Geographic location and SEO

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Ninety Second Internet Marketing Podcast January 14th 2010. Third page of Show Notes

Geographic location and SEO

Chris:                           Where yellow pages used to allow that and actually that may have been their name, and if that was their name, great. But maybe you want to get a DBA and open that DBA listing so that it actually has those keywords in, because yes, I believe it does have importance, and two, don’t manipulate it. Don’t change your business name if you haven’t legitimately changed your business name ‘cause you can have some problems.

Paul:                            And that’s kind of why I’m like yeah, but no. So yeah, they would help. No, I wouldn’t make any significant changes to do it.

This next one I love. I don’t know. A lot of people are — they want to hear about this and it’s called the proximity. Basically, it’s judging the importance of the proximity of your business address to the city centroid.

Chris:                           Are you sure you’re qualified to answer this question?

Paul:                            No, definitely not. [Laughter] I’m definitely not.

Chris:                           I appreciate it.

Paul:                            I was going to speak authoritatively on it.

[Laughter]

Chris:                           With great conviction and passion.

Paul:                            Yes.

Chris:                           But I’m certainly not qualified. Let’s get somebody who’s qualified out here to actually answer this question. Let’s bring out the one and only Charles Lewis “Mo Serious” “The SEO Rapper” to help get through this question about city centroid.

Paul:                            What is the city centroid?

Chris:                           I think centroid is actually a geometric term that refers to the center of the mass of a city.

Paul:                            Yes.

Chris:                           So —

Paul:                            Here he is.

Chris:                           What’s up?

Chuck:                         Centroid.

Chris:                           Centroid. So what is your thinking on the proximity? What do we have? We have this as high importance and moderate agreement between the experts that were queried in this survey.

Chuck:                         Well, from my understanding, the centroid is typically geographically the center of that city. So Houston for example, downtown, right? Just like street signs. In Houston, you will see a sign that will say, you know, if you’re in the suburbs you will see a sign that says “16 miles to Houston.” But you’re in Houston, right? So it’s just calculating from where you are to downtown Houston. And so I think in regards to the proximity, it’s the same thing.

If I’d give you a Katy address, then technically you’re really not in Houston according to the centroid. You’re, you know, 30 or 40 miles out. And so I think you know.

Chris:                           So how important in terms of local places, not just local. Well, I think this is mostly about local places but we’re also talking about kind of localized search. How important is being at the center of the town? So I search plumber Houston.

Chuck:                         Your address should be Houston. You should be in one of those zip codes that they consider in Houston. If it’s 004 or you know, any one of those other zip codes that’s in the city of Houston considered downtown or whatnot, then that’s your best bet for coming up in the ranking for that.

Paul:                            You want to be close to the center of Houston. Now, a lot of people call and asked me, “How do I get in that pack? How was it that everybody that’s listed in that local search is listed like right around the center of the city of Houston?” But you know, I think everyone has seen this where there’ll be five listings right around the center of Houston and then there will be one guy 10 miles outside of Houston. How does he get in that listing? And the 100% answer is I have no idea. Only Google knows that. This is basically a canned respond that I tell to everyone. Make sure that you have a listing. You claimed it. You have the right keywords in it. You’re in the right categories. Your listing is 100% complete, which is probably one of the most important factors. And you know, hope and pray.

Chuck:                         People can benefit from having remote locations.

Paul:                            Okay.

Chuck:                         Your corporate office may be in Sugar Land, right, but I have a remote office on Weston, right? I got another remote office somewhere else downtown. And so while they’re not the corporate office, it does have a legit satellite office in Houston. And so the little dot is showing the corporate office, but he has work in Malcolm.

Paul:                            There in Houston. So, you know, I don’t — I’m not going to recommend that you get office space downtown if you don’t have to or toward the city centroid. That wouldn’t help probably.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            But there’s other ways around it.

Chris:                           And these are better ways to spend your money. Yeah.

Paul:                            There’s definitely better ways.

Chris:                           Let us hope, yeah, for better ways to spend money instead of moving downtown.

Paul:                            Yeah, there you go. So that’s a big issue. I know a lot of people wondered about that. So just get your listing up and make sure it’s complete and looks good, and then you should be able to get around that city centroid issue.

