Tag Archives: Local SEO

Local SEO. The One Fix to Jump Start Your Rankings

Local SEO. The One Fix to Jump Start Your Rankings

A few months ago a new prospect who has been using several different SEO type companies asked me why their site still couldn’t be found online.  This is a good question as they have spent thousands of dollars, in a slow and painful trickle, to SEO and Internet marketing people via a $350.00 monthly payment over several years. (That’s like 8K total)

Mike closing2So, I like any professional give the standard SEO guy answer, let me look at it.  The first tactic I use to figure out what is going wrong in a Local Business ranking is to see where they are currently listing online and what those listings have in them. Specifically do the sites they are currently listed on have the correct information on the company’s name, address, phone number, and categories.

In this case the potential client had a real mess going on.

One of his “SEO” companies had built two different web sites with two different URLs, both with different phone numbers (for tracking I assume) and their correct company name and physical address. They had also listed these sites with the wrong information in many of the standard local directories everyone uses, including Google of course.

They also had a HomeAdvisor listing with a tracking number, and….  they even had several directories where someone years ago had listed their home phone number and address before they had a nice big office in a nice big office building.

All of this created a very confused Google.

Google loves consistent information about your company. They are robots… they have a mission, and the first mission is to collect information on your business name, address, phone and URL. IF they see different versions, they completely lose their confidence, and push your website rankings way down, so they don’t have to deal with it. I am not joking. These robots are cowards.

The reality was they didn’t need SEO, they needed an Internet Janitor to clean up a horrible listings mess.  And this is where so many SEO’s and businesses get it all wrong, from the very beginning. They start with checking back link reports.  Back link reports will not show you the inconsistent listing issue. You must search like a human (hey… that sounds like a song title… “Search like a human”), anyway. Go to Google and type in the Company name.  Now go to every site that shows up for that company and see if it has the right Name, Phone, Address and URL.

I have seen rankings plummet when a business uses DEX advertising with a call tracking number. Dex will publish the company name, address and the tracking number, all over local directors to encourage salespeople to call the client, so DEX can make a dollar of two on the call.

It all comes down to this.

A confused search engine is a big problem. And when Google see’s different information for the same company, they don’t call you and ask, because they are robots, they just bury your rankings because Robots have no feelings.

In many cases, the fastest way to get your sites rankings up is to fix any old, incorrect, or in any way inconsistent listings that exist online today. Most businesses can do this on their own by contacting each site that needs to be corrected.  In some cases, it’s really hard, so if you can clean up most of them, you probably have done enough to fix the problem.  Or, you can hire an Internet janitorial firm (like us) and we will do it for you.  The main thing is Don’tMike closing2 continue to pay for SEO until this is completed. You may be surprised to see your site appearing on the first page for your important services after a good clean up.

Not sure if this is your issue on rankings?  See that click to call banner over on your left,<<<<< —— it rings directly to my desk.  Feel free to use it, and I can tell you in 5 minutes if you have issues.  If I don’t pick up, leave a message and I will call you back.

By Mike Bayes


 

The Difference Between Local SEO and Organic SEO?

 

Google Logo officially released on May 2010

What’s the difference between Local SEO and Organic SEO?

Before October 17th 2010 it was a clear distinction, but on that date (in Denver Search Engines Results
anyway) Google began merging search engine rankings between the Local Maps and the organic
results. Some search terms that the day before had returned the traditional 7 pack,  now had a few
organic results listed above the Maps, and some had a mix of maps and organic.

We have been researching how your organic rankings relate to your maps rankings recently in our
attempt to get  further understanding of what really determines Google places rankings. We know there
are lots of factors of course.  You can read about them all over the Internet. The common factors being
claim your profile, complete your profile, get good citations.

Yet, we have found several highly ranked places listings that have no citations, partially completed
profiles, and don’t seem to represent the common understanding of why a listing would be highly
ranked. One doesn’t even have a web site.

So we are comparing the highest ranked Places accounts in average to very competitive categories.
We are using the sites SEOmoz page authority as the organic score.  The theory is, if great on site SEO
scores are the major factor in Google places rankings.  Before October 2010, this was not the case.

We will be publishing some of the results as we get a broader base, from multiple cities, and keyword
categories.  In the early view there appears to be very little doubt that your SEOmoz score is a huge
indicator of your places rankings. We are looking into how your “categories”  relate to your rankings as
well. (An early hint is, not as much as you think) SEO News

Lot’s of data points to look at, and the first run we are keeping it simple.  SEOmoz page authority
compared to Places ranking and a few other tidbits.

