I recently wrote about an overall SEO strategy for restaurants.
While having a great website with a killer menu is awesome, you’ll need to do a few more things to get in Google’s good graces. One of the major ranking factors that encourages the search engines to grant you some nice organic traffic is the number and quality of the links that are pointing to your site. Why are links so important?
While this may sound complicated in theory, in practice, it’s pretty straightforward. Your mission is to find websites that want to mention your local business. Here are a few ways you can do this.
- Guest Blogging
Guest blogging involves you writing content that includes a link to your site for another site. This is a win/win/win. The site you are writing for gets quality content and time back in their day to spend time with their friends and family. The site’s readers get quality content from a different perspective that is consistent with the overall theme of the site and you get to put your content (and brand) in front of a readership that you don’t have to work hard to build. And, of course, you get that juicy link pointing back to your site to drive your SEO efforts.
A citation is a mention of your site that gives the readers an opportunity to review your site or service. Yelp.com is a very big player in this space. There are probably hundreds of these all around the web. Some have more SEO value than others, but they are all important in some way. While the SEO value that is transferred to your site may be minimal, the power is in the mention and the potential traffic that will be sent to your site. Here are a few on which you should concentrate. While this is specific to the restaurant industry, there are others that cater to specific local industries.
- Google Places
While the others before this require no monetary investment, there are some opportunities out there that can provide a lot of value with a small piece of your marketing budget. Don’t worry, you don’t have to break the bank for this. Here are some ideas:
- Sponsor a local little league team. They are always looking for money to help kids, they don’t require a huge investment and you will do some good in your neighborhood
- Sponsor a local event. Google something like “local events” and you are sure to find something
- Sponsor a MeetUp group. Go to Meetup.com and do a keyword search for the industry that you are in. There will surely be a group out there that wouldn’t mind supporting your brand for a little pocket change
Sometimes, your most valuable asset is your time. Let’s say you are a local lawyer and you want to build some links to your practice. Why not give some of your time to a local startup blog that needs some content. You can use your law expertise to speak about topics that are relevant to the startup community such as “how to start a c corp” or “things to consider before accepting venture capital.”
Creativity is important here. Using the same lawyer example, maybe you want to work with a local hip hop blog to share your perspective on getting your songs licensed to use on television shows. The possibilities are out there and they are endless if you are creative enough.
- Just be a good person
Sometimes, just being yourself is enough to earn press and links. For example, Wil Reynolds from SEER Interactive slept outside to raise money for a great cause. This brought attention to his non-profit and they also linked to his donation page.
So, there you have it. Some straightforward ways to earn some valuable links for your local business. If you need some more help and you’d like to work with us. Feel free to sign up for our free SEO Audit. We’d love to help!