Chris:                           All right. The next one we’ve got is product service keywords in Place page description. So this is not the title. We covered the title already. It’s actually in the description and how important is that. We’ve got a 2.49 which that says high importance, we’ve seen higher obviously, and an agreement of 1.15. Remember lower is better, also considered high agreement. So what do you guys think?

Chuck:                         Content.

Chris:                           Yeah. I mean…

Chuck:                         This is content. This is description. This is what you do if you have some e-commerce website and on your product page you list a product description. Since this is Google Places and it’s a Place page, it’s not considered duplicate content to copy that same description and place it on your Places page.

Chris:                           Right.

Chuck:                         You know, now, you don’t want to describe one product on your Place page. You probably want to describe your company or the different products you guys offer, but yeah, definitely make it keyword-rich and…

Paul:                            Don’t spam.

Chuck:                         Yeah.

Paul:                            Don’t keyword spam.

Chris:                           ‘Cause people actually read this, right? It’s not a “Oh, if I do a great job on this, I’m going to get great placement.”

Chuck:                         Well, I feel — I don’t know if people are actually reading that. This is my opinion.

Chris:                           Oh, yeah? Yeah.

Chuck:                         ‘Cause I feel like when you get that top seven listing, the A to G, the link goes to your site. You have to actually click the Place page, click to the right to actually even get there.

Paul:                            To get to the Places page, yeah.

Chris:                           Yeah, right.

Chuck:                         So I’m not sure how many people read it and that if they do, great. Write a review, you know. But if you don’t, I’m fine with you clicking that over to my site.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Chuck:                         I actually prefer you click that over to the site.

Chris:                           That’s true ‘cause I’ve got the flash of our site or the look and feel of the site.

Chuck:                         Yeah, that CTA, it’s ready for you.

Chris:                           I almost see this. I’m surprised. I would have thought there would be more importance and more agreement because for me, it’s like have a listing and make sure your keywords are in the description.

Paul:                            Yes.

Chris:                           Like I don’t even know how that’s — it’s they’re together, right? I mean in fact, you would almost put this first except you have to have a listing in order to actually have the description. That’s the only reason the listing is more important. So I’m a little surprised at the fact that the agreement is like that.

Chuck:                         It’s kind of like offsite SEOer, right?

Chris:                           Right.

Chuck:                         You do all the stuff on our Places page just so we can get people to our website.

Chris:                           Yeah, yeah. And then we do all this work on our website just so that we can have them turn off their website and give us a call, send us an email, write us a letter.

Paul:                            All right. The next one talks about associating photos with your Place page. I thought this was kind of duh, like this was self-explanatory. You have to have photos. What I get a lot of is how many photos?

Chris:                           As many as they’ll allow. I think it’s five.

Chuck:                         It’s five photos, five videos.

Chris:                           And we’ve talked a lot about your listing needs to be 100% complete. I think you have to have at least two pictures for 100%, but I don’t think you have to have all five for 100% complete listing. But go ahead and put all five. We also started putting our pictures on Picasa, which is a Google product. So you can put tags and you can have extra information about that image and then have that tied back to your Google Places listing.

Yeah, this really goes back to the fact that we know Google gives precedence to people who have 100% complete Google Places listing. Make sure it’s 100% complete. I mean that’s…

Chuck:                         If you know a popular person in your industry or in your company, put their picture. Another great picture would be your logo. Another great picture would be your company’s door front. Another good picture would be your most popular product, you know. I would put a series of different pictures along with associated videos.

Chris:                           Yeah. Make sure your videos are there. I’m sure it’s going to hit videos at some point. What do we got next? We’re on number 20 already.

Paul:                            Associating a local area code as a primary Place page phone number. You know, this is one that I have never actually even thought about.

Chris:                           Yeah, me either.

Paul:                            It was just — you know, every time we set up a local…

Chris:                           Yeah, that’s a great question.

Chuck:                         A great point.

Paul:                            Every time we set up a local listing for a client, they always have a local phone number for that particular area so it’s never really been a question now. Some of them may have 800 numbers and yeah, we’ll put that in, but the local number goes first. Why? Because it’s a local listing.

Chuck:                         Yeah, they’re tracking area codes.

