This guide will cover Local SEO Off-Page Optimization and getting your site to rank once you’ve completed your on-page SEO.
It’s essential to have optimal on-page SEO because it will greatly reduce the effort and money you’d otherwise have to put into off-page SEO to get your site to rank.
In other words, you’ll have to build less links to a well-on-site-optimized website than to a poorly on-site-optimized site.
Strategies for Off-Page Optimization
Step 1. Diversify your anchor profile with common link types
Your backlink profile is the sum of all the links pointing at your website. All these backlinks pointing to your site use a certain anchor text when linking (e.g. yoursite.com, dog training, click here).
Both the type of backlinks that point to your site as well as the anchor text that these backlinks have play a very important part in how highly you will rank in the Google search results.
You want to create a natural-looking link profile to your site with a wide variety of link types (web 2.0, Wiki, PDF, social bookmarks, forum profiles, social media accounts, blog comments etc.) with a wide variety of anchor text (brand names, naked URL links, long tail phrases, synonyms and generic phrases but NOT any single keyword that you aim to rank for).
The reason for this is that you want your backlink profile to look natural so you cab avoid getting penalized. When Google detects that you are only using one type of link with an excessive amount of the same word or phrase as anchor text, its algorithm will deduce that you are trying to manipulate the rankings and thus you will drop in rankings (if not get penalized and kicked from the search results alltogether).
Several years ago it was a good thing to have 50% or more of your backlink anchor texts consist of the exact keyword you wanted to rank for.
These days it’s better to have 5% or less of your total anchor text be the exact keyword you want to rank for.
For this reason, we suggest building diversification links to make your link profile look natural. Diversification links will rarely rank your site on their own because they are not very powerful or exclusive links, but in combination with step 2 of the strategy, they assist enormously in ranking you highly in Google.
Step 2. Use very powerful and authoritative links to target your exact match keywords
After you have initially created a wide variety of backlinks and anchor texts from step 1, you are able to be much more aggressive with your exact match keywords and create a few dozen very powerful and relevant links with exact match anchor text.
without it looking unnatural and risking a Google penalty for over-optimization or unnatural link-building.
For example, if your website has 100 backlinks in total, you could only build 5 backlinks with exact match anchors if you wanted to stick to the 5% threshold.
But, if your site has a total of 1000 backlinks, you could easily build 30 or 40 powerful links with exact match anchors and still be well below the 5% threshold.
30 or 40 links will create much more ranking power than 5 links, so that is why step 1 of building diversification links is so important.
Usually several of these powerful links used in this fashion are typically enough to obtain top rankings for your local SEOsites (both the R&R and CC model). And if you haven’t achieved your desired rankings yet, it’s simply a case of adding more links.
The diagram below (which illustrates external linking strategy) will make more sense after you’ve read through the entire guide.
Step 1. Diversification Links
Unless you really want to learn all the ins and outs of SEO and want to dedicate the time needed to learning how to use SEO tools, we highly advise outsourcing the majority of your link-building.
When you run a business, time is money and every hour you that you sit building links yourself is a potential 5-figure or 6-figure yearly client that you are not closing.
Anchor text for diversification
- 15% Brand anchors e.g. Coca Cola
- 15% Naked Url variations e.g. http://www.domain.com, domain.com,www.domain.com
- 15% Longtail variations of your keywords e.g. what is the best dog food, where can I buy the best dog food, honest dog food reviews by animal lovers etc.
- 15% Synonyms e.g. if your keywords are related to dog food you can use keywords like: canine nutrition, pet cuisine, food for man’s best friend etc.
- 20% Generic anchors e.g. click here, learn more etc.
- The remaining 20% split up for your exact keywords, but no single keyword you are targeting should make up more than 2% of your total link profile
We advise to always have as much control over your links as possible, or at least build links in very small quantities (10-50 links at a time maximum).
Do not buy link packages from vendors that advertise with hundreds or thousands of backlinks (these will only hurt your site).
It’s a good idea to keep all reports of links built, as well as keeping track of all URL’s of links you built manually so that at a later stage you can apply tiered linking strategies to all these links pointing at your money sites, making them even more powerful.
For diversification links we recommend NOT using any form of exact match anchors. We even advise not to use longtail versions of the keywords or phrases you want to rank for with your diversification links. Stick with URL, brand, author name and generic keywords for diversification anchor texts.
When it comes to new sites, we always recommend starting out slowly and building a foundation of base links in a way that seems natural. What this means is that we need to create links on sources and in quantities that don’t seem suspicious.
