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Local Search Ranking Factors

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Local Search Ranking Factors

  1. 1. Local Search Ranking Factors 41 Signals & Ranking Factors for Local Search (Yes, TL;DR Blog Post) Presented by Bruce Clay
  2. 2. • Google is in the business of making money • Google does not care if WE rank (or not) • Google cares only that there is a quality site that answers the query to the total satisfaction of the searcher first time every time • And that every searcher clicks on an ad Google Local
  3. 3. 1. Branding – Attract traffic and mentions – be trusted as a reference. 2. Domain Names – Properly represent your brand and business without spam or looking fake – avoid EMD penalty. 3. Optimal Landing Page – Proper information always helps. Housekeeping Signals
  4. 4. 4. Hosting (*) – Speed, availability, maintained software, AMP/PWAs 5. CMS • WordPress is 72% of all recent installs and 10x closest rival • Plugins matter (1,864 plugins for “local”) • SEO plugins are for SEOs, not content authors or editors 6. Compatibility – Mobile first, browsers, voice search (!!!) 7. @Domain – Use your domain as the email address (not @gmail). Housekeeping Signals
  5. 5. 8. Keywords & Content Gap Analysis – Know your KPI keywords, ROI keywords, CPC keywords, and persona/community keywords, then match them to your competition and your own content and expand. 9. Detailed Competitive Review – What is your competition doing in every area of this presentation? Then do it better (least imperfect). 10. Content Creation – Siloing / Themes / Hierarchy - content that informs, educates or entertains readers will improve your engagement Keywords & Content Signals
  6. 6. 11. Testimonials – Need them, earn them, add them, localize them, and identify the author when possible. 12. Content Creation Strategies – Attract local expert links, be the expert and authority, tell local stories, and express your opinion. 13. Create Local Videos – Build as additional Landing Pages to attract links and mentions. Keywords & Content Signals
  7. 7. 14. Local keyword optimization - Include local keywords (name of your city, state, or region) to solidify Google’s understanding of your location and help you rank for local keyword queries. 15. Schema - According to Searchmetrics, pages with schema markup rank an average of four positions higher in search results. • • • And Gary emphasized schema this morning as important for local Keywords & Content Signals
  8. 8. 16. Schema NAP+W <div itemscope itemtype=""> <p itemprop="name">Bruce Clay, Inc.</p> <p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype=""> <p itemprop="streetAddress">2245 1st street, Suite 101</p> <p itemprop="addressLocality">Simi Valley </p>, <p itemprop="addressRegion">CA</p> <p itemprop="postalCode">93065</p. <p itemprop="telephone">1-805-517-1900</p> <meta itemprop="latitude" content="34.2694 N" /> <meta itemprop="longitude" content="118.7815 W" /> </div> <a href="" itemprop="url"></a> Keywords & Content Signals
  9. 9. 17. HAWK Update – Places as well as organic ranking (August 2017) have removed “same address” filtering. 18. Add a Google Map to your Contact Page/Footer Keywords & Content Signals
  10. 10. 19. Long-tail rankings - Use locally relevant content to rank higher in searches around the Local Pack. Examples would include posts like “The 5 Best Restaurants in Las Vegas”. 20. Local relevance - Use locally-focused content to improve your reputation, reach and reviews in your region. 21. Information in the Local Pack – Proper addressing, NAP+W data accuracy, and proximity to the searcher matters. Keywords & Content Signals
  11. 11. 22. Technical On-page SEO (*) – Comprehensive. Critical. Same as non-local organic SEO. A. City in Title B. Schema and others C. Do not stuff D. Reading level & complexity On-Page Signals
  12. 12. 23. Local Link Building (*) – You cannot rank in the city without city links. Unique IP’s, unique domains, unique whois but for your local area. Citation and trust flow is important (Penguin carryover). Quality content and readability scores. • Inbound anchor text • Linking domain is a local authority • Linking domain quality Linking Signals
  13. 13. 24. Social & Site Citations (mentions) – A mention, even if nofollowed, shows engagement and interest in your business – and in turn that interest influences rankings. • Linking Signals
