A starter plan for attacking Local Search

raistlin

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
10
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...:)
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,438
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.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,292
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 :)

 

raistlin

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
10
Thanks Nolan, that's really cleared up the schema reviews thing for me :D.

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.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,833
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
 

raistlin

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
10
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....
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,833
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.
 

raistlin

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
10
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
 

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