The link building industry is almost entirely based around national or international, unfocused strategies. Attempting to generate as much traffic through spread links around the web, it can be effective but also forces you to expand your competition bracket. Which means you are casting too wide a net to center your audience.
Unfortunately, the local link building market is harder to get into. That is why so many people choose to go with the first process instead of spending more time and effort on the second. Which inevitably reduces the efficiency of their overall marketing campaign.
What you need are some proven strategies for targeting a local market in your link building. Here are a few ways you can better achieve that.
Foster Relationships With Local Bloggers
Everyone says this, and yet few people really utilize the tool. Getting links from local bloggers, especially those who have a large audience in your city or state, is one of the easiest ways to build useful backlinks.
The reason so many people ignore this is that they don’t know how to find enough bloggers to get more than one or two links. Or they might feel like they are stuck with sites that hardly have any traffic and no social media presence.
But there are some sites that have large directories of local bloggers. For example, Bloglines is a beta site that has a huge following already. They have all US states, and include most major cities and even a fair amount of small ones.
Use The Right Search Engine
While running a search for links isn’t really a great way to go long term, it will give you a fair start. Especially when you have some time to dedicate to the process. But you need to have a specific search engine to use, and you have to know how to use it to find local opportunities.
First of all, Open Site Explorer is going to be your best bet for a tool. While you can use any search engine, this one is made specifically for links.
Now comes the leg work: manually begin to search local business categories. I know this is a massive pain, but it is a highly effective way to find links. Which, at the very least, gives you a genuine chance at analyzing the local market and finding some chances at your own links.
To check a link’s popularity directly from the website, check out this cool little tool from SEO Centro.
Turn To Official Sources
If you are running a business (which you probably are), you can take advantage of the endless resources at your disposal from local agencies. This is one of the strongest means of generating a local link that there is, though it can cost money and take some time and effort to get it done.
For example, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one place, or the local Chamber of Commerce. You can also check out any local business group that is membership only and join up. Or try a local community group for small businesses, or join a local business directory.
Bonus Tip – Local Networking
Of course, you can also organize meet ups. Meetup.com is an obvious choice, or put an ad on Craigslist. You can also get to know local bloggers or small businesses and create an affiliate meet up. Not only will this improve relationships that could be massively beneficial, but you could gain some mention to those readers or customers and get your name out there.
Targeting a local market is always a better idea than casting too wide a net for a national audience right away. Building links following a local strategy takes more time, but it yields stronger results than just aimlessly wandering the web attempting to gain a couple of strong links in random places.
Once you have dominated than local market – or just established a firm foothold – you can start expanding. Let the above tips help you get there.
Tom Peters is the search and social blogger for Quantum SEO Labs, the premiere link building service company preaching the high-quality approach to gaining backlinks.