JordanJCaron

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Mar 20, 2014
Messages
48
We've done this for a few clients. But we created a separate website called Best in Victoria.

The idea came to us by people searching for our SEO service and landing on a blog post we did called "Best SEO Companies in Victoria". If people we searching for the best SEO companies on our city, they're searching for the best electricians, general contractors, sushi restaurants and more.

From each post we target pluralized search terms like "Best driving schools in Victoria" or "Driving Schools in Victoria" We list a few companies along with our clients at the top obviously. We've built no links to this website and have seen some of these blog posts rank very well organically for not only the longtail keywords but for "service + city name" searches.

Marcus Sherdian has a few other ideas on local SEO you should read here.
 

David

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Nov 30, 2012
Messages
6
This seems like a much wiser idea to me. I just don't think it's a good idea to list all of a clients competitors on his site... and link to them to boot. Regardless of any traffic benefit.

We've done this for a few clients. But we created a separate website called Best in Victoria.

The idea came to us by people searching for our SEO service and landing on a blog post we did called "Best SEO Companies in Victoria". If people we searching for the best SEO companies on our city, they're searching for the best electricians, general contractors, sushi restaurants and more.

From each post we target pluralized search terms like "Best driving schools in Victoria" or "Driving Schools in Victoria" We list a few companies along with our clients at the top obviously. We've built no links to this website and have seen some of these blog posts rank very well organically for not only the longtail keywords but for "service + city name" searches.

Marcus Sherdian has a few other ideas on local SEO you should read here.
 

johncrenshaw

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Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
77
This seems like a much wiser idea to me. I just don't think it's a good idea to list all of a clients competitors on his site... and link to them to boot. Regardless of any traffic benefit.
This is what we tell our clients: They're going to find your competitors. Wouldn't you rather have some influence over that process and also ensure you get found first?
 

accessted

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Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
39
John do you have any examples of this you could share? I mean how to the actual page is set up? Also would your competitors get a boost if you give them a good relevant back link to their site?

Thanks for the post
 

johncrenshaw

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Mar 14, 2013
Messages
77
Sure, here's one of the first ones we tested: 30 Incredible Places to Host a Kid's Birthday Party in Cincinnati - The WEB Extreme

While that's not exactly the same type of search as "plumbers Cincinnati" or something like that, PPC testing showed us the people searching that term are parents and the intent is to find a birthday party location in Cincinnati for their kid (seems obvious in hindsight but not so obvious when we started).

It's ranking #1 across the board for pretty much anything related to birthdays cincinnati.

We were never able to get the birthday party packages page on the site to rank higher than 5 or 6.

Also note: This is the most basic example. We were able to rank this page but it could definitely stand to be improved upon significantly.
 

Tyson Downs

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Jul 29, 2013
Messages
148
John, I appreciate you sharing this, so many people keep all their secrets close to the vest, and it's refreshing to see people actually share good, actionable stuff!

You are one of the "good guys" if you don't mind me saying!

Two exclamation marks, I must be excited, lol.
 

johncrenshaw

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Mar 14, 2013
Messages
77
Hey everyone - I posted sort of a guide to how we're doing this here: Local SEO: Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Content that Ranks

It's a first iteration and so could probably use some improvement. Would love to hear thoughts from anyone on things like:


  • Anything not clear or explained well enough?
  • Anything that should be added / removed?
  • As a random visitor to the page, would you trust it? Anything I can do to improve trust?
  • Any other feedback would be great
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
Thanks John! Just took a quick skim and didn't get all the way through.
Dealing with some tech issues now.

But look forward to reading when I can. Hopefully tonight.
 

Tyson Downs

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Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
148
Thanks for the share.

I did this (based on your thread a while back) for a local flooring company.

Haven't noticed anything yet, but we'll see. It's been about 3 months so far.

I really appreciate you sharing your best practices.
 

accessted

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
39
Thanks John.

Great write up. Thanks for the share..

Only feedback would be if you could maybe add a few bullet points about how to relay what is needed to a writer for instance..

like
  • Article about "birds"
  • No PKW
  • Use these queries (Target keyword phrases you find)- Bird bathing, Pigeons pooping and missing their Map target, Penguins slapping back links, Humming birds harmonizing content
  • etc..

I understand it, but I do have a question. I will PM you the niche if that's OK so you can see what I am referring to.

What about local services that on the first page is pretty much websites with regular search terms and you get to a landing page of their business. In other words just mostly 10 local business fighting for the same keyword. No blogs or major brands
with
50 best things
or anything like that. Could this still work?

Also on your competitor back links you said to link to. What if you have a good ranking web page, with a PR 3 or something like that you are just giving them a free niche related link and that could be the link that keeps them above you :)
 

johncrenshaw

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
77
What about local services that on the first page is pretty much websites with regular search terms and you get to a landing page of their business. In other words just mostly 10 local business fighting for the same keyword.

