Consumers want to connect with local businesses. According to Google, searches including “near me” are increasing by 500 percent year on year. 81 percent of consumers used Google to search for information on local businesses in 2021. What does this mean for digital marketers? Let me show you how local link building works, why it matters, and how you can start building your own link profile.
What Is Link Building for Local SEO?Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to yours. These links are called “backlinks,” “inbound links,” or “incoming links”. They help bring more traffic to your website. Now, let’s combine the two ideas. Link building is the process of getting backlinks from other local businesses that are relevant to your site. The goal of building local links is to show up higher in organic local search results and get more traffic from people who are more likely to buy from you because they are nearby.
Why Link Building for Local SEO MattersFirst, when figuring out your page rank, Google looks at how many backlinks you have. The more quality backlinks you have, the more likely it is that you will be on page one. Over 67.6% of clicks go to the first five search results that aren’t paid for.
Building links for local SEO helps you get specific, highly targeted search engine traffic to your website. By focusing on the right traffic, you are more likely to bring in people who are ready to buy. Link building for local SEO is a great way to increase the visibility of your brand in a natural way. Do you know the “Rule of 7” in marketing? It says that it takes seven impressions of a brand before someone takes action. A better brand’s visibility helps you keep in touch with prospects.
Link Building for Local SEO StrategiesAre you ready to get started on building your backlinks? Here are top six strategies.
1. Get Links From Travel and Local Review WebsitesAccording to research, 98 percent of consumers check internet reviews about local companies, and 85 percent of consumers seek a high star rating. In other words, you need favorable evaluations from websites that can assist you with your local link development aims. Each entry contains a hyperlink and contact information: Want customer reviews of 5 stars? You need to encourage your existing customers to leave reviews every time they bought something.
- Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and other popular platforms. Send them the links to your Google Business profile.
- Offer incentives, e.g., a hotel business might offer a discounted overnight stay for reviewers.
- Highlight customer testimonials on your social media platforms—they make great User Generated Content, and often encourage others to leave their thoughts.
Link building is typically a manual process for local SEO, so you can, of course, reach out to local websites and see if they’ll list your business.
Just make sure you send a professional pitch, include information about your business, and link to any customer reviews (if possible).
2. Hold Special Events and Promotions to Get PR Links
Want to build your local presence and increase brand awareness, all while sourcing local link building opportunities?
Think about holding events or campaigns.
If you need ideas for an event, you could:
sponsor a sports team in your area
host a benefit for a good cause
hold a meeting
host a competition
Or, you could run promotions like free product demos or discounts during certain times of the year. It all depends on what works best for the way you run your business.
Once you’ve chosen an event or promotion, you need to advertise it.
Do some online research to find your local news outlets such as local papers, radio channels, Facebook community groups, etc.
Decide which outlets to target based on your consumer demographic. 96 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds and 87 percent of 55 to 66-year-olds check social media daily, so online platforms are a good place to start.
Write a brief news release. Include important events, details, and a link to a URL.
In your press release, don’t forget to include keywords. You can use any tool you like (Semrush/Ahrefs/Mozbar) to find keywords that are useful.
3. Get Listed in Local Business Directories
Research shows that 92 percent of consumers have used a business directory to learn more about a new company at least once in the last year.
For opportunities to build links in your area, go to directories and get your business listed. Some well-known business directories are:
When you’re ready to submit a pitch for a local directory, be sure to follow their directions carefully. Set out your most important information, like your website and business hours, and give a short description of what you do.
Every detail helps a directory verify your business. This increases your chances of being included (and acquiring a beautiful backlink).
4. Create a Blog Covering Local Topics
Do you have a blog yet? If not, you should start one and focus on local news. This step will take more work on your part, but it’s important if you want to build links for local SEO.
Blogs let you show off your knowledge and expertise, which builds trust with customers and, in the end, makes them more likely to choose your brand over others.
A report from Demand Gen says that 60% of buyers read blog posts at the beginning of the buying process.
It is easy to share blog posts on social media. Over time, more shares will make your brand more known, which will bring in more traffic.
Here’s how to get backlinks to your posts once you’re ready to start your local blog.
Backlinks come from good content. Spend some time finding out what your readers want and writing articles that meet those needs. If people like what you write, they will link back to it.
Submit your content to roundups of links. Roundups feature great new content in a certain niche, and since the authors are always looking for content to include, there’s a good chance they could list your site and give you a backlink.
Bring attention to your social media posts. The more your content is shared, the more likely it is that bloggers who are looking for content to link to will find you.
Use social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Build business relationships and become known as an expert in your area, and backlinks will come to you naturally.
5. Use an SEO Tool to Find and Target Competitor Backlinks
Why should you care where competitors get their backlinks?
These are the types of places likely to link back to you, too, so it’s worth doing some competitor research to find websites to target for local link building opportunities.
Here’s how to use to target competitor backlinks if you are link building for local SEO.
Put their website’s URL into a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush, and let it show you an overview of their backlinks.
