How To Build Backlinks for “Boring” Businesses

Cover Image How To Build Backlinks for Boring Businesses

Backlinking is a fundamental part of any SEO strategy. You may have found yourself reading guide after guide and thinking,

Ok, this is great, but how can I create good content about my “boring” business that people will want to link back to?

Listen, there’s no such thing as a boring business.

If you provide a product or service, and people buy from you, then people are interested in it.

You just have to find the right angle, and then the right sites to give you backlinks to your website.

And trust us, there will be sites. You might just need to think outside the box.

P.S. Don’t worry if you’re wondering how to get backlinks to a new site with no money – most of these tips are completely free – all you have to invest is your time.

Why is Link Building Important?

Link building is important to all businesses, even the “boring” ones, for two key reasons:

  1. Google Rankings
  2. Referral Traffic

All search engines, Google included, use hundreds of different signals to decide where pages rank in their search results for a given search term.

Google has said:

In order to assess trustworthiness and authority on its subject matter, we look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries. If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that’s a good sign that the information is of high quality.

Search engine ranking is the top benefit of backlinking, but referral traffic is also a big bonus.

When prominent websites link to your content, there’s the chance that some of their readers will click the link and visit your site. This will get you more traffic, and if your content is good (which it will be), you could potentially get a lead or sale out of it too.

Will These Backlinking Techniques Work For My Business?

If you’re still not convinced that anyone will want to link back to your “boring” business, let us show you this example that will immediately change your mind.

Trelleborg is a company that create polymer materials that “seal, damp and protect”.

So basically, they make polymer seals.

How many backlinks would you expect them to have?

Would you have guessed 1.9 million?

Well, that’s how many they have, from over 8,000 different sites.

A screenshot of Trelleborg's backlinks from Semrush

A screenshot of Trelleborg’s backlinks from Semrush

Backlinks from suppliers, tech companies, conference sites, Wikipedia articles, multiple publications…the list goes on.

“Boring” brands can get backlinks just as easily as brands with a “shiny” offering, by following these seven methods.

How to Get Backlinks (even as a “boring” business)

  1. Create great content
  2. Go after quality backlinks
  3. Start guest posting
  4. Find unlinked brand mentions
  5. Create digital PR
  6. Get listed on resource pages
  7. Get easy distributor backlinks

1. Create Great Content

If you want to get backlinks, you need to be creating content that is worthy of links.

You can reach out to 100’s of publications, but if the content you’re asking to get a link back to isn’t worth the link, you won’t get it.

This isn’t just about blogs or articles either – if your product pages aren’t doing what your distributors need them to do to help them sell your products, they’ll just make their own product pages on their own site, maybe without even linking back to you.

Not sure where to start with awesome content? Don’t worry, creating great content that ranks on Google is one of the many things the team here at Exposure Ninja are excellent at.

The Skyscraper Method

The Skyscraper Method is a good place to start if you’re new to content creation. This method was coined by Backlinko and is fairly simple to get your head around.

Every good piece of content starts with a keyword or key phrase. If you don’t have any keywords just yet, start with our guide on how to do keyword research like a pro.

Pop the word or phrase into Google (even better if you use the incognito mode on your browser) and take a look at the top 10 to 20 results.

Google Screenshot of the search types of sealant

A screenshot of a Google search for of the search “types of sealant”

Take notice of the header text used, the number of words and if there are infographics or videos to explain the subject matter further.

For example, the top-ranking page for “types of sealant” is all text. Despite this, it’s in the top spot and even has the featured snippet.

A screenshot of the featured snippet for "types of sealant"

A screenshot of the featured snippet for “types of sealant”

Take inspiration from these top pages, and make something better. Make something link-worthy, easy to digest and with a clear target audience. Use more up to date info, create better graphics and refine what’s already out there.

This article could be enhanced with images showing the different types of sealant and their most common applications. It could have videos added showing the ways in which they should be used for maximum effect. Think to yourself – if you wanted to share a useful article on your website, what would you want it to include? Better yet, what would your target audience want it to include?

This is why content creation is extra exciting for “boring” businesses. You may have the chance to become a thought leader and authority in your industry by making the best, most creative content for customers.

By doing so, other sites in your industry will be more likely to link back to you. They want to be sharing the best information with their audience as well, and if you’re providing it, you’re going to get that link.

Multimedia Content

We all know walls of text have their place…but not in your website content. Content created to attract customers needs to have great information, but it’s even better to have your content broken up with images and videos where possible.

