Link building looks at one of the most fundamental yet challenging aspects of search marketing: Building and nurturing those all-important inbound links to your website. Columnists offer insights and tips for effective link-building and discuss controversial techniques like link baiting and buying links.
4 main types of local links and how to earn them
Earning links for your local business starts with evaluating your organization’s values and making a genuine impact in your community.
Getting backlinks is like getting regular exercise. It’s time-consuming, and the results aren’t immediate, but a daily workout contributes to your long-term health.
Similarly, regularly working on a solid backlink profile builds authority for your website and contributes to organic ranking growth.
In local SEO, getting backlinks is particularly challenging. Small businesses often don’t have the same resources as an enterprise organization for links. There’s not enough time, money, and energy to build a local backlink profile.
4 common types of local links
These are the most common types of local links:
1. Citations and data aggregators.
2. Community engagement.
3. National and local awards.
4. Relevant local content, campaigns, tools, reports, and studies.
1. Citations and data aggregators
Local business citations, also known as online directories, are well-known local link-building tactics. Here, a business’s basic information is listed across websites that resemble a phone book.
The SEO theory behind citations: by submitting location information across a network of online profiles, a local business establishes online consistency for its name, address, and phone number (also known as “NAP consistency”).
Google’s Knowledge Graph uses this directory information to confirm the business information and accurately share it with users.
2. Community engagement
Getting local links can show your organization’s goodwill to both Google and the greater community.
In “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge runs a bookkeeping business that is seemingly cold, calculating, and heartless. He is known by the larger community as a miser.
This bad attitude gives Scrooge’s business a negative reputation, leaving him counting profits in a dark, empty room.
In today’s business ecosystem, similar community perceptions can play a role in local SEO.
If a business gives to and participates within its community, that business is talked about, people engage with the brand, and the conversation continues online.
3. National and local awards
You are receiving an award results in more than a plaque on the wall or feeling good about your business practices. An award is a trust signal.
The website footer of a local HVAC business that has received several local awards and certifications.
When choosing a vendor, customers rely on awards and community recognition to decide on the right fit for their needs.
Types of award opportunities for a small business include:
- National accreditation (i.e., Better Business Bureau).
- Local trade organization awards/certifications.
- Local publication awards (i.e., “Best of Phoenix”).
- Local environmental awards.
- Local awards for community involvement.
4. Relevant local content and studies
In addition to leading the community through stewardship and award recognition, an organization can become a thought leader by sharing resources about its practice area with local citizens.
Gathering information about the average age of a home in the area and its energy consumption.
Localizing a national article about a consumer’s average savings account to the local neighborhood’s average savings account.
Interviews with the company’s top experts about their day-to-day challenges.
A mental health initiative for all neighboring businesses.