How to Get Backlinks for your Startup and Rank Higher on Google Without any Advertising Spend

Getting backlinks for your startup can significantly boost your search engine rankings especially when you have a limited marketing budget.

Kenneth Ho

14 Nov, 2021

How to Get Backlinks for your Startup and Rank Higher on Google Without any Advertising Spend | BEAMSTART News

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As a startup with limited advertising budgets, one of the best ways to get new customers is to be discovered on search engines.

In fact, visitors coming from search engines have some of the highest conversion rates into becoming customers.

The reason to that is simple — these people are searching for solutions to their problems, and the intent to buy something that could help them out is very high.

However ranking higher in search engines can be a very tedious and challenging process, especially when one is just starting out.

This article aims to shed some light on one of the most effective ways to rank your startup/website quickly without any advertising spend, by working on something called backlinks.

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What are backlinks

In its simplest form: Backlinks are links from another website to your website.

Backlinks are also known as "in-bound links" or "incoming links", and they do more than just send people from one website to another.

Backlinks are links from another website to your website.

In the land of search engines, Google and many other companies regard backlinks as "votes" or "endorsements" of a particular website.

Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to organically rank higher on search engines, and ultimately receive a lot more visitors than others.

In fact, backlinks are one of the foundations of Google's ranking algorithm, and the company has even confirmed that it remains one of the 3 most important factors for ranking.

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Types of Backlinks

There are generally 2 types of backlinks, and it is important to know the differences between the two. 

They are as follows:

  • Do-follow backlinks
  • No-follow backlinks

What are Do-follow backlinks?

Do-follow backlinks are basically regular links that send people from one webpage to another, and search engines will crawl them and consider the link as a "vote" from website A to B.

What are No-follow backlinks?

No-follow backlinks on the other hand, are a little different. 

While they look like regular links to the human eye, they include an additional command that informs search engines that it does not endorse the linked website.

In other words, it's like website A telling search engines that it does NOT want to pass a "vote" of confidence/endorsement to website B.

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How to find no-follow links

You can easily find out if a website's link is a no-follow link simply by right clicking on the link and viewing the webpage source.

No-follow backlinks typically have the rel="nofollow" attribute in the <a> HTML tag, and it looks something like this:

<a href="" rel="nofollow">Website Link</a>
This is how a no-follow link looks like in the webpage's source code

How search engines treat backlinks

While it is important for you to get as many do-follow backlinks as possible, it is also crucial to identify where these backlinks are coming from.

Getting lots of backlinks is insufficient if they are coming from poor quality / low reputation websites.

In fact, getting too many backlinks from low quality sites could even result in your website being down-ranked instead!

The rule of thumb is this: try to get your backlinks from websites that are more popular and reputable than yours, and within the same niche/topic as yours.

For example with business/startup-related websites like BEAMSTART, we will try to get backlinks from similar niche websites such as AngelList, Crunchbase, E27, among others.

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How to find reputable websites to get quality backlinks

A simple way to identify this is by finding websites that are more popular (or rank higher) than yours, and try to get a backlink from them.

An easy way to find out is to use Ahref's backlink checker to identify a site's domain ranking.

Any website with a domain score above yours is generally regarded as ideal.

You can also use Ahref's backlink checker to find out more about the websites that link to your competitors.

After all, if they're able to get backlinks from certain websites, you probably can too.

Ahref's backlink checker has a domain score.

How to get backlinks easily

Getting backlinks from other websites can be challenging, especially if they are do-follow links.

Here are a few things you can do to get backlinks more effectively and quickly:

Guest Posting

Contributing content (guest posting) on other more popular websites is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get do-follow backlinks.

In fact, one of the best places to contribute guest posts are on news/media sites or informational websites within your niche.

Simply reach out to the site's webmaster and offer to contribute a free article that is of value and relevance to their audience, and in exchange request to have your link included in the article.

In fact, some companies also allow you to pay to publish your guest posts, which may save you lots of time.

Guest posting is a great way to get do-follow backlinks.

Business Directories

Another good place to get do-follow links (and probably even traffic) is to add your website to business directories.

Take note that you should not just post in any business directory, but rather directories that allow you to publish long-form content along with your link.

Long-form content not only lets search engines understand more about your business, you will potentially rank for many keywords within the content as well.

Here's an example of a directory that lets you publish long-form content in the format of a business profile:

Add your business to the companies directory to get a backlink.

Monitoring your traffic

Adding backlinks should always be tracked to ensure that you are receiving traffic to your website.

2 tools that are highly recommended to monitor your traffic would be:

Google's Search Console makes analysing organic search traffic better.

These tools not only allow you to gauge your website traffic a lot better, they provide lots of in-depth insight on how your site is performing.

For instance, Google Search Console's Links page has a nifty section that allows you to view all the websites linking to you (External Links).

The Links page on Google Search Console


There is a lot more to write about when it comes to backlinks, and we will share more about it in future posts.

In summary, here are the key points:

  • Backlinks are important. The more backlinks, the better.
  • There are no-follow and do-follow links. Do-follow links are better.
  • Try to get as many do-follow backlinks as you can, but don't spam or link from low quality sites.
  • Guest posting and adding your website to business directories are great places to get backlinks.
  • Don't forget to measure your traffic and performance.

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