If you’re new to SEO, then it may surprise you to know that local links are one of the major factors that fuel your local ranking.
Not all inks are created equal, however.
There are some that are more valuable than others. This article will give you an excellent understanding of how to prioritize your link-building and how to build local links in the DFW. Or anywhere for that matter!
5 types of local links that you need to move the needle
There are a ton of links to be had out there. Obviously, some move the needle more than others. You can’t go with the same time of link without alerting Google to some “artificial link building” tactics.
That will throw your ranking backward or worse get a manual action issued by Google.
You need a good mix of natural links that a local business would acquire over the years of doing business in their area.
Here are the top 4 types of links to acquire because they’re natural, necessary, and effective for achieving a top ranking.
Top business citations
A citation is a mention of your business on another website. You have structured and unstructured citations. A structured citation is a website that has a specific place to enter your business details. Here is a list of the top business citation by Brightlocal:
When we begin SEO work on a new website, it’s always a good idea to get a good base of links from high-authority structured citations.
They’re easy to get and they make sense. If you’re just starting a website, what would you want to do? Spread the word!
These types of directories make sense to Google’s Rankbrain (the A.I. that evaluates websites before giving them a rank on the search engine result page).
These links appear natural, they give your website more credibility.
Getting the highest authority citations isn’t the only thing that needs to be on your radar. Link building is about creating associations and getting referrals. You’ll need niche directories to tie your website into being recognized for your product or service.
If you’re doing digital marketing for a plumber in Fort Worth, you’re going to need to be listed in the most trusted niche directories and review sites. Thumbtack is one. Angies list is another. Home Advisor is also a very niche website for contractors and home-related services and products.
Another type of link you need to look for is directories that are directly linked to your city or location. There are a lot of local websites that offer this for free and some you need to pay for to get the link.
If you’re ranking your website in Plano, then why not get onto the directory Planomoms.com? Here you have a ton of local traffic passing through and your city is right in the domain!
These types of sites are a no-brainer for gaining more visibility in your city AND getting the local link.
Guest posting links
Despite what you might hear Google say, guest posting is still very effective when it’s done correctly. A guest post is when you publish your content on another website. It’s valuable when you’re attributed credit as the author.
The recent changes to Google’s algorithm put experience as one of the direct factors that affect your page quality (E.E.A.T.). When you publish an article on other industry-related websites, you build notoriety.
You become a little more well-known in the community. This has value because it creates more trust in YOUR website PLUS you get links from websites that are related to your niche. If you search “Christian Carere SEO” all of the guest posts with me as an author appear in the search results.
Being featured on local websites are better than the ones that aren’t local but we’ve put this type of link here because it’s one you can’t ignore whether you’re local or not. Just like you need top-tier directories to achieve a transfer in authority, you need niche guest posting links because they also transfer even authority.
Unstructured local citations
Now we’re into the money. These types of links will give your website the competitive edge you need to beat the competition. They are the holy grail of local link building because they are the most difficult to get.
An unstructured citation can be any mention of your NAP information (name, address, phone number) and obviously, we’re talking links-so to get the most out of it they need to be linked to your website.
They are considered “unstructured” because there is NO designated area for NAP details on the website you’re linking from.
For example, if another local business from your city links to you from their blog…boom! That’s an unstructured citation, the best local link you can get. Here’s an example of a quality local link:
This is not the only way to get these links. There are dozens of ways you can accomplish this. Here is a list of ideas that will score local links that aren’t that easy to get:
- Sponsorships-Sponsor a local team or organization
- Scholarships- Offer a small scholarship to local universities.
- “Best of” lists- Find “best of” or “Top 10” lists your business qualifies for
- Participate in community events and make sure you and the participants post it on your websites
- Local news mentions
- Create content local businesses WANT to link to
- Join your Chamber of Commerce
- Local outreach- Phone, email, visit local businesses and ask them to link to yours
- Ask to be on resource pages or pages titled “local links”
- Ask to be on the “Businesses we love” pages or “Local partners” pages
How to get local links in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
Some of the above suggestions are pretty straightforward. If you want a link from your local Chamber of Commerce, pay the $500 bucks and get one.
Finding other types of local link opportunities aren’t as easy. Here are a few techniques that will help uncover local links in the DFW.
