Gold Local SEO Nuggets from Mike Ramsey - Hot Local Search Track @ Mozcon

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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14,436
Mike Ramsey dropped some local search gold nuggets at Mozcon yesterday and I've been reading some of the live blogging on Google+ so wanted to share.

In one section he recommends doing tests and shared several tests he and his team have done.

Here are some of the experimental Local SEO tests according to 2 Google+ posts, then I embedded the full +posts below so you can read the other great tips Mike shared.

Via Brian Jensen (Full post below)

➫ Don't wait for your competitors to figure it out. Do your own research, do your own tests.

Link Test: Mike's team built links to the Google+ business page website and saw positive movement

(CORRECTION ABOVE: Brian got that part wrong. Mike just emailed to let me know.)

Via Mark Traphagen (Full post below)

Review test: They added seven legit reviews to a local restaurant in a stagnant market and moved them up two positions.

Driving Direction Test: The clicked mobile driving directions and followed the directions several times, got a small movement.

Link Test: Built 10 links to a small local business. The map listing moved up 3 spots, organic 5 spots.

Custom Category Test: Created a new (fake) listing. In map maker they added custom categories. When approved, the fake law firm moved up in searches for those categories.

Click Test: 17% clicked local, 64% organic, 11% paid. On mobile, same search, local dropped to 8% (they were not above the fold).
<script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
<div class="g-post" data-href="https://plus.google.com/100938619255397146926/posts/eiSs8sLtwJd"></div><!-- Place this tag in your head or just before your close body tag. -->
<script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
<!-- Place this tag where you want the widget to render. -->
<div class="g-post" data-href="https://plus.google.com/107022061436866576067/posts/jjesKYkei4U"></div>

What do you think???
 

DanLeibson

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May 17, 2013
Messages
216
Thanks for sharing this Linda! Although I have to disagree with:
Link Test: Mike's team built links to the Google+ business page and saw positive movement

I did a test on 100 Google+ Local pages after all the tests about Google+ Profiles passing and retaining PageRank came out (How Google Plus Profiles & Pages Gain Search Authority) and didn't see any statistically significant movement.

This though is gold and everyone should be doing it (without the fake part):
Custom Category Test: Created a new (fake) listing. In map maker they added custom categories. When approved, the fake law firm moved up in searches for those categories.
 

Linda Buquet

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Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,436
Thanks for sharing this Linda! Although I have to disagree with:
Link Test: Mike's team built links to the Google+ business page and saw positive movement

I did a test on 100 Google+ Local pages after all the tests about Google+ Profiles passing and retaining PageRank came out (How Google Plus Profiles & Pages Gain Search Authority) and didn't see any statistically significant movement.
Thanks Dan!

CORRECTION ABOVE: Mike just emailed to let me know. They didn't link to G+ but to the site. Brian got that part wrong.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,796
I'm always careful adding extra services into MapMaker. I have an accountant that ranks well for "CPA" but out of it for "certified public accountant". I didn't want to put both in there.

Good call?
 

DanLeibson

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May 17, 2013
Messages
216
to let me know. They didn't link to G+ but to the site. Brian got that part wrong.
In the rush to live Tweet, the truth is often the first casualty ;-)

Seriously can't wait to watch a video of Mike's preso, I'm super nerdy like that.
 

eestrada234

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
24
Great post Linda!

I am in disagreement to a certain extent with Mike's idea of "➫ Responding can also push bad reviews down further on the page."

It's actually the opposite with Yelp. I've seen if you are responding to reviews publicly on Yelp, those reviews will get bubbled to the top of the profile and can perhaps negatively impact conversions. That is why Yelp encourages to respond privately to negative reviews.

Aside from that, overall great recap of Mike's presentation.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
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Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,521
Great point, Edgar. On Yelp it just depends how harsh the review is. If you'd only be calling attention to an otherwise easy-to-ignore negative review, yeah, then don't reply to it. But if it's the kind of review that's devastating (legitimate or not) if / when customers do read it, then you'd better get there before they do.

---------- Post Merged at 05:50 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 05:47 PM ----------

I'm always careful adding extra services into MapMaker. I have an accountant that ranks well for "CPA" but out of it for "certified public accountant". I didn't want to put both in there.

Good call?
Yeah, I'd say that's a good call. The MapMaker trick is clever but fragile - IMHO. More practical and less gray is simply to be really thorough in the categories you pick on your other listings (e.g. YP). Google looks at those categories as a whole and gets the idea that you're both a "CPA" and a "certified public accountant."
 

eestrada234

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
24
Great point, Edgar. On Yelp it just depends how harsh the review is. If you'd only be calling attention to an otherwise easy-to-ignore negative review, yeah, then don't reply to it. But if it's the kind of review that's devastating (legitimate or not) if / when customers do read it, then you'd better get there before they do.
So are you saying that you're only seeing some reviews of the ones responded to being bubbled up to the top of the profile?
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
Messages
999
I was at MozCon this year and I took some pretty good bullet point notes on all the presentations (possible I missed a few things though). My take on Mike's study was that it was primarily dealing with Google My Business. Sure, different review sites will function differently but the takeaway for Google is that responding will push down the negative. When people click "google+ reviews" in the SERPs a popup appears (doesn't direct you to the actual page), so this is where the importance of responding comes in.

Someone would need to scroll way down on that popup if you respond to your reviews (genuinely of course). If you don't... you risk those negative ones being above the fold and potential customers seeing that.

If Mike pops on the forum, I just want to say awesome job! I said hi during the bar crawl, but i'm sure you got a lot of people talking to you during the week. Great presentation, and I can't wait till Moz gets the videos out for everyone.
 

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