Add 15 free backlinks and business citations

Written by Fraser McCulloch.

Use these backlinks and citations to give a website a boost in the search engines.

Download this backlink guide and continue reading this page.

importance of backlinks graphic

Using this backlink guide

Most people will just skim through this guide looking for the silver bullet but if you actually want to implement these links here’s what I do.

I open up a new browser tab and have two browser windows side by side; one to read the steps and one to implement the steps.

Building backlinks – a pre-requisite

You are going to need a local phone number, a physical address, postcode/zip code that you use for your business as well as your domain name and an email address linked to that domain name e.g.: and

This is the information that other websites and the search engines need from you to prove you are a real and legitimate business.

If you are working from home and worried about revealing your home address and think you can use a PO Box number then I am afraid you are going to have some issues with giving your website that initially boost.

In some instances, for example, Google My Business will let you hide your home address, and for certain categories such as personal trainers, mobile businesses Google will accept a mobile phone number as the main telephone number.

However to get the best results I do recommend a local phone number, real physical address, postcode, website address and email address linked to your main domain name.

This guide will generally refer to businesses with one physical location.

Check your company listings on the search engines with Moz Local

Here are the steps.

  1. Armed with your local phone number, a physical address, postcode/zip code, website address and email address go to
  2. Enter your company name and postcode/zip code.
  3. If you are listed this is what you will see.
  4. If you don’t see your business list, click the I don’t see my business listed link.
  5. Moz recommends you start creating a listing for your business on

So now I am going to run you through how to set up your business on most of Moz’s recommendations.

Moz Local do have a paid for service where you they will do all this for you but since this is a free guide I am outlining the free version of how to freely
created your listings and links.

How to use Central Index for business citations and backlinks

  1. If you are in the UK, click here
  2. If you are in Ireland, click here
  3. If you are in the USA, click here
  4. If you are in Australia, click here
  5. In New Zealand, click here
  6. In South Africa, click here

Let me explain a little bit about Central Index.

As far as I am aware, Central Index enables you to add, verify and manage your business information that they then pass onto other online directories and
map providers around the world.

And as far as I know, Google uses this information as ‘signals’ that your business is real.

That’s why Moz use Central Index in their check your listing bar chart.

  1. First you need to register, I’m in the UK, and so I’ll click here
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. You’ll be sent an email link, open your email and click that link.
  4. Create a password and hit set password.
  5. Open up a text file and type in the email address and password for Central Index and save the file on your PC/Mac; you’ll need to use this text file
    again so keep it handy and nearby.
  6.  Enter your postcode and website address and hit next step.
  7. Enter your name and address and hit next step.
  8. You will now be shown a map, enter the category of business you are and complete the other contact details.
  9. As I mentioned it’s preferable to use your local phone number (as opposed to your mobile number).
  10. You will now be asked to verify your phone number or mobile number. In my case I will be sent a text message to my mobile phone.
  11. I hit the SMS Me button, check my phone for the text message.
  12. I enter the code and submit.
  13. I now have my listing on Central Index. I get a couple of emails from Central Index notifying me. If I wish to edit or change any details I can click
    the Edit My Listing Now.
  14. 13. I’ve decided that I want to add a title and description about my business. Now I am finished.

How to use Bright Local to add industry relevant citations

A citation is simply a reliable source and Bright Local recommends the ideal citations and links depending on your type of business.

  1. Visit Bright Local.
  2. Select your business category. My business would fall into the Web Design Category so Bright Local has prepared a list of citations for me.
  3. Use the country, free/paid or Domain Age filter to find the directories you want.
  4. You can them clink the URL links for each and start adding your company details. I would try and ensure you enter the exact same information you added
    to Central Index for consistency purposes.
  5. Now the thought of adding to 30 or 40 manually fills me with dread so you can, for a fee, hire Bright Local to do this for you.
  6. Paying Bright Local is worthwhile and will save you a lot of time; they charge around $2/3 per citation.

I am not covering this paid for option as I promised you the free version of building links.

I would thoroughly recommend Bright Local; they cover the UK,USA, Australia. Canada, Ireland, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

15 Free Backlinks & Citations Guide Download

How to link your Facebook Business Page to your website

If you have an existing Facebook Business Page you will need to update your page information with the same information you submitted to Central Index.

1. To update your Facebook Business Page, go to your page, click the about tab and then page info then update the Category, Subcategory, Address, Description, Phone Number, Email Address and Website Address with the name information you submitted to Central Index.


2. If you use Facebook Business Page go to and click on your page then click About and Page Info and, as above, update the Category, Subcategory, Address, Description, Phone Number, Email Address
and Website Address with the name information you submitted to Central Index.

3. If you have never used Facebook before you need to get a Facebook Business Page yet, here are the steps you need to take.

3a. Go to

3b. Click create a page and choice one of the options; more than likely you’ll be a local business.

3c. Then you’ll be asked to complete a form with your business name, category, address and phone number. Then click get started and follow the instructions.

