Customers are now online. The US alone has 87 percent of its population actively using the internet. To adapt to this change in user behaviour, businesses are now migrating online as well. However, with the increase in competition, putting your business online and building an ecommerce website isn’t enough. You have to remain visible and optimize your most valuable asset, your website.
Google, the largest and most used search engine in the world gets 85,800 queries per second and can reach up to 1.9 trillion search queries a day which isn’t at all surprising since it gets 16.1 trillion monthly traffic in America alone.
To capitalise on this, your ecommerce website has to be seen online and land on the first page of Google — this is where a majority of people choose to get their information. Seldom will a user click and browse onto the second page, much rarer will they go further to the third or fourth page. The first page is the most important area that you need to dominate. It’s for this reason that a business now needs to incorporate a local search engine optimization strategy called ‘link building’.
Understanding what link building is and how it works will be helpful in increasing the visibility of your local business and attracting potential customers. But, you need to first have an idea of what local SEO is and how it works.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the same as regular SEO but more targeted. Search engine optimization (SEO) is preparing your website so that all its areas are optimized and ready to be crawled, indexed, and ranked by search engines. The website who practices the best SEO hygiene gets to be prioritized by Google and recommended to users the most. While SEO aims to make your website presentable and searchable for the global audience, local SEO services is more location-based. Unlike in regular SEO, keyword research and content will have to be more location-specific.
An example would be if you offer pizza delivery service in London. You have to target keywords that users frequently use and add-in keywords that represent your area too. These keywords could be ‘Pizza delivery in South Bank’ or ‘Vegan pizza in London’. It’s all up to you how to strategically use the keywords but it has to involve some local aspect so that Google will prioritize your business in that area.
There are a lot of ways your local SEO service provider can help your business rank and remain visible to the local market. One strategy would be to make sure that your business has an active Google My Business listing, make sure to also register to all relevant online directories like Yelp or TripAdvisor. This should be one of your priorities since more than 80 percent of smartphone users do these searches.
You should also aim to end up in the ‘local pack’. These are results that outrank the regular organic results. Local Packs are listings that GMB suggests to searchers when they specifically look for a local business. They’re placed in an area at the very top of the result pages. This is one more area that this strategy should help you out in.
What is Link Building?
Link building is an SEO strategy that promotes authority. Google ranks websites using hundreds of ranking factors. One of the main factors is website authority. Authority can be measured in many ways and one way is by evaluating how many quality websites are linked to yours. Think of a link as votes.
Link building works by acquiring links from other websites, in a way, connecting one website to yours. These links are called ‘hyperlinks’ or links that users click to go from one page to another.
Google scans a webpage for hyperlinks using its crawlers called Google bots
Penguin “The Punisher”
Link building can be seen as hidden gem by most people, however, this is a very in-demand practice in SEO. Like any process, there’s a proper way to do it. However, there are people who have broken the rules and have tried to outsmart the system.
Some learned to use underhanded tactics, an example would be linking a website on a farm of sites they created themselves or other people have created. Google took action against this and released the Penguin Update. Google Penguin is an algorithm that can detect these link schemes and removes the sites that are involved from the search results.
How to do Link Building the right way?
Different SEO management do link building differently, depending on the industry, business, location and brand. Naturally, different link building campaigns will have different components which will depend on the goals, the type of links you’re aiming for, and resources available to you.
Here are some link building strategies to help you more leads and customers on your website
Be Specific and Detailed in Online Business Directories – SEO can also be implemented when providing information and texts in online business directories. The more details you provide, the better. When searching for local businesses, users often visit directories and review sites. Make sure that you are present in popular sites. More than 82 percent of customers read reviews online before deciding on which local business to go to. Make sure you get linked to popular review sites as it boosts your rankings.
Activate and verify your Google My Business Listing. Sign-up and be present in general directories and review sites, like Yelp and Yellowpages. Provide details with keywords relevant to your business strategically included in them. The more relevant directories you’re visible in, the more links you get, and more people will find you.
Partner with Local Influencers and Sponsor Events – Trust plays a big part in any marketing initiative. Influencer marketing is effective because of the connection personalities have with their followers. Their followers already trust the influencer so their recommendations carry value for them.
Find the right influencer and make sure that their followers are also your target market. Most well-known influencers will have their contact information and details displayed in their profiles.
When it comes to local events, getting involved, and sponsoring one can help your brand out there. These events have websites and pages to help visitors learn more. Most events will have a page about sponsorships, take this as an opportunity to get publicity. Not only have did you help the event out, but you’ll also have your brand name and logo displayed on their event banners, so it’s also a way to aid your physical marketing efforts.
Be Active In Your Local Business Community – The chamber of commerce is a great opportunity to boost your local SEO strategy and increase local awareness. The chamber of commerce is an association that promotes and protects local businesses. Their website will be seen by Google as an authoritative source so you’ll want to seize the opportunity and have them link to your site.
You can do this by registering your business with them. They will most likely list your business on their site and link it to your website. This will help visitors find your website easier and quicker since it will be listed on both Google and the chamber of commerce site.
Ranking on Google is more important now than ever before, it’s also grown to be more competitive. However, putting in the time and effort will be all worth your while. Start today, find the right strategy for you, and see what will work best with your business. Create the right content that will engage your customers, find the right websites and establishments that will help you promote them. The possibilities are endless, and if you feel like you don’t have the time, there will always be services available to assist you in this initiative. The important thing is to start building links now, start increasing your online authority and then, watch as your link building efforts reflect on your revenue.