By Jesse Stoler
14 May 2015

A Recap of #LinkaratiChat - Link Building on the Local Level

SEO Strategy

On May 11, we held the fifth installment of our Twitter Chat, #LinkaratiChat. This chat was called, “Link Building on the Local Level.”

We were incredibly excited that Michael Stricker of SEMrush agreed to join us as our featured guest. SEMrush has their own Twitter chat that they host every Wednesday at 11:00 EST. Some of us on the Linkarati staff have been participating in that chat for months. It’s engaging, informative, and an amazing opportunity to build relationships with other people within the industry. As it happens, the #semrushchat was a primary inspiration for our chat. That’s a roundabout way of saying we were honored Stricker and others from SEMrush chatted with us.

We asked seven questions this time around, all of which were related to local link building.

So without further ado, let’s recap the amazing answers!

What Factors Should You Consider Before Building Links for a Local Business?


Our first answer came courtesy of Devin Boudreaux:

The Internet has a great memory. You might have once used a phone number that you abandoned five years ago, yet there could be some pages all across the vast web that still remember you by that number. If there’s misinformation about you on the web, it’s best to know about in advance. It could come back to bite you otherwise.

Annalisa M. Hilliard had this to say:

This really applies to link building at any scale, local or national. It’s much easier to build links when you have content or resources available on your site that people will actually want to link to. It’s important to take time to identify what assets you already have, and what assets you could feasibly create.

How Does Locality Change Your Link Building Processes?


Here’s how SEOcial responded:

The relevancy rules are a little different in local building. There are partnerships within your local community worth pursuing, even if they’re not in your industry. Say you run a mom-and-pop hardware store in Boise. If you linked to a catering service in Detroit, there wouldn’t be a lot of sensical reasons for that. If that same service was in Boise, and you really like what they did for you at your office Christmas party, it’s perfectly natural to link to them as a “thank you.”

Jeriann Watkins pretty much agreed:

Because you’re engaging in local link building, your audience is different. You should still put an emphasis on people specifically interested in your niche, but you can also appeal to people in your community; people who recognize your brand.

What Impact, If Any, Have You Seen From Mobilegeddon Across Local Search?


Our featured guest had this to say:

Despite what was reported, Mobilegeddon is not over - only the first phase is. We don’t know everything about the update, and with Google’s penchant for secrecy we never will. The one thing we can be certain of is that it’s not over, and Google will be pushing more towards mobile-optimization, now that mobile search has eclipsed desktop search.

SEMrush did offer up an interesting piece of information though:

There are conspiracy theorists out there that believe Google consistently bends over backwards to protect big brands. I won’t deny that a little dose of favorability comes into play from time-to-time, but Google does have a history of penalizing brands when circumstances dictate. Google isn’t interested in bettering the online experience for brands; they’re interested in bettering the online experience for users.

What Alternative Outreach Methods Are Available With Local Link Building?


Linkarati’s managing editor Cory Collins said:

If you build links for a national brand, flying from Boise to Philadelphia for one link is utterly implausible. But if you want a link from a business that’s only a mile away, it frankly might be more effective to just go to that business and talk to them. It’s more personal that way.

Here was a great tip from Michael Stricker:

A little helping of altruism is one of the best marketing tactics available, online or off. Obviously you don’t give away the entire farm, but providing smaller/easier services as a way to ingratiate yourself can often work in your favor.

How Does NAP Citations Factor Into Your Link Building?


Thomas McMahon chimed in with:

The Internet has an anarchistic streak to it - there’s so much you can’t control. Because of that, it’s important you work diligently to correct the information that you CAN control.

Linkarati staff writer Andrew Dennis responded by saying:

The Internet is filled with misinformation. Much of it is harmless, but some of it can really damage your link building campaign. If Google doesn’t know where you are, the people who use Google won’t either.

How Did Pigeon Change Your Local Link Building?


Annalisa M. Hilliard said:

Okay, our bad. Pigeon didn’t change the most fundamental fact of link building: every link you pursue should be natural, relevant, and useful to the online experience.

Our esteemed featured guest said:

First off, on a writerly note, I’m jealous that I didn’t coin the term “bricks’n’clicks.” But Stricker is right: national brands can benefit just as much from local link building as much as mom ‘n pops do.

What Are Your Goals for Local Link Building?


Anthony D. Nelson said the following:

I’m a huge proponent of competitor backlinking. When you start a campaign, one of the greatest sources of link prospects will be your the backlink profiles of the sites you compete with. Ordinarily if they can get a link on a site, you should be able to as well. Ordinarily, not always. If you can figure out a way to build natural, relevant links that would stretch your competitor, then absolutely pursue that opportunity. It will give you a leg up.

SEMrush responded with:

There are some that would say that link building is exclusively about increasing your visibility in organic search. That should be your number one goal, but there are other advantages to links and link building.

That’s a Wrap!

Those were just a handful of the amazing answers we had in our chat. You can find all of them with #LinkaratiChat on Twitter. Also, here's a great slideshare that SEMrush put together for the chat.

Join us next time on June 1, 1:00 EST. Featured guest and topic are pending as of now, but we will tweet it out from the Linkarati account when we know more. With that said, we’d like to say the following to everyone that participated:


Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler has years of experience in the SEO industry. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.