Link building is the process of getting other sites to link back to your site. When another domain links back to your domain, a little bit of their authority will be passed on to you. In the eyes of search engines, this is like a thumbs-up.
With link building for sites that aren’t bound to a specific location, we usually only worry about acquiring links that are niche relevant and from high-authority sites. When it comes to local link building, you have another factor to worry about, location.
Getting links from various sites across the globe won’t hurt, but building authoratative local links can be the edge that puts you over your competition for good.
Here are the 10 best places to find local links:
Start With Citations
Citations are any place that your company’s name + address + phone number is listed on the internet. Local citations are important local signals for and give you a chance to get a link from some of the biggest sites in the game like Yelp, Facebook, and The BBB. These links will be no-follow, however they do help build an omnipresence and legitimacy around your business.
Tip: Try getting your business out there on as many sources as possible.
Local Business Directories
You’ll find tons of directories to place your company’s listing and recieve a no-follow citation link in return. However, each community will have at least a handful of local business organizations and directories where you can get a link for free or as part of a membership.
To find them, use these search operators:
- “Business Directory” + “City”
- “Chamber Of Business” + “City”
Local influencers are a great way to establish a relationship with influential people in a community and get featured on their site. This can send traffic to your site and pass of authority if they’re big enough.
Guest posting may not be 100% local, but it’s the second most scalable link building stategy. Guest posting is the act of reaching out to content publishers like online magazines and blogs and asking if you can write a blog post on their site in exchange for a link to your site.
It’s not always as simple as that, but we use this strategy to repeatably earn local sites anywhere from 5-10 high DA links/month
Related: Flying Lobo Guest Posting Service
Local Business Associations
Business associations are local organizations that operate as a “thought-leader” for people in a specific industry.
You can find associations within your city, county, or even state and join in exchange of a membership fee. As a part of your membership, you’ll get listed on their websites.
Sponsor Local Events
Sponsoring local events has been a go-to for local businesses since longer than we’ve been around. Heck, you probably already do this for your business and happily write a check to have your banner featured at local sporting events, festivals, and gatherings.
But did you know that this is a great way to also get a high-quality backlink?
Just like local business associations, local events usually have authoratative websites. They recieve tons of local traffic and since they’re publicized, they’ll also recieve a fair amount of press.
Getting a link on these sites can mean name recognition for your business and higher rankings.
Action Item: Think off all the events, organizations, and charities your business has donated time or money to. Check out their website right now and see if they’re linking back to you.
Write Detailed Blogs & Guides
The most scalable link building technique has and always will be writing highly informative blog posts and guides about your subject of expertise.
Here’s how that works:
- You write an awesome blog post that answers tons of peoples questions.
- Someone with a site reads the post, likes it, and decides to link to it as a resource.
It’s really that simple.
However, this “simple” two-step process will take the longest out of the bunch. Not only do you have to write the in-depth content, but you also have to play the waiting game for it to rank.
We suggest using this tactic as a long-term strategy while using the other nine link building tactics on this list for short-term SEO gains.
Search For Online Mentions
This can be especially useful if you’ve built up a brand name for your business over the years. As time goes by, you may find that your business has been mentioned in various media outlets.
Other than some nice name recognition, you really won’t be benefiting from these mentions unless they link back to your site.
Here’s how we execute this process:
- Use tools like Google Alerts or Mention to track brand mentions across the various media channels. You can also just type in your company, branded product or CEO name on Google and do manual digging.
- Reach out to the sites mentioning your company and kindly ask them to link back to your site. (They almost always say yes
This is the most expensive strategy on the list, but when it comes to authority, .edu links from schools pack a serious punch.
Here’s how to execute this strategy:
- Setup a scholarship for local academic institutions that multiple institutions will accept and promote on their sites.
- Reach out to these institutions and pitch them your scholarship (and checkbook)
- Collect backlinks.
Host Local Events & Meetups
Local events and meetups have been a part of local marketing 101 for a long time, but did you know you can also use them to obtain valuable links your site?
- If your group gets big enough, niche related sites will mention it.
- If your group gets big enough, local news sites will feature it.
- Add your website link to the meetup profile and you’ll get a nice do-follow link.
Bonus: Spy On Your Competition
You can easily take the 10 link building tactics we just shared and do your own digging for backlinks. However, to get a head start, you may want to give this tactic a try first.
Your competition may have already done the work for you… All you have to do is spy in where they have links and duplicate it for yourself.
We’ve used this tactic to build literally thousands of links for local sites and it works like a charm.
Here’s how you execute it:
- Use a tool like Mahestic or Ahrefs and plug in your competitors sites.
- Look at their do-follow backlinks and order them from highest authority to least.
- Open each one and see where they’re coming from and if you can get a link there too.
You’re never out of ideas for backlinks when there’s an ocean of competitors who already found the backlinks for you.
Just plug in a few sites to Ahrefs -> Click on backlinks -> One per domain -> Do-follow.
This will allow you to see all of the do-follow backlinks your competitors have.
From there, just open up each one and see if it’s an opportunity that your site can take advantage of.
If you want to go further down the rabbit hole, don’t just look at your local competitors. Look at other succesful local businesses in your niche that are outside of your area.
Look at other sites that publish content in your niche that you don’t necessarily compete with.
A home and garden magazine may not be stealing any customers from your painting business, but that doesn’t mean you can model their backlink profile.