Disagreement with my client over organic vs G+L listing?


Greg

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Hello there,

I've had a disagreement with my client over his company listing and I would love your thoughts on this?

For a certain keyword+city, his business is ranked ABOVE the G+L listings. However, because most of his direct competitors are listed in the G+L listings below, he is convinced that people searching will be attracted to the G+L listing RATHER than the organic listing. He maintains that the G+L listings are visually more appealing....

My thought is exactly the opposite because we know that the first 3 listings attract most of the clicks.

I told him that I would come to this forum to ask the question....

What are your thoughts?
Do you know of any testing or data that has been published to answer this?

Best regards


Greg
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Greg,

I know Linda has some good arguments in favor of users clicking on organic listings vs the local listings. One thing that stands out in most searches is the fact that the local results have been soo stripped down compared to what they used to look like. I think Linda might have some before and after shots. Generally the local results now only display the NAP info + website link, but with the organic results you get a nice chunk of text displayed under the link. Plus, if you can get some author mark-up done up you can get a photo to display with the organic result which would help it stand out.

I'll keep an eye out for some studies that have been done. Would be great to see some research into this.
 

Marie Ysais

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If the client is willing I would ask to monitor the traffic and see what happens. The Google+ listings are not showing as much information as they used to and I usually have the opposite conversation with my clients. They prefer organic over google+.
Either way I feel he is in a very good place. But I have always loved organic!
 

Linda Buquet

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Here is my detailed post on the topic that Colan referred to.

http://localsearchforum.catalystema...ible-shrinking-local-serps-traffic-drops.html

Note: Local listings are GREATLY diminished over what they used to be.
But they are still important.

I think the bigger, richer organic listings can sometimes convert better, ESPECIALLY if you can rank on top ABOVE the local listings.

However some customers are sensitive to location so may want to see where you are on the map. Some customers are really tuned into reviews so having the reviews show could really help. So in both cases the local pinned listing can help.

So as I say in the article above the best option is to try to get the best of both worlds and get a double. Get them on top in organic AND high in the local listings. Then they they get their KW rich title tag and description in organic PLUS the map pin and reviews in the local listing. There are tricks to learn to be able to get a double and it's not real easy but can be done. I had a Dentist client that I got double #1s. #1 in organic AND A in blended. (FYI this was blended algo, not old 7 pack. The old 7 packs are super easy to get a double in but that algo does not show up much these days.)
 

Dave

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I track this stuff pretty hard, but certainly not with TOTAL and complete detail on everything.

I'll say this though, from everything I track for a number of smb's in different businesses in different markets (cities) one thing ALWAYS trumps everything else:

#1 organic rankings. I

Its better than #1 in ppc, its better than #1 in the pac. Its great and better if you're #1 in organic is followed by a 1pac or being first in a pac.

I run pretty extensive ppc so I see impressions for search phrases (ie all the searchers using those keywords in my market region. ) I look at everything divide by total impressions to break down all the elements; pac, organic, ppc.

#1 in organic wins out in my experience.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Dave. I suspected as much and SMBs I've helped in the G forum like the one I mention in that other post have small numbers that sort of point that direction.

But it's great to hear from someone who's tracked it more closely over several clients.
 

Linda Buquet

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HA!

Just had a great idea. Since we know the power of organic (bigger, higher, KWs in title tag still shows and description. Plus we know the power of the pack (mainly the map marker and reviews.)

How about this for an idea. If you can get or already have a #1 organic... add the local elements to description. Have it read something like:

Click to see all our reviews from happy clients and view us on the maps here.


Then on your home page have a link to your G+L Reviews and Other review sites and a link to your Contact us page that says, click here to view a map of our location.

2 birds. One stone! :p

That's if you don't know how to get a double. (FYI I teach how to get a double in my Local SEO course and show example of my double #1 Dentist.) :)
 

Dave

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nice idea, Linda. I'll try it on a limited basis and get back to you. One other thing, on some of those smb's we operate we speak again and again with customers.

Reviews count. Positive reviews: they help turn customers and searchers into buyers.

Damn good idea!!!!!!!
 

