Why are local rankings so important to me, and why should you care about them? If you are working in a niche market or selling a product or service that is very reliant on local clientele, local ranking should be your no.1 concern. Slightly dramatic but necessary. If you run a butchers or manage a garage serving the local community, these are the people you should be most concerned about reaching online.
So, what are the best kind of links for local clients?
It’s difficult not to state the obvious here - we want links that we know the competition won’t have. Don’t take this the wrong way and start targeting links on blog rolls and so on just because you know your competitors won’t be targeting them – there’s a reason for this. Blog roll links used to be viewed as beneficial, but nowadays they’re something you should stay away from as they can cause your site to be penalised… and no one wants that!
We want to build links that are relevant, unique and local to our site – local blogs, non-profit sites and university sites are all good examples of the type of links we prefer, especially if they include our location in the domain name. Here are some examples:
- Comments on local blogs – I know there may be a few skeptics crying out ‘spammer’ and ‘that was so last year’ in response to this example, though maybe not with as much attitude. However, if your ensure that your comments contribute to the topic, add value and engage in the conversation, you’ll find it a lot easier to sneak a link in there – whether it is to your own site or places page.
- Guest Blogging on Local Blogs – This is a favourite method of mine. Why?, I hear you ask. Because you will almost certainly be in the minority. This can be somewhat of a time consuming task and for that reason it will be neglected by many of your competitors. It can, however, be very rewarding. Providing a local blog with useful, interesting content and including a link back to your site is really great for local rankings.
- Share the Love – Local businesses thrive on reputation – it can make or break a company. Just one bad review can be enough to drive potential customers away and leave them with the wrong impression. This can work in your favour in two ways. Firstly, when offering up testimonials and reviews to other local businesses, you should be able to leave a link back to your site at the end of the review. Secondly, from a non-SEO point of view, leaving reviews for other local businesses will encourage them to return the favour and write (hopefully) positive reviews about your business online.
Not only will these three tips provide you with some great local SEO ranking factors, they’re also an efficient way of interacting with your local community and ultimately your client base. Building relationships and trust with clients is one of the cheaper ways of ensuring you build up a loyal following who are willing to do business with you.
What methods do you use to improve local ranking? Share your tips in the comment box below, we’d love to hear them!