Link Building for Local Businesses: Case Study

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This client was a healthcare provider with a single location. The practice’s target audience focused solely on the local market. In addition to getting patients for their location, the practice offered free health education classes. Not only did this give back to the community, it created exposure to a new group of potential patients.


The practice went into their marketing plan with a cursory level of online marketing strategy. They understood that things like blog posts and incoming links could lead to better search engine rankings. To accomplish this, a single blog post was written for each class and the practice used social media posts and a free (but low-quality) press release service to generate incoming links. Additionally, an email newsletter was sent to a mailing list to build community interest.

These methods were a first step in the right direction but they did not pull in the desired results. Forward Push Media came into the project to refocus the practice’s online marketing. The challenge stemmed from the existing broad global exposure created by incoming links. Since the practice’s target market was exclusively local, the goal for incoming links had to shift towards a focus on relevant information that could connect with real people attending the classes. In addition, a new distribution method was required, one that offered a much higher domain authority than the existing press release service.


Forward Push looked at creating links with more local relevance. First, more effective sources had to be determined based on domain authority — the internal score assigned by search engines for a domain, weighted based on popularity (traffic, links, etc.), age, name and other key variables. A new event posting strategy was launched for on-site classes/seminars and seasonal events, one that focused on local sites featuring calendars such as:

  • The Chamber of Commerce
  • The local Tourist Bureau
  • Yelp
  • Eventbrite
  • Local weekly newspapers
  • Broadcast media with target demographic profiles

Forward Push recommended that the practice utilize these free online calendars to list their events. To ensure incoming links, Forward Push stressed the importance of each event having a link to the site.

This offered benefits in two ways:

  1. Created practical event exposure to targeted local audiences that may not have known about the event.
  2. Generated incoming links from relevant source sites featuring a strong domain authority.

In addition, Forward Push recommended that the practice change their press release distributor to PR Web, as PR Web is recognized around the world as a leading distribution source. Because of PR Web’s significant web traffic and reputation, any press release on it comes with a strong domain authority.

Finally, Forward Push recommended blog postings before and after the event. The increased posting frequency invited search engine spiders back for more updates while also broadening the keyword search footprint. From a practical perspective, posts provided readers with reminders and background on the event, along with a wrap-up in case they missed it. This information was also propagated onto social media sites to extend the life of the event and broaden the event’s search presence.


The practice went ahead with Forward Push’s recommendations. For the first class under this strategy, 15 new people signed up. Not only were these people new to the practice’s contact list, they had never heard of the practice before. Thus, this strategy proved effective in broadening the practice’s exposure to a previously untapped audience. These new people were added to the practice’s customer database and even received one-on-one time at the class.


By increasing the quality and frequency of content while focusing on stronger link sources and a more practical local target, Forward Push demonstrated the power of the right kind of SEO — the kind that fits a specific need rather than gets rankings for invalid targets. With a combination of local outreach and intelligent execution, this healthcare provider is now positioned to succeed for all future classes and events.


By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.


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