Local Link Building 101: Essential Techniques & Strategies
In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, one strategy that has stood the test of time and continues to be a vital component of any comprehensive SEO plan is link building.
However, when it comes to local businesses looking to improve their online presence, the concept of local link building takes center stage.
In this guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of local link-building, explore its benefits, discuss how many local links you should aim for, and provide expert tips to develop a successful local link-building strategy.
What is local link building?
Local link building is the practice of acquiring backlinks from other websites within your local community or geographical area. Unlike traditional link building, which focuses on obtaining backlinks from high-authority websites regardless of location, local link building relies on building a network of links from local sources relevant to your business and location.
The benefits of link building for local SEO
Here are some benefits of link building for local SEO:
Improve your local search rankings
The primary goal of local link building is to boost your local search rankings. Search engines, like Google, consider backlinks a vote of confidence for your website's credibility and relevance. When authoritative local websites link to yours, it signals to search engines that your business is a valuable and trustworthy resource for users in your area.
You'll likely experience increased organic traffic as your local search rankings improve. When users search for local products or services, your website will appear higher in search results, leading to more clicks and visits to your site.
Establish local authority
Earning backlinks from respected local websites helps establish your business as an authority in your niche within the local community. When local residents see your business mentioned on reputable local platforms, it enhances your credibility and fosters trust.
Enhance online visibility
Local link building extends your online footprint within your local area. Potential customers looking for specific products or services nearby will discover your business more easily.
How many local links to aim for
The ideal number of local links depends on factors like your competition and industry. As a general rule of thumb, aim for at least 10 to 20 high-quality local links to start. Check your competitors' link profiles to determine an appropriate target, but focus on earning links naturally.
When determining a target for your local links, consider the following:
• Research your top 3 to 5 competitors to see how many local links they have. Aim for a comparable number to match or slightly outrank them.
• Check your local link profile to see how many links you already have. Focus on building more links from high-authority, relevant local sites.
• Consider your location and industry. Businesses in large cities and competitive industries typically need more local links to rank well. Rural or less competitive areas may require fewer links.
• Prioritize relevancy over quantity. A few links from authoritative, targeted local sites are more valuable than links from low-quality directories or blogs.
• Start with a modest target, then re-evaluate. Begin by aiming for 10 to 15 new local links per month. After 3 to 6 months, check your rankings and traffic to see if you need to increase or decrease your target.
• Diversify link types. Aim for a mix of links from local directories, news sites, nonprofits, education organizations, and local influencers. This helps create a natural-looking link profile.
Quality should always take precedence over quantity. A handful of authoritative local links can often substantially impact your local SEO more than numerous low-quality links. Focus on building a diverse portfolio of high-quality local links.
13 tips for your local link-building strategy
Here are 13 tips you should consider following when creating your local link-building strategy:
Aim to get links from other ranking sites
Keep an eye out for popular local websites. Look for sites in your area that people trust and visit often. If these sites are open to linking with you, it's a win-win. Their good reputation can rub off on you, helping you rank better in local searches.
So, connect with them and see if they're up for teaming up. Just remember, these partnerships are like two-way streets. You both benefit by sharing the link love and boosting your online presence in your area. Consider commenting on local blogs and news sites. Leave helpful comments with a link back to your site.
Focus on quality over quantity
Focusing on acquiring high-quality links from authoritative and relevant sources within your local community holds immense value. Such links establish your credibility and reputation within your niche and resonate better with local audiences, driving targeted traffic to your website.
Each authoritative link acts as a vote of confidence, signaling to search engines that your business is a reputable resource. In contrast, many low-quality links can lead to poor user experiences, harming your online reputation and search engine rankings.
Claim local business listings
Ensure you claim and enhance your Google Business Profile—a vital step in boosting local link-building efforts. Taking ownership of this listing and optimizing the information can significantly help attract potential customers and enhance your online presence.
By optimizing your Google Business Profile with high-quality images, customer reviews, and relevant keywords, you not only improve credibility but also create opportunities for local websites to link to you.
When local websites link to your Google Business Profile, it improves your website's authority and local search rankings. This link-building strategy is valuable for connecting with the local community, strengthening your online reputation, and driving more traffic to your business. If you're struggling with managing your Google Business Profile, consider using third-party tools like Mirador to make it easier.
Try to reclaim any lost links
In the world of link building, it's natural for some links to disappear over time. To stay on top of this, you can use tools that help you keep track of your backlinks. If you notice a link to your website has been removed or is no longer working, don't hesitate to contact the website owner. Politely ask if they can reinstate the link. By doing this, you're ensuring that your web of local links remains strong and effective in boosting your online presence.
