SEO

4 Link Building Strategies for “Too Busy for Link Building” Local Businesses

More and more small businesses working in a “local” market are waking up to the realities and need for Search Engine Optimization. However, in talking with many of these owners, they are concerned with the importance and on-going nature of link building, and the lack of financial and human resources needed to carry out link building activities.

As link building can account for up to 75% of the success of a SEO program, it is imperative that these businesses find a way to collect links within their limited resource budgets.

Following are 4 creative strategies to help “local” businesses develop on-going link building programs with a minimum long term investment.

1. Blogging for those that don’t have time to blog

Okay – you’ve probably already heard the “content is king” refrain and maybe have already accepted blogging as the powerful link building tool that it is. You may even have come around to the idea that blogging can help a business in the                                   (concrete, pool installation, landscaping, plumbing, accounting, . . .) industry that you are in. However, it still comes down to resources – producing great content and managing a blog takes up valuable time!

The solution is to become a part-time blogger. Instead of running your own blog, work with others in your community that share a common clientele, but are not direct competitors to your business. For example, a plumber could work with an electrician, appliance retailer, interior designer, landscaper, carpenter, flooring retailer, and heating/cooling company to produce a “shared” blog about “Do it Yourself Home Projects”.  Together they could produce a blog that would probably appeal to a wider audience then a specialized industry blog could, and it would only require the plumber to produce one article every two months.

Another option would be to find related blogs both at the national and local level and submit content as a guest blogger. This is currently a very common link building strategy among bloggers, but there is no rule saying that you have to have your own blog to be a guest blogger.

2. Produce sharable content

Find a subject within your industry or community that would be of use to customers at multiple businesses. For example, our plumber may write (or hire someone to write) a “Guide to Re-designing your Bathroom” and offer it as a free download from his website. In addition, he can have an attractive button designed and offer it to local electricians, plumbing supply stores, flooring companies, paint stores, etc to put on their websites so that they can offer the guide to their customers.

Essentially, each button then becomes a link to his website – he has traded great content for a valuable link.

Rather than being an article or information, this could be an app or widget that they could use or offer on their website.

3. Send out a “local” press release

Whenever you have something of interest going on within your company – a big project, a new hire, the additions of a new product or service – send out a local press release.

Keep an email list for local online and paper newspapers, magazines, radio and T.V. stations, and any other businesses or groups it might interest. When something exciting is happening within your business, send an email out to this group to let them know. Include a link back to a website page that was created to provide details about the “exciting news”. This page could then be linked to in an article or blog from one of their sites.

4. Have a contest

Once a year, organize a contest. The goal of the contest will be to produce a list. Either a “top ten” type of list providing acknowledgment to the “top ten Seattle Plumbers”, or a “Best of  List” announcing the best plumber, electrician, etc in the area.

Try to promote the contest through your blogging efforts, a local press release, social media platforms, etc. Depending on the size of your area, you can either list everyone in the category, or require contest entrants to be nominated by the general public. Results can be determined by a vote or through selection by a panel of “experts”.

Create a button for winners to advertise the results of the contest. Announce the results through your media and social media platforms and provide the winners with the button that links back to your website.

Time and effort spent on link building can provide a strong payoff in search engine results pages. Hopefully these 4 strategies will allow you to develop links over a period of time for a minimal upfront investment of time and labor.

Please let me know how these strategies work for you. Do you have any other link building strategies that you have had success with?

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Brent Carnduff

Brent Carnduff  (@EchelonSEO) is the Founder and President of Echelon Business Solutions, a boutique Internet Marketing firm specializing in Online Marketing for Professional Services Firms
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15 thoughts on “4 Link Building Strategies for “Too Busy for Link Building” Local Businesses

  1. I think the idea of a being a part time blogger is a good idea, provided you can get others to contribute on a regular business. The worst thing a business owner can do is launch a blog and then not write anything for it. If you are pressed for time and can’t write a 500 word post at least once a week, how can you expect co-bloggers to make time?

