From distributing press releases to involving yourself in the community, here are the 12 answers to the question, “What are your best, Google-compliant strategies that a local business can use to build quality backlinks to their website?”
Regularly Distribute Digital Press Releases
Each month, try to publish brand content to both local and national TV, radio, and newspaper distributions. Make sure those press releases include links to both your Google Business Profile (GBP) and your website.
The type of content you can release every month can range from sales, special offers, and holiday discounts to news and updates like events, trade shows, and partnerships.
This steady stream of news gives your business content for your own blog, and your social media channels, and builds prominence on the web with trusted online publications linking back to your website.
Reach Out to Journalists and Media Offering Quotes
Local businesses can write journalists and media sources through various mediums, such as HARO or Terkel, to earn publicity and spots in media publications.
Journalists are always seeking expert sources or contributors and forming symbiotic relationships with business leaders who can provide quotes and other material. PR has recently transitioned into a digital marketing strategy as these outreach efforts drive backlinks business use to grow their websites.
Many outreach tools and resources are also free for businesses to leverage. All you need is time, writing ability, and expertise to farm backlinks by yourself or with a small team.
Use Google’s Tools for Local Businesses
For local businesses, it’s important to focus on where your customers are in relation to your business. Using local search engines like Google Maps and Google My Business will help you identify and target these places, as well as your competitors.
Using your Google My Business account can be a great way to get your website linked to Google search results. You can update and optimize your business profile on Google My Business by ensuring your website and contact information is up-to-date.
By optimizing your profile, you increase the chances that it will appear on search results and you will gain more backlinks.
Search for Unlinked Mentions
One strategy a local business can use to help them build quality backlinks is taking advantage of unlinked mentions. Unlinked mentions are when someone references your company or product but does not include a link to your site.
You can find these mentions using a tool like Google Alerts, Ahrefs.com, or Mention. Once you have identified a few potential unlinked mentions, reach out to the author and ask if they would include a link back to your site.
Building links through unlinked mentions can increase your website’s authority and help you rank higher in search engine results.
Try a Reporter Outreach Organic Approach
Reporter outreach is an organic approach that small businesses can take to earn more backlinks online. Using platforms such as Terkel can be a great way to connect with journalists who are seeking sources for articles and blogs.
Answer the right questions and you may find that a variety of journalists value your insights. Before you know it, your backlinks will grow, as well as your business’s online presence.
Build a Value-Adding Presence on Local Online Forums
As a local business, you have lots to gain by becoming a resourceful authority in online forums associated with your locality. Diligently take part in discussions on those forums and strive to add as much unique value to those forums, even with no immediate promise of adding your website link to your post.
Don’t worry; the moderators are likely watching your level of participation. After substantially merging your reputation with the premium value you have generously offered, the moderators would loosen the ropes and let you intermittently add your website link (either in your signature) or directly in the post you make.
It has to be a win-win transaction. Help the moderator engage their audience, and they would help you promote your business.
The alarm bells only go ringing when you jump on a forum, and from the start, you are already spraying your links on posts. That fast-and-furious link-building approach probably worked in 2000, but it doesn’t today anymore.
Hire a Ghostwriter
There are many journalists, copywriters, and creative writers who are looking for work—even if that work is a side-hustle gig that allows them to apply their skills.
There are many ways for news outlets and blogs to solicit responses to queries that generate quotes and content for their daily and enterprise news stories. In exchange for those quotes, they will provide hyperlinks, which are backlinks that take readers to your website.
Hire a writer who will do that kind of work on your behalf. They’ll send scads of responses to queries and get a portion of them posted with the accompanying backlink. That will result in more website traffic for you.
Ghostwriters can get paid per backlink for such a service. It’s a side job that many quality writers will enjoy having. It’s also an effective and affordable marketing tactic—one that requires little effort on your end as long as you hire a good writer or team of writers.
Check the “journorequest” Hashtag on Twitter
#journorequest is a hashtag commonly used by journalists on Twitter when they are looking for input from an expert or source on a particular topic. Local businesses can use this hashtag to connect with journalists looking for sources by providing their expertise for a link to their website.
This will help them gain quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites. But, of course, reply only to relevant requests and provide value with your answer.
In the end, the journalist should be able to find the answer or solution they are looking for from a veritable expert. Also, it is important to avoid self-promotional language as it will turn off the journalist and negatively affect your reputation.
Leverage Your Relationship With a Local Industry Body
Most businesses belong to an industry body or chamber of commerce. Leveraging the relationship can open doors to being featured in blog content.
For example, our client, an Australian property management company, is a member of REIWA (Real Estate Institute of Western Australia). We used Hunter.io to track down their content manager, and reached out, pitching a blog post about how to increase your rental property yield. They loved the idea and featured our client’s tips with a link back to their website.
Bonus: REIWA’s domain (like many industries/chamber of commerce sites) is so trusted that the blog post now owns the featured snippet for “increase rental income” in Google Australia.
Showcase Original Solution-Enriched Content
Showcasing original solution-enriched content is one of the best ways to get the right attention. As Google’s parameters go, it is also one of the cleanest and most effective ways to gain quality backlinks.
First, content that is original does not raise any red flags and safely passes through Google’s list of regulations. Second, since this content has ready answers and solutions, it also proves helpful to the audience.
In both cases, the content is viewed as authoritative and useful; and, besides gaining quality backlinks from various users and businesses, it will also catch the attention of Google’s white-hat-friendly algorithms.
Sponsor Local Events
Sponsoring local events is the best link-building strategy for local businesses. Your website will naturally receive backlinks from the event planner website, and you can expand your media reach to gain some high-quality press links to news websites.
This approach can cause an immediate win because you’ll simply be reaching in front of journalists that cover local news, and the best part is that links will comply with Google’s guidelines.
Get Involved With Your Community
Local businesses support their community’s organizations from kids’ baseball teams to women’s business associations.
Many businesses look at this support to get their name out to the public, but asking for a link back from these organizations is often an overlooked opportunity.
Create a list of current organizations that your local business supports and reach out to ask for a link from their websites to yours. In the future, when asked to sponsor events and organizations, ask for a link back.
How is Your Business Performing Online?
Find out how well your business is performing online with our assessment report that scans the web for your business and reports how you stack up online in six key marketing categories.
Building quality backlinks to your website will directly impact how well your pages rank in search, and give ample oppurtunities for visitors to discover your website through other pages.
Use these tips to start building backlinks today! If you need help or have questions, please reach out to us.