Link building for local businesses requires a different approach than traditional link building. When a business is targeting a particular area or region, driving traffic from the target location will result in more conversions. Traffic from outside of the area the business operates is unlikely to grow the business or generate new customers. Here are 12 ways to help you find local link building opportunities that will not only help to give your web pages a boost in the search results, but also drive geographically relevant traffic to your website.
#1 Local Meetups
Hosting a meet-up at your location is a great way to increase awareness of your business in your local town. You can organise your own meet-up and promote it locally or you can use a site such as meetup.com and offer your venue as a meeting place for an existing local group. If you aren’t able to offer your location, sponsoring an event is another option, this could be as simple as providing refreshments for the attendees or even speaking at an event and sharing your expertise.
#2 Community Events
Hosting a community event will not only help to open your business up to a wider audience, it can also generate links, social mentions and local press interest. Fundraising for local causes and giving back to the community is a great thing for a local business to do (although it can be time consuming).
#3 Local Awards
If your business is eligible for any local awards, make sure you get yourself nominated. There are often criteria that you need to meet in order to be considered, so it’s a good idea to do some research in advance to make sure you are eligible. Nominees and winners tend to be published online, resulting in brand mentions and backlinks.
#4 Local Outreach
Reaching out to bloggers and influencers in your area can be a great way to generate links and drive geographically relevant referral traffic to your website. Blogs that feature particular towns often write about or review local businesses. Building relationships with local bloggers will likely result in them featuring your business and including a link. Guest posting on a local blog is a great way to share your expertise as well as drive relevant traffic to your site.
There are various ways to find local blogs, a simple Google search relating to your niche and your area can bring up a significant amount of relevant results or a tool such as Buzzsumo can help you find influencers within your niche.
#5 Local Directories
Citation building should already be a part of your local marketing strategy. Citations are important for local ranking and to increase visibility in the map results. Listing a business on quality, relevant directories can also bring a significant amount of traffic to your site. Most towns and cities have directory sites dedicated to the local area, you can usually list your business for free and include a link to your website.
You can build your citations manually by searching for relevant directories and creating your own listings on each one. It’s a good idea to create a spreadsheet with the login info for each directory site as you will need to manually update each listing should any of your details change. If you don’t want to do it manually, you can use an automated listing platform like Synup to get the job done.
Most businesses have used the services of other local businesses. Providing them with a great testimonial or review for them to post on their website is not only useful for their business, they may also include a link back to your website which is beneficial for you. Working with other local businesses is a great way to build rapport and develop business relationships which can have many benefits in addition to building links.
There is no denying that networking can have many benefits for your business. Attending local business meetings can help to grow your profile and build mutually beneficial business relationships. Some organisations such as the local Chamber of Commerce will link to their members from their website. Some local networking associations do charge but there are many benefits associated with networking within the local business community.
#8 Online Mentions
One of the simplest ways to generate links is to find instances where your brand has been mentioned online but hasn’t been linked to and reach out asking for a link to be included. This isn’t a viable strategy for all businesses, particularly new businesses but it can be a powerful link acquisition strategy, especially if your brand has been mentioned by the local press or high authority websites within your niche.
To monitor any mentions of your brand, set up an alert in Google Alerts and you will be notified whenever your brand name is mentioned online. If you do notice any mentions that don’t include a link, reach out to the site owner thanking them for the mention and suggest they include a link back to your website.
#9 Local Resource
If you provide useful information about your local area, chances are other websites will link to you. Publishing great content is one of the best ways to gain links naturally. Write articles providing valuable, insightful information that local readers will find interesting. This could be something related to your specific area of expertise or something you are passionate about within your local town. A useful guide or article about the local area can generate a lot of interest and if the content is good enough, it will naturally attract links.
#10 Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis doesn’t necessarily mean targeting the same links as your competitors, although this can be a viable strategy. Analysing a competitor’s link profile and understanding where their links are coming from can be very insightful and can help you structure your own strategy as well as determine the amount of links necessary to outrank them. Competitor analysis can also help give you ideas for your own marketing campaigns without actually setting out to acquire the exact same links.
There are numerous tools that can help you identify sites that are linking to your competitors. Just enter the URL of the site you want to analyse and a list of backlinks with be provided. The exact results can vary depending which tool you use, analysing a site using more than one tool can help give a more detailed and comprehensive overview. The following tools provide detailed backlink analysis:
- Ahrefs Site Explorer
- Moz Open Site Explorer
- SEMrush Backlink Checker
- Link Research Tools
- Majestic Site Explorer
#11 Post Content Regularly
Content is crucial for any marketing campaign. Whether you are building links via outreach, content marketing, digital PR or acquiring them naturally, your success rate is going to be largely based on your content. The best way to gain links is for people to choose to link to your content because it provides value for their readers. Regularly adding fresh, informative and useful content to your blog will not only increase brand awareness and build trust, it will also provide more opportunities to naturally earn links. Outreach and content marketing also heavily rely on quality content, you should aim to provide the best possible content for your readers and produce blog articles that are high quality and informative.
If you are stuck for content ideas, Google Trends is a useful tool that provides real time information about topics that are popular and currently trending. Writing about trending topics can help increase links, social shares and brand mentions.
Joining discussions in niche specific Facebook groups and following influencers on social media can also help you identify what topics your audience are likely to be interested in. Answer The Public is another useful tool to help generate content ideas. Simply enter a keyword or phrase and the tool will provide a visual diagram displaying related keywords and content ideas.
#12 On Page SEO and Internal Linking
When building links to increase ranking, it’s important to also be aware of on page factors. In order to increase ranking, a combination of both on page and off page techniques are usually necessary. By optimising your site on page as well as building links, there is no reason why you shouldn’t see an increase in both traffic and ranking. The more geographically relevant links you build, the more potential there is to get more clients or sales. Internal linking can also be a powerful way to boost your site in the search results.