Local links are links to your website from other local sources. For instance, a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado could have various links to their website including links from trip sites, a local blog listing “The Best Boulder Restaurants,” and various other Boulder area businesses and organizations.
Getting other local sources to link back to your site is an effective Local SEO strategy. If done correctly and not forcefully, search engines and potential customers will see your company as an active community member and ultimately, THE local option for your area of business.
Here we’ve identified 10 key ways that you can improve your business’s online presence with authentic local link building techniques.
Citations include mentions of your NAP – business name, address, and phone number – which is highly valued by search engine algorithms. Search engine web crawlers use these mentions to confirm your location and connection to a particular industry. They also use these lists to build their own local databases.
Consider featuring and having your business listed on business listing sites like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, as well as industry-specific websites. Mentions on blogs, newspaper websites, job databases, and event listings are also valuable and worth reaching out to have your business included in their listings.
If you want to learn more about how to do this for your business, we put together a helpful guide on how to set up local citations for your business: How to Get Your Business Listed on Local Directories.
2) Partner with Other Local Businesses
Link building goes beyond simply having your business listed on another website. Aim to build relationships with local and relevant businesses and explore creative ways to help each other.
For example, you may consider:
- Creating a partner page featuring these businesses.
- Guest blog posts or features on each other’s businesses.
- Partnering at local events.
- Sharing unique discounts with each other’s customers.
- You could also think about your customers as partners and write detailed case studies about them.
The key is to write about local area businesses that either sell products or provide services similar to yours, but they are not considered direct competitors. Write about them, ask them to write about you, and link to each other’s sites.
3) Sponsor Local Events or Organizations
Take a look at local events and organizations for opportunities to support causes that are a good, natural fit for your business. They help develop an emotional connection between your local customers and your company, while also giving you the opportunity to support a local cause.
Sponsorship opportunities such as conferences, festivals, or professional events are also worth considering. Your sponsorship will usually appear on the website’s page and be mentioned in communications, as well as handouts at any related events.
4) Join Professional Organizations in Your Area
Most locations have professional organizations such as a chamber of commerce or industry-specific associations. It’s a great way to get involved locally and be listed on their directories. For example:
- Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- National Electrical Contractors Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter
- North Fort Collins Business Association
You can use Google queries to help you quickly find relevant local professional organizations, as well as events. Try entering the following phrases into Google search:
- (city) (keyword) association
- (city) (keyword) society
- (city) (keyword) council
- (city) (keyword) alliance
5) Host a Nonprofit Fundraising Event
Nonprofits are proud to show their sponsors on their website and digital communications, as well as physically at related events through handouts or displays. This is a great opportunity to reach an audience who might have otherwise not heard of your company.
The exposure can often go beyond one-day events, as these newsworthy fundraisers or charity drives are usually covered and shared by local bloggers and journalists.
When researching events and organizations to participate with, make sure they align with you and your company’s goal and mission. Participation should be genuine.
6) Create and Promote Local Content
If opportunities aren’t available or you’d like to build up your local influence before seeking out partnerships, you can create your own through writing content. Creating and posting your blog posts or infographics is a very popular approach for businesses.
To have the most impact locally, create useful content that focuses on local issues and also work to find relevant topics that tie into your business.
For example, a hairstyling salon may write about the best photography locations in town or different hairstyles for the local high school prom.
An architecture firm could write a series of posts on historic city buildings.
A microbrewery might create a post about a local Oktoberfest event or feature local chefs asking their opinions on foods to pair with beer.
It all ties back to your business but has a local approach. The trick is to not just write about the services you offer, but the things a local audience might be looking for. If your content is well thought out, engaging, and has a local flavor, the more likely it is to rank well for your location. Ask those you feature to link back to your site.
7) Reach Out to Local Bloggers
Most cities have a network of local bloggers that write about things to do, family-friendly spots, eateries, or other specializations.
Connecting with your local bloggers’ network is a great way to reach a new audience and earn local links through mentions and dedicated blog posts, as well as social media promotion.
Their support for your business can encourage their followers to consider your company for their needs too. The relationship can transform into a mutually beneficial one that supports both the blogger and your business. Depending on their primary audience and blog features, you may consider:
- A review in exchange for a free visit or sampling of your product.
- Helping them promote your event by offering them free passes.
- Sharing a special discount or offering giveaways to their blog readers.
If you own the type of business local bloggers often write about, this can be an amazing opportunity for you.
8) Look for “Best of” or Round-up Pages in Your City
Round-up blog posts or dedicated features – “The Best Restaurants in Denver” or “The Top 10 Shops to Visit in Loveland” – are great for supporting your company’s tie to the industry and local knowledge, in the eyes of both search engines and your website visitors. It shows that you know what you are talking about!
To get started:
- Consider the different categories your business could fall under.
- Reach out to the authors of the round-up blog posts.
- Share a little bit about your business.
- Ask for consideration to be included.
Create Your Own “Best of” Pages
But, you don’t have to wait for a blogger or publication to add you to their list. You can also create your own roundup posts! Partner up. If you’re a dog walker you could partner with doggie daycares, pet groomers, veterinarians, or dog trainers.
Create a “Dog Lovers Guide to Fort Collins” – ask people you feature to link back. Offer referral discounts for customers you recommend to each other, or create a partner page that features their company’s logo and link.
9) Get Interviewed on Local Podcasts
Guest interviews on podcasts are a great way to generate additional local links. It gives potential customers insight into your brand and company operations, creating an emotional connection that lasts.
Similar to blog posts, local podcasts help you reach new audiences. With smartphones on the rise, podcasts are also showing an increase in consumption. Since 2014, podcast use has increased by 157% according to studies.
To find the best opportunities and most relevant podcast outlets research local and industry blogs. Identify the ones that have accompanying podcasts, many do, and see if they accept guest recommendations.
Even if they don’t, it’s worth emailing and reaching out. Prepare a pitch that shows how you could fit into their podcast season. Once done, don’t forget to link the finished podcast on your website!
10) Create a Detailed Local Resource Page
Local resource pages or guide pages are full of useful information and provide room to link to other related websites. It’s a great tool for building backlinks. And, better yet, they can be broad or specific in scope. Have fun with it!
You could write details on the best places to eat or the best locations to study in your local city. Think about the resource pages that your audience would like to read. Do you ever get customers that walk in asking for advice on something slightly or completely unrelated to your company? Write a local resource page!
Take an authentic, deliberate approach to connect to your local community and you’ll gain an edge over your competitors. You’ll also develop your brand voice and strengthen the connection you have with your current and future customers.
We Want to Help You Amp Up Your Local Marketing!
Do you want to create content that will help your business rank better locally? Taking a few minutes to complete our brand audit will help you think about your current marketing efforts and what might need to change.
It will also help us suggest several ways to improve your local marketing now: Brand audit.
After you complete the form, we’ll contact you to schedule a time to go over the results and see how we can help. If you are interested in learning more about our marketing process, sign up for my email list below.