Review Tactics for Local RankingsSEMpdxSearchFest 2013Darren Shaw@EdmontonSEOhttp://www.whitespark.ca
Summary     Tracking Offline Conversions     Google+ Local Reviews      1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews      2. Review Acqu...
Tracking Offline ConversionsCall tracking is expensive and problematic for local SEO                                     M...
Tracking Offline ConversionsNEVER use call tracking on citation sites                                      Using a call tr...
Tracking Offline Conversions Solution: build a form on your site that pushes conversions to Google Analytics. Ask callers ...
Tracking Offline Conversions On submit, fire a conversion over to Google Analytics. This is going to take a bit of technic...
Offline Conversion Tracker (free tool)http://www.whitespark.ca/offline-conversion-tracker
Tracking FormOpens the search in anew window with the“near=“ parameter set tothe location entered onthe add/edit businessp...
Google AnalyticsTracks a breakdown of each source, keywords, caller, notes
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Why am I focusing on reviews?Recently worked on research for a businesswiththousands of locationsGathered ranking factor d...
Reviews were thekey factor betweenlocations that rankedand locations thatdidn’t.
Listings with reviews provide a better user experience                        VS
Google is all about user experience
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Review Acquisition TacticsPERSONALIZED Email Follow Up
Review Acquisition TacticsFollow Up on your follow up
Review Acquisition TacticsThird time’s the charm
Review Acquisition TacticsSales receipt, email signature, back of business card                                        … l...
Review Acquisition TacticsPut a sign on the counter
Review Acquisition TacticsPut a sign on the counter                            That shit don’t work
Review Acquisition TacticsCreate a page on your site
Review Acquisition TacticsMatthew Hunt’s Review Funnelhttp://www.smallbusinessonlinecoach.com/blog/
Review Acquisition TacticsIf they select “Excellent” send to this page
Review Acquisition TacticsClick Yahoo, get page with video and iFramed review page
Review Acquisition TacticsClick Google, go to page with video (can’t iFrame it)
Review Acquisition TacticsHow to review us handout                           Developed by Phil Rozek                      ...
Review Acquisition TacticsHow to review us hand-out                             Follow him                             Rea...
Review Handout Generator - FREE!http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator
Review Handout Generator - FREE!http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator
Review HandoutGeneratorPrintable PDF
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Business to Business Reviewshttp://www.davidmihm.com/blog/google/plus-review-as-business/
Business to Business Reviews                    Call your clients and                    make a list of who               ...
B2B Review Exchanges - How ToSign into G+ using your personal account
B2B Review Exchanges - How ToScroll down and click More > Pages on the left
B2B Review Exchanges - How To     Click “Switch to this page”
B2B Review Exchanges - How ToYou’ll see a status bar appear at the top thatSays “You are now using Google+ as a page”
B2B Review Exchanges - How ToYou can now click the Local icon on the left side, find the  business you want to review, and...
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Finding Authority ReviewersClick “Local” in G+, enter a non-restaurant keyword andcity, and click search. Scan through the...
Engaging Authority ReviewersCheck out their profiles, learn about what they like, circle them, follow them on twitter, lea...
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Review Filtering FactorsReview VelocityKeep it natural, which will depend on your industry and past history. No spikes.   ...
Review Filtering FactorsReviews from the same IP No review stations. Don’t take customer comment cards and post them as   ...
Review Filtering FactorsReviews that come from the same referrer Google likely tracks the referring source on each review ...
Review Filtering FactorsIf you’re paranoid about referrer tracking…
Review Filtering FactorsReviews that come from the same user agentThere are hundreds of different user agents that identif...
Review Filtering FactorsReviews that come from the same user agentNo iPad out in the field (“10% discount for a review on ...
Review Filtering FactorsReviews from inactive users Someone signs up, leaves you a review, then never uses their account a...
Review Filtering FactorsUnnatural review content                                                     http://reviewskeptic....
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Review Tips#1 – Get at least *some* reviews
Review Tips#2 – Get 10 reviews, get the Zagat rating in SERPs
Review Tips#3 – Get keywords in your reviews. They really help.     Ask reviewers to mention the service.
Review Tips#4 – After you have 10 G+L reviews, diversify
“Best” places for third party reviewsGetListed/Whitespark Study Best Citation Sources by Category           http://getlist...
“Best” places for third party reviewsAdam Steele’s studyhttp://www.leanmarketing.ca/lean-top-50-best-local-citation-source...
Where to get third party reviewsPhil Rozek’s Local Review Ecosystemhttp://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2012/07/06/the-loc...
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
Yelp   It’s one dang awesome siteWay more (and better) data on Yelp
YelpIt’s all over the local SERPs
YelpIt’s all over the local SERPs
YelpIt’s all over the local SERPs   Yelp often ranks above   the local pack
YelpIt dominated the GetListed/Whitespark study    Not    JustRestaurants!           http://getlisted.org/resources/local-...
