Organically doing well, Google + Local is a ?

Harkey

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
15
As an Italian restaurant whose home city is in Raleigh, NC one important keyword for us is "Italian Restaurant Raleigh."

Organically, we rank first. Yay! But over the past 7 months since the site launched I am not seeing movement in the "local" results, now the carousel (Which I don't care for. I liked the map results better....)
:confused::confused:

If anyone sees something clearly wrong, would you please point me in the right direction? Any thoughts, appreciated. I feel I have done a good job with onsite stuff and citations/links are fairly high as compared to the competition.

Here is the site:
Http://miafrancescaraleigh.com

Google plus page:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/117450561469120903519/posts

Thanks again. I found this forum looking for a way to learn more. So stoked I found it!
 

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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Hey Harkey, welcome. I'm stoked you found us too. :)

Moved your thread down to the help section since it's about a specific listing, not a general Q.

Don't have time to look right now. I'll try to get back to it tonight but am buried. Hopefully some other members will weigh in in the meantime.
 

Broland

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Aug 8, 2012
Messages
136
I'm in a giving mood this morning.

The business is ranking #21 locally so it is just one spot off from being in the carousel. This means it's not any kind of penalty on your G+ Local page.

The problem is with your citations. NAP inconsistency. You have a few things stacking against you here.

The street address being 4100 Main at North Hills St is fine and is recognized in Google maps. But having "at" in the street means you have to be a little more careful with formatting than the typical 4100 Main St type address. Things like St or Street, North or N are not a big deal and are recognized as the same, and Suites and their format don't matter much if at all,but once you start having enough differences in the street address format it can be unclear if that is the same business.

There are also inconsistencies with the business name. The Google listing is 'Mia Francesca Trattoria Restaurant' but many of the citations are listed with 'Mia Francesca Trattoria'. This normally wouldn't be a huge deal but mixed with the inconsistencies in the street address, there are probably a good bit of citations that aren't providing the local ranking benefits they could/should be.

Take a look at this yelp listing as an example, both business name and address. Mia Francesca Trattoria - Raleigh, NC

Fixing those inconsistencies on any of the citations you can will help a lot. Also if you are updating them, take a little time to add some new descriptions (unique ones even) and some more photos where possible, this will help even further.
 

Harkey

Member
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Jul 9, 2013
Messages
15
Broland,

Thanks for the insight! I appreciate the time and advice. Looking at our citations, most have the address part that you pointed out in parity with the G+. The Yelp was off, and I have corrected. I had recently added "restaurant" to the end of the name of G+ in hopes that it would help. Should I remove it from G+ to have it in parity with other citations?
 

Broland

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Aug 8, 2012
Messages
136
The main thing is to stay consistent with one format for things. But in your case, yes I would probably change the Google listing back to 'Mia Francesca Trattoria'. You may need to reverify with a postcard for this.

Check and stay consistent on at least the bigger directory and review sites - check you listings on merchantcircle and tripadvisor, both could use an update. I'm sure there are more with inconsistencies as well as just updating listings with fresh content as I mentioned earlier and plenty of new sites to list on. All these things will help. Keep in mind it can take a couple months or so for changes to be indexed and factored into the local algorithm.

You may also want to consider adding Trattoria to the business name in the homepage title of the website and in the top right corner.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
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Jul 19, 2012
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3,189
I had recently added "restaurant" to the end of the name of G+ in hopes that it would help. Should I remove it from G+ to have it in parity with other citations?
If it's not part of the actual real-world business name, especially if you are adding a keyword or city name to the name, it's got to go. Major Google Places violation.
 

MichaelJ

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Dec 25, 2012
Messages
30
add some new descriptions (unique ones even) and some more photos where possible, this will help even further.
69 photos on the Yelp page? WOW

I haven't seen other recommendations for unique descriptions, generally you see suggestions for adding keywords, etc. Other than adding a little variety, what is the benefit to changing descriptions from one listing to another?

Thanks
 

Harkey

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Jul 9, 2013
Messages
15
Per Brolands suggestion I removed it. There are a lot of "restaurants" that add that to their name on G+ and other locations.

I also, per his advice, uploaded several new photos to Yelp, TripAdvisor, and G+.

The change to the Website business heading was changed also. I am just wondering if it will affect the Schema that it was attached? I did not see any code for the name, only for the NAP.

So far over night, several keywords took a hit, "Restaurant Raleigh" slid 7 places organically on google. Past page 50 on Bing. Might just be growing pains and I know this will take time.
 

Linda Buquet

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Having KW in the name DOES boost ranking as Google sees it as more relevant to the query. So if it was there and helped, then was removed you would naturally drop.

However it's a violation so can get you suspended or deleted and then you'd not rank and all and it can take tons of time/works and months to get the listing back up where it was. In the past I've seen listings carry a 6 - 8 month ranking penalty.

So you did the right thing removing it. Others will get away with it and some will eventually get caught.

Sometimes when you change the name the listing starts over in the 6 week ranking cycle AND for every reaction in Google there is always a delayed reaction.

So changing the name and adding a KW may have set you back, then changing name again to remove it may have set you back again.
 

Broland

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Aug 8, 2012
Messages
136
69 photos on the Yelp page? WOW

I haven't seen other recommendations for unique descriptions, generally you see suggestions for adding keywords, etc. Other than adding a little variety, what is the benefit to changing descriptions from one listing to another?

Thanks
Yup, updates and unique keyword optimized descriptions both help a lot. They help with ranking the online profiles in search engines - providing more visibility, increasing crawl rate, and overall better links and citations to your website. Just like building out other links such as blog/web 2.0 sites, it's best not to use the same content 40 times over. ;) Not going to go into all the details here in this thread, but don't just take my word for it - test things out for yourself.


