Leverage Local Media Websites and Community Resource Pages To Get Backlinks For Your Site Right Now

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still important to focus on your SEO and website.  One thing that is important to your SEO, but often hard to execute, is getting more backlinks for your site.  A great way to get backlinks right now is to tap into your local media and community resource websites. Right now, most of these organizations have web pages or sections of their website dedicated to giving local businesses more visibility.  There are resource pages, maps, and listings of businesses that are open, and the services they provide.  This is an excellent and easy way to obtain great high quality and relevant backlinks for your website.  In this episode we’ll discuss the tactics and strategies you can take advantage of right now.

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  • Backlinks are a big part of search engine ranking in Google
  • Most media outlets have a page online to list local businesses that are open
  • Often times you can link back to your website on these sites
  • Find local TV, radio, newspaper, or online publications
  • Look for their Coronavirus resources area and find their posting area
  • Get your business listed in as many as possible

Here is the transcription from Episode 57 Super Easy Way To Get Backlinks From Your Local Media and Community Resource Websites;

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to help you get your business found online. Joined by Bob Brennan again in this episode … I did that backwards. So first I should say, I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, joined by Bob Brennan again in this episode.

Jesse Dolan: I’m doing a virtual Zoom meeting again here. So thanks for being on this one again, Bob, it is good to keep seeing your face since I’m doing these solo. It’s a lot … I got to say too, it’s a lot different doing it with you again. Like I talk slower, things are more engaging and I just think these episodes can turn out a lot better when we’re both on it. So thanks for doing the technological Zoom thing here.

Bob Brennan: No problem.

Jesse Dolan: So to speak. Sorry, go ahead.

Bob Brennan: No problem. It’s just when we do it the other way, the camera’s kind of … We’re both facing the camera, so we’re kind of aside each other. Where now we’re like directly looking at each other, so it is better this way. If we do it this way going forward, wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Jesse Dolan: No, I don’t mind it one bit, once we got it up and running here. So this week on topic here, what we’re going to be talking about is something a little bit more directly SEO related than the past few episodes. We’re still in the context of the coronavirus slash COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not going to get rid of that here anytime soon. So this topic is going to walk a little bit more SEO than the previous ones, but definitely on point here with the pandemic.

Jesse Dolan: Before we get into that, I want to mention as we always do, our free instant SEO audits. If you haven’t taken advantage of that yet, go on out to our website, localseotactics.com. It’s totally free. It’s real quick. You just input your webpage, your email address and the keyword you want to audit your website against. And it’s going to give you a quick punch list of everything that’s good and bad happening on your website, as it relates to that keyword for optimization.

Jesse Dolan: Superslick. If you have any questions right now if you’re wondering, is my website optimized for this keyword? Is there anything I need to do? Whether you’re a marketer, whether you’re a business owner or you can barely even get to localseotactics.com, go in there, click on the yellow button. Free instant SEO audit. Plugin your website, and it’s going to spit you back a report that’s super useful. We get tons of great feedback with that. So make sure you check that out.

Jesse Dolan: This week’s topic here, what we’re going to be talking about is getting backlinks. So in the previous episode, Bob was mentioning how everybody’s got … Well, I shouldn’t say everybody. Not everybody’s in the same boat here right now. Some people are working 10, 12 hours a day, and being the teacher, being the cook, everything else. So I don’t mean to be shortsighted on that.

Jesse Dolan: But in business, hopefully there’s some people on your team right now that do have some extra capacity if they’re working from home. And if not, if part of your job is focusing on SEO, this is something you can directly do yourself. What we’re going to be talking about here is how to take some of this time and build some backlinks for your website, for your web pages and for your business. Because there’s really two main buckets, to get a little technical on SEO here.

Jesse Dolan: There’s two main buckets to kind of move the needle in SEO. One is on page, which is doing stuff to your website or to your Google My Business, even to kind of lump that in there. For optimizing for keywords, for content creation and for all that stuff. But then there’s off page, which is things that are not on your website. One of the big off page items for SEO is getting a backlink from another website.

Jesse Dolan: Google has tried over the last couple of years to change their algorithm, leverage their machine learning and artificial intelligence to not rely so much on the backlinks as part of their formula to how to rank and present websites. But that’s just, at this point at least, too hard-coded, for lack of a better phrase, into the DNA of their search algorithm. That’s kind of where it all started back in the day is with this backlinking.