YelpAnother reason to spend time on Yelp: Bing
YelpFurniture Outlet in Chicago
YelpFurniture Outlet in Chicago
Yelp       I called Andy to ask       him some questions
Yelp“How has Yelp helped your business? How is business?”                It has helped a lot. A lot of people say they fin...
Yelp“What percentage of your new business comes throughYelp? Just a rough estimate would be great.”                       ...
Yelp“Are you doing other forms of online marketing, orjust Yelp?”                       Nope. Nothing else. Well, we have ...
Andy’sWebsite
Yelp“How are you promoting your business on Yelp? Stickers?A sign in the store? On your website?”                   I don’...
Yelp“So what do you think is the secret to success on Yelp?”                    Just take care of your customers and run a...
YelpThis small business is killing it thanks to Yelp
Yelp#1 ranking with review stars and he does no SEODAYUM!!
Yelp  Are your SMB clients  tweeting and facebooking to  no listeners?  Try allocating some of that  time to Yelp.
Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to...
YelpCan’t ask for Yelp reviews. *Awareness* not solicitation http://officialblog.yelp.com/2010/08/dont-ask-for-reviews.html
YelpClaim and fully complete your Yelp business page    http://biz.yelp.com
YelpClaim and fully complete your Yelp business pagehttp://www.reviewtrackers.com/yelp-help-ultimate-guide-optimizing-yelp...
YelpPut up your stickers. *if you have themThese stickers have to be earned.you can’t request them. Thecompany doles them ...
YelpAdd a “Find us on Yelp” badge to your website.Totally sanctioned.They have a Flickr account where you can downloadimag...
YelpPut up a sign in the office/lobby/whateverTotally sanctioned.
YelpAdd a link to your Yelp listing in your email signature.Totally sanctioned.              http://www.wisestamp.com
YelpUse a badge to show off your Yelp reviews on your websiteTotally sanctioned.     http://www.refmobworks.com/yelp.jsp
YelpUnfiltering reviews
YelpUnfiltering reviewsGet them back on Yelp. Respond, friend, compliment, message
YelpFinding people you know that are on Yelp                                   Welp, that was easy!
Thanks!Darren Shawhttp://www.whitespark.ca@EdmontonSEO
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Review Tactics for Local Rankings - SearchFest 2013

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My talk from SearchFest 2013 in Portland. Mostly focused on reviews, and I announce two new and free seo tools that Whitespark recently developed. Here's the outline:

Tracking Offline Conversions

Google+ Local Reviews
1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews
2. Review Acquisition Tactics
3. Business to Business Reviews
4. Finding Top Reviewers
5. Review Filtering Factors
6. Review Tips

Yelp
1. Why It’s Awesome
2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings

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  • We've done the same thing with success (start with call tracking number). In cases where they have established local number, we use toll-free number prominently, local number judiciously. Sure, there's some leakage, but it's been working pretty successfully for us.
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  • Jason, as long as that is the number the business starts with, and that becomes their official number forever, no problem at all. It's when there are multiple phone numbers for the same business floating around that it becomes a problem.
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  • We actually start businesses with an SEO call tracking number. We haven't had to port a number yet and we can see what we really get for them with our SEO work.
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Review Tactics for Local Rankings - SearchFest 2013

  1. 1. Review Tactics for Local RankingsSEMpdxSearchFest 2013Darren Shaw@EdmontonSEOhttp://www.whitespark.ca
  2. 2. Summary Tracking Offline Conversions Google+ Local Reviews 1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews 2. Review Acquisition Tactics 3. Business to Business Reviews 4. Finding Top Reviewers 5. Review Filtering Factors 6. Review Tips Yelp 1. Why It’s Awesome 2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  3. 3. Tracking Offline ConversionsCall tracking is expensive and problematic for local SEO MUST use your actual number on your website for NAP consistency solution is to put the call tracking number in as an image then put your actual number in the footer in schema.org
  4. 4. Tracking Offline ConversionsNEVER use call tracking on citation sites Using a call tracking number in your citations will massively mess up your NAP consistency There is no automated solution for tracking these calls (unless the site is implementing an image or some kind of cloaking)
  5. 5. Tracking Offline Conversions Solution: build a form on your site that pushes conversions to Google Analytics. Ask callers how they heard about you.
  6. 6. Tracking Offline Conversions On submit, fire a conversion over to Google Analytics. This is going to take a bit of technical expertise that many SMBs won’t want to bother with though.
