June 24, 2018

Hardcore Local SEO Tactics

Lisa Barone is Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer of Outspoken Media, Inc.

Hardcore Local SEO Tactics

Hey, hey! It’s the LAST session of SMX Advanced 2011! Can you believe it? Feels like just yesterday we were getting started and saying to hi to everyone, which, well, I guess it was just yesterday. Funny how that

Lisa Barone is Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer of Outspoken Media, Inc.

Lisa Barone: Hardcore Local SEO Tactics

happens. The Vets session is going on down the hall but I thought it may be more actionable to sit in on the Hardcore Local SEO Tactics session with David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, and Will Scott.  Lets hear what these gentlemen have to say. I’m going to try and avoid making eye contact with David Mihm so that I do no turn bright red or turn into a pile of mush. He’s kind of my local SEO crush.

Matt McGee is moderating and thanks everyone for coming to this session instead of the big Vets session happening.  Everyone claps. Heh.

Up first is Mike. This is Mike’s first time speaking at SMX Advanced. Matt McGee says it will also be his last since there are said to be lots of Matt jokes in the deck. Pure comedy.

Mike loves Twitter profile pictures. It’s how he met everyone in the industry and he thinks its interesting to see how people represent themselves on Twitter.  He shows @MattMcGee’s profile picture.

Picture of Matt McGee

Matt McGee

It shows his amazing color contrast, his eye follows you wherever you go, he has a knock out smile, and half the face leaves you wondering what the other half looks like.  He’s always been jealous of Matt’s profile picture. He then shows a few Photoshopped versions of Matt’s profile picture including a vampire version, a pirate version and a perfect symmetry version.  I have no idea what this has to do with anything but Matt looks mortified so, I mean, there’s that. :)

Okay, he starts his real presentation.

Mike says he loves diving into data and dissecting local search results. He put together a study over four phrases:

  • Chicago personal injury lawyer
  • New York divorce lawyer
  • San Diego dentist
  • Dallas dentist

The results all showed integrated O-Pack results, NOT 7 Pack results. The two algorithms responsible for these are different.  They looked at the winners (ranking 1-7) and the losers (50-56).

Correlation is not causation and he’s not going to explain that. Probably because he doesn’t know what it means. Kidding!

Place Page Data: 22 of the 28 top listing businesses were claimed. People always say you have to claim your listing. The data here shows it may not necessarily be a ranking factor even if people say it is.  Claiming a listing will help you to secure your data and make sure it is correct. He does not believe it will help you rank better, it just gives you control over all your data.   Interesting.  You still have to do it.

Exact Categories: This is when the search phrases exactly matches the category you chose in Google Places. 20 of the high listings and 14 of the low listings had exact categories.  The data shows you don’t need to have an exact category. They must correlate and be close, but maybe not exact match.  IYP reviews: He didn’t think reviews were helping as much as they were becoming extremely strong citations. It’s hard to say reviews have a cause of ranking, when most places have your address/info so it also counts as a citation.

Citations: Over the past two years Google has shown less and less citations on the Places Page.  They’re not showing all that they know.  The average citations for the top ranked listing was only 36, that’s extremely low compared to the hundreds it used to show.  The average high ranking listing has 3,689 matches through custom search, the low ranking had 19. Citations still say, I”m kind of a big deal. A lot of the places people are pulling citations from, they’re also getting links from.

Offsite Data: 2.89 percent of total links have an exact keyword match.  That’s a really low number and it’s where it SHOULD be if you’re building natural links.  8.6 percent of total links have an Exact Keyword Match. If citations were the new links of 2009-2010, then links are the new citations for locals in 2011-12.

Business name in title tag: Fairly common – 17 out of 28 that were ranking were using it, 15 of the non-ranking.  Only one out of all 56 listings had their phone number or address in the title tag of the landing page.

City keywords in the title tag – 22 of the high ranking sites had them.

The Power of Landing Pages -by pointing to a page with a better Title tag, pages increased ranking from position F to D.

Exactness in Place- citations + categories + content

Authority in Web site – quality of links

Trust in Reviews – CTR + UGC

Next up is Will Scott. His mom lives in Commack, NY right near my parents. Now you know.

Community Edits

If you work in local, frequently you’ll find listings you don’t think should be there. Sometimes they’re people who used to work in the same location or overlap between people who work in the same office building. To get the map marker in the right place, you must physically move the map marker until Google fixes it, even if that means you have to do it EIGHT times in three months before Google finally merges them.   Cleaning up those mystery listings will help people get to the right place. It’s super important.