Phil Rozek

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Fantastic discussion here. I agree with Linda that it?s not an either/or proposition. I also agree with Dave, that a really good organic placement can steal the show. And of course what Marie says is right on the money: for any given search term, you can?t have a page rank organically if that page is the landing for your Google+Local listing, which means you need to use separate pages, which means you can probably look at Analytics and actually figure out which traffic comes from which placements.

Just to bring up a couple things that I don?t know have come up:

1. Sometimes the organic placements are below the 7-pack, sometimes above. Just depends on the query and on Google?s ?mood.? Even a juicy #1 organic ranking can get buried ? in which case I?d say a top Google+Local ranking might have the edge.

2. Authorship markup does show in the Google+Local results. So although I totally agree with Colan, I?d also add that the nice ?pop? that authorship markup adds isn?t exclusive to organic.

3. Sitelinks. You can get nice sitelinks in the Google+Local results for all kinds of search terms, whereas your sitelinks in the organic results generally will only show up if someone searches for you by name.

4. Getting 10 reviews. No, you can?t get those nice review stars any more, and getting 10 Google+Local reviews is about three times as hard as it is to get 5 Google Places reviews (which is what you needed to get those golden review stars). Still, you can pop out quite a bit in the G+L results if you get those. More so than in the organic results in most cases, I?d say: you can?t get rich-snippet ?review stars? to show up for organic search results for your homepage (it needs to be a subpage).

Ideally you get the best of both worlds (as Linda says) AND get on AdWords. Get the best of 3 worlds. Just don?t do AdWords Express: it?s pitifully limited compared to classic AdWords, and if you have #1 Google+Local ranking, it will disappear if/when you flick on Express.
 

Linda Buquet

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Very true and I agree with all points Phil!

Thanks for taking time to add so much to the discussion. You always explain things so well!
 

mborgelt

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Just my $0.02 - I have seen eye tracking studies that prove (granted this was when the stars where shown) people look more at the local listings than they do at the top organic even when the local listings are below 2 organic listings. Also, I have heard and do believe that there is more "trust" by searchers in the rankings of Google+ Local than the other 2 (organic or PPC). This is what this client could be feeling. When I do a search for "pizza" or "mechanic" I do not look at organic results at all. I look straight at the map to see how far those things are from me and look at the reviews.

I still think the different layout is enough to draw attention to that section no matter what.

I dont necessarily like my answer but I do think there is some truth/trust/evidence to wanting your business to show up in the local section even if its further down the page.
 

Greg

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Seriously everyone.....I'm in awe over what you have raised in this thread!!!

There is a lot to think about here and I need time to digest the pros and cons of the arguments.

Thanks for taking the time guys...

Regards

Greg

---------- Post Merged at 10:01 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 09:50 PM ----------

HA!

Just had a great idea. Since we know the power of organic (bigger, higher, KWs in title tag still shows and description. Plus we know the power of the pack (mainly the map marker and reviews.)

How about this for an idea. If you can get or already have a #1 organic... add the local elements to description. Have it read something like:

Click to see all our reviews from happy clients and view us on the maps here.


Then on your home page have a link to your G+L Reviews and Other review sites and a link to your Contact us page that says, click here to view a map of our location.

2 birds. One stone! :p

That's if you don't know how to get a double. (FYI I teach how to get a double in my Local SEO course and show example of my double #1 Dentist.) :)
Hi Linda,

Guess what.....for this client, for the chosen keywords (which happen to be the url) I have that.....the number 1 spot for both organic and G+L listing. However the organic is just below two sponsored ads.

I must admit I don't know what I did to get that to happen.....

You can check it by typing in "johannesburg physio" - just remove the ""

Now I need to achieve this for the keywords "johannesburg physiotherapists" which is what Google Suggestion tool throws up....

Lot to learn.....

Regards


Greg
 

Linda Buquet

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Guess what.....for this client, for the chosen keywords (which happen to be the url) I have that.....the number 1 spot for both organic and G+L listing. However the organic is just below two sponsored ads.

I must admit I don't know what I did to get that to happen.....

You can check it by typing in "johannesburg physio" - just remove the ""
Ya that's a double because it's the old pack style algo. Those are fairly easy to get but the old pack algo does not show up very often and can switch back to blended tomorrow. If it switches to blended or if the other KWs are pulling blended then you'll just have a single listing.
 

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