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Thread: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

  1. #11
    Andre Willis is offline Member
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by willscott View Post
    In other words, "Pizza" in your name increases likelihood of ranking for Pizza.
    So....same as the local pack. Got it.
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    Videoposts is offline Member
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    Thx for the post Joy and one thing I don't see is using simple video content versus text to boost rankings and traffic. It absolutely rocks and for a furniture store client of mine that has moved up from waaaay down the rankings is doing one voice-and-visuals video per month about specials etc. I post it on their site, Facebook, YouTube and G+. I do nothing else, period. It surprises me that all of you 'local gurus' just can't get your heads around this most powerful piece of content.


    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post

    I had the privilege of speaking recently at Local U Advanced in Williamsburg and wanted to summarize the top takeaways as a list of actionable items based on the notes I took that you should be doing for your business or the businesses you work with if you want to succeed with Local SEO in 2016.

    1. Stop listening to the advice of the Google Employees when it comes to ranking. They have absolutely no incentive to tell you how to rank well.
    2. Think of your website as a data source. Google is looking at your website for answers to information users are searching about.
    3. Stop selling a set package that gives people a set # of citations or a set # of blog articles
    4. Start selling content speed & quality
    5. Send clients a SWOT analysis. They need to know where they are weak as well as strong.
    6. Link out (external links) to quality websites
    7. Pay more attention to organic. 75% of ranking local listings also rank on the first page organically.
    8. Link building (and not crappy links) should be a high priority on everyone's list. Studies by Ahrefs & Backlinko show that links still matter - a LOT.
    9. Don't just build citations. This is what lazy & scared SEOs do.
    10. Get links in your local community
    11. Link to the quality citations and raise their authority level!
    12. Instead of spitting out tons of content all the time, focus on publishing less and making the content BETTER and taking 1 piece of content and turning it into multiple campaigns (Look at part 3 of this article)
    13. Use customer reviews for content ideas. Want to know what people care about and are searching? They'll tell you based on the comments in their reviews!
    14. Please stop spamming reviews or customers will start losing faith in them.
    15. Make leaving feedback easy. Donít bury it on your site. When was the last time you saw a feedback option on a restaurant's homepage?
    16. Search Google for [your geo] + [your service] + [reviews] for ideas on where you need to get reviews!
    17. Put your reviews on pages that actually rank
    18. Reviews is a numbers game. Stop asking so little people if you want more.
    19. Create incentives for your employees so they will help you get more reviews.
    20. The content in Yelp reviews actually impacts the 3pack. Stop ignoring Yelp.
    21. BuzzFeed allows for guest authors. Publish a fantastic piece of content there and get more exposure (and a link).
    22. Use Facebook as an outreach tool. Paying to promote stuff on Facebook actually results in more organic/referral traffic too that you don't pay for.
    23. Use "Get Directions" as a call-to-action in Facebook ads for local businesses.
    24. Use Google's moved feature to get rid of those seriously annoying "Permanently Closed" listings.
    25. If Google employees from GMB give you ranking advice - IGNORE it.
    26. Use Twitter support for GMB issues
    27. Give up trying to rank in the 3-pack for "keyword + city" for a city you're not located in.
    28. Check out Google Now on Tap for Android and use it to help see how Google is connecting the different profiles for your business.
    29. Check Google Analytics and see if clients started getting an increase in direct visits from Safari on mobile in the last year. This could be a result of Apple Maps. Itís almost impossible to track traffic from Apple Maps because they all show up as direct visits in Analytics.
    30. Start tracking multiple KPIs for clients, including: phone calls, form fills, ranking increases (overall, not individual keywords), monthly traffic, work completed, the plan for next month, what items you need from the client etc.
    31. Tell your clients how much time you spent on their account and break it down for them.
    32. Don't let spam outrank your business/client. Do something about it.
    33. Something wrong in the knowledge panel? Use the submit feedback button on it to get things fixed.
    34. Check where you rank on Facebook Services
    35. Subscribe to the Whitespark Local Pulse to keep in the loop on what's happening in the Local SEO world.


    This list was created by me listening and taking notes to some of the brilliant minds in Local Search: David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, Mary Bowling, Will Scott, Mike Blumenthal, Aaron Weiche, Joel Headley, & Andrew Shotland. Of course I threw in some notes from my own presentation at Local U as well

    I have yet to find another conference that teaches me more about Local SEO than Local U. It was amazing to meet some of you in person in Williamsburg and for those of you wanting to take your Local SEO knowledge to the next level, I suggest going to Local U Advanced in New Orleans this fall.

