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Tim Colling

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Do "Primary" and "Local" MapMaker tags matter?

I've never paid much attention to applying tags to maps listings via mapmaker until just now.  I looked up one of my own companies and found that the name had no "tags" associated with it.  I added "Primary,Local" tags and now it's sitting in a review queue.

Do these tags really matter?

Also: how do I escalate them to get reviewed more promptly (if they are important)?  I tried to request a review via one of the Google forums but they said that only Google can review that info.

Thanks!

Thanks!
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Andrew Sawyer's profile photoTim Colling's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Andrew Sawyer Thank you for answering my question.  I appreciate your help!
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Tim Colling

☛ Local Website/Pages  - 
 
Local SEO for client with multiple locations

This topic can't be a new one.  I'd appreciate your help.

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

Hi!

I'd appreciate getting your input about this situation. Which strategy would you recommend? Are there any special tools that you think would especially be helpful, such as local seo plugins, etc?

Client has five offices, real, legitimate offices with staff, in five different cities throughout Southern California. One of them can be considered to be the “headquarters” because that’s where the company officers are located.

We need to rank well for each office in its own city, in other words, both organic and local SEO matter in this case.

The company has never done any truly effective SEO work, neither organic nor local.

We don’t want to build out five different, mostly identical websites so we need to optimize for one site with ability to rank in local results as well as organic in all five locations.

The strategies to choose from include:

A. Optimize for local SEO for the HQ location with bot-readable HQ NAP info on virtually all pages on the site, except for four pages that would be landing pages for the other locations, with bot-readable NAP info on each of those landing pages for its corresponding office NAP info. These landing pages (plus one for the HQ location) would be optimized with local-specific info about that office’s personnel, videos, images, etc. as well as information about relevant local resources, hopefully linking to those resources and securing links back from those resources. Except for the office landing pages, the NAP info for the non-HQ locations would be shown as non-bot-readable images, perhaps with hyperlinks to call those locations when clicked upon.

B. Do what is included in option A AND also create standalone, NAP-optimized landing pages for each of the non-HQ locations with unique domain names based on some sort of exact-match-domain name like companyName-locationCity-dot-com or something like that, with links from those stand-alone landing pages to the main website. In this strategy we’d do our best to make the landing pages look as if they were actually pages on the main site. We’d have to consider whether or not the content on the stand-alone pages would have to be sufficiently different from the landing pages on the main site to avoid losing SEO benefit due to duplicate content issues.

C. Other ideas?
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Phil Rozek's profile photoTim Colling's profile photo
16 comments
 
+Phil Rozek Thank you!
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Michael Green

☛ Local Website/Pages  - 
 
Dont understand why local search results are ranking companies in the 3 google maps when some dont even have a link website infact no website and low cititations weired 
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Michael Green's profile photoMarc B's profile photo
8 comments
Marc B
 
+Kathy Long I do not have data to back this up however I have noticed in local SEO results in my niche ( local seo)  that companies with reviews in the five or more range typically rank towards the top on the Google map results. This is in contrast to weeks ago, where reviews were not a factor  and placement was based of ranks of the keyword for that website, 
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david oremland

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Per this announcement, Google will crowdsource photos from customers and be able to connect them to smb's.  Google will have photos independent from the smb owners.  I suppose the info will go on the google knowledge panels.  More power to google pages//less power to the owner's website

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/08/new-google-maps-notification-asks-for-your-restaurant-food-photos/
Android notification essentially asks: "This looks like food! Can we have the pic?"
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Jennifer L Metro's profile photodavid oremland's profile photoAndrew Sawyer's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Jennifer L Metro  yeah, but here is what I see.
1.  The restaurant/hotel/event/venue crap pack has been out for a year.  No public outcry.  No outcry from the impacted industries.  No outcry from the big press.  Clearly no outcry or condemnation from the SEO press.   Google "got away" with it.
2.  The ALL smb's crap pack has been out for 3 weeks.
No public outcry
No attacks in the big press
No condemnation from the SEO press.
Small businesses have not raised their voices in complaints.

Until there are louder bigger voices that show their displeasure and point to all the issues....I think they'll keep doing what they do.

This thing seems to be an experiment at this point.  They have reached out to members of the maps community.  So they are already google lovers.  If they get the photos, I suppose they'll start showing them in the knowledge panels, which google controls.   It will reduce the control that businesses have over what gets presented to the public.
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Max Minzer
owner

❞ Reviews  - 
 
Here's a good post if you want to chat to a business owner about getting reviews and why it's critical to ask. That silent majority are mostly people who had a good experience and don't bother sharing it.

