On July 24, 2014, Google released the Pigeon Update, an algorithm that improved their distance and location ranking parameters. Local ranking signals are now closely associated with traditional ranking factors. However, it’s important to note that local SEO still requires a unique approach, especially when it comes to building links. This resource contains useful information about link building for local rankings, helping business owners become unmissable in the local search listings.

Building Links for Local SEO

Local link building is very similar to a traditional link building campaign. But as the term suggests, this approach is geo-targeted in nature. It’s essential for a local business to attract the attention of the local market. Learning how to leverage the different online platforms that can boost the authority and relevance of a website is immensely beneficial for any business. Taking an active approach in finding local linking opportunities proves to be the only way to go forward. The following are 3 places where local businesses can build quality and relevant links.

1. Private Blog Network (PBN)

A private blog network is basically a collection of websites that are solely meant to point links to money websites. The network is primarily composed of expired domains with a solid backlink profile, thus transferring link juice to the main website of a local business. For many webmasters, however, the question is where to get these domains?

While many websites offer free lists of expired domains, they make it difficult to sort through the domains in order to find which ones you should use. Domain Hunter Gatherer, on the contrary, makes everything simpler for you. This is because you can narrow down the list of expired domains instantly by entering your target keywords. The tool will only list the domains related to your keywords, saving you precious time in the process.

Now that you have a list of potential domains, the next step is to analyze their metrics. The DHG Pro Package comes with DomDetailer, a tool that lets you check the metrics of the domains from Moz and Majestic. You can also see the number of social signals of each domain, giving you an additional criterion upon which to base your decision. DomDetailer doesn't require you to create accounts on Moz and Majestic and has less API throttling to boot.

The greatest thing about a PBN is that the owner has full control over the domains, its content, and the backlinks themselves. It’s very easy to make adjustments where necessary, such as optimizing the anchor text profile to make it look more natural. And with the newest version of DHG set for launch, you can rest assured that you'll have all the tools you need to build a sustainable PBN.

2. Citations and Directory Listings

Many SEO look down on these link sources, dismissing them outright as spam. However, this idea stems from the prevalent misuse by uneducated and inexperienced webmasters. These sources still have their rightful places in any business’ linking strategy. In fact, online directories have enjoyed better organic rankings since the Pigeon Update. Simply getting listed on these platforms can provide a significant SEO boost.

Creating local citations and business profiles in various online directories is the easy part. What matters more is the use of unique descriptions and quality content. The Name, Address and Phone Number of the business must also remain consistent across all citations and directory listings. This makes it easier for search engines to establish relevance, increasing the odds of boosting the website’s organic rankings.

3. Local Blogger Outreach

There are plenty of linking opportunities out there if only business owners know where to look. For instance, offline relationships can be extended to the online world. Take advantage of existing business relationships by seeking out guest posting opportunities. Finding local bloggers can also work well. Knowing how to use search operators comes in handy in this regard, like city name + “main keyword” or best blogs + “city name.”

It’s a waste of time to worry about finding niche relevant blogs. The real power of building links from local sources is relevance. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local church or a non-profit organization. By providing local relevancy, a domain can spike up in the local rankings. There is also no need to look for local websites with inflated metrics like DA 90 or TF 20. It’s wiser to focus on reaching out to local bloggers and providing valuable content to their readers. This increases the chances of earning a link from their website.

By leveraging the different online platforms mentioned above, any local business can dominate the search results and generate more targeted traffic. Keep in mind that link building requires a great deal of time and effort, but the rewards it can bring make everything well worth it.