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User Behavior Affects Local Rankings. Now What?

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@philrozek #stateofsearch 
User Behavior Affects Local Rankings. 
Now What? 
State of Search 2014 
Phil Rozek localvisibil...

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@philrozek #stateofsearch

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@philrozek #stateofsearch

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User Behavior Affects Local Rankings. Now What?

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Why should Google rack its artificial brain to figure out which local search results are the best, when it can just let searchers do some of the work?

Local SEOs and business owners should assume that Google knows everything about how searchers interact with businesses in the local search results and beyond. As a result, businesses that seem popular with searchers are likely to stay high in the local results, while everyone else sinks.

How can you turn people’s behavioral signals to your advantage? How can you get searchers to engage with your business in ways that tell Google you’re “popular”?

Why should Google rack its artificial brain to figure out which local search results are the best, when it can just let searchers do some of the work?

Local SEOs and business owners should assume that Google knows everything about how searchers interact with businesses in the local search results and beyond. As a result, businesses that seem popular with searchers are likely to stay high in the local results, while everyone else sinks.

How can you turn people’s behavioral signals to your advantage? How can you get searchers to engage with your business in ways that tell Google you’re “popular”?

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User Behavior Affects Local Rankings. Now What?

  1. 1. @philrozek #stateofsearch User Behavior Affects Local Rankings. Now What? State of Search 2014 Phil Rozek localvisibilitysystem.com
  2. 2. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  3. 3. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  4. 4. @philrozek #stateofsearch So click-through and other user-behavior matters. I’ll show you what to do with that knowledge. But first…
  5. 5. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  6. 6. @philrozek #stateofsearch My theory: it’s all like a sandbox
  7. 7. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  8. 8. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  9. 9. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  10. 10. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  11. 11. @philrozek #stateofsearch 2 assumptions about Google…
  12. 12. @philrozek #stateofsearch Assumption 1: Google knows everything
  13. 13. @philrozek #stateofsearch Assumption 2: Google judges everything
  14. 14. @philrozek #stateofsearch Ever noticed how some businesses stick on page one forever? Or how businesses rank then tank? Or why results can seem so random?
  15. 15. @philrozek #stateofsearch Assumption 2: Google uses what it knows Overall, more difficult-to-game signals have been on the rise - clickthrough rates on your listings in search results are more influential than ever. Clicks on maps, review links, and driving directions all factor in. Chris Silver Smith Local Search Ranking Factors 2014 “
  16. 16. @philrozek #stateofsearch The $64,000 Question: how can you get users to show Google you’re a good search result?
  17. 17. @philrozek #stateofsearch Obvious win: Get lots of people into a room
  18. 18. @philrozek #stateofsearch Host a big gathering if you can. Or do TV ads if you can. But I can’t assume you’ll do those.
  19. 19. @philrozek #stateofsearch How can you send Google more behavioral clues every day, starting today?
  20. 20. @philrozek #stateofsearch Know the main places where searchers can engage with you: 7 “sandboxes”…
  21. 21. @philrozek #stateofsearch 1. Main search results 2. Branded search results 3. Your knowledge graph 4. “People also search for” 5. Google Places page 6. Website 7. “Maps” view
  22. 22. @philrozek #stateofsearch The goal(s): collect more clicks + clicks from all over.
  23. 23. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  24. 24. @philrozek #stateofsearch By the way… Forget rankings for a second. You should do all these steps anyway.
  25. 25. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  26. 26. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 1: main search results
  27. 27. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  28. 28. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goal: Become the obvious search result to click on
  29. 29. @philrozek #stateofsearch Get a catchy business name
  30. 30. @philrozek #stateofsearch Get a catchy business name
  31. 31. @philrozek #stateofsearch Get a catchy business name
  32. 32. @philrozek #stateofsearch Use a Google Places “descriptor”
  33. 33. @philrozek #stateofsearch Reviews, reviews, reviews
  34. 34. @philrozek #stateofsearch Reviews, reviews, reviews
  35. 35. @philrozek #stateofsearch Upload attractive photo(s)
