| Oct 2, 2023 | | 12 min read

A Comprehensive Guide to Local Link Building for Small Business SEO


Key takeaways

  • Local link building is a crucial aspect of any local SEO strategy that involves building links from relevant local websites to your business website to boost visibility in organic local search results and draw more traffic from local customers who are more likely to purchase from you.
  • Create a strategy to make the most of your local SEO backlink efforts. Focus on relevant local directories, foster relationships with other businesses, and actively participate in local events.
  • Ensure you’re producing high-quality, locally relevant content; optimize your website for regional keywords; and leverage social media for visibility.
    Monitor and evaluate to track your progress. Use SEO tools for tracking, prioritize link quality over quantity, and measure key performance metrics regularly.

Any digital marketer knows local link building is the backbone of a solid local SEO strategy. By building links from other relevant local websites, you can boost visibility in organic search and draw in more traffic from people in the area — the folks most likely to become customers. Between algorithm updates and increasing online competition, local link building is an essential piece for SMBs that want to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Get your free step-by-step checklist for a complete local SEO audit. Download the checklist right here, right now.

Understanding the importance of local link building is the first step in building out a digital marketing strategy. It’s about quality over quality. Most local businesses don't need tons of links to rank in local search, but they do need quality links from relevant local websites.

Why it matters: Understanding the importance of local link building

If you work with local businesses, you know about local link building. But do you know why it's important? In this section, we'll cover the main benefits of local link building and why you need to consider it as part of your marketing strategy.

Be more visible by boosting local SEO

One of the biggest benefits of local link building is that it can help boost your local search engine optimization (SEO) results. Local SEO simply means optimizing your client’s website to show up as often (and high) as possible in local search results. When you have more local links pointing to your website, search engines like Google see it as a signal that your business is relevant and authoritative in your local area. That relevance can help improve your search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find you online. Read more to find out how local listings information is collected here.

Drive more website traffic

Another benefit of local link building is that more links from other local businesses can help increase relevant website traffic. This can be especially valuable if you're working with a new business or just starting to build an online presence. By getting more traffic to the website, you can increase the chances of turning prospective customers into paying ones.

Build brand credibility

Finally, local link building can help build your brand credibility. When trusted local businesses and websites link to a website, it can signal to potential customers that the business is trustworthy and reputable. This can be especially important if you're in a competitive industry or trying to establish your business as a leader in your local area. Word-of-mouth is essential, and local backlinks are a great way to get a virtual stamp of approval from businesses that customers already know and trust.

In summary, local link building can help boost your local SEO, increase your website traffic, and build your brand credibility. By incorporating local link building into your marketing strategy, you can help strengthen your online presence and introduce more potential customers to the business.

Plan accordingly: Starting your local link building strategy

If you want to improve your client’s local search ranking, it might sound obvious but you need to start building local links. It’s not as simple as just finding websites and slapping them on a website. There are best-practice ways to get backlinks for clients, and even white-label link building services like Vendasta that can make things easier. After all, having a well-thought-out plan makes everything easier.

To get started with your local link building strategy, here are some steps you and your clients can take:

Identifying the right local opportunities

The first step in building local links is to find local opportunities that make sense for your client. You need to find local websites that are relevant to the business and have the potential to link back to their website. Here are some ways to find local opportunities:

  • Search for local directories and citation sites: There are lots of local directories and citation sites where you can list your business and get backlinks. Think Yelp, Google Business Profile, and Yellow Pages, to name a few.
  • Look for local blogs and news sites: Local blogs and news sites are great opportunities to get backlinks. Reach out to them to see if they’re willing to do a link exchange or a backlink for your client.
  • Check your competitors' backlinks: Your competitors' backlinks can also be a source of local link building opportunities. Use a backlink analysis tool to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks and try to get them from the same sources.

Building relationships with local businesses

It’s much easier to ask for a backlink when you have already established communication with a company. By partnering with local businesses, you can get to know other businesses in the area and everyone can benefit from link and information exchanges. Here are some ways to build relationships with local businesses:

  • Offer to write guest posts: This is a great way to get backlinks, build up your portfolio, and also establish a reputation as an expert in your industry.
  • Collaborate on local events: By sponsoring or co-hosting an event, you can get backlinks, get your name out there, and also attract more local customers.
  • Exchange backlinks: Reach out to local businesses and offer to exchange backlinks. This is a win-win situation where both businesses can benefit from each other's backlinks.

Don’t be shy: get involved in local events

By participating in local events, you can showcase your business and also network with other local businesses. Here are some ways to participate in local events:

  • Sponsor local events: Look for local events that are relevant to your business and offer to sponsor them. You can get backlinks on the event page while networking and getting your name out there.
  • Attend local events: Just showing up at local events is a good way to get to know both other businesses and introduce yourself to potential customers. Look for local events that are relevant to your business and attend them — remembering you’re there representing your business so keep things professional.
  • Speak at local events: Speaking at local events is another way to showcase your expertise and also get backlinks. Be sure to choose events that make sense for your business and your prospective customers.


