In this week’s video, Greg shares some awesome tips for building powerful local links that Google’s local algorithm will love. Links have always been an incredibly weighted ranking factor, but Google’s local algorithm evaluates links differently from the traditional algorithm – which means you need to use different strategies and tactics to earn links. Check out this awesome list of strategies and tactics:
We’ve all known for pretty much forever that inbound links are a huge part of Google’s algorithm. Even though the local algorithm treats links differently, they’re still incredibly weighted. According to this year’s LSRF study, links are the second most-weighted factor that influences your visibility in localized organic results.
The problem is that almost all of the information out there about link building and pretty much every conference presentation and webinar on the subject talk about link building for traditional SEO. Today we want to share some tactics for building local links, since those are the ones you want if you do Local SEO.
This isn’t a definitive list – we’re sharing some of the more common or easier tactics to use as a springboard and come up with your own ideas. Remember, Google is really just pattern detection, so if you really want to win in the search results, you need unique links that your competitors don’t have. You also need a natural-looking link profile. If most or all of your inbound links are the result of a single tactic, that’s not natural, and you might get yourself in trouble.
The best links in Local SEO are the ones based on relationships that have real-world value outside of the internet. The most important thing you can do is talk to your clients about what they do in the local community. Find the relationships and opportunities there and make sure you follow up and get links. After that, here are some basic tactics to use:
Buying links is bad, mmkay? But Google’s totally OK with you buying a sponsorship that results in a link. Little league, pee wee football, 5k races, golf tournaments… They’re all awesome opportunities to get local links.
Donating money to local charities is another awesome way to get links – and sometimes you don’t even have to spend money! You can donate your time, or make your business a drop off point for Toys for Tots.
Use a site like meetup.com or Facebook groups to find groups that have regular meetings in your area. If you’ve got a conference room or lounge that you could let people use, look for groups that don’t have a permanent meeting spot. Offer your space, and boom! Local link. Or, you can look for groups who need meeting sponsors, and for 40 or 50 bucks a month, you buy their snacks and drinks, and boom! Local link.
Find the local bloggers and get them to write about you. Even if they say in the post that they got a free widget for writing about your widget company, who cares – you get an awesome local link out of it.
Local business associations
The BBB and the Chamber of Commerce are the grandaddies here, but every area has vertical-specific associations or local groups you can join. Sure, it may cost a bit, but these are a no-brainer. Join any that you can find.
Local business directories
Every city has directories of local businesses. Find them and get listed – usually it’s free!
Talk to the staff about their passions
Ask the staff what they’re passionate about, or which hobbies they love. If someone’s a member of a local club or organization, it’s usually pretty easy to get a link to your site from that group’s website. If a staff member happens to be in the leadership group of the organization, it’s even easier.
Think outside the box! Every business has unique opportunities for local links.
If you’re a car dealer, a doctor, or a personal injury attorney, you can have a few of your staff members sit through a safety course to learn how to properly install child seats in cars. Once you’re certified, you can get some awesome links from local and state-level safety websites.
If the business is owned by someone with a different ethnic background or someone from a different country, find the local directories that fit the situation and get listed. Or if it’s applicable to the owners, you could get the business listed in local LGBTQIA+ directories. Or veteran-owned business directories. There are lots of unique opportunities to get powerful links if you dig a little bit deeper and go beyond simple checklist link building.