There are some early surprises.  Where we do see a consistent  correlation between SEOmoz rank and
Places rankings, there are some glaring exceptions, and those are the situations we are most interested
in.

We will keep you posted on results as we understand them.

 

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Do It Yourself Local SEO

GoodSearch home page

Do it yourself local SEO.

As promise, here are the key tactics to make sure your local business is visible for local searches.

First, make sure your web site and business is listed in the major search engine local directories. A great resource for this is www.getlisted.org.  This will allow your site to come up on the Google local maps, and the yahoo and Bing local directories for search terms that relate to your business.

Make sure to completely fill out your local directories. Pay careful attention to the categories you choose. Each directory offers different opportunities, so take your time and fill them out with all the information they request. This process should take about 90 minutes all together, and it’s the best 90 minutes you will spend on local search engine optimization.

Second, make sure your local address is prominently displayed on your home page, with your phone number. Add it to your contact page as well.  Also, you may want to search on Google for your business to see if you have any old listings online with an old address or phone number.  If so, do contact the site or directory and ask then to either changed it, or delete it.  Search engines hate conflicting information. Only use an actually physical address.  Google doesn’t accept P.O. boxes.

Third, make sure (as in all SEO), your title and description meta tags have your main keywords in them.  Also add your keywords to your headline of your home page.  Don’t over do this, make it natural.  It’s important that the search engines understand what your site is about.

Now you have a good start!  It’s time to get “votes” for your site with the search engines. Votes are when other sites link back to, or mention your business on their sites. As search engine optimization becomes more and more competitive (lets face it, more businesses are paying for it then ever) and there are only 10 or so sites listed on the first page of a search, and the top three get the vast majority of the traffic,  in many cases you are going to need a lot of high quality votes.

The first place to look is with associations you belong to.  The B.B.B. is a great link, and so  are many chambers and associations. Check and see if your listing has your web site on it.

After that, add good local directories.  Go to Google and search  Your City Directories.  You will find a ton, and many will have categories that fit your company well.

Plan on spending about 30 minutes a day linking for a few months, and maybe a lot more.  Yes, that’s what it’s going to take..  I could write a book about link quality (the type of links that pay off)  and how to research for them, but if you are doing your own  SEO, this is a great start.  If you want several excellent researches you can subscribe to www.seomoz.com , or SEObook.com

I do want to leave you with two additional thoughts.  A great start for back linking is www.metasocialweb.com You can add your site,  plus your blog, and all your social sites.  It’s a powerhouse SEO, Social media tool. Yes it does cost money,  but you may find that many valuable sites do, because they are human edited (A big plus) and they have to pay to keep the site up and running.  We  built Metasocialweb.com to help small business with Social media, and it turns out to be great for SEO too!

If you want a jump start on links every month you can subscribe to our Do It Your Self SEO package that provides the information on  20 quality links we have already researched.  Or our starter SEO packages where we do the linking for you.

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Google Places Reviews and Rankings

There is far more to Local SEO in for Google places than just the ranking of your web site. The reality is, even if your site is in the first or second position for three of four keywords, you will still end up in the 3rd or 4th position for other relevant keywords.

 

Take our Friends At Vivax Pro Painting. Their site is ranked in the first or second position for just about every search you can imagine related to house painting ______ < add a city around Denver. But for a few searches they fall to 4th or so.

They still will get a high percentage of the clicks for one reason They have 6 reviews  and therefore have the “Stars”  on the SER places listing. This will draw people to click. If they had 2 reviews, or none, they wouldn’t stand out, and would lose about 75% of the possible clicks to their site because they are in the 4th position. The first three listings will get about 85% of clicks in a all things being equal situation. But by providing the searches with something that clearly makes your listing stand out, you can pick up a larger share of clicks, and therefore customers.

LOCAL SEO’s who focus only on rankings are not doing the best job they can… and their clients may be losing out on revenue.

That’s way we provide a turn key system to clients to get their customers to go to and review their services on Google and other important sites. It’s not SEO, it’s PR  and conversion tactics.

 

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Google Places Local Citation Sites

Google Local Citation Sites

We get a lot of questions about what sites to add that are good for Google Local Citations. Even with the recent changes to Google Places (not showing citations anymore) there is a considerable amount of belief that adding a “citation” link to your back link’s can be helpful in your Google Places rankings.

In our experience, adding sites for the primary purpose of gaining a citation had lost most of its value last year. We don’t make this statement out of simple opinion, but based on assessing local web sites places rankings for over 4 years.

