01 Mar 2018

7 Ways to Build Your Local Link Development Portfolio

Link development campaigns are most successful when there is a strategy involved. One strategy could be content-focused which involves selecting your best linkable assets and leveraging it to industry-related webmasters that would best benefit from the content.

Another effective strategy is focusing on your businesses location and creating a local & digital footprint to your website. Local link development is extremely valuable for your business as well as your local target audience. That’s what we like to call a win-win strategy!  In fact, a link development strategy that involves quality content creation and local link building is ideal for any size and type of business.

We’ve gathered the most successful techniques to build your link development portfolio. Below you’ll find 7 ways to help implement your local link development campaign and set your business up for local link building success.

1. Join the local Chamber of Commerce

There are several advantages of joining your local chamber of commerce and many offer membership perks such as exclusive advertising opportunities, networking opportunities and events, and digital/print exposure for member businesses.

Joining the chamber of commerce brings credibility and local attraction to your business. According to a study conducted by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street Services, when consumers know that a small business is a member of their local Chamber they are 44% more likely to think favorably of it and 63% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

There’s a huge digital advantage when joining your local chamber of commerce, as all businesses associated with the chamber are listed on the website. This listing increases your businesses’ local and digital visibility by directing visitors to your website. Some even highlight members in newsletters, referring potential customers to their members. Chambers also offer exclusive networking and community involvement events, allowing you to market your business to other members and businesses in your area.

2. Local Events & Meetup Groups

Have you ever thought about hosting an educational workshop, community meetup, fundraiser, or networking event? Frequenting local events will allow you to connect with potential customers from your target audience, develop community partnerships and increase your brand’s digital visibility.

Hosting a local event can also bring in potential customers who want to learn more about your business, and otherwise may not have known about your brand. This is a great way to build awareness of your business in your community and in search engine results. (Win-win!)

When creating your event, think about tailoring it to your community’s demographics. You can develop links by pitching your event to local news outlets and they may post it on an events web page or cover it as a story. List your event on relevant websites that post local events in the community, as these sites typically link back to your event page.

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3. Local Scholarships

Sponsoring a scholarship is a great way to enhance your brand awareness and create relationships with local institutions. The best way to approach this strategy is by organizing a scholarship for local high school or college students with clear guidelines in mind, such as:

  • The type of student it serves
  • Area of academic focus
  • Student’s sport, talent/hobby, or career goal

Establish the dollar amount being awarded and how you would like students to apply (remember to post guidelines for the student’s submission). Also, consider the reoccurrence of the scholarship and award distribution.

For example, there are scholarships that offer a one-time scholarship to one or more students, while some may offer support for multiple academic years. Setting up an on-going scholarship program could be the secret weapon of your link development portfolio as the content will always live on your site and not be taken down after the award has been given.

Pro Tip: After you have awarded your scholarship, share the news with local news outlets and press releases! This strategy can continue to develop high authority backlinks to your website, even after the scholarship period is over.

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4. Business Internships

If you need an intern to assist with managing your business, consider providing an internship program to local students. Not only will you be able to offer local academic institutions internships for their students to develop career skills, you’ll also boost your link building portfolio with local referring domains while getting help around the office.

Publish the internship opportunity details on your website and then leverage it to local job boards, high schools, and higher education sites for your internship to be featured on a job/internship resource page.

5. Unlinked Brand Mentions

Have you hosted an event in the past or been interviewed about your business? Have you or an employee been involved in a large community event such as a fundraiser? If you’ve answered yes, chances are your business may have been mentioned in an article online.

Try looking for mentions of your brand with a Google search. Use the news feature for well-known publications if you believe your business may have been highlighted on a high authority news site.

Pro Tip: Create a google alert for mentions of your brand so that you don’t miss any mentions as they are published on the web. You can also use a tool such as ahref’s content explorer to search for mentions of your brand.

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6. Local Discounts

Who doesn’t love saving money? Offering local discounts can not only benefit your customers, but it can also benefit your link development portfolio. Offering local residents, students/faculty, organizations, and military veteran discounts on your products or services can help earn local links to your website.

If your business is close to an academic institution, consider offering staff and student discounts or exclusive sales. A local college may have a web page dedicated to area businesses that offer discounts to students or staff.

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If your business offers a specialized niche service, consider offering a discount to your local community. You can offer a residential discount for your niche service such as installing home security devices. There may also be local opportunities on city websites that your company services and will allow your business to be featured on the city website.

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7. Local Resource Directories & Associations

Does your business provide services or products to a niche market? If so, there’s a local tactic for that! Many websites are dedicated to a businesses’ specialization or niche service. For example, if your business provides home modification products or services, there may be local, regional, or state web pages that list companies that provide home modification resources for your target audience.

If you’re not sure where to begin, research where your local competitors are listed. Odds are, they’ll be listed on a web page that also aligns with your company’s niche specialty. Many businesses miss out on great opportunities like these if related industry competitor’s backlinks are not researched.

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Local Efforts = Big Pay Offs

By creating and following a local link development strategy, you will likely see an increase in community engagement with your business and an improvement of your backlink portfolio with backlinks coming from high authority domains. With more links directing to your site, you will likely see better local search engine optimization results.

After you perform local link development for a few months, you may realize how natural it feels, as local link building is essentially building relationships with those in your community and your target audience. Local link building is the most organic way to build out and diversify your link building portfolio and is perfect to for an ongoing link development strategy.

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