Local link building — acquiring links from local websites to your website — is one of the best things you can do for search engine optimization. In fact, 55.7% of marketers say link building generates high results for SEO, according to SERPStat. That’s because this technique can increase your search engine rankings. More people will then see your business on Google and other search engines, resulting in additional organic traffic to your pages.
But how can you get more links from local websites? Learn about the local link-building process below and get some strategies and ideas for acquiring more local links.
What is a Local Link?
A local link (or local backlink) is a link from a local website to your website. That local website might be a business that provides products and services to customers in your area. Or it might be a directory aggregating information about companies in your location.
Say you are a business owner in Chicago. If another business owner in Chicago includes a link to your homepage on their website, that’s a local link. If a directory of Chicago businesses posts a link to your website, that’s also a local link.
How is a Local Link Different From a Traditional Backlink?
A traditional backlink works in the same way as a local link. It’s a link on another website that directs to your website. However, local links are location-specific. If a business owner in New York City includes a link to your site on their site, that’s a conventional backlink and not a local link.
Traditional backlinks and local links are both important for SEO. However, search engines consider the latter to be even more essential for local businesses like yours. That’s because a local link-building strategy is better for local domain authority, which you’ll learn about later.
What is the Intent of Having Local Links?
Acquiring local links tells a search engine that your site is worthy enough of being linked to. If another website or a directory directs to one of your pages, it means that page includes important information that people want to read about. Search engines will recognize this fact and might reward you by placing your website in a more prominent position on results pages. That can result in more organic traffic to your website, which can translate into higher sales.
It’s important to note the difference between high-quality and low-quality local links, though. Links to your business on an authoritative and respected site — think a reputable directory or news site — is definitely a good thing for SEO. However, links to your business on a spammy website can be bad for SEO and even jeopardize your current position on search results.
Does Domain Authority Matter?
Local link building closely relates to domain authority and, more specifically, local domain authority.
Domain authority is a score created by Moz that predicts whether a website will rank in search engine results pages. A domain authority score can range from one to 100. The higher the score, the more likely the website will rank on a search engine.
Local domain authority works in the same way as domain authority. However, it predicts whether local websites will rank in search results rather than national websites.
Domain authority matters because it’s a good predictor of how well your website will perform on Google and other search engines. If you have a low score, you can make changes to your website and increase your chances of appearing on search results. However, domain authority is not a Google ranking factor and won’t directly impact rankings.
Local Linking Building and Domain Authority
Link building is one of many factors influencing domain authority and local domain authority scores. In other words, if several reputable websites link to your website, you can expect your domain authority score to increase.
However, not all links from websites are equal in the context of local link building.
Here’s an example. Say you are a business owner in Chicago with a low local domain authority score. You get a link from a highly-respected business directory with influence and credibility in the Chicago market. Your local domain authority score should increase significantly, meaning your site is more likely to rank in search results.
Now say you are a business owner in Chicago and get a link from the BBC. That link might not increase your local domain authority because it comes from an international website that has little influence on customers in your market. Although the BBC has a far bigger reach worldwide, the link from the business directory is more valuable for local domain authority.
Why are Local Backlinks Important?
Local links are crucial because they can increase your search rankings, boost brand awareness and drive more organic traffic to your site, among other benefits.
Local Links Increase Your Search Rankings
Getting high-quality local links from websites in your area can increase your position on search results. Google, for example, considers the number of links on local sites that point to your business and evaluates the quality of those links when determining your rankings.
Local Links Boost Brand Awareness
By increasing your position on search engines, more people will see your website and find out about your business. Your website will rank higher for the keywords you want to target, exposing your products and services to a wider audience. Local links can also increase awareness of your business on the third-party websites that link to your site. For example, appearing in a local directory will introduce your company to customers who might never have heard about it before.
Local Links Drive Organic Traffic
Appearing higher on search results pages can increase organic traffic to your site. More people will see your search listing and click on it to learn about your brand. Then you can move those people through your marketing pipelines and convert them into paying customers.
