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How to Earn Links that Improve Your Rankings

This is the final installment of the five-part series written by our partner Whitespark called How to Win at Local Search in 2019. 

Your website needs links to help you rank. External links pointing to your site can have a significant impact on your ability to show up in search results. The majority of small business sites have little to no links other than citation links (business directories), but this can work in their favor when they can acquire a handful of quality local links that can boost the authority of the website and give the businesses an edge.

Here are three quick and easy wins for gaining local links and making your site more authoritative:

1) Explore Existing Partnerships

Who do you know that has a website that would link to you? Run through your personal contacts and reach out to people you already have an established relationship with. This a really easy way to start getting links to your site, with minimal effort and stress.

Now take a look at the current business relationships you have and see if there are any possible B2B links you could acquire. Potential partnerships you could leverage:

  • Do you provide goods to a local company? See if they will list you as a local source.
  • If you’re a vendor, get links from manufacturers or wholesalers.
  • If you’re really impressed with a B2B relationship and they have a testimonial page, ask to add your testimonial to it (for a link).
  • Celebrate your neighbours. Team up with businesses in your neighbourhood (building, street, block, or even members of the same business association).

 

2) Find Local Sponsorship Opportunities

The opportunities to sponsor a local event, association, charity, or club are likely endless in your community. Common examples include:

  • Local sports teams.
  • Local Meetup groups.
  • Marathons, triathlons, cycling events, etc.
  • Running clubs.
  • Festivals.
  • Art, dance, music, and theatre groups.
  • Animal shelters.
  • Homeless shelters.
  • Food banks.
  • Farmer’s markets.
  • Trade shows, wedding shows, home & garden shows, etc.
  • Academic events.
  • Church organizations.
  • Environmental organizations.

If you don’t already have an idea of what kind of event you would be interested in, you can do a little research using any of the below queries to find the ideal opportunity for your business:

  • (city) inurl:sponsors
  • (city) inurl:partners
  • (city) inurl:donors
  • (city) inurl:sponsorship
  • (city) inurl:donate
  • (city) inurl:donations
  • (city) intitle:sponsors
  • (city) intitle:partners
  • (city) intitle:donors
  • (city) intitle:sponsorship
  • (city) intitle:donate
  • (city) intitle:donations

If you’re short on time, you could consider working with a service like ZipSprout to find the ideal sponsorship opportunity that aligns with your own company values and goals.

3) Donate Your Services or Products

Can your business offer any services/products to local charities and non-profit organizations?  Think about what services your business can offer to local nonprofits and start reaching out to suggest a trade for exposure.

Since you most likely won’t already have an established relationship with the organization, I wouldn’t request a link right out of the gate. Start with your offer, then mention your request for exposure in a follow up email. For example, for a gutter cleaning company, perhaps your outreach email would look like this:

Subject: Can we donate free gutter cleaning to Homeless House?

“Hi there Homeless House,

I was driving by today and noticed your many gutters. We’re a gutter cleaning company in Seattle, and I wanted to offer to donate our services, at no cost to you. We’ll come by in the spring each year to clean out your gutters.

I believe in the work Homeless House is doing and we’d like to support you with some help that could free up some of your funds or your time to be better used on some of your important work in the community.

Let me know if you’re interested. Thanks!

Jerry Maguire

President, Jerry’s Gutter Service”

Assuming you get a positive response, then you can mention your request in the next email:

“Great! We’re glad we can help.

We’re looking to promote our business online, and hope you’d be able to add a note on your sponsors page along the lines of ‘Gutter cleaning services provided by Jerry’s Gutter Service” with a link to our site for more information. This would really help us to attract more business online. Please let me know if something like this would be possible.

Thank you!

Jerry”

 

Local search marketing is an ongoing process, but incorporating any of these tips will help you increase your visibility, and grow your traffic so that you can drive more business in 2019.

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