For a brief time we thought Google may have just stopped indexing the deep pages associated with many of the common citation sites people would use. An example may have been a listing on Merchant Circle. Merchant Circle was built around (according to their PR) getting a local site ranked higher and bringing it more local traffic. I am not picking on them, there are hundreds of on line yellow page sites, and directories that web masters, SEO’s and others used for adding citations and trying to boost their sites rankings in Local directories. The truth seems to be; today those sites have almost no value in bring your local site traffic or rankings!

But Google does continue to index these pages. One difference between a year ago and now (August 2011) is many of these citations don’t show up as a link in our back link reports. And it’s not that we use just one back link reporting tool, we use 5 different tools, because you get different information from each, depending on their methodology on how they acquire the back links to a site. We also do manual checks to as a final scrub so to speak. So those lead us to looking at it in a different light. That being, more from a link value stand point, than a citation value.

So what happened?  And how can we learn from it.

Our opinion is pretty simple and falls in line with the basic principle that Google is looking for the best quality sites for a keyword search. We think this started in the Local search area with last October’s update when Google changed significantly how a Local Maps listing was ranked, by blending the organic ranking factors into the Maps results, or to be more accurate, by weighting those factors far more heavily.  And these local ranking factors have continued to evolve with the Panda updates this year.

Here is our thought. Pre Google changes the domain authority of the site you had a citation or link on was far more important than it is today, with the Page authority having less importance.  Let’s take a completely made up model of that.

Your link appears on a P.R. 7 site.  ( I know PR is not the metric to use and we don’t, but it’s the commonly understood vernacular of basic SEO) and your site appears on a page that has no external links to it or any real ranking authority of it’s own.  In the old days it was clear your site still received some value based on the domain authority.  Lets call it a formula like this. Link value equals: ( Domain Authority / 2 )+( Page authority / outbound links on page).  DO NOT TRY AND ANALYZE THIS FORMULA. I made it up and its only supposes to show that the domain had a higher influence on the Link value.

We think today Google is primarily looking at the page authority of your link or citation, and has discounted significantly the added value of the Domain Authority (P.R., or SEOmoz  DA) .  So a link or citation is as good as the Page it’s on, not the Domain it’s on.

Is it really this simple? No!  Those people at Google are smart as a whip as my Mom use to say (I still don’t get that saying,  or was it sharp as a whip, or tack? )  But for those of us who work on web visibility and promotion, it’s a good guide, and it’s working for us.

And it is in complete harmony with Google’s public position on why sites rank well. More on that statement later.

Like all opinions on what makes a web site rank well, this is just an opinion.  It does seem to be proving accurate to the extent we can test it with our web promotion programs. We would love to hear from others on what they see as important ranking factors.  Remember our Golden Rule of SEO.  If you would take a certain action irregardless of how it will affect your sites ranking, and only because it will give your site better traffic and visibility, it’s a good thing to do. If you are taking an action solely for the perceived value it will bring in your sites ranking, it’s not going to help long term.

P.S. (Bad news for all those marketing companies promoting that they will add a link to your site on 100 P.R. 7 blogs for $7.00.  huh?

Want to discuss this, or get more information?  Call us or contact us http://www.salesjumpstart.net Or if you are really interested in doing (or are doing) SEO  you may want to join our web optimizers club http://www.salesjumpstart.net/joinweboptimizersclub.html

 

 

 

 

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Should you add no follow links for your site?

Yes. And here is why you should not discount no follow links.

Rand Fishkin,  Founder of SEOmoz just did a great blog on early ranking factors data after his companies April Linkscape update.

One of his interesting points during the session was that many SEO’s are using more no follow links, and that they are seeing better value in them.

I have agreed with that for years. And here is why. A link profile that has a nice mix of Follow and no Follow is more natural.  Google likes natural.

Not only that,  but as Rand made this point in the presentation, alot of really trusted sites and high value sites use no follow. Face book, twitter, wordpress… the list goes on and on. I don’t think google really pays as much attention to the no follow tag as many people think they do. Why would they. Works to their advantage if we think they do, as they then have a metric that is pretty easy to identify sites building an unnatural linking profile using an unnatural amount or percentage of follow links.

So, I go back to were I always seem to go with Links. Add links that you would add without considering how they will effect your site rankings, and you will end up in good shape. SEO is not search engine manipulation. It is solid marketing and promotion for your web site.

 

You can see the blog here

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SEO and Twitter in Denver

Denver skyline at sunset, from the southwest
Image via Wikipedia

SEO in Denver:

A client recently posted a blog on Denver data backup services, and that was the title.  It landed on the first page of Google that day, in the 7th position.

Today that same blog is in the first position, and the only difference I can see, is two people have used the url in a tweet. hmmmm.

