Google My Business (now Google Business Profile) is an essential part of any local SEO strategy. But they are not the only option.
While MapPack results are prominent in Google’s perception of local intent, especially on mobile, you cannot ignore the traditional ten-blue links. Google still considers links to be a ranking factor in organic search results. This makes it essential to have a link-building strategy for your brand.
This article will teach you the latest local link building techniques and best practices. These tactics can help you increase your local search visibility, boost your rankings and provide high-quality backlinks to local sources. Let’s first define the terms local link and backlink building.
What is a local link?
Local links link from one site to the other and are an endorsement of the content they are linking to. Google uses inbound linking as a trust signal for its search ranking algorithm.
Local links differ from regular links in that they link to local sources. These links usually originate from specific cities or towns. Organic search results that are specific to a location will be displayed if a user searches for a business in that area.
What are some examples of local link building?
Google algorithms will use trust signals and other signals to rank results when someone searches for “San Diego dentists”. Google uses local links to help it understand which pages are trustworthy and provide the best answers for people searching for dentists in San Diego.
Local connections are made by individuals, businesses, or organizations in the local community. These include service groups, small business, schools, religious groups and news media.
It’s important to build links within your industry. However, it is even more important to establish links in your local area and the communities where your customers live, especially for small businesses. Local links are crucial for marketing a local company.
What is Local Link Building?
Local SEO strategies should include local link building. To help Google and other search engines understand your locality, you will need to build relevant links.
The practice of encouraging and soliciting local links involves a number of different tactics. Local link building targets the right audience to bring back customers from your local community. This is a great way for your business to be connected to the local community, increase brand awareness, and acquire new customers.
Building links can also help you establish authority and presence for your brand within your industry. Although it might seem daunting to find all the links that can be used to link back to your local business at first, we will provide some tips and ideas to help you get started on your local link building journey.
An example of a link to Petco from a local news site
Tips to Create a Successful Local Link Building Campaign
We will be sharing tips and other avenues that can help you create a successful link-building campaign.
Participate in Local Awards
Look for award competitions in your area and register to enter them.
Join local business and industry associations
You can search online to find local associations such as the Chamber of Commerce that are interested in collaborating on content and promotions.
Partner with complementary businesses
If you are a local pet supply shop, you might offer a gift set with holiday decorations to local vets. You might also display contact information for the vet at your registers. This cross-promotion will help you reach out to each other’s audience.
Look for opportunities to appear on local resource pages
For some industries, this can be a great opportunity. A realtor could have a page listing recommended contractors, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, etc. Do your research and find out who has resource pages. Then, reach out to them and ask if you can be added.
Find Online Mentions
Ask people to link to your brand or company wherever they are talking about it. You may be misspelled or misquoted on some sites, but they have not yet linked to it.
Event Sponsorships & Teams
Many events and teams link to their sponsors. This is a great way to not only get a link, but also to build brand awareness and loyalty within the community.
Make an E-book
Although it may seem tedious at first, there is likely enough information and content to fill an entire e-book. This content asset can be used to generate customer leads and brand authority.
Use Facebook Ads to Your Advantage
Facebook ads can be a great way for you to promote your products and services while also building a social media presence that will attract other people to your site. Facebook tools and analytics can assist you in marketing to your target audience with targeted Facebook ads.
By creating discount campaigns for your products and services that are based on the needs of your community, you can link back to your site. Consider adding your business to any discounts offered by associations or organizations.
Look for local events in your area and ask if there are any opportunities to set up a booth. Hosting your own event is possible. Promote your event and add the links to your website after the event.
Locate local blogs and websites
Your community websites need content, whether you are guest posting on a blog, or interviewing important people from your area for a local newspaper. Your content can include embedded links that link back to your site.
Example of a local Dunkin’ link for a community event
Best practices for local link building
Although local link building can seem tedious at first, it is worth the effort if done properly. Here are some best practices to improve your local link building strategy.
Learn More About Your Inbound Link Profile
Google Search Console is a useful tool that allows you to see the history of your links and determine which are most relevant for your market. You can then refocus your search on the backlinks that offer the best marketing insights and are most relevant to your customers by reviewing your profile. This tool will provide insight into your link building strategy and allow you to assess the quality of current local links.
Only when it is necessary to disavow links
Google’s Disavow Tool allows you to notify the search engine when your website is not wanted associated with an incoming hyperlink. The tool was launched in a frenzy of activity by SEO professionals who raced to disavow spammy and lower Domain Authority links.
The best practice is to disavow links only if there is clear evidence that they are affecting your SEO. Google may penalize you if it believes that you have bought links. You would want to remove any links that could have led to this misperception of you website.
Google will likely ignore links that it doesn’t think add value to its ranking decisions, except in those rare cases. It is a waste to your time to disavow links.
void Spammy Link Building Practices
Google can detect link manipulations such as buying and reciprocal linking. Local link building should be focused on the value that you can provide to another site’s visitors.
It is also useful to check out the links of your competitors and see what kind of content is doing well. Based on the links of your competitors, you can get valuable information about your community and what they want. To determine how many links you require, you can compare where your competitors and you are on the search engine results pages. Then you can focus on getting more links from higher ranking sites.
Real People Search for Linking Opportunities
You can also use the Google search engine to add your location and type of content. To see what opportunities are available in your local area, you could enter “Scranton + blog” for example. You will get a list of results that you can contact to see if there are any opportunities for collaborations, such as promotions or blog exchanges.
Let’s say you are considering using blogs to promote your campaign. It’s important to think about topics that are relevant to your target market.
Local link building is a support for all your SEO efforts. It allows you to rank naturally on Google and sustainably over time. It allows you to build relationships with your local community and reach potential customers in different locations.
Local link building can be the missing link that will take your business to new heights and help your listings rank higher in Google search. These tips will help to incorporate local link building into your marketing strategy. This will allow you to drive more qualified local traffic.
Affiliate Marketing Buzz can help your business get started with local link building.
Affiliate Marketing Buzz published Local Link Building 101: Best Practices & Strategies for Success first.
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