Jesse Dolan: And essentially how that works is, if you can envision your website sitting there all by itself, out there on the worldwide web. If another website, if my website links to yours, if I say, hey, check out this great website over here, and I put a link to my website that brings people to yours. When Google sees that they say, hey, this website must have some kind of authority or some kind of popularity or some kind of information that’s relevant because this other website is telling people to go from here to there. There must be a reason for that.

Jesse Dolan: And kind of in its most basic terms, that’s what a backlink does. And that’s why a backlink has value in the eyes of Google. It’s a way to gauge popularity, to gauge relevance, to gauge authority. And it’s just too good of a method for them to get rid of. So this isn’t going to go away anytime soon. It’s been around since the beginning of Google, it’s kind of what they’re built on. And there’s something we can do right now with the current pandemic going on to take advantage of the situation and the opportunity presented, and get some backlinks.

Jesse Dolan: So something that’s a little unique right now, and specifically what we’re talking about here, is local media outlets. They, right now, are very much a hub. I don’t know about you, Bob, but I know my family, we’re tuned into the news. Sometimes we just have to turn it off and take a break, obviously, right? But we are tuned into the news more than we have been in recent memory. And that news can be television, can be radio, it could be print, could be Facebook, right?

Jesse Dolan: So with that, media at large and news at large realize this. And something that they’re putting together in pretty much every organization is some kind of a portal for you to communicate that you’re open or services you provide. And I don’t mean to spin this like, media is taking advantage, because part of what they do is to be a public service. So they very much want to be able to have a list of restaurants that are open, let’s say.

Jesse Dolan: But also, they’re not naive to the fact that they know if they can be a spot where people will come to find those restaurants, that they get more traction to their website or to their channel or to their newspaper or whatever it is, which helps their business model. Which is fine. That’s completely fine to do, at least in my opinion.

Jesse Dolan: But what’s interesting for us as business owners and marketers is they want us to list on them now, where before maybe it had to be something that we’d pay for. Or maybe it’s something that there was a big gatekeeper on that you would have to really jump through a lot of hoops to get listed. Now it’s pretty much, hey, if you’re open, tell us and we’ll put you on our website. Or put you in our publication or things like that.

Jesse Dolan: So that’s the topic that we’re going to dive into here today. It’s going to be a shorter episode, because it’s going to be pretty much single focused on this. Or at least the intent is that it’s going to be shorter. But we’re going to dive into this and go through some of the scenarios on how you can take advantage of that.

Jesse Dolan: Okay. Let me just grab the right list here. So first things first, is your local media and television outlets, broadcast television. So I doubt you could do this with, what, like a cnn.com or Fox news or things like that, but in your market, I’m sure you have one, if not three or four or more local news stations that have a website. And you’re going to have to … All these things we’re going to go through, you’re going to have to search and find them out, obviously for your own locale and what’s relevant.

Jesse Dolan: But most of them are going to have right now, if you go to their website, something in their top menu. Maybe something that says … The general tab of coronavirus, or public information or open for business. They all can call it whatever they want to call it, but all of the ones we’ve explored so far for our own business and for any customers that we work with, we’ve been able to find this without any problem on every website.

Jesse Dolan: And what you’re going to want to look for is, depending on your business and your industry, what it is that they’re … Depends on how they’re configuring their board, I guess is what I’m trying to say. Some of them might have a certain posting board for restaurants that have curbside pickup, and maybe they have a map where they’ve got them all listed. Maybe they have another one for general businesses that are open or for business updates. Whatever it may be. You want to find those, you want to list on as many as possible and take advantage of that.

Jesse Dolan: Bob, chime in if I miss anything here, but I’m going to run down some types of publications that we’ve been finding these on. You’ve got television. You’ve got radio, radio stations. You’ve got newspapers, like actual print newspapers. They all have their online version. You’ve got just straight up online publications that don’t have any kind of a print media. We’ve got magazines. And last but not least, other local businesses and groups. So more [crosstalk 00:09:15]

Bob Brennan: if I can throw this out, Jess. What I’m … And you and I haven’t really discussed this, so this is kind of getting thrown in your lap. But basically, what I’d like to start looking and exploring into is local podcast. So I’m listening to a handful of podcasts that, they used to actually be radio shows. And for whatever reason, the radio station said, okay … And they were sponsored radio shows.