  14. 14. 25. External Links – To local expert resources to establish your community connection. Direct to pages, not always articles. 26. Local Directories – Sometimes geo-targeted directories for services. 27. Competitor Backlinks – If a link to the competition then get a link to you (earn it). Linking Signals
  15. 15. 28. NAP+W consistency (*) - Name, Address, Phone Number, Website • (free test) Local Pack Signals
  16. 16. 29. Google My Business (GMB) Optimization (*) for service areas and physical businesses • Encourage reviews – should be frequent • Google posts – 7 days, images or < 300 words, call to action • • Profile views and usage – Important • Complete information • Use a business address that matches your website schemas and NAP+W directories Local Pack Signals
  17. 17. 29. Google My Business (GMB) Complete Information • Add a unique description - long, formatted correctly and includes domain website links (400+ words) • Add your open business hours • Select the best categories for your business • Add as many photos as possible plus a single high-resolution profile cover image • Use a local phone number (not toll free number) • Local Pack Signals
  18. 18. 30. Add your site to Google Maps - Used on Contact Us page, plus navigation systems 31. Better Business Bureau (BBB) – Make sure you are listed, manage your ratings, display on website, make sure that there is a proper matching NAP+W in use. 32. Local business listings - Your business is included in Yelp, Thomson Local, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, Open Table, Merchant Circle, Foursquare, non-profits, etc. Local Pack Signals
  19. 19. 33. Citation Building (mention) & Reviews • Absolute happiness vs. absolute misery (Reputation Management) • Review quantity and sentiment • Review sites include: Facebook Ratings & Reviews, Google My Business, Yahoo! Small Business, Yelp, Bing Places for Business, DMCA, local chambers, etc. • Citation and Mention sites – Reddit, WSJ, etc. • Add a page to your website with instructions on how to provide reviews and feedback Local Pack Signals
  20. 20. • Citation Building (mention) & Reviews • • • • • Local Pack Signals
  21. 21. 34. Location pages - Create a page on your website that is dedicated to each location – do not “stuff” locations everywhere. • Services then City • Laundry lists and wild card content is your enemy 35. Press Release – Tell others that you exist. Local Pack Signals
  22. 22. 36. Social (*) – Mentions and Content Marketing – Top-of-Mind recall • Google engagement • Facebook/LinkedIn engagement • Twitter engagement • YouTube channel • Pinterest • Profile pages matter! • Social signal – when shared or liked Social Signals
  23. 23. 37. Touch your followers – Help them stay in the know, clippings, alerts 38. Become the local expert / teacher (*) – Local expertise, authority and trust 39. Offer local discounts - $300 off if a member of…, or accept AAA discounts, etc. Social Signals
  24. 24. 40. Online and Offline Conversion Tracking / Analytics – get it right since not counting progress is a failure • Click-through rate • Bounce rate • Mobile clicks to call • Appointments • Online sales Success Signals
  25. 25. 41. Ranking in the Local Pack – 5 keywords but test more for rankings • Manual viewing – “near me” exercises • Success Signals
  26. 26. • Google is now certifying and guaranteeing services at the top of the page (Pinkerton criminal investigations) Risk: Google Home Services
  27. 27. • NOT Local Pack Risk: Google Home Services
  28. 28. 1. Google Home Services/Shopping 2. PPC Ads 3. Local Pack 4. Organic Rankings So we are not just fighting for rankings, even PPC is not assured So the display order is…
  29. 29. • 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases • 76% of local searches result in a phone call • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more • 50% of local smartphone searches led to a store visit < 1 day • 50% of local mobile searchers look for business information like a local address • 33% of mobile searches occur just before a store visit • 18% of local mobile searches resulted in a sale < 1 day • 11% of users think HTML is a Sexually Transmitted Disease Statistics
  30. 30. Bruce Clay, Inc. California, Japan, Switzerland, India and UAE 1-805-517-1900 Visit for our new WP Plugin