4. If you already have a Facebook account, make sure you are logged in and paste into the browser and follow the instructions.

How to add your website to Google My Business

Google My Business allows a local business to be displayed locally. It’s a modern version of the Yellow Pages book.

  1. First you need to create a Google Account so go here
  2. You can either create a Gmail email address or use your existing email address. Fill in your details and complete all the information Google ask you.
  3. Once your Google account has been verified then paste into the address page and click Get on Google.
  4. Login and then type in your business name.
  5. If Google display your business name select that option, if not click Add Your Business.
  6. Fill in your company details (again try and match the details your used earlier).
  7. Next you’ll be asked to confirm that this is your business.
  8. Then you’ll get a box asking you to mail you a code to verify your business details – this is generally sent to you by mail in 4/5 days. Or you can
    click the continue button where you are taken to a page where you can edit business information and then request postcard verification.
  9. Once you have the verification postcard login to Google My Business and enter the code and press submit.
  10. Then you can start populating your page with images and content. Use the Edit Info and Photos tabs in the top left menu to add content.

How to add your website to YouTube

Google owns YouTube and optimised videos do show up in the Google search results.

Here’s an example of properties I ranked in Google in a few hours and it’s still ranking to this day.

How to rank a YouTube video in Google search.

Steps to take to get your videos ranked in Google search results.

  1. Go to and login (top right corner).
  2. Click the Create Studio button.
  3. Click Create a Channel.
  4. Click Use a business or Other Name and Create Channel.
  5. I chose the company name at the bottom as I want the Google + and YouTube channels to be linked. So select your company name.
  6. Click on to confirm you are creating a channel for the name of your company.
  7. Your channel and Google + page will be connected – click ok.
  8. Now you want to dress up your channel and add a video.
  9. Open a new browser tab, go to, select +More.
  10. Scroll down until you find YouTube Channel Art under the Social Media & Email Headers and click YouTube Channel Art.
  11. A new window browser opens and we create a cover – now bear in mind the YouTube Channel Art image area is 2560 x 1440 – so you’ll need a high resolution
    photograph or choose a background Canva offer.
  12. Finish your image, the select download (png for an image with no photos and jpeg for one that contains a photograph).
  13. Now head back to your YouTube browser tab and select the add channel art button and either drag the image your just create into the box or choose select
    a photo.
  14. YouTube will preview what the image will look like in different browsers. Either adjust or press select if happy with image.
  15. To update the profile photo, click the logo area and follow the instructions.
  16. Next you should prepare or create a video. Bear in mind YouTube is mainly for entertainment.

I have a free video that provide some ideas on how to create a video and then upload to YouTube and make it SEO friendly

Learn how to research a link building campaign

How to find backlinks with

  1. Go to and select your country and enter a competitor website.
  2. Click on Backlinks then Backlinks.
  3. Copy any relevant links and paste the URL into a new browser to see if you can get listed.
  4. If none of the links are relevant or chargeable, click entire menu then competitors.
  5. You won’t see all the competitors in the free version of SEMRUSH but select on from the list.
  6. You’ll only get 10 search requests in one day so you can use this link to get a free 14 day trial

How to find competitor backlinks with Ahrefs

1. Go to the site explorer tab on

2. Enter the domain name of a key competitor or the page that ranks number one in Google for a key search terms you want to rank for.

3. On the left hand side navigation under Inbound Links select Links and you’ll see a selection of the top links the competing site gets.

4. You will only get a few results but Ahrefs sometimes offer a trial period where you will get a list of all backlinks.

How to find competitor links with

  1. Google a search term such as the type of product you sell.
  2. Copy the URL of one of your competitors.
  3. Go to and paste the URL in the box.
  4. Hit the backlinks button to see which sites link to your competitor.
  5. Copy the URL of the one or ones that may be of relevance.
  6. I’ve found from the menu this website lists suppliers so I’m going to ask my client to contact them and ask for their product to be listed.

Ask your web design company for a link

Why not ?

15 Free Backlinks & Citations Guide Download

Use guest posting to build links

Lisa Tener talks about how she ended up Guest Posting; another great way to generate links to your website.

How to earn a backlink with a Infographic

Here is an infographic I created for a blog post called The Red Bus Rule; email as a marketing tool will be around for ever and the graphic outlines 7 steps to creating email campaigns. has a fairly high domain rating that means it’s a fairly well trusted source to get a link from.

So here’s what I did to create a backlink from

  1. Create a blog post – this was an old blog post created in 2010 that I improved upon in 2015.
  2. Create a free account with
  3. For my blog post image I used the Social Media template – 800 x 800 pixels and for the Infographic on I used the Infographic template.
  4. I purchased the little bus driver image from and used the Eva Walsh free template and changed the background colour, fonts, added my text
    until I was happy with the layout.
  5. Then I named the image (click in the box to the left of share) then I click download and select high quality PNG since this image contains no photographs
    – if you have an image with a high quality photograph then I recommend you select Image: for Web (JPG) to download.
  6. Download your image to your PC/Mac and add your infographic to your page or blog post.
  7. Now go to register at Visually.
  8. When logged in click Upload in the top right hand navigation and select Infographics.
  9. Then complete the upload form and submit (ensure your infographic actually appears on the add source URL field.
  10. The source field is the backlink to your website.

