Great tips Brent. I’m going to share this on my Google Places and Local SEO news channel at Scoop.it.
While I understand that in some hyper competitive local searches link building is essential, for most local businesses it is not.
I have SEO companies that come to me for my Advanced Google Places and Local SEO training all the time that say “I’ve backlinked the hell out of this site and can’t get it to rank.”
In LOCAL it’s more about some very specific on-site factors that make all the difference. I get local companies in the 1, 2, 3 spot all the time that don’t have ANY links and I’ve never built a backlink. Just took a Dentist from #16 to #2 in one day by tweaking his site. (No links, no Places optimization).
Oh and I’m talking the new ‘blended’ algo that’s 90% based on organic SEO, not the old 7 pack Places algo that is totally different. That one is not controlled by backlinks or on-site at all.
But again it’s all relative and based on the competition. So I’m not negating the need for links, it’s just that in local it’s not the be-all, end-all some people make it out to be. So much easier to optimize a site than to build backlinks. But if you need to build links, these are some great tips!