Learn how to steal the traffic from your local competitors by being better at Local SEO with Jon Payne of ODL Bristol.
I’m going to do a quick advert, since I've paid for this room, and you are all eating my bloody popcorn. I work for that lady, who runs the search and social media agency, and we're Epic. You know what? Like Dan, we hate SEOs. Because they're full of shit, so we do SEO, but we're not full of shit. That's about it really, we work for companies like this, we work for lots of companies that are quite small, there's a couple of these in the room. We are increasingly growing who we're working for. We've won a couple of awards, because as I've mentioned, we're not full of shit like normal SEOs.
Okay, so, pretty things, shiny things, yada yada. So, I'm going to keep turning around. It's quite nice, 'cause you get to look at my backside. Who needs local SEO? Well, it's a good question I mean if you're running an e-commerce site like Amazon and you're shipping all over the world maybe you don't really need local SEO. But if you're customers let’s say we're looking at Bristol and this is typically how Bristol seems to work, is that they don't really want to go too much into Wales for some reason it's kind of a racism that begins just on the other side of Bedminster and people don't want to go and deal with the Welsh, I mean it does cost you a lot to get there. So, if that's your target market actually at some point someone there is probably going to have local intent in their search. We'll look a bit more what that is in a minute. If your market is a bit more that shape definitely some of the people that you work with have local intent, and if it's that shape, definitely, you've got people who are looking for a person in your area. So, it may not be that they're explicitly putting that information into their search, but definitely they want results within that local area. So, good to see ya -
>>[Person leaves early] When does it show, and you're going to - you're never going to know this [directed at person leaving]
It's a shame. Actually the next slide is about him. No, . When does local SEO show? When you're searching for a washing machine, you probably do not see local results. You do see shopping results, which most certainly Dan has helped the clients get up to the top there for. But even in the sort of, what we term organic results, those after shopping results. That's kind of, national companies. If I search for washing machine Bristol, I suddenly see Gumtree, because that's people selling second-hand washing machines in the local area. I see ABS, in Bradley Stoke, and Hoarders appliance specialists and this is linking to the maps so I can get directions. Over here Hoarders has got two Google reviews and a map for me to get there. Just from washing machine to washing machine Bristol. So, I've explicitly put that in the search, this is yesterday, just as a caveat, I'm logged in, so you might see some historic adverts for Thai brides and stuff, but let's try and ignore that.
The fact is that Google is watching you to make sure it knows when you want to be local. So right here, I've searched for washing machine repair, yet it's not showing me national stuff because it knows if I need a washing machine repairman, I probably need him pretty bloody quick because my washing machines leaking.
I don't want a man from Scotland just because he's cheap. So, it's not simply looking at how many times washing machine repair appears on these pages and all of that kind of stuff. It's much more sophisticated than that. It knows I'm in Bristol, if you click on search tools in Google, you'll see that normally it's pretty accurate in your location unless you're ISP is buying your traffic in Birmingham.
We always get results from Birmingham, but mostly, it knows where you are. And this is, it's the same sort of IP targeting that Dan was talking about. It's your internet IP address, it's where you are in the world. Google can figure it out and therefore give you results based on that.
But, you can change that if you want to. Increasingly won't be searching for washing machine repair If I'm up to my ankles in soapy water and I can't get my pants out of the machine, I'm probably in the kitchen on my phone, searching for washing machine repair. And at that point, I don't need to put in anything to make that localized. Google Now, which Dan had a little screenshot of, I had a few really good screenshots where - who's got an Android phone with something more than ice cream sandwich on it? If you don't know what Android ice cream sandwich is, did you buy your Android phone in the last 2 years? Okay, so you've probably got Google Now if you log in and use it, it's tracking your every move. You may as well live with it, what it does is it suggests stuff. Now I haven't searched for this, it's just my home screen on my phone. I haven’t searched for this and it's telling me that search star, a couple of hours ago, 16 hours ago a website I visit quite a lot cause we're partners have put up a blog about turbo charging your remarketing. Porter Dobson who are a very fine solicitor based all over the southwest I mean, not the only solicitor based over the southwest there's a few of them in the room but they've told me that leaving money to charities in my will not only benefits the charity, nah, but you know what I don't care. I'm going to have a look at Dan's. The, oh, in fact, before we get on to that let me see if we can make this work. If you have got an android phone, so that's my android phone home screen as you can see, let's turn the volume up. I can't turn the volume up, 'cause it thinks I'm in a meeting. Plumber.
