More threads by mqs1000

Aug 16, 2013
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Is there anything I am missing in my to-do list when trying to rank a new business on the local results? Here is my list below:

1) Optimize the website for local SEO using every SEO checklist I can find on the Internet and making sure I do everything. For Wordpress websites I also download the Yoast plugin and confgure that.

2) Optimize the Google+ page as best as I can. I fill it out until it's at 100%, add pictures, add keywords in the description, etc.

3) Order a large number (250+) of citations/local directories from someone who uses Whitespark to get a list of the best ones. He creates all of those online directory profiles and fills them out with all of the business information and keeps them consistent.

4) Look up all of the already existing citations / local directories and make corrections to any inconsistencies I see with the business's name, address, and phone number and any other information as best as I can.

5) Create backlinks for a) the website, b) the Google+ page, and c) the top 20-30 of the best current citations for the business which I find by Googling the business phone number and use the ones that show up within pages 1 - 10 of the search engine results pages.

6) Add user generated reviews to both the Google+ page as well as some of the top online directories / review websites.

Sometimes after doing all of these steps, I still don't wind up ranking. Is there something I'm missing? Which if these steps is most important? What can I do different or better to improve my rankings?
A lot of it has to do with the history of the business, if they have NAP issues, if they have duplicates, if they have a website that's been around for a long time, what you're trying to get them ranked for etc.

It's really hard to say what you're missing without knowing specifics.
It takes time... I have done the same thing - we are working on getting more reviews than the competion; more citations and more linking domains. I am finding that you can build 250 citations but they don't all "kick in" - reporting tools will report fewer links than you have built as it takes time for those pages/sites to be recognized.

As I say this though, I can't count how many times client's complain about a new competitor showing up that does not have as many links, citations or reviews!
Have you seen Local SEO Guide's local ranking factor study from last Summer? 250 citations is extreme, and likely won't help you any more than just hitting the top 40~50.

What will cause problems though, is having citation consistency issues. Sounds to me like you're hiring someone on upwork to go through and do a bunch of citations. In theory there's nothing wrong with hiring someone there vs anywhere else, but you need to make sure they're not just creating duplicate listings, or making any of the other mistakes that someone not up to speed could make. Given how accuracy is more important than volume, having too many citations is opening the door for future problems, even if they're all made correctly the first time around.

For my two cents, backlinks are the main point of differentiation on competitive keywords. All the local work, onsite work, citations, and so on are the price for entry. Working on getting high quality backlinks are where you're going to turn the dial from 7 to 10. Good luck!
On top of all that make sure that you have content that addresses as many of your customer's needs as possible. Users finding your site useful will help you move upward and not doing so will negatively impact rankings.
Read this today and thought it was relevant:

Almost 95% of newly published pages don?t get to the Top10 within a year.

I think this is true in general but Local SEO, of course, is a different animal. Less competition.

Would love to see a study about this on Local SEO!
I could do one but the sample size would be small ;)

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