Be wary of toxic backlinks
Stay vigilant when it comes to toxic backlinks—these are links from untrustworthy sources that can be harmful to your website. To ensure the best health for your website, make it a habit to review your backlinks frequently. The goal is to identify and remove any bad or spammy links that might be lurking in your collection.
Should you encounter any of these harmful links, take swift action by disavowing them. This process involves letting search engines know you don't want these links to be considered when assessing your website. By taking these steps, you'll effectively safeguard your website's reputation and maintain a robust and beneficial network of links.
Take part in guest blogging
Participate in guest blogging by creating articles for blogs relevant to your industry or local area. This has two major benefits. Firstly, you'll earn local backlinks, which are links from nearby websites. These links boost your website's reputation in local searches, helping more people find you.
Secondly, guest blogging showcases your expertise. As you consistently share helpful posts, readers recognize you as a knowledgeable professional. Your reputation grows, and people trust your insights. This is an effective way to enhance your brand.
Create locally relevant content
Craft content with a local touch. Shape your materials to cater directly to your nearby audience. This might encompass crafting guides about local hotspots, providing coverage of community events, or delivering updates about the neighborhood's latest news.
By doing so, you'll effectively resonate with your local readers, establishing a strong connection, improving visibility and enhancing your relevance within the community.
Monitor your competitor links
Continuously keep track of the links pointing to your competitor's websites. Specifically, study and understand the sources from which local businesses like yours receive these website links. This proactive approach serves as a valuable tactic to uncover potential opportunities for your own link-building efforts.
By identifying these sources, you can gain insights into effective strategies that have been successful for others in your local business landscape. Utilizing this knowledge, you can adapt and replicate these strategies to enhance your website's link profile, bolstering your online presence and credibility within your industry and local community.
Build on local citations
Leverage the power of local citations, which involve referencing your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on various external websites. Consistency is key here – make sure that your NAP details remain uniform across all platforms for maximum impact. This unified approach enhances your online presence and makes it easier for potential customers to find accurate and reliable information about your business.
Focus on local link opportunities
Concentrate on local link possibilities. Look for local directories and industry associations that allow businesses to showcase their information and gain valuable backlinks. By taking an active role in these opportunities, you improve your website's connection with the local community and enhance its online visibility.
Here are some good options to consider for local link opportunities:
Travel & local review websites
Consider listing your business on travel and local review websites. Positive reviews build trust with potential customers, while links from these sites enhance your credibility. These platforms showcase customer satisfaction and provide valuable backlinks that improve your search engine visibility.
Host or sponsor local events for PR links
Engage in hosting or sponsoring local events to gain PR-linked advantages. Organizing or supporting community events piques local media interest, leading to coverage that can translate into valuable PR-based backlinks. Participating in event hosting or sponsorship generates local excitement and interaction, prompting coverage from nearby news sources. These news stories present opportunities for linking to your website, driving traffic and boosting your presence.
Engage with local bloggers and influencers
Connect with bloggers and influencers in your local community. Building rapport with them can result in genuine and valuable local backlinks through their endorsements. These connections amplify your online presence and credibility.
Find and claim unlinked mentions
Be proactive in discovering unlinked mentions of your business across the internet. Regularly monitor any times your business is mentioned on websites, social media, or other platforms. When you find these mentions that lack a clickable link to your website, take action.
Reach out to the website owners or administrators in a friendly manner, thanking them for mentioning your business and kindly requesting that they add a link to your website. This enhances your website's visibility and ensures that you're properly credited for the content you provide. By converting these mentions into actual backlinks, you harness opportunities for increased traffic.
Add internal links throughout your content
Enhance user navigation and maximize link effectiveness by integrating internal links throughout your content. These internal links connect different pages within your website, guiding users to relevant information while boosting the value of those linked pages in search engine rankings.
By strategically placing these links within your content, you create a seamless browsing experience for visitors while helping search engines better understand the structure and importance of your website's pages. This practice encourages users to explore more of your content, increases the time they spend on your site, and ultimately contributes to improved user engagement and overall website performance.
Use tools to support your local linking strategy
Enhance your local linking strategy using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush. These platforms offer valuable insights for uncovering link opportunities, analyzing competitor backlinks, and monitoring your own link profile.
Using tools, you can discover chances to secure local links, boosting your website's visibility and credibility. These tools also allow you to examine competitors' backlinks, gaining insights for refining your approach.
Local link building is a crucial method for strengthening your online influence and engaging with your local neighbors.
When you put a comprehensive local link-building plan into action, you can elevate your search result rankings, draw in greater natural website visits, assert your expertise, and amplify your online prominence. Remember that local link-building is an ongoing effort, demanding commitment and flexibility to remain competitive in the local arena.
To broaden your reach and schedule multiple Google Business Profile posts — book a Mirador demo today.