When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), the name of the game is to rank as high as possible on popular search engines such as Google and Bing. And in today’s world of digital-first marketing, there are several ways you can approach this task.
Some of the most obvious ways a B2B company can rank higher on search engines include:
- Content marketing
- Paid media
- Website optimization (loading speed, user-friendliness, etc.)
However, these are not the only ways to naturally improve your SEO. One of the most undervalued methods is obtaining B2B backlinks.
What Are B2B Backlinks?
You may be asking yourself: “What is a backlink?” Or, more specifically, “What is a B2B backlink?”
Backlinks are an incoming hyperlink that leads from one webpage to another site. For example, if this blog post talked about the types of articles that earn the most backlinks, we may link to a HubSpot article on that topic. This is a backlink for HubSpot.
Alternatively, if HubSpot were to link to our blog post through one of their articles, we would earn a backlink.
Backlinks are primarily used to provide your readers with additional context on a complex subject, or to back up a claim with evidence (i.e. stats). Therefore, the places you link to should always be credible and lend value to your discussion.
How Do You Obtain B2B Backlinks?
Obtaining B2B backlinks is much easier said than done. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create specific strategies for earning them. It starts with simply producing relevant and educational content for your readers. But it doesn’t end there.
Some of the most effective ways to obtain B2B backlinks include:
- Guest blogging
- Fixing broken links
- Creating infographics & visuals
Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to earn B2B backlinks because you’ll be the one implementing them. The real trick to this strategy is finding other websites that accept guest blogs and cover the same topics your blog does.
A great way to identify them is to go into a reputable keyword research software such as SEMrush. For example, if we were looking for a site to guest blog for, we may search the keyword “B2B content marketing strategy.”
From there, you can identify the top-ranking websites for this keyword. Once you’ve decided which ones to target, reach out to the company and inquire about whether they accept guest blog posts.
If they do, act as soon as possible to deliver them content. If you’re lucky, they may even promote your post on social media and earn you a LinkedIn backlink or some other type of social backlink.
It’s likely that more businesses will ignore or decline your request than accept it, but it never hurts to ask. At the very least, it brings your website to their attention.
Fixing Broken Links
If you already have a list of competitors and/or sites in your industry, you can immediately begin testing this next strategy.
All you need to do is set aside time to scroll through their blog posts, articles, and webpages. Your mission is to find any hyperlinks that are broken (lead to an error page) or contain very outdated information.
Once you find these broken links, identify any of your own content that would fit the context of whatever words or phrases the broken links are attached to.
For example, if we came across a site with a broken link attached to the words: “B2B marketing trends,” we would consider reaching out to them with a suggestion for a better link.
Whether or not they accept this suggestion is entirely up to them; you may find difficulty in getting a response from certain websites. Don’t be discouraged.
In the event they accept, you’ve successfully earned a B2B backlink simply by sending an email. (To make the process even easier, you can save a premade template email for requesting backlinks.) When it comes to suggesting broken link fixes to other websites, it’s all about counting your wins and not your losses.
Creating Infographics & Visuals
It’s a known fact that infographics, images, charts, and other visuals help boost your SEO in a big way. These visuals can add more context or statistical data to back up the page’s mission statement. And they’re highly shareable -- who doesn’t love snazzy graphics and eye-opening stats?
If another blogger finds your visual to be super relevant to the topic they’re writing about, they won’t hesitate to link to your page containing this visual. This is a great way to boost your traffic toward a specific blog post.
And the best part about visuals is that they tend to hook an audience better than an endless block of text. If you earn a backlink due to your awesome design, you might just convince that visitor to stay on your site longer, improving SEO metrics and conversion rates.
Why B2B Backlinks Matter
We just strongly hinted at why B2B backlinks matter. It’s important, though, to first understand what actually makes a quality backlink.
Don’t think that a simple backlink blast that provides you with 1,000 backlinks will automatically send you soaring on search engine results pages. This isn’t the case -- search engines will evaluate the backlink you earned and gauge how valuable it is.
For example, protocol 80 wouldn’t want to be backlinked in an article about organic furniture cleaner since we have literally nothing to do with that niche. However, receiving backlinks on pages about B2B marketing, LinkedIn advertising, and so on would be highly beneficial.
Good, reputable backlinks are a blessing for SEO because they represent a sort of endorsement for your site from another site. They’re great for building domain authority (basically, how trustworthy Google finds your site), and establishing your brand as an industry thought leader.
And aside from those SEO-boosting points, getting B2B backlinks gives you another source of site traffic you don’t have to work for. The more reputable backlinks you earn, the better.
SEO: Not Just for the Web Developer
Obtaining B2B backlinks is easier said than done, but it’s well worth the trouble of creating a strategy. Once you have a handful of reputable backlinks to your site, it’ll become easier to acquire more. And the more backlinks you have, the better you’re going to rank on search engines for specific words or phrases.
If you’re not sure where to start, the best thing to do is come up with a strategy for a specific campaign and focus on getting backlinks for the topics being targeted. To get started, download our free e-book below on running an inbound marketing campaign: