Having others link to your content is a sure fire way to get Google’s attention and build authority. But how on earth does it work on the small scale world of local businesses? We can’t seriously expect to get linked by Wikipedia.org or CNN.com to get better ranking can we? In a purely online situation that would be the best thing to seek: high trafficked, high authority sites to link to your content and avoid low trafficked and low authority sites. however in the realm of local SEO you ought to do the opposite.
Greg Gifford, Director of AutoRevo, has some pretty good insights on how local link building needs to take place. Gifford says,
“If you’re trying to build local relevance, sometimes those low authority local sites can carry a ton of relevance. We love those crappy little church websites, or those local organization sites. A traditional link builder would avoid them like the plague, but they’re exactly the type of site that we local search optimization folks seek out.”
It’s not necessarily the quality of the site: the key here is relevance. Having relevant content to a town or locality makes a link from a neighbor that much more valuable. If you only seek after high profile endorsements or links from outside the city then you are losing a great deal of relevance and potentially wasting resources on visitor that will never lead to a conversion.
Greg gives advice on how to go about landing a local link:
- Analyze your Competitors: Looks at what sites link your competitor’s site and compare that profile to your own. What can you take advantage of that they haven’t? Look at similar business in a neighboring city too, what opportunities are you missing?
- Analyze you Relationships: Have you worked closely with other local businesses? Use that to your advantage. Link to each other’s sites, but always give it some sort of context. Run cross promotions, mention them in blogs. sharing each other’s content can reach across different audiences.
- Earn Local links: Create useful, original content for your site. It takes hard work to earn a link. Make other sites want to link to you. Update your site constantly, give visitors a reason to visit. Your site is a 24/7 online billboard- no one will look at it if it never get’s changed.
Local SEO can be a head scratcher at times, but using normal strategies on a smaller scale still works.
You can read Greg Gifford’s full article at Search Engine Land.