Local SEO Tips for London Businesses: Building Links in Your Community

If you run a business in London, you know how competitive it can be to rank highly in local search and attract new customers. One of the most important local SEO ranking factors is building locally relevant links from websites in your community. 

This article will look at numerous methods London businesses can establish high-quality local links to increase their visibility and attract more clients.

Why Building Local Links is Crucial for Ranking in Local Search Results

Google cares a lot about how locally relevant and authoritative a business is when determining local pack rankings. An effective way to signal authority and relevance is by obtaining links from local community websites. 

The more high-quality London-focused links you can build, the more Google sees your business as a trusted and integral part of the community. This leads to higher rankings for London-specific search queries and keywords.

Some key benefits of building local links include:

  • Increased visibility in local pack results for geographic and intent-based searches.
  • Higher rankings for non-branded keywords focused on your London location and offerings.
  • More referral traffic from people searching for local businesses.
  • Greater word-of-mouth and awareness as a local business.

Ways for London Businesses to Build Links in Their Community

There are many creative strategies London businesses can use to build authoritative local links, beyond just directories. Here are some of the most effective methods.

1. Optimize and Build Links to Your Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business (GMB) listing serves as your digital storefront on Google. It allows customers to find and engage with your local business. Optimizing your GMB listing and building quality links to it should be a priority.

Tips for optimizing and linking your GMB listing:

  • Fill out your GMB profile completely with accurate business details like name, address, categories, offerings etc. This helps Google verify and determine relevance.
  • Add high-quality photos of your storefront, products/services, staff and customers to bring your business to life.
  • Prompt customers to leave detailed 5-star reviews describing positive experiences, aiming for 30+ reviews.
  • Build links to your GMB listing from influential local directories, newspaper sites, niche sites and associations relevant to your neighborhood and region.
  • Encourage loyal customers to link to your GMB profile from their websites or social media if relevant.
  • Claim and optimize your GMB listing on Google Maps for greater visibility in map results.

2. Participate in The Local Community

Actively participating in your local London community provides great opportunities to build awareness, goodwill, and relevant links for your business. Supporting local organizations ultimately supports your business too.

There are several ways to get involved:

  • Sponsor local sports teams and events. Offer to provide funding, products or services in exchange for being featured as a sponsor on their website, uniforms, banners etc.
  • Support local charities and nonprofits through monetary or in-kind donations. Offer to optimize their online presence by improving website copy, technical SEO, content etc. in exchange for links and exposure.
  • Volunteer your time, services and expertise to community events and causes. Local schools often appreciate professionals who can teach students relevant skills.
  • Attend neighborhood events and meetings to connect with residents, influencers and businesses. Look for potential partnerships and links.
  • Join local business associations and network. Exchange content, co-host events and cross-link websites with fellow members.

3. Partner with Complementary Local Businesses

Reach out to other London businesses that serve the same audience but don’t directly compete with you. Partner with them on link building campaigns through guest posts, joint local directories, and cross linking between your websites.

You can also offer discounts or promotions to customers for partner businesses and request they return the favor. This builds local awareness. The more creative you get with synergistic partnerships, the better. 

4. Reclaim Links from Old Local Citations

As your business grows and evolves, you likely have old local SEO citations, directories, and listings that still link back to your website from when you first established your local SEO. However, many of these sites and links may now be outdated or defunct.

Search your domain on Google and other engines to find outdated local citations and listings still pointing to your site. Compile a list of these previous local citations and determine which domains still have decent authority and relevance.  You need to filter out low-value links.

For quality domains, reach out and ask if they would be willing to update your old listing to current information and renew the link. Provide fresh logos, images etc.

You can also offer to create and contribute a blog post, local data resources, or other assets relevant to the site’s audience in exchange for link renewal. If the old site is defunct, find an active domain and pitch linking to your current website.

5. Get Press and Features on Local News and Industry Sites

Position yourself as an expert in your industry and pitch relevant local news sites for contributed articles and interviews. Distribute press releases about company achievements, awards, or launches. This can lead to high value links and exposure.

You can also repurpose content into different formats such as converting a blog post into a podcast interview. This makes it easy for the media to cover your story.

6. Proactively Reach Out to Local Websites

Do research to identify niche local websites, blogs, publications, and resources focused on topics, neighborhoods, or verticals relevant to your London business. Then proactively reach out to build a relationship and see if they are open to linking to great local content you can provide.

Offer to create guest posts, provide data, infographics or other local resources tailored to resonate with the site’s audience. If they agree to a link in exchange for content, ensure you follow through and meet all expectations around content quality, formatting, and guidelines.

7. Create Link-Worthy Local Content

Your own website should make it easy for local sites to find relevant reasons to link to you. Creating pages and digital PR content specifically optimized for London neighborhoods and topics you serve gives sites natural opportunities to reference your content and resources.

Types of link-worthy local content:

  • Publish dedicated pages with information, offerings, and optimization for the different regions, boroughs, or neighborhoods you serve in London.
  • Create detailed local area guides with recommendations and tips showcasing your knowledge. For example “Top 10 Coffee Shops in Camden”.
  • Add locally-optimized schema markup to highlight your London location and offerings for search engines.
  • Produce weekly or monthly local blogs covering London news, events, industry insights etc.
  • Create resource lists and guides related to your services for Londoners. For example, an accountant can share tax resources.
  • Update your services/products pages regularly with new options, specials and offerings that London websites can link to in their recommendation and product roundups.

Final Words

Local SEO can often be overlooked by businesses focused on wider digital marketing campaigns. You need to realize there is huge value in showing up prominently for geographic and intent-based searches in Google local packs. This visibility leads to more phone calls, walk-ins, and conversions from nearby customers.

Don’t rely solely on directories for links. Be creative in building partnerships. You can drive tremendous growth  with a thoughtful, persistent, and diversified approach to local link building. 

Compete smarter by becoming a recognized and trusted part of local communities through link building. Remember, the long term gains are game changing and well worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is local link building important for London businesses?
Local links help London businesses rank higher in local SEO by signaling to Google that a business is relevant and trusted in the local community. This results in improved local pack rankings and visibility.

How can I use local events and organizations to build links?
You can sponsor local events, teams, and charities in exchange for links on their websites. Volunteering for nonprofits and optimizing their web presence in return for a link is also recommended.

What is link reclamation and how can it help?
Link reclamation involves finding outdated local SEO citations and listings that link to you, then building fresh links from those domains to recapture the SEO value.

Why is unique, localized content important for link building?
Unique local content optimized for each area gives websites a relevant reason to link to you. The article suggests location pages and London-focused blogs.

What does a relationship-based approach to local link building involve?
This means identifying and connecting with local webmasters, influencers, and partners in an ongoing way to provide value through content, data, etc. before requesting links.