Paul:                            Yes.

Chuck:                         Just like you know, and from a user perspective, I live in the suburbs where the majority of my area codes are 281. And so if I see a listing in a 713, that lets me know that it’s probably not close to me, right?

Chris:                           Okay.

Chuck:                         So I’m going to go for the 281.

Chris:                           I’m wondering if even — I mean we’ve kind of have these concrete thoughts, but more and more, I’m getting area codes of business contacts that I have to do business with who work in Houston, who live in Houston, and where I have an area code for California or if you have brought yours to Michigan, there’s no reason — you don’t have to change it. You don’t pay extra fees to make local calls here in Houston from your own Michigan cell phone or whatever. So I think — and then Google Phone, right? The whole concept design never changed my phone number. So if I move to California, yeah, maybe I have a home phone but I’ll just forward my Google Phone to that home phone.

Paul:                            To that number.

Chuck:                         That’s why I’m not so sure if mobile phones work best for Google Places. I think the better direction to go would be a landline.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Chuck:                         You know, landline with the area code determines where you are geographically located. I think that is a better fit.

Chris:                           I think we’re seeing what we saw here which was it says high importance, which I would say medium importance but low agreement.

Chuck:                         Yeah.

Chris:                           So you’re all over the map, you know, ‘cause a business could legitimately do business in Houston with a California area code and it doesn’t matter.

Chuck:                         And I’d do all of them. If you got four numbers, post all four.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            Yup. Well, I think we’ve made it through 20 of these. Do we have any blank stare news or we got anything again?

Chuck:                         Oh, I got some blank stare news. Okay. So everybody knows Verizon, right?

Chris:                           Right.

Chuck:                         Brought the iPhone over.

Chris:                           Oh, yeah, yeah.

Chuck:                         And so it made a huge hoopla but I got two pieces of blank stare news related to that. Number one, Verizon, I don’t understand this. Answer this one even though — so I won’t ever go, but I just got a question. IPhone 4, Verizon offers 4G speed, but the iPhone 4 that they brought over only works with 3G.

Chris:                           Where was the fun in that? That was just to make this phone right here, the EVO that much better.

[Laughter]

Chuck:                         I don’t get it. Oh, and then after Verizon took it, one of the AT&T customer service reps tweeted, “This boo!”

[Laughter]

Chris:                           Now, they have a choice? That really sucks for me. [Laughter]

Chuck:                         Well, you know, like come on, Rachel. Her name is Rachel. Come on, Rachel. You know, your job is on the line.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            Oh, no. Rachel got fired. If you’ve found that, then our bonds probably did too. Sorry, Rachel. Yeah, I think that was a bad move. I don’t know if it was a Verizon move or Apple move, but I’d be pissed if I were Verizon.

Chris:                           I do think one thing is going to come out of this, you know. A lot of people blame the AT&T network for the iPhone’s failings as a phone, right? And I’ve read in other places that other phones on the AT&T network are fine, right? So you don’t — whatever the Samsung freebie phone that when you sign up at AT&T, it works fine. It doesn’t drop calls. So I think we’re going to see as they switch networks, it’s going to have the same quality. What I mean is low quality of service and people will begin to realize that it’s a great iPod, it’s a great mini iPad, and it’s a marginal phone. And this is better, the EVO.

Paul:                            The EVO.

Chuck:                         Android, another Google product.

Chris:                           Yeah, we need something to check for real. Maybe Matt can help us out with that, Mr. Cutts.

All right. This has been another great podcast. This was podcast number 92. We appreciate you guys listening. You have made us the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes. That is entirely because of you.

I am a little depressed ‘cause we have not received a review in a little while. You can make a review of us on our Facebook page, facebook.com/EWebstyle, or just get on to iTunes, create a simple account, I think it’s a two-minute process or something, create an account and write a review about us. It’s been over a month, not even counting the break, that we haven’t had a review and we know that there is a few — well, we know there’s what, 72 likes, so I don’t think we have 72 reviews. So go out there, if you’re listening, if you’re enjoying the information, if you’re enjoying the humor or maybe not, go write a review.

Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Paul:                            Paul Hanson.

Chuck:                         Charles Lewis.

Chris:                           Bye-bye for now.

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