You will see a list of the domains that link back to this website. Once you know what kinds of sites link to your competitors, you can go after those websites yourself.
6. Find Unlinked Mentions of Your Brand and Ask for Links
Unlinked brand mentions might give ideal possibilities to obtain backlinks from high-quality, authoritative websites.
For one thing, it’s simpler to send outreach emails to suitable contacts if they already know your brand.
If they’re talking about your products or services, you’d imagine you’d ask for a backlink.
There’s no need to chase every brand reference, especially if it’s on a low-quality website that won’t help your rankings—so here’s how you can locate backlinks worth investigating.
Do not forget to send your outreach email. Compliment their firm and thank them for recommending your brand. Explain politely why contributing a backlink might assist their firm. Consider offering them a link in exchange.
Don’t ignore unlinked brand references. Instead, seek them out, create relationships with other website owners, and turn them into meaningful backlinks.
7. Work To Get Mentioned By Local Publications and Bloggers
While PR initiatives are a fantastic idea, you should also try to be discovered organically by local periodicals and blogs. You don’t want every mention of your website to be associated with an event or marketing campaign. Instead, concentrate on developing genuine relationships with local bloggers.
You may also request that your website be added to any local company roundups that may already exist on their blogs. These sorts of postings are frequently created and forgot by their creators. Typically they are not updated for years.
So look for local round-ups that haven’t been updated in 6 months or more and reach out. Don’t be humble if you want to pitch your website as a useful resource for readers.
Remember that local publishers and content providers are constantly trying to network with local companies.
Simply reach out with the purpose of promoting both of your interests, and the response is likely to be good.
8. Purchase Domains In Your Industry
Did you know that 70% of domains are not renewed after the first year?
That’s a lot of potential for local businesses like yours to rush in and purchase relevant domain names in your field.
You can buy more than just domains. You may buy the website outright from the owner. This is also known as a domain name transfer agreement or a website asset transfer agreement.
What is the distinction?
When you purchase a lapsed domain from a provider like GoDaddy, you may utilize the domain name to create a new website. You may also configure it as a redirect to your existing website.
When you buy a website from the owner, you usually get the domain as well as all of the existing content.
Even though the price of taking over a whole website may seem high, think about how much time and money you save by getting all of this valuable content. Not only that, but you keep the domain authority and the publication date of the content, which gives the site more credibility.
So where do you begin?
If you have a domain in mind, go to Whois.com and type it in the top right search bar:
You usually find the contact information for the owner via the records that come up. If there is nothing displayed it means that the domain information has been protected, see an example below:
In that case, find a contact form on the website and reach out.
9. Don’t Forget About Internal Links
Internal linking should already be a component of your content strategy. After all, it’s an opportunity to provide your viewers with more relevant material.
The more time spent on your website, the higher the level of engagement.
Internal linking can also be an effective approach for gaining local links. How so?
Your website is classified as local content. Internal links are not considered backlinks, but they do qualify as local connections to your content.
The benefits of internal networking do not stop there.
Internal links help Google understand the structure of your website, including the connections between pages and their relevance. You guarantee that Google can detect and rank all important information by linking to internal elements. This can greatly assist you in ranking for local search results.
Take this example from our blog post:
We are linking internally the phrase “Google Search Console” to our blog post, “how to setup a Google Search Console Property“. This lets Google know that we think that this article is related to this topic and at the same time important enough to highlight.
Internal links can also help you to establish value for a new blog post without significant work. You’re essentially lending value from one blog posts to another. This is known as the “flow of link juice.”
So, while internal links shouldn’t be your first line effort for link building for local SEO, they should be included in your overall strategy.
Link Building for Local SEO Frequently Asked Questions
How important are links for local SEO?
Links are extremely vital for local SEO. They aid in the improvement of your local search ranking. A better position makes you more prominent in search results, and clients are more likely to visit your page.
Should I use an agency for help with my local SEO link building strategy?
If you don’t have the time or resources to devote to marketing, partnering with a digital marketing agency may be beneficial, but you can create your own strategy by following the tips I’ve outlined above.
How can I get reviewed by local publications to get backlinks for my business?
Link building for local SEO entails interacting with local companies. You may approach local magazines directly, arrange an event and invite their representatives, sponsor a contest, or even reach out to and fund local influencers. It all relies on your marketing budget and what is most likely to appeal to your target demographic.
Is a blog a good way to build local SEO backlinks?
Yes! Blogging is a great way to naturally build links in the long run, so prioritize writing useful, engaging content on a regular basis. Don’t forget to optimize your blog posts for local keywords.
Local link development is an excellent strategy to promote search engine visibility and attract relevant visitors to your website.
You won’t see benefits quickly, but link development should be part of any long-term marketing plan.
While you don’t have to attempt all of our suggestions, start with the ones that make the most sense for your company and, in the meanwhile, focus on writing frequent, high-quality blog material to establish your brand’s credibility.
If you want more assistance with link building for local SEO, please contact us to see how we can assist you in improving your local results.
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