No blogs or major brands with "50 best things" or anything like that. Could this still work?
This wouldn't be any different from the example I used. There may or may not be "50 best things.." lists or whatever for any given search term. That's kind of irrelevant. What's important is you're matching the intent behind the search term(s).

The only reason we created a list of birthday party places is because that's what we determined most people were looking for when searching that term.

The same thing applies to searches for "cincinnati dentist," or "cincinnati roofers," or "cincinnati landscaping companies."

The only reason we're using lists for a lot of these examples is because these are search terms where the intent is primarily to find a list - so we create a list.

If the search term was "picture of a large purple dragon," I'd put a picture of a large purple dragon on the page.

If it was "pictures of large purple dragons," I'd put pictures of large purple dragons on the page.

Then I'd make sure my page was better laid out, had better picture(s), and a title / meta description that encouraged high CTR.

Also on your competitor back links you said to link to. What if you have a good ranking web page, with a PR 3 or something like that you are just giving them a free niche related link and that could be the link that keeps them above you :)
Regarding this specific list tactic: Yeah I get the concern about linking to competitors. Here's the reason why I would recommend doing it:

If I'm a person looking for a dentist, and I see a SERP full of actual dentists, I'm going to click each one one at a time, read through the site, bounce back to search multiple times, etc. There's a lot of pogosticking going on there.

But what if I see a page titled "35 Best Dentists in Denver, CO" and the description is something like "Get aggregated ratings, reviews, pricing, .... for the top dentists in Denver, CO," and that page links to all those Dentists?

I'm going to be much more likely to click that and much less likely to pogostick because it gives me everything I want in one spot. Google's going to see that higher relative CTR and lower relative pogostick rate and bump you up because people are clearly finding more of what they want on your page than your competition.

If you don't link out, well then I have to bounce back to Google and search for each of those dentists individually. You haven't solved the pogosticking problem and you've cause me to search "dentist + your competitors names" more than "dentist + your name" and I wouldn't be surprised if that affected you negatively (or rather the others positively).

With that said, this is not a strategy that says "build a list of X and get ranked". The directory or the list is just a way to match the query intent for many localized search terms. It's only because people do a lot of searches trying to find lists of stuff - lists of dentists, or roofers, or plumbers. In those examples we're just giving them a list of stuff they want to find.

Take another term like "split test calculator." My intent is to find a split test calculator...clearly. But there could be more, less obvious intents:

  • I was a split test calculator that explains how it works so I can confirm it's calculating correctly.
  • I want to know why I'm getting different results from different split test calculators.
  • Maybe I want to find a very related calculator, a split test duration calculator, but don't quite know the best way to phrase it and so I just type "split test calculator".
  • I want the code for a split test calculator to host internally
  • I could probably think of 10 or 20 other, very related possible intents behind that query.

You could create a list of split test calculators - and honestly, one of those videos in that guide I mention positioning your content uniquely - and this might actually work for this search term. The more really useful info you include about each one, the more easily you might rank.

Or you could create a split test calculator that uses different, selectable methods of calculation, explains how each method works, includes different variations like a test duration option, and maybe even compares the other split test calculators out there.

One's a list, the other's not. Both could potentially work, but more importantly, they both are taking search intent into account to just create something more useful than what is already out there.
 

johncrenshaw

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
77
I have a pretty basic question about all this: in the example of 30 Incredible Places to Host a Kid's Birthday Party in Cincinnati - The WEB Extreme, is this just a page or collection of pages that are not accessible from the site's menu structure?
Depends on the project. We'll usually link through the footer or main nav to a parent page. Similar to how moz is doing it here: Learn SEO and Social Media - Moz

---------- Post Merged at 10:12 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:07 AM ----------

It's a well written article. Thank you for sharing.

Question that comes to mind...

I can see you've substantially increased the quantity of traffic. Do you have any measurement of quality of that traffic? As in, do you get longer engagement on the site, more page depth, more opt-ins/downloads, etc?
Thank you!

That's a really hard question to answer. It converts very well directly, but that doesn't take into account bookmarks or social shares that convert months later, or brand awareness or positive sentiment.

We ran a PPC test for a month and were able to track a roughly 800% return on what we could measure, but there's a lot we can't measure.
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
1,268
Depends on the project. We'll usually link through the footer or main nav to a parent page...
Back for more. I'm very interested in this idea. On Oct. 11, after reading your article, I created a test page for this concept for my elder care services website. The test page is at Top Caregiving Agencies in North San Diego County - A Servant's Heart In Home Care - San Diego In Home Caregivers and you get to it by navigating to the "Resources" page in the main nav and then you click on the last link on the Resources page.

So far, Google hasn't indexed that page, although it has indexed all the blog posts that we have published on the site since then.

I'm sort of surprised by this. In your experience, did it take a long time for that page to get indexed, since it wasn't accessible via the main nav?

Thanks!
 

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