Link building is one of the few tactics through which local businesses can take a big leap towards organic traffic. This is because Google considers domain authority & website authority as the two most important factors when ranking websites in search engine results. Backlinks play an essential role in helping increase the two. Therefore link building at the local level has become a crucial strategy for web owners looking to position their websites in geographical niches.
A key finding from Expert Local Business Link Building Survey 2018 is that:
‘25% of local SEO experts believe links are more important to local business search rankings than they were a year ago’.
What’s Local Link Building?
The technique of local link building is all about getting backlinks by working with other local website owners and organizations. Local links are built to create relevance for a website with respect to its location. When your links are local it underscores your local relevance. Of course this can seem tough at times because obviously there will be fewer link prospects for your location-targeted audience. However, they may well be far more important and significant. So think about it as being ‘less is more.’
Here are some local link building tactics that will help you improve traction;
#1 Use a Link Tool to Find New Prospects
Building a list of prospects is the one key thing you can do in regard to local link building. For that, you need to understand the following:
- Where your business stands as of now.
- How competitive your business landscape might be in the future.
- What factors offer value.
When you’ve decided this then undertake a competitor audit of the businesses that currently rank high in SERPs. Use a good SEO tool to see the link data of those websites. See what links they have gained in the past and check if they can be useful for your specific business. By doing this, you will definitely begin to see what mutual links you have, what you lack compared to your competitors, duplicate links etc.
#2 Find Local Influencers
No matter the location, you’ll find several bloggers in your particular area producing regular high-quality content. Look for them, connect with them and ask whether it may be possible to post your content on their blog. You can also go for an exchange of content or link too and work collaboratively. Niche blogs in your location are of greater SEO benefit because you have the same local audience set. Collaborating with local influencers can help your business grow by driving more engagement and attracting new customers. They are a better choice for small businesses because of their higher customer engagement rates, authenticity and affordability.
More than 60% of consumers start their research with a search engine before buying a product.
People really value social mentions, local reviews and real user experiences before buying a product in the store. Local influencers can contribute to all of the above and help your business in many ways. By promoting your brand, they can help your business reach a wider audience at the local level. By having influential bloggers write about your products, you’re taking your business to the next higher level. It really is worth reaching out and making local connections. Don’t be afraid to look for collaborators by going out networking face to face.
#3 Citations are a Great Option
Citations, which are online listings of business information, play a prominent role in local link building. They help local searchers find details about any business they are looking for within their particular geographic area.
Local citations contain your business’ name, address and phone number (abbreviated as NAP) and help boost your visibility on search engines and maps. NAP consistency is critical since Google’s crawlers value the authenticity of your business by comparing your business info with what’s on your website. A small discrepancy in your NAP may cause the search engine to count them as two different businesses which could negatively affect the rankings.
#4 Promote Local Events
Another local link building opportunity businesses could try, is to target local groups and clubs for links. Look for organizations that are related to your business in one way or another. Mostly, these local groups will be in need of sponsors. You can sponsor them, or do them a favor by promoting their local events and asking for a link in return. You can also create and share content to be posted in their websites. It’s an opportunity to offer support and of course, what goes around usually comes around.
Look for media companies that organize awards and sign up for them. Whether you win or become just one of the nominees, there are chances for your business to get featured on their website. This could improve the online visibility of your business website resulting in increased user engagement.
#5 Create Resource Pages for Local Audience
Create ‘additional resources’ pages about your local area. This can be anything related to your local community like the things your city is famous for, tourism information, best restaurants, etc. What’s great about these resources is that this information is useful for everyone living in a particular regional area. Think about the types of resource pages that your audience will find useful and also best suits your niche. You can then ask for a backlink or online mention from people or organizations you’ve mentioned in the content.
Finally it must be said that local link building is not that easy even for people with sound SEO experience. But with some effort, you can create your own local link building strategies that can prove effective and improve the local SEO of your business website. After all, it’s all about developing resources and value for customers and they always come first.