Website links that point to your business website are one of the most important search engine optimization (SEO) factors that influence the online visibility and search engine ranking of your business.

Those backlinks signal to search engines how influential and relevant your business is online; they trigger local citations of your business and aid in deepening your local market penetration. Therefore, those backlinks help increase the online visibility of your business and influence the discovery of your business—over your competition—by online searchers.

So, if backlinks are that awesome for SEO and search engine results page (SERP) rankings, why do so many businesses struggle to get links that lead to their websites? Here are my Top 4 reasons.

1. It's hard work (with no effective shortcuts)

Sustainable results are best obtained via sweat equity. In this case, that translates to finger-numbing keyboarding. Automation doesn't cut it here because, typically, it's too general, so hitting the keys is your best bet.

Even publishing great content isn't enough in and of itself to get other websites to link to you. You need to get out there and promote that content (but that's a topic for another article).

Businesses have to commit to the notion that just as they have to be on the hunt for their next customer, so too do they need to be vigilant with their online linking. Linking is an all-the-time thing—not a one-time thing. Marketers don't know any secret tricks about "backlinking" other than those that "do" it... do well.

2. Commitment and consistency are fleeting

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Chris Sheehy is the founder of SEO and online marketing company Sidewalk Branding Company. He can be reached via