How to Prioritize Your Local Search Work - Darren Shaw - SearchLove Boston 2014
 

How to Prioritize Your Local Search Work - Darren Shaw - SearchLove Boston 2014

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  • Darren, this is great content! I am wondering if we can use portions of your work in our presentations (with the appropriate attribution of course.) Cheers!
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  • I run a company called Whitespark that builds tools for local search and offers local search services. We’re based in Edmonton, Cananda. Probably most famous for Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers in the 80s. Speaking of which, I’d just like to point out my friend Ryan over there. Stand up Ryan. He’s from Buffalo and Buffalo and Edmonton are the two worst teams in the league this year. Ryan bet me that Buffalo would beat Edmonton in a game on Feb 3rd and the loser would have to wear the other team’s Jersey to SearchLove. So, as you can see, Edmonton won, and Ryan bought me that sweet branded jersey. Thanks Ryan!
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Sure, you can do some work in 3 hours. The trick is figuring out what work will have the biggest impact with the least amount of effort.At the same time I was working with that enterprise client I was also working with Phil Rozek on a new Local search service that we just launched last week. We were trying to answer the same questions. What work really matters in Local Search? What is going to move the needle, and what is just wasting your time? This talk evolved out of those questions and the work we’ve been doing for the past six months. I’ll be giving you a full blueprint of all the local search work that I think is worth doing, and I’ll show you what I would do in 40 hours, 20 hours, 10 hours, and as in the case of that enterprise client, even as little as 3 hours.
  • Part of the trouble with local search is that to get results you still need to do all the regular SEO work you would do on any organic SEO campaign, PLUS a bunch of extra Local specific work. For a local client, you still need to make sure they have a technically sound, fast-loading website, they are getting some quality links, they’ve got properly optimized title tags and content, they’re utilizing social as best they can, etc. On top of that, you’ve got to make sure their Google+ Local listing is claimed and enhanced, they have all the right citations, all their inconsistent and duplicate citations have been cleaned up, and they have a great review acquisition strategy in place. Local search adds EXTRA work and so it’s really important to be able to hone in on what’s worth doing.
  • Here is my local ranking blueprint. These are all the activities that I think are high value and worth focusing on. Certainly there are many other things you can do in local search, but for this talk on prioritizing your local search work, I just want to focus on the big wins and the low hanging fruit.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • Why Reviews? ImageThis is because I believe reviews are the most powerful ranking booster in local. There is a huge opportunity right now in many industries to rank well in Google’s local results through reviews alone. I’ll explain why I think that. First, about a year ago I took a random sampling of 100 locations for that enterprise consulting client and collected data on their rankings, location age, citations, links, reviews, categories, etc. When you sort the results by rank, it becomes absolutely clear that the locations that are ranking well are the ones that have reviews. It was the key differentiator between the other locations.
  • Second, listings with reviews provide a better user experience.
  • And third, keywords in reviews seem to provide a ranking boost as well. This makes sense. When consumers mention those keywords in their reviews they’re helping Google to associate those keywords with your business.
  • So are you wondering how the Cosby’s are going to help you get keywords in your reviews? They just represent family and they’re the first family that popped into my head. Plus, they’re awesome. The only way I know of to get keywords in reviews is to mention it to people you’re close to. The family and friends of an auto repair shop are likely going to get their car fixed there. So, since the business owner has a personal relationship with them, he could ask them to mention the service they had done. Brake replacement, oil change, transmission repair, etc. I wouldn’t go around asking all your customers to mention specific services, but for people you know, sure, it WILL help.
  • While, I recommend focusing your reviews acquisition efforts on Google+ until you get at least five, your second most important review site is Yelp.Without question,Yelp is the #1 review site on the internet.
  • People go directly to it to research businesses, so you want to make sure you’re ranking well internally on the site. To rank well, you need reviews, and keywords in reviews can help you rank here as well.
  • Besides the benefits that come from ranking well internally at Yelp, Google just loves ranking Yelp pages. Just look at these examples.
  • You’ll see Yelp showing up in almost every local query you run, so you want to make sure your listing is showing up and
  • Yelp has a pretty strict policy about asking for reviews. Don’t do it. Don’t ask your customers to review you on Yelp. I don’t say this because you should be worried about getting busted. (although that has happened a few times).
  • You shouldn’t ask for reviews because they any reviews you ask for are likely to get filtered. If you ask for a review the person will go to Yelp, make an account, leave you a review, then probably never use their Yelp account again. That is going to result in a guaranteed filter. You should only bother asking for reviews if you know that the person is already active on the site.