...most businesses are passive and don’t ask for reviews because they’re fearful of inviting negative reviews. Paff answered that concern by saying that the large majority of reviews that come in will be positive.

One of those posts to bookmark for your chats with clients.

Data: ‘Silent Majority’ More Likely to Generate Positive Reviews
http://www.lsainsider.com/data-silent-majority-more-likely-to-generate-positive-reviews by +Greg Sterling 

via +Mike Blumenthal 
Customer Lobby founder and CEO Ted Paff was one of our great speakers at LSA Bootcamp (for SMBs) in Charlotte, NC last month. Ted gave one of the more lively and popular talks of the day. It was called "Taking control of your online reputation." Among other things, Paff discussed handli
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Holly Powell's profile photo
 
+Max Minzer  appreciate the information - I shared with my white label clients.
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david oremland

$ Paid Advertising  - 
 
Significantly higher click throughs in mobile adwords vs desk top.

For our local smb's we have been seeing higher ctr's in adwords than in previous years....for about 1 year...maybe longer.   We haven't changed our campaigns much.  

I would think the ctr changes are all due to google emphasizing more space and more features with ads.

What surprised us are that ctr's on mobile are quite a bit higher than desktop.  Now, I looked at them again since the all crap/pack 3 pack and mobile space dominated by ads and the pack.  

Quite high ppc click throughs.  What are you seeing??
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david oremland's profile photothe More Customers More Sales agency's profile photo
5 comments
 
curious - does the conversion rate reflect a change as well? Or is this a confusion by visitors that costs advertisers with no discernable gain? - Margaret
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Brian Barwig

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
I found a way to get the Local Finder to show less than 20 results. Zoom in on the Map a few times and the Local Finder listings diminish from 20. I zoomed all the way down to 2.
Seems a bit obvious but I havent noticed anyone post about it yet.
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Mike Blumenthal's profile photoBrian Barwig's profile photo
2 comments
 
Good point. I hadnt thought about it from that angle before.
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Max Minzer
owner

Our Community  - 
 
Welcome to Local Search community!

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Hicham D's profile photoCarla Bragagnolo's profile photo
2 comments
 
Hi +Max Minzer, I recently joined and work for +Sweet IQ in their marketing department. Looking forward to getting engaged in this community!
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Phil Rozek
moderator

✍ Citations & Links  - 
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Trevor Spielman

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
In Google My Business, you have the option to select a service area (I Serve people within X miles of my business) or selecting specific cities that goods and services are provided in.

Has anyone seen a marked advantage to selecting the specific cities?

For context: I'm working with a Locksmith that operates from a Catonsville, MD office, but mostly services Baltimore, Washington DC, and Alexandria.
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Trevor Spielman's profile photoMike Blumenthal's profile photo
6 comments
 
From a ranking POV service area has no benefit to a bricks and mortar store at all. It is futile to use and to hope for any gain other than the small benefit that might accrue from the visual.

But for an SAB with no storefront Google uses it as the address around which to draw a relevance radius. Thus a locksmith should plunk it in the middle of their busiest physical market with a small radius that google would believe and possible show on like 5-10 miles. 
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Max Minzer
owner

❞ Reviews  - 
 
Loving this post from +Mike Blumenthal!

...it is often hard for the small business owner to take this perspective but there is often gold in that negative review despite its pain and in the end it may actually benefit your business and not hurt it.

6 Good Things About Negative Reviews
http://blog.getfivestars.com/6-good-things-about-negative-reviews/

Worth your time (and if you want more - http://goo.gl/POzMfR)

#localreviews   #localsearch  
Running a business is hard. The long hours, the unrelenting demands, the physical and emotional investment sometimes blind the business owner to the fact that things can and will go wrong. And whil...
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Stephen Crewson's profile photoSusan Staupe's profile photo
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Local search marketing and local SEO news, resources & discussions. No self-promotion. Created by Max Minzer. Moderators - Max, Phil Rozek and Mark Goho.

Tony Leary

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Local Guides getting new restaurant foodography feature.

I just searched and it looks like this news is a couple months old but I've been at least a level 2 Local Guide since they rolled that out and this is the first time I got this popup (maybe I don't get out enough lately).

