Sometimes increasing your local SEO ranking can be an uphill battle.
You can spend weeks optimising pages on your website, amping up internal linking, improving page speed, and working hard to improve your keyword rankings, but results can still come in at a snail’s pace.
Google can be a cruel mistress. We know how frustrating she can be.
Heck, we Gorillas spend eight hours a day trying to impress her.
Google ranks local businesses based on a number of important factors, including:
- On page signals e.g. keywords used in H1 headings, H2 headings, page titles, and meta descriptions, plus the presence of NAP (name, address, phone number) on the page
- Citations i.e. people referencing the NAP e.g. directories
- Social signals e.g. Google engagement, Twitter engagement, Facebook engagement, and so on
- Google My Business e.g. the amount of reviews customers have posted on Google, images included in the listing, accuracy of information, presence of NAP
- Domain authority i.e. your website’s score from 0 – 100 based on age, popularity, and size
However, one of the strongest local ranking factors for local businesses are link signals. Yup, we’re talking about backlinks, people.
Hold the groans. We’re about to unleash the power of link building.
Why do we need links? What makes ‘em so important?
Great question! Backlinks are one of Google’s top three ranking factors and we know that because Backlinko, a serious authoritative source for SEO info and a team of madmen and women, examined 100,000,000 Google search results and discovered backlinks impact SEO rankings more than anything else.
Link building is crucial in our SEO efforts because backlinks represent a vote of confidence from other websites including blogs, ecommerce stores, directories, and businesses providing services rather than products.
Google examines the number of people linking to your website. If loads of quality backlinks are present, search engines can assume your content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth popping up on the first page of Google.
Ba-bam. The power of backlinks.
What are business and supplier links?
Remember the caterer who made hundreds of sandwiches for your last work conference? How about the business that supplied your office furniture, or the team who built your new website?
These are all examples of websites you can get quality backlinks from.
Asking businesses and suppliers you’ve worked with before is one of the fastest, easiest methods of collecting backlinks. You have a real-world relationship with these businesses.
What sort of businesses can give us links?
Oh man, that’s a big question. The possibilities are endless.
Anyone you’ve paid for products, stock, or services could be considered an opportunity for a backlink.
There are differing opportunities for ecommerce and non-ecommerce businesses. For example, the owner of a music-related ecommerce store could contact Fender and Gibson for a link because the major brands are suppliers.
A non-ecommerce business owner wouldn’t have the same opportunities. Instead, these businesses could chase up caterers, web developers, advertisers, accountants and solicitors.
Need some inspiration? No worries! Check out the list below for ideas:
- IT support
- Web developers, designers, and hosts
- Graphic designers
- Lawyers and solicitors
- Business coaches
- Hardware, software, and furniture suppliers
- Cleaning companies
- Product wholesaler
Often it’s better to start by focusing on smaller suppliers and businesses for backlinks. Small business owners are more inclined to share the love and most will happily add your link to their website. However, don’t be afraid to chase the big fish – larger companies often have good domain authorities, huge amounts of traffic, and are valuable for your business for exposure.
How do we get those links?
It can be intimidating to call or email another business for a link. Never fear, we’ve all been there, so we’ve developed a simple process for sorting out supplier and business contacts leading up to the call/follow up.
- Make a list of your suppliers and business contacts. Collect contact information and website URLs, scour their websites for information, and consider whether these suppliers or businesses would be open to accepting a link. Focus on smaller businesses first – remember, these folks are more likely to accept a link!
- Review their websites and look for opportunities to get a backlink. When looking through a business or supplier website, look for pages like helpful links or resources in the menu. These are sure-fire pages for a backlink. Otherwise, check out their blogs and news pages – there’s potential there for a brand mention, too.
Review the suppliers and businesses you’ve collected. Narrow down the list to include businesses you’ve had recent contact with, or have a good relationship with.
- Call or email them and ask for a link. Spend some time calling and emailing these businesses. Speak with the owners or web developers about having your link added to their website.
- Follow up in a week’s time to see if the link is live. You’ll find a lot of people take a while to update their website. Put a reminder in your calendar for a week or a month’s time to check if your link is live.
The secret to getting on the front page of Google is backlinks… so get crackin’ and call those suppliers!
It sounds like a lot of effort; making lists, calling businesses, checking their websites for links, and then gently pestering them to upload the damn thing… but we can’t emphasise enough just how important backlinks are when it comes to rankings.
When Google decides who’s going to be featured on the front page, it doesn’t just look at the content or design of your page. Nope, they also look at the number of links pointing to that page from other websites, plus the quality of those websites.
The more high quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well in search results, meaning more potential for traffic and conversions.
Link building doesn’t need to be a tedious chore. Instead, think of it as ongoing maintenance for your rankings.
Your ranking is fueled via backlinks. Make sure to keep your website up, running, and successful by building strong backlinks with your supplier and business contacts.
Need help building backlinks to your website? Give the Gorilla team a call today to discuss how we can help.