Effective Local Link Building Strategies (Local Backlinks)

Backlinks are an important part of local SEO, as they signal to search engines that other websites like the content on your website.

Think of backlinks as a vote of confidence. When multiple websites link to the same web page, search engines may assume that the content is valuable and worth ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). The more quality websites that link to yours, the more trust Google, Bing, and other search engines have in your website.

Local business websites with a strong backlink profile attract attention and take off more easily than those without, in part because backlinks figure prominently in local search ranking factors.

Link building signals, including inbound links, anchor text, linking domain authority, and quantity of linking domains, are among the most important factors in local SEO. When it comes to localized organic ranking factors, local backlinks are the most important factor.

Effective Local Link Building Strategies (Local Backlinks)

The process of obtaining backlinks is known as "link earning" or "link building". The best backlinks are those that come naturally from legitimate websites. To learn more about how to get high quality backlinks, check out this article.

Here, in this ultimate guide, you will learn the ins and outs of local link building and how you can use these strategies to drive relevant referral traffic to your own website.

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What Is A Backlink In SEO?

A backlinking strategy is a link from another website to your own website. Simply put, backlinks can help drive relevant referral traffic to your website and boost your domain authority in the eyes of search engines.

You can think of your backlink profile as your Google My Business reviews; having lots of 5-star reviews on your Google My Business listing is a good thing for potential customers and Google. For your backlink profile, getting quality backlinks from high authority domains sends a positive signal to search engines. Getting high-quality backlinks can also help transfer positive link equity, or credibility and authority, to your own website.

Effective Local Link Building Strategies (Local Backlinks)

Conversely, having many 1 or 2-star reviews on your Google My Business listing sends a negative signal to potential customers and to Google, as does having much low quality, spammy backlinks. When it comes to backlinks, you should always choose quality over quantity.

What Is Local Link Building Strategy?

Effective Local Link Building Strategies (Local Backlinks)

Backlinks can come from many sources, including guest blog posts and your social media profiles. Local backlinks are slightly different from standard backlinks, as they usually come from sources within your local service area or target market. Sounds simple enough, right? In fact, you can get local backlinks from a variety of sources, including local business directories, newspapers, and blogs, to name a few.

Why Backlinks Are Important For Local SEO?

Aside from the obvious reason for generating relevant, local referral traffic to your website, getting local backlinks can help make your business a go-to resource in your area. Implementing a local link building strategy requires a lot of manual labor, but it also encourages you to make new connections in your community, which can lead to new business and meaningful relationships. Plus, positive PR is always a bonus!

Citations and Backlinks: What's The Difference?

In the SEO community, the terms "backlink" and "citation" are often used, and sometimes the two are confused. A backlink, again, is a link from another website to yours. This link usually uses relevant anchor text to link to a similar page on your website. A citation, on the other hand, occurs when an online directory, typically, displays your company name, address, and phone number. These three pieces of information are also referred to as your company NAP. Sometimes an online directory will also list your business website. In this case, you will have both a citation and a backlink from that online directory.

Think you're ready to get started with local link building? Check out these 9 SEO backlink strategies for building local backlinks!

9 Effective Local Link Building Strategies

1. Create social media profiles

The first strategy for building local links is to create social media profiles. Utilizing platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, and Instagram is a great way to connect with your customers outside of your website, and it's also one of the easiest ways to get backlinks for your website. When you create a business page on Facebook, for example, you can add your website URL, creating a backlink to your website! Social media sites also tend to have high domain authority, so these types of backlinks help boost your website backlink profile.

On some social media platforms, you can also include your company contact information (NAP), which helps search engines validate your company information. It's important to note that you should only create backlinks from social media sites that you intend to actively use to build your business presence.

2. Find local business directories

Effective Local Link Building Strategies (Local Backlinks)

Large online directories, such as the Better Business Bureau or Whitepages, are great for showcasing your company's NAP information and getting a backlink from a high authority domain. Instead, you should look for local online directories in your community that residents refer to when searching for specific businesses or services.

To find local business directories in your area, you can use a set of advanced search tactics on Google to get more specific search results. Google also provides a free advanced search tool to simplify this process. Simply enter your target keyword or phrase into Google's advanced search tool to find pages containing your target keyword or phrase. You can then refine your search results to get only pages that contain your keyword or phrase in their title or URL, for example.