The Google Map Maker

You go in and you validate other people’s edits. Editor connection to business matters – email address on domain helps.  This is one of those “give to get” things. He calls it a Pay It Forward Mechanical Turk and I start having flashbacks to the last session where all anyone did was mention Mechanical Turk. If you have a body of edits, your edits will get reviewed more quickly by building up your karma. May be worth dedicating resources to build Power Map Maker profile (think Digg). You’re providing a community service and you can also make your edits go more quickly.

Alternative Citation Sources

  • Article Engines: When you publish articles into article engines (admit it, we all do it…), if you’re publishing as the business owner, you can include your location. By putting a NAP (name, address, phone number) near that link, it works as a citation. BAM!
  • Facebook: This is starting to show up with great regularity, even Facebook Reviews. If you have a Facebook Page for your business and they don’t have an address associated with it, smack them now.

This made me laugh. Will says that if you use a service like Knowem.com, you COULD put your NAP in your profile to generate a few hundred citations however THIS IS SPAM and you should not do it. Hear me? Don’t be that guy, people.

Next up is local search golden boy David Mihm. He has 69 slides to run through, which means I’m basically crying over here.

What are your opportunities?

1.       What phrases are you behind your competition for organically?

2.       When does the map/blended results show up?

3.       How many businesses are listed if it shows up?

4.       geotargeted vs generic queries

No automated tools to do 2-4, changes frequently.  David names Google Insights as a great keyword research tool for local to get a sense for relative search volume in particular markets.

Impact of Blended Results

Where is Google going with local search? They’re trying to keep as much traffic for themselves as they can. If you’re just tracking the people coming to your location page, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic you should rewarded for. People will be converting straight from the Place Page. These pages now include structured data, sentiment, you can book from the Place page, etc.  Mike Blumenthal thinks you’ll soon be able to make appointments from the Place page soon, as well. That’s both cool and kind of freaky.

Don’t forget about localized product search. Google’s really getting into offline purchasing from online searches. It’s showing nearby stores for particular devices.  Understand that local requires a different mindset from traditional SEO. Traditional SEO is about optimizing Web sites. Local is about optimizing for a location.

Multi Location

How do you optimize for local if you’re a big brand with many locations?

Use a flat site architecture beginning with a Store Locater page. You’ll want to give each location its own page so that it’s unique and indexable.  Cross-link nearby locations with geo-anchor text. You’ll also want to submit a KML sitemap in Google WMC. If you need help setting this up, Geo Sitemap Generator will happily do it for you. It’s really important, so do it.

When it comes to earning citations, the most important feature is consistency.  Your business name, address and phone number MUST be IDENTICAL all over the Web and you must get citations on places other than Google.

Things to do:

  • Decide on a consistent Corporate Business Name
  • Utilize Localeze’s Channel partner Offerings
  • Utilize Infogroup’s API

Clam all LBC listings in a corporate Google account. Get your bulk feed verified. Your Google Account must match the URLs of the Places you are submitting. Each location must have its own unique phone number or you won’t get approved.

  • Check the sites that Google pulls snippets from.
  • Check the sites that rank well in organic results.
  • Analyze representative market geographies and sizes.
  • Look at BOTH Place Page citations and organic results.

Reviews – Segments customers with Gmail/Yahoo email addresses and send them to those specific review portals since you know they have an account there (and they’re already signed in. WIN!). Consider the ease of leaving a review for someone without an account. Consider the syndication value of review sources. Getting feedback should be part of your every day business process. Know the rules, don’t fish with dynamite, review threshold.

Getting Buy In

Two stakeholders in Enterprise-level Local Search

1.       Store Managers

2.       Customers

Need to get both to buy into the importance of reviews. Educate managers about value in this and what they can do to improve. Potentially take the up front risk of SEO campaign. Work with franchise/brick and mortar communications team on both managers AND customer messaging.

Local in Competitive Markets

  • Get bulk feed verified
  • Make sure your Google account email TLD matches Place TLD
  • Clean up and consolidate old listings
  • Geographic inbound anchor text
  • Use custom categories for high volume, high conversion keywords.
  • Strong industry-relevant review volume.
  • Order of magnitude rule
  • Elite reviews
  • Strong geosocial media profile
  • At least one citation from a .gov or .edu.

And THAT was a lot of information. Hope you find this coverage useful and the coverage from the rest of the week. It’s time to head home. Thanks for hanging with us in Seattle!


Article Source: Outspoken Media

Article: Hardcore Local SEO Tactics

Author: Lisa Barone

My own review:

I have to admit, before reading this article I have never heard of Lisa Barone. She really takes this one home and I also have to admit she knows what she is talking about. Local SEO and Local Search are two hot items in the SEO Market.

It’s rare to find somebody who will take the time and lay it all out there. This is why I chose to add this article to Nine Eye’s blog.