  • Here’s a guy you want a review from. I have 44 friends on Yelp, including Elite Yelpers like Phil Rozek here. I have updated my profile photos, left 8 reviews, added some tips, uploaded 20 photos./ and I’ve received some compliments. So, if you knew I visited your business and you knew I was active on Yelp, it would be great to ask me to review you on Yelp.
  • If you’re a business owner, do this, and ask those people.
  • You have to earn these stickers, but we’re making some simple “find us on Yelp” stickers that you can print. We’ll be putting them up on our site soon as free downloads.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • The location landing page is the page linked to in your Google+ Local listing. For the vast majority of local businesses, this will be the homepage.
  • Please. Don’t keyword stuff. Just pick a primary keyword and stick with it. If you have multiple locations in the same city, you can target different location pages to different keywords to diversify.
  • Now, you want to include as much content as you can on the page. Here’s a list of possibilities.
  • Often people will search for the address of the business, not the business itself. Make sure you search Google maps for the actual business placemark and embed the resulting map.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • To find duplicates, search in Google Maps for the business name and the primary phone number. In this case, results A and B are duplicates. This works better on the old Google maps. If you’re on the new Google Maps, you can switch back to old maps using the little question mark bubble on the bottom right of the map.
  • Next, you need to determine which listing you want to keep, and which to remove. The one with the most reviews is the one you want to keep. If they both have an equal number of reviews, then you’ll want to keep the one that’s the most complete: photos, categories, additional phone numbers, etc.
  • Next, you need to determine which listing you want to keep, and which to remove. The one with the most reviews is the one you want to keep. If they both have an equal number of reviews, then you’ll want to keep the one that’s the most complete: photos, categories, additional phone numbers, etc.
  • The description is NOT considered for rankings but it is looked at for spam. Adding keywords to this field could cause a ranking demotion, but they will never help improve rankings. It’s a good idea to enhance your listing with a good cover photo, photos, and social posts (share your good reviews as posts), but these won’t impact your rankings. They’ll just make people more inclined to call your business when they are looking at your listing.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Here is a high-level view of the tasks that I think are the most valuable to work on. There are 5 key areas. Reviews… website… Google+ Local listing… citations… and links.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.
  • Can you do local SEO in 3 hours?That’s the question I needed to answer for one of my enterpriseconsulting clients recently.They’re building an in-house team to optimize their thousands of locations for local search. When we calculated the time their team would have to optimize all their locations, it ended up being about 3 hours per location and it was going to take them over a year to get everything done.

How to Prioritize Your Local Search Work - Darren Shaw - SearchLove Boston 2014 How to Prioritize Your Local Search Work - Darren Shaw - SearchLove Boston 2014 Presentation Transcript

  • How To Prioritize Your Local Search Work DARREN SHAW
  • Darren Shaw Founder at Whitespark darren@whitespark.ca @EdmontonSEO
  • Can you do local SEO in only 3 hours?
  • Sure, you can do *some* work
  • Organic SEO • Keyword research • Website • Content • Links • Social • Reporting Local SEO • Keyword research • Website • Content • Links • Social • Reporting • Google+ Local Listing • Citation building • Citation audit/cleanup • Review acquisition Additional Work
  • Why Reviews?
  • VS Listings with reviews provide a better user experience
  • Google loves a good user experience
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews Get 5 reviews, get the stars Nice
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://getfivestars.com/
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://getfivestars.com/
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://getfivestars.com/
  • Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews
  • Get keywords in reviews
  • Increase awareness of Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp To rank in Yelp 1) Get reviews 2) Get keywords in yelp reviews
  • Increase awareness of Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp Awareness, NOT solicitation
  • Increase awareness of Yelp Awareness, NOT solicitation
  • Increase awareness of Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp If only there was a way to find to find friends on Yelp
  • Increase awareness of Yelp Thanks Yelp!
  • Increase awareness of Yelp On your website
  • Increase awareness of Yelp In your email
  • Increase awareness of Yelp On your door
  • Increase awareness of Yelp In your business Download this printable sign I made! (I’m so proud) bit.ly/1lsv4m9
  • Diversify Review Sites GetFiveStars makes this easy
  • Reviews Highest value Lowest effort 2 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes
  • Optimize the location landing page(s) Single location: link to homepage
  • Multi-location: link to a dedicated location page Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Include city and primary keyword in the URL Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Title tag 1) Include primary keyword. 2) Include city & state abbreviation 3) Include same business name as on Google listing Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Add a couple of good paragraphs of "about us"/"this location" content. Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Include name, address, and phone in schema.org Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Embed a Google map, the right way Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Embed a Google map, the right way Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Embed a Google map, the right way Optimize the location landing page(s)
  • Write high-quality long form content on the services pages No. Just no.
