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Link-building is a tried and tested SEO tactic. Developing a strong link-building strategy is smart and necessary to be ranked above your competition. This is particularly true in local SEO, where a few savvy tactics for building links and relationships can give you a huge boost in local search.

According to the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, inbound links are the most important ranking signal. At Brighton SEO last Friday, master of local SEO Greg Grifford shared some tips for link-building.

How link-building differs in local SEO

With local small businesses, said Gifford, you have to think about links in something other than pure numbers. Which is not to say that quantity doesn’t help – but it’s about the number of different sites which link to you, not the sheer number of links you have.

With local SEO, all local links are relevant if they’re in the same geographical area as you. While a link from a low-quality, low-authority website is a bad idea in all other contexts, local SEO is the one time that it's acceptable.

With local SEO, all local links are relevant – it doesn't matter if the business is unrelated. 

Gifford also explained that local links are hard to reverse-engineer. If your competitors don’t understand local, they won’t see the value of these links – and even if they do, good relationships will allow you to score links that your competitors might not be able to.

“It’s all about real-world relationships,” Gifford said.

Once you have these relationships, you can get a ton of local links for less time and effort than it would take you to get a single link from a site with high domain authority.

How should you go about building local relationships to get links?

5 Ways to Gain Local Links

  • Get local sponsorships
  • Donate time or volunteer
  • Be involved in your local community
  • Share truly useful information
  • Be creative in the hopes of scoring a random mention

Local SEO Link Building Ideas

  • Local meetups
    A lot of local meetups don’t have a permanent location, which gives you an opportunity to offer your business as a permanent meeting venue. Or you can sponsor the event and get a local link in return.
  • Local directories
    Find local directories that are relevant to the business you’re working with. Gifford emphasized that these should be genuine local listings where you can provide useful information. Check out our article about local SEO directories.
  • Local review sites
    These are easier to get onto than bigger review websites, and with huge amounts of hyperlocal relevance.
  • Event sponsorships
    Similar to sponsoring a local meetup, a relatively small investment can get you a great link in return. Event sponsorships will normally include your logo, but make sure that they also link back to your site.
  • Local blogs & newspapers
    Local bloggers are hungry to find information to put on their blogs; you can donate time and information to them, and get a killer blog post and link out of the equation. The same is true of local newspapers.
  • Local charities
    Local charities are another way to get involved with the community and give back to it – plus, it’s great for your image. We believe in this and help out numerous non-profit organizations and local community organizations.
  • Local business associations
    Much like local directories, it’s very easy to get listed by a local business association, such as a local bar dealer’s association – make sure there’s a link.
  • Local schools
    These are great if you’re on the Board of Directors, or if your child or your client’s child is at that school. Again, getting involved in a local school is a good way to give back to the community at the same time as raising your local profile.

Decide what links to go after, and go and get them!

Important Things to Remember

So, now you’re all set to go out and gather a cornucopia of local links, all pointing right at your business, right? Well, here are a few points to bear in mind first.

A lot of times, the people you approach won’t know what SEO is. So be careful about how you go about asking for a link; don’t mention links or SEO right off the bat. Instead, focus on the value that will be added for their customers. “This is not about the link; this is about the value that you can provide,” said Gifford.

Once again, it’s about building up long-term, valuable relationships which provide benefit to you and to the local community. When it comes to local SEO, these relationships and the links will be worth more than any links from big, hefty high-domain-authority websites

Original Source: Search Engine Watch

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