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  1. #1
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    Completely Frustrated!

    10 years in SEO and I feel like a newbie. Talk about frustrated!

    Ok in a nutshell - I understand that Google Local search results are based on location+keyword.

    For one of my clients I have been using state+keyword. He ranks well organically for most of his terms from a state search (and Linda was kind enough to look at this issue once before and noted that state searches are not common for local businesses, but for some reason they are with this niche. - "limo nj" gets 590 exact a month, "limo service nj" gets 2400 a month -- every term we target has decent search volume) --- but at this time he does not rank in the 7 pack -- although he does rank in maps.

    So I decided to do some searching for city+keyword searches. Used Google Planner, Reviewed his Adword campaigns --- and there is NOTHING for city+keyword search. I only found ONE that I can work with.

    So how do you handle this? How can I get him ranked for local when there are no searches?

    He has a competitor Santos VIP - NJ Wedding Limos | NJ-NY Limousine Service | NJ-NY Limo Services | New Jersey Limos – (732) 596-1100, they rank EVERYWHERE although they do not even seem optimized for local.

    my clients site is Limo NJ | Limousine in NJ | NJ Limo Services from D&G ---- I am just starting to work on his citations to clean those up (although he already has more than the site above) --- but am completely baffled how to get him to rank in the 7 pack without any real search volume? He is in Colonia NJ --- and of course he comes up if you type in "colonia limo" but there are no searches for that so what the point......

    ....and thank you for any suggestions..... :-)
    Last edited by Linda Buquet; 12-18-2013 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Requests for help on a specific listing with links, needs to be posted in the Help forum. So I moved it there.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    Hey there,

    Google's keyword planner doesn't show you all the data. Just a sample, and yeah, as you found, they don't give you very good city-level data. You don't need to know what the search volume is to make a call on whether a keyword would be good to use or not. Just use your gut.

    For local keyword research I have three suggestions:


    1. Bing Webmaster Tools provides pretty decent city level keyword data.
    2. Google Suggest won't tell you the search volume, but can show you related terms. If terms are showing up in Google Suggest, then you know there is search volume. Use Keyword suggestion tool — Google suggest scraper — Übersuggest
    3. SEMrush has PPC keyword data. If people are bidding on the terms, there is search volume.


    Does anyone else have local keyword research suggestions?

    Also, if he ranks well in Maps, but not in the pack, that indicates that his problem is on the organic side. He should work on getting more links and adding more quality content to his site.
    Darren Shaw | Whitespark Founder
    http://www.whitespark.ca | @DarrenShaw_ | Google+

  4. #3
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    A couple other things I noticed.


    1. Look at your Meta titles. I'm seeing NJ listed 3 times and Limo/Limousine 3 times on the home page Title.
    2. Map Maker, G+ are showing the address as 1280 New Jersey 27. Looks like the official way is 1280 State Rt 27. Your site has 1280 Route 27
    3. Your right on citations. Localeze has you as Just "NJ" for the NAP Profile

  5. #4
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    Thanks Dusty Bones - I have been trying to get the address on the Google+ page changed for weeks --- it never happens. Realized today I need to make a call on that. The Page was made way before I came along. I am working on the NAP and citations now.....and am finding a lot of small discrepancies.

    I am afraid to change the meta titles or descriptions at this time since he is ranking well in organic.....will that have a negative impact on Local results?!? I did not even think of that!

    Thank you for taking a peak!!!!

    ---------- Post Merged at 03:55 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:52 PM ----------

    1. Bing Webmaster Tools provides pretty decent city level keyword data.
    2. Google Suggest won't tell you the search volume, but can show you related terms. If terms are showing up in Google Suggest, then you know there is search volume. Use Keyword suggestion tool — Google suggest scraper — Übersuggest
    3. SEMrush has PPC keyword data. If people are bidding on the terms, there is search volume.
    THANK YOU!!!!! I never heard of ubersuggest - that might be a good resource...although I am still not seeing any city searches at first glance - it seems like it could help in other ways.....I have tried SEMrush without much success either....I


    Also, if he ranks well in Maps, but not in the pack, that indicates that his problem is on the organic side. He should work on getting more links and adding more quality content to his site.
    See this is what confuses me. He ranks well in Maps and ranks well already organically, so how can the problem with local rank be on the organic side? I think this is where my brain cuts out and makes no sense.

