As a business, you want more leads, more customers and overall more money coming in. Well, that is where local SEO comes in. If you have ever read a blog from me before then you will know the importance of Google My Business listings for businesses of all sizes.
So that is the best place to start – Make sure your Google My Business listing is full. What I mean by that is that all your information is filled in correctly and consistent across all your platforms. Update your images periodically and add a new post when you can.
So what do you do once your Google My Business Listing is ready?
LOCAL SEO LINK BUILDING
Customers in your area tend to turn to Google to find the services, or product they need in their area, and that is where you want your lovely listing to pop up.
Unlike traditional SEO, local SEO has much faster results and can help promote your traditional SEO along the way.
I know that the prospect of link building is somewhat overwhelming. I’m not going to lie, finding and collecting high-quality backlink take a lot of time and considerable about of effort but it’s not impossible. Just remember that it is quantity over quality. As a general rule of thumb, if the link is really easy to get, it’s probably not worth it.
So what is a high-quality link for local SEO?
When link building for local SEO, there are a few things you want to keep in mind when deciding if the link is worth investing in.
- Links from a site in the local area you are targeting.
- Links that are relevant to the business industry.
- Links that will drive relevant traffic to your website (put you in front of your target audience…aka potential customers).
- Links that build your brand’s reputation (industry associations, well-known magazines, sites, or other resources in the industry, etc).
The more of these features that a link has the more high-quality it will be.
How to start collecting links for local SEO?
1. Link Harvesting
To start off building your local link portfolio you will need to create a list of opportunities. You can either use professional software to help you find these opportunities or you can use Google though it will take longer.
Use Google to find a website in your area that is in the same industry as you. This is best done using an incognito browser. Here are a few examples of the things you could search for:
- IndustryName + “write for us”
- IndustryName + “forum”
- IndustryName + “forum”
- IndustryName + “tradeshow”
- IndustryName + “advice”
- site:.gov “your city + services”
2. Steal them
What is making that competitor of yours rank above you? Research the backlinks that they have, and gain them yourself, if they are linking to them why not link to you as well? Okay, so it’s not exactly stealing but it does feel like it.
You will have to use some professional software to find out the exact URLs of the backlinks your competitors have but it is a useful strategy to use and can often prove very fruitful.
3. Reach out
Now that you have gained a list of opportunities you need to act on them. Unlike traditional SEO, local SEO is far more personal. You may need to send out a few nicely worded emails to a few website owners, direct them to a blog you have written that their customers may find useful or point them towards a service page that could help them. Make sure you have a good reason to request a link so more people will be willing to do so. Your content will have to be good as it now holding the weight of gaining this new link. Make sure it is up to the job.
What makes content link-worthy?
- It needs to be relevant to the website owner – something either they or their customers will find useful
- Actionable and informative content is always good – A blog such as 10 tens or easy to understand checklist to help them. Don’t be afraid to give information away for free.
- Discounts or coupons for items you provide – This will help bring in initial customers and that link will likely stay around way longer than the coupon will be valid for.
- Offers contests – run contests for people or businesses in the local area and promote it to local bloggers and newspapers).
How you do this is up to you, but remember this is supposed to be personal don’t be the guy that uses an email template the sends out to hundreds at a time begging for a link. Take the time to look into them as a company, read some of there blogs and write them a personalized message.
4. Get to know them
The glory of local SEO is that you are near to all your prospect, the likelihood of you meeting them at a networking event is pretty high. When you do let them know what you think of their, blog and business. Get to know them as a person and share with the experience you have had. Ask them about a reciprocal link, a link that goes both ways.
If they never seem to come to anything you are at then why not create an event, an event for all the local people in your industry. Ask them to be a speaker, get to know them and create a business relationship with them.
5. Guest Blogging
As you may have noticed that Google’s algorithm changed massively over the years. Meaning that the old spammy techniques that used to fly before now no longer work and can actually cause you to be penalised. But the links that have held their value throughout the changes is guest blogging. When done right it is still the most effective and powerful way to gain links.
Using your prospect list from above, you can expand it by searching for guest posting opportunities manually using search queries such as:
- IndustryName + “write for us”
- IndustryName + “guest post”
- IndustryName + “contribute”
- Location + “write for us”
- Location + “guest post”
- Location + “contribute”
Don’t just expect people to simply allow you to guest blog, with no real effort put in. Each website has its own specific requirements that you will need to fulfil with your content but it is worth the time. Also if you can find a specific page to contribute to don’t assume that the opportunity does not exist. Again, get in contact with the site owner.
If you are looking for more help or advice with your SEO check out our SEO Marketing page or contact for a free meeting.