While you may have heard that a strong external link portfolio is great for your overall search engine visibility, it can give you a definite boost in local results. This post will assume that you’ve already set up social accounts and especially your Google My Business account. If you haven’t done these yet, please get in touch with us to start your local SEO campaign for you.
Link building can incorporate a range of tactics, but we wanted to share a few top approaches so you can get started with some surefire ways to not only expand, but diversify links pointing to your site. A high quantity of links is not as important as link quality and relevance (and over time you will want to build a higher quantity of links, but it must be done in a systematic way). Plus you want as many different domains pointing to your site as possible, as long as they are sites that relate to your website’s subject matter. So if you sell bird toys you don’t want a site that discusses politics linking to you (unrelated), or a site that sells get-rich-quick schemes (potentially a ‘bad neighborhood’ full of spam).
- Zero in on local citations – here’s how
You will want to compile a list of the best directories and sites that influence local search. Each of these submissions will allow you to link back to your website. If you’re looking to improve your search visibility in a particular city, you can review Moz’s list of top local citation submission sites by city. You’ll notice that the top sites on each list are usually the same, regardless of city:
- Yellow Pages
These sites are important for local search visibility, plus you’ll want to zero in on local news sites, depending on your region, such as Boston.com, for example.
The key to making local citations work for you is to ensure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across every site that you submit to. So if you write 123 Johnson St. in one submission, don’t write 123 Johnson Street in another. If you write Suite #330 in one submission, don’t write Ste. 330 in another. Decide beforehand how you want your NAP to look and keep it consistent everywhere you submit.
Key Point: We recommend getting your local business’s NAP, along with other pertinent information, submitted to the top aggregators of this data: Factual, Acxiom, InfoGroup and Neustar Localeze. Major search engines, such as Google, use this information to help rank your site in local searches.
Bonus Tip: If you have just opened your business, often local newspapers track that and you can get them to link to your website. If you have some local news to share that involves your business, you can get in touch with your local newspaper website and ask them how you can get an article written about you, or offer to write a short piece with helpful information for their readers. Then ask to get a link to your website.
2) Write articles for local websites, newsletters & periodicals
We discussed this a bit above, but there are many more tactics you can try with local websites. Clubs and organizations are always looking for great content for their newsletters. Find groups that align with your business and offer to write an article in exchange for a link back to your site. You can make the same outreach effort to periodicals. For example if you are an architect in Branson, MO you could contact your local home buyer’s guide or website, and offer to write articles about the latest home design trends, or the current housing market, and get links back to your website.
3) Sponsor local events & build an ‘In the Community’ page for your website
Increasingly consumers want to know that the companies they do business with have a positive impact in their hometowns. Make your support of local events or charitable causes into more than part of your mission; turn them into link building opportunities. Here are some ways to do that:
Create an infographic detailing how your business has worked with community organizations. Or shoot a video of an event you’re involved in. These are great ways to show people that you care, plus offer you a way to link back to your site when you share them on social media.
Bonus Tip: Many businesses today include a Giving Back or Community Involvement page on their websites. When you create local business directory listings, include community involvement information, and if these listings allow more than one link to your site, use one of the links to link back to your Community page.
Take advantage of these great link opportunities that can power your local SEO visibility! Need help managing all of these activities? Engine-IUS Marketing offers its expert local SEO capabilities to help you dominate any local area!