Local link building plays a pivotal role in the journey towards robust SEO success for smaller enterprises operating within their immediate vicinity. This guide aims to unveil effective strategies for cultivating backlinks tailored to the local online landscape.
Elevating the caliber of links leading to your website offers a compelling prospect to outshine competitors. This is especially true, given that many local businesses allocate only minimal resources to the art of link building.
Our comprehensive article embarks on a journey to demystify the essence of local link building and, in the process, unveils a treasure trove of 12 innovative tactics expressly designed to help local businesses forge high-quality backlinks.
What Is Local Link Building?
Local link building involves the strategic acquisition of backlinks from websites that share a regional or local audience with your own online presence. This can encompass a wide range of sources, including local publications, niche blogs, business directories, and other web resources within your specific geographic area.
In contrast to larger national or international publications, these local websites often have a more modest readership and lower domain authority. Nevertheless, the value of securing links from these sources lies in their remarkable relevance to your local target audience.
Here are three reasons why you should consider building local links...
1) Better Audience Targeting
When it comes to enhancing your online presence and attracting potential customers, the strategy of link building on locally relevant websites proves to be invaluable. Consider the possibilities for local link acquisition:
Imagine you’re an accountant operating in a charming small town along the eastern coast. While securing a link from a high Domain Rating (DR) publication within your industry is undoubtedly valuable, it’s essential to assess its audience’s geographic relevance. If the majority of the publication’s readership resides in California, the chances of generating substantial business from this link are rather slim.
Conversely, obtaining a link from a publication that caters to an audience situated within your immediate region may transmit slightly less domain authority. However, this local link has the potential to yield a direct influx of clients. It’s essential not to neglect the former type of link, as they play a pivotal role in augmenting your domain authority and elevating your search engine rankings. In essence, your link-building strategy should strike a harmonious balance between securing both standard and locally relevant links.
2) It’s a Good Source of Backlinks
Acquiring valuable backlinks for your website can pose quite a challenge, but there’s an often-overlooked goldmine right in your local community. Even in smaller regions, numerous opportunities exist.
Consider the abundance of businesses, bloggers, and local publications that specifically cater to your area. Each of them maintains a website, making them potential sources for valuable backlinks.
Unlike larger, more prominent websites that are inundated with countless link-building and outreach requests, local businesses are often more receptive to collaboration, particularly if your own business shares geographical proximity with theirs.
3) You’ll Build Real Relationships
Engaging in local link building offers a valuable opportunity to foster genuine connections with fellow local businesses. Instead of resorting to impersonal mass emails, you have the option to reach out via a local phone number or, if feasible, make a personal visit to discuss collaborative ideas.
Though relationship-building may not yield immediate SEO advantages, it undeniably contributes to the overall success of your business. By nurturing these local connections, you can tap into a network of support, insights, and partnerships that can play a pivotal role in your business’s growth and prosperity.
4) Local SEO Is Important
The significance of geographical location on search results is often underestimated, with Google striving to provide searchers with locally relevant information. This has given rise to the importance of optimizing for local SEO.
An illustrative example of how local SEO can impact search results is evident in the screenshots provided below. On the left, we have the top three local search results for the query “Moving Company” when the internet connection is routed through an IP address based in Las Vegas. On the right, the same search is conducted through a Chicago-based IP address.
While we cannot definitively confirm whether Google utilizes the local relevance of links to influence local search results, it’s worth noting that the search engine incorporates link relevance in various other aspects. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if local link building played a role.
In the end, we believe that implementing a link building strategy that targets websites within your local area is a valuable practice for any comprehensive local SEO strategy.
How to Find Local Link Building Opportunities
In the forthcoming sections of this article, we’ll delve into 12 effective local link building tactics. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of those strategies, let’s first uncover a clever approach to unearth potential link-building opportunities by keeping an eye on your rivals’ backlinks.
This method entails identifying your competitors and utilizing SEO tools to unearth the websites that are linking to them. The underlying concept is that this practice can lead you to valuable backlink prospects.
For instance, when you discover that a website is receiving links from a specific online forum or directory, you can seize the opportunity to create profiles on those platforms. Alternatively, if you notice your competitor has contributed a guest article to a local publication, this might open doors for you to craft your own compelling column for the same publication.
