I just observed you used one of my images in this post{hyperlink} without credits. Was this an oversight?

I appreciate you using my image, but I’d love it if you could include a hyperlink—that leads to my website—with the anchor text “Source” (or anything else).



8. Contribute to Expert Roundups

Roundup posts (or “expert roundups”) probably aren’t new to you. They’ve become so popular that you can’t help but come across them now and then. 

Fortunately for you, these kinds of posts are perfect places to get backlinks. All you need to do is simply share your knowledge.

How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Find businesses or bloggers that regularly publish roundups.

To do this, search for {niche} + “experts share their “.

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Step 2: Email these brands/bloggers. Introduce yourself and then ask if they’d be working on any roundup post anytime soon—and indicate that you are available to share your expertise.

You can use the template below:

Hi {name},

I recently got to know about {blog/business}. Amazing pieces you’ve got on your blog!

I observed you regularly publish expert roundups. So I thought I should reach out to see if you are working on one of these pieces at the moment.

I’m {name}. I’m a {speciality & experience}. I’ve been featured in {places you’ve been mentioned on the web or in print}.

Let me know if you’d love to feature me in any of your upcoming roundups. I’d be thrilled to share my knowledge and expertise with your readers.

Best regards,

{Your name}

9. Offer Testimonials

Just like case studies, testimonials are another way to get backlinks by offering feedback.

So if you’ve built some influence already, then companies will be more than excited to publish your testimonials, and in return, link to your website.

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How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Make a list of brands/bloggers whose tools, services, or strategies helped you achieve a specific, positive result. 

Step 2: Check the websites of these brands to see if they display testimonials.

Step 3: Send a personalized email to each of the brands. (You can tweak and use the case study email template above.) 

10. Provide Additional Insights

Even the best of blog posts, books, and other resources can become much better.

So if you have a story or an idea that could improve an already published blog post, then you have the chance to land a backlink—if the author of the post uses your contribution.

For example, I reached out to Jacob Mcmillen after he published this guide for freelance copywriters. Since my contribution was relevant to the topic discussed, here was the result:

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How to nail this link-building strategy

Step 1: Identify a piece that’s shooting to become the go-to resource on a given topic in your industry. You might want to search for recently published “ultimate guides” or in-depth “how-tos.”

Step 2: Email the author of the piece.

In your email, commend the work of the person, share your story/idea, and mention that they are free to include your insights (and disclose your name) in the piece.

As a rule, resist the temptation to request for backlinks! This action might just raise a red flag. If your contribution makes sense and is super relevant, the backlink should follow naturally.

Here was Jacob’s response to my email:

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Over to You

The ten strategies highlighted above are some of the best white-hat link-building techniques around. So you need not go hunting for more ways to build backlinks for your small business website.

Start by implementing just one of the strategies above. And then move over to the next, and then to the next.

But remember, the goal here isn’t to gather a legion of weak, black-hat backlinks. Instead, it is to focus on getting a handful of quality backlinks that Google will love—ones that will boost your search visibility and skyrocket your revenue in the long run.