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The Best Citations to Get and Other Local SEO Tips15:44 with Darren Shaw
Get the best local citations for your city. Darren gives his tips over 93 cities with 650+ keywords in 71 different business categories. Time to start building your local rankings today.
Hi, there. My name is Darren Shaw. I'm with a company called Whitespark. 0:00 Today I'm going to talk to you about the best places you can get citations, 0:05 and I've got a bunch of Local SEO tips for you. 0:09 If you don't know what a citation is, a citation is a mention of your 0:13 name, address, phone number somewhere out on the web. 0:16 Typically it's yellowpages.com, yelp.com. There's other places to get citations. 0:19 I only have 10 minutes, so you can refer to that link to learn more. 0:24 So where do you get the best ones? 0:30 Where do you get the oat are going to help your Local SEO more than any others? 0:32 It was this time last year, I was in Mozcon listening to David Mimm talk about Local SEO, 0:37 and he mentioned our tool—the Local Citation Finder—which is great. 0:44 And he noted that it doesn't look at the organic results to find strong industry portals. 0:48 So I spent some time thinking about what that meant, 0:54 and we had a few e-mails back and forth, and we came up with a methodology 0:56 to use the organic search rankings to identify top-quality citation sources. 1:02 So if you do a search like lawyer Seattle, you'll see common industry portals coming up, 1:08 findlaw.com, lawyersinfo.com, superpages.com. 1:13 These are just directory-type sites that are listed amongst the business results. 1:17 So you run Seattle attorneys, you see the same sites appearing— 1:22 Seattle criminal lawyers—these sites are appearing often in those search phrases. 1:26 If you're a lawyer in Seattle, findlaw.com is a site that you want to be on. 1:31 So we searched over 648 different key words across 70 different business categories. 1:36 We searched the key words with the city name after the keyword— 1:43 so lawyer Seattle—and the city name before the keyword—so Seattle lawyers. 1:47 We did this across 97 small, medium, and large cities in the US. 1:52 We made sure that we tried to hit all the major centers. 1:56 So that resulted in 120,000 different search results that we looked at. 2:00 Then we parched all that data, put it into our database, and once we had it in there 2:05 we were able to do things like show me the best citations in Seattle— 2:09 so give me all the citation sources for searches in Seattle, 2:15 and score them based on how often that site occurred 2:19 combined with where it was ranking. 2:23 We did that on a category level as well. 2:27 So you could say—go to our database and say, give me all the citation sources 2:29 that appeared for legal terms, and score them based on how often they occur 2:33 combined with what their rankings were. 2:39 David published this on getlisted.org. You can go to that URL there. 2:42 Don't try to write that down. You'll be able to get the slides after. 2:48 So you can see the top 10 in all these different cities—the 93 different cities 2:52 that we studied. 2:56 You can also see the top 10 in categories. 2:58 And there's some interesting data that will stand out. 3:01 For example in the plumbing category, e-local plumbers is standing out 3:03 as a great citation source. 3:07 And then you also see major brands that are dominating across the US— 3:09 Roto-Rooter is killing it. 3:13 If you have a Local Citation Finder account, you can see the top 30, 3:17 so you get more data there. 3:21 If you do a search for any city or category where we have the data, 3:23 you'll see a little box like that, and you can see the top 30. 3:27 But Mozcon is all about takeaways. We actually have data for the top 50. 3:31 So today I'm giving everyone the top 50 for all of those categories and cities. 3:35 This is just—[applause] Thanks. 3:42 This is just for Mozcon people, so please don't Tweet or share the link. 3:44 That's the URL. You don't have to write it down. I'll ask the AV guys to put this up 3:48 during the Q&A so everyone can get that URL. 3:53 And please remember there's a password for actually downloading the citation data. 3:55 It's Mozcon56—Mozcon56. You will have to remember that. 4:00 Mozcon56—I'll mention it again at the end of the presentation. 4:06 Next thing—I have a bunch of Local SEO tips for you. 4:10 My first tip is hyper-local citation building. 4:12 A hyper-local citation is a citation that's on a site that's specifically about one city 4:17 or specifically about one particular industry or niche. 4:22 We did some of this work for one of our clients, and we saw their rankings 4:27 go through the roof—their Local rankings—so the pack rankings. 4:30 They weren't on the map for a lot of these terms that had strong, organic SEO 4:33 when they came to us, and they wanted to hire us for Local. 4:36 So we did some of this hyper-local citation building, 4:39 and we saw their rankings go from like 100 to 27 to number 1 4:41 for hundreds of terms over a 3-month period after building 4:47 a bunch of these hyper-local citations. 4:50 So where do you find sites like this? There's a few ways. 4:52 You can seriously just search Google—Seattle business directory, 4:56 you're going to find a bunch of sites that are Seattle-specific directories. 4:59 You can use the link prospector. This is a tool that we built with Garrett French. 5:05 It has a link-prospecting type called "directories." 