The competitive analysis process essentially involves two key steps:
- Identifying Your Competitors
- Scrutinizing Their Backlinks
Here’s how to perform each step…
Certainly, you likely have a general sense of who your competitors are. However, expanding your understanding can be achieved by conducting searches on Google using the specific keywords you aim to rank for, and observing the websites featured in the search results.
As you explore various search terms related to your business or content, compile a comprehensive list of websites that appear relevant to your field or niche. This will help you gain a more complete perspective on your competitive landscape.
To delve deeper into this research, it’s also valuable to investigate the backlinks of these relevant websites. Analyzing which websites link to your competitors can provide insight into potential link-building opportunities and strategies that can enhance your own online presence.
Checking for Local Backlinks
Discovering which websites link to your competitors is a straightforward process, especially if you have access to SEO tools. At LinkCrafters, we rely on Ahrefs for this purpose. Let’s delve into a detailed guide on conducting a comprehensive backlink analysis.
Unearthing Valuable Local Backlinks: In our pursuit of exceptional local links, we initially examine the accounting websites showcased in the image above. Our findings highlight their impressive local connections:
- Fusion Accountants has secured links from LondonLovesBusiness, a reputable London-based business publication.
- TheAccountancy boasts connections with Nottingham, Brighton, and Kent Universities, indicating a strong presence in those regions.
- TheAccountancy has also cultivated a valuable link from “We are the City,” a prominent London-based women’s networking group.
- Both websites feature an array of links from UK-based business directories, underscoring their local credibility.
- Additionally, both sites have established connections with various other UK-based business publications, reinforcing their authority within the local business community.
Identifying Local Link Opportunities: By scrutinizing the backlink profiles of multiple websites within your geographic area, you can pinpoint potential local websites to acquire links from. This process involves the following steps:
- Simply input the website’s URL into the site explorer tool and navigate to the backlinks section.
- Once you’ve obtained a list of linking websites, the next step is to initiate contact with these sites for the purpose of acquiring a link.
- It’s essential to examine how the target website managed to secure the link in question. Perhaps it was through guest posting, forming partnerships, or sponsoring the site. This valuable insight should guide your outreach strategy.
12 Local Link Building Strategies
Here’s a curated selection of local link building strategies that we highly recommend. It’s important to note that not every strategy is universally applicable. The effectiveness of these tactics can vary depending on the nature of your business. For instance, while a professional services firm might excel at securing links from local colleges or universities, they could encounter challenges when trying to establish connections with a local tourist board. To make the most of these strategies, carefully select the ones that align with your specific business needs and goals.
Add Your Business to Local Directories
When it comes to enhancing the link profile of your local business, the first step to consider is exploring online business directories. While these directories may not offer the most powerful local backlinks, they do provide a relatively quick and straightforward way to bolster your online presence, making them a valuable asset. In fact, for many local businesses, having directory backlinks can suffice to achieve respectable rankings.
The digital landscape is teeming with various directories, including ones tailored to specific regions or areas. To unearth these hidden gems, you need to employ a creative search strategy since no single search term can reveal all the relevant directories you might want to leverage. Here are some search terms to experiment with:
- “[Your area] small business directory”
- “[Your area] business directory”
- “[Your area] [business type] directory”
Don’t limit your search to your own city or state. Include neighboring towns and areas in your exploration for a more comprehensive directory link-building strategy.
While some prominent directories like Yelp, Yahoo, and Foursquare offer user-friendly options to add your listing, the same may not be true for all local listing sites. If you encounter difficulties adding your site to a particular directory, don’t hesitate to contact the directory owner for guidance. Typically, you’ll need to provide essential details such as your business name, address, phone number, and a link to your website.
Be prepared for the possibility that certain directories may charge fees for business listings. In such cases, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Consider factors like the site’s traffic, its presence in search engines, the cost of listing, and the overall quality of the directory to determine if the investment is worthwhile for your business.
Reach Out to Local Media
Engaging with local media can be a highly effective approach to enhance your link building strategy. These platforms often boast substantial audiences, and in most regions, you can identify several reputable publications to target.
Chances are, you’re already familiar with numerous publications that cater to your locale. However, it’s worthwhile to explore Google to uncover any specialized opportunities you might not have previously considered. You might stumble upon unexpected options.
Remember, it’s not just newspapers that should be on your radar. Magazines and industry-focused publications frequently spotlight local businesses, and even radio stations can serve as channels for local news dissemination.
