Answering Viewer SEO Questions

By | August 21, 2019

Hello, this is John Locke for Lockedown
Design and SEO, and today I was hoping to have a long-form video uploaded, but
unfortunately that’s not going to happen. The reason being is, the laptop that
I was editing it on it has a problem with the battery not charging. So I’m
taking that to the shop today. So instead what I’m going to do is, I’m going to
answer some SEO questions from you, the viewers. These came to us from
Facebook, and the first one is from a web designer — not going to give the city, but
they asked, “Hey I’m a web designer, and I’m in this local city over here,
and I want to show up in the map pack for the surrounding cities all around.”
For those of you that don’t know, lwhen you google a service in a
location like “Web Design Sacramento” or “Web Design New York” or “Web Design Cleveland”,
it’ll show three businesses in a Google map at the top of that page. So this
person is asking, “How do I show up in my neighboring cities?” Well the answer is,
you’re going to have to open an office in one of those neighboring cities. The
reason being, the way Google Maps works, the way that three pack map works
is, it’s based on location. So if you are near by something, that’s what it’s going to show. Very rarely does it show things that are far away. So one thing you could
do is, either open an office, or (even though this is against the Google rules) you
could try doing a UPS mailbox or Mailboxes-R-Us type of thing. If that’s
what you want to try. I wouldn’t advise it, because technically you’re not
supposed to do that. The second thing that you could do is
create city specific landing pages on your website. Say for example, whatever
your city is, if there’s neighboring cities around there, create specific
landing pages for those cities. Maybe describe some of the things in that city.
If you have customer reviews from that city, put those on there,
and maybe driving directions [to your main location]. I think you work from home though, like me,
so that might not be a good idea. So that’s question one. If you are looking
to score in the local map pack — and this wouldn’t matter even if you were
computer repair, if you were HVAC, a plumber, an electrician,
whatever it is — Google is going to show in that three pack map whatever is
nearby. They’re not going to show things that are far away. So even if you walk a
half a mile, drive half a mile down the road, it’s going to change. Our second
question comes to us, this is a person also on Facebook. now their question is,
they have a client who’s a lawyer and they’re in a mid-sized city, they’re
competing with another law firm. They’re trying to rank above them, and their
question is, “I ran my clients site and the competing site through one of the
SEO tools that’s out there, that does free scans, and what it’s showing is the
Domain Rating for our site is higher. We have more links coming in, and all the link metrics, domain metrics, URL metrics are higher than
the competing site. They have more Facebook Likes — or Facebook Shares — I
should say, they have more Facebook shares.” So the question is, “Do Facebook
Shares really make that big of a difference?” Okay so I checked out both
your client site and the competing site, as well as some of the other
competitors, competing lawyers in your city. Here’s what I think. I think
Facebook Shares have nothing to do with it. That’s my diagnosis. So your site
looks a little bit newer than the competition site that you’re talking
about. Now this main competition site, one thing — actually two things I’m
going to point out, that I think that you should do, or convince your client to do.
So the competition site that you’re trying to to get over on, they have two
profiles on Avvo — which is kind of a — it’s for lawyers, like a
directory, a professional directory for lawyers. The two partners in
the firm, the one guy has a Avvo rating of 10, and then the other partner
has a rating of 8.4, while your client has an Avvo rating of 6.7.
I know that you said that perhaps he doesn’t want to invest, maybe it’s a
money thing, where you get more ratings, or your rating goes up if you pay
more each month — but I think your client should do it, because I think there is a
correlation. I did see this in a lot of the other profiles, a lot of the
other profiles that are highly rated (on Avo) (and ranking in Google). Their websites actually seem to be
ranking really well. Now your client is doing a lot of things good. They are in Three Best Rated and in the top 20 for their thing. So that’s
good. You have a lot of links coming in there from legal sites and lawyer type
sites. So that is good. But one thing that I noticed is, in your market, in your
midsize market, most of the lawyers, the link profiles (of their websites) — there’s no one site
that’s blowing away anybody else. They all have kind of the same, or
similar link metrics. There are — nobody’s far and away above everybody else (when it comes to links).