Local Links Make Your Business More Credible
Customers might be skeptical of purchasing a product from a company they have never heard about, even if that company appears in a good position on search results. The great thing about local links is that it adds credibility to your business. Appearing on a highly-respected local news website, for example, tells customers your company is trustworthy and safe.
Local Links Improve Networking
Acquiring local links might involve contacting business owners and asking them to feature your website on their online properties. That could result in networking opportunities and potential partnerships that grow your business.
Updating Your Google Business Profile
Say an influential directory in your service area won’t feature you on its website. Or no other local businesses will link to your site. What happens if you can’t acquire any backlinks at all?
One of the easiest ways to generate backlinks is by updating your Google Business Profile (GBP).
GBP is an online directory for businesses that appears across multiple Google properties, including Google Search and Google Maps. Each profile lists important business information for search users, such as opening times, contact information, and customer reviews.
GBP is great for link building. You can add different URLs from your website to your profile for free and use these as backlinks. Google will consider these links when determining your position on its search results.
GBP provides various link-building opportunities:
- You can add your homepage URL to the Contact tab in your profile
- You can add a URL to your booking or contact page in the “Make an appointment” section on the Overview tab
- You can add URLs to your product pages if you have added products to your GBP
Another way to add backlinks to your GBP is by creating posts. Similar to a LinkedIn profile, you can now create content for your Google Business Profile and include a link to a page on your website. For example, you can write a short article about one of your service offerings, upload it to your profile, and link it to your website’s services page.
GBP and NAP
Adding backlinks to your GBP is critical. However, you need to update other parts of your profile too. Google favors businesses that have an up-to-date profile with the correct Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information. Having incorrect or outdated NAP information in your profile could harm your search rankings. Thankfully, this is an easy process. Just log into your profile, click “Edit profile,” and make any necessary changes.
Ideas for Local Link Building
While adding URLs to your GBP can help with link building, you should still try to acquire natural backlinks from other local businesses. Even if you just have a handful of links from high-quality local sites, you could see your search rankings improve dramatically. Here are some local link-building ideas:
Local Newspapers/Media Outlets
Search engines will consider many local online newspapers and media outlets to be highly authoritative sources of information. So having your website appear on one of these platforms can be great for SEO. You can always email the editor of your favorite local newspaper and ask them if they will feature your business in an article and include a link to your site.
A local influencer might have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook or another social media platform. You can reach out and ask them to review your product or service in exchange for a fee — known as paid promotion. The influencer can include a link to your website in their review, exposing your business to a huge audience.
Local Charities That Post Their Sponsors
Many local charities list the people who have donated money to them on their website. Sometimes, these organizations also post backlinks to sponsors’ sites. Therefore, supporting a charity can result in a valuable local link-building opportunity.
Local Events and Groups
Search for reputable local groups and event organizers willing to feature your business on their websites. These organizations might not generate a huge amount of traffic. However, featuring on their sites can improve your local domain authority.
Local/Small Business Spotlight Pages
Contact websites that highlight local businesses in your area. These websites can feature your business and include a backlink to your site.
Analyzing Competitors’ Backlinks
Competitor research helps you learn how other local businesses generate local backlinks. You can find out which websites your rivals feature on and how many local links they have. Some of the best competitor analysis tools include SemRush and Similarweb.
After learning where competing businesses have acquired links, you can reach out to these sources and ask if they can feature your website. For example, you can contact a local directory that includes information about one of your rivals.
You might want to use the services of an experienced SEO agency for competitor research. The right experts can analyze your rivals’ backlink profiles and how their local links influence their search rankings. An SEO agency can also help you understand competitors’ keyword and content marketing strategies.
What You Need to Know About Local Link Building
Local link building is critical for SEO because it signals to search engines that your site is worthy of being featured on other websites. Acquiring several local backlinks from authoritative sources can improve your domain authority and increase your search rankings. As well as updating your Google Business Profile, you can generate local links by contacting local media, influencers, charities, groups, and spotlight pages.
Increase backlinking success by working with SEO experts at Symphonic Digital. This full-service marketing agency can create a local link-building strategy based on your use case and help you acquire links from the right sources. Start by requesting an SEO audit now and then identify the best backlinks for local SEO with Symphonic Digital.