Digitaldar

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Succinct is not my middle name so bare with me :)

Client's goal: to be on first page of Google for vague service keyword + geography (e.g. lice removal + City).

Fact: organic traffic (spam removed) doubled from January to February; leads from some channels are up but not all - there is a caveat in that many of my client's leads in the past were based on a competitor's brand; said competitor is now actively engaged in promoting their site.

We and all of the competitors have GMB set up. For my client, it only shows if you Google their business name + city (common). For the competition, it now shows up for non branded search terms! Not just one, but two of the competitor's GMB shows up for non branded search terms!

HOW? WHY? lol

My client's site launched somewhere around Nov 2016; competitors all have been at it longer (we've only got a few competitors) so have older domains. We now have more citations than all competitors, are catching up on reviews (we're beating one of two main competitors); are actively trying to get backlinks from local sites by writing guest posts; running competitions on related blogs; media appearances; holding events, etc.). My client also does a great job of connecting with people on Facebook and in person - forming real relationships in order to generate brand awareness and to gain referrals.

In terms of on-page; it is mostly the homepage that I am concerned with ranking right now - it is a fit for service +keyword. I am working on content for longer tail keywords that be searched by people who are not necessarily local - e.g. lice comb, lice shampoo, etc. I have content planned for a variety of those keywords and need to do a better job of interlinking pages.

And yes I recognize the value of leads over rankings :) But I can't explain to my client why their GMB does not show for non branded keywords and now not one but two competitors are showing!

BTW - we were not in Google Maps until I did a no no.... changed the company name to be keyword rich - instantly rose from >50 to position 2. So typical of Google saying one thing but rewarding another *sigh*

So suggestions? Explanations? Happy to share more details privately. Thank you in advance :)
 

Digitaldar

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bumping this and trying to be more succint :)

Question: how can we get our GMB to show for a geo category search? e.g. Chicago Plumber.

There are only a few competitors in this category and both of the other competitor's GMB show up on the right of Google for geo category search at different times - e.g sometimes competitor one, sometimes competitor two.

e.g. I could search for Chicago Plumber and ABC Plumbing might show up with their GMB box.

Like ABC Plumbing is synonymous with Chicago Plumbers...

how? why? LOL TIA
 
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I think no one's responded because it's hard to say anything for certain without looking at specifics. If you're comfortable posting the company's name, address, and phone number it'd be a lot easier to take a look.

For what it's worth though, a few things jump out. First, new businesses rise slowly in GMB. November 2016 is a few months back now, but depending on the work you've done getting traction could still be a ways off. Do a search and look for your site in the organic listings, if you don't see the site until page 2 or 3 for that keyword, that's one place to start.

I've seen businesses get the knowledge panel for generic searches in a few cases. In one case I was even able to get the competitor to disappear, and my client's knowledge panel to start appearing there instead, though I think there were some extenuating circumstances there that made it possible. There's basically two reasons a competitor might have the knowledge panel for a generic search. First, if their name is very similar to the search phrase, Google might think you were actually looking for that company directly. For the second, if there's no one else nearby that Google thinks is worth displaying, they'll (usually? Always?) show the knowledge panel instead of a 1-pack. In either case, all you can do is the same things you'd be doing anyway to raise rankings. Improving the backlink profile, make sure your local and onpage and citation ducks are all in a row, build reviews, etc. Again, if the client is a brand new business with a brand new domain name, you may need to temper expectations. It takes a while to get the ball rolling.
 

Digitaldar

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Thank you for replying James :)
I would agree with everything you are saying - except that it bugs me that the competitors are showing up - first one competitor and then a second...

You know what else? In the local pack, the client was nowhere to be seen until I "faked" the business name (creating inconsistent citations I know) and she popped into position 2 in the maps!

Grrr Google LOL
 
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Why is it strange that the competitor is showing up? Does it seem like they shouldn't be for some reason?

And yes, name spam unfortunately still works. I'd never recommend anyone do it, but for the time being it's still a fairly large ranking factor. I'd still recommend you focus your attention on the long term, white hat local SEO strategies though. One that's less sensitive to a savvy competitor reporting your client.
 
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