It’s always a surprise when I get a new LOCAL SEO Campaign client and do a competitors analysis for their channel – and when I say surprised what I mean is that it’s really a set of on-page factors that must be done – and they’re not! That is, while the new client may not know what to do it’s the lack of just about anyone in their city and channel too, that always makes me shake my head with a “doh!”
Let’s say you run a legal firm in your city. You have (like any professional does) certain “areas of expertise” like perhaps “personal injury” or “trademarks and patents” – which ones you choose to specialize on is of course up to you but when it comes to Google et al, what you want to do is to let them know – yup, you’re the leader in that type of legal area in your city.
We online types know, that Google has been working hard to improve the way people discover local businesses and to do that they’ve added some pretty cool features that any SMB can take advantage of to promote their business.
One area that is still pretty new and we’d like to feature here is the ability for any business to showcase their actual bricks & mortar venues from the street and right into their front door!
To do that today, I’m going to be using a great local #HamOnt example, our own McMaster Innovation Park and show you what they’ve recently done to showcase their own beautiful premises!
Okay, you may not have heard of the Zagat review system for restaurants in the US (learn more here) and the fact that this firm was bought by Google back in the fall of 2011 to be used it was stated “to aid it’s local search rankings” and that seemed to hold some promise for the veracity of same.
What I thought back then (blog link here) was that as Zagat had some real authority in the restaurant review world, that when Google bought same, it could only work well for those rankings and at the same time spin away from Yelp et al and the plethora of phony reviews.
At least that’s how it looked to me…at the time – but as I’ve learned….things change muchly in the Canadian SEO world, eh!
Yup, it’s only Thursday evening and I’m tired of watching amateur cooks face off over hamburgers on the Food Channel and with Friday being a full day down at our Innovation Factory for Mentor Committee intakes and meetings and then Cafe iF – I’m going to miss the chance to add a new post here to our blog. So….here’s our Fabulous Friday Infographic….and boy do we have a real winner to lead off with!
David Mihm, noted SEO practitioner from the Pacific NorthWest, is one of my own SEO personal role models. This man knows SEO. Period. And as he also runs the 30+ of us who help him with his Annual Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, he knows Google Maps/Places too. And then there’s the getListed.org online research group that he founded and runs – and did I mention the whole #localUniveristy group too? Okay, you get my drift…if there’s a guy to emulate, David would be dang close to the top of that list, eh!
Well, I suppose it had to happen…that Google would decide to “clean-up” it’s Places/Maps pages and so far, this new change is somewhat disturbing to those of us in the SEO channel. We’re the ones who work hard at the fulfillment of all of the various factors that are needed to move a client’s site up and up in the rankings for Google Places/Maps so that if someone looks for say “lawyers in Hamilton” — the client site comes up nice and high in the left hand sidebar with a link to the full client page.
Mike Blumenthal is one hell of an SEO practitioner, and he’s just released a terrific new infographic on a topic that’s near and dear to all of us SEO types, entitled “Web Equity: Owning your Local Web Presence!”
And what a solid piece of well researched and informative knowledge this is, eh! Credit Mike offers, is due, and this graphic was originally inspired Mike writes, by a Lisa Barone blog post titled 11 Reasons Your SMB Still Needs A Web Site and refined with the help of David Mihm, Mary Bowling and Matt McGee.
Okay, by now you may have already learned that Google has just three days ago, added the Google HotPot social input to their web results “big leagues!!!”
News? Yes? Does that help searchers? You be the judge! For me the jury is stilll out, eh! And here’s my backstory on my testing so far….
I know that many of you do not even know what Google HotPot is — and the basic definition from Google on launch day back in November is as follows…
“a local recommendation engine powered by you and your friends. With Hotpot, we’re making local search results for places on Google more personal, relevant and trustworthy…”
And the official Google name that they’ve chosen to use is “Google PlaceSearch” but like many SEO types, I hate that name!
And not only me it appears as many other SEO practitioners have made comments too, using their own name for this new combined serp results page…and I thought that as it’s Friday, I’d post a quick poll to see what we SEO types wanna call same!
What’s that you say? A change to the way Google reports it’s findings for your search terms? And what does that mean for us SEO practitioners and our client rosters?
Not much, at least for our client roster, it appears — at least so far IMHO! But let’s get into this whole big change shall we?
It’s not often that I let our readers know about “other” online spots unless they are absolutely at the TOP of their craft….hence my blog piece today about the next GetListed Local University dates in Denver, CO!
Okay, let me start by saying right up front, I don’t know if this shows to you what I think it shows to me. And that is that when reviews are published online in Google Maps and are available to be seen by one and all, that they are actually “true”, credible and rightous. Or are they? You tell me…and here’s the points to ponder on this for all us Canuck SMBs, eh! And a big “tip-O-the-hat” to Miriam for the finding and blogging on this late last week that got me thinking about our canuck google maps and what I’d find too, eh!
First, go to maps.google.ca and use “Leggat Pontiac Buick” as a search term…to open up a link to a local GM car dealership website, located a few miles away from where I live and one that yes, I’ve used for service to my own car in the past. Always had pretty good service and pricing too, I believe….but that’s for another blog posting.
Of course, you will need to be using the ‘un-logged’ in google settings to get the same default serp results that others get, ie you need to turn off your own settings for this….and once you have clicked, then you will see the same report that I do as shown here below….
Yup, just announced yesterday, Google now allows a SMB biz owner to respond to reviews from customers or clients in the Google Places milieu! Which of course is great news, sort of….for one and all, eh!
First the official notice on this is found here at the Google LatLong blog and you should make sure that you read same.
Next, that article has links to here, the Google Places Help area, where they show you exactly how Google thinks you should respond to reviews on your Places pages….using these simple items —
- • Be nice!
• Don’t get personal!
• Feedback is important!
They go on there, to point out a couple of other items like offering up Ground Rules for your postings and Example Responses too, to show the not-so-social SMB owner that a rant here is not good for business!