Common Local SEO Myths


JoyHawkins

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I wrote this article for Moz that published today and includes the top Local SEO myths that I hear most frequently. It's interesting to see so many people comment that they really thought posting on G+ helped ranking.

I thought I'd post this over here to see what other myths you hear on a regular basis?
 
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Haha Joy, those are really good ones we hear all the time!

Except posting on G+. Didn't realize so many thought that would help ranking. :confused:

Just thought of another one we hear a lot:
Hiding your address (if you are a service area business) hurts your ranking. It doesn't.
And unless you have a staffed walk in office, you must hide address or it's a violation.
 

JoyHawkins

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Yeah that's a good one. The only thing that makes me hesitant on that one is a couple years ago we actually did have a client who ranked nowhere when he first came to us and since he had a storefront we unhid his address and he actually popped right into the pack. It baffled me.

I haven't seen it happen again though. I think because it created a MapMaker record it almost refreshed something that was needed to get him to rank. Still can't quite wrap my head around it.
 

JoyHawkins

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HA! For yourself or clients? I'll never stop posting there myself but frankly I'm not trying to increase my ranking ;)
 
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To add to Joy's myths...

Here are some great ones from Local Search experts: Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling, Don Campbell, Greg Gifford, David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, Phil Rozek, Darren Shaw, Andrew Shotland, Adam Steele, Nyagoslav Zhekov & yours truly.

Posted at Phil's blog in 2013:
<a href="http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2013/09/17/top-local-seo-myths/">Top Local SEO Myths | LocalVisibilitySystem.com</a>

Most are still true today. "The more things change, the more they stay the same!"

So a few more from the experts in that post that I hear a lot are:

Local is easier than organic. The listing with the most reviews gets the top spot.
The city is the centroid.
 
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Great post Joy! Interesting how often it seems to pop up that people try and delete their listing to get rid of it (usually to keep there from being a spot where people can leave bad reviews about them). For better or worse, no way to meet reputation in the online age except for head-on.

The map and organic SEO being separate is an interesting one too, I've found that potential point of (usually unspoken) confusion is a really important thing to pay attention to when talking with potential clients.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Great post Joy. New nuggets in there, which I appreciate.

Loved the one about Google employees. I think for awhile everyone was afraid to say it but I'm glad some people with Google ties are saying it now because it's so true. I hope Google will see this and start making their support better.

I can dream, right?
 

JoyHawkins

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Joshua,

They have made their support better via Twitter. It's 1000% better than phone support. Just no one knows about it lol.
 

JoyHawkins

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At first I would tweet but now that I've sent him dozens of questions I just skip right to DM'ing.
 
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Just wanted to add a new list of Local SEO Myths - this one's from Neil Patel over at The Search Engine Journal:

The 10 Things People Still Get Wrong About Local SEO

Many are the same as the ones Joy has already pointed out, but I thought Number 1 (Targeting Keywords for Local Search is Irrelevant) and 5 (Trackable Phone Numbers in Business Listings) were quite interesting as myths.
 
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Well, they're not called common misconceptions for nothing... if they're what people commonly get wrong, I suppose it's what's going to be commonly written about.

His point on call tracking though is a little bit of a weak one. It's only a problem if you're trying to introduce a new phone number into the ecosystem purely for tracking purposes. Obviously that's a terrible idea, but there are ways to get a businesses current number hooked up with a call tracking system, and there's nothing that'll hurt rankings with that.

I think his point number six about categories is also a little loose... categories can make a big impact on ranking, but it's not as simple as using less categories. Dan's article about that was a good one, and matches what I've seen in the field.
 

CodyBaird

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Doesn't sound like someone that understands the finer points of local. Plagiarism is a form of flattery Joy.

No way of knowing if Neil knows his local. With that said, I'll be the first to admit that I am sick and tired of hacks writing about things they don't do day in and day out. Super obvious to me when it happens. Lol. Hacks make me laugh.
 

mborgelt

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Great article once again, Joy. I am still astonished at how many people don't know the relationship between local and organic search. I remember a short while where Google would show G+ posts in search but we never saw too much benefit from posting on G+. It's interesting how old these myths are and yet we still hear/read about them frequently.
 

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