>> Here are the listings for Plumber within two miles.
Oh, here are the listings for Plumber within two miles. Let's try, washing machine repair.
>> Here are the listings for washing machine repair within seven miles.
Seven miles so there are more plumbers in my local area than there are washing machine repair men. That's just google doing that and it knows that because they have got stuff on their websites or stuff on the yellow pages that says where they are in the world. The more I think about this the more I think how important it is, sorry I did say that I wasn't going to move that much but I can feel the light bouncing off my head going straight into the camera. The more I think about mobiles, the more I like this report from Millwood Brown in 2014.
By the way if you ever talk to an SEO and they don't bring up links to their stats then they're full of shit. This is almost why I'm doing this talk, anyways 147 minutes a day we spend globally on smart phones. More than all of television, so, that's pretty important, more than on laptops and tablets.
This does take out desktops, because we tend to work in front of desktops, but if you think about the decision making process, and your discovery process when you're looking for a service, you'll often start it at work, 'cause it's 11 o'clock and you're bored and you don't want to, you know, someone can pay you to do this research.
And then, later on, you start looking on your phone on the way home. Or at home or while your wife is watching Britain's got talent, or you're pretending to second screen while trying not to get involved with the dancing people. This is it if you break it down to the UK. Go and have a look at that study, there's loads of really good information in that. But yeah so in the UK we actually still watch quite a lot of telly, is it any wonder you're all fat? So mobile websites, this is the other reason I'm here. We have an open device lab, it is free for anybody to use, and it’s the only one in Bristol. I think it's probably the only one for about 40 miles. If you have a website and you want to see how it looks on all of the mobiles, we have all of the mobiles, you can come and test it. Bring your web designer it will scare the - out of him. You’re invited, its free, it’s an open device site, you just need to give us 24/48 hours’ notice. Josh over here the hipster will be able to sort you out, we will train you on how to make it work, and you can simultaneously browse your website on loads of different devices. For instance some of these.
Back to local SEO because local SEO is done on mobiles, that's why I'm so concerned about it. How to make it work okay? Well it's a bastard. It's really, really difficult to get that setup, it’s going to take you a while, why? Because, how many years ago - four years ago it was Google Places and then it was Google Plus Local and now, what three or four days ago, they launched Google My Business.
Thanks, yeah ruined my slides Google. Google My Business is a bit like Gavin's thing where he had the thing that popped up and he said fill in this form. Broadly that is what you do on google my business, it’s really easy. I’m not going to take you through filling in a form just like Gavin didn’t. Do it but don’t do it until you’ve come back and looked at these slides online. Because what you want to do is set it up and make it awesome. So what you’ve got to think about is ranking factors. Again another link there if you want to see the ranking factors, it’s from a company called moz.com if you're doing anything online that's a really good place to go and see what the community is talking about.
And this is by a guy called David Mimm who's been doing local SCO's since before you were born. And these are ranking factors so what we're going to do is - we're not going to go through all of these in too much detail because by gosh it's the end of the day and you all need a drink.
You're paying right Dan? So that's good. So how can you hit the button on those ranking signals? Well, the first one is real-world signals. So, your business needs to be in a real location, lots of start-ups and all that kind of stuff, if your business is at home, sometimes that's a bit scary and a bit risky. We worked with a company that sold pool tables, and someone turned up at their house once to buy a pool table.
And they were like… It's a Bungalow. Does it look like we've got a big stock of pool tables?
