Local SEO Tips from Mozcon 2012
Below I have compiled a list of local SEO Tips that @Darren Shaw compiled for SEOMOZ. I have edited the list based on some personal opinions and experiments I have run. His company runs the Whitespark local citation finder which makes finding citations for local SEO super easy.
Tips from David Mihm
In my experience, most SMB websites can dominate with only 2-3 super-quality links in
markets with average competition
Here are a couple of Google searches you can run to help find more high quality links
site:.edu portland oregon sponsors
site:.org portland oregon sponsors
Also do the same searches in Image Search.
Tips from Mike Blumenthal
1) In NY State and some other states Pennysavers need content to maintain their lower
editorial tax status vis a vis newsprint. Most of these have great hyper local sites that are in
need of content. Arrange for your client to write for the local pennysaver and be sure to
include a citation at the end of each article.
2) (Via Dana DiTomaso) Many LGBT sites maintain lists of LGBT friendly businesses. A
great untapped citation source.
3) Use SEOMoz to mine your existing links and contact the link owners to upgrade them to
citations. These are your most friendly local sites.
4) Google+ Local allows for business pages to leave reviews (not just individuals). Review
other businesses that you have done business with and request that they do the same.
5) MyMaps has fallen from visibility as a citation source but they are still effective IF you can
drive some views and traffic to them. Create MyMaps of various related local services on
your site and embed on a visible page on your website. Of course include your business on
Tips from Mike Ramsey
Honestly, the best tip and trick (and I think people will really like it) is to use customsearches in Google+ to find people with powerful accounts in a specific location. Then you can incentivize them to come to your place of business (even if you can’tincentivize them to review you, can find people who leave a lot of reviews and thechanges are high.)
Here is an example.
1. On Google+ set the search to people and pages.
2. Throw a location in a search phrase “los angeles”
3. Optional: add another search phrase “vegan”
4. You get a list of power users of Google+ that you can incentives or get to know inorder to get them to come to your place. Where they already have a Google+ accountyou can see if they have integrated their reviews yet and if so, you have just found away to target the best review crowd with the highest probability of sharing.
5. You can save the search to see if there are new people that pop up.
Tips from David Minchala
1) Tracking rankings for geo-modified keywords? Unless you’re checking from your potential
customers’ (or your client’s potential customers’) browser location, you might be underreporting and making optimization decisions based on incomplete data. In Google, you can set the browser location in the left rail. There’s a shortcut: add parameter “near=” in your search url and it does the same thing. Hello automation!
Try it: www.google.com/search?q=plumber&near=buffalo,+ny Now try searching “plumber in buffalo, ny”, no quotes. Different results yes? For one guy it’s the difference between being page 1 and not (Zenner). Hope you see the same results in Canada…
Pro-tip: if your Google+ Local (née Places) analytics and webmaster tools search queries
report show scant or no instance of geo-modified queries, and traffic, leads, success etc is
happening, you should definitely be monitoring rankings this way. My own test on a set of
200+ clients showed a 50% improvement in clients with first page visibility when we use
near= and just root terms (not geo-modified). This harmonized better with other performance
metrics for those clients.
2) Ask clients about listing/feed vendors they work with. Often 3rd party feeds can really
mess up NAP consistency because of sheer volume, not autnority of where they publish.
Example: NIADA publishes car for sale listing for their member dealers on a LOT of sites.
Each listing carries the dealers name, address, and phone so potential buyers can, well, buy
from them. This creates a new structured citation with each new car listing that goes up. Fix
the feed, prepare to win.
3) Sort of obvious but I’d make sure I was listed in mojo pages, local.com, and even see
about advertising with Advance Internet. The first two have partnerships with a ton of
newspapers to be the local directory for the newspaper site – a big reason why showed up in
your citation sources study. Advance Internet is a sleeper few people talk about – they run
both their directory AND the newspaper sites. So there’s a content machine underpinning
every Advance Internet site and it’s pumping out only locally focused content.