There’s no denying that a website’s popularity correlates with how high it ranks in search engine results, and in a way, backlinks are like popularity votes. The more links you have leading to your website from outside websites, the more traction you’ll gain from search engines. Google uses unique variables in the local ranking algorithm. However, Google's local algorithm and the organic algorithm are interconnected. Websites with good traditional SEO elements also get better rankings in Google's local results. Include the right rich snippets, don’t add schema.org markup just to inform Google about all the other stuff you do. Google AdWords have a brilliant – and completely free – keyword planner which allows you to search for new keyword ideas while checking out real search volumes. If you’ve got a specific idea for a blog post in mind, use the tool well before you start writing to find a few popular and relevant keywords to include.

Replicate the same process with other websites

Development of a prioritized list of targeted search terms related to your customer base and market segment. Clearly, keywords are important. They always have been and they always will be. Search engines like Google want to know that a piece of content is obviously about a specific keyword. Link building is all about getting a link from another site back to your own. In order to do this you need to research what is out there. What you are looking for is websites that are relevant to you and your location. This is called “local link building”. You can also look for those that are just relevant to your company. Sometimes knowing why you’re doing something can make all the difference.

Start with seed keywords

In some cases, it may be necessary to hyperlink to more nefarious corners of the internet in order to provide your readers with further reading value or as evidence for facts or statements made. If you want your content to stand out from the glut of online content and attract the kind of shares and links that boost search rankings, you’ve got to create epic content or “10X Content”. Most of the content that ranks in the top 10 of Google is over 2000 words in length, so you need to create long-form content. You can also build a reasonable idea of how many links you need, and how authoritative, in order to compete. To check out your competitors’ links, you can search for their most popular URLs with the link: command in Google. If you want to go further, use one of the many backlink tools to search for the most influential links – a good starting point is Open Link Profiler which gives you a lot of data for free. Understanding the current health of your website from an SEO perspective is crucial to the beginning of every SEO campaign.

Don’t be afraid to use long-form content

When approaching other webmasters to link to your site; it's really important to “suggest” suitable text for them to use; i.e link code that will have the most suitable link text for your site. It doesn’t take hundreds to see the needle move, especially with Google’s ever-improving ability to detect low quality and manipulative links. Have useful content for those searchersNow you have your niche and the related search terms you want your site to rank on. Gaz Hall, from SEO Hull, had the following to say: "There are many successful blogs out there with incredibly popular and well converting giveaways. "

Use the topic cluster model

On the Internet, people tend to scan text rather than read it from cover to cover. That’s why you should provide a clear structure of each piece of content. Use headlines, subheadings, bullets and bolds in the most relevant sections of your copy. How well written your content is and how much it brings value to the searcher is paramount to its success on Google's SERPs. If a blog or web site doesn’t use the NoFollow tag, the search engines acknowledge the link; if a site does use the NoFollow tag, the search engines do not acknowledge the link. When creating new content ask yourself: what the goal of that content is? What information do you need to include? Who is your target audience? What language do they use? What questions your visitors looking to answer? By taking a moment to think about real humans and your target audience you’ll be able to create content that will not only rank well in the search engines but lead to better engagement with your website visitors.