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Local Backlinks: 15 Ways To Build Local Links For Your Website

By the Rhino Rank team
4th Sep 2023

Over the past two years, searches for nearby businesses that use the phrase “near me” have increased by 150%. Furthermore, searches for “open now near me” have increased by more than 400 percent worldwide in the same period.

That’s exactly why paying attention to numerous facets of search engine optimization is critical to expanding your organization. One key component of SEO that you should never overlook is local link building.

Web admins typically disregard local link building to pursue links from higher-ranking sites. But local link building is just as beneficial, if not more since it establishes your site as a local authority.

This guide will teach you how to harness the power of local link building. As we dive deeper, we will outline the essential strategies you must grasp to set you apart from your competitors. 

Short Summary

  • Local link building enhances your online visibility within the community.
  • It involves acquiring backlinks from local businesses and directories.
  • Boosts local search rankings and attracts targeted customers to your business.

What is a Backlink?

Backlinks (also known as “incoming links,” “one-way links,” or  “inbound links”) are links on one website that point to a webpage on a different website using the anchor text of the referring website. 

Backlinks are seen as “votes” for a particular page by Google and the other top search engines, and they are used to determine a website’s relative importance, quality, and authority. 

Pages that have been linked to often by authoritative sources in the same niche typically do well in organic search results.


What Are Local Backlinks?

In contrast to more general backlinks, local backlinks originate from local or regional sources that are relevant to your local business or target audience. Local backlinks may be earned from various resources, including local newspapers, online business directories, and blogs.

Understanding Local Link Building: How it Works

The term “local link building” refers to attracting inbound links from sites focused on your geographic region.

This is a crucial part of local SEO and will help you climb the ranks in Google Maps and other similar services. White label link building aims to increase traffic to your site from sites specifically targeted to your geographic region.

Advertising in regional periodicals, supporting local community activities, and donating to worthy causes are all great ways to get recognized locally.

There are several advantages to building local links. The more high-quality local links you have pointing to your site, the more traffic you’ll get, the more leads you’ll get, and the more credibility your company will gain in the eyes of potential customers in your area.

This is crucial for local companies since they depend on foot traffic from nearby residents to make a profit.

Importance of Local Backlinks 

The effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts relies heavily on your ability to generate local links. One of the best ways to increase your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) is to get relevant local backlinks.

A local link development plan is essential if your business relies on in-city customers or clients. It can help you identify the areas with the highest concentration of prospective clients.

Here are more reasons why a local link building plan is essential for every small company.

1. It Boosts the Reputation of Your Brand 

Boost online brand reputation with Google search

In the commercial world, reputation is vital. Research shows that 83% of shoppers conduct a Google search before making an in-person purchase. 

Customers like this are likely looking into your company online to see whether they can trust you with their money. Local link development can improve the trustworthiness of your brand when done correctly.

2. It Raises Visibility, Interest, and Demand 

Whether operating a traditional storefront or an online local market, your company needs a strong web presence. It’s the most effective strategy for reaching a wider target audience, increasing sales, and boosting profitability. 

If you focus on building local links, you can boost your site’s exposure and, in turn, your sales.

Retailers benefit from backlinks since they improve referral traffic to their sites. You attract potential local customers to your sales funnel when they click on one of your links on other relevant local websites. 

3. It improves your position on Search Engine Results Pages 

More backlinks pointing to your website increase your site’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and enhances your website’s organic traffic. 

Every company with an internet presence should strive for a high rank because less than one percent of Google searches click on the second results page. Your company has to be on the top page of Google if you want a higher click-through rate and more traffic from search engines.

4. Boost Brand Authority

Creating in-depth local links helps you become recognized as a leader in your niche. Creating content is the most effective and efficient method for this. 

Google places a premium on providing users with informative material. You can boost your internet profile and solidify your position as an industry leader if you can create and disseminate this material. 

In addition, high-quality content will attract more organic local backlinks and boost traffic to your website.

5. Raise Product Recognition

We’ve previously discussed how increasing your visibility and attracting new consumers via link development may help your company thrive. However, it has additional capabilities in terms of promoting brand recognition. 

With the help of local link building, you can launch a campaign to raise brand recognition that stands out from the competition and helps solidify your place in the market. The more people are exposed to your brand via local links, the more likely they become loyal customers and repeat buyers. 

Increasing your local link popularity may help you connect with customers in various ways. 

When all other factors are equal at the end of the sales funnel, customers will choose the name they are most familiar with. Increasing your company’s visibility in its immediate area by establishing quality inbound links may be a game-changer.

6. It Boosts the Domain Authority of Your Website.

The DA of your website is a score between one and one hundred, indicating its health. Generally speaking, the greater the score, the better. Domain Authority (DA) is critical in determining your company’s organic local search rankings.

