Why Doesn't My Business Rank in the Maps Section on Google? By Joy Hawkins

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From the Search Marketing Expo - SMX East Conference in New York City, NY, September 29 - October 1, 2015. SESSION: Sherlock Goes Local: How We Solved 3 Local Ranking Mysteries - Given by Joy Hawkins, @joyannehawkins - Imprezzio Marketing, Product Consultant. #SMX #11C

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  • Why Doesn't My Business Rank in the Maps Section on Google? By Joy Hawkins

    1. 1. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins An In-Depth Analysis of Local SEO Ranking Issues Why Doesn’t My Business Rank in the Maps Section on Google?
    2. 2. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins Dear Joy, “Why doesn’t my business rank in the top 3 for Google’s Local results? I do way more to promote my business than my competitors. They do nothing yet they’re ranked above me” Sincerely: Your Concerned Client
    3. 3. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins KEYWORDS HE WANTS TO RANK FOR:  State Farm Tulsa OK  Auto Insurance Tulsa OK There are only 3 spots…
    4. 4. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins “State Farm Tulsa OK” Organic: 14th Local: 6th “Auto Insurance Tulsa OK” Organic: Not in Top 100 Local: None HIS CURRENT RANKING SUCKS
    5. 5. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  He moved just under 1 year ago to a new office down the street.  MapMaker and Google My Business (GMB) handle moves differently. PROBLEM 1: CLOSED LISTING
    6. 6. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  You can only find closed listings in MapMaker
    7. 7. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Often they are older & more authoritative  They often contain old reviews for the business  The new/open listing is often brand new Why Are They a Problem?
    8. 8. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins MapMaker • MapMaker is the way to edit non-verified listings. He had one. • MapMaker’s policy is to close the existing listing and create a brand new listing* • Pros: Prevents Mapping Issues • Cons: Ranking Power is Lost (it’s like having a brand new business) *https://support.google.com/mapmaker/answer/1065792?hl=en
    9. 9. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Tells you to edit the existing listing in the GMB Dashboard*  Pros: You are way less likely to see a big drop in ranking. Reviews, photos, videos & posts stay in tact.  Cons: Driving directions will be wrong for a bit, map marker will be in the wrong spot  Main Issue: Updating the address field doesn’t move the map marker. Google My Business (GMB) * https://support.google.com/business/answer/4569146?hl=en
    10. 10. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  I contacted GMB support & had them merge the open & closed listing.  After this happened, the listing went from not being in the local results to on page 3. Solution:
    11. 11. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins We also saw a spike in impressions…
    12. 12. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  https://www.callbryansmith.com/ and https://www.statefarm.com/agent/US/OK/T ulsa/Bryan-Smith-HBZBG5DQHAK both lead to the same website.  One does NOT 301 to the other. PROBLEM 2: TWO IDENTICAL WEBSITES
    13. 13. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins His real site. Better for Search Engines because it’s on StateFarm.com which has a ton of authority/links. Vanity URL. Easier to remember. Better for humans.
    14. 14. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  There are links pointing to both versions  7 links pointing to page 1(StateFarm.com)  33 links pointing to page 2 (CallBryanSmith) Why is this a Problem? These need to get added together!
    15. 15. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins Step 1: Add a Canonical Tag https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066?hl=en URL 1 URL 2 Is Really SOLUTION
    16. 16. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins SOLUTION Step 2: Make Title Tags on Both Pages Match  Google ignored the canonical tag stating the StateFarm.com one was the “preferred” because more links were pointing to CallBryanSmith.com  After this, they are still indexing both separately.
    17. 17. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  There are 46 State Farm agents in Tulsa. Their pages are mostly identical.  Adding &filter=0 to the URL string will show filtered results. PROBLEM 3: THE PAGE WE WANT TO RANK IS FILTERED
    18. 18. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins FILTERED RESULTS
    19. 19. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins AA’s locations page is filtered because their contact page is already ranking right above it.
    20. 20. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  To rank high in the 3-pack it’s essential to link to the page with the highest organic ranking. Why is this a Problem? http://searchengineland.com/googles-pigeon-crap-big-local-brands-206468
    21. 21. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins SOLUTION  Since there is no ability to do much onsite optimization, our best option is more backlinks
    22. 22. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins Good Link: Sponsorship of local business
    23. 23. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins Bad Link: Crappy articles that never get read with exact-match anchor text Bad links help ranking…until you get a penalty
    24. 24. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins PROBLEM 4: ADDRESS FREE-FORM The Address from Google My Business (GMB) does not transfer into the right fields on MapMaker
    25. 25. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Driving Directions are Wrong  Your Map Marker won’t stay in the right spot  No Street View on your listing in Maps Some Signs of Mapping Issues Correct: Shows Street ViewWhere did Street View go?
    26. 26. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins Suite # Street # Street Name
    27. 27. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  If you enter a street into Google that they can’t match up with an existing one, they create a new entry that is at the bottom of the list. This is NOT ideal & can cause mapping issues. Street Name Correct – what Maps has Wrong – was in GMB
    28. 28. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  You have to click to Edit the MM listing to get this info (don’t actually make an edit) Street Name
    29. 29. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Try changing the address in GMB to use the exact same formatting as MapMaker  If that doesn’t work, make an edit in MapMaker to select the correct street name. Solution
    30. 30. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  The map marker keeps moving back to Bryan’s old location. PROBLEM 5: MAP MARKER KEEPS MOVING
    31. 31. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins • A known issue when updating the address in the GMB dashboard • Updating the address does not move the map marker
    32. 32. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins SOLUTION  Contact Google My Business phone support*  Keep a very close eye on the listing in case it moves back again. *https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_c2c_na?hl=en&rd=1#cft=5
    33. 33. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Because Bryan moved, there are still a ton of online references that have him at his old address.  This confuses Google.  Confusion = less trust your data is right = lower ranking PROBLEM 6: NAP Issues
    34. 34. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  First: Manually check the 4 major data providers  www.expressupdate.com  www.mybusinesslistingmanager.com  https://www.neustarlocaleze.biz/directory/Search  https://www.factual.com/data/t/places  If they are wrong, the fastest way to clean them up is to use Moz Local My NAP Diagnosis Process
    35. 35. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Second: Scan their phone number on YellowBot.com My NAP Diagnosis Process Phone #: City, State
    36. 36. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Open all the different results that pull up.  Look in the description, information & reviews sections. Make sure to view all.  Open every hyperlinked directory in a new tab. My NAP Diagnosis Process
    37. 37. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  Check over every directory listing to see if it has a different business name, address, phone number, or website URL than the one you are using on G+  Get the ones that are different updated or removed. My NAP Diagnosis Process
    38. 38. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins  There area authority data providers that apply to only certain industries.  Ex: Working with a medical professional? Make sure NPPES is up to date:  https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPESRegistry/NP IRegistrySearch.do  I worked with a dentist who moved over 4 years ago and his NPI record had him at his old address. Bonus Tip
    39. 39. #SMX #11C @joyannehawkins THANK YOU! SEE YOU @SMX WEST SAN JOSE, CA MARCH 1-3, 2016

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