One aspect of link building that is often undervalued is the acquisition of local links. Link builders have long been engrossed in the vast community of the Internet that looking into the online groups, associations, directories, and others, in one’s physical geographical area fails to bring a good impression. It would be right to think that if you want your online business and website to be known across the Internet, you wouldn’t just focus on your local area. But it is not right to dismiss the idea that local links also give a boost to your website.
The rise of local searches have also made this idea more credible. Local searches would focus mainly on the vicinity of the user and might want to see a website that is vouched for by many of the local organizations or business in the area.
Here are a couple of local links to start with:
You can start to search for your local directories by simply search for keywords like “ (city or state) local directory,” or anything else that you can relate with your website. Both free and with-fee listing directories will be available to you. There are directories that might have quasi-political affiliations, and there are others that are entirely unaffiliated. While you do have the option to choose which directories to use, it would be wise to check which specific directories is best for your business. Remember that link quality is important when acquiring links.
Regional/Municipal Government Listings
If your local government has directories on their sites, then take this opportunity. Check first to see if you can qualify to link with them. Most of the businesses that link to government websites most often have certain requirements before exchanging links.
Yellow or White Pages
You have an advantage when you have a phone number. Get yourself listed with the help of the phone companies and their yellow or white pages that offer a listing service in your area. You can have your company submitted online without getting it published in the paper version. Don’t forget to submit to national online phone directories, too! Examples of national phone directories online are Switchboard, Internet 800 Directory, Yahoo Yellow Pages, and AnyWho.
Local Business Websites
Of course, every business that has a website will also be acquiring links from their local area. Look for businesses that are in your local area. There is a good chance that they would also be interested in linking to you.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a great reputation among businesses on the local, regional, and national levels. Listing your company with the BBB will provide you with a high quality link, and will increase the credibility of your business.
Chambers of Commerce
Chambers of commerce often charge a fee. Unlike the BBB (which also charges a fee for a listing), regional, state, or city chambers of commerce does not really have a very high PR. They are, however, good with links, and will also provide you with networking and service benefits.
The Local Directories of Search Engines
Google and Yahoo! have their respective local directories and they provide free business listings. When enlisted in the these local directories, your website will have the chance to be at the top of the search results for any user that is in your area.
Business and Social Clubs
Social or business clubs may have websites that contain a membership directory. Why not affiliate yourself with some of the clubs that you are comfortable with? Affiliating with them can help you get links on their websites.
Never underestimate the resources of a library, even when the Internet is around. Some local libraries have websites that have resource links to local businesses. If you cannot link with them, then look into their extensive listings for local associations, consumer sites, and other sites that you could submit your website to.
Acquiring local links is part of link building to success. Some people would just jump directly to linking with just about anyone on the Web. This is not a wrong thing. But getting and linking with local links should not be dismissed, as this can also help with raising your PR and have a competitive edge over your local competition.