Anyway, I was at a Red Lobster Saturday and took some pics of one of my boys and this popped up on my phone 10 min later. I think I got distracted (18 mo old boys will do that to you), so I didn't follow through with it.

Just wanted to share in case anyone was interested and not aware.
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david oremland

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Is the nature of keywords in your WMT or Google Search Console CHANGING????   I found some STARTLING DATA.  Have you seen it?  Read below:

+Dan Leibson  wrote an interesting article at LocalSEOGuide about questioning the data at Google Search Console (formerly G Webmaster Tools) :   http://www.localseoguide.com/should-you-trust-googles-search-analytics-report/

To use his own words...he is a skeptic.   So am I.  I don't like the data.  Never have.  Take 3 big reasons:
A.  Google TELLS you its only partial data
B.  The impressions data covers the entire nation.  That makes it locally worthless for many phrases.  It distorts rankings in that regard.
C.  There is absolutely NO WAY to verify if it is at all reliable.  Its google feeding us data they want you to see.  Just how much do they manipulate exactly what is being shown.

BUT THEN I SAW SOME STARTLING DATA IN OUR OWN WMT data: STUNNING.  WHAT IS GOING ON?

We've tracked analytics data and ppc data on a couple of small niche industries for about a decade.  We've watched it long before Google and then the other engines hid keyword data.   We see localized/regionalized impressions through adwords.

In these industries our smb's have always shown well in organic and local/pack rankings.  Always.

The industries are niche.  Potential customers may have certain clear demographic characteristics but they mostly find our smb's and/or search for them via DISCOVERY KEYWORDS.  

Discovery!!!!   They are trying to find businesses that provide the services by searching on something like SERVICE/CITY  :  Something like Dog Walkers Philadelphia;  

BUT....here is what I found in the Google Search Console for the VERY FIRST TIME in any source.  In fact till now I had never seen this in WMT data.

Recovery Keywords showed more clicks.  clicks on our site by name.

Uh Uh.    Google that hasn't occurred in over 10 years of tracking this data.   NEVER.  NEVER EVEN CLOSE!!!!   N.E.V.E.R.

Can I be more specific???

So is the data twisted?   Or has the new 3 pack w/out links, w/out phone numbers and w/out addresses eliminated clicks on discvery phrases???

What are you seeing???
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david oremland's profile photo
 
In fact as I've looked at ppc impressions for the almost 3 week period since the crap pack, for the last 8 months and then the last 2 years for 2 smb's in the same vertical, with similar visibility .....

Discovery impressions in the logical geo territories run about 4-7 times as much as "name impressions"....just comparing the lead terms.  

Historically both smb's have received WAY WAY more organic/pack clicks from discovery terms than the recovery name terms.

So the Google Search Console/WMT data is probably way misleading in focus.  

Or...maybe the change via the pack is changing the nature of traffic::   EXCEPT.  Our google traffic compared over the last 20 days with the 3 pack is UP from the 20 days before that.   

We DO KNOW that leads mostly find us via discovery search...not by name.

This is the type of data we'll follow.  I wonder if the nature of this is intentionally misleading....or WHAT???

Any other observations???
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Steve Morgan

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
US is back apparently. Not checked the UK yet, but it's a good sign...!
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Marc B's profile photoSteve Morgan's profile photo
2 comments
 
UK is also back, however... I'm unable to draw a building outline. Is that one of the things that MM has currently disabled? Or am I being silly and simply can't find the feature?
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Edgar Estrada

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Brain Buster! 

Has anyone ever experienced a verified and published status Google page not appearing at all in the Google Maps list results?  Below are a few center's that all have a verified and published listing within Google My Business and for some reason Google is omitting these centers from appearing on the list results in Maps. What's more concerning is that these The UPS Store are the only one's within their city (proximity), they have reviews (prominence), and optimized with relevant categories (relevance). 

The UPS Store:

-352 2ND ST PIKE, SOUTHAMPTON, PA 18966 – search ‘ups store southampton pa’

-7452 BROADVIEW RD, PARMA, OH 44134  – search ‘ups store parma oh’ 

Has anyone ever experienced this before? I've called Google support and they all provided their scripted "it's an algorithmic issue" response. 

