Some might not think of local link building as its own unique specialty. Well, you should probably rethink your links if you happen to fall in this category. Local SEO is becoming more and more essential for those who want as much traffic to their site as they can get.
Let’s say that the worst case scenario happens and you lose your search visibility in Google. Wouldn’t it be great if that didn’t completely cripple your business because you had such great local visibility? That’s just one reason why local links are becoming more critical than ever. Plus, according to Erin Everhart, “If you haven’t heard, local SEO is taking over. More than 20 percent of Google searches are for a local business. That number doubles on mobile devices, and it’s starting to show in the SERPs.” But even if you are not a local business, it is still very wise to do some local link building.
Why Are Local Links Important?
Most importantly, local links can bring you relevant and converting traffic. They can also help form in-person relationships that can lead to bigger things such as strategic business partnerships, grant opportunities, and networks for finding new employees or work.
Who Needs Local Links?
Honestly, anyone who has a business with an online presence could benefit from local links. However, the people who need them the most are people whose customer base is local to them.
Types of Local Links
The following are many different types of local links:
- Search engine local sites (Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local)
- Business organizations
- Charities in surrounding area
- Chamber of Commerce
- Local news publications, TV stations, alternative newspapers
- Radio stations
- Local business directories
- City websites
- Local bloggers
- Business partners
- Universities, colleges, trade schools: list internships, employment available
- Meetups and sponsored networking events
Here is a list of the local directories that you need to be listed in:
- City Search
- Urban Spoon and OpenTable (for restaurants)
- Yellow Pages
- Angie’s List
- Express Update USA (formally infoUSA)
- Yahoo Local
- Trip Advisor
- Merchant Circle
- Dex Knows
- Insider Pages
- Shop City
- Judy’s Book
- Yellow Bot
Offline Methods That Can Lead to Links
Meetups are a great way to build business awareness locally. If you do not know of any going on in your area, go ahead and start one! For instance, sponsoring a small networking dinner with other business owners is a great way to learn more about what people near you do for a living, and for them to learn about what you do.
Here is an insight on offline methods from Julie Joyce, Director of Operations for Link Fish Media, Inc. “You may not have a physical office in town but maybe the CEO of a company who lives half a mile from you has been looking for someone to do what you do, wants a local person, and had no idea you were around. Maybe he sends out a monthly email to 50,000 customers and slaps in a link to your site. The possibilities are endless here.”
The Sum of All of This
A good takeaway from all this is that local visibility can be important to every business, even if it’s just to let people know who you are in case they need your services or know someone who does. Local links can also build a great in-person networking system, which certainly never hurts. And remember to make sure that you are not ignoring local in favor of global.