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Hi all,

Running into some headaches trying to rank on the maps for a newer listing of ours. It was verified back in early December (12/5/19).

We have a lot of the basics covered:

- NAPs
- We already have 8, 5-star reviews from clients
- Backlinks (we have a high DA and various local links as well)
- GMB optimization (photos, description, services, service areas, etc.)
- Our listing is going to a location page and has a unique phone number
- We also recently switched to a different (but still relevant) main category
- Strong organic presence, we have 15 terms in the top 10 organically (a handful in top 3 at that)
- We have been doing spam submissions heavily, however, a lot are showing as "pending" through suggest an edit

We do have another listing that is in close proximity but in a different city (a suburb of city vs. the new location is in the main city we are trying to rank in).
It is a much older listing with over 25, 5-star reviews. It seems to be having a more dominant presence than the newer one when you search our name and everything.

Any suggestions on how to overcome this? Or if anyone has experienced this as well?

Sadly wondering if the answer is just patience or if there is something else we should do.

Thanks!
 
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@sixthcitysarah Hey Sarah, are able to share any specific details about the business and the keywords you are trying to rank for?

Sure! We are a digital marketing agency in Cleveland. So various terms like SEO, digital marketing, PPC, etc. with variations of agency, company.

We use SERank to view our rankings, and according to them we have 16 terms in the top 5, but none of them are in the local pack. However, for all the same terms, we are dominating the local pack in Columbus.

Some of the terms don't "have" a local pack available for them in our location, but vast majority of them do, if that helps.
 

Yan Gilbert

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By "NAP's", do you mean citations? Because with a new business I believe that becomes an important factor. If you have done the normal citations, then making sure that the actual citation pages are indexed by Google.
 
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By "NAP's", do you mean citations? Because with a new business I believe that becomes an important factor. If you have done the normal citations, then making sure that the actual citation pages are indexed by Google.

Yes local citations, a lot of them were made on the day we verified the profile and then some more in the past few weeks. I would need to check all manually to see if they're indexed yet, I can get back to you on that.
 
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Update: Compared our other location that is killing it, only 4 of their citations (out of 70+) are indexed, so really don't know if this is the root of the issue here sadly.

Any other advice is welcomed
 

pony

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Sure! We are a digital marketing agency in Cleveland. So various terms like SEO, digital marketing, PPC, etc. with variations of agency, company.

Are you using any local modifiers when performing those searches? i.e. changing the location from which the search is performed and/or adding 'cleveland' to the queries?

I have never used that tool before but you are performing local searches. If you are standing at your Cleveland office and searching for 'SEO agency' and not showing up then you have problems.

But if you are standing at your old office, or not modifying queries with a locale near your new office then I wouldn't be surprised that your new property isn't ranking.
 
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Are you using any local modifiers when performing those searches? i.e. changing the location from which the search is performed and/or adding 'cleveland' to the queries?

I have never used that tool before but you are performing local searches. If you are standing at your Cleveland office and searching for 'SEO agency' and not showing up then you have problems.

But if you are standing at your old office, or not modifying queries with a locale near your new office then I wouldn't be surprised that your new property isn't ranking.

Hi! We are and aren't. So in our rank checking software, we have the search engine set to a location, (Cleveland), and then we are tracking both local modified terms and non (seo agency and cleveland seo agency, etc.)

It's not really an "old" address - both exist in the same vicinity/both open and active.
 

pony

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Sorry I mean the listing being new, not the address.

Most tracking tools that allow you to set the search engine as a city/location will use the exact coordinates of the center of the city as the basis for where the search is being performed. Almost as if the user was standing at the very center of the city with their phone.

If one property happens to be closer to the center of the city then it will always outrank the other. You can find the lat/long Google uses for each city center by looking for that city in Google Maps and taking the coordinates out of the URL.

With local searches like that, the results are going to be vastly skewed by where the search is being performed (exact coordinates) so take it with a grain of salt.

Certain tools like STAT allow you to set specific lat/longs within the same city so you can get an understanding of where you rank as your customers look for throughout different parts of our target market.

Local Falcon visualizes this data for you although I don't have much experience with it.
 
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Sorry I mean the listing being new, not the address.

Most tracking tools that allow you to set the search engine as a city/location will use the exact coordinates of the center of the city as the basis for where the search is being performed. Almost as if the user was standing at the very center of the city with their phone.

If one property happens to be closer to the center of the city then it will always outrank the other. You can find the lat/long Google uses for each city center by looking for that city in Google Maps and taking the coordinates out of the URL.

