Link building is hard when you look at the time and resources required to get quality backlinks. As far as SEO tactics go, link building is one of the trickier activities to be successful at. You either need epic content that naturally attracts links, or you need a detailed and proactive outreach program that consistently requests backlinks.
Small and local businesses rarely have the benefit of employing an in-house SEO or content creator to handle the heavy lifting of running effective link building campaigns. If you’re doing it yourself, you must ensure the time you do devote to building links is spent on activities that work for your business, in your niche, in your market.
Link Building is Hard, but Backlinks are Worth It
Backlinks are hyperlinks on a third-party website that direct users to your “back” website through a clickable link. These links are significant factors in where your website ranks in search engine results, whether you’re a local retailer or local service provider.
Link building is part of a comprehensive SEO plan that includes building online citations with consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number), earning backlinks, and creating hyperlocal content consumers in your area want to read, and other websites want to link to.
When you can combine all these ingredients, you create an established, geo-targeted, online presence that is easily recognized by search engines as a good result for local search results pages on relevant queries.
How is Local Link Building Different than Traditional Link Building?
Local link building differs from traditional link building only in where you want to concentrate your efforts. When someone searches with a keyword that shows local intent (i.e., Dallas dentist) that locator signals Google to use a separate algorithm to deliver the most relevant results according to the search user’s location.
With local searches, the geolocation of backlinks is more important than the authority of the source. That means that a dentist who has a backlink from the local chamber of commerce article he got published and the “Best of Dallas” participants list on the local news website has more powerful backlinks than a dentist who has a backlink from a Forbes.com expert panel.
As far as local search is concerned, those local references back to the website mean that area organizations respect a specific business, and they can be trusted as a good result for local search users.
Beat Competitors in Local Search with Link Building
Search engines crawl pages to analyze and add website content (including backlinks, aka inbound links, from external websites) to their indexes so they can decide if a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked high for relevant keywords.
National and global websites need high authority domains to link back to their website – the more, the better. But local businesses benefit more from local link building done with the intention to show search engines their relevance for specific localities.
The sweet spot is when backlinks are both relevant and local to prove to search engines that your business is the best result for local search queries. The added benefit of local backlinks is the increased online exposure for your business and the opportunity to broaden your online audience in the local market.
Local Link Building is Necessary for Local Businesses
While the landscape of local SEO is continually evolving, one thing that has remained a constant is the importance of backlinks in ranking your website on search engines. For a business to thrive, they need to win the competition for online visibility. And nowhere is a business more visible to people with intent to buy then at the top of Google search results pages.
Link building is a crucial component of any digital marketing local and small businesses invest in to attract new customers. Be intentional in the time and resources committed to link building, knowing that your efforts will be rewarded over time.