So, it's difficult, so if your business is at home, think about whether you want to do this but, know that you are fighting from a position of weakness if you aren't putting your real name, and address, and phone number on your website, really, really clearly. And the real, the phone number must be real, not 0800. The phone number must be real, no 0800, no 845, they are going to damage your rankings. I have this argument all the time with people who go, oh, but we really need the 0800 number to track how many calls we get. You won't get any calls. Oh. And then we had it and we said, well, actually, why don't we just make them all go through whichever office it was, like Swindon office. Oh, because the girls in reception will get cross…What, because I'm giving you too many inquiries. That's why you got penalized.
Now, some high quality links from some reasonable organizations. Now, if only there was a place where we could get high quality links or at least citations from a reasonable quality organization, perhaps even one in the media in Bristol, if only we could figure that out. We've got Gavin, but also think about other places where you can get those high quality links. Schema and microformat on your nap. I love to say that in a room full of this many people. Because everybody's already on the edge of dozing. And then schema microformats nap and it's almost like Paul Mcanner has said and sleep.
Who has used skeem, not you eagle, and who has used skeemer? Oh man really, one man with the beard yeah, as you came in I thought he has, he has, excellent. So skeemer is, well, I’ll show you what it looks like, and geosite maps, who's heard of a site map for their website, oh, oh a few.
Who's heard of a XML site map? Nice. Because the xml site map is the one you want. That's the one you want, that's the one Google requires that you submit to it, so that it can find all of the pages that you want found. Not some html thing that you can browse and go, oh look, a massive list of pages on my website, because no one ever looks at that. So, write it for Google, its xml sitemap. If you want more tips on this, go to that there moz.com and go to their local SEO category.
But there's a site map about pages, and then there's a geosite map that is about KML information. KML is about what powers Google Earth, it's about a something markup language. Can't remember what it's called. But broadly speaking, you could put a list of offices in that KML document and that will give you or that will give Google the information about where your offices are.
Quite difficult to do but it's really easy if you follow a couple of the links on that particular category in Moz because there is a place that will do it for you for free and you can copy and paste it and then upload it. So just to give you an idea of what it looks like because you're a web designer hands up who trusts their web designer 100% - One that's because it's you Pandora one two three, three. That's quite a high number, but Pandora does their own website, in fairness. In fact, we helped to build it.
But yeah, so your web designer will tell you he's done it, your SEO will tell you they've done it. It's your money, check. So, right-click anywhere on your contact page and select, View Source. You can do this it's fine. You can do this, it's fine, because we did yours. And you will see that there is this bit here in red is the HTML bit that, that makes it big, Makes it big and black - H1, which is headline one, which Gavin will understand, because that's the biggest headline. That's Freddy Star Ate My Hamster. Headline two, you can only have one headline of Freddy Star Ate My Hamster, you can't have the next thing is as important as that statement. So headline one, you can only have H1 tag. If you see more than one H1 tag on your website, go 'round your web designer's house and slap him upside the head. You've then got this thing called item scope item type and this is schema so you can go to schema.org and you can learn all about this if you want or you can copy and paste this and replace it with your own information for your particular office.
But we are a local business, Google is trying to categorize the web it wants to know what sort of thing is noisy little monkey. Is it actually some sort of strident simian or is it a local business? We're a local business. We are called Noisy Little Monkey Limited, the same as it keeps finding on Companies house, the same as it finds on the yellow pages, the same as it'll find on Gavin's paid directory as soon as I submit ourselves to it. Then we’ve got, a description of us, we’re a search optimization social media agency. That is exactly how it appears everywhere, because we really really really want to show google that there is no spaces no differences, it’s always exactly the same. And then our postal address. Our street address is Aardman Animations, Gasferry road, Bristol GB. Not UK. Your web designer will put UK but web designers are lazy slap dash assholes so just go careful. This is the iso-9000 way of writing country codes. If you need to check, look that up on Wikipedia and you can get it right. And then we've got our phone number. The right amount of spaces in the same place, always the same. The same everywhere. Now, if you've got multiple offices, you can do this for each office. Google understand how that works. I was going to go into a big thing about how you kind of create a tree of these things but, if you really need that, we can do it in the next one.