  • Write high-quality long form content on the services pages OMG YES. 4500 words on DUI Law in Alberta pringlelaw.ca/practices/1-impaired-driving
  • Write high-quality long form content on the services pages It’s working out quite well for them #1 Organic #1 Local
  • Fix any technical problems Not enough time to cover it, but LMGTFY
  • Clean up duplicate listings
  • Clean up duplicate listings
  • Clean up duplicate listings
  • Clean up duplicate listings
  • Clean up duplicate listings
  • Clean up duplicate listings
  • Pick good categories
  • Don’t violate guidelines & don’t keyword spam Only use your official DBA name City in description can cause a ranking drop Don’t use a PO Box, UPS, or any kind of fake address. Don’t add anykeywords from your categories to the description It’s ok to add a link or two to the description, but don’t do any exact match anchors X X X Don’t include any of these words: bit.ly/1fPnlx3
  • Get 1 accurate & complete listing on the major data aggregators You really must be listed on all 4 of these
  • http://moz.com/learn/local/local-search-data-us Used with permission from David Mihm Get 1 accurate & complete listing on the major data aggregators
  • Go to http://www.expressupdate.com to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  • Go to http://www.neustarlocaleze.biz to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  • Go to https://mybusinesslistingmanager.myacxiom.com to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  • Go to http://factual.com/data/t/placesto find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  • To update or remove: factual.com/contact Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  • Get 1 accurate & complete listing on the second tier citation sites
  • On each of these sites, use the internal search function to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the second tier citation sites
  • Get some quality unstructured citations Feature local artists at the business
  • Get some quality unstructured citations Host events at the business
  • Get some quality unstructured citations Offer student discounts
  • Get some quality unstructured citations http://www.localstampede.com/citation-building-strategies-list/ Tons of great ideas here:
  • Get a handful of city-specific and industry specific citations
  • Get 1 accurate and complete listing on the remaining top 50 citation sites
  • Clean up duplicates on the remaining top 50 citation sites
  • Get 1 accurate and complete listing, and remove duplicates on the remaining top 50 citation sites https://www.whitespark.ca/citation-audit-and-cleanup-service
  • [0047] When the document falls within the broad area (block 460--YES), then a location prominence score associated with the document may be determined (block 470). The location prominence score may be based on a set of factors that are unrelated to the geographical area over which the user is searching. In one implementation, the set of factors may include one or more of the following factors: (1) a score associated with an authoritative document; (2) the total number of documents referring to a business associated with the document; (3) the highest score of documents referring to the business; (4) the number of documents with reviews of the business; and (5) the number of information documents that mention the business. In other implementations, the set of factors may include additional or different factors. Get at least 1 super link
  • Get at least 1 super link SS Scholarship SS Sponsorship
  • Get at least 1 super link Their home page
  • Get at least 1 super link Their scholarship page
  • Get at least 1 super link Sponsorships 1. Boston inurl:sponsors 2. site:.eduboston supporters 3. site:.eduboston sponsors 4. site:.orgboston supporters 5. site:.orgboston sponsors 6. site:.k12.ca.us supporters 7. site:.k12.ca.us sponsors
  • Get a handful of local links http://www.localstampede.com/citation-building-strategies-list/ X
  • Clean up any spammy links
  • Get the typical basic links from citations, social profiles, etc
  • Download it here: bit.ly/1kmlOTk
  • What should you work on with 40 hours?
  • You can do it all (excluding serious technical issues and link cleanup)
  • What should you work on with 20 hours?
  • Reviews:32 minutes Website:4 hours - optimize the landing page - enhance content on a handful of services pages Google+ Local Listing:30 minutes Citations: 7 hours - data aggregators - 2nd tier - city-specific and industry-specific - prospect for and get 2 local sponsorship citation & link Links: 8 hours - get scholarship page up and do some outreach
  • What should you work on with 10 hours?
  • Reviews:32 minutes Website:4 hours - optimize the landing page - enhance content on a handful of services pages Google+ Local Listing:30 minutes Citations: 5 hours - data aggregators - 2nd tier - prospect for and get 1 local sponsorship citation & link
  • And what if you only have 3 hours?
  • Reviews:32 minutes Website:1 hour - optimize the landing page Google+ Local Listing:30 minutes Citations: 1 hour - data aggregators
  • Thanks. Any questions? DARREN SHAW darren@whitespark.ca @EdmontonSEO