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How to Not Suck at Local SEO - MN Search Summit 2014

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What really matters in local search? Which activities are going to have a high return on investment, and which activities are just a waste of time? Darren breaks down the essential tasks to focus on in the 5 core areas of local search: website, Google+ Local listing, citations, reviews, and links. He’ll give you specific actionable advice you can get to work on as soon as you’re back in the office.

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How to Not Suck at Local SEO - MN Search Summit 2014

  1. 1. Darren Shaw How to Not Suck at Local SEO +DarrenShaw @DarrenShaw_
  2. 2. Reviews can be huge in some industries
  3. 3. VS Listings with reviews provide a better user experience
  4. 4. Google loves a good user experience
  5. 5. These things suck
  6. 6. Buying reviews sucks Don’t buy reviews. Seriously. There is no need.
  7. 7. Review stations suck Don’t set up a review station
  8. 8. Having no reviews sucks Don’t have no reviews
  9. 9. Getting all your reviews from one source sucks Don’t get all your reviews from only one place
  10. 10. How to not suck at reviews
  11. 11. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews Get 5 Google reviews, get the stars Nice
  12. 12. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  13. 13. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  14. 14. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  15. 15. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator/
  16. 16. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews The mobile review handouts work amazingly well!
  17. 17. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://getfivestars.com/
  18. 18. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://getfivestars.com/
  19. 19. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews http://getfivestars.com/
  20. 20. Get at least 5 Google+ Local Reviews
  21. 21. Get keywords in reviews If friends and family are reviewing, ask them to mention the service or product.
  22. 22. Increase awareness of Yelp
  23. 23. Increase awareness of Yelp To rank in Yelp 1) Get reviews 2) Get keywords in yelp reviews
  24. 24. Increase awareness of Yelp
  25. 25. Increase awareness of Yelp
  26. 26. Increase awareness of Yelp Killing it!
  27. 27. Barnacle SEO Credit to Will Scott of SearchInfluence for coining the term. @w2scott
  28. 28. Barnacle SEO How to do it 1) Claim and complete your Yelp listing 1) Get lots of reviews (keyword rich content) 2) Link to your listing from anywhere you can 3) It helps if the keyword is in the business name (because then it is added to the title tag)
  29. 29. Increase awareness of Yelp Awareness, NOT solicitation
  30. 30. Increase awareness of Yelp Awareness, NOT solicitation
  31. 31. Increase awareness of Yelp
  32. 32. Increase awareness of Yelp
  33. 33. Increase awareness of Yelp If only there was a way to find to find friends on Yelp
  34. 34. Increase awareness of Yelp
  35. 35. Increase awareness of Yelp Thanks Yelp!
  36. 36. Increase awareness of Yelp On your website
  37. 37. Increase awareness of Yelp In your email
  38. 38. Increase awareness of Yelp On your door
  39. 39. Increase awareness of Yelp On your counter Download this printable sign I made! (I’m so proud) bit.ly/1lsv4m9
  40. 40. Diversify Review Sites GetFiveStars makes this easy
  41. 41. Reviews Super high value Super low effort 2 minutes 15 minutes 15 minutes
  42. 42. These things suck
  43. 43. Keyword stuffing sucks Don’t spam the hell out of your landing pages Keyword Use Edmonton: 32 times Photographer: 34 times
  44. 44. No content on the homepage sucks (really bad) Don’t have a home page with no content
  45. 45. No services content sucks (really bad) Don’t have a services page with only bullet points
  46. 46. Trying to keyword spam dozens of locations sucks Don’t jam every town within 100 miles in the footer
  47. 47. Anchor text optimized footer links suck Don’t stuff the footer with internal links
  48. 48. Pumping out low quality content sucks Don’t fill your blog or site with useless thin content
  49. 49. Duplicate content sucks Don’t have duplicate content all over the place
  50. 50. How to not suck at local website optimization
  51. 51. Fix any technical problems I highly recommend Nick Leroy for this! http://nickleroy.com/
  52. 52. Optimize the location landing page(s) Single location: link to homepage
  53. 53. Multi-location: link to a dedicated location page Optimize the location landing page(s)
  54. 54. Include city and primary keyword in the URL Optimize the location landing page(s)
  55. 55. 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)
  56. 56. Add a couple of good paragraphs of "about us"/"this location" content. Optimize the location landing page(s)
  57. 57. Include name, address, and phone in schema.org Optimize the location landing page(s)
  58. 58. Embed a Google map, the right way Optimize the location landing page(s)
  59. 59. Embed a Google map, the right way Optimize the location landing page(s)
  60. 60. Embed a Google map, the right way Optimize the location landing page(s)
  61. 61. 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
  62. 62. Write high-quality long form content on the services pages It’s working out quite well for them #1 Organic #1 Local
  63. 63. Optimize the location landing page(s) Read these posts by Aaron Weiche! http://bit.ly/1yTKgzT
  64. 64. These things suck
  65. 65. Spamming the description sucks City in description can cause a ranking drop. For realz. Don’t add any keywords 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
  66. 66. Using a PO box or fake address sucks It’s against the guidelines. Use a real physical address.
  67. 67. Putting your map marker in the ocean sucks This will seriously impact your ability to rank. Image courtesy Linda Buquet: http://bit.ly/1pGmZLP
  68. 68. Using a call tracking number on your listing sucks What?! Nooooooo. Not a call tracking number. I just needed a screenshot.
