Local SEO is a hot topic right now and I had the pleasure of chatting with Rand Fishkin the CEO & founder of SEOMOZ.org about it. Rand Fiskin is a thought leader in SEO and his company SEOMOZ is an excellent source for SEO education and they make SEO tools that almost every SEO professional uses. If you are new to SEO and you want to learn the basics I suggest you read their Beginners Guide to SEO. Local SEO is evolving and changing quickly so I wanted to ask Rand what SEO MOZ is developing to help SEO professionals keep pace with the change and what we can all expect from Local SEO.
Rand did a talk called A Manifesto of Content Marketing and in it he used the quote from Will Smith above that hit home with be and said,” This is how greatness is achieved.” Rand went on to make the point that if you want to be great at SEO, Content Marketing or anything you have to be willing to “die on the treadmill” aka work hard in order to be so. I fight full contact Karate and see the world from a full contact perspective. In full contact Karate if you do not train hard you will get seriously injured because the margin for error is slim. The effort I put into Karate is the same effort I put into SEO and everything that I do (cause who wants to get knocked out?). I’m not saying I am great or anything, but I think if there were a secret to success that would be it. In the interview with Rand we touch on this and more.
Local SEO Interview Summary
The local SEO interview video as well as a summary of the main points are below. Enjoy. If you have any comments or questions please leave a comment and let me know.
What is Local SEO?
Searches with local intentions. i.e “Italian Restaurant in New York City” adding New York City makes it local.
Google+ Local: Pros/Cons?
Great for Google and if rolled out better would have been great for users. Could be great for users because Google is making an effort to connect all of its services together. The social aspect of Google+ Local could add value for local business.
How do you Optimize the Google+ Local pages?
Keep with the best practices that were developed with Google Places pages until more research is done regarding the Google+ Local pages.
How to optimize Google Places pages.
- Claim it
- Write description with target keywords in them
- Add related categories
- Add business name, address, phone and website (make sure this information is the same as it is on your website)
- Upload pictures &link You Tube video
- Add as much information as you can i.e store hours etc
What ways can you encourage reviews?
Go back to the basics and provide an amazing service or product and this will generate organic reviews. You can also always just ask your customers nicely for a review.
How can we track Google+ Local page analytics?
Google+ Local pages come with 30 day analytics as displayed in the picture below. You can also make tweaks in Google analytics to pull in info sent from the Google+ Local pages.
Has Panda or Penguin affected Google+ Local Pages?
No real data to show that Panda or Penguin affected Google+ Local pages but based on the way Google is moving future updates will most likely affect Google+ Local pages. So don’t do shady SEO tactics learn from the mistakes of the companies that did use shady tactics and took massive ranking hits.
What tools are SEOMOZ developing for Local SEO?
SEOMOZ are in the process of developing great tools for local SEO. In 6 months they should have some things is beta that people can test and then they will invest heavily in developing more products.