Add 5 free backlinks from high authority websites

I just checked my backlinks in Ahrefs and discovered I have 2 high authority backlinks.

  • A DR 93 do follow backlink from
  • A DR 86 do follow backlinks from
  • A DR 87 do follow backlink from
  • A DR 88 do follow backlink from
  • A DR 88 do follow backlink from

Whilst I am not personally a web designer Behance allows you to add a profile and examples of your website work.

For Teachable I created a free training course and added a link to my website in the profile section of the course.

So if you’re just starting out link building these are 2 excellent high quality backlinks for anyone in the web professional service industry.

Learn how to build links with this training resource

Don’t forget internal links

Internal links, that is a link from one page of your website to another page of your website, are important as they help Google crawl deeper into your site.

  1. Here’s a brand new website that has a blog post without an internal links on the blog post pointing to other areas of the website. The blog post should
    at least be pointing to a product page since the company is selling products.
  2. Read your page or post and try to find some text that relates to, preferably a main product or service page.
  3. Go into your CMS, locate the page or post and the phrase. Highlight the phrase with your cursor and select the hyperlink tool from your editor.
  4. Choose the link you want; in my case I’m linking ‘high qualify firewood’ to the Firewood catalog. I then type ‘high qualify firewood’ into the link box and update or save.
  5. Now when I go back to the blog post my text is highlighted and linked and you can see the anchor text when you hover your mouse over the text.
  6. Brian Dean recently surveyed 1 million web pages and found that, on average, a number one result in Google contains 1890 word on the page.
  7. Ideally you want to have a couple of links to other pages on your website and a couple of links to externally, authoritative and relevant sites such as your industry body or Wikipedia.
  8. Go right through your website and look to see where relevant links should be added, mixed up the anchor text.

For example, the site I showed you, they sell firewood, kiln dried hard wood logs, kiln dried softwood logs.

I should have links such as firewood, hard wood logs, hardwood logs for sale, buy
hardwood, kiln dried logs, kiln dried wood and so on.

This will help your page visibility in the search engines.

How to find and use blog comments as backlinks

Here’s a blog comment I added to an Internet marketing agency’s website nearly 6 years ago.

I suppose you could call this company a peer or fellow industry associate.

If you are going to add a few blog comments, make sure you know your stuff, make sure you add something helpful and interesting to the conversation.

If it’s your first time here, tell them it’s your first time and you are enjoyed the blog post.

Here’s how to find and post industry relevant blogs

  1. Go to Google an type blog posts + “your business sector“ for example blog posts + “internet marketing” or blog posts + “biomass boilers”.
  2. From the Search Tool bar, select to only show comments in the past week or (or past 24 hours).
  3. Google will show you the hours or days when the blog post was published, find a post that grabs your interest and visit the page.
  4. I’m on this blog and I look for a blog post that already has comments (I don’t want appear to be a spammer).
  5. Genuinely read the entire blog post like you mean it and then click the comments links.
  6. Enter your real name or company name, your email address and website homepage and enter a comment or ask a question or compliment the writer (stroke his/her ego) – that should not be a problem since you read the entire blog post.

Some blog comments will be regarded as No Follows by Google but that’s ok; you’re leaving a footprint or trail to Google about the relevancy of your website.

15 Free Backlinks & Citations Guide Download

Forums are great source of backlinks

I’ve a client that built his entire online business by reaching out to users on forums and promoting his product.

  1. Do a Google search – your industry + forums e.g.: web design + forums
  2. Register your name and profile
  3. Start making a few comments over a few weeks
  4. Start looking for problems in the forum topics and replying to people who have the problems you can solve; something like, hey I had that problem here’s how I solved it.
  5. Then when you’ve built up some trust from other members post a topic yourself, outline the problem or situation and link to your solution.

Links from Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a user generated search engine and I was able to list my own website there under a supplier entry.

I had published an expert’s guide and listed it there and linked back to my website.

Wikipedia is a highly authoritative domain so it’s a great link to have but only if the link you add makes sense and adds value.

How to add a link to Wikipedia

  1. Do a google search for a service, industry category, supplier or search terms and click the Wikipedia entry.
  2. Look for a section that may be relevant; for me there was a section call Community and it made sense for my link to be added there.
  3. Register for Wikipedia then click the edit button next to the subheading and put in your link.

Don’t abuse this if you do the community who patrol Wikipedia will know you are trying to fake a link.


15 Free Backlinks & Citations Guide Download

The single most important tactic in this guide, in my opinion, is Central Index.

Adding your business here will help your site get links on a whole host of other online business directories.

Finally, do your keyword research, create helpful content, build links to your content and back it all up with solid on page SEO before moving on to the more advanced SEO tactics.