Bob Brennan: There’s two types of radio shows. People don’t really realize this. Most of your radio shows on the weekend that are, how to invest your money, are actually funded by the sponsors. So the show itself sounds altruistic in terms of, they’re trying to help you in investment. But it’s a hundred percent funded by, let’s just say Charles Schwab or somebody. And it’s not a program that’s really part of the radio station. Does that make sense?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah.

Bob Brennan: You’ve got to know this. You buy a slot, and you get to talk about home improvement. Let’s say you’re going to talk about home improvement. And it’s actually, the people buying that slot are the contractors for Johnson Brothers or whatever they’re called. And they own that slot, and the show is just kind of freewheeling about different home improvement projects … you get the idea.

Bob Brennan: So my point is, is this show was actually a slotted deal on sports or whatever the case is, until the radio station nixed it and turned it into a local … It’s just a podcast. Now they have sponsors, and it’s pretty effective. So I guess what I’m saying I, you’ve got a couple of options of trying to backlink to them, at least their website and just, whatever the case is. And getting traffic that way and, or, obviously sponsorship. But I think there’s the effective ways to niche those local podcasts down and backlinks to them that would make total sense for your business.

Jesse Dolan: You bring up a great point … Kind of like, okay, that was a radio show … Actually, let me back up. So you got like a newspaper, a tangible physical paper newspaper, and then they have their online version. Likewise, you’ll have an online newspaper that just has no print version, so just kind of like the new age version, if you will.

Jesse Dolan: So what you’re talking about is the radio equivalent. This was an over the air station, but maybe they have a message board, if you will, you can post on. Well, also look for just podcasts that don’t have an actual broadcast over the air type of a show that’s just more of a podcast base. You can seek those out and see if they have any resources like this as well. That is perfect.

Bob Brennan: Yeah, because what you’re seeing Jesse, is obviously newspaper is going away. It’s kind of sad, but it’s the truth. And basically, the Star Tribune here in Minneapolis was a huge business, employing 500 to 1,000 people. And it’s down to, maybe several, 100. But within that are writers that have a following, that have always had a following. And those people are starting their own podcasts.

Bob Brennan: Likewise, with radio. Radio is in the same position in some ways. But you have characters that have been followed for 20, 30 years. And the radio station itself literally can’t support them. And the only way that they can be supported is to have their own podcast, which is supportable. I mean, it’s a very low overhead, podcast is an inexpensive thing to produce. But yet they’ve got this following. So it’s a very niche following for your market that you can somehow get a link to. It might work out.

Jesse Dolan: I think that’s a awesome example. I think there’s probably some … We’re talking podcasts. Probably that there’s a parallel for YouTube channels. For people that are streaming that have some kind of a community, and they’re a celebrity or a personality. Likewise, if there’s social media. If there’s people on Instagram or on Twitter or Facebook that you’re following that are also kind of more digital personalities, instead of the other old school or traditional stuff, seek them out.

Jesse Dolan: I mean, anybody out there right now that basically has an audience is a great target to see if you can find their website or find their social media or whatever kind of a portal they have. And see if they are having some kind of a board you can get listed on, or some kind of a page or directory you can get listed on. And what we’re after here on those … Actually, let me back up. I got sidetracked by your awesome example.

Bob Brennan: Sorry.

Jesse Dolan: In that same way, local businesses and groups. So we’re talking about people that aren’t, again, big publications or over the air type stuff. Maybe your local restaurant, or the school, or chamber of commerce, whatever it is, are also going to have some of these resources. At the end of the day, we’re talking about getting a backlink, is the thing that we’re really looking for here.

Jesse Dolan: So we’re talking on the first part about how to find places to get listed, to get said backlink. Now let’s dive into … So those are all kind of the outlets. And if anybody out there, if you want to chime in and send us a message, if we missed something or you have something to add, localseotactics.com. Pick any of the different feedback forms or question forms we have, and any ideas would be awesome to share if we missed anything.

Jesse Dolan: But getting into the backlink, from what we’ve seen so far from doing this ourselves and helping customers leverage this, each board, if you will, or each directory is going to be slightly different. So some of this might not apply to everything, but here, generally speaking, are some of the things you want to look at and how to take advantage of them to really maximize the benefit here.