By following these steps, you can start building local links and improve your website's local search ranking. Remember to focus on building genuine relationships with local businesses and participating in local events to get the most out of your local link building strategy. Once you’ve got local links sorted, make sure you spend time on your internal links to boost your overall SEO strategy.

Also, it can be easy to overlook the little things: remember things like including NAP in your SEO plan is key for local success and focusing on Google Maps SEO.

Executing a local link building campaign

When it comes to executing a successful local link building campaign, there are a few key strategies that you should keep in mind. By following these strategies, you can improve your chances of getting high-quality links that will help to boost your local search rankings and drive more traffic to your client’s website. Once you get a handle on managing link building for clients, you can also look into becoming a local SEO reseller to optimize your time and maximize your client roster (and revenue).

Focus on creating high-quality content

One of the most important things you can do to attract high-quality links is to create content that’s informative, engaging, and valuable to your target audience. This can be blog posts, infographics, videos, or other types of content that are relevant to your industry or niche.

When you’re planning your content calendar, it's essential to focus on topics that are both interesting for your target audience and strong enough to be shared and linked to by other websites. And it goes almost without saying that you should also make sure that your content is well-written, easy to read, and visually appealing.

Make sure things are optimized for local keywords

Search engines look for specific ranking factors when determining how relevant content is. Another key strategy for local link building is to optimize your website and content for local keywords. This means using keywords that are relevant to your region and that are likely to be used by people searching for your products or services.

Make sure to include them in your website copy, meta tags, and other on-page elements. You should also create local landing pages specific to the area (especially if you have multiple locations) to really get the most local bang for your buck.

Use social media to your advantage

Finally, social media can be a powerful tool for local SEO link building. Simply sharing your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can increase its visibility and potentially attract more links and shares.

To leverage social media for local link building, you should focus on building a strong, authentic social media presence and engaging with your followers. You should also use social media to promote your content and to connect with other local businesses and influencers in your industry.

Stay the course: monitor and evaluate your link building efforts

The work isn’t done just because you've started your local link building campaign. Every good digital marketer knows it's key to monitor and evaluate your efforts to ensure that you're on the right track. Here are some tips on how to do that effectively.

Use the tools

There are plenty of SEO tools available that can help you monitor your local link building efforts. Some popular options include Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush. These tools can help you track your backlinks, analyze your competitors, and identify new local link building opportunities. For more ideas, check out these 7 local SEO tools to increase visibility.

Analyze link quality

It's important to not just focus on the number of links you're getting, but also the quality of those links. You want to make sure that the links are coming from reputable sources and are relevant to your business. Use tools like Majestic or Ahrefs to analyze the quality of the links you're getting.

Measure your campaign’s success

To measure the success of your local link building campaign, track metrics like organic traffic, search engine rankings, and domain authority. Keep track of these metrics over time to see if your efforts are paying off. You can also use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your progress.

By monitoring and evaluating your local link building efforts, you can make sure that you're on the right track and adjust your strategy if necessary. Use the tips above to ensure that your campaign is successful and driving results for your clients.

You can also bring in reinforcements and use tools like Vendasta’s Listing Builder or white-label listings management to get the same results for your clients without doing all the work internally. There are a number of reasons why agencies might outsource link building-services, including saving time, getting results faster, and saving on overhead.

Frequently asked questions

How can I improve my local link building strategy?

Improving your local link building strategy involves several steps. First, ensure that your website has high-quality content that is relevant to your local audience. Second, research local websites that are relevant to your industry and reach out to them for link building opportunities. Third, create valuable content that local websites will want to link to. Finally, track your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.

What are some effective methods for building local links?

There are several things you can do to build local links. One method is to create valuable content that local websites will want to link to. Another method is to reach out to local businesses and organizations for link building opportunities. You can also participate in local events and sponsor local organizations to build relationships and gain backlinks.

What are the most important local SEO ranking factors to consider for link building?

Some of the most important local SEO ranking factors to consider for link building include the relevance and authority of the linking website, the relevance of the linking page, and the anchor text used in the link. It's also important to consider the overall quality of your website and the relevance of your content to your local audience.

Are there any free link building sites that are effective for local SEO?

There are several free link building sites that can be effective for local SEO, including directories, social media platforms, and community websites. However, it's important to ensure that these sites are relevant to your industry and local audience, and that the links are high-quality and not spammy.

What should I look for in a link building website list for local SEO?

When looking for a link building website list for local SEO, it's important to consider the relevance and authority of the websites on the list, as well as the quality of the backlinks they provide. You should also ensure that the websites are relevant to your industry and local audience, and that they are not spammy or low-quality.

How much should I expect to pay for quality link building services in my area?

The cost of quality link building services can vary depending on your industry, local market, and the specific services you need. However, you should expect to pay a fair price for high-quality link building services that are tailored to your business needs and goals. It's important to work with a reputable and experienced link building provider who can deliver results and help you achieve your business objectives.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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