So,  does using the url and basic title in a tweet really jump start your individual blogs ranking on Google? Is this something new with the new Google social media changes a few weeks ago?

I’ll let you know what I find, and let us know what you know.

 

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If Google Was an Air Traffic Controller

A small passenger plane lands in Toronto at Pe...
Image via Wikipedia

If Google was an airline traffic controller, and your site was a plane trying to land, the communication might start like and sound like this.

Stactic…..

(Your Site) Good day  Google master controller, this is site IP 123,76.900  requesting landing on your front page under vector keyword category of “travel to Europe”  over

LONG PAUSE……

(GC) Static:  ummm IP 123,76.900, this is Google master controller……. Static….  umm we can not understand your request, can you change your meta data so we can understand you? . IP 123,76.900  recontact after changes if you like.  Good day over   static

Long pause

Static….  Okay dokie Google master controller,  have corrected the data, and all should be well. Request landing on your front page,  vector keyword “travel”  Over.

Long  Long pause

(GC) Static…….  Umm IP 123,76.900  please stay in holding pattern, we will get back to you as soon as possible.  In the mean time you may want to view our help forums, Over

Static…  Google master control, this is IP 123,76.900,  have check the other frequency and found some help.  Am making additional data changes to the site,  and will be requesting landing once completed.  …  should note  that I am running slightly low on traffic to the site and will need some visibility soon.  Good day  Over.

Static…

(Your site) Google master control, this is me, IP 123,76.900.  Data changes made, can you check for clearance onto your front page under Travel?  over.

Long silence…..

Static  .

(Your site): Google master control.  this is IP 123,76.900. I am begging.  Over

(GC):  Static…….. IP 123,76.900,  we have reviewed your data, and are having difficulties approval landing.  Have a nice day.  Over .

static

(YS) Google master controller for the love of gawd, we are dieing here. I told my boss we would have good traffic weeks ago….just give me a hint.!   good day  Over.

Silence

Your Site:  umm Google master Controller, boss just mentioned PPC would be cheaper than me.  I have check with more of your “help” forums, run a report and adjusted what I believe may have been the problem with abundant stuffing of certain words  ( 19% was a little high?). Please check and approve my request to land on your front page… vector… ummmm  traveling to Europe from Chicago?….  over.

(GC) IP 123,76.900,  We are now reading your data.  But because no one else is, we can not approve your landing at this time.  Thank you, and PPC is always a good option…. over.

Static

(Your Site): Google master controller, this is the new pilot of IP 123,76.900.  Please accept my apologizes oh great and mighty Indexer of all knowledge. We have started a PPC campaign, and are now sending your family $7000. a month.  I have also added significant content to the site, hoping to attract attention.  Requesting clearance to land on your front page under vector,     ummmm  ….   Static… Travel to Europe from…ummm… Paducah Kentucky? ? Over.

(GC):  Static …IP 123,76.900.  Sorry,  Your load times are to high to give permission at this time..  Over
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Is this how it feels to some of us?  Feel free to add to the landing dialog in the comments!

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Importance of Google Places Reviews

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Google Places Reviews:

If I could only give one piece of advice for a local business owner about getting good exposure on Google, it would be:

Get as many reviews as possible for your Google places listing. It does so much good in so many ways.

First it’s going to help your rankings. Second its going to help your reputation, and those two things will lead to more sales.

Send each client or customer an email which includes your Google places URL. Give basic instructions on how they write a review once they get to your Google listing. Thins like where to click, and how to set up a Google account if they don’t have one.

You can also suggest they review you on other sites using the same methodology. Yahoo, Insider Pages, and yelp are all great sites to get reviews on, and Google places may pick them up.

Make a plane today. Ask for one review a day. Get ranked!

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Colorado Springs SEO

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Colorado Springs SEO

We have lot’s of clients in Colorado Springs! Doing SEO for Colorado Springs clients is not much different than a Denver or Phoenix customer.

We have recommendations from several Colorado Springs based companies and our President, Mike Bayes, has appeared on several Colorado Springs Radio and T.V. shows.  Most recently on the Tanya Hall Social Media radio and Internet broadcast, as well as being a long time friend and guest of Mike Boyle (www.mikeboyle.com), on his T.V. and Radio shows.

We offer great rates and great results for Colorado Springs SEO.  We can get your phone ringing with calls from targeted prospects who found you on the Internet as fast as a few days (using Pay per Click).  And keep them calling over the long term with a very cost effective Colorado Springs SEO program.

Check out our references on our testimonial page and call us today. Or view our Colorado Springs SEO page

at 303 500 3054 ext 1.  For Colorado Springs SEO information

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