When I saw that Rand, over at Moz, released a whiteboard friday about local link building for non-local sites I jumped for joy. A few people in the Local SEO space have been talking about this for a while, and it’s awesome to have Rand using his megaphone to draw attention to it.
I wanted to add some case study data, just to show this isn’t just some theoretical thing. It’s something that can be done relatively at scale, and have a massive impact for local and non-local brands alike. We have been doing local link building for one of the major players in the coupons space for a bit, and the results have been pretty great.
Here are the rankings for said client from Conductor, paired against monthly search volumes:
The only tactic performed on this URL over the time period was local link building. You can see how big of an impact this has had for them, on some pretty high volume (and competitive terms), for a single URL. This is also a monetized URL, so this increase should translate directly to increased revenue. Just in case you need to see it, here is the same URL from Google Search Analytics showing how much local link building not only increased rankings, but stabilized them:
The best part about this is all of these links are “on brand” for this client. Specifically they are in places where their target demographic will get exposure to their brand. That is one of the major benefits of local link building for non-local sites, your business might not be local but your potential customers are.
What Can I Do To Start?
As with most link building campaigns, it’s really critical to get some direction/focus, so let’s start there. Google Analytics is going to be your best friend for this. Non-Local SEO’s may not be super familiar with the Geo report. It let’s you sort KPI’s based on what geographic region users are coming to your site from. Using this report, or using it as a secondary dimension or advanced segment, will let you answer some critical questions for your link building campaigns. For instance, you can answer questions like which markets convert the best based on category/product/campaign. Some examples:
- Los Angeles might convert better for iPads then they do for MacBook pros
- The Decemberists might get more ticket sales in Brooklyn then they do in Nashville
This really provides some great focus to the beginning of link building campaigns because you can work to build local links in markets where you know you can already win!
Of course, if all else fails and you have a product/service to sell you can just do a Groupon.