Over the last few years, local link building has evolved a lot. Gone are the days when you could just purchase a bunch of links from an automated tool to build up your website. If you were to do that now, then Google would punish you for that quite severely.
Get Creative – Get Others Building for You
One option for building links is to get other people to want to link to you. Offer discounts for colleges and universities or for ex military people. Make a landing page that explains the discount, and that will allow you to reach out to those establishments to build links. This might require a bit of legwork on your part, but once you have the page up and running and a few people know about it they will spread the word for you and this can be quite effective.
Meet Up With Locals
Another great place to reach people is Meetup.com – you can find local groups in your area and get talking to people in your industry. Branch out to other networking options and get to know people. If you have a facility that is big enough, then offer to host meetings for people.
If your products allow it or you have a bit of room in your budget, then sponsor local school or university teams in return for a link. There are lots of small community groups that are always looking for sponsors and this can be a good way to get your name out there.
Social media lets you run events quite easily and bring people to your business. Run a cook-off, a holiday market or a barbecue. Invite local artisans and makers, and you’re helping them to grow their business at the same time, which can be great PR for you.
Create a Page Full of Local Resources
Make a page on your website where you share information about your favorite local attractions, restaurants, etc. This is a much more interesting way of sharing links than a directory that talks about mundane services. Resource pages are engaging and actually add some value for the reader as well. Be honest and authentic, and link to great venues even if they don’t link to you.
Give Out Awards or Win Some
Most communities already have some awards,but you can never have too many chances for a businesses to win something. If you’re in a position to do so, host your own awards for other local businesses and let your customers vote. In addition, research some awards in your local area and make sure that you put your name down. If you get shortlisted then it’s great publicity, and will likely mean you get a link on the award website. If you win, then it’s even better.
Even relatively new businesses will have relationships with some people in the local area, and as your business grows you should be looking to build even more. Try to give something back to those businesses, whether it’s shared discounts, or publicity. Businesses don’t have to be directly related to yours to be of use. You can get benefit from a local link even if it isn’t directly in your niche. Do try to build relationships with complementary businesses though.
Work With Local Celebrities
If you have links to someone who is a celebrity in your area, then try to get them on board with your company. It’s likely that you know a celebrity or two, and if you don’t, then that’s something to put your networking skills to use with. Having the Mayor give his seal of approval, or having a radio star talk about your business on their show will go a long way towards adding credibility to your business and helping to ensure that it stands out from the competition in your local area.