Google has systems in place to tell when a site doesn’t seem natural, and that will negatively affect the site in question.
For example if you start a brand new site and it starts getting 1000 links a day, that is unusual. What is more natural is that the site will start getting some links from social media profiles, maybe a few guest posts, a press release, mentions on some blogs (blog comments) etc.
Press releases have been around for years. While some people are using them for quick ranking purposes and churn and burn SEO (which can work really well if you’re into that sort of thing), press releases work very well for link and anchor diversification.
The can also almost never hurt your site when done correctly. It is perfectly natural for a business or website owner to aim to get media coverage.
Thus, if they (or someone they know) were to write up a press release article with their mission, objectives and information about their business and submit it to news sites (which in turn get picked up and syndicated across dozens or hundreds of other news sites).
The result is that from a press release you get a couple of hundred backlinks from real news sites in a natural fashion.
Normally you can include three links ( and to be safe always use brand or naked url anchors for these links )
– A link to a home page
– A link to an inner page
– A link to a social profile associated with website (Facebook or Twitter)
Since the anchor text for all your links will be brand or naked url anchors it’s almost guaranteed that they cannot cause a penalty for you.
They will help to increase your authority (usually news sites have good trust and authority to pass on to you) and they will allow you to add a dozen or more exact match anchors from more powerful link sources.
There are countless press release submission services and some work better than others, but typically a press release (writing and submission) shouldn’t cost you more than $200 once off (usually closer to $150). TheHoth.com provides a press release creation and distribution service for $99 / $149.
These press releases can be ordered quite regularly if you need more links and diversification. A press release every 1-2 months until you’ve achieved your desired backlink profile and rankings has worked very well for you.
Social Media Profiles and high DA (domain authority) sites
Moz.com have a rating system for the authority of any domain on a scale of 0-100. The more authority the domain has, the higher the score.
For example, Facebook has a domain authority of 100. When you have a page on a high DA site, it is already more valuable than a link from a page with a low DA.
However, Moz.com also have a rating system for the authority of individual pages on websites called PA (page authority) and it is also on a scale of 0-100. Ideally you want a link on a page with both high DA and high PA since that provides the most power for whatever site you are trying to rank.
Fortunately, it is much easier to increase the PA of a specific page when it already has high DA than it is to increase DA and PA of a totally new site.
Thus, for example if you were to create a profile on Facebook, that new page would have a DA of 100 but a PA of 0. You could then point a few links from your PBN or other sources to this Facebook page and increase the PA to say 30.
They you’d be getting a link from a DA 100, PA 30 url which is much stronger than a DA 30 PA 30 url.
Don’t worry too much about the DA and PA technical. What is important to understand is that you should aim to build (or have an assistant build for you) as many links on high DA sites as possible.
There are many of these kinds of sites where you can build free pages or accounts on these high DA domains and then link back to your money site.
When it comes to making accounts on social media profiles (and other sites like web 2.0′s) try to make your accounts look as real as possible. Share a few posts and statuses on all of these sites, and add a few followers.
Empty profiles are not very authoritative and could even end up being deleted.
PDF Submission (Optional)
For further link variety and diversification you can to create a PDF document using a unique article with a link to our money site inside the PDF and submit that PDF to various PDF sharing sites like:
You should at this point already have a Youtube account so at this point all you need to do is create a unique video over 2 minutes in length that you can upload to your account.
From that video you would link to your money site in the description. (You could at a later stage even apply SEO to this video and rank it on the first page also, so putting some effort into making this video a good one could save you the effort later).
The easiest way to create a video is using Camtasia screen recorder , but you could also use something like Animoto or even have the video creation outsourced on a site like Fiverr .
Once you’ve got your video created, upload it to your account, give it a Title, Description and fill in keywords related to the industry you are targeting and be sure to add a hyperlink to your money site from within the description.
Manual Blog Comments
It’s always a good idea to manually add a few high quality blog comments to high quality sites in your niche. If you are targeting the law niche, find a few blogs related to law. The same goes for any niche you are in. We recommend building 100-200 of these manual comments.
To find blogs you can use Google searches like: niche blog , top niche blog
When it comes to blog commenting, the aim is to get a link back to your site from the comment you left. Webmasters usually do no approve spammy comments or comments with links in them. T
Two options you have are:
1. Finding websites and blogs where you can can enter your URL and when the comment is approved, the name you entered for your comment will link back to your website. Like this:
2. you can use a trick to add HTML code to the comment. The webmaster will not see this HTML code and your comment looks like it consists of only text, making it more likely to be approved.
