Making sure that your site is optimized for your geographical location and the locations where your business operates is just one aspect of optimizing for local search results. Another good way to build local relevance for your site is by encouraging links from other trusted and relevant websites operated by businesses and organizations in your area. This establishes keyword relevance for your site, for the name of your region and, if these sites are hosted in your area as well, establishes that your website is well-linked physically to that region.
One good way to find sites that could give your site some local relevance is to search for “your location” and “business” in Google, Yahoo and MSN as well as any other popular search engines and see what comes up. A search for “Boca Raton business” found these listings:
Any one of these sites would be a great link to have for a Boca Raton Business. Once you have located some potential sources of valuable links, go to the site and see if there is any place on the site that might offer an opportunity to get a link.
Another good search term to use for geo-targeted link building would be “Your Area Directory” — in the case of Boca Raton — “Boca Raton Directory”. If there are any local business directories, it would be a good idea for my Boca Raton business to be listed. Just make sure that any directory pages that come up are truly local as some larger directories may have a section devoted to your area. By choosing carefully, good sources for local links can be found.
Of course, not all links are necessarily going to be valuable for increasing search engine rankings. Some top ranking local business sites will provide links to local businesses, but the links may not be direct or they may have a rel=”nofollow” attribute on them advising search engines not to count them, as in the case of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce site. When evaluating if a site is a good source for a link, consider the potential for traffic before considering search engines. If the site has a good potential for providing your site with direct traffic, then getting your site listed is a good idea — even if search engines do not value the site. If they do count, then it’s all the better.