    Which items do you plan on doing this year?

    What other tips do you have that I didn't mention?



    About the Author: I have been working in the Local SEO industry since 2006 and am a part of Googleís Top Contributor program & MapMaker Regional Leads program. I currently contribute to many online communities in the Local SEO world and am a Top Contributor here on the Local Search Forum, Search Engine Land author, & Local U Forum moderator. For Moz, I am a contributor to the Local Search Ranking Factors survey and write for their blog.

    I currently work as a product consultant at Imprezzio Marketing in Toronto, ON. My daily responsibilities there include troubleshooting ranking issues on Google for the most complicated and difficult accounts, writing training manuals and training employees on how to use Google products and SEO-related tools and tactics, selling and managing Local SEO, Social Media and AdWords accounts for small business owners, and keeping up with new trends and processes in the Local SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) world and incorporating these into products. In my spare time, I also like to blog about things pertaining to Local SEO.
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    Gerry.Foster is offline Member
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    Joy. Do you ever not kill it? This was the primer I needed. Thank you for your timing.
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    jnosal is offline Member
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    What a great list of Local SEO tasks. You could almost use this as a list of thing to do for 2016. The big items for me is treating our websites as big databases of answer to questions to all the micro moments that happen in digital marketing is a big focus.
    Linda Buquet likes this.
    Join our community and continue the conversation. Advice Local - Itís Local Search Made Easy.
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  5. #15
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    And she dropped the mic when she was done.
    That made me laugh Cody. As usual, great job Joy! Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together and for sharing.
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    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    Joy, this is a great list. We are especially partial to your focus on reviews, since we have dedicated the entire month of April to education about reviews.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post

    Please stop spamming reviews or customers will start losing faith in them.

    Make leaving feedback easy. Donít bury it on your site. When was the last time you saw a feedback option on a restaurant's homepage?

    Search Google for [your geo] + [your service] + [reviews] for ideas on where you need to get reviews!

    Put your reviews on pages that actually rank

    Reviews is a numbers game. Stop asking so little people if you want more.

    Create incentives for your employees so they will help you get more reviews.

    The content in Yelp reviews actually impacts the 3pack. Stop ignoring Yelp.
    Join our forum! Agencies, brands and channel partners use our technologies to win local clients. Add our suite to your arsenal and leave the rest to us!
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  7. #17
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    Joy, I love how to included Facebook Services in the list. So many people are not even looking at it yet and making sure their local businesses are listed in the directory.
    Join our community and continue the conversation. Advice Local - Itís Local Search Made Easy.
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  8. #18
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    That's a killer list Joy, really glad you shared! I won't be in a position probably by fall to travel yet either, but this kind of content is making me reconsider... that sounds amazing, and it would have been great to hear your talk.

    The focus on backlink building is one I've definitely been spending a fair amount of time on... I think that's the arena that's going to separate the real practitioners from the all the 'we offer local SEO' agencies out there these days. That side of things especially is kind of the wild west... it's going to be pretty different from city to city, industry to industry, and there's a huge number of opportunities out there for those that take the time to familiarize themselves with the space. I can't see 99% of the people out there helping local business with this spending the time to do more than give lip service to good back link building.

    I thought that tip you included about apple maps popping up as direct traffic from safari on mobile... I hadn't thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. I've had a few clients in the few months specifically want to know more about apple maps, just because they were apple users themselves, so I've had some reason to pay a little more attention to it. Still missed that idea somehow though, really good to know.

    Thanks again for sharing Joy, definitely bookmarking this page!
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    Great tips, Joy! I especially like ideas 13&17. I absolutely support the idea of giving more weight on current and potential customersí feedback when creating company content as compared to scattering efforts on kw tools and putting all your eggs in one basket when obsessing with the Keyword Planner.

    I second Lindaís feedback, I wish I couldíve seen the actual presentation
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  10. #20
    JacobMaslow is offline Member + GMB
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    Re: 35 Ways to Succeed with Local SEO in 2016

    There are plenty of SEO articles churned out daily including lots of list posts.

    Very rare for article to have lots of useful links as many hate linking out. Each link was well thought out.

    I once read an article that listed 10 best apps. No links and most of the apps were difficult to find as they had similar names to many others.



    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post

    I had the privilege of speaking recently at Local U Advanced in Williamsburg and wanted to summarize the top takeaways as a list of actionable items based on the notes I took that you should be doing for your business or the businesses you work with if you want to succeed with Local SEO in 2016.