However, when the comment is approved, the HTML code creates a link back to your site. This trick could be considered a bit unethical so please use it only if you feel comfortable using it.
Once the comment is approved it looks like this (no sign of the HTML code for the link):
But when you view the source code of the web page you left the comment on, you’ll see that the link is there:
Social Bookmarks (Optional)
Social bookmarks are really not of much value, but for diversification purposes it’s always nice to have a handful of these.
Forum Profiles (Optional)
Forum profiles don’t add huge amounts of value either, but they are nice for diversification purposes.
Step 2. Relevant, High Authority Links
After having started the diversification link process from Step 1 it’s time to start adding the relevant and high authority links that are going to push your site to the top of the search results.
By this time when you check your site in ahref you should already see a nicely diversified anchor text backlink profile with a good few dozen links. You should also already be appearing in the search results for various keywords you are targeting.
Now it’s time to start adding powerful links with your exact match anchors that you want to rank for. These powerful links come from sites that either have high Trust Flow (TF) from Majestic.com and high domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) from Moz.com.
If you did the correct onsite SEO and diversification links, you’ll typically need at least 10-15 high authority links to rank your site but 25-35 usually dominates rankings every time.
There are two ways that you should go about obtaining powerful, high authority links:
Building your own Private Blog Network (PBN)
To learn more about building your own PBN, please refer to this guide in Here & Here
In the long term it’s much cheaper to build your own PBN, but it does require an upfront investment and unless you have the budget,
we recommend you only invest in a PBN once you have your first paying client and you can use those funds to create your PBN.
Your PBN becomes optimally efficient when you start having 5-10 clients in the same niche that you can put on your same PBN, since a PBN can easily be used to rank 5-10 sites at the same time.
Renting links from someone’s PBN
With a bit of digging of forums and networking with other SEO’s, it’s very possible to find people who already own PBN’s in specific niches (e.g. medical, law, fitness etc) and in return for a monthly fee they may place links to your money site on their network.
For example, Diggity Marketing has good PBN links to rent for as low as a few dollars per month per link.
Renting links is a very low-maintenance way of ranking client sites when you follow the CC model. Basically you’ll receive a monthly payment and you allocate a portion of that monthly payment to renting links on a PBN.
Renting links can also be a very easy solution when you are doing the R&R model on a large scale and already have existing income from sites that you are renting out.
However, having your own PBN ultimately works out more cost-effective in the long run. A good source for buying or renting individual, niche-related links is a site called Linksmanagement .
Tip – Be very careful and do your research before jumping on anyone’s PBN. You want to be sure that they know what they are doing and do not have shady linking practices, obvious footprints, tons of links sales etc.
How To Add High Authority Links
When adding your high authority links you want to use slight variations of the exact anchor text that you want to rank for.
Since you already have a healthy link profile with a wide anchor text diversity (that shouldn’t have your exact main keywords), you can now use the most powerful links in your arsenal to target your exact keywords that you want to rank for without a risk of looking unnatural in the eyes of Google and risking penalties.
Just to be sure that you are not going to over-optimize your anchor texts for your main keywords, check your site in majestic or Ahref and see that the percentage for any of your main keywords does not exceed 2% of the overall anchor text.
For example if you want to rank for Plumber Los Angeles, the 15-35 links you’d add would have anchor texts like:
- Plumber Los Angeles
- Plumber LA
- Los Angeles Plumber
- Best Los Angeles Plumber
- Plumber LA
- LA plumber
- Los Angeles Plumbing Services
The more keywords you are targeting, the more high authority links you will need.
With a brand new site, typically you should see page one rankings after 2-3 months of adding your high authority links. If your site does not have your desired rankings at this point, you should do the following:
1 – Add more high authority links with variations of your exact anchor text (a few links every few days until your rankings improve)
2 – Buy a press release every month until you reach your desired rankings.
Check more articles :
Local SEO On-Page Optimization For You And Client
Local SEO Business Models : You Should Be Aware Of
How To Use Guest Blogging For Link Building Strategy
5 Proven Ways To Increase Website Traffic
Having your business listed in one of the many local business directories does not guarantee that you will make it to the top of search engine results. Searchers with the tool have an advantage over those who do not.
The long-term benefits of this method are worth the effort.
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