If you run a local business, you are well placed to leverage online endorsements in the form of backlinks and reviews. Both can give any local business a real boost over competition. Backlinks have always been the gold standard used by search engines for attaching authority and relevance to any online property, including local businesses.
Over the years, the Google algorithms have become smarter in evaluating the worth of backlinks. Today, only truly worthwhile and relevant backlinks matter. Links that come from high DA (domain authority)/PA (page authority) sites, and of course, those that are relevant. Such links will boost site authority and drive traffic. Link building isn’t rocket science, but it does require time and effort.
Here are eight great link building strategies.
Do something newsworthy is a popular link building tactic
What could that mean within your niche? If you’re a doctor consider performing minor procedures free or at heavy discounts for the underprivileged. Backlinks can be generated in the form of news on high authority online portals, blog posts, videos that YOU can post online. You may even get links from professional online magazines. You will generate a lot of goodwill. Nothing works better for local businesses than goodwill. Offering scholarships is one of the easiest ways to grab headlines. If you can do it, you should. Do a little outreach, and you’ll find that local and national newspapers will run the news.
But where? Remember, getting backlinks is not rocket science but you do need to apply your mind as well as effort. Check around and see if there are any awards that are a good fit for your business. Like, the best pizza restaurant in the area or the most socially active apparel store? There are public and private organizations that recognize and award businesses. If you can win an award, links will follow. Even if you only get nominated, you will earn exposure through links.
Host an event
If you have the space and means, then host an event on your premises; or, book a hall or a conference room if you must. Choose an event related to your business. Make it a regular annual event, where everyone’s invited. The coverage will get you backlinks from diverse sources, and many of these will be authority domains. Or, host something for kids. Or, maybe for single parents. Think along these lines.
Reach out to specific groups
This is a time-tested idea that always helps local businesses trying to promote their businesses. Backlinks will come, and these will also be diverse. What could you do? A discount day for work-from-home moms at your store? Or, promotions for a kindergarten in your area? How about coming up with something for war veterans, recovering addicts, or senior citizens?
Become an expert resource
It could be an extension of what you do…do you run a auto garage or are you a veterinarian? Then create excellent articles on the subjects and promote them online. You will get backlinks. Along similar lines, you can position yourself as a resource on your area. If you’re a restaurateur, you can write about the food history in your area and the culinary habits of the local population. Use the content on your business’s Facebook page to promote your articles.
Local outreach is a great link building strategy
Another very powerful method of getting great backlinks for your local business. The process may be a little time-consuming, but the results are worth the effort. Contact opinion influencers online who have a following on social media and those who own blogs. Explain your proposition to them. Ask for honest reviews after they have experienced your business. Restaurateurs can get food reviews from local food bloggers. If you’re bookseller, you can offer a year’s subscription of a magazine to a blogger in exchange for a backlink. Use your imagination. This is a very useful technique to get backlinks.
Up and Down the Supply Chain
This one can be a goldmine for many links, and these links will likely carry Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) details of your business. If you’re a retailer that sells goods from different manufacturers or wholesalers, check if their business websites mention local stores for their products. Add your website details there, if they aren’t already present. Home service professionals can benefit from the same strategy if they repair products from specific manufacturers.
Get backlinks from other businesses
These other businesses include those that work with you. For example, if you’re a caterer, you can easily solicit a backlink from the local frozen foods store. If you’re a practicing physician, then local pharmacies can link to your website.
Getting backlinks for your local website should be an ongoing process. You must dedicate a few hours every week toward this activity. Sometimes, link opportunities present themselves for a short period; they could be related to events and happenings. Latch on to such opportunities. Aim for a healthy mix of links from different resources – blogs, newspapers, PR sites, social media, .edu domains, .gov domains, charities, other local businesses, etc. Google loves a well-rounded link profile. With backlinks in place, your local business can spend less on paid advertising and generate profits from targeted search traffic.