  69. 69. Redirecting your listing’s URL sucks Pretty sure that’s bad. I heard it was anyway. Not a redirecting URL. I just needed a screenshot.
  70. 70. Category dilution sucks Each additional category seems to reduce the effectiveness of the others. Stick to the core categories.
  71. 71. Having the wrong primary category sucks We changed the primary category for a client and they went from #11 in Places to #5 in the local pack.
  72. 72. How to not suck at optimizing your Google+ Local listing
  73. 73. Clean up duplicate listings
  74. 74. Clean up duplicate listings
  75. 75. Clean up duplicate listings
  76. 76. Clean up duplicate listings
  77. 77. Clean up duplicate listings
  78. 78. Clean up duplicate listings
  79. 79. Add a descriptor then register the assumed name People are reporting ranking jumps from adding descriptors. Never include a city name in the descriptor. Business Name: •Your title should reflect your business’s real-world title. •In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers. •Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors. •Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are "Starbucks Downtown" or "Joe’s Pizza Restaurant". Examples that would not be accepted would be "#1 Seattle Plumbing", "Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery" or "Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas".
  80. 80. Add a descriptor then register the assumed name You should “go legit” and register the name variation as an assumed name or DBA with your Secretary of State!
  81. 81. Add a descriptor then register the assumed name There are even services for this. Only $99!
  82. 82. Pick good categories, and only the key categories
  83. 83. You must nail the primary category!
  84. 84. Write a good description for humans, not robots Think of this like a meta description for your Google+ Local listing. Won’t help rankings. Will help conversions.
  85. 85. These things suck
  86. 86. Building thousands of structured citations sucks Once you get the core structured citations (150ish), the rest are too low quality to bother with. Don’t waste your time. This is ridiculous
  87. 87. Incomplete citations suck Sad trombone :(
  88. 88. Incomplete citations suck Trumpets! :) Not fully completing your citations is a major lost opportunity.
  89. 89. Call tracking numbers on your citations suck There probably isn’t anything worse you could do to destroy your chances of ranking in local. I need a screenshot, so let’s just pretend that’s a call tracking number ok?
  90. 90. Inconsistent citations suck ?? Your Google listing
  91. 91. Stressing about 100% address consistency sucks Google normalizes addresses, so variations like the ones above are no worries mate! Street vs St Northeast vs NE Suite vs Ste Floor vs Flr. 98115-8222 vs 98115 Stratford vs STRATFORD (206) 729-1200 vs 206-729-1200
  92. 92. Duplicate citations suck You gotta get the duplicates removed.
  93. 93. How to not suck at citations
  94. 94. Get 1 accurate & complete listing on the major data aggregators You really must be listed on all 4 of these
  95. 95. 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
  96. 96. Get 1 accurate & complete listing on the major data aggregators Moz Local is pretty great for data aggregator distribution.
  97. 97. Go to http://www.expressupdate.com to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  98. 98. Go to http://www.neustarlocaleze.biz to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  99. 99. Go to https://mybusinesslistingmanager.myacxiom.com to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  100. 100. Go to http://factual.com/data/t/places to find and remove incorrect listings. Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  101. 101. To update or remove: factual.com/contact Clean up duplicates on the major data aggregators
  102. 102. Get 1 accurate & complete listing on the second tier citation sites
  103. 103. 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
  104. 104. Get some quality unstructured citations Feature local artists at the business
  105. 105. Get some quality unstructured citations Host events at the business
  106. 106. Get some quality unstructured citations Offer student discounts
  107. 107. Get some quality unstructured citations http://www.localstampede.com/citation-building-strategies-list/ Tons of great ideas here:
  108. 108. Get a handful of city-specific and industry specific citations
  109. 109. Get 1 accurate and complete listing on the remaining top 50 citation sites
  110. 110. Clean up duplicates on the remaining top 50 citation sites
  111. 111. 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
  112. 112. These things suck
  113. 113. Spammy links suck I suspect everyone here already knows what kinds of links suck 1) Link directories 1) Cheap and crappy guest post links 2) Comment spam 3) Forum links 4) Blog network links 5) Etc.
  114. 114. How to not suck at local links
  115. 115. Clean up any spammy links Do it yourself…
  116. 116. Clean up any spammy links or, hire a professional
  117. 117. Get the typical basic links from citations, social profiles, etc
  118. 118. [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
  119. 119. Get at least 1 super link SS Scholarship SS Sponsorship
  120. 120. Get at least 1 super link Their home page
  121. 121. Get at least 1 super link Their scholarship page
  122. 122. Get at least 1 super link Killing it!
  123. 123. Get at least 1 super link
  124. 124. Get at least 1 super link
  125. 125. Get at least 1 super link
  126. 126. Get at least 1 super link
  127. 127. Get at least 1 super link
  128. 128. Get at least 1 super link
  129. 129. Get at least 1 super link
  130. 130. Get at least 1 super link Sponsorships 1. Boston inurl:sponsors 2. site:.edu boston supporters 3. site:.edu boston sponsors 4. site:.org boston supporters 5. site:.org boston sponsors 6. site:.k12.ca.us supporters 7. site:.k12.ca.us sponsors
  131. 131. Get a handful of local links http://www.localstampede.com/citation-building-strategies-list/ X
  132. 132. Thanks! Any questions? +DarrenShaw @DarrenShaw_

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