Key Google Local Factors SEO

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

Key Google Local Factors SEO

Chris:                           It knew I was in Franklin Lakes at that time. So it’s pretty detailed. It can get pretty detailed. We know that in Houston, Houston and a lot of kind of little municipalities tend to get thrown in there, but it’s gotten pretty good. Google knows where you’re at typically.

So if you do a search for plumber, you get one set of results. If you do a search for Houston plumber, you get another set of results. If you do a search for plumber and on the left of Google, there is a place where you can change your location, if you change that location, you’ll get different results.

Paul:                            So three searches for the same.

Chris:                           I’m looking for the same and then doing the test. Yeah.

Paul:                            And then three different sets of results.

Chris:                           So where does this sit? I mean what is the importance? And then this all really does tie in to Google Local Places or the six-pack. Remember our tip from podcast number 90 was that Google Places is the place to be, that Google Places A to G. Is it G?

Paul:                            I don’t know.

Chris:                           A, B, C, D, E, F. Yes, it’s G because that’s the seventh letter of the alphabet. I like those awkward silences.

Paul:                            [Laughter] If this were radio, we would have gotten fired.

Chris:                           They could pull our license.

Paul:                            Yeah. [Laughter] Local search is important enough. We talked about it a lot last year I think. And I’ll say this even though I said it at the last podcast. This 2011 is the year of local search, even though the last podcast, 2011 was the year of mobile search.

Chris:                           Mobile search.

Paul:                            Next podcast it will be something else.

Chris:                           Well, I don’t know. We got a lot of information here to go on local search. This may be the beginning of the longest SEO podcast.

Paul:                            Yeah, this is going to go until March.

Chris:                           In history.

Paul:                            So basically, local search is extremely important. You’ve heard us — yeah, I’ve kicked this data several times, you know, the local pack or the six, seven pack is going to be the place to be because everything is local. You know, Google recognized the value of this so they started putting things into place end of the 2009, beginning of 2010. So we want to cover this again — local search, mobile search. Here we go, 2011 is the year of local/mobile search. I guess we just could — I want to say it’s kind of the same thing but they are definitely merging.

Chris:                           Well, certainly Google knows where your phone is too, right?

Paul:                            Yes.

Chris:                           I think there’s probably some way you can turn that off or turn it on. But, you know, when you go into Google Maps, it knows where you’re at. So when you’re searching other Google Places, it probably knows where you’re at and that’s kind of the whole goal of I think of Google having Android and having their operating system on phones is that when you start doing searches, it can actually sell ads that are immediately around you.

So if you’re hungry, there’s three restaurants around that are paying to have their ad put in front of you because you’re right there. And it’s actually of high value to us. If I am looking for a restaurant, I want to know three restaurants right around me. I don’t want to know the three restaurants that are paying Google that may or may not be within the next 30 miles.

Paul:                            Yes. I mean I completely agree with that. Here’s a great line I’m going to pull from this, and here is kind of why we’re going over local search. I’m going to quote this directly from the article. It says, “It’s getting harder and harder even for local SEO experts polled for this survey to keep up with all the developments in our industry. I think” blah, blah, blah, blah. Basically, so things are changing so fast. You know, you’ve got Facebook going local, Yelp going local. Google Places is local. What else? Bing local, Yahoo local algorithm and you now have separate algorithms for local search. So I thought this was awesome.

So what this guy did is he polled a bunch of local SEO experts about different things that are important to your local search, and we’ve done this before I think about a year ago. We did a podcast that was a survey of different SEO experts on what factors are important to SEO and then they rated them, okay, you know, 75% thinks this is important and 25% don’t. So okay. Well, what is important in local search?

Chris:                           Well, let’s make sure we give credit on this article, right?

Paul:                            Okay.

