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Nov
05

Link Building to Improve Local Rankings

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These days, local search is off the charts. People use the Internet like they used the Yellow Pages in years past, to find local businesses catering to their needs. But local SEO is still uncharted territory for many marketers.Many of the link building techniques we use for regular SEO apply here but there are some ways to give them extra juice.

Review Sites

The best way to improve local search is to take advantage of review sites like Yelp and CitySearch. These are social media sites where customers write reviews of offline businesses they’ve visited. They’re great for reputation building and also excellent for links. If you’re targeting geographical keywords, these sites are especially useful because Google takes this into consideration. In other words, if you’ve got a business in Dallas, its listing will automatically appear when someone searches for that service in Dallas.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a good way to get backlinks and especially good if you’re targeting geographical keywords. You can find blogs that appear in search engines for those keywords and submit guest posts to them. Your guest post doesn’t have to be about the place or necessarily use the geographical keywords in it, but if you can slip it in naturally, this helps. Make sure it’s natural, though.

Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is one of the easiest backlink strategies and just like guest posting, if you comment on blogs that are about a local area or rank for that geographical keyword, Google will recognize the link back. Make sure that your comment adds something of value to the post. You’ll not only get the search engine backlink, but people who read the post will click through to your website.

Press Releases

Writing a press release is a little-known backlink strategy that works quite well. It’s easy to use geographical terms in your press release. If nothing else, you can say that your business serves people in the area. This is a good way to get those geographical keywords into the press release if you don’t have a physical location.

Community Events

One of the most powerful ways to rank for local keywords is to participate in local events. Of course, it’s also the most time consuming. It’s not like leaving a quick comment on somebody’s blog. But your site will get a mention on the event’s site and you can also mention the event on your site. Both of those give you a good backlink.

I mentioned that this is still largely uncharted territory for marketers. This means there will always be new ways to rank for local keywords. The best thing you can do is try lots of things and see what works and what doesn’t. Keep your eyes open for any kind of sites that are locally based, like social media, forums, bulletin boards, and review sites. Take advantage of all of these.

Toby Russell

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