Service Areas and Physical Address

BipperMedia

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Jan 13, 2019
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@whitespark - here's the updated screenshot with Local Finder and some points to make about it:
  • visibility score: unchanged as well
  • Progress: decreased 28.3%
  • about 3X the number of keywords decreased vs. increased
Darren - I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts / interpretations at this point!

here's the updated screenshot with Local Finder...

 
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So far, it just looks like normal fluctuation to me, but if it continues to trend down and doesn't wave back up, then maybe there's something to consider here. How about the other campaign?
 

BipperMedia

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Jan 13, 2019
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111
So far, it just looks like normal fluctuation to me, but if it continues to trend down and doesn't wave back up, then maybe there's something to consider here. How about the other campaign?
I will go through and remove all of the service areas today... and follow back up here with the update.

The great thing about using these 2 GMB's is they are from completely different business categories...
 

BipperMedia

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At a more macro level... the GMB that is taking part in this test has been growing consistently, and at increasingly wider radiuses, over the past several years.

I mention that because I also know there's been many algo updates along the way, so even with these updates, their growth has been up and to the right.

I think this ultimately all boils down to the level of prominence and authority your GMB has. Not only can enough of that fuel rankings and productivity from wider radiuses, but I believe it's also insurance against the wild wild west of algo updates!
 

BipperMedia

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As I've mentioned previously, I think we are still early in this test... but I just wanted to share the results I'm seeing this morning.

From my perspective (again, we are still early) it looks like the higher rankings are starting to deflate and lower rankings are starting to increase.

here's a screenshot -- the date of the test period isolated (9/22 - today)



Here were the results yesterday:
  • visibility score was flat: 28% vs 28%
  • progress was down 28%
  • 139 keyword phrases decreased
And here's the results today from the screenshot above:
  • visibility score down 8%
  • progress down 57.8% (nearly doubled)
  • 219 keyword phrases decreased (also nearly doubled)
I'm not saying any of this is conclusive... moreso I just wanted to share as I know some people are interested in following along this test.

Finally, another key source of data that I'm measuring in this test is the impact on productivity.

Obviously, if removing 67 service areas from the GMB does in fact influence presence and rankings, we will see it also in the productivity of the listing.

So action data points such as phone calls, website actions, direction requests, and total actions... these data points would also reflect the impact one way or another.

Here's some preliminary data I'm seeing through September... but again, we still have a few days left in this month so that's important to keep in mind.

But the platform we use for data and reporting is up to the minute... so it's data through today:

Location authority: so far the month of September this metric has been cut in half -- 8.3% in August vs. 4.39% in September.

Total actions: decrease of 69% (so -69%)

Phone calls: decrease of 45% (so -45%)

And here's the screenshots for these data points:





These are pretty strong drops in productivity vs. the month of August.

But there's still a few days left in September and I'll revisit these productivity metrics on October 1st to see the true impact in September.

It's important to note that the 67 service areas were removed on Sept. 22nd...

So there's been approximately 4 full days of this GMB running with only 1 service area vs. the 67 service areas it had previously.

I hope this update is helpful... I look forward to continuing to monitor the progress.

Bobby

FYI @whitespark @JoyHawkins
 
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BipperMedia

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Jan 13, 2019
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@pwarrenseo -- out of respect to this forum, I would rather not answer that question here.

I feel if I went into a description of that calculation it would:

a) come across as "self promotion" which I am not here to do

b) it would open up an entirely new dialogue about the location score and take away from the focus of the topic of this particular forum discussion (i.e. the service area test)

If you'd like to email or message me, feel free to do so.

Thank you for your understanding.
 
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BipperMedia

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Jan 13, 2019
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@pwarrenseo is called "Location Authority"... and its the 'radius of ranking power' that you (your website, city pages, GMB) has to be found in search and generate productivity.

For example, if your location is only coming up in local search when you are standing in your parking lot, then you have "little to none" location authority.

However, if you are ranking in top search results 10 miles away from your location... and assuming a relatively fair amount of competition and population density, then you have "a lot" of location authority.

I hope that makes sense.
 

BipperMedia

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Jan 13, 2019
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For those of you following along with this test, I just wanted to add a quick update... tomorrow will be 1 full week since I've removed 67 service areas from a well established, high performing GMB listing.

This was done based on a great recommendation by @whitespark to test the validity of adding service areas to your GMB. And Darren from @whitespark also volunteered his amazing keyword ranking tool to assist in this experiment - which is proving to provide invaluable local search ranking data (thank you again Darren).

Based on the changes we are now seeing, I think it is well worth continuing to observe / keep the test running.

I'm feeling slightly more confident today, looking at the data, as I'm now seeing strong / dramatic decreases in what Whitespark's ranking tool calls "Progress" - which is in essence a variance calculation of increased / decreased keywords relative to the total number of keywords being tracked.
  • Progress: decreased 54% since Sept. 22nd
  • Decreased keywords: 223 vs. 98 (125 more keywords have dropped rankings)
This surge in keywords that have decreased in rankings, along with the drop in Progress, are the main reason why - at the moment anyway - I'm feeling a bit more optimistic in my theory.

Here's a screenshot showing the 8 day period where the GMB was optimized with all 68 service areas defined vs. the recent 7 day period with 67 service areas were removed and only 1 service area is defined:



Of course I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on the progress so far...

And again, as I stated in my previous update, I think we are still in the early innings (so to speak) with this test.

Thank you again for the opportunity to be a part of this test and to share these results here at LSF.
 
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BipperMedia

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Jan 13, 2019
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111
@JoyHawkins - thank you for the comments and insights!

In the short term, I definitely the agree the algo updates are creating short term gyrations... as always.

I wanted to point out that this particular GMB has been continually optimized, and continually growing in presence, rankings, and productivity, over the last 3 years and has gone through (who knows how many) algo updates.

Also, just to confirm, are you saying that you may agree that service areas can have an impact on rankings and productivity in surrounding areas?

Thank you again Joy!

Bobby
 

Mindquest

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Jul 10, 2013
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Any more updates? Curious to hear the current results and what will happen once you put all the service areas back.
 

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