A website’s Domain Authority (DA) may be determined using online tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMRush. Try to get a score higher than 60.

When calculating your site’s DA, many elements are taken into account by search engines. Among them are the site’s overall security, the user interface and user experience, the content’s quality, and—most importantly—the quality of your backlinks.

A greater domain authority (DA) signals to search engines that your site is authoritative in its field and should be ranked better in local search results.

The Challenge of Local Link Building

Low response rates are a prevalent problem during link outreach, regardless of the business your local link building effort is intended for. Better filtering of local link building opportunities may increase response rates, but this may only sometimes convert to a rise in link prospects. At most, it may bolster the appearance of productivity in your conversion rates.

Success is never a smooth ride, and there will be moments when you have to dig deep and keep plugging away, but know that your efforts will be rewarded if you’re patient and persistent.

What is a Local Citation?

In web content, a local citation mentions a company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). You can find these citations on review sites, online local business directories, and mobile applications like Yelp and Yellow Pages.

How Do You Check Your Local Citations?

You can use citation tools to verify your citations on Facebook, Google, Bing, Google Maps, and other regional search engines or industry-specific directories. They will alert you to any insufficient or incorrect information they uncover, allowing you to maximize your search efforts.

You can use local data tools like profile completion and Visibility Index rates to determine when to take action and flaunt your success.

Backlinks vs. Citations: Differences and Similarities 

A citation is an explicit online mention of your company’s address, name, and phone number. On the other hand, a backlink is a hyperlink that leads back to your site from another.  

SEO-wise, citations are similar to backlinks in that they help establish your business’s credibility online.

Local Link Building Strategies

1. Use Local Directories 

Any local company serious about growing its link profile should start with this strategy.

While links from online local business directories are only sometimes the most reliable, they are often fast and straightforward, making them worthwhile. Furthermore, directory backlinks are often sufficient for local businesses to get decent local search rankings.

Many directories are available, including several that cater to particular regions.

When searching, use various keywords to narrow your results since no magic phrase will provide all the directories you need.

Possible search phrases are:

  • “[your area] [local business type] directory.”
  • “Small local business Directory of [your city]”
  • “[your area] local business directory”

Stay within the immediate region around your current location – try neighboring regions as well.

Adding business listings is often simple on major directories like Yahoo, Yelp, and Foursquare. However, this may be different in local directories.

You may contact the directory owner through email if you need help locating instructions on adding your site. In most cases, you’ll also need to provide a link to the site and contact information (name, address, and phone number).

Listing your company on specific sites could cost you money. In such a case, you should weigh the site’s traffic, search engine visibility, pricing, and quality directory listing before making the final decision.

2. Reach Out to Local Media

Local media outreach is an effective local link building strategy. Such local media outlets attract many readers, and in most places, there are many reputable newspapers and magazines from which to choose.

Likely, you’re already familiar with many of the local periodicals.

Nonetheless, checking Google for unexplored niche local link opportunities is good. The results might surprise you.

For instance, just type “London Newspaper” into the search bar to see how many newspapers are in London.

Don’t limit yourself to the print media. Articles regarding local businesses often appear in magazines and specialized periodicals. Local radio stations can also publish news from the region.

After you’ve compiled a list of potential contacts, you can begin making calls and sending emails to promote your business.

Unfortunately, local news sites are notoriously picky about what stories they’ll cover.

However, it may be worthwhile if many residents read the magazine or if it has a high DA.

3. Write Guest Articles

You, the local business owner, have specialized knowledge that others might benefit from. Use this information to contribute articles or guest posts to the local paper.

To some extent, the local link building tactics are analogous to “guest blogging.” You compile a list of local publications that accept contributed content and approach their editors with pitches.

It’s important to remember that not all local publications will link to your website if they write about your company. This is especially true with news publications.

Still, that’s good publicity, and it might lead to further links if other media take up the story. If getting links from news coverage is your priority, however, you should verify that the sites you’re pitching provide them.

4. Reach Out to Local Bloggers

Bloggers may be more receptive to a story than the local news. These sites may nevertheless attract large numbers of well-defined visitors.

The trick is to identify appropriate online communities and join them.

Local blogs cover various subjects, so you should be able to identify something useful.

Simply start a search on Google. A few options are:

  • [your industry] [Your area] blog
  • [Your area] bloggers
  • best blogs [Your area] 

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter provide another avenue for locating potential contacts.

If you’re looking for bloggers whose blogs didn’t appear in the initial search, you might discover them here.

After compiling a list of blogs, you should reach out to their editors and request a link to them. Provide value in exchange for a backlink.

