A bigger move towards local links now exists in the world of digital marketing. From the renewed emphasis on location-based products and services, you might even think the global marketplace is retracting.
While that’s certainly not the case, there’s no denying that local businesses are finding ways of making the web work for them. And local links are integral.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing the 10 best ways to grow your local link inventory. But first, let’s tackle a question that comes up a lot in digital marketing circles.
Why Do We Even Care About Building Links?
When marketers speak of “building links,” they’re essentially talking about building relationships. And if they’re not, they should be.
See, link building describes the way traffic is accessing your site. If a high-authority website links to your page, that means they’re sending all their traffic to you.
It’s a really big deal. And it helps you in a variety of ways. Before we show you how to do it, understand that these are the reasons why it’s necessary.
Helps You Be Discoverable
There are few ways for anyone to find you online if someone isn’t linking to you, especially with how advanced search engines are these days.
If nothing else, you want someone linking to you so you can get their traffic to your page. When you’re a location-dependent site, that means local links.
Websites that link to you are essentially telling their audience, “This person is an authority. You should listen to what they have to say.”
It’s a form of word-of-mouth. If you build the link honestly, it boosts your reputation in ways that can follow you for years to come.
Aids in Branding
Linkbuilding helps you get your name out. Getting your name out creates impressions. Impressions lead to reputation.
Having your name and brand out there to as many people as possible, as many times as possible, is how branding takes hold. Well, that and delivering a product or service worth the customer or client’s time.
Lowers Your Ad Spend
A well-earned link will do more for your notoriety than an expensive ad campaign ever could. That’s because the page getting the link creates organic traffic (i.e., the kind you don’t have to pay for).
Now you know why link building is important. And you’ve probably got a feel for why local links are important. So let’s talk about how to win them.
1. Cast a Wide Net
This bit of advice may seem a bit contradictory since we’ve already spoken of quality links. (And we’ll be speaking more about them in a moment.) But at day’s end, it’s really not.
Quality links are your objective. But to find those quality links, you’ll have to put yourself out there to as many sites as possible. It’s a neverending process if you want to stay relevant.
As you go this route, cast a very wide net. Think of anyone you can in your local area who has online influence and any way of connecting with what it is you have to offer. Then, make your pitch.
2. Focus on Brand Building
Before you even consider the “what is a link” question posed above, you should recalibrate your priorities. You’re not in the link building business. You’re in the branding business.
Linkbuilding, local or otherwise, is nothing more than a means to an end. If you want to gather quality links, think of any method you can, online or offline, to build a solid branding initiative.
3. Learn How to Create Effective Hyperlocal Content
Before companies are willing to link-local, they want to know you’re a part of their community. You can solidify your standing in this regard by creating quality hyperlocal content.
What is hyperlocal content? It’s the type of content that’s visible to anyone who lives in or around your area.
Hyperlocal content isn’t cookie-cutter. Transplant it to another city, and it could be completely irrelevant. But in your city, everyone will grasp it immediately.
To get started, do some research. Figure out which events and organizations you want to get involved with and start spotlighting them on your website and social networks.
4. Make Sure Contact Info Is Correct
This requires taking NAPs. No, not the sleepy kind but the personal information kind. NAP stands for:
And it probably wouldn’t hurt to throw an email in there as well. Having your contact information up-to-date on Google My Business, Facebook, and other online directories will send a message to search engines that you’re an active and viable business in the location you’re targeting.
5. Cull Your Existing Link Profile
Another local link step you should be taking is to gather up your link profile. The Google Search Console tool is an effective way of monitoring this.
It allows you to see where all your traffic is coming from and which pages are ranking best. You also get to see which pages are ranking consistently across multiple sources. This can help to inform future content.
6. Check Out the Competition
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Do put your own spin on it.
Check out what your competitors are doing and who’s linking to them. Look for gaps you can fill in or unique insights you can bring to the conversation.
7. Aim for Quality Over Quantity
Whichever local SEO services you use, make sure they understand the importance of white-hat link building strategies. Many will promise you page-one Google in a week, but the reality is they’re using underhanded strategies that Google’s AI is too smart not to catch.
When they do get caught, you get penalized. And that’s a hard penalty to recover from.
8. Be Involved in Your Community
It may not have anything to do with online marketing. But join your Chamber of Commerce. Get involved in Facebook Groups specific to your area.
Community involvement does not go unnoticed. And the notoriety you get from it will manifest in the forms of local links as well.
9. Drive Activities to Your Website
Social media is great for spreading the word quickly and often free-of-charge. But all that data belongs to Facebook and Twitter and [insert network-of-choice here].
The most complete insights you’ll receive come from your website. At least, they do if that’s where you’re trying to send your audience. Neglect at your own risk.
10. Participate in the Process
Some companies place unrealistic expectations on their marketing help. They expect the agency they hire to work miracles despite having limited knowledge of the specific industry the company covers.
Let’s be clear. You are the expert, not your marketing company. So work with them to make sure your content and target audience are where they need to be.
Local Links Are Vital to Your Online Profile
The global marketplace is great but your home base offers you the most immediate opportunities. To take advantage, start building local links to your site and watch your online and offline process grow along together.
Best of luck! And for more tips on how you can build your business, check out more of our blog posts.
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