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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Seek & Destroy: Local SEO

Advanced Local SEO Tactics

So you have already been running a SEO campaign and you have already taken care of all the Local SEO basics. You even started building some links and doing some social media. Your site is picking up traction and your rankings have improved. Yet your business isn't ranking locally.  What to do? If you have done a good job at building your business's profile up and feel your site should rank, we may be able to help!

It's time to implement some:

Seek and Destroy! 

First you need to locate who your TRUE local competition is. A lot of people naturally gravitate to the big name businesses and the ones who rank on top. These sites are your competition and you should be monitoring what there up to anyway, right? To find your TRUE local competition you now need to take a step further and target a specific piece of physical real estate. If you have ever taken some time to examine a local map result for a high competition term you may have noticed that Google very rarely places their local map markers in clusters. You may occasionally see 2 markers close in proximity but never more. Usually the results are spread out pretty evenly across the map. I'm guessing this is to cover the most potential search queries no matter what part of town you may be in or searching for. This means that to rank on page 1 locally you only need to be better than 1 or 2 specific business.

Lets Plot Our Map

As an example I'm going to pretend I'm a small pizza shop in Albuquerque, NM who seems to be stuck on the second page of the local results.

Do a search using your geographic location and your target keyword. 

Click through to the larger map and notice how some of the results change places. Also notice how more markers have been added and they are a bit more clustered. If you are in one of these clustered areas your task will be tougher.

Take a screen shot and start breaking your map up into a grid using your favorite photo editing software. You may also want to zoom in once more to your specific area just remember this will further alter the results.  I prefer an 8 x 8 grid.

To keep this nice and simple we are going to pretend our pizza business is in the same square of the grid as the result labeled "G". This means that we've found our target, our TRUE Local Competition. Square C-3.

Now Destroy 

Find the business name and URL of the Letter Marker and other "dots" in your target square. Now begin your attack. SEO and marketing attack that is. While business is competitive and the stakes are high, we would never recommend doing anything malicious or harmful to any website or business. What I do mean by destroy is to outsmart, out maneuver, and out market these businesses in a friendly yet competitive manner. Let the best business stand on the map!

I also recommend recording all businesses in the eight squares surrounding yours as lesser targets. In this case there are only about two others in these surrounding eight which makes it pretty simple.

The next part will be completely individualized based on your specific business, industry, market, location etc... Research your TRUE local competition, now that you've found them and see what they have been up to. What kinds of reviews do they get, good and bad? What types of specials do they run? What types of social sharing are they doing? Who links to them and why? Develop a marketing strategy based on the new info and start sinking some battleships!


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