Improving your SEO should always be an ongoing project no matter what stage your business is at. Whether you are a start-up or the best in your industry in your local area, there is always an improvement to be made to boost yourself ahead of your competition. One such way you can do this is by using local backlinks. If you are not yet implementing them in your SEO strategy, here is a quick guide to help you get started.
What are Local Links?
When link-building, you traditionally want to find high authority sites to link back to yours. The more you can find, the better, and these are usually key for SEO practices. However, if you are dealing with a local business who have no ambitions of serving anything except the area they are in, this strategy might not be best. In this scenario, you ideally want to create local backlinks instead. These, as the name suggests, are used to boost your website’s rankings based on where your business is located.
The Starting Point
When trying to work out how to get local backlinks, the first step you are going to need to look at is improving your presence with local SERPs. If you have not yet filled out your Google My Business account then you should do so as soon as possible. It is completely free to do and provides Google with a lot of information which it can use such as an address and phone number for the business. The complete information is your business name, address, and phone number, which is sometimes referred to as your NAP.
The next thing you should do is focus on creating hyperlocal content for your website’s blog. Whether it is celebrating local events or bringing attention to things worth writing about in your local area, there are plenty of topics you can cover to help cement your business in the local area.
Another important step you will need to do is build up your local citations. We have already put together a handy guide to why citations are so important but we will go over the basics here again. Citations are a reference to your business’s NAP online. There doesn’t have to be a link to your business but the complete NAP should be consistent across the pages you place it on.
They are incredibly important as they help Google to decide to rank your business. Citations are frequently used to verify your business information. If Google sees that you have placed the same NAP across several different sites, that is more likely to be correct. This is why consistency is so important.
There are many places where you can fit citations. You should look to cover directories first; places like your Yelp and Facebook pages are key. You might also be able to place citations in places like press releases and forum signatures. If you frequently answer questions on sites like Quora, you may also be able to squeeze in an NAP there. Read our local citations guide to find out more.
Creating the Local Links
Some of these directories you have placed your NAP on might allow for you to create a local backlink right there. This is one of the easiest ways to create backlinks and allows you to ensure that you are visible across a number of different websites. Visibility is incredibly key when it comes to creating links on a local level. The more visible you are, the higher you will rank on SERPs. You cannot afford to think that you can’t find links just because you are a smaller company. While you may have to think more creatively to find the links you need, there are definitely solutions you can look at.
Where to Look for Local Links
Remember that hyperlocal content? It helped to tell Google precisely where your business is located so you should look in the local area to see what is available for you to use for link-building. Many of these sites will be low authority to start with but they are great for getting what you need Great options might be your local newspaper if they regularly run features in your local community, or a local blogger who could offer you a review and a link in exchange for your services. You could sponsor a local charity or sports team, or you could join a local business partnership program to both network and build links.
Grow Your Backlinks
Many small businesses will find that they are able to get plenty of local backlinks in the methods listed above but there is always a next step you can move to afterwards. This usually involves devising a plan to get more links than your nearest competition, as this will obviously push you ahead on the SERPs and will bring you more traffic than them. One of the best places to find out how to do this is by analysing the traffic of your competitors themselves. Do a little research to determine how they have built their own press and see if you can find any inspiration there. You ideally want to build as many links as possible within a finite local space, so looking at what your competition is up to is a brilliant way to do this.
By analysing some of the links your competitors have made, you might be able to come up with a new strategy and some ideas as to where you can get new links. Remember, they can come from anywhere. The more obscure a link you can land, the more likely you will be able to make a good connection.
Start Looking into Your Local Area Now
If your dream is a successful local business, you are going to need to learn how to manage your backlinks properly. From placing citations in the right place to taking a peek at what your competition is up to, there are many ways you can create the right backlinks for your business and it might be even easier than you think to do so. Explore your options today.