As mentioned before, if you have the best content in your industry, publications are more likely to link back to you. If you can explain a potentially “boring” concept in an interesting way, via an infographic, or even through a video, then others will want to link back to your useful content.

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2. Go After Quality Backlinks

Now you’ve created some great content, now is the time to reach out to publications for backlinks to your website.

It’s important to note you’ll only see “white hat” backlinking techniques from us, both in this guide and in our client SEO work. By following more shady black hat backlinking techniques, you put yourself at risk of getting penalised by Google – it’s just not worth it.

If it’s easy to buy backlinks, then they’re probably not worth it. Nearly 100% not worth it, actually.

 

So how do you find out who is linking where?

The fastest way to do this is by using a tool, such as Semrush (which you can try for free for 30 days using our exclusive partner link). The slowest way is to go through all the publications in your industry and see who is linking where.

We’ll stick with the tool.

We saw an article earlier in this guide that answered the question of “What are the different types of sealant?“. If we were a company also selling sealant, we would likely want to create a piece of content comparing the different types too. Let’s see who is linking back to that article using the Semrush backlink checker.

Screenshot of the backlink tool in Semrush

Screenshot of the backlink tool in Semrush

This article has 26 backlinks, which is a good number for a niche industry.

There’s the possibility that these links have been paid for, or are not of high quality. We can take a closer look at who has linked back to this article.

Screenshot of backlinks in Semrush

Screenshot of backlinks in Semrush

We can see from these backlinks that a majority of the pages linking back here are doing so because the content is useful.

They are using anchor text that is related to the content of the linked article such as “sealant“, “kind of sealant” and even “powerful properties” – referring to how sealant can be used to protect wood.

So why do we care who is linking back to this article?

We want to create something better, and once we have, we can reach out to the sites that are linking back to the page that currently has the top spot on Google, and ask them if they’d prefer to link back to our higher quality, multimedia piece of content.

It’s important to sell the value of your work when you reach out to these sites. Explain how your page offers more value to their audience, and how it improves on the content they are already linking to. Here’s an example of the type of email you could send.

Outreach Email Example

Hey [name of website owner, if you can find it],
I hope all is well.
I was reading a great article on your site about how the best ways to seal wooden furniture. I’ve just finished an in-depth article about the benefits of different types of sealant. [Add your link] I think your audience would get a lot of value from this article, as it not only compares the best sealants, there’s also a video demonstrating how to prepare and apply each one.
Let me know if you think this would be a good fit for your site.

Regards,
[Insert your name here]

Naturally, you would change the content of this email based on your industry and who you are reaching out to.
The most important thing is to show that you have read their content, as well as explaining why your content is worthy of a backlink.

3. Guest Posting

Guest posting is another great way to build backlinks to your website.

To start this process, make a list of all the online publications in your industry. Take a look at the type of topics they cover and what they deem to be newsworthy.

Think about what you can add to this space. It’s a bonus if you can fit your product or service in there somehow, but your focus should be how you can add value to this publication while including a link back to your site naturally with good anchor text.

When it comes to guest post outreach, it’s best to have a few topics to pitch to the publication, rather than asking them what you should write. Take a look at their current content and come up with multiple topics that you can write about with authority that are related to your business.

If you’re stuck on topic ideas, this video is sure to help.

 

When you pitch your ideas, explain why they’re a good fit for the publication and why you are the best person to write about them.

Let’s say you’re a lawyer who specialises in small business claims. Your specialism gives you insight that other lawyers may not have as well as the ability to write from a place of authority.

4. Unlinked Brand Mentions

Occasionally, online publications will mention your brand, product or service but not link back to your site. This can feel quite frustrating as these mentions could be valuable links.

This won’t be as relevant for you if your website is brand new, but it’s still good to keep in mind for the future.

It’s not easy to find these unlinked brand mentions but there are some tools that can make it easier.

Google Alerts is a great way to keep track of who is mentioning your brand or products on the web. You can set up multiple alerts if you have products with distinct names.

This is an example of the results that come up when you set an alert for “Trelleborg“. As Trelleborg is a location as well as a company, it’s important to double-check the results to make sure the article is talking about the brand rather than the Swedish town of Trelleborg.

Screenshot of Google Alerts

Semrush* also has a brand mentions tool built-in, which it calls Brand Monitoring, so if you’re already using Semrush for all its other fab features, you might as well keep everything in one place rather than setting up Google Alerts.

Screenshot of the Semrush brand monitoring tool

Screenshot of the Semrush brand monitoring tool

Once you’ve identified a few unlinked brand mentions, reach out to the website owners and ask if they wouldn’t mind linking back to your site.

