Easy local link building tactics All the major studies and surveys on local organic SEO and map packs show that links are one of the most important ranking factors. So if you want to rank your local business or your customer’s business higher in Google, you’ll need backlinks.
I’ll show you nine ways to create local backlinks in this guide, but first, let’s cover the basics…
What is local link building?
How do you estimate the number of backlinks you need?
How do you create local links?
What is local link building?
Local link building is the process of creating relevant contextual and/or local links to a corporate website. The aim is to drive traffic and users to the website and help these sites rank higher for local searches and in relevant map packs.
How many local links do I need?
Most local businesses don’t need tons of links to rank in local search. Check out the SERP overview for any local query in Keywords Explorer and you’ll rarely see companies with more than 150 referring domains ranked on the first page:
How do you create local links?
As with all link building, creating local links requires research, hard work, perseverance and creativity. Here are nine local link building tactics to get you started:
-Get links from other ranking sites
-Get links from your competitors
-Recover lost links
-Create locally relevant content
-Get local quotes
Look for other local link opportunities
-Claiming unrelated mentions
-Buy companies, or at least their websites
-Add internal links
1. Get links from other ranking sites
This tactic is sometimes called Barnacle
. You simply search for some of your relevant terms in Google and try to get links from sites that appear in the results.
You can usually be included simply by registering and adding your company. It’s a quick and easy way to make sure you’re in the consideration set and get direct business value.
2. Get links from your competitors
If you look at the overlap of links to your competitors’ sites, there are probably plenty of contextually and locally relevant link opportunities.
You can easily check this with Link Intersect. Simply add your site and your competitors to the tool and you’ll see which sites are linked to your competitors.
(but not to you).
What you’re likely to find are numerous niche-specific links and directories. Many of these directories are called local citations and include business data such as your name, address and telephone number.
3. Recover lost links
Websites change over the years, so you’ll often find links to pages that no longer exist. By redirecting older versions of your pages to current versions, you recover these lost links and their value. Here’s how it works:
Paste your domain into Site Explorer
Access the Best by Links report
Add a “404 not found” HTTP response filter
I usually sort this by “Reference areas”.
4. Create locally relevant content
Content creation is the process of finding topics to attract your target audience, then planning, creating and publishing content on those topics. For local content, think content that’s relevant to your business and useful to your audience.
You can suggest topics such as “what’s the best type of grass for your area”, “which pests are most common” or simply the price of services in your area.
Admittedly, this type of content is unlikely to naturally attract tons of links. It tends to be easier to create links with e-mail distribution.
5. Get local citations
We’ve already seen some of these opportunities when using Link Intersect. There are many different citation services out there, but in addition to the sites that rank in your market, these are the ones you might want to start with for the USA. Many of them transmit their data to other websites and are generally considered the most important citations.
Leading American aggregators :
Other major players:
Google My Business
Dunn & Bradstreet
6. Look for other local link opportunities
These are all links from other websites focusing on your region. There are lots of different opportunities if you’re looking for them, and I’ll do a follow-up article with a process for finding them.
For now, I’ll list a few opportunities:
Colleges or universities (e.g. job offers, scholarships, club sponsorships, discounts, alumni links)
City-specific websites and directories
Local news, magazines and podcasts
Some sites focus on the state or surrounding areas
Local community groups (e.g. Reddit, Facebook groups, Nextdoor, etc.)
General sponsorships (e.g. sports leagues, races, meets, charities, etc.)
You can also leverage existing relationships. This can include items such as testimonials or case studies for suppliers or affiliations. They can also be connections via churches, business groups or even individuals. Ego-baiting works well at the local level if you want to do things like expert roundups.
7. Claim unrelated mentions
Unlinked brand mentions are those where other sites talk about your company or people in your company, but don’t link back to your site. You’ll have the best chance with this tactic if you’re in a niche that enjoys media coverage, such as lawyers, or your company and/or people are already active in the community.
We have a comprehensive guide to finding unrelated mentions to help you with this process.
8. Buy companies, or at least their websites
Although more rare and situational, mergers and acquisitions do occur at the local level. Occasionally, you may even find a company selling its existing website or letting one of its domains expire. By acquiring them, you have the possibility of having two graded sites or one higher graded site. These opportunities are pretty rare locally and I’ve only been able to do it a few times in my career, but if you manage to find an opportunity like this, it’s extremely valuable.
9. Add internal links
Your site is also a local site and you control it. Internal links are a powerful link-building tactic. Check out our guide to finding these link opportunities.
In my experience, people want to skip these basic link-building tactics and go straight to more trendy or fun tactics, but this is much riskier and rarely pays off. Do the basics, then move on to the more creative and fun tactics as the business grows.