When we tell small business owners that they need to invest time in link building, they often respond with a very fearful look on their face. Link building? What is that? How are they supposed to go about building links to their site? Impossible!
But it’s not. Because what many small business owners don’t realize is that they’re naturally awesome at this whole link building thing. Don’t tell those larger brands, but SMBs are actually ringers.
Well, here are just three reasons.
1. SMBs Understand Relationships
Ask any SEO expert worth their salt and they’ll tell you that link building is all about establishing relationships. It’s about making the time to get to know the influencers in your niche, to introduce yourself and to give them a reason to link to your website. That’s why link building is so difficult for larger businesses to get a handle on – because they’re not in the habit of becoming friends with their customers or building relationships with fellow SMBs, vendors and even competitors. Small business owners have been doing this for centuries. It’s what their businesses are based on.
As a small business owner, your ability to be human and connect with people will become your biggest asset as a link builder, because you can’t just walk up to a site and ask them to link to you. You need to establish a rapport with them first. And that’s where SMBs have a huge leg up – they know how to do this better than anyone and usually already are!
2. Offline Contacts Have Become Online Contacts
Small business owners are master networkers because they have to be. For people to find out about their SMBs, they know they have to get active in their community and their niche. It’s not uncommon for SMB owners to volunteer at community events, to be active in their local chamber of commerce or even to speak at local schools or universities. The average small business owner has a long list of contacts and people built up over the years. What they don’t realize is that many times these offline contacts can also be online contacts, as well.
- That university or group you speak at? They’re online and capable of linking to you.
- Your Chamber of Commerce? Yup, they also have a website.
- That community event you donated services to? There’s a website and a Facebook page for that, too!
Each of these provide an opportunity for a small business owner to get a link back to their site by taking an offline contact and turning it into an online one.
3. Small Business Owners Make Great Local Sources
Local newspapers, websites and blogs are always looking for local content or local faces that they can put to national stories. Whereas there may be a lot of competition to get quoted in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, there’s not so much competition in getting quoted in The MyTown Gazette with a link that can be nearly as powerful.
I’ve written before about how to win media coverage as an SMB and these are opportunities that you always want to be on the hunt for. Are you hosting a noteworthy event that may be worthy of coverage? Are you releasing a new product or celebrating your 10th year in business? Is there a national story that you can present a local angle on? Reporters are always looking for easy content. Help them do their jobs, while also securing yourself a link.
Above are just three reasons why small business owners shouldn’t fear the art of link building. Because, the truth is, you’re already doing it. You just don’t realize it.