Austin Local Citations
In addition to Google places, there are numerous additional online local directories on each of which your Austin business should have a citation. We’ve carefully sculpted a list of the top 100 or so directories, from which a website can gain the most traction and ranking benefit. Rather than include them all here, we have a separate local directory citation websites post.
Submitting to all these local directory sites is essential to ranking on local search as it provides Google with numerous validation signals that a business is real, active, and open for business. It’s important to fully complete each listing, which includes uploading images and creating complete descriptions and categories. Getting links from these sites will also offer direct traffic benefits from users who log on and search for Austin service providers and companies though those sites rather than Google or Bing.
This is tedious and time consuming work, so if you’d rather make better use of your time, feel free to take advantage of our inexpensive local SEO service.
Additional Off Site Local Search Ranking Factors
We’ve covered Google places and citations, so now it’s time to talk about other important links, Facebook and social media, Google Authorship, Google plus, external reviews, and other off site ranking factors.
Where to Get Backlinks for Your Austin Website
For this article we’re not going to discuss links for a specific niche. If you are a lawyer, there are websites and quality niche directories that are highly focused on legal issues and attorneys. The same is true for home builders, dermatologists, plumbers, roofers, and even maid services. Links coming from websites that cover lots of content relevant to your keywords (product/ service) are crucial, but since we’re focusing on Austin, we’ll discuss links that are highly relevant to the location part of a search query.
Search queries in Austin are made of two parts. The first part is the specific service or product that a business offers and that a query targets, such as “seo services.” The other part is the location in which the search is performed – Austin in this example. The combined search is something like “SEO services in Austin.” Some people will be searching from Austin, but without the location qualifier in the search phrase, and others will include the location within the search query.
To find out what keywords to target, you can look at the monthly volume (number of searches) and competition (other sites competing for those searches) with the Google Keyword Planner, which recently replace the Google Keyword Tool.
Since “Austin” can be treated as a specific keyword in and of itself, we’ll want links from Austin-based websites, and with “Austin” in the anchor text.
1. Donate to Austin Organizations
Many local non-profit organizations have a resource page that lists their sponsors, and links back to sponsor websites. Animal shelters, film societies, churches, veteran organizations, agricultural clubs, and so on make for excellent candidates. While you’re at it, there are other mutually beneficial arrangements that can be made with non-profits that can help build your online presence and brand.
One example would be to sponsor a promotion drive for a local charity and have the mechanism for the amount of your donation be the number of Facebook like collected on your business Facebook page. Your business does good for the community, builds its reputation as a company with good will towards the community, taps a vast social network not otherwise accessible, and helps your website rank by feeding social signals to the Google ranking algorithm.
2. Colleges and Education Websites
Perhaps you have an affiliation with the University of Texas, Texas Exes, St. Edwards, Austin Community College, or another education facility here in town. These are difficult links to come by, but they also offer great rewards. Ideas for getting a .edu link included teaching a class, posting content that is cited in an article on a school’s website, posting a job offer on a university job board.
Creating Austin Specific Content that People Love
Other than building great links naturally, having Austin content on a website makes sense for a site attempting to rank for keywords where Austin is in the search query.
Interesting articles about Austin get shared on Facebook and if the content is decent, build links quickly and for free. You don’t have to be the Austin American Statesman or the Travel Channel to build great content.
Use Headlines that Grab Attention
If you want your content to be read, shared, and maybe even have a few folks link to it, it need to be authoritative, funny, interesting, or emotion invoking. Here are a few ideas off the top of my head.
The Real Cost of Living in Austin
Harmful Effects of Living on a Taco-Only Diet
Top Ten Neighborhoods in Austin for Cat Lovers
The Richest Hipsters in Austin
And so on…