Hard Core Local SEO Tactics

Coverage of SMX New York 2011

The third session of the day in the Advanced Track was hosted by:

  • Matt McGee – Search Engine Land
  • Mike Ramsey – Nifty Marketing
  • Will Scott – Search Influence

Speaker #1 Mike Ramsey – The Nifty Report

Mike Ramsey from NiftyThe nifty report is an annual report from Nifty Marketing that analyses high ranking results and low ranking results using data from competitive local search phrases such as Dentists & Lawyers in order to find a correlation between what ranks highly and what doesn’t.

Research was taken from integrated O pack results (local results tied to a places pin with additional picture) as opposed to 7 pack results (list of 7 stacked places results no thumbnails) as generally speaking, “you will see more O pack results in local listings.”

An insight into the world of unclaimed local listings, reviews, citations, the Nifty Report highlights the following:

High vs low local search ranking factors

  • Google Places – Claimed listings do not necessarily help you rank highly, but will help you claim your data – claim your pages
  • Exact Categories – if you have an exact category match you will have a better opportunity to rank in local search results
  • Reviews – reviews from other sites now only show as links to Yellow Pages etc, so you need more Google reviews
  • Generate clean pure reviews – looking real is the most important factor in making people call – “a perfect business is not one that has perfect reviews it’s one that responds to reviews perfectly”
  • Citations – NAP – (Name, Address Phone number) – bad data = lower ranking – make sure your data is correct
  • Offsite data – get more links from root domains. Although brand links is a form of citation, try to also get keywords links
  • Put your business NAP in your page title for increased ranking

Disclaimer of the day: Correlation is Not Causation – More people wearing Speedos correlates with a rise in temperature but wearing a Speedo does not cause the temperature to rise…

For additional information, the ‘Local search ranking factors study’ – a study put out every year by the top 30 experts in local search can be found on DavidMihm.com

Speaker #2 Matt McGee – Rockin’ Local Hard Core

David Mimh could not be at SMX so the presentation was given instead by Matt McGee. A fast paced overview of local search opportunities, the ideal landing pages, and what matters in competitive markets.

Top 10 Takeaways

  • Slightly different phrases bring up different types of local listings – check all keyword variants and compare the competition
  • Google is pulling in much more information to blended results such as local transport, hotels so pre website conversion and making sure your data is complete is important from stores to inventory
  • Use a local landing page as the URL to increase the ‘geographic scent’ – Photos are really important
  • Understand that Local Requires a Different
    Mind-set from Traditional SEO – Traditional SEO is about optimizing websites;
    Local SEO is about optimizing location
  • Eye-tracking is more even across a page with blended search listings as opposed to the old ‘golden triangle’
  • Submit a KML site map for all store listings, give each location it’s own store page – http://www.geositemapgenerator.com/
  • Do not use tracking phone numbers as this upsets the NAP
  • Feedback should be part of your everyday business processes – get reviews regularly, but don’t inflate numbers
  • Make sure Google account email domain matches places domain
  • If you can, get at least one citation from a .gov or .edu

Speaker #3 Will Scott – Three Killer Tactics you can use Today

Will Scott Search InfluenceThis session covered challenges with NAP consistency, community edits, Mapmaker tips, alternative citation sources.

Top Takeaways:

  • Get rid of bad NAP data.
  • Do phone number searches for your locations – if you move premises, you may encounter duplicate listings – check everything
  • Check MapMaker for exact marker location
  • Justify the need for changes – the more explanations you give, the more likely your edit will be approved quickly
  • Add location data to Article engines, Facebook, FourSquare, Yell – gives a citation signal to your physical location

If it has your name address and phone number as Google understands it and it is near a link to your website, it’s a citation – get them all, Reinforce the NAP data with every location

More posts about SMX East 2011


Be sure to also look at our overview page of SMX East 2011

The coverage of SMX East on State of Search in part made possible by a sponsoring from Majestic SEO who have the largest Link Intelligence database in Search. To get your free trial, give a card to this blogger in person at the conference or drop us an e-mail.

About Jackie Hole

Jackie Hole is an Award Winning Search Marketing consultant specialising in Paid Search, Conversion Improvement and Organic Search / SEO for the USA, Canada and European markets. Starting out in Multimedia & Interface Design, Jackie has over 15 years experience in online marketing and was recently awarded European Search Personality of the Year. Jackie is Company Director of 22M

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