Getting good backlinks for local SEO is important if you need to target a specific geographical area, sell products or services within a defined region, or want to compete in local markets.
There are lots of solutions, from organic to paid links, and the right approach requires you to have the best link-building strategy to get featured higher on local search results. Local link building is all about securing referral links from relevant sources with the appropriate context to help your site climb higher on Google map packs.
Counting Your Localized Backlinks
Generally, you won’t need thousands of backlinks to rank on local search pages–even the most visible brands don’t usually have more than 150 domains referring back to them.
The trick isn’t to go for maximum backlink volume, but to look at how you select higher-ranking keywords and backlink sources that add credibility and authority to your domain.
Building Local Backlinks for SEO
A link-building project requires some time to research the competition, but if you use smart strategies, you can quickly accumulate a reasonable number of referrals.
Backlinks from Local Ranking Sites
Start by checking which pages rank highly in Google according to your relevant search terms. It’s unlikely you’ll score a backlink from a competitor, but you will normally find a range of directories, guides, or local business listings where you can request to be added and include a backlink.
Customers commonly use these sites to find a local company, and it should usually be as simple as registering your business name and location.
Researching Competitor Links
There will naturally be an overlap between the keywords and terms you and your competitors have in common, and analyzing their backlink profiles may give you some inspiration. SEO tools can inspect the sites that link to the rival business but not to you, so you can uncover more backlink opportunities that apply to your business sector or local area.
Reinstating Broken Links
Links break for many reasons, often because a page hasn’t been updated, has been deleted, or has been amended so that the link is broken. Checking for lost backlinks is a fairly quick way to determine whether you have old links you can reclaim by redirecting the original link to the current page.
Local Content Creation Strategies
Content can be a longer game than finding easy backlink possibilities. Still, it is also a great way to improve brand awareness and customer perceptions and add value to your visitors.
Finding trending topics that your target audience engages with can attract new demographics to your company. Although you won’t normally get as many links, it can tie nicely into an overall SEO growth strategy.
Finding Local Citation Backlinks
Local citations are foundational for any local SEO strategy. Citations essentially mention your company’s name, address, and contact information in local business directories and resources.
These are free and easy to create for the most part, and therefore provide little individual value. They move the needle in large numbers, though, and there’s no reason to skip this type of link if you’re working on a comprehensive local strategy.
There are plenty of data aggregators and citation services, but the best ones include listings for your area or the state you operate in. Because these companies link to other websites and cross-post content, a backlink can be valuable and gain a good level of traffic.
Examples include Foursquare, Localeze, Bing, Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellowpages.
Creative Local SEO Link-Building
With a little research, you will often find multiple websites that focus on your town or city, such as:
- Community information groups
- Business networks and chambers of commerce
- Local news or podcast websites
- Directories or visitor guides
- Educational establishments
These can be a good way to make contact and ask whether the site will be happy to feature a backlink, allow you to post some guest content, or include your business in any lists or directory pages.
Finding Mentions Without a Backlink
It is surprisingly common to have brand mentions where your company name is featured but isn’t necessarily back-linked to your site. You can search for unlinked name mentions and request a backlink to ensure the content reader can find your website, ostensibly to ask for more information or add credibility to the content.
Creating Internal Links
While external backlinks are the gold standard in local SEO, you can use internal links to establish relevance and importance, linking secondary pages back to main landing pages to help Google index your site correctly.
For example, if you have a landing page packed with quality content and high-ranking keywords, you can point several blog posts back to this page to ensure the bots recognize that it is the most relevant.
The key is always to begin with the basics and then progress to more advanced or technical link-building tools to push your site higher up the search engine landing pages–and keep building as your business grows.
Beyond Local Links
While links from local directories and regionally-relevant sites are vital to local SEO, they’re not the only links that count. Any inbound link is beneficial, and will help you rank in local search results.
From that perspective, getting links from relevant sites in any area should be part of your link-building strategy. PBN links, in particular, are a great way to get consistent links over time without having to invest money constantly into outreach and link placements.