Getting local links is hard work. However, having a strong link profile is essential to your website’s success in search engines, so it’s worth the hassle!
In this local links guide, we will look at a few practical ways that you can use to start earning local links for your business, which will make an impact on your SEO results.
Why are Local Links Important?
Google will boost your site in the search engine results pages (for searchers in your area) if there’s even a hint of local intent in the search. If your business has any chance of selling to local customers you’re letting a great opportunity slip through your fingers by not pursuing at least some local links in your link building campaign. Especially since local link building can result in really great links. Basically, the more links you can get from other local businesses or organizations, the better. This shows Google that you are a fixture in your community and deserve some extra ranking love!
Here are some great local link building opportunities you need to try:
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Get in the News” orientation=”left”]
Whether it’s creating a controversial story or chiming in as an authority on a certain topic, getting the attention from local news channels is a great way to get local links.
Actual Case Study
We had one client who specialized in building fire pits. We created a page on their website specifically about fire pits and used SEO to rank in their city. A local news channel was doing a story about fire pit safety and how important it was to locate underground wiring before installation. They found our client’s website (because of the great SEO) and interviewed him for their news story, providing a link to his website in the article. Score!
This is a great example of local news channels approaching you and giving a link, but sometimes you might have to just go after the link yourself.
For instance, you could develop an idea that strikes a chord with people. Think about issues in your industry that polarize people… in essence, they create controversy. Then, develop an asset (a scholarship, giveaway, etc) that you can use to support your topic and pitch it to a local newspaper. If the local news picks up the story, be sure to share on social media with groups and pages that might be interested in the topic.at on your face if you try to take shortcuts.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Get Nomination Links” orientation=”left”]
Almost every city whether big or small has some type of local business awards. The awards might be run by a small local newspaper with a website, the chamber of commerce, or even another organization.
The trick is to find the opportunities that are a good fit for your business and get listed. Sometimes you have to win to get mentioned and other times you just need to get nominated.
Great places to get nomination links are the Chamber of Commerce, news publications, organization publications, etc.
Getting a link from the Chamber of Commerce is very relevant as it only serves businesses within that city. It’s also a plus for informed local shoppers.
The best way to find these links is to do a few Google searches. Write down a list of potential sources. Since these are generally city or state specific, it’s a good idea to use one of these search strings:
“Nominate a business”+”STATE NAME” (Example: “Nominate a business”+”Iowa”)
“City Name”+”Nominate a business” (Example: “Cedar Rapids”+”Nominate a business”)
“best of STATE or CITY”+”nominate” (Example: “best of Iowa”+”nominate”)
“best BUSINESS TYPE”+”nominate”+”city” (Example: “best restaurant”+”nominate”+”marion”)
Once you have curated a list of awards you want to try to apply for you can then send your pitch to each of these websites directly. Typically they have nomination forms that you would fill out or a certain procedure. If you can’t find out how don’t be afraid to ask! Get out there and go get ’em!
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Get Eco-Friendly Links” orientation=”left”]
Is your business green? Does it operate according to low energy standards or are you at least on track to be green? Why not help out the environment and get a link out of it as well? Why not cater to eco-friendly shoppers in your area who are looking for companies like yours? Some shoppers do the majority of their business with companies that are eco-friendly and this will only continue to become more and more popular.
You can get eco-friendly links from places like business directories and local news organizations who promote green businesses.
In the green industry, there are some low-hanging fruits, but just like all link building, you should be smart about your approach. While it might be tempting to go out and get a link on a directory, I would personally spend time scrutinizing it to make sure it’s a strong website that’s human-edited and controlled. If doesn’t look reputable, nobody else will think it does either (including Google). Don’t waste your time submitting to directories no one cares about. That’s why it’s best to focus on local opportunities such as your local newspaper or community directory.
Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, you can conduct some easy searches such as the ones below to find eco-friendly directories.
