Just because you have a great website, doesn’t mean you are going to rank well in Google’s search results. Search engines look at a number of other factors, such as age of your site, accuracy of business listings, quality of content, keywords within your content, and links to your website.
In fact, a link to your website from a quality source is one of the top factors that Google takes into account. Check out our tips below for finding quality local links that will boost your Google rankings.
Sponsor a Local Organization or Charity
- Get involved at the library: This could mean donating money or even organizing a program.
- Support a Little League or other sports team: Donating to a local sports team not only helps keep recreational activities alive in your town, but it can help you rank on Google. You’ll get your logo on the back of a jersey, and maybe even a link on a credible webpage.
- Donate to a charity like the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Goodwill: These types of charities often seek support for events like 5Ks and festivals. It’s common for them to offer gratitude by listing sponsor links online.
- Offer you business as a meeting space for a local club: Scour the web and keep your ear to the ground to see if you uncover local clubs that need a place to meet.
- Host a community event: Organize a fun event for the community. This could be an Easter egg hunt or a 5K for a local charity. Put together a trash pick-up event and supply bags, gloves, and materials and get out there and clean up your neighborhood. In the months leading up to the event, contact local papers and the local Chamber of Commerce to get publicity.
- Collect donations at your business: Set up a collection bin at your location. Encourage customers, clients, and employees to donate money or goods to local food pantries or organizations like Toys for Tots or the ASPCA.
Tap Into the Education Network
To Google, few sites are more trustworthy than those that end in .edu. A mention on a school press release or web page is worth its weight in Google credibility.
Here are four ways you can get started on the hunt for a .edu link.
- Offer student or educator discounts: College students are notoriously low on cash. Why not use this to your advantage? Present students and faculty of a local educational institute with a nice discount with school ID. Your link could be featured in student media or even on the school’s website.
- Host a writing contest for students: Contact a local high school or college English department and offer to award a cash prize for the winner of an essay contest. You could also go for an oratory contest or geography bee. Write up a summary with contest rules, include a link to your site, and ask the school to share it on their web page.
- Offer internships and reach out to the career center: College students are always looking to beef up their resumes before venturing into their careers. Not only will hiring an intern give you the opportunity to get a fresh perspective and scout for future employees, but the job listing can be your ticket to a great link on a university career center page.
- Sponsor a school event: Maybe the local elementary school is having a field day. Offer to donate popsicles. The drama club is putting on a play? Donate. Not only will this help the community to associate your business name with positive feelings, but if you help a student organization, they are more inclined to link to your site if you ask them.
Not All Links are Created Equal
Google values quality and relevance when it comes to back links. It’s important that your links come from natural sources who are mentioning your site with genuine interest.
The main criteria you should keep in mind when judging potential link opportunities are:
- Links that will drive direct referral traffic
- Links that build visibility with your target audience for your brand
- Links that build your reputation
Once you have your opportunity selected, make sure that your link:
- Presents quality content.
- Creates an engaged community who is talking about your business.
- Promotes your business in a personalized manner to an interested audience.
Get an Edge Over National Competition
Think you don’t stand a chance over companies with a national presence? Not so!
If you have a strong backlink network in your target area, you could very well beat out large, national companies who have many more links than you. For example, when pitted against a huge franchise, like Servpro, a local restoration company could rank higher in a location-focused search if their links have a strong local signal.
Think Outside the Box
These are just ideas to get things flowing. In reality, there are unlimited ways to get valuable links to your site. Remember, the more out of reach or challenging it is to obtain a link, the fewer competitors who are fighting for those links.