Small and medium-sized local businesses do a lot of good in the communities in which they operate. Not only do they provide employment to local residents, they further help the economic lives of their communities by contributing to taxes that go into public service projects and social development programs.
If you’re a local business owner, it will be in your best interest to leverage the power of the Internet and local partnerships not just to allow your business to survive but also to make it thrive. One way to accomplish this is through a search engine optimization technique known as link building.
Link Building: Your Key to Success
In a nutshell, link building is the process of getting hyperlinks from other websites that link back to your own website. It is one of the key techniques used by search marketers to improve the organic search performance of websites. This means that when you are successful at getting many high-quality links from other websites to your own website, your site is more likely to appear higher in the search results of major search engines like Google. This is significant because in this day and age, a majority of consumers use the Internet to search for local businesses.
Indeed, link building can do your business a lot of good. If you haven’t yet gotten around to planning a link building campaign for your website, read on and see the tips below. Hopefully, they’ll give you some ideas on where to get started.
1- Create Top-Quality Content
If you’re new to link-building and you haven’t yet created a portfolio of high-quality content assets, it’s best to focus on this first. You want to be able to develop content that is very linkable—the kind that demonstrates authority and thought leadership in your industry. It should be something that attracts the attention of people who need information and have the potential of being converted to paying customers later on.
If you are in the business of swimming pool construction, for instance, you can write long-form blog posts or case studies that showcase the beautiful pools that you have made for your clients—people with different budgets, architectural challenges, and personal aesthetic choices. You want these content pieces to gain the attention of your target audiences, as well as the interest of publishers, who can then create backlinks to your website.
2- Create Localized Resources
This is related to the first point, but it deserves a special mention. Creating content that is specific to your locality can help demonstrate your expertise in your industry, as well as highlight your reputation as a local authority on the subject matter.
One of the best formats for a local resource page is the list format, which gives you the chance to feature leading businesses or personalities. For instance, if you have a restaurant business in a wine region, you can make a list of the best wine products from local vintners or wineries. This is not only helpful for local web users who may be searching for the information you are providing, it also incentivizes the people or businesses you are featuring, thus encouraging them to share your article and link back to it.
3- Reach Out to Influencers and Bloggers
You want to develop your link profile as naturally as possible, so your links should come from high-authority, high-ranking websites. As such, you should be careful not to publish your content in low-quality and spammy websites. Instead, consider partnering with influencers and bloggers who publish content that is relevant to your industry or niche. Offer to collaborate on linking to one another’s websites, sharing links on content pieces that are relevant to both your audiences. Alternatively, you can offer to write guest articles on their blogs, which you can then link to your own website or to specific landing pages on your site.
4- Get Published in the Local News
Your local town or city news outlets are another potential source of top-quality links. Try to think out of the box if you’re not sure how to approach this. For instance, if you’re running a local medical practice, you can consider hosting a medical mission for the city’s homeless or sponsoring a local community activity. The story can be picked up by local news outlets, who can then write about the event and link back to your website. Another option is to get the story out as a paid press release, which you can distribute to the local media.
5- Reach Out to Your Business Partners or Customers
A lot of times, you don’t even have to look far in order to get top-quality links. You may already have business partners or customers who can give you links to your website. For example, if you’re a local distributor of children’s art supplies, you can try to request some of your customers for links. These include elementary schools and summer schools that have their own websites, or maybe even a local mom blogger who has used some of your products in the past.
6- Get Listed in a Local Listing
Aside from your business partners and customers, you can also consider contacting your local chamber of commerce, your local city government, or even a local listing site to try to get your business and your website listed on their listings.
Looking for third-party partners that can provide quality inbound links to your website can be challenging, but look hard enough and you’ll find opportunities that can bring your link acquisition endeavor to the next level. With the right collection of high-quality links, your local business can flourish in an internet-based economy.
Glen Dimaandal is the author of GlenDemands.com and the CEO of GDI Online Marketing, a Philippine-based SEO agency. When he’s not blogging, Glen likes to talk about SEO in conferences such as SMX, PeepCon and Confluence where he has been featured in the past.