It is no secret that link building is an immensely important element of any SEO strategy. This applies to local businesses as well. In fact, being local comes with some inherent advantages when it comes to link building. Thanks to Google Penguin, creating and implementing a link building campaign that will prove efficacious is becoming increasingly difficult. There was a time in which links simply had to exist to provide a favorable impact on a site’s search engine rankings. Now, not only do irrelevant and poor-quality links fail to benefit the site, but they can also cause the site to be penalized.
A good local link building campaign will deploy a highly diversified strategy that focuses on building quality backlinks over the course of a number of months. Attempting to take any short cuts will almost certainly incur the wrath of Penguin. Once your site falls under the pernicious assault of Penguin it can be quite a struggle to recover.
Quality over Quantity
Where quantity used to be the measure of success in a link building campaign, the word of the day is now quality. This means that a site does not have to have thousands of back links to rank well in organic searches. The goal should be centered on building sustainable link activity that will result in exceptional links that make sense. You want to accomplish this without the existence of abnormal patterns or high link velocity.
For those who have been around for a while, it may difficult for this particular paradigm to take hold, however, it is vital to build confidence and trust while carrying out your link campaign.
Local Link Building
Unfortunately, local link building has proven to be an untapped resource. This is sad, because a local link building strategy has the capacity to lead to quick quality links.
1. Local Interaction
One effective method for building local links is to assist clients in becoming more active in their community. This generally takes a bit longer than some of the other tactics; nevertheless, it proves to be highly-efficacious in it results.
Some potential ways to become more involved in the community is:
- Hosting, sponsoring, or participating in a local charity event
- Starting a local scholarship fund for high school students
- Featuring an important or influential community member on your site’s blog
- Contacting local media outlets to offer your expertise as a source for any future work
These are only a few ways that you can find yourself with local backlinks.
2. Creating a Community Resource
Creating a community resource is an exceptional way to build links, especially for those sites that would otherwise find it difficult to build local links. This can be done by creating a map of local tourist attractions, pet friendly locations, free Wi-Fi spots and other outdoor attractions. These type of resources are extremely popular. You can also create a local guide for the top bars and restaurants. There is actually no limit to the resources that you can offer.
3. Leverage Local Relationships
This is one area in which being local really pays off. If you have not leveraged the relationships that you have built locally, you are definitely leaving quality local links on the table. This can be done by simply supplying a testimonial for the purpose of securing a link. Obviously, you don’t want to offer testimonials on services and products that you don’t value, but you are sure to have plenty of businesses that you will have no problem endorsing.
4. Joining Resource Lists
One of the more effective ways to make Google aware of your local authority is by being added to local resource lists. If your site or business is not already recognized as a local authority, it may take a little work to achieve that, but it is more than doable. Refer to number one if you need guidance.
5. Post Ads in Local Directories
You may be surprised at the level of effectiveness of posting ads in local directories, such as Angie’s List, Craig’s List or Think Local. There are a number of these sites that Google gives a substantial amount of authority to. Relevant links from these sites will definitely boost your link ranking.
The most important thing to remember is that quality matters above all else. You don’t want to waste your time planting a huge number of links, only to have it cause your site to be penalized because they were not quality links.