Proximity Third: A Deeper Dive into a Local Ranking Factors Surprise

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: J.B. Hill What’s the good of a survey if it doesn’t result in at least a few surprises? I know my own eyebrows leapt skyward when the data first came in from the Moz State of the Local SEO Industry 2020 Survey and I saw that, in a break with tradition, participants had placed user-to-business proximity at a lowly third place in terms of influencing Google local pack rankings. Just a year ago, our respondents had voted it #1. If you’re feeling startled, too, here’s our chance to take a more granular look at the data and see if we can offer some useful theories for proximity’s drop in perceived dominance. First, a quick definition of user-to-business proximity What do local SEOs mean when they speak of user-to-business proximity? Imagine an Internet searcher is standing in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, looking on their phone, laptop or other device for “pizza”. Local SEOs observe that it’s more typical for Google to show that person Pasquale’s Pizzeria, right next to the park, than to show them Yummy Pizza across town in the Glen Park neighborhood. Make an identical query as you move around your city and you’re likely to see the local pack and mapped results change a little or a lot, depending on the competitiveness, density and diversity of local commerce in your town, relative to where you are standing when you search. In 2014, the annual survey of world class local SEO experts known as the Local Search Ranking Factors survey rated proximity as having the 8th greatest influence on local pack rankings. By 2017 and in subsequent editions, proximity had hit #1. As mentioned, the 2019 Moz State of the Local SEO Industry report placed it first. But this year, something changed… Proximity third: the data Our large survey group of over 1,000 respondents ranked Google My Business elements (keywords in name, categories, etc.) and Google review elements (count, sentiment, owner responses, etc.) as having a greater influence on local pack rankings than does user-to-business proximity. Now, let’s take a closer look at which participants ordered ranking influence in this way. GMB elements ranked #1 It’s fascinating to see that, on average, agency workers rated Google My Business elements as having the most influence on local pack rankings. These would be practitioners who are presumably working directly with local clients on a …

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Proximity Third: A Deeper Dive into a Local Ranking Factors Surprise

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: J.B. Hill What’s the good of a survey if it doesn’t result in at least a few surprises? I know my own eyebrows leapt skyward when the data first came in from the Moz State of the Local SEO Industry 2020 Survey and I saw that, in a break with tradition, participants had placed user-to-business proximity at a lowly third place in terms of influencing Google local pack rankings. Just a year ago, our respondents had voted it #1. If you’re feeling startled, too, here’s our chance to take a more granular look at the data and see if we can offer some useful theories for proximity’s drop in perceived dominance. First, a quick definition of user-to-business proximity What do local SEOs mean when they speak of user-to-business proximity? Imagine an Internet searcher is standing in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, looking on their …

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Proximity Third: A Deeper Dive into a Local Ranking Factors Surprise

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: J.B. Hill What’s the good of a survey if it doesn’t result in at least a few surprises? I know my own eyebrows leapt skyward when the data first came in from the Moz State of the Local SEO Industry 2020 Survey and I saw that, in a break with tradition, participants had placed user-to-business proximity at a lowly third place in terms of influencing Google local pack rankings. Just a year ago, our respondents had voted it #1. If you’re feeling startled, too, here’s our chance to take a more granular look at the data and see if we can offer some useful theories for proximity’s drop in perceived dominance. First, a quick definition of user-to-business proximity What do local SEOs mean when they speak of user-to-business proximity? Imagine an Internet searcher is standing in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, looking on their …

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Google My Business: What It Is, How To Use It, and Why

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Posted by MiriamEllis Google My Business is both a free tool and a suite of interfaces that encompasses a dashboard, local business profiles, and a volunteer-driven support forum with this branding. Google My Business and the associated Google Maps make up the core of Google’s free local search marketing options for eligible local businesses. Today, we’re doing foundational learning! Share this simple, comprehensive article with incoming clients and team members to get off on the right foot with this important local business digital asset. An introduction to the basics of Google My Business First, let’s get on the same page regarding what Google My Business is and how to be part of it. What is Google My Business? Google My Business (GMB) is a multi-layered platform that enables you to submit information about local businesses, to manage interactive features like reviews and questions, and to publish a variety of media …

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Outranking Tough Competitors: My One-Year Study of a Google Local Finder

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Sharon Mollerus A new client comes to your digital marketing agency and says their competitors are stuck to the local packs like mussels cleaved to coastal rock. “How do we edge our way up in Google’s local finder, and find our place above the tideline? We don’t even know where to begin,” the local business owner says. The rough truth is that Google’s local search engine results often don’t make sense at first glance, or even at second or third glances. Local brands are left to puzzle out how to achieve maximum growth when they’re consistently being outranked by sticky competition for their core search phrases. Methodology About a year ago, I decided to run a study in which I’d track a local finder for a single query — “breakfast (X city)” — to see if anything brands or the public did over the course …

