Getting your business to rank higher in local search results takes effort, but it’s worth it. Higher local rankings mean more visibility, website traffic, phone calls, and new customers from people searching for businesses like yours.
While optimizing your Google My Business listing and on-page SEO are crucial, one of the most effective ways to improve local rankings is link building.
What Are Local Links and Why Do They Matter?
Local link building simply means getting reputable, locally-relevant websites to link back to your own website. This helps search engines understand your business is authoritative and popular in your geographic area.
For example, if you’re a plumber in Phoenix, Arizona, you want to gain backlinks from local directories, blogs, news sites, and other websites specific to Phoenix and the plumbing industry. These types of local links act as “votes” to boost your local SEO and credibility.
The more quality local links you can acquire, the more signals you send to Google that your business deserves a top spot for local search queries. Local links have a direct positive effect on local pack and map rankings.
10 Local Link Building Strategies
Here are 10 proven tactics to build high-quality local links:
1. Get Listed on Relevant Local Directories
Claim and optimize your listings on any appropriate local directories you can find. Common examples include:
- Google My Business
- Chamber of commerce
- Local newspaper directories
- Industry associations
- Local service review sites like Angie’s List
Complete your profiles fully, use keywords, link back to your website, and keep the information consistent across all directories. This builds citations and powerful local signals.
2. Guest Post on Local Blogs
Find popular local blogs that accept guest posts, especially ones that reach your ideal customers. Offer to write a high-quality post for free, but request a backlink in return.
Make sure the blog is relevant, trusted, and gets decent traffic. Write useful, engaging content that fits the blog’s audience. This can earn you a quality contextual local link.
3. Get Featured in Local News Outlets
Contact local newspapers, radio stations, magazines, and TV news programs to pitch yourself as an expert source for stories related to your industry.
If they interview you or mention your business, this earns a high-value local link and exposure. Look for press release distribution services to help with outreach.
4. Sponsor Local Events
Sponsor relevant local events like races, festivals, galas, conferences, and fundraisers. Negotiate for branding and links on the event website and promotions. Get involved on planning committees too.
This builds community goodwill and earns backlinks from event sites which tend to have high domain authority and local trust.
5. Partner with Local Businesses
Strategic partnerships can earn quality links while also growing your business. Partner with vendors, retailers, or other non-competing businesses to co-create value.
For example, a caterer could partner with event venues, florists, DJs, and photographers to offer packaged deals for clients. Cross-promote and link to each other.
6. Volunteer for Local Organizations
Volunteer your time, services, products, or donations to local charities and non-profits. Get involved with their fundraising and events.
Most will gladly link to your website from their “sponsors” or “partners” page. You also build community recognition and relationships.
7. Claim and Optimize Local Business Listings
Register your business on platforms like Google My Business, Apple Maps, Bing Places, Yelp, and others. Completely fill out your profiles and keep them updated.
Optimized local listings help you rank higher in map packs and local searches. They also give you another linkable asset.
8. Join Local Chambers, Associations, and Networks
Become an active member of local trade groups and professional organizations. Attend their events and sponsor if possible.
This exposes you to many local linking opportunities, establishes you as an authority, and helps you connect with partners.
9. Get Customer Reviews on Local Sites
Ask satisfied customers to leave positive online reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other local review sites.
The more 5-star local reviews you have with backlinks to your website, the more signals this sends about your local reputation.
10. Build Relationships with Local Influencers
Connect with local leaders, bloggers, media personalities, and active social media users. Interact and share their content regularly.
When they become familiar with you, they’ll be more likely to mention your business to their audiences.
Link Building Takes Time, But Pays Off
As you can see, building local links requires consistency, creativity, and relationship building. But it’s one of the most valuable investments you can make in your local SEO strategy.
Don’t get discouraged if it takes months to see results. Search engines need time to crawl, index, and value new links pointing to your website. But over time, you’ll notice your local pack rankings improve.
Focus on forging win-win partnerships that provide value beyond just links. And don’t neglect your on-page optimization, citations, reviews, and other signals.
A diversified local link building approach combined with a solid overall SEO strategy will elevate your local authority and bring your business more visibility and customers.
What local link building tactics have you found most effective? Let me know in the comments!