Backlinks like local BBB and local area chambers of commerce worth paying for?


giannid

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Obviously backlinks are important to get and are a contributing factor for local search. I've found getting them from non spammy links isn't easy. Haven't had a lot of luck getting them from local websites. Is it worth to pay for links from the BBB and local city chambers of commerce? I have a few that are up for renewal and am wondering if they're worth the money. I found out the BBB isn't actually a follow link and isn't cheap either. My local city area chamber of commerce charges me $125 annual fee but it's a small chamber. Not sure how much steam I get from the link to my website. I'm a construction contractor and haven't had much luck getting links from other non competing companies. I'm not sure any of them see the value in the links.
 
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One strategy I've found some success with, look over your list of vendors, tools, and services you use as part of running your business. Everything from invoicing and bookkeeping software, small manufacturers making important parts and tools, vendors you work with, and so on. If there are any that are good enough to warrant you writing a positive testimonial, write a few sentences, send it to them with a thank you, and include an offer for them to use it on their website if they like, as long as they attribute it properly to you and your business. They might not see the value in the links, but you shouldn't be pitching it to them as just a link anyway. A testimonial at least makes 'sense'.

Phil wrote a great article that might give you some other ideas. Don't just ask for links though, get in the habit of asking yourself: what do they want? How could I pitch this that would fit their goals?' You might also consider getting an account at ahrefs for a little while to do dig into the backlink profiles of some of your more successful competition. Pro-tip: look into really successful companies in your industry in the biggest cities too. Chicago, LA, Houston, etc.

I wouldn't consider BBB if the backlink is your only consideration. The Chamber is more debatable, it depends on too many other things for me to have an opinion.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Obviously backlinks are important to get and are a contributing factor for local search. I've found getting them from non spammy links isn't easy. Haven't had a lot of luck getting them from local websites. Is it worth to pay for links from the BBB and local city chambers of commerce? I have a few that are up for renewal and am wondering if they're worth the money. I found out the BBB isn't actually a follow link and isn't cheap either. My local city area chamber of commerce charges me $125 annual fee but it's a small chamber. Not sure how much steam I get from the link to my website. I'm a construction contractor and haven't had much luck getting links from other non competing companies. I'm not sure any of them see the value in the links.
If the link isn't a follow link then I wouldn't pursue it.

To understand how valuable a website is that you're looking to get a backlink from, you need to know their authority and relevance.

For authority, I just use Moz's Domain Authority metric. It's on a scale of 1-10. Any local website with 30+ is a good bet. Even 20+'s are good but in the 20-30 range you should check relevance...

For relevance, you'll need a tool like Majestic or ahrefs. You need to see which websites are linking to the website you want a link from. They need to be quality websites and local websites are really what you're looking for. A website's link is only worth as much as the links they have incoming to them. So if you see a website with a good amount of DA and a good amount of local backlinks coming in, it's a winner.

Hope that helps!
 

giannid

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With that information I would think that my area local chamber of commerce is a good bet with a domain authority of 30. I'd say for $125 for a good local backlink it's worth it. Thanks for the help gentlemen. :)
 

Tim Colling

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With that information I would think that my area local chamber of commerce is a good bet with a domain authority of 30. I'd say for $125 for a good local backlink it's worth it. Thanks for the help gentlemen. :)
Wait a minute. Chamber links aren't automatic and not so simple.

Some (perhaps most) chambers of commerce use third party services to run parts or all of their websites and especially the membership directory portion of their sites. That's not a bad thing per se for them. However, it may mean, depending upon which software or SAAS they use, that the links from the directory have no SEO value.

How can that be? Simple.

If they actually store their membership directory lists as static pages, then the links may be "persistent" and ones that can be detected by googlebot and other bots. Of course, those links are often marked as noFollow in which case you have to ponder whether or not that bothers you.

However, some chamber sites that I have seen use membership directory systems that ONLY display membership information in response to user queries. In at least some of those cases, you won't automatically have a link that google can find and index because "there's no there there". In other words, not all such systems can result in bot-indexed links.

Just be sure you know how your chamber's site works before you spend money on it, if all you care about it the link.
 

Tim Colling

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Any way to check to see if it's a follow link? Here's there web address
Home | Chardon Area Chamber of Commerce
You can search for a chrome browser extension if you're using chrome, many of them will do that such as one called META SEO Inspector, also one called the Moz Bar, and many, many others

If you know how to look at the source code, you can also just look for nofollow in it.
 

Tim Colling

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I looked at the site you provided and found the following:

1) the links from the member pages look like they are NOT nofollow; that's good

however,

2) it looks like it may be that the links are not persistent, at least that's what I suspect. I looked at three companies that are listed in the membership directory and I looked them all up in Majestic. In all three cases, I could not find links for them from the chamber in Majestic. That's not conclusive, because Majestic is not infallible, but it would make me hesitate...