Chris:                           It’s from David Ming or Mihm, M-I-H-M, so you guys can find this. We’re just going to kind of briefly look at these numbers. There’s a lot of details in here. They asked a whole lot of people their opinions of this and then their specific text responses of their opinions to this is included. We’re just going to kind of go over the highlights. I highly recommend that you go pull this article and read through it in detail because just like I described, if plumber, if plumber in Houston, if plumber and you happen to be in Houston is something that you’re going after or whatever that key term is, you really need to be on top of local search and this will help you understand at least what the experts out there feel. Of course, we don’t know the Google algorithm and we probably never will. My standing offer I would give anyone who gives me the Google algorithm, I will give them $10.

Paul:                            I give them 20 bucks.

Chris:                           30.

Paul:                            I’m not going over the top. That’s just not going to happen at 30. I don’t want it that bad.

Chris:                           31?

Paul:                            It’s like the Price is Right. If you overbid, you lose. So I’ll take 29.

Chris:                           All right. So kind of the first thing that’s listed here is general importance of claiming Places page and local listings of your local listing.

Paul:                            I think that’s kind of — I thought that was kind of self-explanatory. Yes, you do need to claim your listing. You probably have 50 of them out there. We had like a ton of listings out there. Find one that looks good. Claim it. Bang. Very important. Everyone said, “That was an importance of like 4.4 out of 5.” So everybody — just about everybody polled said that was very important.

Chris:                           With very high agreement. Now, I don’t really understand their high agreement or disagreement. So 1.3 is moderate agreement. This is a 0.9 which means high agreement. So I’m guessing the lower the number the more the agreement. The less the — it’s probably if I remember my statistics class, it’s probably the deviation. So the deviation is 0.9 which is low which means that everyone is in a tight framework and everyone agrees with that. Enough of this science.

Paul:                            And I’m lost. [Laughter] I’m like wow, standard deviation. That was a long time ago.

Chris:                           Oh, yeah.

Paul:                            So basically, get your listing. Search as many different ways for your business as you can. You’re going to find multiple listings. Find one that’s most complete and complete it and then claim it.

Chris:                           And we’ll give you some advice about listings. Don’t get yours banned.

Paul:                            Yes, yes. And don’t try to cheat the system.

Chris:                           Yeah. Definitely don’t try.

Paul:                            Not that we did, but you know. Never mind.

Chris:                           No. Okay. I know where you’re going and this is not wrong. It’s not right. The reality is that I was trying to mirror for one of my clients what I saw at other physicians’ facilities, and those other physicians’ facilities it’s working that way, and ours it’s not. And we are getting banned, and I’m like “Okay. Well, I’m doing exactly what they are doing. So get your proverbial together.”

Paul:                            Yeah. [Laughter]

Chris:                           Anyway, all right. So, the next one was that your business address is in the city of the search. Now, this was considered 4.16 out of 5 so of high importance and there was high agreement.

Paul:                            I thought this was really cool because I got a call last week from a guy in Oklahoma. I cannot remember his name. And he says, “Hey, listen. I am in a small city just outside of Tulsa and I know a lot of people out there had the same concern. I want to market to Tulsa. Yes, I want my listing here in my city but Tulsa is where the meat of my business is going to come from. So what do you do to do that?”

Okay. You don’t want to just — well, one, you got to have it in your main city. If you live in a suburb, you got to have listing there, but there’s a lot of different things you can do if you want to market there. You can go get — I’ve told people, you know, you can go get a P.O. Box. You can borrow someone’s address that you know you can find. Now, this is just flat out lying and I’m not going to endorse it, but you can just go make up an address and do that, but there are complications with doing that.

Chris:                           Yeah.

Paul:                            So you can do it and you can probably get away with it.

Chris:                           And it also depends. It depends on your business and it wasn’t Chris either. It depends on the type of business that you’re in. So if you’re storefront and you’re in the suburbs, you certainly don’t want your store showing up as being in downtown Houston when you’re out in one of the suburbs. So you got to be mindful of that if it’s a service that you provide. Again back to plumbing, it may help people find you and really you go to them so it doesn’t matter if you’re located in downtown Houston or in any of the suburbs as long as wherever the client is located is something that you’re going to service. So be mindful of that. It’s not just, “Hey, I got to get on the first page for this term. You know, the type of business makes a significant difference too.