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential contacts, the next step is reaching out to secure a feature for your business.
Admittedly, local media outlets often maintain stringent criteria for the stories they feature. However, the endeavor can prove worthwhile if the publication boasts a high domain authority or enjoys a substantial local readership.
Send a press release about newsworthy events.
Online publishers often welcome the opportunity to showcase local businesses as it enhances their content offerings and, consequently, boosts their viewership. However, the challenge lies in crafting a narrative that truly captivates these publishers.
The key is to offer more than a basic introduction of your business. Instead, consider highlighting distinctive aspects such as innovative business concepts, philanthropic endeavors, or noteworthy events.
It’s vital to customize your story to align with the specific publication you’re approaching. What captures the attention of local trade journals is unlikely to resonate with the readership of a local lifestyle magazine.
Become a trusted source.
Becoming a reputable source is a fantastic strategy for garnering media attention, as it grants you the opportunity to contribute expert quotes to articles within your domain, thereby enhancing the credibility of those pieces.
A similar approach to source-building is the utilization of HARO (Help a Reporter Out), which extends beyond the confines of local press, providing broader exposure.
However, the primary challenge lies in establishing meaningful connections with journalists. One effective tactic is to tap into your existing network and inquire whether anyone might have contacts in the writer community who would find your insights valuable.
Another avenue for connecting with journalists is the realm of Twitter, where many media professionals actively engage. It serves as an ideal platform for nurturing relationships, although other social media platforms can also be valuable.
Alternatively, consider reaching out directly to the publications you aspire to feature in. By proactively sharing your expertise with journalists and editors, you can make yourself available for inclusion in their articles.
For instance, Fusion Accountants showcased its expertise in an article discussing crucial considerations for limited companies when selecting an accounting firm. As a result, the firm not only acquired a valuable backlink but also contributed to the creation of a more authoritative and informative piece.
Write guest articles.
As a savvy business owner, your unique expertise holds the potential to captivate and enlighten others. Harnessing this knowledge, you can seize the opportunity to craft compelling columns or guest posts for your local press, amplifying your influence and reputation.
This strategic approach is akin to the art of guest blogging. It entails a systematic process: you curate a well-thought-out roster of local media outlets that welcome contributions from talented writers and then present your intriguing article ideas to their discerning editors.
Consider this outstanding example: a celebrated mixology maestro, who serves as the director of a prominent London bar, recently penned a captivating narrative within the pages of a prestigious London food magazine. This piece, a delightful exploration into the history of the margarita cocktail, not only engages readers but also cleverly incorporates a seamless link back to the bar’s own website, creating a symbiotic relationship between their unique insights and their digital presence.
A Word of Warning about Local Publishers
Please note that certain local publishers, especially those primarily focused on news content, may not include hyperlinks to your website even when they feature your business in an article. While this might not result in direct backlinks, it’s important to recognize that your business will still receive valuable exposure. Furthermore, other publications may pick up the story and choose to include links to your website. However, if your primary objective for seeking press coverage is to secure backlinks, it’s essential to verify whether the specific websites you’re targeting are inclined to provide them.
Contact Local Bloggers
Gaining the attention of bloggers can sometimes prove more manageable than capturing the interest of local media outlets. Notably, these bloggers often possess sizable and highly specific audiences. The key to success lies in pinpointing relevant websites and establishing a meaningful connection.
The blogging landscape covers a vast array of topics, increasing the likelihood of discovering a suitable match. Initiating this search is as simple as launching Google and diving into the following ideas:
- Explore local bloggers by searching for “[Your area] bloggers.”
- To refine your search further, consider “[Your area] [your industry] blog.”
- Seek out prominent blogs in your area with “[Your area] best blogs.”
A supplementary approach is to venture onto social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter. These platforms may unveil bloggers whose websites did not surface in your initial search.
After compiling a list of potential publications, it’s time to initiate contact with the website owners and propose a partnership that involves them linking to your content. It’s essential to offer something of value in return for the link. The incentive can vary according to the blogger’s interests:
- Enthusiastic hobbyist bloggers might appreciate freebies or exclusive event invitations.
- Business-focused blogs may respond favorably if you can demonstrate how your offer can benefit their enterprise.
Keep in mind that some bloggers may request compensation. They might propose fees for incorporating a link into an existing post, a practice known as niche edits, or for publishing a guest post on their site. It’s worth noting that while Google cautions against paying for links, this is a widely accepted link-building practice in many industries. This aspect should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to pursue paid link opportunities.