5:08 You just put in Seattle attorneys. You're going to get a big list back. 5:11 The list that you get back will be all sorted by our link target score, 5:15 which is similar to the ranking algorithm we use to score the citations 5:17 in the citation study with did with David Mimm. 5:24 You can also use the Local Citation Finder 5:27 This is actually how we did it with that one client. 5:30 You just create a new project, run a bunch of searches in that project, 5:32 and then you go under "view citation sources," 5:36 and you'll get all the data on one page. 5:39 So all the citations that we had for those dozens of key words we ran 5:41 will all appear on one page. 5:44 And then you can use "control F" in your browser to look for key words 5:47 that might match some of the domains. 5:50 So York—this was an HVAC client in New York. 5:52 So York, HVAC, air, conditioning—if you look for any domains that match that, 5:54 then those are going to be sites that are specifically about that topic. 5:59 Because Local Citation Finder is a competitive analysis tool, what it does 6:03 is it collects citations from the top-ranking businesses. 6:06 When you do that across 30 different key words—40 different key words— 6:09 put them all on one page and you pull these sites out, 6:12 I kind of feel like that's why we have these big ranking boosts, 6:14 because people that were already dominating were finding these 6:17 hyper-relevant sites specifically to get listed on—and I think that's why it had a big impact. 6:19 So now I have a bunch of Local SEO tips. 6:26 I don't know if I'll get to them all—I only have 10 minutes. I'll go through them. 6:28 David Mimm—he's got a great tip. 6:33 He says that most small businesses can rank with just 2 or 3 super-high quality links. 6:35 So that would be links from an .edu site a .org site, and you can find them 6:42 with sponsorship searches like "site:.edu portland oregan sponsors." 6:46 Mike Blumenthal's tip is that the penny savers, which are these 6:53 classified coupon advertising magazines in New York state. 6:56 They always need content to maintain their editorial text status. 7:00 So get your clients to write for them, and make sure you get a citation and link in those. 7:05 They're always looking for content. You can probably find those in every community. 7:10 Mike Ramsey—his tip is to find authority accounts in Google+, specifically in your city. 7:15 So he provides a number of ways to search for those accounts. 7:20 You can find them in the notes if you download my slides. 7:23 Then you can incentivize those people to come in and review your business. 7:27 Reviews from authority people will give you a better ranking boost 7:30 than just reviews from the average Joe. 7:33 Adam Steele—he talks about Google+ Local pages are indexed in a way 7:36 that the Google Place pages never were. 7:41 So that means that everything is indexed—the title, the description, the reviews— 7:44 getting key words in there, thinking about on-page optimization 7:47 on your Google+ Local page in way that you didn't really need to worry about it 7:50 in the same sense on your Google Places page. 7:55 And not only that—you can actually build links to your Google+ Local page 7:57 to improve rankings. 8:00 Dave Minchala—smart, Local SEO guy right over there—he surprised me with this tip. 8:04 I didn't realize you can add the "near=" parameter in your Google search term 8:10 to mimic what happens when you set the location in the side bar. 8:15 So that allows you to check rankings without the geolocation term. 8:19 You could say—you could set the location to Buffalo, 8:23 and then just check the term "plumbers." 8:26 So you can see your rankings for those terms without having to add the word Buffalo. 8:29 Matthew Hunt—one sneaky way to get links from other local businesses 8:35 is instead of just link begging—saying, "Hey, can you link to my business?" 8:39 you can send them a digital coupon. 8:43 So, "We'll give your customers 10% off at our business 8:45 if you just put this up on your website." 8:47 It's a great way to get a link from local businesses. 8:49 Andrew Shotland says that the magic number for reviews 8:52 to improve your rankings is 5. 8:58 So make sure you get at least 5. Once you get past that 5, you see that ranking boost. 9:00 Mary Bowling says that if you're in Local, you should learn how to use Map Maker. 9:05 It's the second most trusted source of Local information after business owner edit. 9:09 She provides a couple of references there. 9:16 Scott Dodge—he used Map Maker. 9:19 What was happening in his case is one of his clients 9:23 was being outranked by a major brand, and the brand was actually miscategorized. 9:26 It shouldn't have been in his category, so he just went into Map Maker, 9:32 edited that major brand's listings, took that category out. 9:34 It got approved because it was just correcting the data. 9:38 And then the next day his client was back on top, and that brand was out of the category. 9:40 Nyagoslav Zhekov—he says that you should encourage reviews and social mentions 9:46 of your listing on third-party sites. 9:51 That will help them get pulled into Google+ Local—helping your rankings quicker— 9:53 and it will be associated with more data, which will help your rankings. 9:57 Last tip is Phil Rosek—he thinks that Google+ is considering click-through rate, 10:02 so you should try to increase your click-through rate. 10:09 You can do that by making sure you get at least 10 Google reviews 10:11 When you get those 10 reviews—that way you'll get the Zagat writing on your listing, 10:17 that will help your click-through rate. 10:20 Also make sure you have a nice, catchy title tag. 10:22 So that's everything. I think I was on time. [applause] 10:26 Just one thing—could you put it back to the Oprah slide? Just so people have that URL. 10:35 Great. Thank you. Any questions? 