Do you own a brick-and-mortar business? Is your business reliant on local customers? And, would you like to beat your competitors to the top spots in local listings? No matter how large your business, local links are a key strategy that can help customers find your business instead of your competitors. In this article, we’ll take a look at how local link building can have a positive impact on your local search rankings and help to move the needle for your business.
How to improve your local listings?
There are about half a dozen or more factors that play a role in influencing local rankings with the biggest factors being having a Google My Business profile, Backlinks and Reviews. And, with a massive 46% of all Google searches having local intent, there are huge gains to be made by improving your business’s local rankings. For the purpose of this blog, we’re going to assume that you have already set up, verified and optimised your Google My Business profile.
1. NAP citations
The first place to start is by checking and updating your Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) citations. These are generally local directories as well as data aggregators such as Yell, Touchlocal, Foursquare, Yahoo and many more. The key to NAP citations is making sure that they are accurate and consistent across the different directory sites and aggregators.
As well as big data aggregators you should also be looking for niche directories in your industry as these will give you a more relevant business listing and link. To find these opportunities simply do a search such as “plumbing directory London” to find niche plumbing directories.
2. Focus on local communities
Unsurprisingly local listings can be enhanced when you are a respected business in the local community. From local church groups and business networking groups to chambers of commerce, these all represent opportunities for your business to get backlinks that are locally relevant. As well as local businesses you can also approach suppliers and other businesses that you work with to see if they are able to add a link to your business.
Local newspapers offer a good opportunity for helping to raise brand awareness and generate more links for your business. If you’ve got community-relevant news e.g. expanding your business and opening a second store in the local area, hiring from the local community etc, then these are all newsworthy items that could get you more links.
3. Sponsor local events and sports teams
Are you looking to get more coverage for your business? Sponsoring a local event or sports team can help you generate more links while also getting your business in front of more potential customers. Most local events or sports teams will appreciate sponsorship from local businesses and will often have a section on their website with a link to their sponsors. In addition to this, they will often have details of sponsors on banners, advertising and post content on their social media channels.
4. Approach local influencers
Influencers and bloggers can help drive relevant traffic to your business that would otherwise not find you. People trust influencers and when they review a product or service their followers take notice. Having a link from a well-known blogger or influencer to your website will help improve your rankings and at the same time will bring more traffic to your business. And, while you’ll need to pay bloggers and influencers with a large following, those with smaller followings will often be happy to write a review based on being provided with a free product or service.
5. Emulate your competitors
Take the hard work out of finding places to get links by analysing your competitors. Using tools such as Ahrefs and Moz’s Open Site Explorer you can get a list of websites that are linking to the websites of your competitors. Reviewing these links will help you create a list of opportunities and help you to spot gaps in your own backlink profile. Another option is to analyse similar businesses in other cities or areas to get a bigger list of potential links for you to target.