Getting backlinks is like getting regular exercise. Although it is time-consuming and may not yield immediate results, a regular workout can contribute to long-term good health.
Similar to the above, a strong backlink profile can build authority and .
Local SEO is . Links are often not as easy for small businesses than they would be for larger organizations. It’s difficult to create a local profile of backlinks.
But, resources are not the only thing that can limit your local opportunities for link-building.
Local businesses often do more for local link development than they realise. We can identify the different types of links that a local business supports and reflect upon an organization’s core values.
Local links tend to be less about achieving but more about building community relationships.
Four types of common local links
These are some of the most popular types of local connections:
- Data aggregators and citations.
- Community engagement.
- Awards at the national and local level
- Local content that is relevant, including campaigns, tools and reports.
Although each type of local connection requires a different approach, they all add value to the community.
Customers can find addresses and phone numbers using aggregators and citations. Local awards are a way to trust the company.
To achieve local connections that can truly influence growth, you must change your mindset.
Don’t think of links only as an SEO task, but as a way to build relationships with neighbors.
Local businesses that are successful in their local communities have a reputation for being more than just SEO.
Local recognition can be more important for businesses that support local charities and sports teams than those with outstanding titles.
Local SEO can be won by a company who does both.
Let’s take a closer look at each local link.
1. Data aggregators and citations
Online directories are another well-known method of building local links. This is where basic business information can be found across multiple websites, much like a telephone book.
SEO theory behind citations. A local business can submit location information to a network online profiles. This establishes online consistency (also called “NAP consistency”) for its name and address.
Google’s makes use of this directory information in order to verify the business information and share it accurately with its users.
These are some common examples of online directories:
- Online telephone books (i.e. Whitepages).
- GPS Submissions (i.e. Garmin)
- Voice Search (e.g. Siri)
- Secondary search engines, i.e. Microsoft Bing and Yahoo
- Travel websites (i.e., Airbnb, TripAdvisor)
Google tries to be a credible search engine by providing accurate and reliable information for each search query.
Google and other search engines can help you achieve your goal by listing your business information in local citations.
An organization doesn’t have to spend hours updating online directories or submitting them. Instead, they can buy data aggregators which automate the majority of this process.
There are three companies that offer bulk submission services. They place business citations in a network of directories.
- Data Axle
Although each organization submits to an individual list of directories online, there may be overlap.
Data Axle might send Neustar and Neustar to Whitepages. Neustar may submit to Apple.
Although the exact number of backlinks each aggregator generates is not known, a company typically gets 25 to 100+ links from each of these (some overlap).
Resellers of Aggregator
A lot of SEO tools and agencies include an option to submit data to each of these data aggregators.
BrightLocal, for example, submits to three of the aggregators mentioned above as well as some smaller vendors (i.e. Yellow Pages Network).
These citation building services can be purchased for an annual fee or for a one time fee.
Local citations have a significant SEO effect
Experts in local SEO have noticed a decline in the importance of local citations. Top industry experts were asked to rank which ranking factors have the greatest impact in the 2021 Whitespark Local Search Rankings Factors Survey .
Local citations had the lowest score in 2021 and 2020. Participants in the survey stated that they had achieved little growth through citation submissions. This indicates high effort and minimal results.
Local citations are ultimately relative to SEO strategies and age.
- To increase its search visibility, a brand new business must get started.
- A business that is older might require an update of its citations in order to be accurate.
Although it may not be obvious how many local citations are helpful, they have been a key component of local link building for decades.
An easy way to get local links and update directory information is online directories. All a company needs are a once-off fee, an address and a telephone number.
2. Community engagement
Local links are a great way to show that your company is reputable with Google as well as the wider community.
Ebenezer Scrooge, the bookkeeper in “A Christmas Carol”, is cold, calculated, and heartless. The larger community refers to him as a “miser”.
Scrooge is frightened of his business and begins to count profits in an empty, dark room.
Similar community perceptions are important in today’s local business environment.
When a company gives back to its community and actively participates in it, the business gets talked about and people get involved with it online.
Investing in your local community can help you organically increase your backlinks and grow your SEO.
There are many types of community engagement, backlinks and other forms.
- Sponsorships in the local area
- Events in the local area
These local activities all point to a central aspect: the community. A business can invest in its own community by investing.
For community engagement to get going, you need to return back the values of your company. Which is the most important for your company?
Local initiatives with potential link-building could benefit from principles such as leadership, service, education, and communication.
Clear communication is a good example of a local office that values transparency.
This principle could be channeled by the attorney leading a seminar for citizens on how to research their rights in relation to upcoming zoning proposals.
The seminar could result in the publication of a link to the site of the attorney from the local newspaper that lists upcoming events.
Link engagement with community members has an SEO effect
Although it might be time-consuming and costly to invest in volunteering or sponsorships, the potential return on investment is significant.
A local newspaper will publish an article about $500 scholarships or sponsorships for sports teams from an organization. This is a mention or backlink from one of its most respected websites.