Different types of blogs
Blogging is a diverse realm, with individuals and businesses engaging in this practice for various motivations. Here are three prevalent types of blogs you might encounter:
- Enthusiast Bloggers: These bloggers are fueled by passion and delve into subjects that truly captivate them. These blogs tend to be cozy corners on the internet, offering insights into personal hobbies and interests, ranging from culinary delights, sporting adventures, to cultural explorations.
- Corporate Blogs: Integrated into a company’s website, these blogs revolve around the industry in which the business operates. They serve as a means to establish the company’s expertise in its field, providing valuable industry-specific content that not only enhances the brand’s credibility but also drives traffic to their website.
- Niche Websites: Distinct from hobbyist bloggers, owners of niche sites view their platforms as small-scale enterprises. These websites focus on specialized, often local topics, catering to a specific audience seeking in-depth information on unique subjects. The operators run these sites with a business-like approach, fostering a loyal following within their niche.
Create a Local Guide
Developing linkable assets is a paramount strategy in our arsenal for building quality backlinks. This approach is designed with the explicit goal of attracting links from authoritative sources to boost our online presence.
Here at LinkCrafters, we’ve harnessed the power of linkable assets across numerous campaigns, achieving remarkable results such as procuring more than 30 valuable backlinks in just one month for Drifted.com.
Notably, linkable assets aren’t confined to grand-scale projects; they can be equally effective in local link building efforts. The key lies in crafting assets that resonate with local blogs and websites in your vicinity.
The array of potential linkable assets is vast, so selecting one that seamlessly aligns with your business is essential. Here are some imaginative ideas to consider:
- Local Business Directory: Curate a directory featuring neighboring businesses, enhancing local visibility.
- Local Culinary Delights Guide: Craft a guide highlighting the finest local food and drink establishments, appealing to both residents and tourists.
- Interactive Local Attractions Map: Create an interactive map showcasing must-visit local attractions, making it easy for visitors to explore your area.
- Local Events Calendar: Compile a comprehensive calendar of local events, enriching community engagement.
- Local Insights and Statistics Page: Provide valuable insights and statistics about your locale, catering to those seeking information about your area.
Once your linkable asset is ready, there are two avenues to stimulate the generation of local backlinks:
The first approach hinges on organic discovery, whereby your asset naturally garners attention and earns links. This can transpire if your resource is of high quality and ranks prominently on search engines.
The more proactive and often more effective second option involves proactive promotion. Share your resource with local publications and influential bloggers, and amplify its reach by disseminating it through your social media channels. If your asset features other local businesses, reach out to them, expressing your desire for them to include a link on their websites. The value your asset brings to the table will often lead website owners to willingly share it with their audience.
In the realm of link building, crafting compelling linkable assets and strategically promoting them can be a game-changer for bolstering your online presence and reinforcing your connection with the local community.
Sponsor Local Organizations
Sponsorships serve as a multifaceted strategy, offering not only a means to garner widespread attention but also a potent avenue for cultivating valuable local connections.
The underlying concept revolves around the symbiotic relationship between sponsors and the recipients of their generosity, be it a community group, an event, or a sports team. In this symbiosis, the beneficiary, equipped with a website, reciprocates by acknowledging the businesses that have extended their support.
The art lies in striking a harmonious equilibrium between selecting a sponsorship opportunity that holds promise for link-building potential and one that promises a spotlight that can illuminate your brand. It’s a duality of goals: reaping the benefits of strategic digital marketing while basking in the glow of amplified exposure.
Offer a Scholarship
Creating scholarship opportunities to acquire backlinks from high-authority educational domains used to be a prevalent SEO strategy. However, it has become less common due to educational institutions recognizing its use for backlinks. Nevertheless, this technique can still be effective. Here’s a unique approach to execute it:
- Scholarship Creation: Initiate your SEO strategy by establishing a scholarship program that aligns with your business objectives. You can refer to a comprehensive guide for assistance in creating an impactful scholarship.
- Engage Local Educational Institutions: Reach out to local schools and colleges to inform them about the scholarship opportunity. Emphasize the value it provides to the community and students.
- Website Promotion: Encourage these institutions to feature the scholarship on their scholarship pages on their websites. This can be a mutually beneficial arrangement as it benefits their students while generating backlinks for your website.
