More than 30 years into the great experiment that is the Internet, a website remains essential for any business that wants to connect to new customers. Unfortunately, getting your website noticed is becoming harder and harder -- especially for small businesses, which typically lack the resources for sophisticated search engine marketing campaigns.
"As the owner of a small business website, you may find it hard getting your site noticed online when it's up against the big guys, especially if you're not an SEO master," author Syed Balkhi writes in an article for Entrepreneur.com.
Fortunately, there's an effective and affordable solution that can generate traffic to your website: backlinking -- getting other websites and blogs to feature links to your site in what essentially is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth referrals.
But backlinks can't be manufactured; they have to be earned, suggests Balkhi, who has several ideas for how to kindle more backlinks.
One idea is creating infographics -- "one of the most widely shared forms of content online," Balkhi notes. "Because infographics are so easy to consume and so fun to look at, they get shared a lot on social media. Plus, other companies and bloggers in your niche/industry will add your infographic to their own content, linking back to your website."
Online tools are similarly shareable. "For instance, CoSchedule offers a free headline analyzer targeted toward marketers and content creators. This tool is linked to in many articles about how to write better headlines," Balkhi says. "Your online tool doesn't have to be this complicated. If you own an accounting business, for example, you could offer a simple income tax calculator … A fitness center could offer an online calorie counter. Tools like these will be extremely helpful to your target audience and get a lot of shares online."
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