Small-business owners interested in optimizing local search might already know that Google Penguin has changed which elements of SEO help businesses rank higher. There is much debate about what this means for a business' local search marketing strategy. However, it's clear that link building has changed - many of the old best practices to boost site ranking are now penalized. In light of these changes, here are some tips for effective link building for small-business owners and local SEO experts:
The first step of link building is finding target sites - blogs or other sites that are relevant to a business's keywords. Small-business owners should be creative in searching for their target sites. Check to see whether sites use proper spelling and grammar, have continuous content, have been updated recently and list the owners' contact information. These signs will help business owners determine which sites are high quality and made by humans for a human audience. These are the sites on which to build your links.
Before reaching out to the site owners, small-business owners should thoroughly explore each site and decide what is missing, how their content knowledge can fill that gap and whether their link can be posted as a resource, or if they should write a guest post for that site.
Then, when small-business owners have come up with a plan and have a thorough understanding of the site, they should contact that site's owner or webmaster through a personalized email, letting the owner know what they liked and what ideas they have.
If a relationship is formed and a small-business owner is going to write a guest post for another site, it's important that this post is relevant and helpful. The point of this is to build links onto other websites, boosting SEO. But to do this, one has to provide good content that others want to host.
Ditch irrelevant links
Business owners should avoid irrelevant anchor text and linking, just for the sake of linking. Business owners should find a natural way to insert their links into the content; if that isn't possible, the link should only be in the business owner's bio.
If a relationship with another site isn't working out, just move on. There are many other sites that you can explore who might appreciate your content.
Also, small-business owners should link to others whenever possible! This builds relationships and shows others that they are willing to return the favor.