It is no secret that the best way to dominate your competitors is through local SEO. Often enough, the most relevant, targeted customers can be gained through a local search campaign.
It is also no secret that backlinks are still a powerful ranking factor, even in 2014. But some backlinks are better than others. Getting backlinks from local sources can be incredibly effective for climbing the rankings. You should be actively procuring as many local, authoritative backlinks as possible. This blog post will help you do just that.
Bring your offline relationships online
Local link building is where offline and online marketing intersect. If you think about it strategically, what you do offline can have a direct effect on your online results. The trick is to think locally.
Ask this: What can I do in my local community that can gain respect, recognition, and backlinks?
There are many ways to do this, and some of them will require you to think outside the box. Remember this: The best local backlinks will come from authoritative websites in the area. These can be newspapers and local media outlets. These can also be other businesses. Below is a list of the things you can do to get backlinks from these sources.
Host a local event. The actual event or meet up that you host is up to you. Hosting events that are relevant to your local community is like a backdoor entrance into receiving link juice from authoritative sources in the area. List your event in the “events” section of the local paper. As much as possible, tell local news and media outlets (online and off) about the event. Find local event listing websites and submit your event. Inform other businesses in the area about it and have these businesses advertise the event on their blog. These are all ways to gain powerful backlinks from authoritative sources that would otherwise be difficult to obtain.
Get involved with other businesses in the area. Start forming relationships with other businesses in the area. Mention other businesses in your blog and social media posts. Connect with the owners of these businesses. Eventually, some of these businesses will reciprocate and begin linking to your site.
Use testimonials as links. Did you use a local business recently? If so, this business could be happy to receive your testimonial. Offer to give a testimonial and have the business link back to your site. Went to a bakery and had a great cupcake? Had your house remodeled? Had your car’s AC fixed? Offer your testimonial, and have them link back to your site.
Use geo-targeted anchor text
Anchor text are words that contain a link within them. They help Google clarify what a linked page is about. This helps to determine its relevance.
If, for example, you are a seafood restaurant in Boston, you could have some anchor text like:
Best seafood restaurant in Boston
Or something like that. Don’t overdo the anchor text optimization, however. Google has been known to penalize websites that over-optimize their anchor text.
Build local citations
Build local citations on directories like Google Places, ThinkLocal, YellowPages, and Yelp (among many others). If there are any smaller directories in your local area, submit your business to them. It’s important to remember that citations are not backlinks, but they are a powerful factor when it comes to local rankings. Make sure that all of your local citation listings contain correct information about your business (consistent name, address, phone number). We have touched on local citations before on this post.
Local link building is a long term strategy
You probably won’t have overnight success with local link building. But even though you may not climb the rankings immediately, local link building has a high reward. The time you invest building and creating this strategy can pay off in dividends in the future. So many SEO blogs and websites proclaim that you’ll be able to conquer the world in no time. That’s mostly snake oil for short term thinkers. Local link building is like planting a seed and watching it grow over time.
A successful local link building strategy solidifies your authority, highlights your brand, increases your rankings, and helps form long-lasting connections with the power players in your area. Why not get started today?