    1. Good point Nick,
      If you are going to invest your time, energy, and reputation on a shared blog, you need to make sure that you can count on the people that you are working with.

  2. I agree with Nick. Collaboration can be a catalyst for growth. Just make sure you partner with people who have a proven track record of pulling their fair share of the weight to keep a blog project like that going.

  3. Great tips Brent. I’m going to share this on my Google Places and Local SEO news channel at Scoop.it.

    While I understand that in some hyper competitive local searches link building is essential, for most local businesses it is not.

    I have SEO companies that come to me for my Advanced Google Places and Local SEO training all the time that say “I’ve backlinked the hell out of this site and can’t get it to rank.”

    In LOCAL it’s more about some very specific on-site factors that make all the difference. I get local companies in the 1, 2, 3 spot all the time that don’t have ANY links and I’ve never built a backlink. Just took a Dentist from #16 to #2 in one day by tweaking his site. (No links, no Places optimization).

    Oh and I’m talking the new ‘blended’ algo that’s 90% based on organic SEO, not the old 7 pack Places algo that is totally different. That one is not controlled by backlinks or on-site at all.

    But again it’s all relative and based on the competition. So I’m not negating the need for links, it’s just that in local it’s not the be-all, end-all some people make it out to be. So much easier to optimize a site than to build backlinks. But if you need to build links, these are some great tips!

  4. I like the blog with others idea, though I like the guest blogger idea much more. Running your own (external) blog as a link builder I don’t think is the best use of your effort. For one, getting links for a variety of domains is much better then getting a bunch of links from one domain. Therefore if you are going to run your own blog, make sure the blog is at your domain, so that your domain get’s credit for all that content, and use the content for internal link building. If you make the content great, you may even get others to link to it.

    So if you setup a blog with a group of others, the most value will be in the first link you get. I tend to believe that repetitive backlinks from one domain have diminishing value. For this reason I am a big fan of guest blogging.

    I do like your suggestion though for the group blog, because that would inherently become a higher value blog, assuming it actually could attract an audience, which I believe your suggestion would. Guest blogging can have it’s challenges trying to get your content accepted at the more valuable domains.

    1. It can be difficult to access the bigger blogs, and getting started without a blog of your own can be challenging. Following this strategy will still probably require some writing up front to have samples to submit, and some patience. Start with the smaller blogs and work your way up with experience and reputation.

  5. I like the article…
    I think the blogging makes alot of sense…
    As far as using content for others to pub not sure how that would help…
    over all the article is good though!!!

  6. I believe that blog play an important role in link building strategy. Various blog don’t accept or supervise the post but most of the blog give the opportunity for getting back the link on posting with in a week or so, depending upon the time span.

  7. Yeah i totally I Agree that the blogs play an important role in SEO Strategy under link building section. Most of the bloggers do this intentionally for getting quality as well as relevant back links for the website.

  8. Blogging is the best way to express view point But getting time is difficult for blogging.If the content is good then it would be better to get attention.Though it is time consuming ,I like this .

  9. This is one fine article I’ve read in long time. The idea is not that unique but the thought behind this looks solid and worth a try.

    But I think if any one is thinking this way than they also consider guest blogging because it is obviously better if you get backlinks from different domains rather than one.

    One more thing I just have to share that if time is so difficult to manage you can always hire a freelancer and now a day it’s getting a lot cheaper like just $5 a quality SEO article from Indian freelancers, even you could consider guys from Bangladesh.

    At the end thanks Brent for these amazing tips.

  10. starting part time blogging is a good business and it will help to become a good blogger and will helps to get quality basklinks too. Blogging is a best way to be known and get traffic backlinks from there. I m doing blogging and created few blogs and really i see the benefit of blogging.

  11. I would always be wary over part-time bloggers. I would always recommend managing content for internal marketing or content for clients in-house, and dedicate the time and resources. It’s about managing time more effectively, and although I’m not ruling it out as a bad idea; I’d much prefer to maintain full control and spend time doing it. It shouldn’t be a sideshow and pushed to one side, it should be a focal point of the strategy which is best not left as a half-measure.