I know you’ve got a ton of things on your plate, but I bet local link-building isn’t one of them.
But maybe it should be.
Building links from relevant local websites is crucial to how well your website does in local search and you will be pleased to know that it’s pretty straightforward and won’t have to take much of your time if you implement the following strategies.
1. Create and Leverage Local Partnerships
They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know and that definitely applies to building links. Developing local relationships helps you gain a local mindset which is a major component of any business that has local market traction. Most business owners don’t see this but local networking is really easy.
Case in point, there is a great chance that you’ve already built relationships with a couple of small business owners in your area that don’t pose any direct competition. How much would it take to reach out and ask for a link from each?
When you think of boosting local SEO, it should be about how to bring the offline relationships, online. The first step would be to research and make a list of all relevant businesses in your area and reach out to see if they can link to your site. This could also include your past and existing suppliers.
You can create new relationships with local companies that sell products which are complementary to yours.
Another way is through blogger outreach. Notice any bloggers posting about your industry? Reach out to them and see if they can link to your site.
One thing to keep in mind when reaching out for links is relevance and quality of their content.
2. Sponsor a Local Event
Besides creating brand awareness, local sponsorships present a great opportunity for getting relevant inbound links.
One of the best things about this method is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. For instance, with £50 to £80 a month, you can sponsor an event with refreshments.
There’s always a meetup looking for a local sponsor. All you have to do is check Meetup.com for any local groups then sort them by relevance to your business. If they need it, you can also offer them your premises for the meeting.
Other areas you could find sponsorship possibilities are business events like trade shows, conferences and awards ceremonies; community events such as concerts, fairs and festivals; and non-profit organisations such as museums, theatres and libraries.
3. Create a Quality Local Resource Page
A resource page is a list of helpful resources around a particular topic. The page is designed to help the reader quickly find the best of something by having the research already done for her – by you.
For instance, an interior decorator could have a curated list of local furniture or fabrics shops.
Besides linking to other sites (the resources on your list), other websites are likely to link to your page if the information is useful. And apart from getting you inbound links, a quality local resource page will boost your credibility in the area.
Depending on the industry you serve, there are many ideas on what your resource page could be about.
You can create a guide on services such as restaurants, museums and bars. You can have a calendar highlighting upcoming events. You can also provide a local map for your audience showing tourist attractions and free Wi-Fi hotspots.
You can check Christopher Gimmer’s guide on how to build a local resource that will get you more than just links. Spoiler alert: It’s pretty easy.
4. Claim Listing on Search Engine Directories and Review Sites
It should come naturally to have your business listed on a local directory. However, a lot of business owners still don’t take advantage of this resource.
Directories work because they focus on a specific area and niche – it is important that you keep the “local” and “niche” aspects in mind when claiming a listing.
Along with them are review sites. Focus on getting as many reviews from as many local sites as possible. However, unlike in directories, getting reviews takes a little more work. But with every review comes links, traffic and credibility.
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) citations are also important local ranking factors. These are the mentions your business gets from other web pages. An example would be a listing on yellow pages (online) or local chamber of commerce where your business is listed by the NAP details but not linked to.
Citations are quick, easy and often free. Above all that, they send important signals to Google and Bing even when they don’t link to your website.
5. Provide Testimonials
Another way to build up local inbound links that is pretty straightforward is through offering testimonials.
As you conduct business, you come across a lot of owners that you think are doing something great with the type of products and services they sell. Why not say something nice about the products you believe in and get a link in return?
Typically, at the end of every testimonial is information about the giver. You could request that the host provide a link back to your site instead of just listing your name and business. This is one of the easiest ways to gain local links and as an SME owner, it should be one of your starting points.
Think about it. You must use dozens of local businesses like photographers, gardeners, accountants, cleaners, etc. These are all opportunities to provide testimonials and most of the owners will be glad they didn’t have to ask.
So there you go – building local links isn’t so difficult, is it?
There are loads of possibilities out there and often they just involve sending an email to a supplier or a business owner that you know already. Sure, there’s plenty of other things you need to do to promote your business, but this is one important area you mustn’t overlook.
So are you doing local link building? Are you planning on doing any and do any of these work for you? Leave your comments below – we do read them and we will get back to you.