Link building is a crucial part of any successful SEO strategy. Link building along with top-quality content are the two most important factors for ranking high in local search results.
If link building is so important to driving organic traffic to your site, then what is it?
Link building entails using strategies to get other websites and online platforms to link back to your site. The more quality backlinks you get from other sites, the higher the domain authority of your site in the eyes of search engines.
Google sees backlinks as a sort of affirmation from other sites that the quality of the content on your site is top-notch. You can compare this to the review ratings of your Business on Yelp.
When new customers land on Yelp’s directory page for local businesses in your area and see that your business has a 5-star aggregate review rating. Those new customers are more likely to pick your business above other local businesses that have 3-star reviews or 2-star reviews.
The same applies to Google’s search bots. Search bots will rank a website that has lots of quality backlinks higher than competing sites that have fewer backlinks or none.
Research by Ahrefs shows that the reason why 91% of the websites on the internet get no organic traffic is because they have zero inbound links pointing back to their site.
So, what is local link building?
Local link building simply puts a local spin on your link-building efforts. It covers all your efforts to get inbound links from as many authoritative local sites and platforms as possible.
It means instead of trying to get backlinks from national sites like CNN, Huffington Post, or Fox News- you will focus on blogs, news outlets, and local directories that attract a local audience.
In local link building, it is the online entities that command the attention of the audience in your local geographical area that are important to your link-building efforts.
In this article, we’ll show you 9 strategies that you can use to get local inbound links for your website.
Every local SEO strategy starts with setting up your business profile on the most important search engine on the planet – Google. Your customers are looking for you online and 97% of buyers go online to learn more about local businesses.
The best way to get discovered by these local searchers is to get your business onto the local 3-pack and to rank high in local search results.
The 3-pack is the holy grail of local search. It is the select number of local businesses that Google will highlight for relevant local search queries.
For example, if you enter “Basement Waterproofing Flat Rock, MI” into Google, you will get the result shown in the image below.
The box at the top of search results holds the names of three local businesses (Perma Dry, Sump Pump Guys, Michigan’s Best Basement Waterproofing) and provides other important information about those businesses. That box is the 3-pack box.
The first and most important step you can take to get your business onto the 3-pack is to set up your Google My Business profile.
Below are some tips to help you optimize your profile and boost your chances of showing up for relevant local search queries:
Getting listed on local online directories is an effective way to earn a backlink from a high-authority domain. The information you need to set up your profile on these directories is similar to what you will use on your GMB profile.
The most relevant directories for local businesses are:
Social media platforms let you add your website’s URL to your profile which creates a link back to your site. Google also crawls your social media profiles to track your social mentions and gauge the level of engagement you are getting from your followers.
Identify the best social media platforms that are popular with your target local customers and create professional profiles on each of those platforms.
You can also partner with local influencers that have a large following on social media to promote your content and products on their profiles. This will also help you earn reputable social links back to your site.
Traditional national news outlets may be on a decline, but the vast majority of Americans still rely on the local media to get news about events in their local area.
Local news outlets provide an opportunity to get backlinks from a source with lots of local authority.
Make a list of the local newspapers and forums in your area and determine the outlets that get significant amounts of traffic.
Pick out the sites that cover a broad audience and sites that publish content focused on your target audience.
The next step is to reach out to the point of contact for these news outlets and pitch your content. Submit your press release or feature content and convince them to publish it on their websites.
Well, this is obvious. If other sites are going to link back to your business website – you need quality content that will attract their attention.
The best way to get the attention of local bloggers and influencers is to publish content that will be valuable to local readers.
Examples of such articles are:
After writing and publishing your content on your blog, reach out to bloggers and influencers in your area to help promote your content.
Only get in touch with blogs that will be a right fit with your target audience and explain how your content will be beneficial to their readers.
To further convince them to promote your content, you can offer to share their content on social media in return for a backlink or give a special discount offer to their readers.
Local awards are usually major events and lots of people promote local events on their platforms. Getting your business mentioned in promotional materials for these events is another way to secure backlinks.
There are local industry awards, best workplace awards, and customer favorite awards that you can run for. Winning these awards will build local trust in your brand and also show Google that you are a credible, award-winning local business.
Why do the work yourself when your competitors have already done it for you?
Create a list of local businesses in your niche and other successful major local businesses, then, use Ahrefs to identify the external links pointing to those websites.
This strategy requires significant effort on your part and you must sort out the backlinks of as many local businesses as possible.
Create a list of the sources of these backlinks and re-engineer the tactics that your competitors used to obtain backlinks from each site.
After you have leveled the playing field and acquired as many backlinks as your highest-ranking competitor on Google, work to get more backlinks than your competitors.
Finding local sponsorship opportunities is a great way to get backlinks. Many local charities will let you post your business name & logo that links back to your site or offer a featured sponsors page.
This will grow the visibility of your business in the local community while getting you valuable inbound links.
To find local sponsorship opportunities, type this search query “sponsorship + your city/town” and visit the sites of those organizations.
For example, the search query “sponsorship + Taylor MI” returned a list of local organizations that are seeking sponsors in the local area.
After you have identified the local charities and organizations that need sponsors, check their sites to see if they have acknowledged the businesses that have sponsored them in the past and linked to those businesses.
Then reach out to the point of contact of those organizations and ask if you can sponsor them in exchange for a hyperlink back to your business website.
Use your existing relationships with your partners and suppliers to earn some valuable backlinks.
Many businesses have a “partners” page on their website where they list the third parties they work with to deliver their products/services to their customers.
Make a list of your partners and/or local businesses and reach out to them. Offer to mention their business on your own “partners” page and request that they do the same. Be sure to include your business name, address, phone & website URL – and send them to each of the businesses on your list.
Boosting your rankings organically in local search will take time, but combining your other SEO efforts with local backlink building will help you climb the rankings a lot faster.
The 9 strategies outlined above will require lots of time and effort, but you will certainly reap the rewards for your efforts. Now, it’s time you get started earning quality local backlinks for your business website.