Not a day goes by that I am talking with a local or small business owner and I mention they need to do link building to earn links for small business SEO. To which they respond, “How do I build links to my website? Will we need to hire a link builder?”.
As the gap shrinks between what Google uses as national ranking factors, and what they use as local ranking factors, it is important to understand local link building strategies that will help your business rank for local search terms within a geographic area.
So how do you get links to your website? Below you will find six local link building strategies that will help your local business website rank better within Google. They all have a common theme running through them, try to figure it out.
This is one inbound link that every small business should add to their link building strategy to get great links to their website.
Chamber of commerce web sites are the core of most cities and towns. It’s where many of the movers and shakers meet to talk business, network, and build relationships.
Every city has at least one Chamber of Commerce, and some larger cities like Chicago, Miami, or New York have multiple locations – usually based on neighborhood or surrounding smaller cities. So your next question might be, “Which location should I join?”. The simple answer is, the number of them that you can actively engage with – after all, the link from their website is great, but the relationships you build by attending their networking events will pay off ten-fold.
Remember: One of the primary ranking factors that Google uses for ranking local results is the consistency of your Name, Address, and Phone Number ( referred to as NAP) across local listing websites. So, make sure the NAP you give the local Chamber is the same as you have used across all your local SEO campaigns.
Sponsorships are a great way to build local links for your SEO link building strategy.
To find local sponsorships simple search Google for sponsorship [city]. This will return local sponsorships that businesses, nonprofits, and institutions are offering in your local area.
How to choose the best sponsorship?
When choosing a sponsorship it’s important remember these 3 value points:
- Choose the sponsorship that aligns with your beliefs, one which you’d be proud to associate with your business
- Buy sponsorships that will get you in front of your target audience
- One that has a digital component to it – aka a link on the events website.
This is one of my favorite small business link building strategies, and can be used for local or national companies.
Most colleges and high schools will offer scholarships to their students to help offset the rising cost of getting a college education. Providing a scholarship, even if it’s just a few hundred dollars, to a student who needs help paying for tuition or books for college is extremely rewarding.
To find local scholarship opportunities you can either contact the schools directly or many will have a scholarship page on their website which will link to external websites offering scholarships.
These pages can be found by typing [school name] + Scholarship into Google.
We really like this link building strategy for small businesses, as it’s all about creating highly valuable content.
We have found that creating city guides are an easy way to get mentions on local media, and even getting links from local convention and visitors bureaus – both which have local and national value.
Remember: Earning links with these guides is the easy part, creating them in a way that provides value can be challenging. They must have a great design, and include valuable content and data – or you’re just wasting your time. If you expect your city guide to get found and referenced by local media outlets and CVBs, don’t expect to pay someone a couple hundred dollars to create a graphic – it has to be something amazing.
This strategy may not always earn you an inbound link, but it’s a great way to help and give back to your local community. This strategy is about karma, helping others, and networking with others who believe in giving back.
And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give. – Sir Paul McCartney
In my opinion, partnering with other local businesses is the new “reciprocal link” strategy.
All too often we see other companies that are offering the same or similar service as direct competitors, and we forget that we are all in this together. Most companies have a core service or product, and then by necessity, they have secondary services (or products) that are simply there to provide a more well-rounded offering.
We at Linchpin SEO found this to be true when we stopped thinking of every digital agency as a competitor and started learning about what they did really well. We could then have a strategic conversation with them about how we could have a mutually beneficial relationship.
- We don’t offer social media to our clients as a primary service, but we work with some great companies who do, and in turn, they offer our SEO, Content Strategy, and Web Design services to their clients – all of which position them as a leader and true consultant who helps their clients succeed.
- Another example is how we partner with many firms that do amazing website design work but don’t have the SEO resources in house to take their website designs to the next level.
So how does this lead to getting an inbound link to help with your local SEO rankings? Great question. Almost every website is on the lookout for an expert to add value to their website through great content – so in short, guest posts.
Not all competitors will be a great partner, but when thinking about the landscape for your own business, think of how you can complement a competitor of yours, and build a relationship to amplify your sales.
So The Million Dollar Question
What do all these strategies have in common? Do you see the common thread running through each of these link building strategies? They all are about immersing yourself in and engaging with the community. They are about giving back, networking, becoming a true resource in your local community, and going beyond simply having a website and local business location.