This recognition with search engines, which contributes to the site’s organic rank growth.
due to a strong backlink profile. Community engagement can be a trusted path to surpass them, as it draws multiple stakeholders that might share links.
One donation to charity could result in links linking from your personal blog, the recipient organization, or a local paper.
Community involvement does not necessarily have to lead to a link.
A mention of the brand name can sometimes be enough to establish the company’s online reputation.
The practice of “off page SEO” has been adopted by SEO professionals. It includes link building as well as brand mentions.
Although it is difficult to quantify the full SEO impact of community participation on search engines, all we know about them indicates that they make a difference.
An organization can do more than just improve its rankings. It joins the conversation by investing in community engagement.
3. Awards at the national and local level
An award is more than just a certificate on the wall. It can also help you feel good about your business. A certificate of appreciation is a sign of trust.
Customers rely on community recognition and awards to find the best vendor for them.
There are many types of awards that can be offered to small businesses, including:
- National accreditation (i.e. Better Business Bureau).
- Local trade organization awards/certifications.
- Awards for local publications (i.e. “Best of Phoenix”)
- Awards for environmental excellence at the local level
- Community involvement is recognized with local awards
Local recognition starts with research into local awards within a business’s area.
The Better Business Bureau is a common point of entry. Customers can see the credibility of an organization by being accredited through this national body.
The local Chamber of Commerce is another resource that can help businesses connect to the larger community.
After identifying the right award for their organization, organizations can create a strategy to ensure that they receive it.
Sometimes, the organization may have already won many aspects of an award. To win the award is easy.
An organization may be able to develop an entire company initiative if winning an award is not an immediate situation.
Leaders can share the goals and explain how they align with company values. A team may then review past winners of awards.
Organizations can take an active approach to winning the award by creating a plan that focuses on the key elements, existing achievements, as well as new initiatives, in order to achieve backlinks.
The SEO effects of local and national awards
According to some theories, search engines use awards to measure the organization’s authority, trustworthiness, and expertise.
Google’s , which is the primary source for learning E-A-T as well as relevance in SEO, assigns its raters the task of researching the trustworthiness of a company based on the awards that it has been awarded:
News articles and informational articles are a great way to learn more about companies. They may also include specific information such as recognitions, awards, and controversies.
Local links can be achieved through the awarding of awards. This means that the whole business will benefit.
Local link building is not limited to being used in its own SEO channel. It can also be integrated into the overall goals of an organization.
Small businesses can leverage community and organizational values in order to enhance their products and services, establish long-lasting relationships and build local connections.
Small businesses can reap the secondary benefits of SEO growth when they are looking to improve their operations.
4. Study and content relevant to the local area
An organization that shares resources in its area of expertise with the local community can not only lead it to be a leader but also recognizes them for their stewardship efforts.
The type of link or business you are looking for will determine the types of content that is available. Here are some examples of local content that can be used for promotion and link building:
- Collecting data about average home age and energy use in your area.
- A national article on a customer’s average savings account is localized to the average savings account in each neighborhood.
- Interviews with top company experts discussing their daily challenges.
- All neighboring businesses can take part in a mental health program.
These examples are content you can publish directly to your website. They may also receive backlinks and attention from other websites.
News media, blogs and community forums on the internet are always looking for new information.
Publishing useful, new content can help organizations drive conversation.
An organization must encourage everyone to come up with ideas when brainstorming local content ideas. Local content promotion is only possible with creativity.
Case studies and SEO Impact of Local Content
Local content initiatives have different results depending on the subject matter and target audience. The desired result is the same, however: brand mentions and backlinks.
Local content for backlinks is based on the theory that people will discuss content that’s interesting.
Backlinks will be earned and brands mentioned if an organisation publishes quality content that is shared with consumers and local media outlets.
This will increase E-A-T as well as organic ranking by establishing backlinks to brand mentions.
The organic growth that is derived from local content can only be seen when its value is evident.
How do you get local links
How do you create local links?
Local links shouldn’t look like a hunt expedition but more like an urban garden. Start some seeds, and watch them grow.
- Establish a citation baseline.
- Be true to your company’s values
- A multifaceted strategy for building links that reflects company values is possible.
- Implement strategy to achieve connections
- Reassess what works and what doesn’t, then repeat.
Local links that are based on the community’s needs can be targeted to rank higher than local competitors.
Integrating your backlink strategy and existing values allows the organisation to connect with the core essence of local linking building: caring.
Local backlinks are built on caring because your company doesn’t just want to have links.
- The company cares about the correct information.
- It is committed to giving back the community.
- This company is known for its reliability and quality of service.
- It is committed to moving the industry forward, and it strives to be the best in what it does.
Local link-building and caring are two different things.
Although it may seem overwhelming to seek these kinds of local links. However, this process involves less about creating an SEO checklist than reflection.
It will be easier for your organization to have a clear understanding of what is important and make an impact in the local community.
These opinions are not necessarily those of Search Engine Land, but they do reflect the views of the guest author. Here are the names of staff authors.
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