More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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City Life vs. Country Life: Local SEO Challenges Based On Location


Every local search agency wants to get their clients at the top of the search rankings.

We want to be able to say to our clients:

?Look! We did it! We?ve got your company appearing the local 3-pack without advertising.?

Small businesses in cities face different challenges compared to companies in more suburban and rural areas. The geographical location of our clients can heavily influence our Local SEO and Online Review Marketing and Management (ORMM) strategy for moving up the rankings.

I reached out to a few local search experts who face the unique challenges each location presents.

Experts included in the post:

Justin Herring - Yeah! Local

Cliff Robbins - Cohlab

Peter Brissete - Review Me Marketing

Darren Clifford - Locallogy

And LocalSearchForum's very own Michael Borgelt - 51 Blocks

Read the full article here.

Oops shoot. Sorry Garrett, I totally meant to reply to your request to weigh in on this one.
But I spaced it. :eek:

The others covered Local SEO pretty well. so but I was just going to address this part of the question: "... does that make generating and managing review activity easier or harder?"

What I was going to mention, I figured others would too - but since no one did - here goes.

In big cities and especially big city + competitive market - there is more competition for both reviews and ranking. So one of the things I see that's different is that there is often more review spam, fake reviews and incentivized reviews. This also puts pressure on the honest businesses to do something shady, just to keep up with the rest.

Additionally in big city + competitive market, the companies on top typically have either really aggressive OR really good agencies/SEOs/ORMM support on board. So the ones on top may be getting more legit reviews too due to implementing really smart review strategies. (Like using Grade.Us) :)
Great post Garrett, as always! Linda's point is the only thing I can think of that's missing, competitive spam hunting definitely seems to be a worthwhile investment at this point for certain industries and certain cities, but while I'm nowhere near as active with spam hunting as Joy, it does seem like it's more of a thing in cities. If you're blanketing the country with your fake listings after all, you're probably operating off a list of US cities by population.
Great reply Linda! You make a really good point that wasn't mentioned in the post. The idea of review spam being more prevalent in Cities. I would assume that savvy consumers can navigate/avoid fake reviews in the same way that we've learned to avoid spam pop-up ads, but that doesn't negate the fact that all of those fake reviews would impact the aggregate star rating which would lead to more clicks regardless of the legitimacy of the reviews.

Additionally, I wonder to what extent this is exacerbated based on industry. Like, are locksmiths notorious for review spam in the same way they're the main culprits for Black Hat SEO tactics?

I bet the restaurant industry would be one of the worst for review spam since they've been aware of 'the review game' much longer than most other industries.

Have you seen any industries especially guilty of fake review spam?

Thanks again for the great reply! No worries about missing this post, I'll reach out again if something comes up in the future.
Thanks for the reply James!

Not to mention the fact that you have businesses on the outskirts of cities trying to attract city dwellers and tourists only increasing the competition.

I'd be curious how successful companies are that try to get listed in the city, even when they're not. I'm sure it depends on industry as well, but I wonder how many are effectively using a 'local' strategy like that.
It's great seeing other experts' persepctives. Thanks for rounding this information up, Garrett!

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