- Consider the Costs: Offering a scholarship can be a substantial financial commitment. Weigh the costs against the potential benefits, keeping in mind that the links you gain can be valuable for your SEO efforts.
- ROI Estimation: To estimate the potential return on your investment, research websites that list scholarships in your local area. This data can help you gauge the number of local backlinks you might acquire.
- Example of Success: One illustrative case is a law firm’s experience with scholarship link building. They secured links from 49 referring domains for their scholarship page. Notably, these included universities with high domain ratings such as the University of Illinois, Eastern Kentucky University, and Indiana University.
- Leveraging Local Media: Expanding your scholarship link-building efforts, don’t just focus on scholarship pages. Consider sending a well-crafted press release to local media publications that might be interested in your scholarship story. This can further boost your outreach and backlink acquisition.
Incorporating these steps into your strategy can help you secure valuable backlinks from educational institutions while simultaneously benefiting local students through scholarship opportunities. It’s a dynamic approach that combines SEO with community engagement and PR outreach to maximize its impact.
List Your Business on Alumni Pages
Continuing the focus on educational institutions, including your business in alumni directories can be a valuable strategy for cultivating local backlinks.
Universities and colleges frequently showcase the accomplishments of their former students, which can take the form of dedicated articles or alumni pages highlighting their career achievements.
If you happen to be an alumnus of a university situated in the vicinity of your business, this presents an excellent opportunity for local link-building.
Explore the university’s website and navigate to sections related to alumni businesses. If you discover such a page, consider making contact to inquire about the possibility of featuring your company as well.
Become Active in Local Forums
Online forums have evolved over the years, and while they may not hold the same popularity and authority they once did, they still offer a straightforward method for acquiring local backlinks and fostering local connections.
To kickstart this strategy, your trusty companion is none other than Google. Begin your quest by conducting searches using relevant terms to unearth forums that cater to your niche.
Should your efforts in finding general forums related to your area prove futile, don’t fret. You can pivot your search towards local sports teams; many of them maintain lively fan communities.
The primary challenge in this endeavor is dropping links without coming across as a spammer, which is a delicate art to master.
In some forums, you might find opportunities to incorporate a link within your bio or signature. This method is the least obtrusive way to direct traffic to your website.
However, if your goal is to insert links within forum threads or comments, exercise caution. Do so sparingly and exclusively when the content you share aligns seamlessly with the discussion and genuinely enriches the experience for fellow readers.
An added perk of securing forum links is their potential to channel substantial and relevant traffic to your website. This extra benefit can play a pivotal role in boosting your online presence and engagement.
Offer to Provide Testimonials
Testimonial link building is a strategic approach to enhancing your online presence while supporting local businesses. It involves sharing your positive experiences with a local service or business and having them feature your recommendation on their website, complete with a link back to your own site. This symbiotic relationship benefits both parties: you gain valuable backlinks, and the business showcases its excellent services to potential customers.
To get started with this powerful link-building technique, follow these steps:
- Identify Your Preferred Local Businesses: Begin by compiling a list of local businesses that you’ve had genuinely positive experiences with and are eager to recommend.
- Reach Out to Businesses: After creating your list, initiate contact with these businesses. Express your satisfaction with their services and propose the idea of featuring your testimonial on their website.
- Target Businesses with Existing Testimonials: Businesses that already showcase case studies, testimonials, or customer stories on their websites are prime candidates. They’ve demonstrated their willingness to link to other sites, making them excellent prospects for your testimonial.
- Pitch to Businesses Without Testimonials: Don’t rule out businesses that don’t currently have a testimonial section. In these cases, you’ll need to persuade the local business owner of the value your testimonial can bring to their website and customers.
By engaging in testimonial link building, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with local businesses, boosting your online presence while helping them demonstrate the quality of their services to potential clients.
This compilation of local SEO link building strategies offers a diverse array of methods through which businesses can effortlessly garner valuable backlinks. Nevertheless, the most straightforward path to link acquisition lies in entrusting the task to seasoned professionals.
LinkCrafters stands as a reputable authority with an established history of employing ethical and legitimate link building techniques to cultivate top-tier backlinks for aspiring enterprises. By partnering with us, you gain access to the high-quality, authoritative links essential for propelling your local business to new heights, all without the need to personally navigate the intricacies of link generation.