In the internet era, people are more likely to share links with their friends and family rather than local business information. These link-sharing habits have made it difficult for businesses that rely on word of mouth marketing. However, there is a new movement in ecommerce called Localization where companies make sure every website has hyperlinks directly to a localized page for each geographic area that they sell products or services in. This can be seen as an example of why traditional local media outlets will succeed even though online news sources continue to grow.,
With the rise of social media, marketing has changed. The old rules are no longer in effect. In order to be successful, local links may reign supreme.
We all know Google has a lot of data about us, but how much of it is accurate?
You may download all of the data linked with your gmail account if you have one. The zip size was 13.98GB when I requested my data in October. That’s a lot of details.
Google gathers two-thirds of its data without user permission, according to a research commissioned by an Oracle lobbying organization (so take it with a grain of salt).
That means Google has a total of more than 41.94GB to deal with, based on my data in the image above. They have a lot of information on me, including where I travel, what I spend my money on, demographic information, search history, and so on.
If you’re wondering about your personal data, follow this step-by-step guide to acquire a Google summary.
This information is undoubtedly utilized for commercial reasons, but surely it is also used at the local level, right?
Google’s purpose with local search, in my view, is to rank what’s popular in the physical world in the internet world. Have you ever come upon a site that is ranking high locally and you’re left scratching your head, unsure why?
If you spend time investigating a company (organization), you’ll almost certainly discover that they’ve been in operation for a long time and are actively engaged in the community.
I’m talking about community participation, strong relationships to their local community, and local events (no links, maybe an unstructured reference).
Why wouldn’t Google utilize this real-world data on users to help inform their machine learning models? Here’s a patent that could aid my case: Bill Slawski ranks local businesses based on quality metrics such as travel time. Here’s a short rundown of what’s going on:
Google may utilize the time it takes people to travel to a location as an indicator of that location’s quality. They may also consider the number of comparable companies one sees on the route to their destination as a measure of its quality. Furthermore, this “time investment” statistic is used in their Google Maps use monitoring, thus walking, driving, or using public transportation would all be included in this time investment.
Now, let’s go back to why local connections could be the best option. Is it preferable to establish topical or local links for local search?
For the record, citations or citation building are local linkages.
We ran some link building tests in January of this year. There were five distinct experiments, each with four sites and a control group. When I began analyzing the data, I discovered an intriguing finding.
A test site was ranked No. 1 in the maps for the main query for months, then suddenly slipped to No. 3 out of nowhere.
Both of the rivals who advanced received a connection from a local realtor who had just started a new website. The new site for a local realtor has a DR of 0 and a DA of 1.
When I looked into the realtor more, I discovered that he had over 5,000 Facebook likes and had worked in the neighborhood for over 20 years.
If third-party metrics were used to compare the referring domains of the three outcomes, my test had a superior link profile. There are more referring domains now. The usage of anchor text is excellent. Links to related topics, etc.
Bring Attention to Your Company from Anywhere
The test had more reviews and a quicker review velocity on Google My Business. The information inside the reviews was also quite deep, with a lot of background. Traditional link-building reasoning was shattered by this solitary connection. You may see flaws in this one situation.
I’m not suggesting that topical link building isn’t vital; it is if you’re working in the YMYL categories. However, for businesses other than YMYL, you should concentrate on establishing local connections.
Actually, you should be concentrating on being active in the local community.
I believe it’s a good idea to build up a link benchmark report before discarding everything and taking this approach. You may get a copy of a sheet that I created here. On the second page, I picked a random sample.
Instead of going out and developing connections blindly, a benchmark might assist you figure out where you might be missing. We need to recognize that local links assist infer that your website is a credible local business, especially as greater emphasis is placed on machine learning and structured data.
Do This First Before You Begin Building These Links
Often, agencies and company owners will simply seek out sponsorship possibilities in order to get in front of their local audience and reap the advantages of a local tie-in. Local sponsorships are a wonderful method to get local ties, increase your presence in your community, and reach out to prospective clients.
More often than not, they provide more than simply a link, such as:
Social media references on their various social media platforms
Email newsletter mentions
Recognized events (if applicable)
Put yourself in front of prospective clients.
Construction of a local brand
Do you know what matters to your present consumers besides your goods and services? Maybe, but most likely not. There are various methods for obtaining this information, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Affinity Categories in Google Analytics
Affinity categories will reveal what your consumers are interested in outside of your industry.
Follow these steps to view them:
- Go to analytics.google.com and sign in.
- In the left-hand column, choose Audience.
- Select Interests.
- Select Affinity Categories from the drop-down menu.
- Change the default 30-day date range to either a 6-month or 12-month date range.
Here’s an example of a small-and-mid-sized business’s top 20 Affinity Categories:
You could see certain commonalities as you move through the list, but there are additional categories that can be used to tie up with local sponsorship possibilities.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Idea No. 1: Pet Lovers is the No. 3 Affinity Category. Why don’t we check if we can collaborate in some way with the local no-kill animal shelter?
- Idea No. 2: Business Professionals is the No. 5 Affinity Category. Is there any local professional group with whom we might collaborate and reach out to their members?
- Outdoor Enthusiasts is the No. 12 Affinity Category, according to Idea No. 3. Is there any chance we may fund a local or neighborhood beautification project?
If you have your customers’ email addresses in a database or an email marketing service, a survey to solicit feedback might be beneficial. It is, however, not the most convenient method of receiving comments.
To conduct these surveys, you may utilize a site like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. When conducting a survey, it’s preferable to bring your own ideas rather than starting from scratch.
I’d suggest looking through your Affinity Categories and brainstorming ideas, then asking your consumers what they believe your company should do. Because your consumers are engaged in how you go ahead, this may help develop even more brand loyalty.
After you’ve looked through your personal Affinity Categories and found some prospective prospects, you’ll want to contact these groups to see what options are available. It’s really fantastic news if you go to their website and discover that they don’t connect out to anybody!
Scholarship Link Building is something you’re probably acquainted with if you’ve ever worked in a legal firm. External scholarships are listed on the websites of colleges around the nation; hey, PageRank passing.edu connections!
What occurred was that every agency and their brother saw what was going on and began providing scholarships in exchange for those connections. On a college’s external scholarships page, what used to be a dozen or two external connections has grown to hundreds, thus diluting the usefulness of such links.
My argument is that just because the local no-kill animal shelter doesn’t have any external connections (if we use concept No. 1) doesn’t imply they aren’t open to it. Simply call and ask for the appropriate person to talk with and present your concept. Most of the time, they’re receptive.
Don’t attempt this with the Red Cross of the United States of America. I’ve been there, tried that, and it didn’t work out.
Bring Attention to Your Company from Anywhere
Begin forming your community (as well as local ties).
You are the only external connection on the website if you can work with a local group that never links out and secure the link!
Sure, there could be other external linkages, but you’ll almost certainly be the only one in your industry and area.
Begin cultivating relationships with other groups in your town and raising brand recognition among locals, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting more online (and in-person!) attention.