marvellouz

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I've looked everywhere and there doesn't seem to be a clear cut answer. I know for organic rankings its a combination of different factors but for local there doesn't seem to be a clear answer.

I read from radical mustache that you can create a page targeting that specific keyword (which is more of an organic ranking method), however I have websites with dedicated pages to a local pack keyword which doesnt rank locally at all.

I understand that it helps if the keyword is in title, homepage, h1, category etc but that only works for the pillar keywords.

As an example jesabella.co.uk ranks for keywords "makeup artist" "makeup artist bournemouth" "wedding makeup artist" and I'm assuming its because there's pages on her site with those keywords as well as it being on homepage content. "makeup and hair" however is a local pack which is is not ranking for, she has a page on her site with that keyword targeted.

If you want to rank for a phrase/keyword - does it need to be on homepage/title/h1/citation descriptions?

Thanks
 

DanLeibson

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I've looked everywhere and there doesn't seem to be a clear cut answer. I know for organic rankings its a combination of different factors but for local there doesn't seem to be a clear answer.

There just isn't a clear answer, because Google is a black box. I would suggest checking out the 2016 Local SEO Ranking Factors I put together if you want a data driven perspective on what it takes to rank:

Local SEO Ranking Factors Study 2016 - Local SEO Guide

Part of the problem when discussing local rankings is that it's always anecdotal and one offs when SERPs and ranking are not just big data, but giant data. Because of that YMMV on all kinds of various tactics. Even with a study of the size of ours, it's still just a drop in the bucket to Google.
 

marvellouz

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Those local factors kinda show what it takes to rank on a local pack, but doesn't answer how to get more than 1 keyword into the local pack. Ok my site is about removals, perhaps I can make removals Bristol rank by optimising GMB, get reviews, backlinks etc but how would you rank it for a keyword that wouldnt be on business title ie packing boxes bristol.

I heard advice such as great a page targeting that keyword.
 

DanLeibson

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I'm not quite sure I understand. As a general rule you need to have content on the page to rank for it otherwise you are just trusting Google to make this association with related terms. If you want to control it, then you need to do what you said and invest in those terms by optimizing the text on the page, in GMB, in reviews and in the link profile.
 

JoyHawkins

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The content on your site and the categories you use in Google My Business are 2 of the main things you can control to get listed for other types of keywords. I would make sure each service you offer has a different well-optimized page on your site. Ex: one for what you offer for wedding makeup, another for what you offer for proms (with corresponding photos) etc.
 
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For Photographers at least, I've seen very few companies in any of the markets I've looked into that have managed to get in the 3-pack for more than one main keyword area. If you do weddings, don't expect to get portrait photography exposure. If you manage to crack the code I'd be very interested to hear how you do it, but in general I'd expect to get in the 3-pack for a more narrow set of keywords, and get your broad exposure from organic SEO on sub pages. As you pointed out, there might be anecdotal companies you can find that are ranking for a variety of keywords, but in practice that's going to be pretty challenging to replicate.
 

chadkimball

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The reality is, google maps DOES NOT serve businesses well that want to rank outside the city that they are located in, and for multiple keyword variations, multiple categories etc.

1. If there is a local pack, ranking in organic slots won't matter much because people won't scroll past the local pack.

2. Even if a SAB is the BEST at what they do, in a 50 mile radius, they still will not rank outside their city in the local pack, and inside their city, only for a limited set of keywords.

3. Google and google fanboys/girls complain about SAB spam but the reality is there are no solutions for SABs that really bring a good ROI if a space is dominated by local pack. Therefore, SABs pursue spam solutions.
 
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marvellouz - Chad might be well intentioned here with his 'help', but stooping to spam will put your actual business profile at risk, not just any spam profiles you may or may not create. Google itself isn't all that great at spotting spam, but your competition? Spam hunting is part of the service I offer to all my clients, anyone cheating and winning in their city and industry won't be winning for long.

Chad's comment about how organic rankings don't matter when there's a 3-pack is an exaggeration as well, it's foolish to ignore organic rankings. They might not get as much traffic individually as your main keywords you're showing in the 3-pack for, but altogether it can be a sizable chunk of your new business. Stick with best practices, build up your local rankings for your primary keyword area, and build organic rankings for secondary keywords with sub pages, and you will do just fine. I don't consider myself a Google fanboy, so much as someone that's hesitant to suggest to a business owner that they gamble with their future stability for short term gain.
 

JoyHawkins

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I am not sure I agree with #1 at all. I have several clients who rank organically and not in the 3-pack who generate a ton of traffic from their organic spot. All the click studies I have seen show that organic is actually still king and gets more activity than AdWords or the map. Personally I strive to get my clients in all 3 :)
 

CodyBaird

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Get links from other sites with the anchor text "makeup artist Bournemouth" and "wedding makeup artist", "insert desired keyword here".

Find other related blogs, papers, etc and post articles about those topics and link back to supporting content on your website.

Rinse and repeat.

You should be creating content on your site about those topics and related topics ongoing as well.
 
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