Backlinks are an integral part of any local SEO strategy. In fact, backlinks are among Google’s top ranking factors. This means that the number and quality of your backlinks play a big part in how you rank in the SERPs. Backlinks are incoming links to a page. When another site links to your page, you’ve gained a backlink. When an authority site links to your page, along with many other factors, it signals to Google that your site must be trustworthy and authoritative. As a local business, the more backlinks you receive and the higher the quality of these backlinks, the higher your chances are in ranking for a local search term.
Let’s say you’re a plumber in Greenwich, Connecticut and you create a page that’s trying to rank for the search term “water heater repair in greenwich”. If you have quality backlinks to that page, you can increase your chances of ranking for that term.
Now that you’re familiar with backlinks and why they’re important to your local business, you may be wondering how do you get these backlinks. “The best way to obtain links is to create good content,” explains Susan Greene, copywriter. “Well-written, fact-rich copy will position you as an industry expert, and you’ll soon have other websites quoting your words and linking to you as an authoritative source.”
#1. Create Linkable Assets
If you want to attract links to your website, you should offer something that’s worthy of a link. One of the most common content marketing mistakes you can commit is creating content that doesn’t provide value.
A linkable asset is an exceptional piece of content that can naturally attract other domains to link to it. It should provide value, whether that’s through education, entertainment, or news. No matter the industry you’re in, whether it’s boring or interesting, you need content that helps people and solves their problems.
Let’s look at an example of a local computer repair shop. The target audience would likely be home PC users and small business users. The types of linkworthy assets for this audience would include:
- Latest tech news: Update readers with the latest goings-on in the tech industry. Sure, the audience may be non tech-savvy folks who need their PCs fixed, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely out of the loop when it comes to all things tech.
- How-to’s: Blog posts about topics like “How to Replace a MacBook Pro Hard Drive” or “What to Do When You Get Your Phone Wet” can be helpful to those who don’t want to spend money on professional services.
- Choosing the perfect PC: What about a blog or infographic about choosing the right computer that meets the user’s unique needs and budget?
#2. Sponsor Local Events
You’ve probably heard that sponsoring projects is a great way to promote your company and its values. But that can be a big expense, especially for smaller businesses. A less expensive alternative is sponsoring local events. Sponsoring local events is not only a great way to build links, but it’s also a great way to get people to know more about you in the community. Links from local events are geo-specific and diverse.
Here’s a real-life example of a sponsored local event: Six Degrees of Delco hosted a 5k run for charity in Concordville, Pennsylvania. The money raised at the event would go to the Delaware County Heroes Scholarship Fund and other local foundations. United Tire and Service, along with other local companies, have made it possible to bring about this event.
The 2017 Smoke & Fire Festival is another local event that was sponsored by local companies such as the ‘Farmer’s Ales’ from the Maldon brewery. The brewery was able to bring their local products to light and make them more known to the local population.
#3. Get Listed in Directories
Getting listed in local directories can help you build even more links for your local business. You can also get listed in industry-specific local directories. Niche citations are a bit more important because they tend to be more authoritative sites. For example, if you’re a lawyer, getting listed on SuperLawyers is huge because Google sees that site as authoritative and since it’s linking to you, Google is more likely to rank your site higher in the SERPs. The more links you get on these local directories, the more likely Google is to associate you with the specific location your business is in.
#4. Donate to a Charity
If you can spare the funds, you can also donate to a charitable organization. Donating to a charity is not only a great way to do good in your community, but it’s also a great way to build links. That’s because the receiving organization will likely be willing to link to you for supporting their cause. Many charities have dedicated pages on their website where they link back to companies who donated a certain amount of money.
#5. Get Featured in Local Guest Blogs
Guest blogging is a great tactic to build links for your local business. Find a local blog and pitch them different ideas and topics you want to talk about in your guest posts. If the blog is reputable and authoritative and grants you a link, then it signals to Google that your site has quality content and should be trusted by visitors, which helps with rankings. Here’s an example of a local company getting featured on a guest blog: A local pest control company can write a guest post for a local pet blogger and talk about common pest threats in their area.