Once again Lisa, if you get to read my little blurb, GREAT ARTICLE!

I would have loved to be at an event like this one.

Have Fun,

Chaz Key

Get listed on Google Maps

Get listed on Google Maps

Get listed on Google Maps

Getting listed on Google Maps is more important now a day’s then it was before. Last October Google put the SEO world upside down on their heads when it changed how Google Maps is displayed. Now Google Maps is displayed as Google Places within the regular organic listings. Most local business’s worked really hard and spent a fortune on getting their business to rank on Google for their local services and local products. Then poof! Gone with a major change, go to love it when Google makes a change. Although the smart local business’s followed suite and optimized their local Google Maps listing.

Getting listed on Google Maps is not rocket science.

It’s almost identical to ranking a website within Google Organic. But the truth being there are many ranking

Get listed on Google Maps

Get listed on Google Maps

factors to Google Maps – Google Places for those who don’t like to call it what it really is. I don’t believe that anybody has really touched what are the true ranking factors. I don’t believe that most SEO’s  really took the time to truly understand or know what makes a Google Maps listing rank. I have found that ranking any local company requires several steps. Believe it or not, even in tough market like Los Angeles, any Google Local listing can be ranked. Where as in the Google organic world,  all SEO’s know we start with onsite optimization and proceed to offsite optimization. Both on site and off site optimization applies to ranking a local business listing, just one difference, it’s not about in bound links, at least not the way most would SEO’s would think.

Onsite Optimization Factors for Ranking Google Maps

Onsite optimization of your Google Maps listing requires a well written Google Places listing. Your keywords must be embedded in your local listing. I’m not talking about being spammy either. You have to use the right keywords in the right places. You get a very small area to describe your business, use them sparingly. Next choose your categories must be chosen correctly.  You have to choose at least one of Google’s suggested categories, but this does not mean you have to choose their category first. Next you have to write your “Additional Details” correctly. Just about everybody I have seen screws this one up. There’s a lot more that goes into writing the correct “Additional Details” and this article would get really long, so I’m not going to totally dig into it. Maybe in future post I will dig into it more. Now another major Google Maps factor, “Google Coupons”. Google love’s people who share and one of the ways to share is to list your coupons within your Google Place’s page. Again these need to be written correctly to truly gain the most value out of them.

Offsite Optimization Factors for Ranking Google Maps

Whereas ranking a normal website within Google’s natural listing, comes down to inbound links. And not just a bunch of links, but text links. Google relies on other websites to tell them what a site is all about. The same theory applies here, but it’s not just the links. It comes down to what other websites are saying about your local listing. These factors include listing your “Companies Name” + “Company Address” + “Company Telephone Number” = a well ranked Google Maps listing. These sites are called “citation sites”. Google use’s citation sites to gather information about your company, including populating your Google Places listing with relevant information. Also don’t forget to list your own company information on your company website. This would seem like common sense to most, but you would believe how many forget this. Also you need a link to your Google Maps listing using your keywords on the page. You can get a link from Google just by doing a search for your company and using your keywords on Google Maps. This will embed the keywords in your link that you get from Google.

If you going to get listing on Google Maps

you’re going to need to follow the right steps. Again getting listing on Google Maps is not rocket science and usually once your ranked, your there for a long time. Next month I am releasing a new book and training program on this called the “Local Search Engine Blueprint“.

Local Search Engine Blueprint

Local Search Engine Blueprint

I have been working on the Local Search Engine Blueprint for almost a year now. When I wrote the book, that was easy, but I didn’t just want to write another eBook. So I started creating training videos on each and every step. Well that still wasn’t good enough, so I created a community forum for local business owners that still might be having problems and also a way I can get updates to members. Oh yea, the Local Search Engine Blueprint couldn’t just have a well written book, great videos, awesome forum, but I needed to create a members only site! Anyway I think I have done enough of shameless self promoting for one post.

Good luck and I hope you found this useful and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the “Local Search Engine Blueprint“!

