On This Page
- What Are Backlinks?
- What’s the Difference Between a Backlink and a Citation?
- Why Are Backlinks Important?
- How Are Inbound Links Earned?
- Is Every Backlink Valuable?
- Benefits of Local Inbound Links
In recent years, more and more businesses have recognized that creating valuable online content is a great way to attract new customers. When people appreciate the information you’ve put online, they’re more likely to support your business. In order to appreciate your content, however, people must find it in the first place. That’s why search engine optimization is so important. By developing a local PR strategy, you can place your site at the top of Google’s search result pages.
Also known as inbound or incoming links, these are buttons or anchor text on other sites that send viewers to your page. Links are essentially the portals of the internet, bringing users in an instant from one page to another.
Citations are another important aspect of local SEO, but a citation is different from a backlink. While a backlink is an actual link that will bring users to your page if they decide to click through, a citation is simply a mention of your business. Full citations will include the name of your business, your address, and your phone number. While all citations can help your result ranking, full citations are especially impactful.
Search engines take the number and quality of inbound links to be an indicator of a webpage’s value. That means a page with a significant number of high-quality backlinks will show up higher on Google and similar search engines.
Earning inbound links is widely considered the most difficult part of SEO. Local directories, social media influencers, and sponsors can all link to your content from their own pages. Securing these links requires persistence and determination.
Not every backlink will help your content rank higher on results pages. In fact, spammy links can actually hurt your ranking. Search engine algorithms have become remarkably smart in recent years, and Google can easily identify whether the link is natural or not.
There are two types of links site owners can use to send users to your pages. “Follow” links will pass link equity onto your site, while “nofollow” links pass no such equity. This distinction is important on a national or global scale, but it’s largely irrelevant when it comes to local SEO. For small businesses primarily worried about attracting local customers, nofollow links are effective as well.
If you want your inbound links to have a significant impact, you’ll want them to come from legitimate, reputable sources. Algorithms consider an established site with high traffic and years of history to have more authority than a new or spammy site. A link from a genuine industry leader could give your page a major boost, while a link from a sketchy site that was created yesterday might actually hurt you.
Search engines recognize when a link comes from a source that is irrelevant to your business. If you’re running a bait and tackle shop, for example, a link from a local fishing website will mean a lot more than a link from a tarot card reader across the country.
Links may mean a lot more when they appear in the body of a page. A link to your site that comes from a site-wide link such as a footer or sidebar may not send as much page authority.
The number of inbound links to a page will certainly affect your ranking, but so will the number of referring domains. The referring domain is the domain that sends a link to your site. If you have a large number of inbound likes coming from just a handful of referring domains, search engines will suspect a link-sharing scheme and demote your page. To maximize the power of your inbound links, it’s best to target a wide variety of referring domains.
Anchor text refers to the clickable words that send a user to a link. This text is often highlighted, underlined, and colored to tell the reader that a link is underneath. Anchor text that’s specific, relevant, and contains a keyword will bring greater SEO advantages.
For many small businesses, local links are the most important element of their overall SEO strategy. While Google My Business is a useful tool, you can go further by using a service to actively pursue local inbound links. This is the simplest way to boost your ranking on Google and similar sites.
Local link building has other benefits beyond SEO. From increased traffic to building important relationships, local links have had a transformative effect on countless businesses. If you think optimizing pages is all about finding the perfect keyword to improve your ranking, you’re missing a big part of the equation. In reality, a host of secondary effects help place link building among the most vital of marketing strategies.
If you’ve spent any time with the Google My Business app, then you understand the importance of search engines to the fate of your business. Securing more relevant local backlinks is the best way to push your site up the Google results page. When users put a particular keyword into the search bar, you want your page to show up immediately.
More Local Traffic to Your Website
Your web material will only succeed in creating new customers if people actually see it. Local links will push your site up the Google rankings, and a higher Google ranking will bring more people to your site.
Increase in Visibility
Local SEO provides more prominent position on results pages with comparatively less efforts and that will bring greater visibility to your online material.
Compete with Other Local Businesses
In this day and age, you have to compete against your business rivals on every imaginable front. If you’re not on top of your SEO game, you’ll lose out to a competitor who is. You can’t afford to sit on your hands while other businesses secure inbound links and rise to the top of the Google rankings for every relevant keyword. By remaining proactive, you’ll ensure that your business is the one with the most visibility in the region.
All these link building strategies serve the ultimate goal of increasing sales and revenue. As people are driven to your pages, they’ll learn about your business and consider shopping there. Soon enough, this increase in web traffic will bring tangible financial rewards.
Higher Conversion Rates
High-quality links, especially those with anchor text based on a relevant keyword, will drive the right type of user to your site. These will be individuals with a genuine interest in the products and services you provide. Attracting these types of users will bring improved conversion rates.
As important as links can be to your business’s ranking on Google, they can also help bring users directly to your site from the linking pages themselves. Every time someone clicks through to your site from another, you have the chance to gain another customer. Eventually, these opportunities will add up to produce meaningful results.
Anchor texts don’t always have to be based on a relevant keyword. By securing links that refer directly to your brand, you’ll increase your company’s visibility around the web. As users grow accustomed to seeing the name of your business, they’ll form a more positive image of your brand.
Your business will have an easier time pulling customers off the web if you come across as a genuine thought leader in your industry. When reputable sites link to your pages, some of their credibility is bound to rub off on your brand. This will increase users’ trust in your online material.
Securing links from site managers in your local community requires a lot of communication and goodwill. To get the links you need, you’ll have to start relationships with important people in your community, many of whom will be directly connected to your industry. In the future, these relationships could bring all sorts of further advantages.
Promoting your online content is never easy, and social media posts can only do so much. Links from other sites will bring your pages to a wider audience, serving as free advertisement for every article and blog post.
Local SEO is a vital strategy that should never be overlooked.