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Why Do I Rank Well for a Local Search But Not Otherwise?

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In this session we look at a site that ranks well for a local search but not otherwise. We discuss things to keep in mind such as making sure that the sitemap is working, that the site is registered in Google Webmaster Tools and that lots of links and not much content reads as spam to Google so more content may need to be added in order to rank organically.

Video Transcript

Member: When it comes to walkers, I’ve kind of taken on walkers as a test to you know, I sure own the market here in Rochester when it comes to… Rochester, Minnesota, somebody looking for a walker here at the Mayo Clinic. But I’ve noticed that my organic search for walkers as it relates to a local search in Rochester, Minnesota, I’m getting like 3rd, 4th page rankings.

Rick: Well, what kind of content do you have?

Member: I have a ton of content as it relates to walkers. A lot of blog posts, a lot of keywords.

Rick: Really? Oh okay. I didn’t realize that.

Member: I can do pretty well as long as completely load it up. But I found this post here from this SEOMOZ which I think they’re pretty legit.

Rick: They’re very legit.

Member: Okay and then it talks here about organic searches as it relates to localized results. And I get a little confused about this URL here. I think I was supposed to manipulate the permalink a little bit but I’m not quite sure if I’m comfortable in editing the permalink when it comes to a Thesis post. Is there a way to screw that up or…

Rick: Sure. There is a way to screw that up. Where do you want… you want it in a post?

Member: Yeah well basically, if you just kind of read maybe this part right here.

Rick: It’s hard for me to read when you’re outlining it. So local landing pages, doesn’t have physical address in Las Vegas but they sure do have a landing page for it located at URL. You might need an address to play in Google Places but not in the organic league. Now you do have a Google Local Places page?

Member: I do.

Rick: Okay.

Member: But…

Rick: It’s important that that’s set up.

Member: I do. I have that set up. But it seems like to me, I need a URL that hits wit with kind of like what they did with Las Vegas, Nevada from what I’m reading.

Rick: Well okay so… and where do you want that URL show up? You want that URL to show up in posts? Is that the deal?

Member: Well, I want it to show up wherever you think it would be best.

Rick: Well, I guess maybe post is probably the best place to do it. Where on your site do you have these posts?

Member: Alright so let me get there. Are you inside of Main Clinic Supply right now? Because I’ve had it… I was trying to get ready for you and I’m having a hard time getting in there.

Rick: Well, and with posts, the way you would do this is you would just make a category that was you know, Minnesota or whatever.

Member: Yeah, let me show you what I got. I thought I had it loaded up pretty well but it’s not ranking on that first page which it seems ilke it should be.

Rick: And you got a site map and all the rest of that stuff. You got it registered in Webmaster Tools. You know the site map is working and everything else?

Member: Yes.

Rick: Oh I see.

Member: That is not a nervous laugh there, Rick. But no, I did mess around with the Webmaster a little bit. But here are my two posts, okay, that I think I have loaded up pretty well for…

Rick: And that’s all the content that are in the posts or are the posts long?

Member: Well, that’s pretty long.

Rick: Well, show me one. Show me how long it is.

Member: Well, you’re looking at it there.

Rick: It doesn’t go… there’s nothing after Minnesota?

Member: Right here, you mean?

Rick: No, I’m just looking at… so you’re saying you’ve got a 3-sentence post that’s not ranking well.

Member: There’s actually 8 sentences.

Rick: Except that each one of those is a separate post.

Member: Okay but it is Rochester, Minnesota. Let’s just walk here, watch when I do this.

Rick: Okay well the answer to your question though is that you don’t have enough content. And in fact, lots of links and not much content reads as spam to Google.

Member: Alright well, let me just say if I do it the right way, if I type… if I force it by saying Rochester, Minnesota, I rank pretty well right here. See that? That’s an organic search on the first page, right?

Rick: Sure, right.

Member: Okay. But what I’m saying is I have it right here, this location here, except for Rochester, Minnesota. So I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, but when I do this, I should still rank well.

Rick: Well, not necessarily. I mean, they’re not necessarily thinking of wheeled walkers as a local product, right?

Member: But what’s the difference between doing that and typing it directly into the search bar?

Rick: Because when you’ve typed it directly in there, you’re telling them, you care about the location.

Member: Okay. But this isn’t telling them that?

Rick: No because you could just as easily say you know… oh, I don’t know. What would you say… something that you would ordinarily buy online? You know, you could say, “Harry Potter CD” and they wouldn’t care at all about Rochester, Minnesota for that, right?

Member: Even though you have your location set for Rochester? It wouldn’t try to find it here…

Rick: Absolutely. No, not a local copy of Harry Potter. Not necessarily. I mean, you could say, “Show it to me locally” at that point but it’s easier for you to simply just to type in “wheeled walkers Rochester Minnesota”

Member: Okay so you’re still sticking by the answer that I need more content?

Rick: Absolutely. I’m sticking by that answer. You need to read a little further. You’re going to see that. You know, a couple of years ago, they said the minimum article size for this 300 words long, the latest panda thing came out and Google is waiting more heavily, content that is longer than 500 words.

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