So we all know that the best way to drive traffic to our websites is to get an entry on the front page of Google, but is there another way that doesn’t rely on search engines? And can it still be applied to Local Business Marketing?
Guest Posting for Local Business Marketing
Well, one method that can provide substantial and residual traffic is to find a blogger in a similar niche who has a popular blog and ask the owner if you can write a guest post on a keyword that relates to both your businesses.
At the end of your post or even within the body of the text, you can include a link to your own blog or website which has been hyperlinked using the keyword or phrase that you are targeting.
Blogs and websites are always looking for content and it can be quite a strain to continually produce such articles yourself so, if you cannot find anyone obvious locally, then Google “your keyword phrase” and “guest post” and this will give you a list of blogs that offer a guest posting opportunity. Some website owners resort to paying for this onerous task by outsourcing. Still more will try to keep their content fresh, current and relevant by having an RSS feed from a variety of other authority sources like CNN or the BBC on their subject.
A guest post is free content for them and most will welcome the opportunity in return for giving you a free backlink. The additional upside for you is that regular visitors to that website may then enjoy your content enough to follow the links back to your site for more.
Of course the sites with the most authority have the suffix .edu or .gov at the end of their url. And you can find those too if you google “your keyword” “guest post” site:.edu
This will give you a list of .edu sites (or .gov) that accept guest posts.
Some gurus suggest that you outsource this and get lots of blog posts written on the many subjects and keywords that relate to your niche. Then you find the blogs that will allow guest posts and distribute your content to those websites. Whilst you will very quickly acquire lots of traffic to your site from the links that come back to your site from within the content or in the resource box, it is something that requires careful monitoring if you want to maintain the quality of the articles.
Some do not care so long as it doesn’t have the business owner’s name or company in the byline, just in the anchor text but others prefer to be more careful of their reputation. I would say that this is very important for those engaged in local business marketing.
Local Business and Article Marketing
Another great way of driving lots of traffic to your local business website is through Article Marketing. This is where articles are submitted to a variety of directories by local business owners and the content is then used by other sites who need content about that subject. They repost it on their own sites together with a resource box which links back to the site of the original author using their keywords. However, this can be a rather hit and miss affair in terms of the quality of the backlinks that are being derived since some sites have less authority than others.
Another downside is that some site owners just cheat and steal the content without including the resource box. These should be reported because they are not playing the game. First you should contact them and alert them to the rules of article marketing and the necessity for the resource box to be used. If they will not comply, then you can threaten to report them to their ISP provider. This normally does the trick as they don’t want to get into that sort of trouble and will remove your article.
The sites that do use article marketing correctly are the targets for another type of campaign strategy – find sites in your niche that use articles from article directories and then contact the owners of those websites to see if they are interested in receiving exclusive articles from you in return for a backlink to your own site within the resource box or body of the text. Remember, contextual links in the body of the work count far more with the search engines than those anywhere else, including the resource box.
It doesn’t matter if these businesses are not even on the same continent, so long as you are writing about similar products and providing good information. The backlinks will be good ones because they are relevant and you may also drive interested readers from that country to find out more information about that product from your site. Even if they don’t actually convert into buyers, their presence on your site will help to confirm to Google that your own content has value. Another big plus for your local business marketing efforts.
Traffic and Backlinks Through Blog Commenting
Local Business Marketing does not always need to choose obvious or traditional strategies. Whilst not quite as juicy as a hyperlinked anchor texted contextual link in the body of the post, blog commenting is another way of getting your name/the name of your website out there and growing a backlink from a variety of authority sites.
Now there are many keyword related blog harvesters which will use terms or phrases that you specify to go out to other blogs and leave a comment. Some of them are able to work out the page rank of each blog and only leave comments on those sites with higher authority – as specified by you. Still more are even clever enough to avoid detection by the search engines because they use proxies to hide the IP addresses.
These tools will auto comment for you, saving you lots of time. However, the remarks that they leave are taken at random from a list that you input into a text file.
The problem with auto-commenting is that they are, by their very nature, generic. The tool is a machine; it can only work within the parameters that you have programmed. So, yes, it will find websites that are related to a particular keyword and the really swish ones may even be able to identify individual posts within that website which are also about your keyword. But can they write a comment that truly relates to what that post is about and adds to any conversation there? Well, only if you’re really lucky and if you have also taken the time to write an entry that is particularly thought provoking.
With blog commenting, it is far better to identify good authority sites with high page ranks and regular traffic and go and join in the conversation. Sites which have the Comment Luv premium plugin are especially good for this as they allow you not only to have a link behind a keyworded version your name – YourName@YourKeyword – but also to choose your favourite and best related post from the last ten entries on your own blog.
Effective blog commenting means that, even though you are engaged in local business marketing, you can still attract new visitors to your own site if you make your contributions entertaining enough.