So signals on other sites is the is the other key ranking factor which is, so people in search marketing and social media will always say oh you gotta get the links. For local search, links are not the key. Links are not even that important for local search in my opinion. What's really, key is consistency of your NAP, and that's citations on other websites. So, if you're writing a story on Gavin's wonderful organ, you will put about your business and then you will put your name, address. Because he asked for correctness, you can put your name, address, and phone number exactly as it appears on your website so that Google can see oh, this is a real, trusted company because it appears on Bristolpost.co.uk. And they talk about it here in this article that's in context in their industry. And hopefully because you've not written a duplicate content article or some crappy old stuff about someone doing a charity run. Oh my word, everybody does a charity run. How many times do you hear that? Aaron D did a charity run. That's not news. He's fat, and he needs to lose some weight. That's not news. But, those citations you can get on place like Gavin's place. Bristol's 365, they have a website where you can get those sorts of citations, really really useful. You could get them on Chamber of Commerce. You could get them on Companies house, if you're a limited company. You could get them on regulatory bodies - Law Society, we worked with a customer that had all the wrong addresses and a broken link in there website, from the Law Society to their big personal injury law firm signed NDA, won’t talk about them. Local government directories lots of those there's one for Bristol City Council pretty hidden pretty awful pretty unusable but it gives your local citations with your name address and phone number in the right place and internet yellow pages. Business directories all around the place really useful to get those and maybe even the yellow pages. No one uses it obviously but google checks it to make sure that you're real because if you're paying for a link and submit information on the yellow pages you're probably not a one man band in his bedroom.
And that's what Google was trying to figure out. Who is the most trusted and authoritative site, if someone's putting in a query that you can answer as a business on Google, and it's local. Do I want the guy who's going to ride up on his bike who does it, you know, once every three months, because the rest of the time he's smokin' and dopin' at Glastonbury, or do I want the people who've got five offices in Taunton, Yeovil duh duh duh, all over Bristol. And they get adverts in the yellow pages.
And then think about fixing inaccurate, or duplicate, listings. And, by inaccurate, I mean that the spaces are wrong in your phone number, if your post code has the wrong spacing, the town or, the address of your company, is written in a slightly different way, and we are always Noisy Little Monkey Limited. Care of C slash O capitals letters space Augment, comma, Gasferry road, one word, line break, Bristol, line break, GB, line break, 0 1 1 7 space, 3 2 7 space 0 1 7 1, and if you don't get as anally retentive of the detail as that someone else would outrank you, because they'll be paying someone, just like Dan was saying, if you're running your own adwords, you're competing with his team who are spending millions and know how this stuff works. If you're doing this for yourself, you're almost certainly competing with someone like me who's doing it for your competitors and therefore, you really need to be anal about this stuff to get it right. Because you'll pay someone like me 750 quid a day to get it right, and we're very anal about this kind of stuff, and just be really really consistent.
I'm being videoed, so I can't imbue this with as many swear words, so it's really fucking important that you get that absolutely right. So is that okay? Consistency of NAP. We good on that? Yes, John. Pardon? I'm going to wait here.
Okay. We'll move on. It's fine. It's a bastard, it's a real bastard to get this right but it's really worth spending the time. Said I wasn't going to swear, dad's in the room videoing up there. Thank you Dad. If you've got any questions now is a good time and if you got any other questions you can plus me did anybody see the Google Plus change? So Google are going to start removing those faces from next to the search results as of about the next 48 hours, shucks. It’s a bit of shame, but still you can plus me if you want I’m sure there’s another use for it, or you can tweet me or you can follow me on twitter but I do swear and it’s not safe work, I’d follow noisy little monkey, like Stephen Fry.
If you want a book and come and test your mobile websites check us out on ODL.