The hard part is already done – they already like your brand enough to mention you – so now you just need to let them know that you appreciate the mention and would love to get it linked up.

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5. Digital PR

Digital PR is another great way to get backlinks, even if you’re a “boring” business.

Some of the best PR campaigns come from boring businesses – especially ones with a lot of data.

Cybersecurity company Clario created an article with infographics showing which companies access our personal data the most. As a result, they created a piece of content that not only promoted their online security products but touched on a hot topic – how much of our data is being collected by the websites and apps we use daily.

As a result, this page received over 6000 backlinks and receives 288,000 monthly visits.

Just because you have a simple or “boring” product offering, that doesn’t mean you can’t create great digital PR campaigns that will attract your target audience and get you backlinks.

Website Tracking Infographic

Image Source

6. Resource Page Backlinks

If you sell an online service or tool, you should be taking advantage of the links you can get from resource pages.

Resource pages can be articles that have a list of “The Top 10 Accounting Software”, comparison pieces about a few products, or even just a long list of all the businesses that offer similar services.

The pages you want to aim for are the ones linking to fewer websites, so the “Top 10’s” or the comparison articles. Getting a backlink from these types of articles not only helps to build your backlink profile, but also gives you the opportunity for referral traffic, more so than some of the other methods.

Screenshot of a “Best Accounting Software” article by The Balance Small Business

Screenshot of a “Best Accounting Software” article by The Balance Small Business

When you reach out to a publication and ask to be linked in one of their resource articles, make sure you sell the value of your business and product. Explain why you deserve to be on that list, as well as what makes your product stand out from the other brands already on the list.

If the person behind the article turns you down on this occasion, don’t be afraid to reach out again in the future. If you notice a pattern of when the articles are posted, for example, they always post a top 10 list in January, then set yourself a reminder to reach out a month in advance to pitch your product before the list goes live.

7. Distributor Links

If you sell a product via distributors, and those distributors have a website, then it’s very likely they are listing those products on their websites. But sometimes, they don’t.

It could be that they think just adding a logo is enough, or they’ve instead decided to write their own info about the product, or copy the info from your website rather than linking back.

Start by making a list of all your distributors. If you have lots of distributors, prioritise the largest ones.

Take a look at their website and think about the following questions:

  • Do they have your products listed, and if so, are they linking back to you?
  • If they are linking back to you, are they linking to the right page? It could be that they’re linking to your homepage when you’d prefer them to link to a product page.

The next step is to make sure that your pages are fully optimised and to a high standard – even if your distributors are linking to you.

  • Do you have good product photos and good descriptions?
  • Is there a way you could add a video to the page showing off the product in more detail?

Now you can reach out to your distributors and ask them to link back to you if they aren’t already, or to change the page they are linking to.

If for some reason they say no, don’t hesitate to ask them why. It could reveal that your product pages aren’t offering the right information to customers and could be improved.

This video explains multiple ways that you can improve your product pages and website. Although it’s aimed at eCommerce businesses, the fundamentals are the same.

Let’s recap these seven different ways to get backlinks for “boring” businesses:

  • Create great content
    • Take inspiration from the top-performing pages
    • Use a variety of media in your content
  • Go after quality backlinks
    • Find out who is linking to your competitors
    • Don’t buy cheap backlinks
  • Start guest posting
    • Position yourself as an authority in your field
    • Sell the value of your knowledge and company
  • Find unlinked brand mentions
    • Reach out to anyone who mentions your brand but hasn’t linked to you
    • Ask them to link back to well optimised, relevant pages on your website
  • Create digital PR
    • Research trending topics in your industry
    • Don’t be afraid to get creative
    • Create something relevant to your business but interesting to your target audience
  • Get listed on resource pages
    • “Top 10” lists or comparison reviews are great places to start
    • Sell the benefits of your business and product, and why you deserve to make that list too
  • Get easy distributor backlinks
    • Make sure your distributors are linking back to you
    • Ask them to link to specific pages
    • If they don’t want to link back to you, ask them why.

What’s Next?

Here are some more guides to help you on your backlinking journey.

17 Ways to Earn 100 Valuable Backlinks in 30 Days
How to Create Content that Ranks Top of Google
What Is Digital PR? (And How It Can Improve Your SEO)

*Some links within this article are affiliate links which Exposure Ninja receives a fee for promoting (these links are not sponsored). Exposure Ninja only promotes services we already use within our marketing stack.

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