When you’re building links for your small business website, where should you begin? Who are your potential link partners? Do you know?
Link building for small businesses is easier than for large Web-only businesses because you don’t have to have a lot of inbound links really to stay competitive. If you are a book store owner in a small town, for instance, and you have a website then most of your prospects are going to be local people. Will you sell over the Web? If not and you only want to have a Web presence to drive traffic back to your brick-and-mortar store, then it’s pretty simple.
What you want to do is identify who your competitors are, direct competitors. Keep in mind that as a local business you are not competing against Web businesses that do not have a presence in your community, especially if you aren’t selling on the Web. You may be competing for a general keyword search term like “books” or “book stores”, but as a local book store you are primarily targeting a geographic area, which a large chain store or Web-only store wouldn’t be. So your strategy should be different.
Therefore, who are your local competitors? Write them down then find out what inbound links they have. If your competitors don’t have websites then that will be easy. If you are in a large urban area and you have chain competitors then consider them competitors.
Next, write down all of your suppliers, business partners, etc. See if they have websites and find out who their link partners are.
After you have found out who the link partners of your competitors and partners are then you’ll want to examine their websites to find out if those websites will make good link partners for you. Some will, some won’t. But it doesn’t hurt to analyze it.
That’s where I’d start my link building process. After that, you want to go a little deeper.