What are backlinks?

Spiders web

Why is it important to have backlinks to your website from other external websites?

In this blog post, we will discuss this important subject and how backlinks can help you to drive more customers to your website.

Backlinks help SEO

As the Google spiders search the internet for new information, they travel through backlinks to get from one site to another.  If there are lots of  incoming links to your website, then it is easier for the spiders to find your site, search for new content and then index it.  This will help your website to have a higher position on the the Search Engine Results Page so more potential customers will find your business. With fewer backlinks, it will be harder for the spiders to find and index your website so your position on the Search Engine Results Page will be further down. 

Backlinks help you get more customers

Backlinks are not just good for the Google spiders but they are a really good way to drive more customers to your website and hopefully generate more sales if they like what they see when they get there.  For example, someone may use Yell.com when looking for a beauty salon as they want to see the reviews that have been written about the business from previous customers. They spot your business listing with seven excellent reviews and they click on the link on your website to find out more about your business. 

The bottom line is that a backlink from another site is actually a vote of confidence in your business which both Google spiders and customers respond to.

Business owners therefore need to actively engage in building links from other reputable websites on an ongoing basis.

But it isn’t easy.

How do I find out if I already have any backlinks to my website?

There are many free backlink checkers which you can use.  These include:

The Hoth

Neil Patel

Small SEO Tools

How do I get more backlinks to my website?

  1. Make sure all your social media channels include your website url within the bio or about us section.  Think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even the company page on Linkedin.  You “own” these sites so this is a quick win.
  2. Claim your Google My Business profile and add your website to the profile.
  3. Write testimonials for other businesses that you have used but ask the business to include your website url with the testimonial.
  4. Comment on blog posts – frequently there is an option available to include a link to your website here too.
  5. Offer to write a guest blog on another website.  Many people will be delighted to receive new content on a plate but your reward is a link back to your website.  For example, a few years ago I wrote a blog on the Love Lough Neagh website about the coffee shops in my local village as long as I got a backlink to my website.
  6. Create listings on other sites who have a directory of businesses.  Sometimes you have to pay for these listings (ie they are really a form of advertising) but there are many free listings which are available too.  Listing opportunities will vary by industry sector and what’s available in your local area.

Which online directories can I list my business in?

Here are a list of some of the online directories that currently exist.  Some will be applicable to all businesses whereas others are more relevant to some industry sectors than others. 

Northern Ireland Online Directories

Northern Ireland Trade Federation – https://www.nifed.co.uk

4NI – https://www.4ni.co.uk/

Northern Ireland Info Directory – https://www.northern-ireland-info.co.uk/

Northern Ireland Facebook Business Group – this was set up during COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 – https://esriireland.maps.arcgis.com/

Support ABC – only for businesses located in the Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area – https://www.supportabc.co.uk/

Irish Online Directories

Irish Trade Federation – https://www.irishtrade.ie

UK Online Directories

Yell.com – paid and free listings are available – https://www.yell.com/

Cylex – paid and free listings are available – https://www.cylex-uk.co.uk/

Small Business Saturday – this is for small businesses across UK – https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/

Free Index – https://www.freeindex.co.uk/

Smart Business Directory – https://www.smartbusinessdirectory.co.uk/

Trust Pilot – this is an online review site – https://uk.business.trustpilot.com/

B2B Business Directory – https://www.b2b-directory-uk.co.uk/

Purple Tuesday – an organisation who works to improve the customer experience for disabled people – https://purpletuesday.org.uk/

The UK Small Business Directory – https://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/

My Local Services – https://www.mylocalservices.co.uk/

Yelp for Business – https://biz.yelp.co.uk/

Bark –  https://www.bark.com/en/gb/

Next Door – https://nextdoor.co.uk/

Tourism and Hospitality Online Directories

Discover Northern Ireland – free listings for accommodation, restaurants, activities and events – https://discovernorthernireland.com/

Trip Advisor – https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/

Wedding Online Directories

Getting Married in Northern Ireland – https://gettingmarried-ni.co.uk/

Weddings Online – https://www.weddingsonline.ie/

Ireland’s Wedding Journal – https://www.weddingjournalonline.com/

Wedding Wire – https://www.weddingwire.co.uk/

The Happy Bride Guide –  https://www.happybrideguide.co.uk/

The Ideal Venue – https://theidealvenue.com/

Wedding Related – http://www.weddingrelated.co.uk/

The Wedding Planner – https://www.theweddingplanner.co.uk/

Weddified –  https://www.weddified.co.uk/

Quirky Weddings –  http://quirkyweddings.co.uk/

Wedding Day Angel –  https://www.weddingdayangel.com/

One Fab Day –  https://www.onefabday.com/uk/

If there are any online directories which should be listed here, please click on the button to send us a message about them.

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