With local searches like that, the results are going to be vastly skewed by where the search is being performed (exact coordinates) so take it with a grain of salt.

Certain tools like STAT allow you to set specific lat/longs within the same city so you can get an understanding of where you rank as your customers look for throughout different parts of our target market.

Local Falcon visualizes this data for you although I don't have much experience with it.

My bad! Ironically, this new listing/address is actually very very close to what is deemed as "city center" more or less. If you see my screenshot, please excuse my horrid quick photoshop skills but, newest location circled in the green, older location in red

This is pretty much our issue is trying to crack down on why this listing isn't showing locally on maps when we have a high organic presence here.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 3.41.05 PM.png
 

pony

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I've taken a look at the SERPs and found both your locations. When I perform the search "seo agency cleveland" from here in Arizona, neither of your locations are showing up on the first page of the map results.

I do see one of your listings on the first page of the organic results, which is what I am guessing you were referring to when you said you have some decent historical rankings.

I have dig up some studies if you are interested, but when a query triggers a map pack nearly 80% of the clicks will go to the listings in maps. Therefor ranking organically for a local term doesn't have much value.

Are you guys tracking map pack rankings or just organic rankings?
 
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I've taken a look at the SERPs and found both your locations. When I perform the search "seo agency cleveland" from here in Arizona, neither of your locations are showing up on the first page of the map results.

I do see one of your listings on the first page of the organic results, which is what I am guessing you were referring to when you said you have some decent historical rankings.

I have dig up some studies if you are interested, but when a query triggers a map pack nearly 80% of the clicks will go to the listings in maps. Therefor ranking organically for a local term doesn't have much value.

Are you guys tracking map pack rankings or just organic rankings?

Correct, we are ranking well organically and not seeing a reflection on maps, even though this new location is in a good area. And correct, which is why we are trying to solve this puzzle more or less of how we can get on the maps.
 

ianscott

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Correct, we are ranking well organically and not seeing a reflection on maps, even though this new location is in a good area. And correct, which is why we are trying to solve this puzzle more or less of how we can get on the maps.

Hi Sarah - were you ever able to crack this and figure out what was going on? I'm having a strangely similar situation with a client and trying to figure out the answer.
 
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Hi Sarah - were you ever able to crack this and figure out what was going on? I'm having a strangely similar situation with a client and trying to figure out the answer.

Hi! So yes, at the beginning of August we finally started to get a presence on the local pack, we believe it was a mix of things but mostly:

1) The new listing aging, when I first posted in January it was only 1 month old, and by 9 months it started to rank

2) Heavy, heavy consistent spam-fighting

3) Custom local competitor research examining elements such as competitor landing page features, reviews, location on maps, etc.

I have a spreadsheet for the competitor research if you are interested feel free to shoot me a direct message!
 

Eoghan_MFeed

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Realize the challenge was solved here but curious if you....

Post out any content via Google Posts at all?

Directly claim your listings on high authority sites (ie. Yelp, Bing) vs. just relying on the aggregators to syndicate?

Responding to reviews? Regularly posting out photos? Keep website ticking over with updates?

Review count seems very low but might be relative to your category / market.
 
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Yes we added posts a few times a week.

And yes we were using a citation management system before, but no longer do.

Yes to responding to reviews, but not all (some were spam).

Not regularly posting photos.

But we have 10 reviews, started with 0, many competitors have over 15.

Lastly, sorry to ask but what do you mean by ticking over with updates?
 

Eoghan_MFeed

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Understood. Photos will help. We see our clients rank and view->action rates bounce a bit when they get into the habit of regularly posting new photos to listings.

10 reviews? I don't know the client category but I think if there's ways to promote client on Google a bit more to encourage their customers to leave public feedback, I'd do it. If competition are only sitting on 15 reviews, great opportunity to rocket past them in that factor.

Ticking over = regular upkeep, Irish turn of phrase!
 

JohnnyM

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Hi! So yes, at the beginning of August we finally started to get a presence on the local pack, we believe it was a mix of things but mostly:

1) The new listing aging, when I first posted in January it was only 1 month old, and by 9 months it started to rank

2) Heavy, heavy consistent spam-fighting

3) Custom local competitor research examining elements such as competitor landing page features, reviews, location on maps, etc.

I have a spreadsheet for the competitor research if you are interested feel free to shoot me a direct message!
We had the exact same issue with a client in Hartford. Spam from competitors is a huge problem that Google is slow to respond to.
 
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