Some people are shocked when I tell them it should never take more than 3 months for a Local SEO client to have their site and listing ranked in the top 3.
Sure, there are some exceptions in incredibly competitive niches and cities, but for 99% of you, you should be ranking a client within 3 months of ongoing SEO work.
A couple days ago I came across a Bright Local blog post, sharing data from one of their polls/surveys.
Of course, the thing they find newsworthy and headline worthy is that “Citation Building is the Most Popular Tactic for Link Building in Local SEO”.
We’re going to cut through the headline and get to the real point.
In this blog post you will learn:
- Link Velocity in Local SEO
- The Types of Links You Should Get
- How You Can Take Advantage of Other SEO’s Inexperience
- How Many Links You Should be Building
- And Much More
A Little Dose of Propaganda
For some of you that are new here, and remember a recent post about EMD’s and Local SEO, it may seem like I’m bashing Bright Local. I’m not… I think they have a great SaaS platform for those doing Local SEO.
I just think it’s funny that the headline they get out of it is that citation building is the most popular way to generate links, instead of the astonishing fact that 81% of those doing SEO take over 6 months to generate 100 links. Even more newsworthy than that, is that 56% of SEOs don’t acquire more than 40 links in a 6 month period.
This is insane.
Now in all fairness, I understand why they point out that citation building is the most popular way to get links. After all, it does support their platform. It’s in their best interest overall. The dangerous thing to them is if people doing Local SEO start believing that citations aren’t as important as they once were.
Oh, and newsflash, they aren’t as important as they once were. I still recommend citation building for Local SEO and I can’t imagine not recommending it, but things like NAP consistency are becoming less important these days. More on that in a future case study post coming later this month…
So what can we get out of this?
Most Doing Local SEO Aren’t Doing Much Work!
Look, if you are one of those people not building many links for your clients or for yourself, don’t feel bad. You have a lot of company that does the same as you.
The good news for all of you reading this, is that if you have been getting lackluster results, you now know that you can get better results with a bit of work. You don’t necessarily have to work harder, you just have to work smarter.
Knowing the majority of people doing Local SEO aren’t doing much work, gives you a great advantage.
There’s a company that is pretty well known, with individuals that are popular in the SEO community, that only build or claim 2 or 3 citations each month. They worry more about alt tags, and minor on page issues than off page issues. The tactics they’re focusing on aren’t exactly known to be big difference makers.
This is a big opportunity.
Now some will say that you need to be careful, because of a thing called “link velocity”…
The Truth About Link Velocity
When people refer to link velocity, they’re talking about how fast you build links. They make a good point about how a new website won’t have the popularity to naturally attract 100 links in a month. They also make a good point about how you don’t want to have a losing velocity.
For the most part, in Local SEO, this isn’t much of an issue.
It wasn’t long ago I wrote a post about how reviews can help your local SEO campaigns, and I mentioned the separate algorithm they use for reviews. One point I made was review velocity, almost the same concept as link velocity except it actually exists on a local level.
Link velocity, can be a bigger issue for national, organic search when you’re building up your authority. Once you have strong authority, that isn’t even an issue anymore.
Do you really think Neil Patel needs to worry about link velocity? Do you think Moz cares about link velocity?
No, and for Local SEO, neither should you.
How Many Backlinks Can be Considered “Safe” and How Fast?
The simple answer… as many as you can possibly have, and as fast as possible.
Now we’re not talking about GSA spam, or spammy, questionable links, though they do have their place in the world.
We’re talking about citation sources, location and industry relevant links, brand controlled properties, etc.
You can get the top 50 strongest citations in 2 weeks if you want. It won’t be “unnatural”, in fact, it is considered unnatural for an established business to NOT have these sources of citations and backlinks.
3 Ways To Easily Build More Backlinks
A lot of people doing Local SEO avoid the topic of backlink building because they don’t really know where they can get links for a small local business.
Here’s 3 easy ways you can build more links.
Obviously, since that’s the preferred way of building links for most SEOs focusing on local, we can’t go without mentioning these.
Most citation sources will allow you to link to the domain. FourSquare, Yelp, YellowPages, Manta, and countless others allow you to link to your domain.
These are high authority sites, well trusted in the eyes of Google, and should be a primary source for you when it comes to building links and citations.
These are also resistant to abuse. You can usually blast a bunch of backlinks even GSA spam, to give a bit of a boost.
After you claim some of the top citations, head over to fiverr and buy a gig. People will say these are low quality citations and you should avoid them, but these are perfectly safe. If someone can get you 100 citations on Fiverr, it’s worth the money. If the citations include a link back to your site, then even better.
With citations alone, you should be able to accumulate over 100 backlinks in the first month or two.
2.) Branded Properties with Content Syndication
The next easy way to get links, are properties controlled by the business or brand.
Think web 2.0 sites, and different types of media. These can act as an unstructured citation and also provide links. If you have a blog on your site or for you client’s site, an easy way to pick up links is to syndicate your content to these web 2.0s.
Parasite sites are usually a good way to accomplish this – Check out this related post on Parasite SEO in 2016
To make the process easier you can use IFTTT or Zapier, or if you’re a wordpress fanatic, the SNAP plugin might be for you.
One unique way that a lot of your competitors will overlook is video syndication.
It doesn’t require much work, a basic animoto slideshow video will do the trick. You then submit the video to different sites and include a link back to the site along with the business name, address, phone number format to pick up other powerful citations.
Here are some of the sites you can use for video syndication:
- Flickr (yes, even Flickr)
One simple slideshow style video, and 6 easy backlinks with 6 high authority citations that most of your competitors won’t bother getting.
For the purposes of Local SEO, don’t even worry whether a link is dofollow or nofollow. While nofollow won’t pass page rank, that’s not the purpose of backlinking for local SEO, so ignore that topic altogether.
3.) Press Release Syndication
Not only can a good press release give you strong links back to your site, and some solid brand mentions and media attention… It can bring you a TON of unstructured citations.
It seems that a lot of people doing Local SEO want to use some free press release site, and then they think press releases won’t work for SEO.
Well, one press release site, especially a free submission site, is not going to get the job done.
Instead, use a professional service.
My friend Alfred at Press Synergy offers pretty competitive rates and I believe can syndicate your press releases to hundreds of sites that can bring you 400+ links pretty easily.
To get the most bang for your buck, no matter who you use for press release syndication, you should always include the business name, address and phone number format for additional citations.
Your competition’s laziness, or maybe ignorance on what can and should be done for Local SEO, is your opportunity.
It’s your gain.
Knowing what your competition is doing, should be giving you more confidence to do the job and get it done fast!
No wonder why the average SEO client only stays with a company for 3 months before moving on.
Do you have additional tips to share? Comments? Questions? Drop a line or two in the comment section below.