Google has always used links pointing to a website as a way to measure which pages have the most relevant content.
In theory, the idea goes that if a webpage has amazing content other users will link to it. In turn, the pages that get linked to the most have the best content for that topic and should be ranked higher for related keyword phrases.
Here are 5 SEO techniques that will help you build local links that signal to Google where you are located and why you should appear for local queries.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of building out your Google + Business listing. More so than any backlink, your Google+ Business profile is a clear indication to Google where you are located, what you do, and who you serve.
If Google releases a tool or service aimed at helping your business or website, you should explore it. After setting up your Business page, you can also take things one step further and implement rel=“publisher” tags to snatch up even more real estate on the results page.
Holistic SEO managers know that there is a direct correlation between building bad backlinks and building quality backlinks. And some of the best backlinks of all (the .edu, .org, and highly coveted .gov) are the easiest to score when you focus on the value you add to people.
So make something awesome for your community. Sponsor a local event. Create a scholarship fund. Organize a charity.
Not only does it improve your reputation, if you find a way to contribute to your community in a valuable way, then the local backlinks will flood in.
Pro Tip: Use advanced search operators to make finding community opportunities easy. For example, inurl:.edu “sponsor” [your city name goes here] will provide a wealth of educational sponsorship opportunities in your local area.
Local directories may not be as valuable as they were in the past but they still warrant attention. The only exception to this remains paid link directories.
When it comes to local citations, however, the link itself isn’t always the most important thing. Having your business name next to an address can send clear signals to Google about where your business is located, even if the link to your business is no-follow.
Three things are extremely important when it comes to local citation listings:
Many local business owners question whether social media activities such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn updates actually correlate to sales. And it is a valid concern… though a bit shortsighted.
Social network activities provide direct signals to Google that are beginning to work in a very similar way to links. As time progresses, these social activities such as sharing or “liking” a webpage may begin to outweigh links as indicators to where the quality content is really living on the net.
The key is staying active and participating in the online community surrounding your niche. Publicizing specials on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Deals, Groupon, etc. has helped many businesses to boost growth and win new customers as well.
Guest posting is neither quick nor easy, but it’s a great way to score valuable backlinks and establish yourself as an expert in your field to the online community.
Guest posting on local blogs provides several other benefits. Not only do you receive valuable local backlinks that will help your site rank, but you also build relationships with local publishers and media outlets that have real readers who could be looking for your services.
Building these relationships takes effort, but once you begin to establish more and more of them, it becomes easier and has huge potential for ROI once you fall in with the right audience.
If there’s one thing about SEO, it’s that it changes constantly. The one thing that remains constant is that search engines are in the business of delivering the most relevant, useful, awesome content for each search every time.
If your content is unique, informative, helpful, and generally amazing, but not getting the visibility it deserves, then these 5 SEO techniques should help you to establish a presence in your local area through backlinks.