Your new website is done. It’s ready for visitors to come pouring in. Google knows about your website, it has started indexing some pages, now what?
The reality is that even if Google knows about your website and starts indexing pages, they’re not likely to rank high at first. Even the most well-built website won’t rank for some time even for your business name and location. Facebook, Yelp, and other profile pages are more likely to rank first for some time.
You can share your website on social media, but that’s only going to get you so far. Of course, a website will always lend your business more credibility if it is professionally built, and you put it on your business cards, ads, and other marketing material.
Your website needs to rank in searches for customers to find it. Your content is great, it’s optimized for local searches, but there’s one more key thing your website needs to start ranking higher in searches.
Even for local searches, links are essential for ranking higher in search results. For a local business that means you need to have some local authority. As soon as your website is live, update every profile you have to point to your website. That means Yelp, Google Business Profile, social media profiles, and so on.
Links from local websites are going to boost your website. The most valuable links are going to be other websites that serve your local community. Outside of your social profiles, there are many options for getting links to your website that will ultimately help it rank better in search engines.
These tips will give you some ideas about how you can get local links from valuable sources. They’re guaranteed to provide a boost for your business. The more links you get towards the top of the list, the better off you’ll be. That means more searches your website will rank for which leads to more leads for your business.
8 Local Links Strategies
This list is full of the best ideas to get valuable local links for your website. They’ll lend authority to your website in turn making search engines trust your website and rank it higher. They hold local sway and will help you rank in local searches even more.
These are ranked from most effective to least effective. You should find the best balance for you with what’s easiest vs how high in the list it is which will give you more benefits.
1) Local News Features
There are few things more powerful than being featured in a new article for a local news organization. That means you get mentioned or written about, and the article is posted online with a link to your business.
Getting featured in a TV segment is cool but unless people go out and Google you after that, it’s not going to do you much good. It should be written and there should be a link.
The next best thing if you can’t get a link is to have some sort of contact information cited on the page too. That could mean it has your business phone number or maybe address. These won’t be nearly as valuable but they could still benefit your business in the long run.
2) Local Education Sites
This one is powerful because education websites often hold a lot of sway in the local community. They’re often at the center of the community in many ways.
If you create a good resource that fits into an education websites content, ask them if they’d like to link to it. If you can get that link then your website is going to get a huge authority boost in the eyes of search engines.
You could even start a local scholarship for a college even if small. That will guarantee they link to your website because they often have scholarship resource pages. You could even sponsor a school event, and they may mention and link to your website on the event page or sponsorship page.
The local school near me does a fun run every year and calls for local business sponsors. Part of each sponsorship package is a link on the school’s sponsorship page, a great benefit to a local business.
3) Sponsor A Local Event
There are constantly local events for cities and counties in every area across the United States. You can usually sponsor any of these events and get your logo included on the event material.
Not only that but sometimes you may even get a link on the event page for sponsoring an event. These are local events with local authority and will often get you an authoritative local link to your website.
Almost every local community event raises money for the event at least partially from business sponsors. That’s an opportunity for you if you ask for a link on the event page. Ask and you shall (likely) receive.
4) Other Local Businesses
This one could be a bit more tricky because you’re pitching to a business. You’re not likely at all to get a link to a competing business, but there’s plenty of opportunity for businesses that complement yours.
It may be as simple as writing a review for a local business who then loves that review and posts it on their website. If they include a link to the person who left the review (you!) for authority then you just scored a local link.
You can either go for the review link or provide a valuable local resource that works well for another local businesses’ website as a resource.
5) Host a Community Event
Everyone loves free stuff. They’ll also share the crap out of free stuff on social media.
If you can tie these both together then you could get a massive amount of hype on social media for an event page on your website. While these are almost always nofollow links (not as powerful as dofollow) they are still from a local audience and will help you.
Heck, your community event could get picked up by local news which could give you massive local link power. So, it can lead back to the first option which is one of the most powerful links you can get. It’s a great way to connect with the local community and build some local notoriety too.
6) Local Chamber of Commerce
This is one of the easiest links you could get aside from a local business directory. It’s usually only one link, but it’s for a local chamber of commerce in your city which is great for you. Local links for your business website will lead to higher ranking in local searches.
Make sure you’re a member, and you’ll get a listing in the business directory which is often a dofollow link. That can be powerful especially if your competitors don’t have one. Even if they do have one, that’s a great case for you to also become a member!
If your competitors have a link in the local chamber, and you don’t, they have the upper hand and will most definitely rank higher in local searches than you.
7) General Business Directories (General Citation Sites)
This one is the most common yet overlooked method of building a great local link foundation for your website because it can be tedious. Your business should be listed on absolutely ever local business directory that makes sense for your business.
This will help give you the basic links you need. Added up together then can have a big impact. If your competitor has local directory links built up and you don’t then again you’ll be behind in search engine ranking.
The best par is that this one is so easy to do that it’s a must-do. It doesn’t have to be tedious, either. If you use a good local marketing automation software then you can take the pain out of listing your business and ensure your information is always accurate around the internet.
One thing that local marketing automation software will help you do is keep your business up-to-date. This is essential for continuing to rank well and keeping tabs on how well your listings are performing for you.
You can create all the directory listings and manage them all yourself, but they will get out of hand. It’s best to leave it up to software that can manage it all for you and ensure your business information is always current online. There’s nothing worse than a customer running into innacurate business information.
It’s no good creating listings and leaving them outdated. You should be updating them at least once a month with fresh updates and content. That means updating your hours for holiday hours and also posting to your Google Business Profile regularly.
8) Local Business Directories (Local Area Citation Sites)
There are many local business directories out there for the state and even local cities your business is located in. These can be an important method of establishing your business locally and getting a somewhat valuable backlink to your business. It’s not going to boost you to the top, but every link moves the needle.
Check out this BrightLocal blog post that lays out ALL the top citation sites in every US state. Just click on your state, and it’ll jump down to a list of the top citation sites for your state and whether it’s free to list your business, paid, or if they have free and paid options.
Hopefully, this gave you some great ideas for getting those first links for your website. The most powerful links might not always be the best place for you to start. They will give you the most powerful boost, though.
Sometimes it’s easier to start at the bottom with a good solid foundation of links then work your way up. The links at the bottom are the easiest and almost a necessity for having a basic foundation of links for your local small business website. Without them, you’re bound to be behind your competition in local links which also means the more powerful links won’t be quite as powerful unless you have the less important yet still foundational links.
Here’s how I’d approach my first links built:
- Directory listings as many places as I could get them (Loclmark will help you a great deal with this).
- Join the local chamber of commerce.
- Sponsor an event.
- Get featured in local news.
- Create something valuable for a local education website.
- Write a review for another local business.
- Host a community event.
All these links will be helpful but some more than others. You have to weigh the options for you and what time allows for. What works for you what comes down to ease of getting the link and effectiveness of the link. Some are necessary, but others might be more powerful.
Good luck link building now go out there and rank high in local searches because local searches aren’t the same as general searches!