Link Building For Local Businesses
Most local businesses don’t make their sales online. Their customers walk through the doors, talk face to face, and that is the traditional nature of commerce. That said, a local business website is a great way to get those customers in the door, after they find you through relevant local search queries such as ’scarborough dry cleaner’ for example.
Most local businesses don’t have a clue as to why link building is important or how to go about acquiring links from other local businesses or institutions. However, they do know the incredible power of word of mouth marketing, and how it can drive business, and create a great reputation for the business.
In the world of search marketing, not only will a top google ranking drive a lot of targeted leads to a business, it’ll also enhance perceptions regarding the superiority of the businesse’s service offerings.
Surprisingly, most link building campaigns can actually begin offline! Here’s a couple of ways how you can leverage offline marketing to drive links back to your local business website.
7 Ways to Leverage Offline Marketing to Build Links
- Offer Internet Only Coupons – Every city has a couple of ‘deal seeker’ websites or forums. In Toronto, we have RedFlagDeals.com which is frequented by over 180,000 registered members, mostly located in the Greater Toronto Area. Offering internet only coupons can get you featured on such websites – bringing massive amounts of traffic, and links in from those that discover the coupon, and then repost it on their own blogs, twitter, livejournal accounts etc.
- Create a Referral Program – Reward your customers for driving more leads to your business by giving them a referral incentives. Bonus points if they tell all their friends through a blog or website service.
- Talk to Your Customers - Sometimes all it takes is requesting a link verbally, if you’re customers really enjoy your service. This can apply to other things such as leaving a review on local citation sources, and google maps reviews as well.
- Talk to Your Suppliers – If you’re selling blue widgets then ask wholeseller to add you a local distribution or reselling centre on their website. This not only benefits your own rankings, but can help customers find you more easily as well.
- Talk to Your Mall Management – This tip works really well if your business is located in a mall. Every mall website has a directory of the stores including a description and location within the mall. Speak to your mall management and get a hold of their webmaster to get a targeted anchor text link in your business description page.
- Issue A Local Newspaper/Magazine Press Release – Many local publications mirror their print and online versions with the same content. Issuing a press release of local interest can get you a link from the online version of the same article.
- Create a Resource of Local Interest – If you’re a self owned and operated DVD store for example, you may have customers dropping in to ask you about when you’re going to have new released come in or if you have a specific movie in stock. Why not use Word of Mouth Marketing to drive customers online where you can supply them with a weekly newsletter alert or information update on your website? If your customers find this useful, they will link to it and to inform other friends.
Marketing offline to build links isn’t easy, but with a little hard work and a lot of creativity anything is possible. I’ve only covered 7 offline marketing tactics that drive links to your small business website, but I’m sure there’s many more you can think of. Leave a comment and I’ll credit you with your thoughts and link back to your website.
Photo credit: Marcio Eugenio