For any business owner, choosing the right marketing strategy is crucial. In a rapidly evolving digital marketing age, digital marketing spending is estimated to account for 80 percent of Chief Marketing Officers' budgets this year, according to a report by Chief Outsiders. Search Engine Optimization(SEO) continues to take precedence in the world of digital marketing with over 68 percent of online searches now beginning from a search engine. However, for smaller business owners, tactics such as maintaining optimal website speed and choosing the most effective link building opportunities may need to be done on a limited budget - and without the aid of an in house digital marketing team. When this is the case, business owners can rely on a few fundamental link building strategies and tools to build their brand recognition.

Tap Into The Blogging World With A Business Blog Or Guest Blogging On Relevant Sites

Links drive 17 percent of business searches in local areas. Therefore, choosing where to add them are crucial to the success of your marketing strategy. Blogging is one of the most effective ways of getting external links to your website. Guest posting, or creating a blog post for other blogs can increase exposure and drive traffic to your business website- if done correctly. A key part of this is choosing the right blog or website to approach. A great place to start is by researching relevant business blogs that are accepting posts and narrowing it down to your intended audience, industry, and initial goal (increase website traffic engagement, etc). To get high-quality links, be selective about your choice and use performance criteria like the site's domain authority and long term reader engagement.

Keep Your Content Local And Niche-Specific To Improve Backlinks To Other Local Businesses

When creating content for guest posts or elsewhere, business owners should be aiming to make their content engaging and highly relevant to their audience. Keeping your content local helps in targeting customers around your business and the same applies to your business niche. Similarly, localized content when l also creates the perfect backdrop to add backlinks to other local businesses in your area. 

While some may argue that this should not be done in the name of competitiveness, adding their backlinks can also boost your search engine ranking- for free in some cases. Many small businesses like yourself are looking to promote their own venture and would appreciate the additional traffic gained from it. Similarly, when it comes to considering link building, most marketing agencies and experts will also recommend that businesses keep their backlinks relevant. Evaluate the most applicable links for your content and what your customers would most want to pursue and provide links to businesses based on this.

Incorporate Social Media Into Your Link Building Plans

Social media marketing has exploded in recent years. Within the last year, the amount of social media users has increased 9 percent to approximately 3.484 billion social media users. Social media strategies such as the use of influencer marketing can also bring in a high return on investment. For instance, in 2018 every $1 spent on social media brought in $5.04- highlighting the needless opportunities for businesses to capitalize on social media platforms.

When it comes to businesses looking to boost their link building, social media can prove to be the perfect part of their digital marketing strategy for 2 main reasons: it is highly cost-effective and can evoke high engagement rates from consumers. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can help you foster relationships with your clients and other relevant brands/businesses- the same idea behind link building. 

One of the simplest ways you can include social media in your link building strategy is by creating dedicated social media accounts like Twitter. Curate a following of bloggers, businesses, and brands that align with your brand image and you would like to work with. Don't be shy to reach out to them directly with your promotional and blog content. A past survey on how SEO professionals do link building, 81 percent of them shared their social media content and 88 percent of them included links in their social media profiles.

Make Use Of The Free Link Building Tools Available When Doing It Yourself

Finally, one of the perks of the growth of SEO and link building in recent years has been the expansion in free or low-cost resources for smaller or cash strapped businesses to use. Establishing high-quality inbound links is important to increase business visibility and the right tools can help you do this. 

For tracking inbound links and social popularity scores, HubSpot's Website Grader has proved to be popular. The Page Inlink Analyzer can also provide useful inbound link recommendations while the MOZ Open Site Explorer helps you research the domain and page authority of any site you may want to work with. Other low-cost tactics and tools that can help you with link building include making use of Google Alerts and introducing collaborations with local bloggers, influencers, or other small businesses.

The truth is not every business can afford to have a dedicated marketing or SEO specialist in- house. However, by making use of the ample link building tools ou there and sticking to a few fundamental basics, you can ensure your business get noticed in all the right places and by all the right people.