If you have a locally based business or website, then guess what? You have many more link building options! Not only are they going to be quality opportunities, but they are going to be relevant too! Here are five ways you can take advantage of local link opportunities to strengthen your link building campaign.
Local Directories and Review Sites
Chances are, your local business is already listed on local business directories and review sites such as Google Places, Yahoo Local, and others. But if you don’t claim your listings, then you will be missing one of the most important parts of your profile on these sites – your website link! While some sites only offer redirect or nofollow links, others offer links that will help boost your link profile. Here’s an idea of what kind of links you’ll get with popular local business directories and review sites.
- Google Places – Redirect link on a Google property. Even if it is a redirect link, keep in mind that Google Places listings rank higher than some organic results for many local keywords as shown in the image above.
- Yahoo Local – Redirect link on a Yahoo property with a Domain Authority of 100 and PageRank of 8.
- Bing Local – Dofollow link with the anchor text Website on Bing’s local search property with a Domain Authority of 100 and PageRank of 6.
- Yelp – Nofollow redirect link on a local review website with a Domain Authority of 95 and PageRank of 5.
- Merchant Circle – Dofollow link on a local review website with a Domain Authority of 91 and PageRank of 8.
- Angie’s List – Dofollow link on a local review website with a Domain Authority of 91 and PageRank of 6.
- Judy’s Book – Dofollow link (with Basic paid account) on a local review website with a Domain Authority of 72 and PageRank of 5.
- Kudzu – Dofollow link on a local review website with a Domain Authority of 83 and PageRank of 6.
For more local search directories and review sites, don’t miss David Mihm’s guide to the Local Search Ecosystem in 2012. And don’t forget lcoal review sites for specific industries like UrbanSpoon for restuarants and TripAdvisor for travel.
Industry Directories and Review Sites with Local Vendor Pages
Certain industries have major industry-specific directories and review sites that aren’t locally specific but offer the option for local vendors to sign up for profiles or purchase advertising. Many of these also allow you to add links back to your website.
One well known example is The Knot which offers a dofollow link to advertisers on their wedding industry review website with a Domain Authority of 89 and PageRank of 6. They even link out to your Twitter and Facebook page if you choose to list them.
Local Business Resource Pages
Want to get great, relevant local links that might actually drive some direct traffic to your website? Then connect with other local businesses and get links from them. How do you do it?
- First, think about local businesses in your industry that are not direct competitors. For example, if your business offers outdoor adventure services, then businesses in the same industry could include local outdoor supply stores similar to REI and Sports Chalet. Try to aim less for the big chains with a main corporate website and more for locally-owned businesses and franchises who have their own website.
- Next, take a look at these local business websites. See if they have a page on their website for local resources, partners, links, preferred vendors, and so forth. Make sure these pages just have links to other local businesses in the industry and do not link out to just any other website. You want your website link on a local resource page, not an open link exchange page.
- Now you have two options. You can contact the business owner via email to introduce yourself and see whether they would be interested in a website partnership where you refer your customers to them for particular needs and vice versa. Or, you can dust off your networking skills and visit the business, talk to the owner, and see if you can work out a partnership in person.
By establishing local partnerships, you will not only build links to your website but also open the door to more business referrals as well as strengthen your business name in the community.
Contribute to Local Blogs
When you read about guest blogging as a powerful online marketing strategy, most of the time you will be advised to write for blogs in your industry. But don’t forget that your local community may have official blogs (such as yourcity.com), local news blogs, and popular blogs by bloggers in your area who might enjoy guest writers from local business owners.
Make sure that you don’t pitch yourself in only a self-promotional way – demonstrate the local knowledge that you possess and give topic ideas that will be interesting for a local community audience. You can always promote yourself and your business (usually with a link) in the author box at the beginning or end of the post.
Sponsor Local Events and Charities
Last, but not least, you can do some good in your community by sponsoring local events, charities, and schools. Many will return the favor by linking to your website on their sponsor page and including your name / logo in printed materials.
To find these opportunities, you can do a variety of different online searches such as sponsor + your city, “become a sponsor” + your city, “thank you to our sponsors” + your city, and so forth. These searches should lead you to many different spnosorship opportunities in your local community, some of which may even fit your industry perfectly!
What other strategies do you utilize in your local link building campaign? Please share in the comments!