The Unsung Benefits of Local Link Building
One reason that many businesses still hedge around the idea of SEO is the perceived difficulty of ranking for popular keywords that are related to their industry. The trouble with this line of thinking is that these are cases where businesses are thinking globally and not giving the same consideration to thinking locally. There is absolutely nothing wrong with engaging in a broad-spectrum SEO campaign that targets a global market, but the benefits of locally-targeted SEO efforts should not be overlooked! Local link building can drive targeted, relevant traffic to a business very effectively.
While many visitors that are brought to a website by a general SEO campaign do convert to paying customers, imagine the benefits of attracting visits from people who are located much closer to your business! Local Search Marketing has been shown to attract potential customers who are that much more likely to buy from your business; the majority of online shopping depends on multiple factors including trust, and people are more likely to put their trust in -and thus buy from- a business that is more “local” to them, even if local only means that both buyer and business are in the same country.
Local Link Building Opportunities You Might Be Missing Out On
Aside from the obvious advertisement spaces in the local phone books, there are plenty of opportunities for local link building in your area. Some of them are so easy; just take 10 minutes, send an email, and see what happens!
- Sponsor a local charity organization or non-profit – Animal shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries are all great examples and might have a website where they can list your business as a sponsor or donor.
- Speak at a local college or event – If your business can contribute something meaningful, why not contribute an hour or so of your time to sharing your knowledge with others? If the event is publicized it may have it’s own page on the website of the college or company hosting the event or lecture.
- Join a business directory for local businesses – i.e. if your business is in a mall or shopping canter and there is a website for it, you can try to get your business listed there.
- Engage in relevant blog commenting and forum posting for local or location-specific sites – If the place you will be commenting or posting has the name of the city/state/etc where your business is located in the domain name this could be a great place to chip in some information. You won’t be able to actively promote yourself much, but if the material you post can include a link in a signature then there is your link!
- Send testimonials or leave reviews for local businesses / people you have worked with – Have you recently done business with someone local? Send them a testimonial and let them know how much you enjoyed working with them, and ask if they post your testimonial on their site that it includes a link back to yours. If you submit a review for them, there is usually a place to include a link back to yourself when you post.
These are just a few of the possible local link building opportunities that might be open to your business. Look around and see what other sorts of opportunities you can find to add a few relevant, local links to your back link profile.
Remember that it is not so much the volume of links you can have out there, but the relevance of the links that you do have. If a local business is linking to another local business there is an obvious connection there, something that both search engines and potential customers will appreciate.
Local SEO Citations | How To Get Local Business Found Online
New! Local Link Building Tool: Citation Tool Finder – by Ann Smarty
For even more ideas for local link building opportunities, check out these posts!
- The Complete Guide to Link Building with Local Events - by Kane Jamison
- 5 More Local Link Building Tips – by Kaila Strong
- 5 Practical Link Building Strategies for Local Businesses – by Leo Dimilo
- Link Building for Local Search – by Julie Joyce
- 5 Local Linkbuilding Ideas For The Post-Penguin/Panda Era – by Andrew Shotland
- Local Link Building Strategies – by Ryan Clark
Local Link Building – Going Beyond the Confines of the Internet
You might think that local link building has to be done entirely online; after all, that’s where links come from right? You are correct in thinking that way, but there is another aspect of the situation that you might not have thought about yet. Things you do offline can bring you local links too. For example, volunteering, sponsoring local events / organization/ etc and similar activities can bring more local people to your business, and those people can leave reviews for you in various places online, they can network with you online or offline (or both), or they can post something online about your business, generating activity around your brand. Mentioning your business on their blog or social media accounts can give you those valued social signals that search engines love, and all from relevant local sources!
Back Down to Earth – The Reality of Local Link Building
One of the most important things to remember with any SEO effort is that you have to have realistic expectations and goals going in, or you will inevitably wind up disappointed with your local SEO efforts. Local SEO needs to be approached like a great big networking event; these are local people, local businesses, and local opinions and impressions that you will be dealing with – each and every one of them counts big time! That being said, you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket and only focus on one area. Diversify your strategy and you will see the best possible results. Don’t expect SEO and SEO alone to bring success to your business, even if it is local SEO!
Another more “common” approach to building local links is content marketing. Below is a great infographic on content marketing and local SEO. Take this as one example of how you can diversify your SEO efforts and still maintain a focus on building more local links.
Infographic courtesy of Brafton — Click for a larger version!
Do you practice local link building with your business?