  7. 7. Offline Conversion Tracker (free tool)http://www.whitespark.ca/offline-conversion-tracker
  8. 8. Tracking FormOpens the search in anew window with the“near=“ parameter set tothe location entered onthe add/edit businesspage so you can visuallycheck if you rankorganically or locally(Google only)
  9. 9. Google AnalyticsTracks a breakdown of each source, keywords, caller, notes
  10. 10. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  11. 11. Why am I focusing on reviews?Recently worked on research for a businesswiththousands of locationsGathered ranking factor data for 100 locationsRank, Location age, Competition, # Citations, #Reviews, Keywords in reviews, Categories, Links
  12. 12. Reviews were thekey factor betweenlocations that rankedand locations thatdidn’t.
  13. 13. Listings with reviews provide a better user experience VS
  14. 14. Google is all about user experience
  15. 15. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  16. 16. Review Acquisition TacticsPERSONALIZED Email Follow Up
  17. 17. Review Acquisition TacticsFollow Up on your follow up
  18. 18. Review Acquisition TacticsThird time’s the charm
  19. 19. Review Acquisition TacticsSales receipt, email signature, back of business card … leave us a review
  20. 20. Review Acquisition TacticsPut a sign on the counter
  21. 21. Review Acquisition TacticsPut a sign on the counter That shit don’t work
  22. 22. Review Acquisition TacticsCreate a page on your site
  23. 23. Review Acquisition TacticsMatthew Hunt’s Review Funnelhttp://www.smallbusinessonlinecoach.com/blog/
  24. 24. Review Acquisition TacticsIf they select “Excellent” send to this page
  25. 25. Review Acquisition TacticsClick Yahoo, get page with video and iFramed review page
  26. 26. Review Acquisition TacticsClick Google, go to page with video (can’t iFrame it)
  27. 27. Review Acquisition TacticsHow to review us handout Developed by Phil Rozek “The Reviews Guy”
  28. 28. Review Acquisition TacticsHow to review us hand-out Follow him Read his blog Get on his mailing list WTF?
  29. 29. Review Handout Generator - FREE!http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator
  30. 30. Review Handout Generator - FREE!http://www.whitespark.ca/review-handout-generator
  31. 31. Review HandoutGeneratorPrintable PDF
  32. 32. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  33. 33. Business to Business Reviewshttp://www.davidmihm.com/blog/google/plus-review-as-business/
  34. 34. Business to Business Reviews Call your clients and make a list of who they work with. Ask them to think about the invoices they pay.
  35. 35. B2B Review Exchanges - How ToSign into G+ using your personal account
  36. 36. B2B Review Exchanges - How ToScroll down and click More > Pages on the left
  37. 37. B2B Review Exchanges - How To Click “Switch to this page”
  38. 38. B2B Review Exchanges - How ToYou’ll see a status bar appear at the top thatSays “You are now using Google+ as a page”
  39. 39. B2B Review Exchanges - How ToYou can now click the Local icon on the left side, find the business you want to review, and leave them a nice keyword rich review.
  40. 40. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  41. 41. Finding Authority ReviewersClick “Local” in G+, enter a non-restaurant keyword andcity, and click search. Scan through the results. This pro tip is courtesy of Mike Ramsey.
  42. 42. Engaging Authority ReviewersCheck out their profiles, learn about what they like, circle them, follow them on twitter, leave comments on their posts. ENGAGE with them in a positive, non- promotional, manner. After a relationship is established, you could maybe saysomething like "Id love for you to come by the shop sometime." Keep it simple.
  43. 43. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  44. 44. Review Filtering FactorsReview VelocityKeep it natural, which will depend on your industry and past history. No spikes. No mass "please review us" mailouts to your mailing list.
  45. 45. Review Filtering FactorsReviews from the same IP No review stations. Don’t take customer comment cards and post them as reviews from your office computer.
  46. 46. Review Filtering FactorsReviews that come from the same referrer Google likely tracks the referring source on each review created. If you always send people to your “please review us” page on your site and all your reviewscome through links on this page, it can indicate that the reviews were solicited.
  47. 47. Review Filtering FactorsIf you’re paranoid about referrer tracking…
  48. 48. Review Filtering FactorsReviews that come from the same user agentThere are hundreds of different user agents that identify the browser, browserversion, platform, and operating system version. If all your reviews are tagged with the same user agent it could be a spam signal.
  49. 49. Review Filtering FactorsReviews that come from the same user agentNo iPad out in the field (“10% discount for a review on the spot?”). They might not use user agent as a spam signal now, but they could later.
  50. 50. Review Filtering FactorsReviews from inactive users Someone signs up, leaves you a review, then never uses their account again. It’s filter time!
  51. 51. Review Filtering FactorsUnnatural review content http://reviewskeptic.com/Pretty sure that those super smart PhDs at Google have methods to identify if reviews are fake based on the content.
  52. 52. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  53. 53. Review Tips#1 – Get at least *some* reviews
  54. 54. Review Tips#2 – Get 10 reviews, get the Zagat rating in SERPs
  55. 55. Review Tips#3 – Get keywords in your reviews. They really help. Ask reviewers to mention the service.
