Rightfully so, many of our local business clients are focused on their websites having good organic rankings. Not only can this in and of itself lead to increased phone calls and leads for the business, but the Google algorithm for determining relevance of a business in Google Maps is closely related to the algorithm for organic search results, which some say can impact the top three positioning in local search results.
Assuming the on page factors of a local website are in line with Google’s guidelines (title tags, meta descriptions, on-page content, etc.), the off-page factors (read in bound links) also affect ranking. Backlinks for local positioning are important.
How best to get backlinks for your local business website (and not get yourself in trouble with Google and its Penguin focus)?
I had the opportunity to recently attend the LocalU Advanced day-long seminar in Williamsburg, VA. Mike Blumenthal and his team put on a great day with a lot of advanced content for local businesses and those who work with them. Well worth my time.
One complete session was devoted to “Inspired Local Linkbuilding Tactics”, a group presentation by some of the best known names in the local arena.
First, think of your local link building as brand building or authority building for your business. You want your prospects to think highly of you before they even contact you.
Here are some tips to that the group presented build backlinks for your local website :
- What local events do you (or should you sponsor)? Email the event host and request a backlink to your website.
- What about providing a local scholarship? This doesn’t have to be a traditional college scholarship, however (vocational school, community college, private or parochial high school, etc., e.g.). Get creative.
- Local government websites
- Local business associations, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, etc.
Here’s a great article with more local backlink building information from Mike Ramsey of Nifty Marketing; Mike was one of the presenters at the LocalU event and definitely knows his stuff.
The list is endless, and there are no hard and fast rules. We’ve found with our clients that those who are most effective (and it’s a slow and steady effort) devote several hours a week to the effort.
Taking this approach can result over time in your solidifying your local online authority and brand position in your marketplace (and keep you in Google’s good graces). Building backlinks for your local business is important; don’t let it go by the wayside.