    1. Stop listening to the advice of the Google Employees when it comes to ranking. They have absolutely no incentive to tell you how to rank well.
    2. Think of your website as a data source. Google is looking at your website for answers to information users are searching about.
    3. Stop selling a set package that gives people a set # of citations or a set # of blog articles
    4. Start selling content speed & quality
    5. Send clients a SWOT analysis. They need to know where they are weak as well as strong.
    6. Link out (external links) to quality websites
    7. Pay more attention to organic. 75% of ranking local listings also rank on the first page organically.
    8. Link building (and not crappy links) should be a high priority on everyone's list. Studies by Ahrefs & Backlinko show that links still matter - a LOT.
    9. Don't just build citations. This is what lazy & scared SEOs do.
    10. Get links in your local community
    11. Link to the quality citations and raise their authority level!
    12. Instead of spitting out tons of content all the time, focus on publishing less and making the content BETTER and taking 1 piece of content and turning it into multiple campaigns (Look at part 3 of this article)
    13. Use customer reviews for content ideas. Want to know what people care about and are searching? They'll tell you based on the comments in their reviews!
    14. Please stop spamming reviews or customers will start losing faith in them.
    15. Make leaving feedback easy. Donít bury it on your site. When was the last time you saw a feedback option on a restaurant's homepage?
    16. Search Google for [your geo] + [your service] + [reviews] for ideas on where you need to get reviews!
    17. Put your reviews on pages that actually rank
    18. Reviews is a numbers game. Stop asking so little people if you want more.
    19. Create incentives for your employees so they will help you get more reviews.
    20. The content in Yelp reviews actually impacts the 3pack. Stop ignoring Yelp.
    21. BuzzFeed allows for guest authors. Publish a fantastic piece of content there and get more exposure (and a link).
    22. Use Facebook as an outreach tool. Paying to promote stuff on Facebook actually results in more organic/referral traffic too that you don't pay for.
    23. Use "Get Directions" as a call-to-action in Facebook ads for local businesses.
    24. Use Google's moved feature to get rid of those seriously annoying "Permanently Closed" listings.
    25. If Google employees from GMB give you ranking advice - IGNORE it.
    26. Use Twitter support for GMB issues
    27. Give up trying to rank in the 3-pack for "keyword + city" for a city you're not located in.
    28. Check out Google Now on Tap for Android and use it to help see how Google is connecting the different profiles for your business.
    29. Check Google Analytics and see if clients started getting an increase in direct visits from Safari on mobile in the last year. This could be a result of Apple Maps. Itís almost impossible to track traffic from Apple Maps because they all show up as direct visits in Analytics.
    30. Start tracking multiple KPIs for clients, including: phone calls, form fills, ranking increases (overall, not individual keywords), monthly traffic, work completed, the plan for next month, what items you need from the client etc.
    31. Tell your clients how much time you spent on their account and break it down for them.
    32. Don't let spam outrank your business/client. Do something about it.
    33. Something wrong in the knowledge panel? Use the submit feedback button on it to get things fixed.
    34. Check where you rank on Facebook Services
    35. Subscribe to the Whitespark Local Pulse to keep in the loop on what's happening in the Local SEO world.


    This list was created by me listening and taking notes to some of the brilliant minds in Local Search: David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, Mary Bowling, Will Scott, Mike Blumenthal, Aaron Weiche, Joel Headley, & Andrew Shotland. Of course I threw in some notes from my own presentation at Local U as well

    I have yet to find another conference that teaches me more about Local SEO than Local U. It was amazing to meet some of you in person in Williamsburg and for those of you wanting to take your Local SEO knowledge to the next level, I suggest going to Local U Advanced in New Orleans this fall.

    Which items do you plan on doing this year?

    What other tips do you have that I didn't mention?



    About the Author: I have been working in the Local SEO industry since 2006 and am a part of Googleís Top Contributor program & MapMaker Regional Leads program. I currently contribute to many online communities in the Local SEO world and am a Top Contributor here on the Local Search Forum, Search Engine Land author, & Local U Forum moderator. For Moz, I am a contributor to the Local Search Ranking Factors survey and write for their blog.

    I currently work as a product consultant at Imprezzio Marketing in Toronto, ON. My daily responsibilities there include troubleshooting ranking issues on Google for the most complicated and difficult accounts, writing training manuals and training employees on how to use Google products and SEO-related tools and tactics, selling and managing Local SEO, Social Media and AdWords accounts for small business owners, and keeping up with new trends and processes in the Local SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) world and incorporating these into products. In my spare time, I also like to blog about things pertaining to Local SEO.
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    JoyHawkins (05-16-2016)

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