This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Local U Advanced in Baltimore. As a self-proclaimed local SEO nerd I was excited to enhance my knowledge and network with the best of the best of local search. As an attendee of other conferences like MozCon and SMX I was curious to see how this would compare given that it only had about 50 advanced attendees. For me, Local U Advanced ended up being the best marketing event I have ever attended. Having the ability to share so many one on one sessions with the experts at happy hours and round-tables was an experience that’s hard to get at the bigger events. If you have the opportunity to attend a Local U Advanced event I would suggest that you take full advantage.
Now, let’s get into the goods:
Advanced Local Tactics from David Mihm
David Mihm who now works for SEOMoz was the second speaker to hit the state of the day and had a great 20 minute presentation on advanced Local tactics. In a nutshell he believes the overall rankings factors for your Google Plus Local boil down to:
- 25% Website
- 25% Citations
- 25% Links
- 25% Reviews
These are broken down to the tactical tips below:
You can find competitor’s citations through a tool such as Whitespark or by doing a Google Search for your competitors NAP in Google.
Get more citations through event hosting. David spoke about how you can easily build citations by hosting an event and posting the event details on different websites. Eventbrite, Eventful, Local Newspapers, and city based sites are just a few ideas. You can put the NAP format at the end of your event description.
Get more local exposure and citations through schools, parent organizations, neighborhood organizations, etc. If you sponsor them ask them to post your info.
Want a powerful citation? Your state’s Secretary of State’s office may have your business information in their database searchable online. However, it’s probably not crawled by Google. If your state has the option, find your business and link to it from your website. It will now become a powerful citation source.
Make sure your listing in Google Map Maker is complete and up to date.
If you’re in the hospitality industry you may be able to get an easy citation from nearby hospitals that will show nearby hotels.
As a rule of thumb always try to get at least 10 reviews on Google Plus and at least 10 on other sources. That’s a good starting point, but also research the competition to see how many reviews your competitors have. You should focus on exceeding review thresholds.
You can also work on finding likely reviewers and build those relationships.
Find Elite Yelp Reviewers by searching the following in Google:
“Title=ELITE 2012”” CITY site:yelp.com/user_details
Use FollowerWonk to find likely reviewers.
David talked about how to get more inks to your site. I also talked with him in a Q&A and he mentioned that you SHOULD NOT build links to your G+ Local Page, but rather to the location page on your site.
Sponsoring a local charity is a good way to get a link. Search queries that will help you find local charities:
site:.edu baltimore supporters
site:.edu baltimore sponsors
site:.org baltimore supporters
site:.org baltimore sponsors
Partner with charities for press releases. Instead of publishing a press release about your business that is unlikely to get good pickup, consider partnering with a charity. If their story is the main point, its much more likely to get picked up.
Guest blog locally. Focus on popular local blogs with good readership. Try to guest post locally and build those relationships. Look for niche guest blogs Search for Niche blogs by using the following search queries:
allintitle: ”teeth whitening” submit article
allintitle: ”teeth whitening” guest author
allintitle: ”teeth whitening” guest post
allintitle: ”teeth whitening” columnist
site:.edu teeth whitening baltimore (with Blog Search, News Search, etc)
When looking for guest blogs make sure you are using Google Blog search.
Check your current citations. Do they have links? If not, ask them to add a link
If you don’t like reading, I’ve covered everything from this post in the below G+ Hangout.March 11, 2013 | Local SEO