So I think it just might be getting more reviews and getting your Avvo profile up.
The other thing that I want to state is, I think that your client should do
what he can for Yelp reviews. Get verified on Yelp. Make sure that his
profile is verified. If the other people are in the category of “Criminal Defense
Attorney” or “Lawyers”, make sure that he has similar categories. I’m going to
say this for anybody that’s trying to compete in local SEO: Yelp makes a
difference! Make sure that your Yelp profile is on point. Make sure that
you’re getting a lot of positive reviews. Make sure that you’re proactive about
reviews on Yelp. I have never seen any type of industry, or any vertical, or any
local SEO ranking that was not ever affected by Yelp. Google uses third-party
things (to evaluate local SEO). They use their own reviews, they use Yelp reviews, and then they’ll use
whatever industry specific (websites) there are for reviews. So if you’re a realtor,
they’re going to use Zillow (reviews). If you’re a lawyer, they’re going to use Avvo (reviews). If you
are a doctor, they’re going to use Health Grades. If you are an auto shop, they’re
going to use RepairPal. Things like that. So get reviews on your
industry specific profiles. Bump up your Avvo. Bump up your Yelp. I don’t think
that that the link metrics mean anything really. I think you have a good link
profile. I think everybody else has a decent link profile. Nobody’s blowing
anybody away. Remember the SEO tools — whether it’s Moz or Majestic, you’re
talking about Trust Flow, you’re talking about Domain Authority — those are made-up
metrics by the SEO tool companies. Majestic and Moz and Ahrefs,
and SEMRush has theirs, but they’re all made up (metrics) to try and
approximate what is happening in the actual Google algorithm. They are not the
actual Google algorithm itself. There are other things that affect SEO that are
off site. So always remember that it if you do a
free scan with a SEO tool, it’s not going to give you the magic secret
sauce. There will be be other things that you need to look at. Okay so our third
question, this comes to us, and this person says: “I have a client and
they have their old domain over here, and they wanted to rebrand. So what they did
is — I changed content on their site, and they
changed their domain name. But what I did is, I installed a plug-in to do 301
redirects for our the old domain to the new domain.” So they’re using a 301
plug-in on the site, like WordPress. “But what I read is, that I have to do a
Change of Address in Google Search Console.” Which is
correct, you need to do a Change of Address, telling Google this old domain is not
the one that you should look at anymore. This other one over here (new domain name) is the one that
you should be indexing. So this person says, “What’s happened is, Google is
telling me that is unreachable, and it can’t crawl it (old domain).” So here’s what I think is
going on. You are doing a 301 redirect in the site itself. And what you need to do
is make that 301 redirect at the domain registrar. So if your domain name is
registered with GoDaddy, or if it’s registered with Hover, or Namecheap, or
wherever that is — that’s where you need to do a site-wide domain redirect. What you’re going to want to do is, go into your managing your domains. Go into your
DNS settings, and you’re going to want to forward that domain — that old domain — to
the new domain. So what should happen now, once you do that (and with GoDaddy, their
DNS is relatively quick. I mean, that’s one good thing I can say about GoDaddy.
Their DNS propagates pretty quick.) So what’s going to happen is, when people type
in that old domain, it should forward it to the new domain, regardless of URLs. So
if you are — if you’re redirecting URL by URL using a plugin in WordPress — delete
all that stuff out. Okay? Just get rid of it. Do the redirect at the domain
registrar, okay? And then what I want you to do is, make sure that when you type in
all the combinations of: HTTP, HTTPS, non-www, and www, for the old domain and for the
new domain, make sure it redirects to whatever the combination is for the new
domain. So if it’s a it’s HTTPS, no-www, and then the new domain name —
make sure that all eight of those combinations forward to that domain. And
it should work for all the URLs. The only thing that you should need to do with
the plug-in on your site is relative URLs. So the
slug of the URL. That’s the only thing it should redirect, okay? So that is three
questions, SEO questions. If you have a SEO question, feel free to put it in
comments below. We will answer it out in a future video. This is John Locke. Sorry I
didn’t have any long-form content (today). We have some more long-form content coming to
you when I get my computer out of the shop, and the battery is charging. So Lockedown Design and SEO. We do SEO for
manufacturing and industrial firms. If you have a SEO question, leave it in the
comments below. We’re publishing every week. Until next time, peace.

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