Link building is a marketing practice of acquiring backlinks to your website from other websites. The goal of link building is to increase the visibility and authority of your website in search engines, which leads to higher rankings, an increase in traffic, and, ultimately, more business success.
However, when you add local businesses into the mix, it gets tricky. You need to apply a special set of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices to get the best results.
In this article, we will explore why local backlinks are critical for the success of your local SEO efforts and how you can incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
What are Local Backlinks?
Local backlinks are links from websites relevant to a specific geographic location that point to a target website. These links signal to search engines that the target website is relevant and authoritative within that location, which can help improve its visibility in local search results.
For example, if a local restaurant has a website and receives a backlink from a local food blog or directory, that signals to search engines that the restaurant is a trusted and relevant business. This improves the restaurant’s visibility in local search results for keywords related to food and dining in that location, increasing the number of visitors.
Local backlinks should be your priority if you solely serve a local population. However, if your business caters to local, regional, and national customers, you can always opt for a complete backlink package service that improves both your local and general backlink game.
It’s important to note that local backlinks should come from high-quality, relevant sources, as links from low-quality or spammy websites can harm a website’s visibility in search results. Additionally, local backlinks should be relevant to the targeted location and the type of business, as irrelevant links may not positively impact local SEO.
Businesses that serve customers within a specific geographic area should use local SEO. This includes:
- Retail stores
- Service-based businesses (e.g., dental practices, law firms, home repair services)
- Hotels and lodging providers
- Health and wellness services (e.g., spas, gyms)
- Automotive dealerships
- Home service providers (e.g., plumbers, electricians) and others.
Local SEO is essential for businesses that rely on foot traffic, as many people use local search to find nearby businesses that can meet their needs.
In addition to physical businesses, local SEO can also be beneficial for online-only businesses. For example, an e-commerce website that ships products only to customers within a specific state or region can use local SEO to increase its visibility in search results for those areas.
Why Local Backlinks are Essential for Local SEO
Local backlinks positively affect these seven important aspects of business success:
1. Search Engine Rankings
Google and other search engines use backlinks as a ranking factor in their algorithms. Websites with a large number of high-quality backlinks are considered more authoritative and relevant, which can help them rank higher in search results.
In addition, search engines use location-based signals to determine which websites are most relevant for local search queries. Local backlinks add additional signals to search engines about your website’s relevance to a specific geographic area.
2. Referral Traffic
Backlinks can send referral traffic to your website. For example, when someone clicks on a link from another website, they are directed to your site, thus increasing your website’s traffic and exposure to potential customers.
3. Credibility, Trust, and Relevance
Getting local backlinks from reputable sources increases the credibility and relevance of your business in the eyes of local customers. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses and startups.
The majority of consumers use online searches before visiting a store. If they find mentions of your business in various sources and at the top of search results, they have more reason to trust you. Links to your website act as an endorsement and signal to search engines and potential customers that your business is trustworthy and deserving of high rankings.
Local link building allows you to establish yourself as an expert in your field. The most efficient way to do this is through content creation. When sharing content for local link-building purposes, you should approach relevant sites that speak to your target audience.
Pitch a blog idea with helpful information to a relevant local site, and include a link to your website to help viewers get to it. If you get published, potential customers may read the article and find it useful, and keep you in mind when they need a product or service you offer.
5. Competitive Advantage
Local backlinks can help you compete with other businesses in the same area for visibility in local search results and to get more customers. Additionally, if your competitors don’t invest in link building, you are one step ahead of them.
Oftentimes local businesses don’t invest in SEO; you can stand out among the competition, especially in smaller, more rural areas. Say you own a bakery, and someone conducts a Google search for local bakeries. Your shop might be the only place that shows up on result pages, depending on your area.
Local link building allows you to connect with and cooperate with other local businesses to create connections that benefit both parties. A local business owner may suggest your company to their customers because you share the same base, and you can do the same for them.
Like you, local businesses in your neighborhood seek referral traffic and marketing opportunities. They are less likely to reject you when you approach them with a win-win opportunity to collaborate and increase exposure for both sides.
Still, be careful who you exchange backlinks with. Target only relevant businesses, and make sure your links appear naturally on their websites. For example, if you’re a bookstore owner, collaborating with a local plumber doesn’t make much sense. However, you can join forces with carpenters who build and sell bookcases or a local book club.
7. Foot Traffic and Sales
Foot traffic measures the number of people visiting a physical location, such as a store, mall, or park, and can indicate a location’s popularity or success. Foot traffic can be affected by various factors such as location, weather, time of day, events, and promotions.
Retail stores often use foot traffic metrics to evaluate performance and decide on store layout, product placement, and marketing strategies. With local backlinks building up your position on search results, it is more likely for potential customers to find your business, visit in person and make a purchase.
Is it Hard to Obtain Local Backlinks?
- Develop valuable and relevant content for your target audience, and ensure it is well-optimized for search engines.
- Engage on social media: Using platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, and Instagram helps reach customers outside of your website, and it’s also one of the easiest ways to create a backlink to your website. For example, by simply including your website’s URL on your Facebook page, you’ve created a backlink! You can do the same on your Instagram, TikTok, and other social media.
- Reach out to local organizations, such as business associations and community groups, to create potential link-building opportunities.
- List your business in relevant directories, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business.
- Connect with local journalists and bloggers, and offer to provide information or resources for their articles.
- Reach out to local websites and offer to write a guest post in exchange for a link back to your website.
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and links to your website on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and similar sites.
- Engage in the community by attending and supporting sporting, charity, and other types of events. Besides exposure, it is a great way to give back to your community.
Use Local Linkbuilding to Boost Your Business Success
Now that you know how local backlinks can help your business, you can create a strategic plan to obtain them.
By creating high-quality content and reaching out to other local businesses with websites, you can establish a great backlink profile that will help drive your local SEO efforts.