Your mileage may vary.
 

giannid

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I just figured it would be a follow or no follow link. Unfortunately, it's not a guaranteed link so it may not be worth the money as the chamber doesn't benefit me in any other way.
 
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I'm just going to jump in here with my two cents...which is all it's probably worth;)

When I go to the Chamber Directory, it appears the links are indeed indexed by Google.

For starters, the main Contractors category page is indexed:
site:chardonchamber.com/business_category/construction-contractors/

And then if you pull up an individual business profile, those pages are indexed as well:
site:chardonchamber.com/business/ayrshireinc/

The links also seem to be do-follow.

Bottom line, I'd say it's worth the $125 investment.

Travis
 
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If you're only looking at a local chamber of commerce membership as a link, then you might be missing most of the benefit. The benefit of chambers like that is to network, get brand visibility, and then yes get a link on their website. Think of the other benefits that a group like that could provide.

Are there other members in related industries that you will have the chance to sit down with, where you otherwise wouldn't have the chance? Great! That could turn into some way to get exposure in front of their audience/customers.

Thinking about legitimate local chambers (not just bbb.org or w/e), requires thinking multiple steps down the path.

You're paying to gain networking access... not just for a link. The real opportunity is to open doors through connections, not a single link. If the networking doesn't interest you, then quickly valuate the traffic from that site using SEMrush/SpyFu/SimilarWeb, and decide.

$125 x (x-years) = how much traffic will you need to convert (y) clients to break even

There's a lot more to consider than simply, "will this link make my website rank better than it is?"
 

JoshuaMackens

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The listing you will get can be indexed and the link is followed.

For $125 I'd say it's worth it.

You just need to make sure to get it indexed once you get your listing up and running.

Also, see if you can negotiate a "New Member Spotlight" where they write a blog post about you and get a link in there as well.

Finally, make sure you optimize your listing. It looks like they allow for a description. Use that to your advantage. Also see if you can slip a link in there as well.

Also, as Eric said, the Chamber can also drive business your way. But even if it doesn't, $125 for just a backlink and citation from them is a good call.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Search site:listing url

Search that in Google.

So it will look something like:

site:chamberwebsite.com/my-listing-url

If Google pulls up the listing then it's indexed. If Google doesn't pull it up, the listing isn't indexed.

I'd give it 2 months or so to see if Google indexes the listing on its own. I wouldn't be surprised if Google does. If Google could find the other listings, I'm sure they can find yours too.

Just make that description unique. If the description is unique it has a better chance of making it into the index. Really what you want is Google to find the listing. Whether they put it in the index or not isn't really relevant. But if you find the listing in the index, you know Google knows about it. If the listing isn't in the index, it's up in the air whether Google knows about the listing or not.

If after 2 months the listing isn't indexed come back to this thread and post the link and I'll get it indexed for you.
 

valesence

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Google has more signals than just backlinks. A local chamber of commerce is considered credible. Even a structured citation from a chamber is worth $125 a year. It ties you with the community. Plus if you do go and network, it could give you some valuable relationships that could help you with local links.
 

Blake Denman

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If you're only looking at a local chamber of commerce membership as a link, then you might be missing most of the benefit. The benefit of chambers like that is to network, get brand visibility, and then yes get a link on their website. Think of the other benefits that a group like that could provide.

Are there other members in related industries that you will have the chance to sit down with, where you otherwise wouldn't have the chance? Great! That could turn into some way to get exposure in front of their audience/customers.

Thinking about legitimate local chambers (not just bbb.org or w/e), requires thinking multiple steps down the path.

You're paying to gain networking access... not just for a link. The real opportunity is to open doors through connections, not a single link. If the networking doesn't interest you, then quickly valuate the traffic from that site using SEMrush/SpyFu/SimilarWeb, and decide.

$125 x (x-years) = how much traffic will you need to convert (y) clients to break even

There's a lot more to consider than simply, "will this link make my website rank better than it is?"
^This. If you get a link, cool. When we are evaluating opportunities in a local market, we don't give a crap if it's a dofollow or nofollow, ESPECIALLY if it will send quality traffic.. At the end of the day it comes down to ROI. I would much rather have a nofollow link from a local site that consistently sends good traffic to my site than a dofollow link from a DA 40 site that sends nothing but the hope that Google will up my rankings.
 

giannid

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I was a Chamber member for a year and received no leads from the charter membership. I always ask all my customers where they got my name from just so I can see what's working and what's not. So it's really just the link that is important in this case. It's not a very large chamber that services a relatively small geographic area which happens to be my home town.
 

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