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  1. #1
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    Red face A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Ok, so I've done a lot of reading - and hopefully learning enough so that I can actually answer questions on here one day...:-)

    So, from a previous thread I've learnt that I need a physical address in each city to take advantage of the Google+Local listing(local Reps not being good enough to get a separate Google +Local listing if they are working from home).

    So, for now, I'm going to concentrate on Google+ Local for my home city and Local SEO for the others - here's my plan so far:

    For home city
    - Google Places page and Google+ Local business page
    - Hide address and mark other Service areas I want to target
    - Set clear NAP
    - set authorship to link to my personal Google+ account
    - set publisher to link to my business Google+ account
    - use schema.org to create rich snippets, ratings etc
    - set Title,Keyword, H1 etc to match target keyword and home city
    - good internal link structure
    - local citations

    For target citys
    - target those areas with specific landing pages (e.g. mysite.com/keword-city.html)
    - make those pages releveant to the area, local reviews of my service, local customer testimonials,localised deals etc
    - Remember to set Title, H1 etc (as above)

    Would somebody be able to scan through my plan above and let me know if I'm on the right track...

    Also, there are a couple of things I'm not sure on:
    - Star Rating - is that 'governed' by schema.org or Google Reviews, It seems you can do both, but I'm really confused as to which rating Google would show??
    What I was thinking is that for each targeted city page, I would have reviews specific to customers in that area, then for my home page, aggregate all the reviews from all areas? But not sure how that would work with Google Reviews.
    - Citations - I'm assuming if I have one central page with an address, that I have to make sure all citation pages link to that - rather than to my local landing pages?

    Sorry for the long-windedness , just had to clear my head...

  2. #2
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Thanks raistlin,

    Trying to get ready to run out the door for a belated Thanksgiving dinner so can't look now and not many members check in on weekend but hopefully we can get you some feedback tomorrow.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  3. #3
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Thanks Linda

    No rush, enjoy your dinner!

  4. #4
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Sounds like a good starter plan, raistlin.

    A few comments:
    - Hide address and mark other Service areas I want to target
    Check to see where Google drops the map marker once you add your service areas. Sometimes she will plop it in the middle of a forest or a lake if that happens to be the centre of the specified cities. So, usually it's much better to set a service radius, keep it under 30 miles.

    -
    set Title,Keyword, H1 etc to match target keyword and home city
    Don't make it spammy. Write it with both humans and Google in mind. In that order.

    -
    Star Rating - is that 'governed' by schema.org or Google Reviews, It seems you can do both, but I'm really confused as to which rating Google would show??
    In the Google Places/pinned results it's determined by Google+ Local reviews. 5 reviews is usually the magic number to trigger them.

    Schema is responsible for the review stars in the organic results. On a few rare occasions I have seen Schema produce stars in the Google Places results as well.

    There are many more details to all the things you touched on but it sounds like you have done some homework

    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  5. #5
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Thanks Nolan, that's really cleared up the schema reviews thing for me .

    I've been reading a bit more on Rich Snippets and Schema.

    I'm wondering...

    Has Google tackled "schema spam" by placing more importance on particular review sites.

    e.g. How do I compete against somebody who's written their own review in their shcema tags "rated 5 stars from 18,000 people"? Is there a sense that I can send my customers to a trusted review site and just 5 good ratings from that site trumps 18,000 made up??

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Member Since
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Great questions.

    I haven't seen many review schemas in my local area in the search results. I imagine (but have not done any research) that's because Google does have a spam filter for the reviews, meaning they have to be legitimized somehow. This is all based off of pure conjecture by the way, I have no proof of this. I just know that people in my area are spammy and if they could get away with that, they would have awhile ago.

    Also, as far as I understand it, schema reviews don't affect your ranking. But they will affect your click-through-rate (CTR) meaning that if people see a website with stars in the search results, they're much more likely to click on that listing and go to the website, hence "clicking through".

    If you have any other questions, you can get with me on Google+ and ask.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JoshuaMackens

  7. #7
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Thanks Joshua

    Looks like Google has a page you can report spammy reviews to, but I still can't find any mention of how the schema.org reviews can be legitimized.

    Although as good practice, I'll look to get my reviews from somewhere that can verify to the user that they are legitimate, because IMHO it's only a matter of time before Google finds a way to enforce that only reviews from legitimate sites are shown..

    Thanks for the answers everybody.

    Oh, and apologies to Colan for calling you Nolan....

  8. #8
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    You could just start a page on your site for reviews, direct users to that and then use them on your site in schema format.

  9. #9
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    Yep, that's pretty much what I think I'll do.

    Have a review section on each City I'm targetting and then aggregate those reviews into one main review page.
    That way, people landing on my city page will see relevant reviews from businesses in that area

  10. #10
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    Re: A starter plan for attacking Local Search

    There you go! Sounds like a mastermind principle to me

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