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Good afternoon everyone!!

My name is Greg Magnusson, I'm a dog and cat vet located between the outer edge of Indianapolis and the outer edge of Carmel, Indiana, in a not-on-the-map little spot called Home Place. Google "home place indiana" and you'll see my zip code 46280 listed as "home place, indianapolis, in, 46280".

Here's my info:

Leo's Pet Care
10598 N College Ave Ste 200 (don't even get me started on Suite number formatting)
Indianapolis, IN 46280

I've never been certain if the Home Place thing is a bug or what, or if being in the only business strip center in Home Place affects my google rankings, but suffice it to say I've never gotten higher than #40 on the map for any veterinary keyword for either Indianapolis or Carmel, certainly not in the top 7.

I am on the map for veterinarian 46280, but there's only a few thousand people I'm trying to reach in that zip, a BUNCH in 46032, 46033, 46220, etc that I do not rank for.

Organically, I do pretty OK for a one-man operation running a little Wordpress blog-based site representing my brick-and-mortar shop. I blog as regularly as a vet can.

Mike Blumenthal once upon a time took at look at my rankings (it's been almost a year now) and said that because of my distance from the Indianapolis centroid, there was no way I would ever rank well in Indy.

He also said that I'd never rank as well as the other guys because they'd been in business so much longer than me, but my site has been live over two years now, I blog regularly, I've got plenty of good local reviews, so who knows.

Not sure why I never rank in Carmel, since I'm closer to the city center than many of my competitors ranking higher, and none of those guys put any effort into their rankings at all.

I put a lot of thought into this, put a ton of time into my blog, make as many local and directory links as I can, and still no love.

Anyways, enough from me, y'all are the professionals. What can I do to help my local maps ranking?

See how obsessed I am with keywording? I even keyworded my signature! LOOL
 
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Linda Buquet

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Greg,

Thank you SO much for posting detailed info so we can try to help you.

Here is a link to his G+ Local Page guys: Leos Pet Care - About - Google+

Now that I see the name of the company and the Place page, I remember seeing you post over at the Places forum.

I'm buried today with this forum launch so won't be able to dig in and research til tonight. But hopefully some of our local pros will jump in and give you some suggestions.

Anyone have any tips for Greg?
 
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Tough scenario

Hi Leo,
Have you put much effort into linkbuilding with your desired geo phrase as the core goal of the work? If your content-related efforts just aren't working, linkbuilding (or paid advertising) would be the next options to explore.
 
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Hi there Miriam!

You and I emailed back and forth in February 2011 after a contact on SEOMoz. :)

I have put a bunch of time and money into link building, and have far more of EVERY kind of link than any other veterinarian in indianapolis or carmel. I work every day on local blogs, sites, etc to get them to create links for me, but that is tiring legwork.

I'm unwilling to keep dumping money into not-local linkbuilding, even on veterinary sites, since that's an activity that seems to help only my (already pretty good) organic results and does nothing for my maps.

Yes, I do have an active Google Adwords Express ad going, that seems to be helping just fine, but I'd rather not pay them forever.

I will gladly hear your assessment of my situation! Looking forward to it!
 
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Hi Greg (and sorry I called you Leo!),

Thanks for jogging my memory; I do remember that we chatted now. It's really good that you are continuing to put so much effort into promoting your business, and I really like your Google+ Local page.

I recommend you read Linda's recommendations in this previous thread:
Client's listing goes from spot 3 for local results to 2nd page

I think using some of the tools she references could help you assess your competition and opportunities accurately. Definitely empathize with that drive to come out on top!

Miriam
 
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On Site Notes

I haven't had time to really delve as far in as I'd like, but there are some things on-site that jump out. I'll provide more detail in a later post, but here are some things that will definitely help.

1) The page load time is really slow due to the main image "leospetcarenew-1.jpg" being 7.9Mb. Google's really seeming to pay attention to load time lately, and I'd bet your site is being penalized as such.

2) On page keywords. If the phrase that is most desired by you is "Indianapolis vet," for example, or simply the implied "vet" for a local search, then you need to have that specific in bold type in the body of the main page. I would rewrite the body to include 4 sentences or so and move the "pawed" bullet points and photo slightly lower. You need your keywords higher, throughout the page, and in headers where possible.

My initial take, anyway :)
 
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@Miriam - Yup, I'm tenacious. This business is my family's livelihood, pretty much our one chance at long term income.

I went to Linda's tools page, my rankings on that tool are:
indianapolis veterinarian 2
indianapolis veterinarians 4
veterinarian indianapolis 3
veterinarians indianapolis 12 (?)

I'll gladly pay $147 for Places Scout if it helps me, I'd just as soon pay one of you the same $147 to run the tools for me and tell me what work to do. LOL

@Carleton Whoops! Our last homepage photo was optimized, that one was just uploaded last week and I forgot to compress it. Will get on that immediately.

You're suggesting I replace the "furry family members" line with some keyworded
phrases? Or where else, specifically, might I put them without making the site ugly?

Once upon a time I had a bunch of keywords on the homepage, which may or may not have helped my organic results, but did nothing for local and made the site less user friendly.

Still listening, thank you all for your help!!
 

JoyHawkins

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Add more content to your home page. I would do this by having a blog feed, or a list of services, or a contact form on there. If you have a contact form, you can have a drop down that lists your services and asks the user which one they are inquiring about (which will get the keywords on your page naturally). Also if you have a "business description" on your homepage, try and get the word "Indianapolis" and "vet" together if you can, in a way that's not spammy.

Example: If you need vet services in Indianapolis... or Looking for a Indianapolis vet clinic? etc.

Just don't overdo it or it becomes keyword stuffing.

Also, make sure you add your G+ page to your website - http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1708844

I noticed you have your business G+ page and your local page merged. I'm jealous.
 
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Pretty sure my G+ page is linked to my site already, that's why they let me merge my listings.

Regarding home page keywording, I've always had the phrase "veterinary clinic located between Carmel and Indianapolis" on the page, and I've got my address in the footer.

What else y'all got for me?
 
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