Bloggers with a specific interest could value coupons or exclusive access to a special event. Likewise, local business bloggers may react positively if you can demonstrate the value of your offer to their organization.

In some instances, bloggers may expect payment for their services. Fees might be charged for publishing a guest article or editing an existing piece to include a link (a practice called “niche edits”).

Even though Google discourages it, local link building via financial incentives is popular in many sectors. Take this into account when you make your payment decision.

5. List Your Business on Alumni Pages

Keeping with the school-focused link-building concept, promoting your company on alum sites is also an effective local link building strategy.

Many universities and schools provide articles or websites highlighting their alumni’s businesses.

It’s an excellent way to network locally if you went to school in the same city or county as the business you represent.

Look for alum company profiles on the university’s website. Find one and contact them to see if they can feature your business.

College and university websites often have high domain metrics and are relevant locally. 

6. Monitor Unlinked Mentions

Set up brand name Google Alerts

An easy way of gaining backlinks is to politely request that site owners who write about your company also include a link to your own.

Although this may seem like a lot of effort, it can be easily automated using Google Alerts. 

You may customize several aspects of Google Alerts, such as how frequently you get notifications and what content you want to be alerted about.

Your company may receive several mentions if it is well-known in the region.

You just need to see whether the site connects to you when you receive an alert. Request the publisher to include a backlink in the mention if it doesn’t.

This method of generating links locally is also a great way to keep tabs on how often your local business is mentioned online. It will show you what others are saying about your business.

7. Offer to Provide Testimonials

Link creation via testimonials involves recommending a local company or service you have utilized.

The company will include your testimonial on their site and provide a link to yours. You profit from the link, and the company benefits from increased exposure to new consumers.

To employ this local link building method, compile a list of locally owned establishments you are willing to recommend.

Contact them and see if they are interested in using your review.

Look for local establishments highlighting client experiences, case studies, or testimonials on their website. They have a history of linking to other sites, making them prime targets.

Some companies may be interested in featuring you even if they don’t have these spaces. You need just persuade the proprietor of a neighborhood establishment that your testimonials are worthwhile.

It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Your business gains exposure while the local organization shows off its experience.

8. Contact Your Local Tourist Board

Tourist information centers are happy to spread the word about exciting local establishments. This is an excellent local SEO strategy for gaining backlinks if your company caters to tourists.

But the advantages are not limited to the hospitality industry. Tourist board websites represent local businesses of all kinds.

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Shops
  • Bars
  • Festivals and other local gatherings
  • Golf courses 
  • Wedding-related local businesses, etc.

Aside from the apparent local link building benefits, tourism-related businesses could also gain exposure from being featured on such sites.

Many sites feature contact forms that you can fill up to suggest your company. If you have trouble locating one, contact the company’s marketing staff.

9. Offer Local Scholarships

Launching a scholarship program for local schools and students is a great way to get links from reputable academic websites.

This was a common local SEO tactic up until quite recently. It’s less popular today since several schools discovered that local businesses were artificially using the practice to boost their PageRank. Nevertheless, there is still hope for the method.

To do so, follow these simple steps:

  • Make contact with nearby educational institutions and spread the word about the opening.
  • They publicize it on the scholarship section of their website.

Scholarships are expensive to fund. However, doing so might result in several backlinks, making the investment worthwhile.

You may calculate the expected profit from your investment. Simply look for websites that offer scholarships available in your region. This might help you get a rough estimate of the possible number of local backlinks you can create.

You may expand your link-building for scholarships beyond just submitting your information to be listed on scholarship sites. Remember to distribute a local press release to newspapers and magazines in your area that might be interested.

10. Sponsor Local Events

Sponsorships for local events are useful for more than simply gaining exposure. They may also be used to great advantage to build local links.

The premise is that if you financially support local organizations, teams, or local events that have websites, those local sites will provide a link back to your business.

When considering local sponsorships, the trick is to find an acceptable balance between link potential and visibility.

11. Aim to be a Reliable Resource.

One of the best ways to get your name in print is to offer yourself as a source. By contributing quotations to articles, you provide credibility to topics within your usual sphere of expertise.

The most challenging part is getting to know journalists and earning their trust. If you know any authors who may be interested, ask around and see who you can connect with.

Alternatively, check out Twitter. The site is excellent for networking since so many journalists use it regularly. Additionally, other social networking sites may be helpful.

You could also submit directly to the magazines you’re interested in being featured. Inform writers that you’re prepared to share your knowledge and may be quoted in stories.

12. Create a Local Guide

One of our preferred local link building strategies is creating resources that can be linked to.

For these link building tactics to be effective, you must first provide local content or an asset to garner links.

