Local link building is one of the most valuable assets in your SEO arsenal if you want to improve your organic search traffic and for ranking any keywords that are locally searched for. This exposes your content or business to a much wider audience. As previously stated local link building tactics refer to the process of securing relevant links, brand mentions and link opportunities from other local businesses.
There are multiple ways that local link building strategies positively improve your visibility on Google Maps. By attracting more local customers you improve your local search results online. Increasing your search rankings by exploiting local link building tactics, whether that be advertising in local newspapers or building relationships with local bloggers. This converts into higher conversion rates, improved site metrics/SEO scores, and lower bounce rates.
What are Local SEO backlinks?
Did you know that almost half of all Google searches are specifically looking for information relating to the user’s locality such as a local business or local websites? Whether it be the best Italian restaurant to visit with their spouse at the weekend or the hair salon best avoided in their vicinity local backlinks are of paramount importance. Local SEO backlink building is a process wherein you create locally relevant content from authoritative websites. The ultimate aim is to drive traffic to your website and funnel users from other websites to your own. Which in turn improves local visibility and improves your site’s ranking for local searches.
Local SEO differs from global SEO in that you are aiming to attract a regional-specific audience instead of anyone searching for a keyword. This is of particular use to small businesses and shops whose target audience is people in the locality. As a rule of thumb smaller enterprises are less likely to have multiple locations, as a result, there is no point trying to attract people who cannot visit their stores. A store in Dublin that does not do deliveries would benefit more from traffic within Dublin rather than Cork. Examples are people who search “pub near me” or “Decent Thai restaurant”. They may also enquire about other establishments like clothes shops and cafes.
One of the great things about Google is that it knows they are looking for these amenities close to its location and will list them in a boxed area at the top called a “Snack Pack”. Within this, the 3 most relevant local businesses will be listed. The main goal of local SEO is to get your website listed in this “Snack Pack”, as one-third of all clicks go to this boxed area.
Start Your Local Link Building Journey by Building Local Citations!
The three most common questions we are asked by our clients are. How do I google my business citations? What is local citation building? How do I build local citations? It is much simpler than excessive jargon would suggest. Many of our clients who are familiar with link building and the monumental pain in the nether regions it is are often worried whether local citation building is as time-consuming, labor-intensive, and infuriating. By the grace of whatever god you believe in it’s not. Building citations and local links for SEO is relatively simplistic and easier to get a handle on.
A citation is any mention of business details shared online in particular by authoritative websites but not limited to them. The most coveted mentions include your business name, your business’s address, and phone number simultaneously (sometimes referred to by the acronym NAP), in conjunction with any other relevant information. Such as opening hours, holiday closings, web addresses, or your business email all of which are often featured in local business directories. It often happens that you have already inadvertently engaged in local SEO citation building without realising it through social media profiles, reviews, local directories, or event listings.
Look for Local SEO Backlink Opportunities Anywhere You Can Find Them!
Local link building strategies follow the same formulae as regular backlink building. The only difference is that link building for local businesses requires you to contact companies in the locality and is much more targeted.
You will have to create local content that you can then pitch to social media groups and other local publications or local websites to gain backlinks. There are numerous ways to create local links.
Online directories are the bedrock from which all local businesses can turn their basic company information into a local link building strategy which can ultimately lead to quality backlinks. Ensure you update all your details if your NAP is the same across multiple directories it is considered a big plus to Google crawling bots. It is imperative that you set up a “Google My Business” to get your website on the radar. After that list your business on credible directories like Yelp, this will lead to more Google map citations. For local SEO this is of utmost importance.
A frequently overlooked method of link building for local businesses is award ceremonies organised by media companies and local publications. Simply sign up for any award relating to your business, win or lose you will still earn backlinks as you were listed. Your business can also earn backlinks from paid promotions. Websites like Lovin’Dublin frequently run paid ads dressed up as articles.
1. Obtain Local Links from Other Ranking Websites
Getting local link building opportunities, also known as Barnacle SEO is simply searching Google for terms relevant to your business than trying to get links from any site that show up in the results. Obviously, the odds of securing local links from your competitors are quite low but directory-type sites such as Yelp, Bing, Facebook etc are very easy to list on.
Create relevant content and local links will follow. Find topics that are relevant to your specific niche to attract your target audience and local businesses. Then contact local bloggers to create and publish content about these topics. When it comes to local backlinks and content make sure you impress upon the people creating the content that it is relevant to your business your audience finds useful.
2. Gain Local SEO Links from Direct Competitor Websites
The best way to gain local SEO backlinks is to do a competitor analysis. Using tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Majestic you can get an in-depth report of their backlinks. From here you can go through the list and contact the sites that aren’t backlinked to you and improve your local search rankings.