Note These locations are locations that have relocated sometime in the past, but not anytime recently. 
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Raisa MacLeod's profile photoEdgar Estrada's profile photo

david oremland

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Are organic listings STILL being found above the PACK??   On August 12 +Casey Meraz published a heat map study of clicks following the new "crap" 3 pack.  The article was repeated in Moz.   Very nice study.

but now its about 2 weeks later.  Whereas on the original heat map study there was one organic listing above the PACK... a search on that same phrase no longer has the organic listing above the pack.  In fact I'm not finding any!!!!    Are any of you seeing this?   Can you find organic sites above the pack??

here is the study to refresh your memory:    https://jurisdigital.com/click-study-the-new-3-pack-where-users-are-clicking/
Google recently rolled out a major change to how they display local results in search results. This study shows how user behavior has changed with these new results.
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Brian Barwig's profile photoDonnie Strompf's profile photo
11 comments
 
Perhaps it depends on which way gets ppc a higher CTR, or maybe it's reverse a/b testing? Everyone seems to be going to that top organic result... hmmm... Let's push it down as far as we can and see what that does. #googleserpderp

Something I really don't understand is the UX, if I were testing a website for best performance. Would I take the resourceful area that everyone is clicking on (because that's what they are looking for) and push it below the fold? Scrolling is more friction, I know that and I'm sure Google does too.

Whatever happened to less is more?



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Steve Morgan

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
From +Moz the other day - interesting heat map tests and analysis by +Casey Meraz regarding the new 3-pack:
Have you seen the new Snack Pack? Explore Casey Meraz's click test results on Google's new local 3-pack, seeing what's changed, what works, and what the future holds.
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Casey Meraz's profile photoMichael Ehline's profile photoHasan Deniz's profile photo
4 comments
 
Thanks +Casey Meraz on it
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Jennifer L Metro

✍ Citations & Links  - 
 
With the recent changes to local search, old fashioned getting out and glad handing is more important than ever. Here's a great article by +Phil Rosek where he talks to +David Oremland about his success using MeetUp. It's not just a way to get a link but also a way to get out into the community and stir up some excitement for your business.
I've talked about sponsoring local meetup groups as a way of smart offline and online non-Google marketing, and as a way to earn good links. Last December I did a post on how to find Meetup.com groups that need sponsors. In my recent interview on the LocalU blog I mentioned it again, ...
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Isaac Hammelburger's profile photodavid oremland's profile photo
5 comments
 
+Isaac Hammelburger     meetup is under one url.  The DC school has an enormous volume of links from meetup per webmaster tools.  Almost all are coming from the meetups referenced in Phil's article.  A few from some others.

Google HAS NOT penalized for this.  Its very natural.  Will google change???   I don't know.   

From a long term business perspective, businesses network and do things with social groups.  Its very natural.  I would expect...and I hope they don't penalize sites at a future date. 

Per WMT the DC school has 10's of thousands of back links from meetup.  I am sure they just count 1.  or maybe a few from different groups.
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GiGi Kleinberg

✍ Citations & Links  - 
 
A colleague and I have a disagreement about "freshening" up a local citation. He feels that if you change your description, add photos, etc. every month, it will make a difference in getting indexed and keeping rankings.
Is this necessary? And if so, how often? We are doing this for client sites and currently have both Moz & Yext where it's possible to do that.  
(Let's not have the discussion about Moz vs Yext -- we can save that for another post. )
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Darryl Quinlan's profile photoBaldy Dog Search Strategies's profile photo
3 comments
 
I agree with you Darryl. I have been updating a clients Yext for several years on a monthly basis, and have yet to see any measurable traffic show up in analytics.
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Max Minzer
owner

Search Changes ☲  - 
 
I get "Web Results" for all local searches as well. These extra "Web Results" are nice, relevant but have this weird feel of ads at the bottom of the infosite, no? Maybe Google can come up with a slightly better design/separation/formatting very soon?

How do you feel about this new feature in local results?

Google Adds (Or is Testing) Organic Results in Local Finder Knowledge Panel by +Mike Blumenthal 
http://blumenthals.com/blog/2015/08/18/google-adds-or-is-testing-organic-results-in-local-finder-knowledge-panel

#localsearch  
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Colleen H's profile photoMargaret Ornsby's profile photo
5 comments
 
+Max Minzer Yes, this really highlights meta description deficiencies. 
I take that back... looks like G is doing its own thing with meta desc's.  
- not taking suggested (as they usually do in organic),
- finding image searches listed here (!)
- biggest surprise is home page meta.  Can be up to 4 lines long, found one with 321 characters.  Longer ones seem to be when G not satisfied with the suggested.
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