Once you've found a handful of local directories, you need to determine if they receive a decent amount of traffic, if they are relevant to your business, and if they are paid. A number of local directories offer a free listing service, while others may require a paid subscription. For any paid local directory, be sure to do your research and determine if the benefits of the directory outweigh the costs.

3. Find industry-specific directories

Another type of online directory that is ideal for creating local backlinks to your website is an industry or niche directory. These directories align with your industry and typically feature information from your competitors. In some industries, like the legal industry, for example, niche directories play an important role in the buyer journey. A backlink from a niche directory can drive relevant referral traffic to your website and be an excellent source of pre-qualified leads.

To find directories specific to your industry, you can also use Google's advanced search tool to get only search results that contain your target keyword or phrase. For example, you can enter the phrase "lawyer directory" to get only pages that contain that phrase. You can then further narrow your results to show only pages where the phrase appears in the title or URL. Some business-specific directories require payment or an ongoing subscription. Again, be sure to do your research and determine if the directory is relevant to your business.

4. Join local newspapers, forums, and communities

While this local link building strategy requires a bit more manual work, contacting local newspapers, forums or online communities is a great way to promote your business in your community and potentially gain quality local backlinks in the process.

If you already know of local newspapers, forums, or communities in your area, you can use Google's advanced search tool to find pages on every website or domain that use your target keyword or phrase. Common target phrases to search for are:

- Business feature
- Business spotlight
- Entrepreneur spotlight
- Local business feature
- Local business spotlight
- Small business spotlight

Once you've determined if these local newspapers, forums, or communities publish articles or posts related to your target keyword or phrase, you can align your content or offer with their publication. If you can truly align your content or offer with their publication, you will show the publication that you can benefit their audience, which will improve your chances of receiving high quality backlinks.

Next, you can submit a press release or contact the site's point of contact to see if they can feature your content or offer on their website. When contacting the site's point of contact, be sure to get in touch with them before submitting your content. This will give you the opportunity to make introductions, gauge their interest and determine the next steps. If the site is a good fit and you share your content, keep your fingers crossed for a quality backlink!

5. Find sponsorship opportunities

Finding sponsorship opportunities is another way to gain local backlinks while increasing your business visibility in your community. Ultimately, you should only use sponsorships as a local link building strategy if the entity you are sponsoring makes sense for your business. The types of entities your business could sponsor include charities, events, or even vendors; the options are endless. Since most local business websites only receive small amounts of traffic, they tend to have lower domain authority. This means you shouldn't expect a huge increase in your SEO efforts from these backlinks alone.

6. Contact local bloggers or influencers

If you know any local bloggers or influencers in your area, consider offering to do a feature on your business. You can also offer to trade your product or service for an article; this way, they will also receive some sort of benefit. Since they will most likely have a good audience, this type of local link building strategy can help increase your business visibility in your community and, therefore, reach more potential customers.

7. Monitor your competitors' backlinks

Effective Local Link Building Strategies (Local Backlinks)

Next, you can track your competitors' backlinks to identify gaps in your own backlink profile. This local SEO backlink strategy requires more time and effort, and the help of a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. With SEMrush, for example, you can enter your competitors' websites and see each of their backlink profiles, including their total number of backlinks and referring domains, page authority, domain authority, and any backlinks or referring domains shared between you and your competitors. Once you've found the overlaps, you can identify the gaps, which are relevant domains that link to your competitors' websites but not to yours. From there, you can contact these domains to see if they can link to your website as well.

8. Find broken links

Finding broken links is also a more practical link building strategy that requires the help of a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. With either of these tools, you can identify your competitors' broken links, contact the backlinking site's point of contact, and share a link to similar content on your own website that they can link to in order to fix the broken link.

9. Provide updated content

As with finding broken links, you can also look at websites that produce content similar to yours and identify any outdated content that receives strong backlinks. Using a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush can help you simplify this process. Once you've identified outdated content, you can see if you have newer content or if you can produce newer content. You can then contact the backlinking site's point of contact to encourage them to link to your content.

Local Backlinks Summary

There you have it, nine local link building strategies you can use to build your company backlink profile! Local SEO backlink building takes a little more effort than other local SEO tactics, but the time and energy you put into it will result in a multitude of benefits for your business. These include a stronger foothold in your community, increased referral traffic to your website, and a boost in your website domain authority.

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