So you want to improve your ranking on local search but you don’t know where to start? While there are many factors that affect local search ranking, your link profile has one of the biggest impacts. In this post, you’re going to learn all about link profiles and how you can improve them for local SEO. Additionally, you can check out the infographic at the end of this post to learn more about other useful tactics for improving your local search ranking.
What is a Link Profile?
Your link profile is the collection of links leading to your site. The quantity and quality of those links will determine the overall quality of your link profile. For example, if you have several high authority sites linking to you, it means you have a good link profile. But if a lot of spammy, suspicious websites link to yours, there’s a good chance it will negatively affect your link profile. Here’s what matters when you’re trying to build a good link profile:
- Quality – First of all, focus on the Domain Authority and visibility of the sites linking to you. And if there are any irrelevant or suspicious sites linking to you, you can disavow these links so Google doesn’t consider them as part of your link profile.
- Quantity – As much as quality is important, quantity also plays a huge role in building a good link profile. Try to reach out to as many high authority websites as possible in order to get linkbacks from them.
- Anchor text – Make sure the anchor text used to link to your site is relevant. And try to avoid having too many keyword-rich anchor texts linking to you, as this may seem “spammy” and unnatural according to search engines. Here’s an example of good anchor text usage, where the anchor text “Chute and Digiday” links to a study conducted by them.
Tips for Building Local Links
If you’re planning to boost your local search ranking, you will need to improve your local link profile. This means you need to start building organic local links, which may be a bit challenging. Here are a few tips to help you out:
Build Relationships Locally
If your business has been around for a couple of years, chances are that you already have some kind of relationship with other local businesses. If not, try building relationships with businesses that you regularly interact with. Nurture these relationships for a chance to gain healthy local links. You can try –
- Providing honest testimonials for local businesses like restaurants, service providers, vendors, charities, etc.
- Participating in events they’ve organized
- Getting included in their resource list of partners or preferred vendors
Kahn’s Catering, for instance, creates lists of preferred vendors in photography, venues, event planning, entertainment, retail, etc. This is a great opportunity for you to gain local links for these preferred vendors.
Interact with the Community
Get involved in the community in order for a chance to earn healthy backlinks locally. The idea is to get featured on local websites, blogs, or publications; which will then link to you. Although this may require some financial investment along with planning and effort, the results make it worthwhile. Some of the ways you can interact with the community are:
- Hosting or sponsoring a community event
- Participating in a local award or contest
- Hosting or sponsoring a local charity
- Sponsoring a local club, sports team or organization
- Featuring a local group or important community member in your blog
- Starting a scholarship for local students
- Starting a discount for veterans, alumni associations, etc.
Many local websites and blogs create a resource of upcoming events in the community. Local blogs like Jax Chronicles, for instance, maintain a list of local events in the Sacramento area. If your event gets a chance to be featured in one of these resources, you could earn valuable local links.
Sponsoring local sports teams, organizations, and clubs is also a chance to be featured in authority websites as these sites will list their sponsors. For example, the West Sacramento Little League baseball team lists their sponsors along with links to each sponsor’s website.
Connect with Local Influencers
Local influencers may be bloggers, journalists, politicians, activists, community leaders, and more. Connect with these influencers and build a relationship with them in order to earn quality links from local websites and publications. Here are a few ideas you can implement when connecting with local influencers –
- Partner with local bloggers and get featured on their blog
- Interview a prominent community influencer for your blog
- Host a special event for these local influencers
For example, you could sponsor blog post content for a local blogger. Red Robin made use of this technique and worked with Ashley of Peek and Ponder. The blogger wrote a piece about her experience at the restaurant and included a link to the website.
Get Listed in Local Resources/Directories
Getting listed in local directories is a great way to build local citations and improve your link profile. Find high authority local websites that have local resources listed. Reach out to –
- City council websites
- Local libraries
- Local nonprofits and charities
- Official city websites
- Local organizations, clubs, groups, and associations
- Local media and publications like magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.
Let’s say you’re in an industry related to construction, you could try to get listed on a local website related to building. For example, the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange could be a great place for Sacramento-based construction businesses to get listed. You could either get listed in their Industry Links section (pictured below) or their Classifieds section based on what type of business you have.
You now have a better idea about local links and how to build them to improve your link profile. Building quality links locally will help you reach out to a relevant local audience. And you’re also boosting your local search ranking, making your local SEO efforts highly effective.