    And thank you as well! The ubersuggest is a great find!!!!

  6. #5
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    If you have access to current or past AdWords accounts, which I believe you said you did, try looking at this:

    Select Campaign > Dimensions > View: Search Terms > Columns (if you want to reorder or remove unwanted data in the report) > Segment: (use this to display various data sets including time of day, device, etc.)

    You will see what terms web searchers are actually searching for. This data may not work well for you if the AdWords campaign is not set up properly. If you only target exact and phrase terms, you may not see a wide range of terms as your ads wont be triggering for searchers. This is also great to help you weed out poor performing terms and come up with negative keywords for your campaigns to allow your spend to go a little further.

    The best part of this... it's post keyword data not pre-data like most keyword tools are. Post shows facts of how people are seeing your ads/site.

  7. #6
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    Quote Originally Posted by 2dogsdesign View Post
    Thanks Dusty Bones - I have been trying to get the address on the Google+ page changed for weeks --- it never happens. Realized today I need to make a call on that.
    Had a similar issue. After changing over the Localeze, Express update, Axciom and other biggies we were finally able to change.

  8. #7
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    THanks Laustin1878! That was another great resource!!!!! :-)

    Thanks Dusty - guess I will work on those asap then to make sure they are correct! Hopefully it will work for me too!

  9. #8
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    Yes Google will have or show no data for a town that small, but do you think no one in Colonia ever searches for a cab? As others said G just does not show all search volume.

    It's a little different in your market too because there are lots of small towns so it's possible some may search for NJ limo.

    One little thing that 'may' help since they rank high in organic but are not in the pack.

    I teach this in great detail in my On-Site Local SEO course but here it is in greatly abbreviated form and only one small part of it because it pertains to this listing.

    In the BLENDED pack Google needs to clearly see that THIS Place page and THIS website match and should be merged together to rank in blended. If she can't make the match, then she goes Grmph... no dice and you are locked out of the pack and only rank in organic.

    The biggest part of making the match is ensuring that NAP on the Place page matches NAP on the site. On the web site everywhere, the phone number is formatted with periods: 732.388.7440 instead of in standard phone format.

    When I plug 732.388.7440 into Google maps here is what I get:
    We could not understand the location 732.388.7440

    That alone may not make a lot of difference. I just know that when we confuse the algo and she can't make a match she doesn't.

    And then additionally as others point out, need to be sure the address is formatted correctly on the G+ L page and then be sure it matches on the site as well.

    I'd research that address more. Not sure what's up. But when I map search the address as it's listed on the place page it comes up south of Prospect and on street view and maps it looks like they are North of Prospect.
    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".

  10. #9
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    Thank you for your input Linda!

    hmm interesting about the phone number - I just changed that be interesting to see if that makes a difference!

    I spent all day trying to clean up citations and listings. There is so much erroneous data and I just let the client know. He does not even know where a lot of these listings came from so there is no logins so its crazy.

    The map issue may be because the actual address should be Route 27 not New Jersey 27 --- which is what it is on the Google Local listing....I have not had any luck editing that yet.

    I did come across a couple of sites where I edited things and some would not allow the actual address which is 1280 Route 27 --- a few forced it to be 1280 State Route 27 --- will that make a difference? If so how do you combat those kinds of things.

    ...and I still want to take your course -- but my long term contract job let me go last month due to budget cuts.... :-( That was my only "stable long term" income....once I land a few more web or seo clients I hope to get on board!!!

  11. #10
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    Re: Completely Frustrated!

    The graphic on this page used to be a little cleaner but as time evolves, so do resources I guess. The 2013 Local Search Ecosystems (and a GetListed Upgrade) - Moz

    You can try looking back for past ecosystems by David Mihm to see images that are a little cleaner but this would highlight a good area to start for cleaning up. Hit the seed sites and primary feeds and double check they have the correct information. The information will then syndicate to their "network" sites and may make your life a little easier.

    Also, there is a member here by the name of Nyagoslav Zhekov. He offers citation building services among other things. May be worth a look.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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