Jesse Dolan: For the actual link itself, so usually you’re going to list your business name, maybe your address, maybe your phone number, maybe an email. But almost always, at least you’re listing your business name and your website link. So if you’re a single location business, you’re just going to list your homepage for that website link. The name of your business and then your homepage.

Jesse Dolan: If you’re a multiple location business, see if you have the ability to submit for each location. If you’re store ABC in this town, list that. If you’re store in the next town, whatever it is, however many locations you have, try to put one in for each where it’s relevant. Obviously if one store is in Chicago, one is in LA, you’re not going to post them both on the Chicago radio station. That’s kind of silly. This is more of a regional or a local business with multiple locations in the same general area of the same metroplex.

Jesse Dolan: Now with that, if you’re a multi location business, you should be having location pages for each of your locations. You don’t want to put all your links to your homepage. You want to spread that love out. So if you have multiple locations, when you list your business name and then list the link to that location’s page, you should have, if it’s bob’splumbing.com/minneapolis for the Minneapolis location and bob’splumbing.com/st.paul for the St. Paul location. Those are the pages you want to link to in those multi location businesses.

Jesse Dolan: One other quick tactic that may be effective for you is the name of your business. So these boards, the primary … Let me readjust here in my makeshift office. The primary focus, I should say the primary reason for you doing this is just to get the backlink. Because we’re talking about SEO here, is the lens that we’re looking through.

Jesse Dolan: Now, these media outlets and the public at large, this is a value to just be listed so people can find you. There’s definitely a chance that I may visit a certain radio station or TV station to find a business that’s open or to use this directory that they’re putting together as an actual resource. I’m … Excuse me. For the conversation here, I’m not giving any credit to that. We’re just not worried about that at all. We’re only here talking about the value of this backlink.

Jesse Dolan: That being said, if there’s a chance that you can be found by people just scanning and seeing these boards and directories, put some thought into the name of your business. Now, I know if your business is Bob’s Plumbing, that that’s what you should put up there. But … Actually, let’s take that example. If your business is Bob’s Plumbing and you put that as your business name, as people scan through the page, they’ll see that you’re a plumber because plumbing is in your name.

Jesse Dolan: Now, if Bob got like uber creative and his plumbing business, wasn’t called Bob’s plumbing, it was just called Bob’s Waterstoppers [crosstalk 00:18:27] Yeah, whatever. It didn’t have like a descriptive name for plumbing. I might suggest to you that you put your business name on this directory as Bob’s Plumbing. That way, when people are scanning through you have that keyword, if you will, of plumbing, that they can see. If it’s just Jesse, LLC, who knows what the hell that is. They’re not going to stop and pause on that.

Jesse Dolan: Again, my main purpose for encouraging you to get listed in these directories isn’t to be found in this, scanning through it scenario, it’s to get that backlink. So on one hand, you kind of don’t have to worry about this, but it is something to think about. You’re putting this on there, you’re putting yourself out there. You might as well, maybe keyword optimize your business name if you need to. To kind of give people pause so they can look at it, or at least maybe write that down for later. So just a little tidbit there.

Jesse Dolan: And likewise, if you have a multi location business, if you throw five of them on there, if you want to do dash city. Bob’s plumbing dash Minneapolis, Bob’s plumbing dash St. Paul. That’s another trick that people are doing to just kind of stand out a little bit on those boards. But that is a resource that’s available. That’s a resource that probably won’t be available down the road, who knows how long this will last. Backlinks are valuable. And backlinks are, quite frankly, expensive to get.

Jesse Dolan: Bob, you know for our direct businesses that we have, and also as for clients, getting backlinks can be expensive. Either in labor time and resources, to actually negotiate and put that link on the page. Even to find businesses and organizations that are willing to do this. A lot of times people say, oh, sure, I’ll give you a backlink, you give me one back. Well, Google doesn’t like reciprotory backlinks. They don’t want to do that. This is a unique situation to just get a bunch of links pointing back to you with nothing on your end pointing back to them at all.

Jesse Dolan: And these high value domains, I should have said this on the front side, but part of Google’s algorithm, isn’t just getting a backlink from another website. The more trusted and recognizable and more authoritative the site that is linking to you is, the more value there is in that backlink. You get the trust and the authority from them flowing to you through that link.

