Building Local Backlinks for Your Small Business
Local Backlinks

Written by: Jabari Thompson

A rising entrepreneur who started from freelance web design. Jabari works with NJ small businesses and nonprofits to increase their search presence.
Updated on: September 30, 2023

What Are Local Backlinks 

Local backlinks are different from your ordinary backlink. A local backlink is a link from another website that comes from a source in the area where you sell your product or service. Local backlinks are a main factor in developing a local SEO strategy. You can build local backlinks through listing your website in local directories, guest blogging, and local online news sites. Let’s dive deeper into why local backlinks are important for local SEO.

Benefits of local backlinks for local SEO 

Local backlinks drive nearby leads and traffic to your website. You want your website to link to as many relevant local sources as possible, especially as a small business. Building local backlinks involves networking with other content creators, publicists, and organizations in your community. By doing so, you can build connections that can further build your business reputation. The more credibility you establish as a local thought leader by gaining local links, the more people will want to link to you and collaborate with you.

How to Build Local Backlinks for Your Small Business

Creating Social Media Profiles

The easiest backlinks you create will come from your social media profiles. You can create Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts using your location in your profile. While social media backlinks are not necessarily local backlinks, they can help target businesses in your area on your social platforms of choice. When creating your social profiles make sure that your name, address, and phone (NAP) information is consistent across all social channels. This means that your name, address, and phone number should be the same everywhere it shows on the Internet. 

Listing on Business Directories

You can earn your first high authority backlink from listing your website on online directories. Start with listing your website for free through the Better Business Bureau and Whitepages. If you have a business in technology or business services, you can list your business on Clutch’s online directory. Another important business directory to list your business is through Google My Business. Creating a Google My Business profile shows your business to local customers/clients. Setting up your GMB profile is a key part of local SEO, every small business should have it set up.

Advanced Search for Business Directories

To find online directories specifically in your area, you can use Google’s advanced search tool. Advanced search allows you to tailor your search to be more specific and precise. Here’s an example of an advanced search for new jersey business directories

Google advanced search for business directories in New Jersey

Getting Backlinks from Local News Sites and Online Communities

Does your city or town have a local newspaper? If so, they should also have an online source for their paper as well. You can reach out to local news sites that have posted articles related to your niche. Advanced search can be used to find opportunities to collab with news sites. Use phrases such as “write for us” or “guest post” to find creators looking for collaborations.

Google advanced search for guest blogging in New Jersey

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is when you write or publish an article on someone else’s blog. Expressing your opinions and thoughts on other blogs can help bring referral traffic to your website. It also gives you an opportunity to expand your audience and network with other content creators in your niche. 

Securing Guest Blogging Opportunities

In order to secure guest blogging opportunities you need to form relationships. Here are a few ways to engage with other blog writers to do so.

  • Share other writers blog posts on your social media pages with your own insight or anecdote
  • Send a personalized email (see below)

Hello [writer’s name], 

Hope all is well, I found your post on [blog article topic] very insightful. [Insert a major takeaway from the post you read] I was wondering if you would be interested in working together on a post about [trending niche topic]. Lately, I have found this topic to be a main talking point in our niche. I would love to get your feedback on it!

Thank You [Your Name]

Networking at Local Events

Find events in your area where other people in your niche are meeting up. This is an opportunity to establish long term connections and partner up with other content creators. These events are full of people that share your interests, and may be willing to link to your content through a guest blog, social media shoutout, etc. Be sure to be genuine in your intentions. Focus on fostering a relationship, not just getting the link. You can find niche-related events by using a site like or Eventbrite.

How to Attract Local Backlinks 

Fix Broken Links 

Make sure your website is user friendly. This is a sign that content is trustworthy and can be recognized as a reputable source. One way to ensure user-friendliness is fixing broken links. You can find out more about how to fix broken links in our blog post here

Create Content People Want to Read

User experience goes beyond the technical aspects of your website. You want to make sure that when someone stumbles upon your content, they want to hear or read more. Blog writing is unlike essay writing or other forms of writing you may have done for school or work projects. Good blog posts get right to the point and help solve problems. Here’s some tips to remember when writing a blog post.

  • Avoid using big words (Keep it Simple)
  • Don’t use fluffy words (really, very, mainly…)
  • Write in the active voice 
  • Space out your content (Separate ideas in sub paragraphs)

Build Topical Relevance 

The more authority your website has, the more other writers will want to collaborate with you on content. Topical authority is the process of creating blog content that captures most aspects of a certain topic. You start with a main topic. Then you form several subtopics related to specific parts of the main topic. From there you can create sub-sub topics that explain a specific area of your niche. These sub-sub topics can be specific to a location for local SEO benefits. Sounds pretty confusing… I know. That’s what a topical map is for. You can use a topical map to sort out your topics and subtopics so that you can create valuable blog content.

Topical map structure

Optimize for Featured Snippets: 

A featured snippet is the blurb of information that appears when you ask Google a specific question, or for details about a person, event, or place, etc. This snippet is usually shown at the top of the search engine result page. Sometimes they are shown in the middle of the search engine result page. Featured snippets are usually taken from one of the top articles that appeared for your search. Being shown as a featured snippet can give your website more visibility. This visibility may help you be recognized for a linking opportunity, as it symbolizes your website has authority and is trusted by Google.

Adding Schema Markup

In order for your site to appear in a featured snippet, you need to add schema markup to your site’s backend. Schema markup is a piece of structured data code that gives Google information about your website. See our post on schema markup to learn how to add it to your site. Before adding schema markup, you need to make sure the content you want for your featured snippet, gives a direct answer. This means don’t waste time giving a full out explanation of what the user is searching for. Give a short and specific answer that directly addresses the user’s search intent. This will give you a better chance of appearing for featured snippets.

Measuring the Impact of Your Backlinks

Once you start accumulating backlinks, you want to see the effect they have on your website. First, you need to find how many backlinks you have. You can do this using Google Search Console. Just follow these steps:

—> Log in to Google Search Console 

—> Scroll down to Links

Google search console: "Links"

—> All of your Backlinks are under “Top Linking Sites” 

Top linking sites on Google search console

—> In the “Links” section of Google Search Console, you can also see the pages on your website that the backlinks link to. Click on “Top Linked Pages” and you will see a list of all the pages of your website that have backlinks.

List of local backlinks on Google search console

You can then analyze each of your website links based on the number of backlinks, and check the performance of those pages to see how well they are performing. Simply put the URL of the page you want to check into the top search bar that says “Inspect Any URL on “Your website domain”.

Recap: Building Local Backlinks for Your Small Business

Local backlinks can be a difference maker in whether your site ranks on the first page of a local search result. Now that you know how to build local backlinks, you can apply this to your own website. My advice is start with your social media accounts. Maximize the amount of links you can set up on all of your social accounts. Then make sure to list your site with the Better Business Bureau and YellowPages. Once all of this is done, you can work on optimizing your content. For more help with building a local backlink strategy for your business, contact us today for a free consultation session!


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