Paul:                            Yes.

Chris:                           And also, you know, like a tutor may not want to drive that far so why would you want to be in downtown Houston? And people are kind of mindful of that also where I’m looking for a tutor, I want a tutor who is pretty close to me. I don’t need a tutor driving all the way across town.

Paul:                            And I like to do business in between where I live and where I work. I would prefer not to go out of that if I don’t have to to make it easy and convenient for me.

Chris:                           All right. So we’ve got the next one. Do you want to take the next one?

Paul:                            Associating your Places page with your proper categories. I mean I can’t stress this enough and this should be one of probably like one of the very first things you do. If you’re setting up your Google Places listing, make sure that you have utilized as many categories as they will possibly allow you to. This will help make sure that your listing is 100% complete.

Now, there’s a couple of ways you can do these categories. Google has predefined categories. I would tell you that my first thought would be to go with that. Use their categories as much as possible.

Chris:                           Yes.

Paul:                            You can create your own categories, but…

Chris:                           I can give you an example.

Paul:                            Yes, there we go.

Chris:                           Google Boost, right? I don’t know if it’s been released across the country. It certainly is available here in Houston. It’s a kind of a paid listing with Google Local Places and Google Boost, in order to determine which keywords show up. Remember a couple of our podcasts we were complaining that we were showing up for things like marketing, not internet marketing, but marketing in general. And so we just sent an email to Google and they have gotten it straightened out. That’s very good.

But the made-up categories if you will are not the — they don’t take those categories into consideration when figuring out keywords for which to show our ad. So they’re only basing it off of internet marketing. I don’t remember what. I think internet marketing is one of the categories, not SEO Houston or something. I had one category that actually has SEO in it. They don’t have an SEO category and at least not that I recall. And so we’re not showing up for SEO keywords in Google Boost but we are for internet marketing and marketing in general. So that’s the reason that you want to make sure that your categories are right.

Paul:                            And now, if you’re going to add your own separate categories, here’s what I’d recommend. Make sure that you have, if you want a keyword that is not a Google category, let’s say Blue One Armed Widgets, right? That’s not a category. Make sure that that text is in your Places listing somewhere in the text, you know. If you decide to create your own…

Chris:                           Create a description of what you do.

Paul:                            Yeah, description. It’s any other places. You might want to put in your, you know, the title. I mean there’s a million places you can put it, but just make sure that that keyword is listed throughout your local listing text so that people can find it because the text is keyword searchable as — I mean everything, just about everything in Google is keyword searchable.

Chris:                           Yup. The next one is product service keyword in Place page business title, and this is an interesting one.

Paul:                            Okay. This one had a little bit of disagreement to it. Would it help? Yes. And from what I understand, this to me is, you know, and our business title should be E-Webstyle Web Design Internet Marketing Search Engine Optimization Company. Ah, yeah, yeah, but no. It doesn’t make any sense.

Chris:                           Don’t do it. And I’m kind of glancing at some of the comments here. One of them is saying, “Yes. Sad to say but I see a plethora of businesses that are ranking well in that seven pack as having the name in the business.” Now, what this really means is you should probably have keywords in your business name, but Google will ding you if you’re changing your business name to manipulate their system.

Paul:                            Oh. So it’s kind of like back in the day and people in the older generation will definitely recognize this when, you know, the yellow pages, people would say, “My name is Triple A Bail Bonds.” Everybody, you know, I’m sure there’s a Triple A Bail Bonds in every city. I know that — never mind.

Chris:                           Ah, I’m going to open Quadruple A.

Paul:                            Yeah, yeah, and that’s what people to do to get to the front of the yellow pages heading. They will put AAA and that’s kind of how people are doing. “Oh, let me put the web design in front of Joe Schmoe Marketing,” whatever.

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