Past Due Google Ad Words Balance Hindering Local Search Results?

esitepro

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Sep 17, 2015
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7
Hello. I have a client with a local business which used to show up prominently in the google local results.

They have a Google+ page with 5 positive reviews.

They do not show up in the local results at all, and all of their competitors are there - even some with no reviews.

They have a good organic ranking. And their google+ page does show up in the SERP if we search for their exact business name.

The client confided in me that they have had a past due ad words balance for more than a year, and we are wondering if google is omitting them from the local search results because of the past due ad words balance.

I realize that paying the past due balance would reveal if this is the cause of the problem, but so far that hasn't happened.

Any insights?
 

CodyBaird

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Jan 4, 2013
Messages
341
Joy is 100% correct. Those two departments are completely separate and ranking functions for each are entirely different algorithms.


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Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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13,313

They have a Google+ page with 5 positive reviews.

They do not show up in the local results at all, and all of their competitors are there - even some with no reviews.


Joy and Cody are right. Plus wanted to mention # of reviews is not that much of a ranking factor. You can sometimes see one on top with no reviews even when others have 20+.

There are a wide variety of problems that can cause ranking problems. Between the 3 of us, we're pretty good at that kind of detective work if you care to share.

What we tell you would likely help you with other clients too, because I've found that most consultants do similar things across their client accounts.
 

esitepro

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Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Messages
7
Thanks for your help!

Upon further inspection, we are seeing that the site is listed in local search results using some search strings, but not others. So your answers were correct.

Also, the past due AdWords balance was paid yesterday, so either way it is eliminated as a factor.

The website is walkinthedog.com. Company name is Walkin' The Dog.

If we search for "dog walkers in rochester ny" the site isn't listed at all. But if we search for "local dog walkers in rochester ny" then the listing does show up, albeit a very low ranking.

Also, there is an old Google+ "shell" page for Walkin' The Dog (the owner's old residence), which we are trying to get rid of. We've deleted it several times over the past several months but it's still there.

It's a home based business that serves customers at their homes.

The owner lives in a nearby suburb, but they are targeting the Rochester area.

So the address listed on the google+ page is the owner's residence, but the defined service area covers Rochester.

Any insights would be very much appreciated. We'd love to make it to the 3-pack position.
 

esitepro

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Messages
7
Yes that is the shell page.

And yes that's the owner's old residential address.

We have gone through the process of deleting the page several times. I spoke with a Google Business rep and I was told there's nothing more I can do. She said I just have to wait an indeterminate amount of time for it to go away.
 

esitepro

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Sep 17, 2015
Messages
7
Ok thank you for the recommendation. I just reported it closed - moved to a different location.

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Linda Buquet

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Is this the new correct page? https://plus.google.com/+WalkinTheDogVictor/about?hl=en-US

The biggest problem is they are in Victor so they likely won't rank in rochester

""dog walkers in rochester ny" the site isn't listed at all. But if we search for "local dog walkers in rochester ny"

The 2nd ranks only because it's a long tail that likely not many others are targeting and also not many searchers would search like that either.

The owner lives in a nearby suburb, but they are targeting the Rochester area.

So the address listed on the google+ page is the owner's residence, but the defined service area covers Rochester.

Any insights would be very much appreciated. We'd love to make it to the 3-pack position.
Sorry but that service area has no impact whatsoever on ranking. You could list 10 cities but you'll still only rank mainly in the city you are in, unless there is little competition in a nearby really small town.

So unfortunately I don't think they'll make the 3 pack for dog walkers in rochester ny if they aren't located in that city. UNLESS maybe if someone is actually searching from the far end toward Victor.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
173
In addition to the great advice that's already been given may I suggest looking at the on-site markup and content as well?

Local Business address schema markup for the footer address would be useful and if you want to rank in areas other than your physical location you'll need to do a bit more content building than simply listing the service areas.

There's some great ideas here: Local Content but you might want to start with this one: Multi-Location SEO: City Page Content the Easy Way (From a Local Content Writer) as it goes right to the heart of creating content for locations other than the one you're physically located in.

I noticed also that you've got a YouTube channel but wasn't able to look at the videos due to bandwidth restrictions. However, there's no geographic information in the text or details as far as I could see. Geo-tagging your videos is going to help not just with local search but also with testimonials - create videos of dogs out on a walk for their owners as a gift and I bet they'll write something nice for you (without being asked!). I know I did, when my cattery gave me photos of my cats 'on holiday' with them.

This post by Phil Rozek might also be helpful: 25 Principles of Building Effective City Pages for Local SEO | LocalVisibilitySystem.com

Good luck
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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I was actually going to mention the same thing as Linda pointed out. I used to live in Rochester (grew up near Canandaigua lake, then moved to the park ave area after school), so what you really need to do is target the suburbs instead of Rochester as a whole. Targeting the town is going to be more important, since "Rochester" would be more like targeting downtown. If I was living in Irondequoit, then maybe "Dog walkers Rochester" would work, but Victor is way too far out. Your best bet to drive revenue to the business is to heavily target the area you're in and not spreading yourself too thin.

Besides... Victor is a really wealthy town... I would hit that with full force to dominate that market. Victor, Pittsford, and Fairport would be the only areas I would think about hitting if expanding because the per capita income is so much higher than the actual city. I would strongly recommend focusing down on those areas to really take it over. If the client wants to rank for "Dog walker Rochester" just because Google says it has more volume, and it would be nice to see... you need to set a more realistic expectation on what will drive revenue to the business. Heavily target where you actual target market is located.

Every town has dog walkers... not every town has a median income of $64,263 and single family home prices climbing over $269,500 (source).
 

esitepro

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Messages
7
Yes, that is the correct page. Thank you for your valuable insights!

The main competitor is also located in a nearby Rochester suburb (Not Rochester), but they are usually ranked #1 in the local 3-pack.

They have a couple of "key" keywords in their company name and domain name, including "Rochester."

I'm assuming that's why they are ranking so high.

---------- Post Merged at 10:58 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:54 AM ----------

Thanks for your insights, Eric! Much appreciated.
 

esitepro

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Messages
7
@esitepro - I wanted to clarify something about that old page. You said it's their old address but since they walk dogs, do their customers show up ever at their house/location?
No, they go to the client location. Clients never come to their location.
 

JoyHawkins

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Jul 18, 2012
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Okay so since this is a Service Area Business and the listing is not verified/claimed you should actually be following the MapMaker guidelines which state that service area businesses are not permitted on the map: https://support.google.com/mapmaker/answer/2642650?hl=en

Since the edit you made will be put in as a map edit, I would reverse the edit you submitted, go to the listing in MapMaker (Google Map Maker), select the dropdown and select "delete this". For the reason, put "does not exist" and in the comments mention this is a SAB and list the link to the verified G+ page that has the address properly hidden.

Let me know when you do that and I'll approve the edit and your page should go away :)
 

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