It may seem as if it’s getting nearly impossible to build quality local backlinks for your business site, but we can help you with that.
For several years now, many people thought the answer to this was guest blogging. And yes, if done right, guest blogging can give you some very good results. But two things should be noted here:
1.) Once the guest blogging bug spread, it became more about low-quality blog spamming than true guest blogging, and
2.) Everyone started trying to do it … even people who tried to guest blog on topics they knew nothing about, or those who could barely write English (or, to be fair, whatever language the host blog was published in).
A lot of blog owners who used to welcome guest blog posts have become very strict about accepting them or have started to demand payment. Why? Probably because they’re constantly bombarded by “SEO people” trying to get a post on their blog merely to score another link.
Too many “guest bloggers” these days really don’t give a damn if the post is insightful or helpful to the reader. They simply throw together an article or post endless rewrites over and over again just to look productive and “unique.”
So what other kind of links could you obtain for your local business site? That’s what we’re going to consider in this post. We hope that when you leave, you click away excited and ready to get some links!
Locating Local Backlink Possibilities
Local Newspaper Sites
One of the best places you can establish links from are local newspaper and other news sites. They’re normally highly respected by Google and other search engines, so a link from them to your site will look very favorable. You can find links to many local papers in the U.S. here. You can find ones in Canada here.
Once you locate some that might be suitable for you and add them to your list (I know you’re keeping a nice little spreadsheet or at least a list of all promising sites to connect with, right?), then you need to find out who to contact. You can start by checking their official contact page. Many times they’ll list who the editor is, the managing editor, editorial editor, certain bloggers/columnists, and so on.
Newspaper sites should be at the top of the list, but they’re not the only ones you should go after. What about local bloggers? There are bound to be a few in your area, though how many probably depends on how large a metropolitan region you live in.
But how can you find local bloggers that might be good to put on your list? Here are a few ways:
Placeblogger – This is a really cool site. You can find blogs in your area very quickly that have posted recently, which means they’re at least still alive and kicking and not a dead blog that hasn’t been updated in six months. Simply enter your city’s name and select “places,” then hit search:
I used Kansas City as the search term. You might get an array of areas to choose from. If so, select the most appropriate one and continue. You’ll then get a page with search results that show the blog post title in the main part. On the right, you’ll find the date the post was published, the blog it came from, and where that blog is based. For example, check out the image below:
If you’re serious about your outreach to local bloggers, then you might want to consider a paid solution, which makes finding and managing blogs that fit the criteria important to you a breeze. Many professionals have recommended this software, though I haven’t tried it personally. It’s the GroupHigh Blog Outreach program; you can get a 7-day free trial here.
Digging in with Followerwonk
Ready to get your hands dirty? If you have a little patience you can probably find some golden nuggets with Followerwonk. One way to do this is to analyze a competitor’s users and potentially find some who are bloggers.
In this example, I’ll use a Kansas City hair salon called Belle Epoque. Go to Followerwonk and click on “Analyze Users.” Enter the Twitter handle of your competitor, then make sure the second box has “analyze their followers.”
When you hit search, you’ll land on a page with TONS of information. The top one is a map that shows the locations of their followers. Scroll down to the social authority score section.
Ideally, you’d want followers with a high score. But keep in mind that they may be more of a challenge to get a blog post with. So you might want go after the mid-range people. Unfortunately, most of these followers have a low score. But you get the point 🙂
Now you can click on the chart or the listings on the right to “zoom in” on that group. A pop-up will appear with more information about each of the users in that score range, as in the example below. Now the trick is to hover your cursor over their names to see their location.
When you find one in the area you’re targeting, right click to open their Twitter page in a new tab (that’s in Chrome; I’m not sure about the other browsers). Do they have a blog? Here’s an example I found here.
In this group of users I viewed Aaron Lindberg’s profile. Guess what? He has a site and he’s a photographer who’s also located in Kansas City. So from his Twitter profile, I go visit his site to see if he has a blog … annnddd, why yes, he does. Do you think a hair salon might be able to work something out with a photographer? I do!
This might be a bit tedious, but I’m hoping you see how it can help you find some really good possible connections to bloggers in your area.
Now that you have a list of possible connections, it’s time to connect. Remember when you contact these people that you need to find a common ground — something that connects your business and their audience.
If it’s a newspaper it’ll likely need to be very localized. If it’s a blogger, it could be both localized or something more general that their audience would be interested in.
Connecting with other local companies can have a big impact on your own business. Finding the right opportunities is the key.
Yes, it takes some legwork. But you’ll be rewarded when it’s successful. We can take care of the legwork or even work with potential local sites to develop content they’d be happy to publish for you. Either way, if you’d like more help, simply get in touch with us to discuss it.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International.
He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.
In his 9+ years as a digital marketer, Sam has worked with countless small businesses and enterprise Fortune 500 companies and organizations including NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Washington, DC based law firm Price Benowitz LLP and human rights organization Amnesty International. He is a recurring speaker at the Search Marketing Expo conference series and a TEDx Talker. Today he works directly with high-end clients across all verticals to maximize on and off-site SEO ROI through content marketing and link building.