Use search operators to speed up your results
Did you know you can tell Google to display websites with specific properties? When you’re looking for local websites that have a page dedicated to “links” or “resources” you can have Google display ONLY those websites!
For example, if you want to find local sponsorship opportunities, type the following into Google:
Inurl:sponsors (your city)
The command “inurl” tells Google to look in the URL for the keyword “sponsors” in your city. Here’s what came up for Plano:
You will need to go through manually and make sure the website is actually one from a local business, they are authoritative enough to make a good impact on your website, and they are offering sponsorship opportunities.
Here’s an excellent website that would make a great link-especially if you gave music lessons of some sort or owned a record store:
To generate slightly different results, use other search operators like:
You can mix up the keyword as well.
Instead of using “sponsors” put “sponsorship” or “donate” or “donation” to dig up more websites that are looking for sponsors.
Search operators can be used to find anything you want to look for in the search results. You can look for websites in your city that have pages titled “Links” or “Resources” by typing
The possibilities are endless! Click here for a list of search operators you can use to help you with your quest for local links.
Local news mentions
Getting on the local news isn’t easy, but if you take the right approach, you can make headlines in your local paper. Contact the journalists to introduce yourself and ask them for the types of stories they’re looking to publish.
Making your introduction is key. Building a relationship before you ask for anything gives you a better chance of getting what you want.
You can then take their advice on planning something newsworthy.
In most cases local papers LOVE publishing feel-good stories that made the community better. Holding a charity event is one way to get into the paper. Doing a fundraiser to clean up the community for example.
It’s not easy but the exposure for your business plus the link to your website will be worth the effort.
Create local content
This can be as easy as creating your own top 10 list of businesses in your area. Hopefully, it generates as much traffic as this one we did for a client:
Get companies on it. Ask for the link after. Asking them to link to their own top 10 appearances is an easier sell than asking them to link to your website outright.
Hire the right SEO company
The option will always be on the table to hire an SEO company that has done this 1000 times before. If you’re a local business in need of Plano SEO services, let us do the heavy lifting and not only save you time but make you money.
Gain the right perspective for long-lasting results
Link building is one of the hardest aspects of SEO. Finding good websites to link from isn’t really the big problem. It’s getting those websites to link to you! Here are a few tips that help clarify your goals and prioritize your efforts on how to approach this aspect of ranking your website
Build relationships before asking for a link outright
Acquiring the best links has been and will always be, an effort in PR. Think about how many emails you get on a daily basis that you delete without opening. In the thousands of emails we’ve sent out as cold outreach we probably convert 2% or less.
It’s not a very comforting number to work with!
The best approach to link building is to warm up your prospect before asking for the link. When you introduce yourself with your hands out, it kills your first impression.
The best approach is to figure out what the prospect needs beforehand. This allows you to make an attractive offer without seeming like you’re after something.
Once you deliver, you can make your request. The prospect will be much more receptive to helping you out with a link than if you asked them from the get-go.
This is why community involvement is so crucial. It’s why joining your chamber of commerce is valuable. You network with people in your area. Once you’ve met a few business owners you are 10X more likely to get a link from them when they know you already!
Warm prospects go a long way.
Link building is a process that should be done relentlessly. You can’t just stop because you got a few good links. In SEO, if you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward.
Your competition is always looking to catch up and pass you.
It’s a fact that SEO demonstrates a compounding return on your investment. If you’ve seen graphs and charts of websites that have stayed consistent, they all show exponential growth.
It’s a snowball effect that can take a year or more to see the full results. Staying consistent with your link building will ensure your website continues to grow in authority and generate traffic from high rankings. If you’re looking to build your business in the DFW, give us a call and schedule a strategy session. We’ll match your business with the right SEO program that is guaranteed to provide an impressive ROI. We’ve helped companies all over Texas with a concentration in Fort Worth, Allen, Plano, and surrounding areas.
Christian Carere heads the SEO team here at Austin Bryant Consulting. After building an SEO agency in Toronto (Digital Ducats Inc.) Christian was hired by founder Keith Hunn who has created a full-service digital marketing agency in Plano, TX. Christian has been published on Search Engine Watch, Venngage, Small Biz Daily, Grasshopper, Data Box, Socialnomics, and Mention.