Local link building may also benefit from linkable items. All you have to do is make something of value that local blogs and websites will want to share.

There is a wide variety of potential assets to develop. Pick one that has some bearing on what you’re selling.

Here are some examples of possible solutions:

  • A catalog of other local businesses.
  • A directory of the best restaurants and bars in the area.
  • A detailed, searchable map of the area’s tourist hotspots.
  • Calendar of upcoming activities in the immediate area.

After the resource has been produced, it may generate local backlinks in one of two ways.

One option is waiting for others to stumble across it and linking to it naturally. This can happen if your material is high-quality and well-ranked on local search engines.

The second and preferable choice is to spread the word about the valuable resource.

Distribute it to regional newspapers and online blogs, and promote it through your social media channels. Let other companies know if you’ve included them in your guide, and ask them to include a link to your site.

Website owners will gladly promote the guide if they find it useful enough.

13. Reverse Engineer Link-Building Opportunities

You can find out which websites are backlinking to your closest competitors by doing a competition backlink analysis using search engine optimization tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs. 

Using this link gap study, you can discover how to reverse-engineer your rivals’ backlinks by watching their content gaps, local link building strategies, industry hot topics, ranked keywords, and more.

Once you’ve completed your research, take notes on the competition’s SEO content marketing strategies so you may mimic and improve upon their results. 

14. Create Social Media Profiles

Professionals can improve their backlink profiles by including links to their local websites in their social media accounts.

The next step is sharing your website’s content on the social media platform. 

Maintain active and accurate profiles across all of your social media channels. You should verify that all links leading to your site are active.

All your web pages should be set up to make it simple for you and your viewers to share information on various social media platforms.

15. Find Broken Links

Due to the inevitable evolution of local websites, you may sometimes encounter broken links. Redirecting outdated local links to the latest versions of your sites allows you to reclaim lost link value. You can achieve this simply using a backlink tool like Ahrefs or Moz.

Mistakes to Avoid When Building for Local SEO

1.  Buying Links

Buying and selling backlinks is an example of a bad SEO link building activity. Most local SEO experts have bought local links at some point in their careers, which may surprise them. 

Although search engines won’t be able to tell purchased local links from organic ones, many patterns might tip them off to possible manipulation. It’s never worth the risk to purchase backlinks since being detected harms a website’s ranking.

2. Building Links too Fast

One common error in link-building is aiming for rapid link growth. You should build backlinks slowly. Google, in particular, punishes sites that have a high link velocity. 

What, then, does high link velocity mean? 

Do you recall the early days of your website’s development? You only have a modest local audience for your blog and almost no inbound links. As your viewership expanded, so did the number of inbound links to your site. 

On the other hand, if you heavily modify the sources referring back to your blog, it will signal to local search engines that your site is receiving an unusual volume of backlinks. 

Even if the local links are genuine, you will still be penalized if there are far too many of them too quickly. Therefore, be sure to stick to a logical link-building plan.

3. Getting Backlinks from Unrelated Niches

Sometimes, you may get a do-follow link from a low-quality website. This signals to search engines that their algorithms should consider your site similar to theirs. It usually gives search engine “crawlers” a negative impression of your site. 

For example, would you let a pornographic website link to your legal service’s website? No, of course not! 

Examine your site’s backlinks and reject any from unrelated niches or domains that could “stain your brand.” In addition, you can access a free web tool to verify the dofollow and nofollow status of your backlinks.

4. Link Spamming

Spam backlink profile is dangerous

Avoid the common local link building blunder of using spammy local links. One type of backlink spamming is rapidly amassing many local links to your site. 

Anchor text overuse is another typical error when acquiring local links, and it is often regarded as spammy. Each link should have unique anchor text that the referring page uses to describe your site to the users and search engines. 

Suppose you use the same keywords repeatedly as anchor text when you build backlinks. In that case, search engines will flag your site as manipulative, thereby incurring penalties on your account. 

Therefore, include relevant key phrases within your material, especially long-tail keywords, and change up the linking style.

5. Quantity Over Quality

Search engines like Google give more weight to a business website with fewer authoritative backlinks than one with numerous backlinks from low-quality or irrelevant sources. 

Search engines may still see your local link building practices as spammy if you worry about the rate you get backlinks and not the quality of the sites that link to you.


Local Link Building FAQs

How Much Should I Charge for Link Building?

Depending on the quality and quantity, the cost of link building might range from $100 to $20,000. The best way to evaluate the value of your link building efforts is to set a price per link.

Does Link Building Affect Local SEO?

Yes! Because of their significant impact on your local search ranking, local links play a crucial role in local search engine optimization. A better position in local search results increases the likelihood that potential consumers will click through to your website.