I agree with what was said about removing restaurant being best practice. You technically could get penalty from Google for violating guidelines, although it is pretty unlikely in this case with it just being the word restaurant, especially if you updated your online profiles to match. But as said, it is best practice and the easiest fix in this situation, so there you have it.

You've got me interested now when you say "slid 7 places organically on google" for 'Restaurant Raleigh' last night. I'm seeing the site at #12 now for that term in google; so you are saying yesterday it was #5? The changes you made to the few online listings and your Google listing would not have affected things that quickly, but your site was crawled this morning... I'm interested to know when the last time your site was crawled (you can see in GWT) and all the changes, including the ones made yesterday, that you made since then. Especially anything with interlinking or outbound links.
 

Harkey

Member
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Jul 9, 2013
Messages
15
Sorry for the delay as you can image Friday is a bit busy for me. I ran my ranking report on Brightlocal before I made the changes for a base and made an notation on GA. After I made the changes Brightlocal did a preset weekly report run the next day. It reported that i slide from 12 place to 20. It appears the report was incorrect on the base line report. Not sure why. So, there was no change. I have asked them to look into the baseline report to see if they see why.

For the pictures, what should I try to accomplish in labeling / naming them? Use keywords or brand name? Or really just the names of dishes and interior an exterior explanations?
 

Linda Buquet

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Finally had time for a closer look. (Sorry, when I do free support here don't always have time to do through analysis.)

Think you may have a penalty for KW spam in the description.

I've always said don't repeat name, city at all in description - or main KW more than once. At one point Mike also said repeating city in description can cause a 10 point ranking penalty.

You have name twice - should not be in there at all. You have keywords a few times but most importantly you have city like 6 times!

Companies I've consulted for on ranking problems, when I have them clean up their description have popped right up.

So I'm going to track results visually on my end. For me you are #21 in map search for "Italian Restaurant Raleigh".

Let me know if you clean up the description and then let's keep track and see...
1) if you move up, 2) how far you move up 3) how long it takes.
 

Linda Buquet

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On another level - a consumer level --- I wonder if you are not in a pretty good position. If there are consumers who either don't like the carousel OR who maybe don't trust it and think those are paid ads and prefer searching down in the organic you are in a good spot.

italianRaleigh.jpg

Not saying at all that you should not clean up the description. And I think getting in the carousel with image and reviews is best. Only saying that since you rank so high in organic, it's still a pretty good place to be sitting until you move up in local.

 

Harkey

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Jul 9, 2013
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I updated the description....

"Mia Francesca Trattoria celebrates being the area's only authentic Italian Restaurant. Our menus feature authentic food with rustic Northern Italian flare and showcases farm fresh ingredients followed with a warm welcoming service, We invite you to experience the best Italian food you can imagine.
Whether is just a regular Monday night out enjoying our 1/2 off Wine special or a special occasion, our everyday prices, great food, and top-notch service will never disappoint your or your friends.

Our philosophy for authentic cuisine and friendly service carries over to our special events also. For private parties we boast two private dining rooms for your group dining, anniversaries, birthdays, business meetings, or celebrations needs. Don't forget about the weekend with our Sunday and Saturday brunch. Come join us at our Table of Friends!"

Linda, Thanks for the time and closer look. Yes the organic vs local results was the quandary. I could not understand why one was great and the other was not. Also, where under a more broad keyword "restaurants raleigh" why we were still behind after working on this since Nov. Between the great suggestions of Broland and yourself, I am excited to see if these were some of the missing pieces.
 

Linda Buquet

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Good job. Thanks for letting me know. Still have "Italian" 3 times and if that's your primary KW and also a category, to be safe should only have it once. You could say Northern Italy flare in that one spot or use Italiano or some other synonym.

Let us know when it updates live and we'll count the days after the live change goes into effect.

For the record and comparison down the road (and for benefit of other members who may have a similar problem) here is the original description.

==========================================================

Raleigh Restaurant Mia Francesca Trattoria celebrates being the areas only authentic Italian Restaurant in the triangle. Our Raleigh Restaurant features authentic Italian food with rustic Northern Italian flare. Showcasing farm fresh ingredients and a warm welcoming service, Mia Francesca Trattoria the Italian restaurant - Raleigh, NC - invites you experience the best Italian food in Raleigh at our North Hills location. Whether is just a regular Monday night out enjoying our 1/2 off Wine special or a special occasion, Mia Francesca's everyday prices, great food, and great service will never disappoint. We boast two Private dining rooms for your special events, business meetings, or group events needs . With our Raleigh Brunch Menu come enjoy the best brunch in Raleigh
 

Colan Nielsen

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Jul 19, 2012
Messages
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I would keep an eye on the length of the business description as well. Great point was brought up on this weeks local search webinar. The longer your description is, the further a user has to scroll down to see your reviews. This is even more important now that the star rating is showing at the top just below the beginning of the reviews.
 

Linda Buquet

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Another great point Colan. Not so much for the ranking problem but for conversions.

I say just give them enough sizzle to try to get them to the site. Don't need to try to tell the whole story on the G+ page.
 

Harkey

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
15
"[FONT=arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif]restaurant Raleigh"[/FONT]

[FONT=arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif]Confirmed before posting this time. Went from ranking 13 to 24 organically. Growing pains I would imagine. [/FONT]
 

Harkey

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
15
**Update....

After hiring Linda for a consult and taking her advice we are now in the carousel and have a double #1

search.jpg

 

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