Search for eco-friendly directories by using search phrases like:
Eco-friendly business directory
Green business directories
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Sponsor or Donate to a Local Club or Organization” orientation=”left”]
There are a lot of clubs in almost any community. Have you ever heard of the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions Club, etc. These are commonly found in many communities and they typically have state, district, or chapter websites.
But don’t stop there. While the major clubs are popular, there are also a lot of other potential sponsorship causes and organizations. Here are some easy search strings you can use to find some opportunities.
“city inurl:sponsors” (Example: Cedar Rapids inurl:sponsors)
“city inurl:sponsor” (Example: Cedar Rapids inurl:sponsor)
“city intitle:sponsors” (Example: Cedar Rapids intitle:sponsors)
keyword donations (Example: Safety donations)
After you have explored these opportunities simply reach out to the organizers and see what type of commitment they’re looking for.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Get Manufacturer & Wholesaler Links” orientation=”left”]
This is an easy one that is often overlooked by small businesses. If you operate a retail business or sell a product that somebody else manufactures, then you have a link opportunity. Many product manufacturers want to show their customers where to buy their products. This might be a store locator or it could just be an authorized reseller list. Either way, you need to take advantage of it. This is an opportunity that even local businesses can take advantage of quickly.
Even small stores might represent products from 100+ different manufacturers. Even if they don’t buy from the manufacturer directly they can still get a link from the manufacturer just by asking.
Step 1: Create a list of all of the brands the client carries and whether they buy direct or from a wholesaler.
Step 2: Visit each manufacturer and distributor website. Find out if they have a store locator or somewhere where they list where you can buy their products.
Step 3: Reach out to those that do from a company email address including all pertinent information (include NAP!) and the link to your website or store location.
Step 4: For those who don’t list this information, outreach to them and ask them if they are willing to set it up. After all it will only help you both sell more products.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Build Relationships with Local Influencers” orientation=”left”]
If you want to earn links that will really set you apart from the rest of the herd, you need to start thinking about building relationships with influencers in your area. Finding influencers and getting connected can be hard work – you have to be real while doing it, not a sales person or someone who just wants a link. These people can range from your local competition to politicians, to journalists. Finding and connecting with them requires some work, but it’s worth the payoff.
You can get these local links from places like niche publications, your competition’s website, local news media, and government websites.
For our example, let’s look at how we might go about forming a relationship with a member of the local media. First off you will want to find a list of press associations in your area. This might be city based or state based. The easiest way to look for these is just to search for them in Google by typing in your state name + press association or press organization.
Once you have the list of the organization(s) you want to work with, check out their membership fees but more importantly their events and conferences. These are the real goldmines. Many of these organizations have an annual conference or event that you can attend. This is where you can expect to meet the people with the most connections.
Keep in mind that it’s most important to speak with them in person, exchange contact information, and express your willingness to contribute. If you have an intriguing idea for a specific writer, for example, someone who always writes about tech news, you may be able to pitch a problem you see in your industry that exposes consumers. Your job is to figure out what interests them and offer to help in any way.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Create & Leverage Business Relationships” orientation=”left”]
In many cases, small businesses may already have complementary businesses that might be willing to give a link to your website. In fact, it might make sense from a referral standpoint too. If you use or refer your business to another type of business this is a great opportunity for you to continue helping each other.
Getting these opportunities are as easy as curating the list and doing the outreach. Here are some examples for different business types:
Mortgage Brokers can link to recommended realtors and vice-versa
Doctors can get links from schools (emergency clinic references), insurance companies, and other doctors.
Lawn Fertilization Companies can get links from landscapers and lawn mowers.
Another way to go about this is to approach like-minded companies that offer services you don’t and you don’t plan on offering. For example, if you’re a greeting card store you might be able to get links from gift stores.
Local Links Conclusion
Although building good local links takes time, strategic thought, and a good amount of effort, it’s still easy enough that anyone can do it. With so many different options and ways you can earn local links, this is just a small sample that you can use to start gaining new links today.
Furthermore, building local links is often overlooked and underestimated. We guarantee that you will have powerful experiences building local links. You’ll be shooting to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) for regional terms and local searches.