Figured I'd let you guys in on a test I did a few months back with a new client.
Market: - Dentist (this was not from my city btw)
After analyzing the top 10, I found that the #1 website had 500 backlinks, others had ~20-200.
This city isn't too large, but at least 3 people in the market were using SEOs.
Here's what I did:
1. Use Market Samurai SEO comp. to dissect the #1-10 (I did the full top 10 in this market b/c the #1 guy had 95% spam blog links) site's backlinks. Export data.
2. Run backlinks through SB to verified the site has a link at this location.
3. Check PR of the domains to see which ones to look closely at first.
4. Drop a link at any location possible, in my case was a bunch of directories, blog comments, etc.
5. Social Bookmark drip feed.
6. Build 3 tier 1 niche relevant sites on separate IPs.
7. Post 2-4 real posts on these blogs and get them indexed.
8. Build some links to these tier 1 blogs to boost their juice.
9. Add your post/link to the relevant blogs, under a few posts so it looks legit. (Wait a few days in between).
Ended up that after doing this, my client was ranking #1 for the main target in only 2-3 weeks with only 7 backlinks recorded in Majestic SEO LOL... Needless to say the guy was shocked and so was I.
Being this market was smaller, I needed to optimize 4-5 kws for him to make a profit, so I kept building links (usual stuff as per CB,NB etc etc).
In under 3 months he's now ranked #1 on every keyword with only ~330 BLs, AND has that awesome new "personal" map they give the top organic result.
Start your SEM campaigns with high quality "natural" (aka, copied) links and watch how much easier it is... Lol.
P.S. When you do on-page optimization, especially in a smaller market like this, don't KW stuff and be sure to spread LSI words throughout the page. On this particular campaign, after I finished the on-page I "had a feeling" it was going to dominate because I set it up perfectly.