10:43 [female speaker] Is there one back there, too? No, you're just—[laughs] 10:53 [male audience member] Hi, Darren. Thank you. >>[Darren] Hey. 11:03 [male audience member] So not a lot of use to a lot of people in the room, 11:05 but it's great that you did it for the US. 11:07 I'm wondering if you do those top citations for geos and so on for Canada? 11:09 Is that something coming up? 11:12 [Darren] I'm Canadian. It's on my list. I'm going to get it done. 11:14 [male audience member] Okay, thanks. 11:16 [Darren] We actually have data, I just haven't published it. 11:17 [male audience member] Darren, great presentation. >>[Darren] Thank you. 11:27 I've used your tool for a long time and love it. 11:29 [male audience member] One of the questions I had is this sounds like it's always 11:33 been policy for Google to use the business name, but it sounds like you're saying to use 11:36 more of a descriptive title for the Google+ Local page now. 11:40 Is that what you were saying? 11:46 [Darren] No—I'm glad you asked that question. It's important to clarify. 11:48 Use your business name. Don't mess with that. 11:51 You don't want to put key words in your title. 11:53 That tip from Adam—I maybe should have thought of that and maybe pulled 11:55 that part out, but you don't want to mess with your business title. 11:58 It should always be your actual doing-business-ad's name— 12:01 whatever would show up in the Yellow Pages— 12:05 whatever you tell people your company is—it should be that. 12:07 Don't try and stuff that with key words or location key words. 12:09 It will hurt your rankings more than it will help. 12:13 [male audience member] Thanks. 12:16 [male audience member] So my question is if a citation source only has 12:28 the business name, phone number, and address but doesn't have a link, 12:33 does it still count as a citation? 12:36 [Darren] Yes. >>[male audience member] It does. 12:39 [Darren] It still counts. It still provides value to your Local SEO. 12:41 The more complete you can get your citations in any case, the better. 12:43 If you think about what does Google know about your business? 12:47 It's trying to rank the businesses in Local— 12:50 the more information you provide, the better it's going to be. 12:52 So a link is going to help a lot because then it can associate it with your website 12:54 which has all that information. 12:57 Fill out your categories, fill out the description— 12:59 the more complete your citations are, the better. 13:01 You can actually drastically improve your rankings in Local just by going through 13:03 all your existing citations and completing them—getting them all to 100%. 13:07 That can be massive for your Local rankings. 13:10 Dave. [Dave] Nicely done, sir. Nicely done. 13:17 I was wondering if in the course of research that you were doing 13:20 for the studies and citations that you did with Dave Mimm, if you encountered 13:24 or were able to see who are the aggregators, who's scraping from who, 13:29 and what are the major data providers that lead 13:34 to the most citations, syndication, and proliferation? 13:38 [Darren] Yeah. Maybe—I haven't looked at that question in the data. 13:42 It might be there, and I encourage you to download it and take a look. 13:47 That would be awesome if you could write a post about it. 13:49 I didn't look at that specifically. 13:52 I don't know if you could see it because it's basically just Google surp data, right? 13:54 So how do you see who's feeding who in that data? I don't know. 14:00 Good question. I'd love to take a closer look at that. 14:06 [male audience member] You mentioned a tip about building back links 14:15 to a Google+ Local page. 14:19 [Darren] That's the top one. Remember that one. 14:21 [male audience member] So where's it going to benefit the business? 14:24 In the organic results because the Google+ Local page 14:27 is showing up in the organic results? 14:29 Or is it going to help the Local result with the pin? Or both? 14:31 [Darren] Given Google+'s push, probably both. 14:37 I'm really only talking about places of rankings. 14:41 So when you see the Local pack come up, the Local rankings 14:44 is really what I'm talking about—and certainly that's what talking about. 14:46 Most results are blended these days. 14:49 It's very rare to see a pure result, which is only Local factors. 14:51 So blended results will incorporate all the organic stuff plus the Local stuff 14:54 and then improve your rankings. 14:58 So I would say both for sure. 15:00 Dana DiTomaso—she's here today—she told me that just by editing 15:03 one of her client's headers where they had the social icons— 15:08 so they had Facebook, Twitter, or whatever—adding the G+ there, 15:10 she noticed a ranking increase just by that. 15:13 Like a site-wide including in the social icons—everyone should just do that 15:17 if you care about Local rankings. It's one easy way to get the link. 15:20 [male audience member] One other quick question. 15:24 What do you use to track your Local rankings? 15:26 [Darren] We have our own tool. 15:28 I appreciate you asking that because we'll be launching it soon. 15:30 [male audience member] When? 15:32 [Darren] I've been saying 2 weeks for months, so 2 weeks. [laughter] 15:34 [female speaker] All right. Thank you very much. 15:39 [Darren] Thank you very much. I appreciate it. [applause] 15:41
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