One of the secrets to high website traffic is link building. If you're a small local business owner, then you want to direct your efforts towards local link building or local SEO link building.
But what exactly is link building? How is it different from local link building? What are local SEO link building tips that you can use to increase traffic?
Let's get into it...
Link building is the practice of increasing the number of and quality of inbound links (aka backlinks) to a website.
Search engines like Google feed on links because it's a signal that a site is a high-quality resource. The more links you have from relevant and authoritative websites, the higher your website will rank in search engines.
I personally believe that link building requires strong social skills, excellent communication, persistence, and creativity. It's not easy, and it takes persistent effort over time to yield results.
Take a look at this infographic from Moz.com to see just how important link building is when it comes to ranking factors:
The quantity and quality of the links to your website account for just over 20% of your ranking factor and it's the highest percentage of any ranking factor in this chart!
But it doesn't stop there for local businesses. Here's another Moz study that focused on local search ranking factors.
Remember that higher rankings mean higher web traffic > higher web traffic means higher sales > higher sales means endless business opportunity.
Are you starting to see why link building and getting more backlinks to your site is so important?
Let's take a look at how local link building is a little different...
Both strategies use backlinks to help boost SEO ranking and web traffic.
What differentiates local link building is the focus on backlinks from websites in a specific local area. Local link building has a very geographic focus, where general link building does not.
Local link building is more suitable for businesses serving customers in a specific geographic area. Think of local businesses like restaurants, retail shops, or home repair companies.
A backlink regardless of geography is a good thing for any business, but backlinks from other local businesses send local signals to Google about your business. The more local signals Google sees, the more they will associate your business with that location.
So how do you go about building local links? Let's check it out...
Here are some great ways to start building local links in your area...
What do you do if a news site or a local website mentions your brand in an online article? ASK FOR THE LINK.
When people mention your business online it can be a great way to get a local backlink. Go ahead and reach out to the writer or editor and ask if they'd be willing to link your business name in the article to your website (if they haven't done so already).
The worst thing that will happen is they say no or they don't respond...no big deal!
If you are having trouble finding an email address for outreach, check out tools like Hunter.io or Find That lead to find emails.
Google Alerts and Fresh Web Explorer are a few awesome places to start looking for brand mentions.
People love sharing infographics. Focus on an infographic with local information. For example, if you're a realtor in Denver you might consider the following topics for your infographic:
Once the infographic has been created you can start outreach to other local businesses who might like the content and want to share it.
For the "top 25 restaurants in Denver" I'd reach out to every restaurant on the list. For the "hottest neighborhoods in Denver" you might reach out to the neighborhood associations, local news sites, or other local businesses in the listed neighborhoods.
There is no shortage of local meetup groups. If your business has the ability to host a local meet up group this can be a great way to get a backlink to your site because the location information with a link is listed in the meetup group.
Some groups also provide the ability to sponsor events. If you own a business that can provide food or some other beneficial service you might be able to generate a local backlink that way too.
If your business has the ability to host a local event this is an awesome way to generate local links and social mentions/shares.
In my area, there is a landscaping nursery that hosts an ongoing fall festival around Halloween. It's a totally free event and kids love it. You can bet they generate a number of backlinks from locally focused kid and mom websites.
Another example is a church in our area that hosts a free Easter egg hunt each year. Think about all the backlinks they generate from other local websites.
This is very similar to #2 above. Your content can come in multiple forms...a blog post, video, or podcast are just a few ideas.
The key is to focus on information that is relevant to your geographic area. Most of the time I think the content should be relevant to your business too, but there may be times that it's not.
Facebook advertising is an effective way to get the attention of a targeted local market. It can be used to increase brand awareness, engagement, and drive interest in your local content.
If you are creating local content, Facebook Ads can be a great way to increase the local exposure of your content and encourage social sharing and potentially, backlinks.
If you need some additional help with Facebook Ads, here are a couple of articles you might like:
Run a FREE scan to check the health of your online business information now! You'll instantly get access to your report.
Remember that directory listings and citation signals represent 13% of local ranking factors for the local pack and 8% of local ranking factors for local organic search.
Directory listings and citations for local businesses are a vital part of a solid local SEO strategy. They are a key component of the ranking algorithm and will also generate backlinks for you.
But most directory and citation work involves websites that aren't very geographically focused. Digging deeper and getting directory listings and citations from organizations and websites in your local area can be very effective.
Chambers of commerce, Rotary, and Kiwanis are examples of very local organizations where you can generate backlinks for your business. Can you think of any others in your area?
Do you know other business owners in your area? I'm sure you do!
Leverage your local network to generate links from their websites back to yours. If you are in complementary businesses they might have a preferred provider list (think of a plumber linking out to other service providers).
If they have a blog, you might be able to have them link to your business within the context of an article.
Are there locally focused blogs in your area that are relevant to your industry?
Reach out to see if they'll allow you to publish a guest post on their blog. In most cases, this will give you the ability to generate multiple links back to your website.
It's also a great way to increase brand awareness for your business with people in the community.
Member how I mentioned creating local content in #5? One of the ways you can do this is to interview local business owners or figures in the community.
The person you interview will most likely promote the content on their website and social media pages, generating backlinks and social shares for your content.
There is no shortage of local sports teams, local organizations, and local non-profits.
Sponsoring these organizations can be a great way to build brand awareness within your community and it's also a great way to generate backlinks from very local websites.
What do you think of these local link building tips? Can you start using some of them today?
I've given you some great ways to get started on your own, but NEVER hesitate to seek help if you don't have the time or inclination to focus on local link building.
We'd love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below. We'd be honored if you feel this article is worth sharing too!
Header image courtesy of Pexels.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we help take the guesswork out of marketing for small businesses and make it simple. We're the bridge between where you are and where you want to be.