Building links from reputable sites can be a challenge, especially if you’re a local business and only serve a specific area. That being said, they’re essential for a strong online presence, so you need to build them to succeed on the Internet.
But instead of pitching national publications and news sites, focus your energy on local opportunities. These are not only more attainable, but also more likely to reach local readers who can become customers. We looked at some of these opportunities in a previous blog post, but there are many more if you’re willing to go beyond the basics.
If you’re ready to use real-life connections to build links online, the following seven opportunities can help you grow your business.
Does your business give back to the community? Team up with a non-profit or other organization, and they will be more than happy to provide a link to your site. This is especially true if they’ve posted photos of your employees volunteering.
Not only will this help with your SEO, but it will also help build goodwill within the community. This can be a huge help for your business, and considering that many employees today value opportunities to give back at work, it can also help boost team morale and workplace happiness.
Basically, creating opportunities for your employees to volunteer within the local community has a ton of benefits for your business. And if a link is one of them, that’s even better.
No matter how small your city or town is, it almost definitely has some sort of visitor’s bureau or tourism resource. Do a quick Google search to find yours, and check to see if they include local business listings.
If you run a restaurant, store, hotel, or any other kind of business that visitors to the area might need, you have a perfect link building opportunity. Not only will it help your site, but it can also send tourists directly to your physical storefront.
Many areas have groups that give awards to local businesses based on their customer ratings, growth, volunteer efforts, and other indicators of success. If you’ve never looked for them, identify the organizations in your area that do so and look into what the requirements are for consideration.
If your business qualifies for an award, submit all of the information they need. Even if you only end up as a nominee, you may still get a link out of it – and the recognition as one of the top businesses in your area.
Contractors and other service providers
Have you recently remodeled your office? Held a catered event? Or needed a plumber or electrician?
If you were happy with the service they provided, you can help both of your businesses by writing a customer testimonial.
Testimonials and other forms of social proof help businesses across all industries show potential customers that they’re trustworthy. Any service provider will appreciate a positive testimonial, and many businesses feature them on their sites with links back to the source.
Of course, this is only a valid strategy if you’ve truly had great service. Writing glowing testimonials for sub-par businesses will show potential customers that you’re dishonest, which can ultimately harm your marketing strategy in the long run.
As blogging continues to grow in popularity, there’s a good chance that there are a few well-known bloggers in your city or region. If you don’t know who they are, it may take some digging to find out. Depending on your industry, it would definitely be worth your time.
Once you’ve identified a handful of local bloggers, read through their posts to see whether or not any of them are relevant to your target audience.
For example, if you run a restaurant, a local food blog would be a great opportunity to get a link that’s related to your niche. If you run a daycare, on the other hand, your potential customers might regularly read a local parenting blog.
Reach out to relevant bloggers and provide something valuable. Whether this means free samples for review or a discount for the readers, be sure that there’s a clear benefit to mentioning your business on their blog. This is essentially small-scale influencer marketing, and it can help your brand gain valuable exposure.
Starting and running a successful local business is difficult. Since you’ve been able to do so, there are plenty of people who would love to hear how you did it and many would benefit from your expertise.
Share this knowledge, and look for speaking opportunities at schools, networking groups, clubs, and other local organizations. In most cases, this will earn you a link from the hosting organization when they schedule your talk on their site, and you might even reach local news sites depending on the scope of the event.
Keep in mind that it may be difficult to land your first few speaking opportunities, and don’t be afraid to start small. As you build your reputation as a speaker, it will gradually become easier to get involved with more well-known (and higher-DA) organizations.
Does your business offer discounts to high school or college students? If so – or if you’re willing – look on local high school and college sites to see if there are opportunities to let students know.
Many colleges in particular have pages that show students all of the places where they can use their student ID to receive discounts. If you participate, you’ll not only attract the business of college students, but you could also earn a valuable .edu link in return.
Know of any other local link building opportunities?
As a local business, the links you are able to build are somewhat dependent on the other organizations in your area. But with a little digging – and a willingness to be active in the community – there are plenty of opportunities to grow your reach online.
Have you had success with any of the above link building strategies? Let me know in the comments below!