Synopsis: Link building isn’t easy, but anyone can do it. It is not rocket science and once you get it right, you will start seeing positive results.
Warning! Local SEO link building isn’t easy. Make no mistakes about it. Link building is extremely tedious and requires patience. That is why many small business owners and marketers ignore link building as something that they do not have time for. In general, Search Engine Optimisation is viewed by some as an unnecessary activity that many business and marketers think they could ignore.
Here is the real caveat: link building for small business owners who don’t have capacities to compete with the big boys has gotten even tougher. It takes longer for the results to be noticeable. In other words, link building requires grit, sweat, toil and agility.
…but the fruits of link building are sweet!
Local SEO link building may be annoying and difficult, but it is worth the trouble. Link building is absolutely important for businesses that depend on search visibility to attract traffic. The good news is that link building is achievable for small businesses. Simply, there are no hidden codes, no magic or secret sauce involved. It can be done by anyone. Remember, good things come to those who work hard and wait, isn’t it?
So here are six simple local SEO link building strategies you can start applying straight away regardless of the size of your business or competition. The only thing required of you is to remain motivated and focused.
Local SEO Link Building Strategy 1: Think Local
If you want to build local links, the most obvious and effective places to start is by utilising the numerous amount of local resources.
Some common techniques for building local links include:
- Get listed in relevant local directories: Most local directories and review websites will allow a link to your website. This is a diamond in the rough that can result in an endless amount of traffic to your small business website. Examples of local directories include Yelp, CitySearch, Angieslist and Merchant Circle.
- Build local partnerships: One easy way to build easy and relevant links is through a local partnership. As a matter of fact, you may already be in some form of local partnership with other small businesses. You just have to ask them for a link pointing back to your website. Check the websites of your existing partners and check if they have "Our Partners" of "Partnerships" page. If they haven't included a link pointing back to your website, request them to do so. Savvy marketers and small business owners are always looking for local partnerships.
- Give testimonials: Sometimes building local partnerships may not be as easy as it sounds especially if you are new. The alternative to local partnerships is by providing testimonials to businesses you regularly transact with. These are great link building opportunities you can grab. No one will refuse a kind word or full-blown endorsement of their business. At least I haven’t heard of one business owner who declined a testimonial.
- Get into the local news: Small businesses that want to be noticed must ensure they are never ignored. That sounds obvious, doesn't it? Well, a lot of people think so too, but what they forget is that it is not easy to get noticed when there are over 1 billion websites. How do you get into the local news? Create a controversy. Let this sink in for a moment. You aren't going to agree with 100% of the people 100% of the time. Sometimes, you have to stand for something. Your clients will appreciate if you have something you stand for and believe in. So, don't be afraid to create controversies. It is a great opportunity for people to talk about you. For example, you could sponsor an eating competition for the homeless and the winner gets to live in an apartment for free, for say two months.
Apart from creating controversies, get involved in your community events. By engaging in local communities, there is an opportunity for you to earn a link on the news outlets.
Local SEO Link Building Strategy 2: Make It Easy For People To Link Back To You
Think about it. How many times have you linked back to others? If you want people to link back to you, make it easy for them. A lot of people who own small business websites might not be tech savvy, and yet they may want to quote you or mention your page or resource back on their social media accounts or blogs. One way is to create HTML-ready snippets that let people plug into their content to link to you.
You can also generate an HTML link snippet at the end of each post or article for people to create links.
For instance, if you publish an infographic, you can include an HTML ready code snippet at the end of the post to make it easy for people to publish the infographic on their blog and link back to you.
This is different from guest blogging because it involves people directly copying your content or part of it into their site or social media account.
Local SEO Link Building Strategy 3: Strategic Blogging
Blogging is a powerful link building opportunity because it can instantly generate quality back links from other blogs if you publish quality content that people like. The good thing about blogging is that it captures people’s interests in a non-promotional way. This makes them loyal customers and dedicated brand ambassadors.
Apart from publishing high-quality blog posts on your blog so that people can share and link back to you, you should try guest blogging. Make a list of blogs you would like to pitch and create content that aligns with the requirements of those blogs. Most blog owners will allow you to include one link back to your blog. Guest blogging takes time, but once you have published some blogs, you will notice a significant improvement in your search visibility.
When it comes to writing blogs with the aim of increasing visibility and building links, keyword research is important. According to WordStream, targeting long tail keywords is the best approach to increasing your chances of appearing in local search results. This will certainly bring targeted traffic to your website and tremendously reduce your marketing costs. Here are three popular tools to use when conducting keyword research:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Wordstream Keyword Tool
- Keyword Eye
- Keyword Discovery
- Advanced Web Ranking
Local SEO Link Building Strategy 4: Sponsor A Local Meet Up And Join A Local Movement
One way to get mentioned and earn local links is through sponsoring a local meet up. A meetup is an event where like-minded people gather to discuss and do activities together. Organising a meetup is a great way of creating brand awareness and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
An easy way to find groups to call for a local meet up is to use websites like Meetup.com or use social media to invite people. Facebook can be helpful in spreading the word and finding relevant groups to sponsor. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you could sponsor a local clean eating meetup club.
Also, supporting a cause you believe in will endear your business to many potential customers who share the same values. By joining a local movement or supporting a cause, you are not only building brand awareness but also giving back to the community. So find a local cause or movement you can join, sponsor or support. If you can’t find any, you can as well start one and others will join you.
Local SEO Link Building Strategy 5: Image Link Building
Many people don’t know this, but image building is an effective local link building strategy. If you have great images published on your website, the chances are that some people might be using these images in their content. The best thing to do is not to sue these people but to ask them to link and attribute the images to you.
Simply collect and publish all images associated with your company and let them float around the internet. Examples of images that are associated with your company include:
- Images of your products
- Employee portraits
- Company buildings
- Graphics, e.g., infographics, charts, illustrations, animations
To find out who are using your images, you can use the following to search for the images on the Web:
Essentially, when you use the above tools to perform a reverse image search, you will be shown a list of websites that are using your images. All you need to do is to contact the webmasters who are using your website’s images and ask them to add a link or attribute pointing to your website.
Local SEO Link Building Strategy 6: Build Relationships With Local Influencers
Do you want to stand out and ahead of your competition? The difference between ordinary small businesses and great, influential small businesses in not about how great their products are but how tactical they are in setting themselves apart from the rest of the herd. By building relationships with local influencers, you are creating an invaluable asset that will connect you to the world and make you noticed.
Local influencers range from politicians to journalists, to celebrities. Finding and connecting with them may be challenging, but it's worth it. The reality is that you are not just going to send a few emails or hookup on social media to build relationships with these people. You're going to get out of your office and interact with real humans if you want to build a strong network.
Join membership clubs or attend events and get to meet people. If you know someone who knows someone who is a local influencer, you can arrange for an introduction. Chances are they will be interested in your product and mention it on their social media accounts.
Tip: Offer free samples to local influencers. One can endorse or mention something they believe in.
Local SEO Infographic: 6 Link Building Techniques for Small Businesses
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Our article breaks down link building into actionable steps for anyone to implement.
Link Building is such an important measure for Google, which is why it should be a part of any business’ digital strategy. Act now and start applying these measures today, so you can improve your keyword rankings and bring in more visitors online. This information can be used by any small or medium size businesses in ANY industry – as long as they have a website! Our article was written by SEO professionals with proven results working with big brands. Help create awareness that Link Building is achievable, and essential for your SEO work! Share this infographic today and help inform and educate your peers and colleagues.