There are indeed businesses no sane blogger would link to “naturally”.
Luckily when you’re in such a market the others offering the same products or services are too.
Creative Commons image by Ian Carroll
Spicing up the boring topic
I’d like to use a real life example I have been approached for: sewer cleaning. Now isn’t that sexy? No, it’s not even boring, it’s ugly. Sure, you can spice it up with intriguing link bait content pieces the likes “the strangest things found in a sewer while cleaning it” including the likes of wedding rings, vibrators or alligators (real life examples, except the the last one was just a gecko but it rhymed!).
Yeah, link baiting is possible even though not every business person will embrace that technique readily.
On the other hand your direct competition, that is the companies offering the same services in your area are most likely not sexy either. You may also have to compete for attention with the likes of Wikipedia, Google itself, YouTube or Amazon too when it comes to at least some of your keyphrases but such unattracitive local businesses most likely mostly compete against each other.
Your neighbours’ backlink profiles are worth a look
Most of local businesses won’t have link bait implemented yet an din the area I checked there was not even the need for such high profiles techniques. In SEO terms the competition was not really fierce. The number of links leading to those sites, even the top ranking ones was low. Also
the links will be easy to copy in many cases.
So the first things to do is to fire up tool like Ahrefs for example, to find out where your local colleagues get their links from. Just check their websites with tone of these tools. You will probably find some
- local directories
- yellow pages types of sites
- other local businesses
and some miscellaneous other low hanging fruit.
Your competition is not your competition
Your direct local competition from your city is relatively small. A few, several or at most dozens of others. Most other sites from your industry will cover different areas so that you can potentially partner with them.
The easiest way to attract partners is to have a recommended “services elsewhere” page explain who to contact in other areas.
Once you have set up such a page with the colleagues you have deemed worthy of being mentioned you can send them a message or two about how you recommend them and whether they like your services too or at least why not.
Vac Con Hydro Excavator truck.
Your suppliers can supply links too
It takes a lot of specialized equipment to clean sewers. It’s even quite interesting for those of us who care about technology. The tools and machinery are quite expensive and pretty specific so the companies making them are often quite small specialized shops not huge international corporations.
The equipment vendors are of course glad someone uses their tools and even recommends them!
They could even include your opinion as a testimonials on their site and link back to you. Thus make sure to explain what tools you use and contact the toolmakers to point out how satisfied you are.
Adjacent small businesses can provide mutual aid
Sewer cleaning is not about plumbing but very similar. Most plumbers won’t halve the tools and machinery to clean a sewer. Some plumbers offer sewer cleaning as well so that other plumbers who don’t of course need a partner for that task. So naturally you can find a lot of potential partners to recommend and link your business website.
Ideally you make a list of local plumbers adding one for each area you are serving. Even in case you just make some of them link back to you these are potentially dozens of partners. There are not only plumbers I’m talking about, property managers are often offering all kinds of services under one roof while most of them don’t clean and repair sewers themselves. Other artisans are also looking for partnerships. Manual support is a clear win to win strategy for all those involved.
Your local and topical publications are better than cool bloggers
As written in the beginning bloggers only link to “cool” things. No blogger would cover a boring or ugly business like sewer cleaning unless of course you would provide some spectacular link bait. On the other hand there are still local papers or Web publications that cover what happens in their area or vicinity.
Local publications don’t care for the new iPhone but they are interested in real life stories from their neighborhood.
That’s where you can get easy press coverage and of course valuable links. Impress the local press by organizing some charitable event. This doesn’t have to be huge. You could invite children from poor families to check out your trucks on a Sunday.
Last but not least there are always industry publications that deal even with the most boring subjects for the general public that are very interesting for professional audiences. Just check out this resource as an example.