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  1. #1
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    Arrow 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Today's Guest Post:

    7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    There are plenty of websites which list the basics of Local SEO. In order to compete in local SEO, you need:

    • An Optimized Website
    • A Google My Business Listing
    • Local Citations (directories)
    • Link Building (Weíll cover the first three)

    Link building is the one thing that trips up a lot of local businesses. They arenít sure how to build them, and are frightened that spammy links will sink their site. There are usually a number of things you can do to improve your local visibility without building links.
    Iím going to go over seven (usually) overlooked local SEO tactics that will help you out without backlinks.



    What are your recommendations when it comes to adding categories beyond the primary business category in Google My Business?

    Have you or your clients ever used Google's recommended Street View Photographers (if you're not one yourself)?

    What's an example of a topic cluster that you've used for a client and what data-backed result did it have?

    If you found the blog post interesting, please share it with anyone that you think would find it valuable!

    Don't hesitate to reach out if you ever want to discuss reputation management and if you have any requests for topics that we can cover on the Grade.us blog.

    Please follow Grade.us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

    Thank you for taking the time to read our blog!
    Garrett Sussman | Grade.us Content Marketing Manager
    White-label Review Management Solutions for Marketers, SEOs & Agencies
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  3. #2
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Thanks Garrett. I look forward to reading the post.


    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett Sussman View Post
    What are your recommendations when it comes to adding categories beyond the primary business category in Google My Business?

    Have you or your clients ever used Google's recommended Street View Photographers (if you're not one yourself)?

    What's an example of a topic cluster that you've used for a client and what data-backed result did it have?

    I have to say you always ask the BEST questions in your posts!

    Quite a few of our members are Street View Photographers and I'm sure others have shoots done, but would love to hear experiences.

    And I really like the Q about topic clusters and data-backed results.
    Would love to hear some feedback on that!
    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".

  4. #3
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Thank you Linda! I think that Christian from AgencyAnalytics.com did a great job with this post.

    I'm very curious about the Recommended Street View Photographers as well. I wonder if Google will add more search related recommended service vendors in the future.
    Garrett Sussman | Grade.us Content Marketing Manager
    White-label Review Management Solutions for Marketers, SEOs & Agencies
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

  5. #4
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett Sussman View Post
    Thank you Linda! I think that Christian from AgencyAnalytics.com did a great job with this post.

    I'm very curious about the Recommended Street View Photographers as well. I wonder if Google will add more search related recommended service vendors in the future.
    I agree, good job Christian!

    And that's a really good question Garrett. I think the whole Street View Photographers program and service is awesome! But it does make you wonder what else they have up their sleeve for the future.
    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".

  6. #5
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    What are your recommendations when it comes to adding categories beyond the primary business category in Google My Business?

    I use Bright Local's G+ Wizard tool to tell me what categories other currently-ranking businesses are using. Often the category you'd think to use isn't the one you actually need to rank for a specific query. So I always see what the competition is using.

    Have you or your clients ever used Google's recommended Street View Photographers (if you're not one yourself)?

    Yes and I totally recommend it. The photos they take are awesome to use on the business website as well and can really help the site look more visually appealing. Street View often looks ugly for lots of businesses and since this replaces that, it makes the knowledge panel look better.


    What's an example of a topic cluster that you've used for a client and what data-backed result did it have?

    We had a private investigator who had lots of content on his site related to the words "private detective" or "private investigator" but we started adding content a while ago for things like "lie detector tests" and "child custody cases" and "marital infidelity/cheating spouses" etc and saw his ranking increase a ton over the next few months for the main private investigator keywords. He got in the 3-pack for most of the main keywords. It proves that if you want to rank for X keyword you still need content for related stuff like YZABC.

    Moz recently just came out with a feature in one of their tools that helps you see what related topics your site might need. We're about to test it out.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  7. #6
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Thanks Joy!

    Great tip on using BrightLocal for category research.

    And I really like the point you made about expanding to cover related topics. In addition to the fact that Google likes related content now – some customers are going to search for "how to tell if a spouse is cheating" instead of directly searching for "private investigator".
    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".

  8. #7
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Wow Joy, so much good info here! Thanks for the insight.

    Often the category you'd think to use isn't the one you actually need to rank for a specific query. So I always see what the competition is using.
    I found this interesting. How do you know that you're not being penalized for incorrect categories, especially if they're ones that you don't think to use. Is it a case by case judgement call?

    The photos they take are awesome to use on the business website as well and can really help the site look more visually appealing.
    Great point about using the photos other than just on Google. That's some marketing collateral right there!

    We had a private investigator who had lots of content on his site related to the words "private detective" or "private investigator" but we started adding content a while ago for things like "lie detector tests" and "child custody cases" and "marital infidelity/cheating spouses" etc and saw his ranking increase a ton over the next few months for the main private investigator keywords.
    Private investigator!? I bet that's a fascinating client. (I've been watching too much Person of Interest lately).

    Is that your most interesting client? Or are there others?

    I feel like I need to start a thread for everyone's "The Most Interesting Client in the World," an homage to the passing of the Dos Equis guy.
    Garrett Sussman | Grade.us Content Marketing Manager
    White-label Review Management Solutions for Marketers, SEOs & Agencies
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Garrett,

    Actually it's kind of funny because although it sounds like a fascinating career, he spends a ton of time sitting in his car watching people lol. Definitely one of the more interesting clients though! His stories are more entertaining than the ones from my dentist clients

    "I found this interesting. How do you know that you're not being penalized for incorrect categories, especially if they're ones that you don't think to use. Is it a case by case judgement call? "

    I don't believe there is any type of local penalty that exists for Google Maps in the way we have manual penalties and penguin for organic. I don't suggest adding any categories that don't apply (don't list yourself as a plumber if you don't actually do plumbing) but even if you did, the worst thing that would happen is a mapper or someone at Google would just remove it.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  10. #9
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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    Thanks Joy! Oh to be a fly on the wall when he's telling one of his stories. But yeah, I can imagine that being a private detective is less glamorous than TV portrayals.

    Very simple and helpful answer about categories. Thanks! It's good to know that there really aren't local penalties or consequences.
    Garrett Sussman | Grade.us Content Marketing Manager
    White-label Review Management Solutions for Marketers, SEOs & Agencies
    Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

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    Re: 7 Ways To Improve Local SEO Without Building Links

    I also have a PI client as well as a PI friend. Reality is stranger than fiction. The stories are just unbelievable. And Joy's right, it's not quite a glamorous as you would think.
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
    Follow Me on G+

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