Search engines love websites with lots of relevant inbound links. With the proliferation of local search, geographically focused inbound links are a great way to help your ranking. The great thing about local links is that they don’t have to cost the earth, or as you’ll see below, are often free.
1. Local Directories
Directories are always a good place to start your link building. As more and more people are becoming web savvy, there seems to be more community/regional directories to choose from. Many provide free listings for relevant local businesses, so seek out your local directories and start submitting.
2. Local Government and Commercial Associations
Most regional areas will have government bodies and trade associations with websites. As it’s believed that “.gov” and “.org” based links often carry more weight than normal links, find your local authority sites and try to get listed on their websites/link directories.
3. Share Links with Other Local Businesses
Chances are you’re not the only business in your area with a website. This being the case, it’s time to forge link relationships with these other local businesses. While relevant businesses are the preferred link source, in the absence of these, any business with a decent website and reasonable local focus will provide some link value.
4. Local Blogs
Everyone’s doing it these days, so there are probably many blogs that relate to your region or local area. It’s time to create a voice and share your thoughts on their postings. I don’t encourage comment spamming by any means, but posting “relevant” comments on blogs is a great way of creating a voice and getting links back to your website. Alternatively, start your own blog and if the content is interesting, others will link to you.
5. Local PR
It’s time to blow your own trumpet. By getting out there in the community and picking up some PR (preferably good) through traditional mediums like newspapers, radio etc, much of the press generated will be replicated on their websites. If this occurs you will often get a link back to your own website. Note – always include your web address in press releases and ensure any recipients of sponsorship/donations provide a link to you from their websites.
6. Community Bulletin Boards
Bulletin boards are a great way for local communities to share/inform others about local events and activities. They are also a good place to get some local backlinks. As they are generally quite regionally targeted, they will provide a good locally relevant inbound link for your website. Of course, always to try to post information or comments that are relevant and of interest to others, or your links won’t be there for very long.
7. Business Review Websites
There are a host of review websites out there which will often provide regional targeting to their listings (i.e. restaurant guides). So why not submit your business for review (hopefully it’ll be good) and enjoy the regionally relevant link they provide.
There you go – a few simple strategies to get your local link building started. Importantly, whenever you have control over your inbound link text, remember to ensure it is local/regional keyword rich. (i.e. Illinois Painting Service). Happy link building.