Congratulations! Now you can quadruple traffic for your local business.
What kind of impact would that amount of traffic make on your local brick-and-mortar store?
A tremendous one, I am sure!
The good news is you can enjoy that effect with the help of local link-building.Local link-building is the process of getting other local websites to link back to yours. Once you start building local backlinks, they will become a sign of trust among search engines. If you achieve enough links, not only will you attract highly targeted search engine traffic, but you will also beat your competitors in the SERPs.
Want to know how? Let’s begin by taking a look at what studies are saying about local link-building.
Why Do You Need Local Link-Building for Your Business?
- 46% of all Google searches have Local Intent (Search Engine Roundtable);
- “Near Me” searches have grown by 150%, as compared to traditional local-based searches (Google); and
- 74% of all local searchers walk into the store on the same day of their search (Google).
So, by incorporating local link-building, there will be more chances of consumers visiting your brick-and-mortar store on the same day they found your business online with a local search.
Let me tell you a local story to back up these facts.
EZ Rankings shared a case study in which they improved the local online presence of a school named Art’Com Sup in the Moroccan market. Previously, the school was struggling to make enough sales. With the mixture of local link-building and other local SEO strategies, the website’s traffic improved by 48%, which led to 2X more sales. As a bonus, the bounce rate on their site was reduced to 25%. Today, Art’Com Sup’s local keywords are ruling the first page of Google.
Amazing! But it sounds too easy, right?
Well, the key reason they generated local traffic is because they built high-quality local backlinks to their site.
How Does Local Link-Building Contribute to Your Local Rankings?
First, let me give you a brief explanation of what a Map Pack (i.e.,“The Local Pack”) is? The Map Pack is the box of the first three local business results, along with their location, pulled from Google Maps. For example, when you search for “Street Food Brooklyn”, Google shows you a Map Pack of three results at the top:
You must be thinking:“Why are you telling me such common knowledge?” Because, according to RankRanger, 29% of all Google searches show a local pack in their results. So, if you want to earn organic links from search engines, you will have to rank for the Map Pack first.
In 2018, Moz ran its annual study of Local Search Ranking Factors,in which they found having a Google My Business profile as the #1 factor to rank in the Local Pack, followed by Links and Reviews at #2.
With the support of your Google My Business profile and local backlinks, search engines will see your website as a trusted source. As a result, Google will reward your website with Local Pack rankings. This will generate organic traffic, which will later turn into new customers. Finally, you will enjoy sales growth!
For that, you have to build local links to raise relevant SEO traffic and increase your local authority.Here’s how.
7 Link-Building Strategies to Increase Traffic and Sales for Your Local Business
1. Start with NAP Citations.
NAP stands for “Name, Address, and Phone Number”. NAP citations are the places that list your name, address, and phone number. Local directories like Yelp and Superpages are examples of NAP citations.
NAP citations are one of the key local SEO ranking factors. They are a great place to start your local link-building journey, as you simply need to submit your business information to reputable online sites.
One of the most essential places to submit the NAP of your local business is Google My Business (GMB). For everything you enter into GMB, Google matches it with your website and displays your accurate business location to its searchers.
From there, Google sends traffic to your website after your business starts to appear in local searches. Call it a Google Backlink—one of the strongest sources of backlinks you will ever get.
After submitting accurate information to GMB, you will make headway for recognizable online directories like Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, and Superpages to expand your network. (Note: Google not only verifies your GMB NAP from your website, but it also matches your GMB NAPwith other sources where your business information exists. So, make sure your business NAP is same across all sources, including third-party sites.)
To find more local opportunities to enter your business information, search for “your city + niche + directory” on Google. For example, if you offer financial services in London, type “London Financial Services Directory” into Google.
2. Get Involved with Local Communities.
If you can manage links from your local church groups, cultural groups, business services companies, or Chamber of Commerce, then you will have a significant impact on local SEO rankings by earning natural visibility from your local target market, which will turn into more in-store visits, and, as a result, more sales!
Let’s say it’s quite a bit easier to get backlinks from your local Chamber of Commerce. All you have to do is find the Chamber of Commerce in your local area. For example, type “London Chamber of Commerce” into Google. Search results will show you the local association sites that promote businesses of particular industry.
