Chris Silver Smith at State Of Search

State Of Search 2015: Chris Silver Smith

The following is a live blog from State Of Search. Please pardon any typos or grammar issues as we really didn’t have time for much proofing between sessions.

Chris Silver Smith at State Of Search

Chris Silver Smith from Argent Media takes the stage to chat Local SEO for Multi-Location businesses.

He begins with a list of the key Google-confirmed metrics:

  • Keywords in business name
  • Keywords on sites
  • Business category match
  • Radius from city centroid
  • City/ZIP
  • Users geolocation
  • Relative popularity
  • PageRank

Constellation of Local SEO

  • Classic onsite
  • Business data concordance
  • Local citation
  • Review and ratings
  • Social

To confirm classic SEO we can see sites with strong title tags having Google y Business listings appear in the snack-pack with otherwise inferior signals. He includes keyword density/relevant and anchor in inlinks to site.

Looking at Caliber Collision we see solid onsite with map and anchor links to key internals. On their individual location we’re seeing:

  • Title starts with location and keywords
  • Description optimized
  • H1 optimized
  • Keyword density reinforces location and topical relevance

Common Issues With Locator Pages

  • number of links to locator page and to locations
  • No individual profile
  • Info embedded in a map

Listing Data is critical. We’ve heard it in other sessions and we’ll hear it again because it’s so important. Insuring the citation data (NAP) is consistent across sites.

BrightLocal.com is a good tool according to Chris.

Local Search Ecosystem

Top aggregators are:

Unorthodox citation sources …

Here Chris talks about Wikipedia if you have something like an old building that warrants a write-up, WiFi hotspot listings, Geocaching locations, etc., Chamber of Commerce, Pressed penny machines, ATM locations, Webcams, Local charities (soccer, food banks, etc)

He goes on to discuss reviews and their impact on SEO. While we see a correlation between high rankings and good reviews this may well be coincidence and not causality in many cases. It is a confirmed factor however poorly reviewed sites (or non-reviewed) can get good rankings organically.

Start with the top review sites (Yelp, FourSquare, etc.)

Also put time into niche directories related to what you do or your location.

BBB has increasing influence and while they’re late to the game they are doing it well.

Asking for reviews …

Yelp says not to ask for reviews. Chris thinks that’s going a bit too far but not paying or incentivizing a review is a clear violation and fraud.

There are services like DemandForce and CustomerLobby to solicit reviews after a client has used your services

Monitoring …

Keeping up with multi-locations is difficult. PlacesScout is his recommended tool for monitoring reviews from many locations.

Social Media …

Social media for multiple location can be difficult. The big question is whether to have one social account or many. If possible multiple accounts is best for reputation management but not always doable.

Whole Foods is a great template and they have individual social profiles for their locations. This also reinforces the activity around each location.

The National Parks Service is doing a great job. They have created full Twitter accounts for each park.

The social signals that matter in search are:

  • Followers
  • Influence
  • Updates
  • Interactions
  • Replies & Likes
  • Frequency

Semantic Markup is critical for social (Note: I missed this for a few days in a WordPress update and can assure you he’s right here).

New & Emerging

  • HTTPS (in the case of a tie – it’s the tie breaker)
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • City-specific top level domains may come up as an issue.
  • Maps

Post-show add-on: His slide deck

Chris Silversmith: Structure Local SEO from DFWSEM

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