I’ve spent most of yesterday sorting through articles from the past 3 weeks as it’s been since Dec 19th since I put together the last “This Week in Local SEO”.
One theme was constant throughout most of the big articles: 2015 predictions.
My takeaway from them all: diversify your citations.
There’s lots of big companies (Apple, Yahoo, etc) competing with Google for supplying local business data and they do not share the same sources. If you’re new here, the past couple posts2015 highlight some places to check if your data is accurate.
Now on to This Week in Local SEO:
Duplicate content, inconsistent citations, and Google My Business categories.
Duplicate Content – What to Avoid
If you haven’t heard it from me, you’ve likely heard it elsewhere: duplicate content.
Therefore, you can have one of those pages on your website that is, for example, an answer to a question in your FAQs actually appear higher, and separate from, your home page.
– end moment –
When 2 pages have the same exact words (plagiarism) then search engines (Google) do not know who is the authoritative source and instead either make a best guess or penalize the one that is an obvious copy.
This is bad. Sometimes it’s ok.
There’s quite a few tools to identify if you have any duplicate content. However, one of the top “bad” kinds of duplicate content is multiple Google+ business pages. If another Google+ page has the same name, address, or phone number as your primary, it confuses Google, which causes doubt in authority, which causes them to rank you lower.
Action: Use Michael Cottam’s Google+ Local page finder to identify if you have multiple pages out there representing your business.
If you do, reach out to me and I’ll help you with the next step to clear up the confusion.
Myles Anderson of BrightLocal (one of few MAJOR tools for Local SEO) shared the results of a recent survey of Local SEO practitioners.
By a landslide, the #1 ranking issue for small local businesses is citation inconsistencies. This is not surprising, as it’s shockingly easy to occur.
Luckily it’s fairly easy to identify and correct (although very time consuming).
Joy Hawkins from Imprezzio Marketing is a wealth of savvy local search marketing knowledge. Recently she shared a nifty way to identify what categories a Google+ local page is listed as.
This is most helpful when your primary category is not clearly listed as an option, like a recent client of mine that installs pool fences (the best category was ‘fence contractor’).
Take note of top competitors and what categories they are primarily listed as. You may find some you may not have thought of that apply to you.
That’s it for this week. As always, shoot me an email and tell me what you need help with.
How Festive is Your Home Town?
Bonus: Wired Magazine published an article from NASA that showed the world’s lights at night from space with a comparison of times before and during holidays. The green tints show areas brighter during the holidays.