Have Fun,

Chaz Key

Article Source: NineEye.com/Blog

Article: Get listed on Google Maps

Author: Chaz Key

My personal review on “Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost” and Google Tags by Chaz Key

Google Maps listing by searching SEO in Los Agneles

My personal review on “Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost” and Google Tags by Chaz Key

Great article I picked up to from Techcrunch today “Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost”. I predicted last year that Google Tags would only be temporary and would lead to a newer more stable profit generating system for Google.  Of course “Local Business” is hot right now, local business owners are finally learning how powerful “Local Search” is really becoming and not just in Google Local. The high cost to advertise in a relict like the local Yellow Pages just doesn’t make sense anymore. When I first seen Google’s Tags, it made really no sense to me, because again you cannot buy your way to the top of Google organics and this includes Google Maps. The Tags were merely a way to make your organic listing stand out from the rest. Now here is the real problem, if you did not have an Optimized Google Local listing, you weren’t going to appear anyway! The Google Tag did not help your business to have a stronger listing and appear higher in the organic search searches. Of course if a consumer knew your company name and knew you carried a product that they needed, yes your Google Local listing would display first with your Google Tag, if they knew your company name – and if you were optimized for your company name. Now what about the consumer who doesn’t know your company name? They will of course search for the product or service they need in their local community. Let’s say you were in need of an SEO – (Search Engine Optimization) company, buy you didn’t want to deal with anybody abroad (India) or anybody in New York. Your company was based right here in Los Angeles and you want an SEO that you can meet and see the whites in their eyes. What do you do? Well you might search Google for “SEO Los Angeles“, well that just didn’t do it for you. Now you switch gears and click on Google Maps, because you really want to find a local SEO in Los Angeles.

Google Maps listing by searching SEO in Los Agneles

Our listing by searching SEO in Los Angeles

BAM! you just found what you need. Now I talk about this because our company Nine Eye Interactive Media has a strong presence on Google Local. We took the time to optimize our listing for exactly what we do and that’s SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Now it seems like I maybe doting on ourselves, yes I am.  Because we are optimized to be found in Google Local and you should be too if you offer local services or local products.
In the next couple of weeks, I will be writing a lot more about Google Maps that I like to call Google Local. This is mainly due to promoting my new book called the Local Search Engine Blueprint soon to be released.  I created this book for local business with a small advertising budget to dominate their local market including getting listed on Google Maps. I’m not just talking about another Google Maps listing, but a powerful listing that will not require paid Google Boost listings. Yes this is a shameless attempt at self promotion, but the truth, I am giving away all of Google Maps secrets, well not giving away completely, but you know what I mean.
Take a minute and read the orginal article by TechCrunch, I posted it here on the Nine Eye SEO Blog.
Here’s the link: Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch
Hope you enjoyed the read!
Chaz Key

Article Source: Nine Eye Interactive Media – SEO Blog

Article: My personal review on “Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost” and Google Tags by Chaz Key

Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch

Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch

Please take the time to read my review on “Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost” and let me know if you enjoyed it! Enjoy the the read.



Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch

Google is killing Tags, an advertising product for local businesses which allowed them to enhance

Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch

Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch

their Google Maps or Places listings. For a flat $25 monthly fee, local merchants could make their natural listings stand out a bit with a yellow tag and a few words pointing to offers, photos, menus, or links back to their website. Tags were introduced with Google Places, the search engines local listings effort, about a year ago after being tested for a few months.

Google sent an email today to merchants using the service notifying them that it will be shut down in two weeks on April 29. One tipster who sent us a copy of the email writes:
Seems google is killing this offering. Must be a part of the recent restructuring. It was doing pretty well for my company too, I’m pretty bummed about it.
While it’s true that Local is now under senior VP Jeff Huber, there is probably a simpler explanation for why it is getting sunsetted. Tags was an experiment which led to a similar local advertising product called Boost which appears do be doing much better, judging by how much it is now appearing in search results. Boost ads are all of those blue-colored pushpins on Google Maps and in paid search results. Rather than linking to a website, an offer, or a menu, Boost highlights some listings information from Google Places such as an adress or phone number.
These are much more useful, especially in mobile search. Merchants don’t want to drive clicks to their websites, they want to drive foot traffic to their stores or calls for their services. Also Boost is a very straightforward online advertising product. Merchants set a budget and pay per click, whereas Tags appear next to organic results to make them pop and were sold via a flat subscription. Boost is basically a refined version of Tags, and that’s what Google is going with.
For local businesses that like tags, they can still buy them across a dozen competing non-Google sites through Yext Tags. A tag and customized message can be added to any local business listing on sites like Citysearch, Local.com, and SuperPages, Incidentally, Yext is planning on changing the name of this product to on Monday to PowerListings.
Yext CEO Howard Lerman notes that the decision is completely independent, and has more to do with the fact that local merchants understand what a listing is but may have no idea what is a tag. “What this all says is that non-discretionary local is all about the business listing,” says Lerman—”whether its on a mobile device, a search engine, a reviews site, or in an app, listings are how consumers will find and select local businesses.”

Local Listing Example - Google Local - Google Maps - Google Places

Local Listing Example - Google Local - Google Maps - Google Places


Article Source: Google Kills Tags In Favor Of Boost By TechCrunch Author: Erick Schonfeld


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