Another criminally underutilised method for getting the best backlinks for local SEO is preparing case studies that are relevant to your business. Spend time documenting the aspects of your company that you feel set you apart from your competitors. Document your company’s achievements in an easily understandable, succinct format and submit this to multiple, respected publications that are considered relevant in your business sphere. These in turn will back link to your own website.
Many companies overlook the importance of involving their customers. Simply request your existing customers that are happy with your services to leave online reviews. The most valuable sites to publish these reviews on are Google, Reddit and Facebook. When it comes to back link building for local businesses there are few other websites as respected
3. Reclaim Lost Local Links to Your Own Website
What are the advantages and disadvantages of reclaiming versus building new backlinks for local SEO?
The main reason websites lose backlinks in the first place is that the host website is de-indexed by Google for being spammy. If this is the case it is not worth wasting your time or effort trying to reclaim it because trying so does nothing but damage your site’s organic search traffic.
That being said if you reclaim links from high quality sites with domain authority within your niche or websites with trusted local backlinks profiles of their own your link reclaiming efforts are definitely worth any time invested. This is because your securing links that are beneficial for your website’s ranking and authority. Building new links is in our opinion a more valuable tactic as while you’re doing it you have complete control over the external links pointing towards your own site initially.
4. Develop Highly Linkable and Relevant Local Content
The mainstay of any decent local SEO backlink service is a high quality local link building strategy and campaign that will increase your website’s ranking. This however is harder than it appears. More often than not brands and companies may have great outreach but are limited due to poor content on their sites. The main reason for poor performance is usually to lack of engaging content that the target audience responds to poorly. The first step to improving on poor results is to hire a local link building service such as www.digitalsearchgroup.ie. However, if you prefer to do it yourself here is a short guide on what makes the best backlinks for local linking to power your campaign.
The most important thing is to provide content that serves a purpose. Unless it generates leads, increases brand awareness, and ultimately boosts sales it is effectively useless. The content has to attract your target audience in the local community, this is achieved by it being erudite, engaging, and interesting. The more linkable it is to web users the more beneficial it is to your own site.
5. Procure Local Citation Backlinks
Local citation building and local link building using SEO present a challenge for even the most experienced marketers. Google uses numerous off-site factors to decide on your site ranking whether that be local, organic, or Google Maps.
To put it simply a citation is a mention or reference that contains a business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). If you want to build local citations which are of paramount importance in ranking a location on Google Maps your NAP must be available in local search results.
Google crawls the NAP information on any site it is present. This includes local news sites, local business sites, local directories, local blogs, press releases, local community social media sites, local directories, and chamber of commerce sites. As well as that Google uses the NAP information that is present on your Google Business profile and business website as their primary reference point. If a business has multiple locations dotted about the country, such as franchises it is imperative that they are all properly organised on the website. In other words, Google cross-references the website’s NAP information with the surrounding sources on the web to confirm the legitimacy of your business’s location. So, any inconsistencies can lead to subpar results.
6. Look at Other Backlink Types for Local SEO Opportunities
There are numerous other backlinks for local SEO that can be used to improve your rankings and make your own site more authoritative.
Building a link from donations to local events or non-profit sites is a fantastic link building strategy that is all too often overlooked. Simply donate to a worthy cause and instead of putting in your name put in your site’s URL. More often than not this will link back to your site.
Testimonials from clients give your site credibility especially if these testimonials are promoted on social media, local news sites or Google. Local sponsorships including sports teams, a local event, and local charities add to the legitimacy of these testimonials and really help build local links.
For every business niche there are blogs and websites dedicated to that industry, simply reach out to these sites especially if they do “Best of” lists and present tremendous local link building opportunities. You won’t be included if you don’t apply and it has been proven in the past that being mentioned in these lists improves local traffic both on and offline.
Backlinks from local bloggers and influencers are without a doubt one of the most sought-after backlinks for local SEO. Combined with guest blogging yourself on reputable sites in a two-pronged approach you’ll be amazed at how quickly you will improve your rankings.
7. Claim Unlinked Brand Mentions for Your Company
It goes without saying that Google has surpassed all other search engines at weeding out spammy link-building methods that attempt to manipulate results. Using Automated content as a link building strategy has been rendered completely obsolete for a reason. The previous dogma that creates backlinks manually, or one at a time is completely antiquated.
One of the most overlooked yet best local SEO strategies is finding mentions of your brand that are unlinked and turning them into internal links SEO backlinks,
Local SEO Backlink Building: Final Thoughts and Conclusions
In conclusion, finding local link building opportunities can be quite a labour intensive and time-consuming link building strategy that targets local users and anyone using Google search. It is ultimately worth it if you want your link building efforts to actually make your website rank, and generate sales and inbound links or leads. There is an abundance of tools and resources available to even the most lackadaisical person so there are no excuses for your website to not show up in any local search.