The importance of link building for SMEs: A comprehensive guide

Link building is one of the cornerstones of SEO, increasing the visibility and reach of a website. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), standing out in the digital space is key, and link building can help. The strategy is not just about the number of links, but also about quality and relevance.

How to increase the visibility of your website?

In the digital marketing universe, you’ll find a myriad of tools to help improve the online visibility of your business. One of the most critical tools is link building, which is a fundamental element of search engine optimisation (SEO).

Many people tend to underestimate the role of link building and SEO, which are key to the online success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). But why are they so important? Allow us to go deeper into the subject!

The nature and importance of link building

Link building is a cornerstone of SEO. The idea is to get as many quality and relevant websites to link to your site as possible. These links are taken into account by search engines such as Google when ranking websites. So the basic aim of link building is to increase the visibility and reach of your website.

SMEs often struggle to be visible in the digital space. A well-established link building strategy can help your business stand out from the crowd, increase organic traffic and ultimately boost sales. Link building not only improves SEO, but also contributes to brand credibility, as having other, trusted websites link to your site increases the credibility and value of the site in the eyes of users.

Developing a link building strategy

Link building is not a simple process, it takes time and effort. First, it’s important to understand that link building is not just about getting more links. It is more important that links are from quality and relevant sources.

This is followed by the step of identifying the websites that could potentially link to your site. It is important that these sites are relevant to your industry and that they offer high quality content.

Then comes the emphasis on the importance of content marketing. Creating quality content not only encourages visitors to return to your website, but can also encourage other sites to link to your content. That’s why it’s important to regularly produce interesting, useful and relevant content.

Last but not least, don’t forget about networking. Connect with other website owners, bloggers and people relevant to you. A good relationship can greatly contribute to link building efforts.

Link building in practice: how to get started

The link building process can start with the so-called. ‘natural’ link building, where other websites link to your content without you asking them to. This usually happens when you create really valuable and unique content that gets people interested and sharing.

Then comes ‘manual’ link building, which is a much more active process. This includes link exchanges, guest posts, and PR articles. It is important to note that the quality of the links is also key here.

‘Requested’ links are the third category, where you ask other sites to link to your content or update an existing link to point to your site.

For each strategy, it is worth considering the so-called. ‘anchor texts’, i.e. the text to which you place the link. The anchor text should reflect the content of the linked page and preferably include the keywords you want to rank for.

In summary, link building is an essential tool for SMEs to compete in the digital space. It takes time and effort, but the investment pays off in the form of increased visibility, increased traffic and ultimately increased sales.

Remember, link building is not only about the number of links, but also about quality and relevance. A well-designed link building strategy helps SMEs to stand out from the crowd and succeed in the digital space.

Now let’s look at some examples of how link building works in practice.

  1. Natural link building:
    Let’s say you own a software development company and you regularly share informative articles, tutorials and advice on software development on your blog. One of these posts, focusing on a solution to a current software development problem, attracts the attention of another editor of a reputable tech blog, who cites your article as the source of the solution. This link is a ‘natural’ link, which required no direct effort on your part, other than producing quality content.
  2. Manual link building:
    The other example is ‘manual’ link building. Suppose you find a blog that is closely related to your industry and they regularly share guest posts. You see the time has come to contact the editor of the blog and offer to write an expert article on a topic that might be of interest to their readers. In the article you link to your own website, of course. This process is an example of ‘manual’ link building.
  3. Links requested:
    In the third example, you already have a guest post on a reputable industry blog. You notice that the link in the post pointing to your website is out of date because you have since updated the structure of your website. You raise the issue with the blog editor and ask him/her to update the link to point to the right page. This is an example of a ‘requested’ link.

All these examples show that link building is a multidimensional process based on content production, identification of relevant sources and purposeful link building.

But all of these strategies have the same goal: to increase the visibility of your website and thus help your business succeed online.