Look at this example of a Chamber of Commerce Backlink for a car wash business:
Image Source: London Chamber of Commerce
Some Chambers of Commerce ask for annual fee, while some offer a lifetime membership, depending on their policies. Either way, they come with the benefit of super-relevant links, which increase your traffic. As a complimentary, they allow you to put your NAP along with your link.
Another tip to follow is to write to other local organizations on your site and ask to trade links. You can put their link on your website in exchange for them putting your link on their website.
One more option is to write a piece of news that is relevant to your local community and share it with a local newspaper, along with your link and NAP.This will give you great exposure for only a few minutes of writing.
3. Reach Out to Local Bloggers and Influencers.
If your neighbor shared a great experience of a newly opened local restaurant, would you give it try? Of course!People like to experience the places, products, and services that have been reviewed by their neighbors, family, and friends. These days, sharing experiences online has become big business for bloggers and influencers. They share their experiences via reviews, blogs, videos, and more. You can take advantage of this by gaining links from local bloggers and influencers who are relevant to your niche.
Here are a few ways to find local bloggers and influencers in your local area.On Google, type in:
- “your location + niche + blogger”
- “your location + niche + influencers”
- “your location + niche + reviews”
For example, if you offer taxi services in London, you can try searching for “London Travel Bloggers” or “London Tourist Reviews”.
Acquiring such links are as easy as reaching out to local bloggers and influencers. Some of them may ask for money, while some will be happy to offer an honest review in exchange of a free meal or any of your free services.
4. Sponsor Local Events.
Local events are always on a quest for sponsors. In exchange, they offer mentions of and links to the businesses who sponsored them.
For example, this local “Walk to End Epilepsy” site has a page that links to their sponsors:
It’s not necessary to donate cash. You can consider donating your products or services instead. For example, how about offering free lunch if you have a restaurant?Or organizing a tour to some good local places if you’re a travel agent?
Type the below given queries into Google to find local sponsorship opportunities:
- “sponsor + city name”
- “sponsorship + city name”
- “inurl:sponsors + city name”
- “intitle:sponsors + city name”
- “intext: sponsors + city name”
Visit the sites offered by SERPs and see if they’ve linked back to their sponsors. Once you are satisfied, contact the organization and ask if they can sponsor your business, too, in exchange for your freebies.
5. Publish Local Press Releases.
Local news sites crave local stories. They’re always on the hunt for stories to fill their pages and give their audience new food for thought about their local area.If you can offer them these stories for free, then you will get good exposure and backlinks from local users. The only catch is you will have to give them something interesting to publish. A press release on an upcoming anniversary, event, reopening would be a safe bet.
Look at this Riga Street Food Festival news on The Baltic Times website:
Contact your local publications and newspapers and ask if they will publish your news article or story. Give them a press release a few days in advance so that they can prepare for the story.
6. Track Your Brand Mentions.
If local users are talking about your business online, then half the work of getting backlinks is done. You just need to track online mentions of your brand and make sure that users have linked to your website, as sometimes users talk about your brand but forget to include your link.
Use a free tool like Google Alerts and set phrases to receive alerts for your brand; this way, you can monitor your mentions. If you find brand mentions without your link, send a thank-you email to the user(s)who mentioned you and request that they include your link.
You can monitor your competitors’ mentions the same way. Customers who mention your competitors are more likely to give your products or services a try. For example, if a local food blogger published a review of your competitor, you can contact them and ask if they are interested in trying out your food and posting a review for your restaurant, too (with your link attached, of course!).
7. Spy on Competitors’ Backlinks.
Don’t forget to follow your competitors’ backlinks, too. Tools like Ahrefs and Moz’s Open Site Explorer give you a list of sites that link back to your competitors. This can be a whole new source of websites to visit, connect with, and add to your growing list of backlink sharers.
Local link-building is one of the most important strategies to build traffic for your local business. It spreads awareness among your local population and invites them to try out your products or services. Once you start generating organic local links, your local SEO will improve, and Google will reward your site with higher local rankings, and a place in The Map Pack, too!
Now, it’s your turn to try out all the discussed strategies and come back to let us know what worked best for you!