Local Link Building Strategies That Work

Not a day goes by that I am talking with a local or small business owner, and I mention they need link building to earn links for SEO. They respond, “How do I get links to my website? Will we need to hire a link builder?”.

As the gap shrinks between what Google uses as national ranking factors and what it uses as local ranking factors, it is important to understand local link-building strategies that will help your business rank for local search terms within a geographic area.

So, how do you get links to your website? Below, you will find 6 local link-building strategies to help your local business website rank better within Google. They all have a common theme; try to figure it out.

1: Utilize Your Local Chamber of Commerce

This is one inbound link that every small business should add to its link-building strategy to get great links to its website.

Chamber of Commerce websites are the core of most cities and towns. It’s where many of the movers and shakers meet to talk business, network, and build relationships.

Every city has at least one Chamber of Commerce, and some larger cities like Chicago, Miami, or New York have multiple locations – usually based on neighborhood or surrounding smaller cities. So your next question might be, “Which location should I join?”. The simple answer is, the number of them you can actively engage with – after all, the link from their website is great, but the relationships you build by attending their networking events will pay off ten-fold.

Remember: One of the primary ranking factors that Google uses for ranking local results is the consistency of your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) across local listing websites. So, ensure the NAP you give the local Chamber is the same as you have used across all your local SEO campaigns.

 2: Local Sponsorships

Sponsorships are a great way to build local links for your SEO link-building strategy.

To find local sponsorships, search Google for sponsorship [city]. This will return sponsorships offered by businesses, nonprofits, and institutions in your area.

Remember: When choosing a sponsorship, choosing one that aligns with your beliefs and that you’d be proud to associate with your business is important.

3: Offer College Scholarships

This is one of my favorite link-building strategies, and local or national companies can use it.

Most colleges and high schools will offer scholarships to their students to help offset the rising cost of college education. Providing a scholarship, even if it’s just a few hundred dollars, to a student who needs help paying for tuition or books for college is extremely rewarding.

To find local scholarship opportunities, you can either contact the schools directly or many will have a scholarship page on their website, which will link to external websites offering scholarships.

These pages can be found by typing [school name] + Scholarship into Google.

4: Create City Guides

We like this link-building strategy for small businesses, as it’s all about creating highly valuable content.

We have found that creating city guides is an easy way to get mentions in local media and even links from local convention and visitors bureaus, both of which have local and national value.

Remember: Earning links with these guides is easy; creating them in a way that provides value can be challenging. They must have a great design and include valuable content and data – or you’re wasting time. If you expect your city guide to get found and referenced by local media outlets and CVBs, don’t expect to pay someone a couple hundred dollars to create a graphic – it has to be something amazing.

5: Giving Back

This strategy may not always earn you an inbound link, but it’s a great way to help and give back to your local community.

This strategy is about karma, helping others, and networking with others who believe in giving back.

And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give. – Sir Paul McCartney

6: Partner With Other Local Businesses

Partnering with other local businesses is the new “reciprocal link” strategy.

We often see other companies offering the same or similar services as direct competitors, and we forget that we are all in this together. Most companies have a core service or product, and then, by necessity, they have secondary services (or products) that are simply there to provide a more well-rounded offering.

We at Linchpin SEO found this true when we stopped thinking of every digital agency as a competitor and started learning about what they did well. We could then have a strategic conversation about a mutually beneficial relationship with them.

For example, we don’t offer social media to our clients as a primary service, but we work with some great companies that do. In turn, they offer our SEO, Content Strategy, and Web Design services—all of which position them as leaders and true consultants who help their clients succeed.

Another example is we partner with many firms that do amazing website design work but don’t have the in-house SEO resources to take their website designs to the next level.

So, how does this lead to getting an inbound link to help with your local SEO rankings? Great question. Almost every website is looking for an expert to add value to its website through great content—in short, guest posts.

Not all competitors will be great partners, but when considering the landscape for your business, consider how you can complement a competitor and build a relationship to amplify your sales.

So The Million Dollar Question

What do all these strategies have in common? Do you see the common thread running through each of these link-building strategies? They are all about immersing yourself in and engaging with the community. They are about giving back, networking, becoming a true resource in your local community, and going beyond simply having a website and local business location.