Local SEO backlinks are the rank-boosting, traffic-driving assets your small business needs.
It’s easy to assume local sites would be unwilling to give you a link. But there are actually a lot of reasons why local websites would be happy to send their audience your way.
Once you realize how many ways there are to build local SEO backlinks, you’ll soon come up with several specific ideas for your own strategy.
Let's start by breaking down the basics of local SEO backlinks before moving on to proven techniques you can start using today.
Local SEO backlink building is the practice of actively acquiring links from local websites in order to boost your search visibility.
While it’s not as difficult as a lot of small business owners think, it is a long game that requires patience and consistency.
You don’t need to build hundreds of local SEO backlinks to start seeing results, a handful of quality links should do the trick.
And fortunately, there are plenty of useful link building tools available to help you achieve a stronger backlink profile.
With the right tools, local SEO backlinks can be some of the easiest to obtain due to the value of directory listings.
If you're not careful, your website could be penalized for using black hat link building techniques.
Missing links: There’s no need to rack your brain looking for local SEO backlink opportunities. Semrush’s Listing Management quickly pulls up listing opportunities for your small business for some fast local SEO backlink success.
When you manage to score a local SEO backlink, one of the most obvious benefits is that it drives users from the linking website to yours.
This is great news for small businesses specifically targeting people in their location, because local traffic is more likely to convert.
Local SEO backlinks are also used by Google to determine your Page Rank. Each local SEO backlink is like a little vote from the community suggesting you’re a reliable resource.
Some local SEO backlinks are more valuable than others. For example, an established .org or .edu website is likely to pass better link juice to your website than a new local Wordpress blog.
But while general link building focuses on websites with high AS (Authority Scores), local SEO backlinks don’t necessarily need to be rated so highly. The simple fact that they’re local sends a strong enough signal for the purposes of local SEO link building.
As long as you avoid spammy links (like bombarding forums with backlinks), link swapping and shady link building services, lower AS domains are still valid.
The best places for small businesses to start building local SEO backlinks are directories.
Google Business Profile (GBP) is the most important place to list your business and offers multiple local SEO backlink building opportunities.
Of course, your GBP should include your main website address (or location landing page if you service multiple areas), but you can also include links to booking pages, products and services, as well as add links to posts.
Next, earn more local SEO backlinks by building out your business listings. This can be done manually, or you can leverage a local listings tool to speed things up.
Build a list of other local websites you think are worth pursuing for a link, for example:
Don’t be tempted to send out blanket emails simply asking for a link. Instead, consider each opportunity individually and send a thoughtful pitch.
For example, think of something newsworthy your company could do, like a special event or fundraiser for a local charity. Perhaps someone on your team has a good human interest story to share, like having rescued an animal at the workplace.
Donating money to a community cause can also earn you local press coverage and a backlink.
If you’re a new business, you can ask the local press to cover your opening. Try to focus on what makes you different so it’s easier to write an article that stands out.
Send a press release with all the information the journalist might need, including photos and quotes from anyone involved, as well as a link to your website.
Sponsoring local teams builds brand awareness and should also land you a local backlink on the team’s website.
Reach out to suppliers offering a review for their website in exchange for a backlink. Outreach like this can also build stronger bonds with the people you work with.
Search the web for mentions of your brand that don’t include a backlink and ask if the webmaster could add one.
You can use Semrush’s Link Building tool to find local SEO backlink opportunities based on your keywords, lost backlinks and links competitors already have.
Research successful local businesses in other niches for link building ideas.
Ideally, links will appear in anchor text relevant to the keyword targeted on the page, but “visit website” or “click here” links are also valuable.
Not worth it: Be skeptical of local SEO backlink agencies that promise a high number of links every month. Quality link building is a slow process, so results that sound too good to be true probably are. Spammy links can actually harm your local SEO.
One of the best ways to attract quality backlinks is by having content that’s so great, local websites will be inspired to link to it.
Content should include local keywords and demonstrate your expertise and authority in what you do. This builds trust with other local websites and makes them more confident to link to you.
Local competitions and free giveaways are another great way to get websites linking to your content and sharing on social media.
Once you have some content that you know users love, pitch it to local websites as a valuable resource for their audience.
Remember to include internal links on your website's pages to connect your content and make it more accessible.
Attract more customers with listings in top local directories