10 ways to build powerful local links and local rankings
Today we are going to talk about powering up your website rankings and traffic with local links.
First, let’s quickly define a local link and why your home service company’s website needs them.
What does local link mean?
A local link is a link from an external website in your service area to your website. It’s like a door from their website to yours. People click on it and are taken to your website and preferably to specific pages on your website that you want traffic on.
Why does your company need local links?
Links from other websites to yours are the #1 ranking factor for your website and the #2 ranking factor for your Google My Business / Google Maps listing.
That’s according to an international Moz survey done every two years with the world’s top SEO professionals.
It’s also consistently proven through endless tests done by SEO professionals every year.
They’re often called “backlinks.” Links from other sites taking them back to yours.
Since the main point of your home services website and Google Maps listing is to attract traffic from local prospects to generate new leads and sales, then local links should be a top priority of your website SEO and marketing efforts.
To be clear, you can and should have links from websites that are not in your local area and they too can help your website rank better, but links from websites and directories in your local area are more powerful.
Local links not only show Google that your website is popular in your local area, but they also can drive traffic from people who are in your service area.
It’s all well and good to get links from national and even international websites, but the people visiting your site from those links won’t be hiring you anytime soon because you’re not in your area.
Local links can drive traffic from local prospects in your service area, and they’re more likely to be ideal candidates to do business with your company.
Now that we know what a local link is and why they’re so valuable to your company, let’s dig deeper and answer a few all-important questions.
How do I create a local backlink?
First, it’s important to know that you want to gain links from strong websites in your local area.
Websites with a lot of local traffic make more sense than those without.
They can pass their traffic to you and some of their domain authority and ranking power.
It also helps if some of those links are from websites in or related to your industry. This allows Google, Bing, and other search engines better understand the business your company is in.
The best local websites to gain links from are local news sites, community-based sites, and just said those in your industry.
Your local Chamber of Commerce would be a valuable link. Most will add you to their member directory on their website and include a link to your site.
If you haven’t already joined, you may want to consider doing so as a top link-building priority.
And that brings us to the topic of the costs of link building.
You will need to budget for building local links as part of your marketing strategy.
Link building is not an easy and scalable process. It’s all done manually and takes time, effort, and investment on your part.
If you don’t invest in local link building and you’re in a competitive marketplace, you’re very likely to trail behind your biggest competitors and lose online traffic and prospects to them that you could be getting.
With that said, let’s take a look at 10 ways to build powerful local links and grow your local rankings, traffic, and prospects without the need for any SEO tools.
Be sure that you’re offering value and not just seeking a link from these sources. Give value before you ask or expect to receive. Build your brand locally with these organizations and businesses.
- Chamber of Commerce as we just covered.
- Local newspapers & magazines – offer to write a news-worthy article on a topic related to your business. This is not a promotional piece but rather an informational article.
- Local blogs – search Google for [your city] + blog – use the same news-worthy article tactic for possible inclusion on their blog.
- Donate to local charities – support and sponsor non-profit organizations in your area. Don’t just send money but instead be creative – offer your services for free or pay for something for them, or have you and your team sponsor and volunteer at an event, and then write about it on your website with a link to their organization. Ask them to add the info on their website and links back to yours.
You can use Google search operators to locate potential non-profits that align with you and your team’s interests and philosophies.
Search Google for “[your city] intitle:charity” or “intitle”non-profit” or “intitle:volunteer”
- Join local clubs that align with your company’s interests – use the same tactics as non-profits.
Search Google for “[your city] intitle:sponsor” or intitle:club
- Be a guest on local podcasts and help educate the audience on a specific topic in your industry. Once again, this is not about selling; it’s about providing value first and foremost.
Search Google for “[your city] podcast” or “[city] podcaster” and do that for each city in your service area.
Go to iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and search for each city name in your area.
- Create a local resource page or businesses we like a page on your website. Often the best way to get a link is to give one first.
Think about creating a local resources page for a related “shoulder” industry.
For example, if you’re a plumber, maybe you do a review and resource page of local companies in your area that provide water damage restoration with links to each company. Then you can do in-person, phone, or email outreach to them informing them of your article and maybe an offer to interview with them to expand on their listing in exchange for a link from their site to yours.
- Use that same concept to create a Local Guide for your area with info about events or places that attract the local population.
You may not gain links from many of the places you mention, but if you create a good enough guide and then share it on social media, you may find others just naturally linking to it because it’s a great resource.
A favorite of ours to survey everyone on your team, list their favorite places for the family and their favorite restaurants and why. Then create a guide out of that and have them all share it on social media.
Then allow visitors to the page to provide their favorites also. Do this well and it could earn some valuable local links for a long time as the page content grows.
- Offer a testimonial to service providers you have used in exchange for a link from their site. Your company has no doubt used local service to work on your building, trucks, payroll, and more, and they want and need customers reviews just as much as every other company.
So reach out to those that impressed you and offer a great testimonial in exchange for a listing and link on their site.
- Find mentions of your company online that doesn’t include a link to your site and contact that site owner and ask to include a link in the mention.
You can set up Google Alerts to track mentions of your company on the Internet to identify opportunities. This is perhaps the easiest of all tactics because they’re already talking about you or your company.
Bonus: Seek out local influencers in your market. They’re likely to have a great local following who value and trust their opinions and the companies or products they recommend. This works better than advertising because the audience trusts the influencer.
You’ll need to make an offer of content, money, service, or products in exchange for a listing or posting on their site to yours. Spell out the details of the exchange and how long your listing is to remain on their site. Put it all in a written and signed agreement.
Search Google for “[your city] blog,” “[your industry] blogger in [your city].”
Search Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, for local influencers and those who may be in your industry.
Use hashtag research to find local influencers. #[your city] and #[your industry].
There are also free hashtag research tools available. See https://www.pixlee.com/blog/5-free-hashtag-analytics-tools-that-every-brand-needs/
Before we wrap this up, it’s important to mention that you’d like to try and get links to key blog content pages on your site and not just have all of them go to your home page. So wherever possible and appropriate, ask for links to your top content pages informing and converting visitors into leads.
And be sure that your home page links out to your top content pages so it can pass any link authority it receives to those important pages also.
Alright, I hope that helped some of you. Thanks for sharing your time and attention with us today.
Good luck out there and create a great day!