  56. 56. Review Tips#4 – After you have 10 G+L reviews, diversify
  57. 57. “Best” places for third party reviewsGetListed/Whitespark Study Best Citation Sources by Category http://getlisted.org/resources/local-citations-by-category.aspx
  58. 58. “Best” places for third party reviewsAdam Steele’s studyhttp://www.leanmarketing.ca/lean-top-50-best-local-citation-sources-in-the-usa/ You have to get on his mailing list to get the dataHe scraped 3rd party review sources from 45,570 listings and categorized them by city and category. I don’t think it says much about them being the bestcitation sources, but it’s super valuable for identifying 3rd party review sources.
  59. 59. Where to get third party reviewsPhil Rozek’s Local Review Ecosystemhttp://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2012/07/06/the-local-business-reviews-ecosystem/ Some sites feed the reviews to many other sites, so it’s good to know which ones will give you additional distribution and encourage reviews there. Citysearch and Yelp stand out.
  60. 60. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  61. 61. Yelp It’s one dang awesome siteWay more (and better) data on Yelp
  62. 62. YelpIt’s all over the local SERPs
  63. 63. YelpIt’s all over the local SERPs
  64. 64. YelpIt’s all over the local SERPs Yelp often ranks above the local pack
  65. 65. YelpIt dominated the GetListed/Whitespark study Not JustRestaurants! http://getlisted.org/resources/local-citations-by-category.aspx
  66. 66. YelpAnother reason to spend time on Yelp: Bing
  67. 67. YelpFurniture Outlet in Chicago
  68. 68. YelpFurniture Outlet in Chicago
  69. 69. Yelp I called Andy to ask him some questions
  70. 70. Yelp“How has Yelp helped your business? How is business?” It has helped a lot. A lot of people say they find me on Yelp. Business is great. NOT ACTUALLY ANDY
  71. 71. Yelp“What percentage of your new business comes throughYelp? Just a rough estimate would be great.” I would estimate about 70% NOT ACTUALLY ANDY
  72. 72. Yelp“Are you doing other forms of online marketing, orjust Yelp?” Nope. Nothing else. Well, we have a website. NOT ACTUALLY ANDY
  73. 73. Andy’sWebsite
  74. 74. Yelp“How are you promoting your business on Yelp? Stickers?A sign in the store? On your website?” I don’t do anything. It just happened naturally. NOT ACTUALLY ANDY
  75. 75. Yelp“So what do you think is the secret to success on Yelp?” Just take care of your customers and run a good business NOT ACTUALLY ANDY Oh man! If only all our clients were like Andy.
  76. 76. YelpThis small business is killing it thanks to Yelp
  77. 77. Yelp#1 ranking with review stars and he does no SEODAYUM!!
  78. 78. Yelp Are your SMB clients tweeting and facebooking to no listeners? Try allocating some of that time to Yelp.
  79. 79. Tracking Offline ConversionsGoogle+ Local Reviews1. Why I’m Focusing on Reviews2. Review Acquisition Tactics3. Business to Business Reviews4. Finding Top Reviewers5. Review Filtering Factors6. Review TipsYelp1. Why It’s Awesome2. How To Improve Your Yelp Rankings
  80. 80. YelpCan’t ask for Yelp reviews. *Awareness* not solicitation http://officialblog.yelp.com/2010/08/dont-ask-for-reviews.html
  81. 81. YelpClaim and fully complete your Yelp business page http://biz.yelp.com
  82. 82. YelpClaim and fully complete your Yelp business pagehttp://www.reviewtrackers.com/yelp-help-ultimate-guide-optimizing-yelp-business-page-listing/
  83. 83. YelpPut up your stickers. *if you have themThese stickers have to be earned.you can’t request them. Thecompany doles them out 4 timesa year to businesses with lots ofreviews and and average of 3.5stars
  84. 84. YelpAdd a “Find us on Yelp” badge to your website.Totally sanctioned.They have a Flickr account where you can downloadimages, badges, signs, etc.http://www.flickr.com/photos/yelp/sets/72157623054478330/detail/
  85. 85. YelpPut up a sign in the office/lobby/whateverTotally sanctioned.
  86. 86. YelpAdd a link to your Yelp listing in your email signature.Totally sanctioned. http://www.wisestamp.com
  87. 87. YelpUse a badge to show off your Yelp reviews on your websiteTotally sanctioned. http://www.refmobworks.com/yelp.jsp
  88. 88. YelpUnfiltering reviews
  89. 89. YelpUnfiltering reviewsGet them back on Yelp. Respond, friend, compliment, message
  90. 90. YelpFinding people you know that are on Yelp Welp, that was easy!
  91. 91. Thanks!Darren Shawhttp://www.whitespark.ca@EdmontonSEO
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