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The State of Local SEO: Experts Weigh in on Industry-Specific Tactics

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Posted by MiriamEllis The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way we engage with local businesses. We're ordering more food for delivery, spending more money in online shops, and checking for safety measures on the web listings of businesses of all kinds. But what do these new trends mean for the ways businesses market themselves online? We asked five local SEO experts to zero in on the trends and tactics businesses across five industries should focus on to get ahead — and stay ahead — during this time. For more local insights, download our State of Local SEO Industry Report . 1. 70% of local marketers reported marketing budget cuts due to COVID-19, leading marketers to focus even more on the most impactful local SEO campaign elements. Which three local search marketing tactics are delivering the most value for businesses right now, and why? Phil Rozek : Health and Wellness Services …

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The Local SEO Stats & Practical Tactics of Google’s Top-Ranked Grocery Stores

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Posted by MiriamEllis Grocery stores belong at the center of the 2021 local SEO industry conversation. Other than medical facilities, no enterprise stands out more clearly on the map as essential to daily life in the US, and few verticals have had to adapt more rapidly in mid-flight than our neighborhood food stores in the COVID-19 era. From independent grocers to major supermarket chains, there are heroes in every aisle keeping the nation fed. Any data that supports the strong continuance of these businesses is well worth sharing. In this article, I’ll provide results from 900 data points I pulled while analyzing the top local-pack-ranked grocery store in each of the 50 US capital cities. I’ll also summarize the practical tactics I’ve learned from listening to grocers and their marketers, highlighting how they’re adapting and succeeding in unprecedented times. It’s my hope that both in-house and agency grocery marketers will …

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The State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020, Announced

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Posted by MiriamEllis Moz’s very warmest thanks to the 1,453 respondents who volunteered time to contribute to this second installation of our industry survey. It’s rewarding to have such a large survey group; as this report details in high relief, the work of marketing a single business location can pass through a dozen hands. Owners, staff, in-house SEOs, agencies, creative directors, webmasters, project managers, and consultants may all be contributing to promoting just one local company. By capturing their hands-on experience, we get the big picture of local SEO as an effort not confined to experts, but rather, requiring all hands on deck. In this report, you’ll find insights to share with coworkers and clients on: Company infrastructure Local ranking factors Tool & software usage Gaps in the marketplace High ROI strategies and tactics Get the full report! A window in time on local business marketing The data in our …

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The State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020, Announced

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Posted by MiriamEllis Moz’s very warmest thanks to the 1,453 respondents who volunteered time to contribute to this second installation of our industry survey. It’s rewarding to have such a large survey group; as this report details in high relief, the work of marketing a single business location can pass through a dozen hands. Owners, staff, in-house SEOs, agencies, creative directors, webmasters, project managers, and consultants may all be contributing to promoting just one local company. By capturing their hands-on experience, we get the big picture of local SEO as an effort not confined to experts, but rather, requiring all hands on deck. In this report, you’ll find insights to share with coworkers and clients on: Company infrastructure Local ranking factors Tool & software usage Gaps in the marketplace High ROI strategies and tactics Get the full report! A window in time on local business marketing The data in our …

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Local SEO for Nonprofit Organizations: 5 Tactics to Try Today

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Posted by kellyjcoop Many marketing channels are interruptive by nature, meant to divert attention away from a task, be it reading and replying to emails, perusing articles online, browsing social feeds, listening to the radio, watching TV — the list goes on. SEO is one of the only marketing channels (the only?) that serves to first deliver something, instead of asking before delivering. At its core, SEO is used to deliver helpful content to people actively searching for it. And, it can (and should!) be used to reach target audiences at the local and national level. According to Google , searches for local places without the use of “near me” have grown 150% over the last two years — showing that, when people search, they’re increasingly expecting local results. This creates a powerful opportunity for those organizations primed to take advantage of it. Through the “search and deliver” dynamic of …

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Location Data + Reviews: The 1–2 Punch of Local SEO (Updated for 2020)

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Posted by MiriamEllis Get found. Get chosen. It’s the local SEO two-step at the heart of every campaign. It’s the 1-2 punch combo that hinges on a balance of visible, accurate contact data, and a volunteer salesforce of consumer reviewers who are supporting your rise to local prominence. But here’s the thing: while managed location data and reviews may be of equal and complementary power, they shouldn’t require an equal share of your time. Automation of basic business data distribution is the key to freeing you up to focus on the elements of listings that require human ingenuity — namely, reviews and other listings-based content like posts and Q&A.; It’s my hope that sharing this article with your team or your boss will help you get the financial allocations you need for automated listings management, plus generous resources for creative reputation management. Location data + reviews = the big picture …

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