<< by on September 13th, 2011
After a delicious lunch sponsored by aimClear (note the <eat_me> code on the cake!), I’m back in session mode with “Hard Core Local SEO Tactics.” Matt McGee, Mike Ramsay and Will Scott present on how successful local SEO is largely a matter of proper blocking and tackling. This session explores creative approaches to local SEO and tactics that go well beyond blocking and tackling with NAP data and Place Pages.
Dentist and law local search results are competitive. “They eat SEO eggs for breakfast” and get really competitive in their markets.
Whitespark.ca should be launching soon with some new information – check it out!
Correlation does not equal causation.
People are claiming their Places Pages. Claiming Place Page does not cause your page to rank. Just because you claim it won’t have you rank better, but it will let you own your data and fill out everything accurately. Now on Google listing account, only the Google reviews show with stars. The more places you have reviews, the more different locations they come from, the more authority you still have for that location.
NAP = Business name + Business address + Business local phone number. NAP creates citation. These citations correlate very high with rankings.
Highest correlation in study- high ranking businesses had on average 3,689 citations rather than the low ranking and bad data system. If there are places with incorrect data, work to correct them.
Look at offsite data to see where the links and signals are coming from across the web. Diversify your link building to get a lot of different root domains linking to you.
The landing page used on your Place Page can be a landing page that is more relevant with more local information for the local user.
- Exactness in Place – Keep Data Consistent
- Authority in Website – Focus on quality links
- Trust in Reviews – Get real reviews and your CTR will go up as you gain trust
Matt McGee – presenting David Mihm’s presentation from SMX advanced
Google Insights for Search Tool is the best local keyword research tool out there! Compare some major metropolitan areas what search activity is for your keywords.
How does blended local search work? Google determines location prominence and defines the structure in their patents.
Pre-website conversion is happening when searcher sees address, phone number, hours open, and public transportation options are shown right in the SERP. Hotel prices, local product inventory and Bing’s restaurant reservations are shown and available in local search.
Google is used blended results for localized inventory. What products in your store can be indicated online?
Local SEO is all about optimizing location and matching up links. Top slot is REALLY important and photos are REALLY important because sometimes only one blended results for local is shown in SERP.
“Our brains tell us that because this listing has a unique treatment in the listings, it should be unique in some way.”
Use a local landing page as the URL in your Places listing. PageRank of Places URL does not have any influence in your visibiity in search.
Multiple places – good store indexable locator page. Each location needs its own page, unique, and indexable content.
Use KML sitemap in Google WMC. geositemapgenerator.com
The Ideal Landing Page
- Match local data with what is in Places listing
- Title tag and H1- places business title
- URL should include city name
- Not that different from PPC landing page
*Do not use tracking phone numbers anywhere. Even offline. Don’t make Google less certain of how user can reach you if phone numbers aren’t consistent.
Consistency and look for authority, vertically relevant, geographically relevant, external title tags and location prominence (Google patent)
Look where place snippets are pulled from on Google – check those sites as well as sites that rank well in organic results for your keywords. It’s helpful if they are high authority too!
Search just on city name and go several pages deep – lots of interesting sites you may not know of but might be opportunities to get the citations.
Get reviews through e-mail campaigns.
- Segment customers with Gmail/Yahoo email address. Those people already have account and are logged in.
- Consider the eases of leaving a review for someone without an account.
- Consider the syndication value of review sources. ie. Citysearch is posted on many sites
- Point-of-sale followup for review Velocity should be consistent and feedback should be part of your everyday business process.
- Caveats – know the rules for incentives and review threshold.
- Get your bulk feed verified – email domain matches email domain listed in Places page.
- Geographic inbound anchor text
- Use custom categories for high-volume, high conversion keywords
If you get a high authority review it will improve local search visibility.
Remember to claim all your listings and clean up old and duplicate listings and categorize yourself properly.
Good example of location based landing page: lakeland.co.uk/stores/aberdeen
Will Scott, Search Influence
NAP – Name, Address, Phone was defined in 2008. Will was there.
Search for your phone number on Google Maps and see what you find.
Only way to clean some of this stuff up is to hunt down original source of bad data, report wrong listing, and through community edits can make that bad data go away.
Be honest telling them why you want the edit and give backup. Provide links, and do all the work for the editor so he can say you are approved more easily and quickly.
Alternative citation sources
- Article engines can include citation data in the resource box. Anchor text to those locations.
- Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla are great citation sources. The more social signals are used, the more important this will be.
- Add to sponsor page if donate to organizations.
Right after you read this:
- Create location landing pages for your locations.
- Change landing page for Places Page.
- Build out pages to reinforce the NAP data.
**Always use local number – not same 800 number for all your offices.
If you want more insights on this session follow #smx and #13D on Twitter.