Jesse Dolan: You get that SEO juice. Radio stations, newspapers, TV stations, broadcast. I mean, these domains are high value, and these would have been probably untouchable for you before. Now they are just opening up the doors, just saying, tell us who you are and we’ll throw you on the website. And that’s going to be great for your business.

Jesse Dolan: There is a slight tweak in that, depending on the actual website, not all of them will maybe have it be an active link. Not all of them will pass that SEO juice. Don’t worry about it. You can get dozens of links right now in the next day or two in your own town that are going to be great. Not only for the domain value that you’re getting the link juice pass from, but also these are local.

Jesse Dolan: Let’s take this example of Minneapolis here. If we’re getting links from local TV and radio stations, Google knows they’re local. And all their machine learning and all their AI, they’re not just saying, oh, these are just backlinks that these guys are getting. They’re saying, these are backlinks that are good quality, trusted domains. And hey, they’re in Minneapolis, they’re in Minneapolis. They give you that local geographic relevancy too, which is huge right now. Especially with mobile and proximity.

Jesse Dolan: One of the trickiest parts about SEO is getting Google to recognize where you’re at physically and what your service area is. That hyper local, the local SEO tactics here. Getting these types of backlinks is a great double dip in that you’re getting the authority and that geographic relevancy all at the same time. And they’re rolling out the red carpet for you to do these right now. So very, very valuable. Take advantage and get yourself listed in as many of these as you can. You’re not going to go wrong. So, Bob, did you have anything else to add on that topic? I know I just kind of ran with it there, but …

Bob Brennan: No, no. I mean, now is the time to strike on that and definitely pursue it, because it is difficult. We’re talking … Really, getting backlinks is almost … If anybody’s done cold calling on a hard service. You can cold call all day to set one or two appointments, and that’s kind of backlinking. And you’ve got a cold call all week to get one home run type backlink. Like this, like what you’re talking about. So now’s the time to do it. Get it done. Because who knows, I’m sure it will be effective for years, so to speak. And now is the time to get it done.

Jesse Dolan: And I should say on that too, resources wise, we talked in a previous episode about leveraging people on your team that might have some extra capacity right now if they’re working from home. This is something … A lot of us marketers or business owners, we wear a lot of hats, right? You got delegate to really get stuff done. This is something that’s totally delegatable.

Jesse Dolan: You can just tell an associate, hey, here’s the concept. Listen to these guys’ podcast. Go find all of these and get us listed. And put it together in a spreadsheet for me so I know where we’re at, what you got listed on. And kind of get that proof. This is not something that a high-level person needs to do. As long as they know your website and what you’re trying to do, you’ll be in good shape.

Jesse Dolan: So that’s pretty much it for this week. Let me jump into our five-star review of the week. If you haven’t left us a review, we would love to hear from you. Go to localseotactics.com, click on reviews and pick your favorite platform and leave us a review. Lets us know the show’s doing good and kind of hitting home for you and providing a good value. And we love reading them.

Jesse Dolan: So got a five-star review here from Evelyn Hernandez. And if you guys and gals have listened to the show for a while, you might recognize Evelyn’s name. She was actually our first person who called in and left a audio question that we played on the show, a few episodes back. Really, I think it was the last episode before we kind of did this pivot because of the pandemic. We’ve received other questions from more of you listeners here in the meantime, but right now, Evelyn is the only one that had left one. And hopefully, she’s sporting her Intrycks t-shirt that we sent her for doing that.

Jesse Dolan: And she was also kind enough to leave us a review. So Evelyn, huge thanks on all fronts for this five-star review. Evelyn’s short and sweet here. She says, great podcasts and so easy to understand and implement for someone who is not techie, with quotes. And appreciate it, Evelyn. Again, it’s awesome to hear you on that first initial question you asked, which was an awesome question. And to get the five-star review, really, really appreciate it. So everybody else, love to hear from you. Bob, do you have anything else you want to add? Otherwise, we’ll wrap it up here.

Bob Brennan: Nope. Just sheltering in place and looking forward to our next podcast.

Jesse Dolan: Right on. Right on. All right. Well, thanks Bob for jumping on with me here and thanks everybody else for tuning in. We’ll catch you next episode.

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