5:02 discussion about Bright Local’s Local SEO survey results
8:00 discussion of Moz’s test results showing 35% of competitive local keywords are showing local pack ads
8:40 difference between a citation and a link
10:13 what is recommended to monitor citations? Whitespark, Citation Tracker, Moz Local, Yext, Google and Talkwalker Alerts
11:22 use those tools to help you find information that needs to be updated
11:45 also use those tools to check out your competitors to see where they’re listed and you aren’t
12:00 as a very basic tool, free alerts (Google and Talkwalker) are ok but proper tools are going to find more citations most likely. Try getting alerts for basics like a business address or phone number. This may bring up sites that will not let you add or edit information.
12:46 a few years back Local SEO Guide developed a free Chrome extension called N.A.P. Hunter. It’s an on-demand service to search for new citations
13:27 HARO. Most of us think it’s potentially useful but more for in-house folks working on just one client.
15:35 are local links better than non-local links? We’re speaking about geographically local to a site. Andrew says from his experience there’s almost no difference. Relevancy is the key though. Theme of sites is important. Go for local if you can but if not, go for relevancy.
16:57 Mike says that in local there are two types of relevancy: location relevancy and content relevancy. These are two types of links you should be focusing on for local work.
18:49 Myles says that high domain authority sites, even if they’re not directly relevant to you, are still going to help you rank.
21:08 explanation of what a local pack is
21:52 any benefit to reciprocal links? It’s fine as long as you don’t abuse it, like most things. Myles says make the anchors brand anchors mostly and don’t try for keyword-heavy links as that will look very unnatural.
23:10 how involved should a business owner be for a local campaign? As much as possible, everyone agrees.
24:31 are sponsorship links considered paid links? Yes, we all agree they are paid but not usually penalized unless you do it in a very aggressive and poor manner. Andrew has seen some sites get penalized for sponsorship links but it was due to excessively targeted anchor texts. Use your logo, brand, URL, etc instead. As soon as they removed those optimized anchors the penalty went away. Mike has also seen issues but usually with overoptimized anchors.
25:50 Mike has seen penalties for what could have been naturally occurring anchors.
26:32 Mike discusses the recent hit on sponsorship links. They’d done it for years with no problems but some lawyers were hit for it, using overdone anchors like in Andrew’s examples.
27:17 Julie says just use common sense with anchors and don’t try and overdo anything.
30:00 definition of scholarship linking as reaching out to relevant sites and having your scholarship listed there. A scholarship is just another asset, like a great piece of content or a video. Business offers scholarship, universities link to you.
30:50 what types of content assets are best for local? FAQs, maps to location, videos? Myles says resources are great. FAQs are not really that interested for anyone else LINKING to you although they’re good for people who use your business. He likes to see resources of things to do in a local area, like great places for walks.
33:18 Andrew discusses events as a great content asset for local businesses.
33:54 Mike discusses how he used interviews for a law client and that worked well for content.
40:05 discussion of the most competitive local industry everyone has worked with.
45:26 Andrew discusses a study he did on local citations. They fixed some that were bad. They saw that if you were not ranking in the local pack, fixing things got you into the local pack. If you were already in it, fixing citations didn’t matter so much. If you’re ranking well, don’t tinker too much with your citations.
46:21 discussion of the importance of reviews for a local business. Everyone agrees they’re needed. Reviews are the new links in some ways. You can work in some great keywords into reviews and rank your site for it even if you have not optimized the site for that keyword.
51:30 any favorite searches for local link prospecting? Look for local resources, etc.
52:07 Andrew discusses how much of his work involves helping people get rid of their spammy links. Because spam does still work well, people keep doing it until they get knocked out by Google. Once they get penalized, it is very very difficult to get back to where they were previously ranking.
58:45 Mike points out that every type of link building has resulted in a penalty, unfairly or not.
1:00 Andrew warns that since a lot of local businesses grow by acquisition, they could be buying sites that have terrible backlink profiles and they ALWAYS need to check those out and clean them up first.
1:08 wrap-upInternet Marketing Tip: Find something to compliment or promote your product, then give it away. Including the words free, complimentary, or bonus, does wonders for internet marketing campaigns. With so many choices available online, prospective buyers need a clear incentive to shop with you. Many will actually perform web searches that include these keywords, so incorporate them into your searchable text and tags.