  36. 36. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 2: branded search results
  37. 37. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  38. 38. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goal: avoid pogo-sticking
  39. 39. @philrozek #stateofsearch Punchy title + description tags
  40. 40. @philrozek #stateofsearch Make pages based on autocomplete
  41. 41. @philrozek #stateofsearch Make pages based on autocomplete
  42. 42. @philrozek #stateofsearch Get on Google’s favorites
  43. 43. @philrozek #stateofsearch Get on Google’s favorites Obvious: Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. Less-obvious: BBB, SlideShare, paid niche sites, even Meetup.com
  44. 44. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 3: your knowledge graph
  45. 45. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  46. 46. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goal: turn your knowledge graph into Play-Doh
  47. 47. @philrozek #stateofsearch Catchy photo and many reviews
  48. 48. @philrozek #stateofsearch Photos in posts
  49. 49. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 4: “people also search for”
  50. 50. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  51. 51. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goal: steal clicks from competitors’ branded results
  52. 52. @philrozek #stateofsearch Upload flashy 1st photo
  53. 53. @philrozek #stateofsearch Upload flashy 1st photo
  54. 54. @philrozek #stateofsearch Upload flashy 1st photo
  55. 55. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 5: Google Places page
  56. 56. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  57. 57. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goal: get people to click through - or click to call.
  58. 58. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google reviews!
  59. 59. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google reviews!
  60. 60. @philrozek #stateofsearch Nice cover photo
  61. 61. @philrozek #stateofsearch Detailed description w/ links
  62. 62. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google posts that link to posts / subpages
  63. 63. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google Business View photo shoot
  64. 64. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google Business View photo shoot
  65. 65. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  66. 66. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google Business View photo shoot
  67. 67. @philrozek #stateofsearch Google Business View photo shoot
  68. 68. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 6: your site
  69. 69. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goals: 1. avoid pogo-sticking (esp. bounces) 2. push users deeper
  70. 70. @philrozek #stateofsearch Bad ideas 1. Autoplay videos, Flash intros, music 2. Thin content on landing page 3. Typical keyword-stuffing
  71. 71. @philrozek #stateofsearch Good ideas – the obvious ones 1. Visible, foolproof navigation 2. Lots of info about services 3. Mobile-friendly site
  72. 72. @philrozek #stateofsearch Good ideas – the less-obvious 4. Links to review sites (in new tab) 5. Click-to-call links 6. Multiple calls-to-action 7. CrazyEgg
  73. 73. @philrozek #stateofsearch Use CrazyEgg
  74. 74. @philrozek #stateofsearch Engagement area 7: “Maps” view
  75. 75. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  76. 76. @philrozek #stateofsearch Goal: urge visitors to look up driving directions
  77. 77. @philrozek #stateofsearch Encourage driving directions
  78. 78. @philrozek #stateofsearch Embed the RIGHT Google map
  79. 79. @philrozek #stateofsearch Embed the RIGHT Google map
  80. 80. @philrozek #stateofsearch Embed the RIGHT Google map Put it on several pages if possible. Ask visitors to use the map. Where you don’t embed the map, consider linking to it (new tab).
  81. 81. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  82. 82. @philrozek #stateofsearch Bonus tip: Give Google Plus reviewers manual directions
  83. 83. @philrozek #stateofsearch Ask reviewers to search manually 1. Go to Plus.Google.com 2. Or to Google.com 3. Don’t send everyone a link!
  84. 84. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  85. 85. @philrozek #stateofsearch What’s the bigger picture? a few principles
  86. 86. @philrozek #stateofsearch Takeaway principles 1. Study your UX – your “click-flow” 2. Give users stuff to look at 3. Give users places to click 4. REVIEWS
  87. 87. @philrozek #stateofsearch
  88. 88. @philrozek #stateofsearch Thanks!
  89. 89. @philrozek #stateofsearch Phil Rozek localvisibilitysystem.com twitter: @philrozek
  90. 90. @philrozek #stateofsearch Resources / further reading • # of Clicks on Your Google+ Page Determines Your Ranking? – Local Search Forum • Driving Directions vs. Reviews as Ranking Signals for Google Maps – Bill Slawski • Mad Science Experiments in SEO & Social Media (slides 88-102) – Rand Fishkin • Using Autocomplete To Hijack Local Search Results – Chris Silver Smith • How to Pimp Your Local Google+ Page – Phil Rozek / Whitespark • One-page handout for getting Google reviews – Phil Rozek

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