See below for a brief overview of what links are and some simple ways to increase your link profile and expand your Local SEO strategy on your own.
During your Local SEO campaign, we have focused our efforts on helping you build, distribute and manage your local business listing across multiple platforms, with Google being at the top of the list.
Having your business listing published in local directories is what’s called a structured citation. Structured citations are a requirement for all local businesses. However, obtaining unstructured citations and links can provide a serious competitive advantage for your business.
What are links?
External links, aka backlinks, or inbound links, are links from other websites to your site. For example, a local spa might be on a list of the top 10 spas in their city, or a local brewery might have a link to their site from a news story about an event they hosted.
External links work to drive direct traffic, but they also serve as a ‘vote’ from another website saying that your site is useful and relevant.
More links = more votes
More votes = higher search engine ranking
Citations vs. Links
The difference between a citation and a backlink is simple, a citation is a direct online mention of your business’s name, address and phone number. Similar to a backlink, citations will benefit your SEO by determining online authority to your business. A backlink, however, is a direct link to your website from a page on another website and can have a stronger impact on your rankings and traffic to your site.
Why is linkbuilding important for SEO?
There are two main reasons why link building is critical for SEO and for local businesses.
1. Links drive direct traffic. People reading content on one site may follow that link to your site.
2. Links are one of the main factors considered by search engines when deciding which website to display for a specific search result.
Links matter for local SEO in particular because they increase your local ranking, which increases the chance of making it into Google’s local three-pack (how Google displays search results when users make queries with local intent).
Do's & Don'ts of Link Building
Five Ways to Build Your Backlink Profile
1. LOOK FOR LINK OPPORTUNITIES ON LOCAL WEBSITES
Search for “location + Keyterm”, for example: “Austin + restaurant”, then follow up with those sites and ask for your restaurant to be included or offer an article or interview with those sites.
Google your brand name, and reach out and ask site owners who have mentioned your site to include a link to your website as well.
Ask writers of local round-up posts to include your business as well.
2. CREATE CONTENT & RESOURCES
Create content that connects to your local customers and community (eg. articles, reviews, infographics, photos, etc.)
Create industry resources. For example, a hardware store might create how-to videos to show how to fix common issues, such as how to unclog a sink or replace a toilet flush valve.
3. GET BACKLINKS FROM THE LOCAL PRESS
A simple technique to get valuable backlinks from the local press is to compose a press release about yourself. Add a link to your local SEO landing page or website, and send it to the editors of your local publication.
4. ADVERTISE EVENTS
A lot of people link to events. There are great event calendars all over most local government sites, local news sites, local social media groups, etc., and by simply hosting events and having event pages on your site, a lot of times, you can find yourself getting mentioned or linked to.
5. LEVERAGE YOUR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS
Get in touch with companies that offer products and services that align with your business. For example, if you're a digital marketing service provider, you might be able to get links from leadership skills development or customer service training companies.