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FINALLY ANSWERED! How to accurately determine local competiton in SEO and SEM!

Discussion in 'Local SEO' started by coolsheet, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. coolsheet

    coolsheet Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    So one of the questions I've asked (with no answer) is how to visibly see local competition when querying a keyword in Google from a city outside of the business location. For instance if I'm in LA and want to see the competition for a plumber in Greensboro N.C.

    I tested many methods, and communicated with multiple people across the US, asking what they saw on the first page. I've tried proxies and VPN's. Nothing helped with local results. Google always knew my location, no matter what.

    I handle a couple of clients advertising campaigns in AdWords and have always achieved a positive ROI for these clients and have never felt the need to utilize the ad preview diagnostic tool. I know, I should've known better. Luckily I picked up a new client and the way they had their current ads structured looked strange so i decided to use the tool for the first time. Very glad I did!

    So in AdWords, I went to Tools > Ad Preview and Diagnosis and arrived here:

    Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 11.38.25 AM.jpg

    So let's use the example "plumber" and I want to see the comp in Greensboro, NC here's what I see with the preview tool:

    Ad Preview and Diagnosis – Google AdWords 2015-06-25 11-43-54.jpg


    You can see 7 pack, organic, and ads comp.

    With this you can type in the neighboring cities as well.

    If someone has anything to add please do. Hope this helps some of you local SEO's and advertisers.

    Cheers
     
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  2. 2spoons

    2spoons Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yup, likin that mate, great share!
     
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  3. goodgame

    goodgame Newbie

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    Great post thanks a lot for this!
     
  4. randybishop

    randybishop Elite Member

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    I have used this method in the past, was not sure if it was influenced by previous browsing on google.
    Thanks for confiring that it is not! :)

    P.S. Guess I can pull the plug on whitespark.ca ;)
     
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  5. coolsheet

    coolsheet Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    :)

    I wouldn't pull the plug on Whitespark as it's necessary to run many reports when you scrape citations. I use BL to track the rankings of my client sites, and whitespark for scraping comp citations. It's super important to match and surpass your comp.

    Unless your using something else to scrape citations?
     
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  6. Andrew Scherer

    Andrew Scherer Senior Member

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    Sorry, missed your question, would have given you this alternative.

    You can set your location within Google:

    MBmF5nJ.jpg
     
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  7. coolsheet

    coolsheet Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    No worries. I already knew you could do it that way, but because I am also an advertiser I didn't trust those results were accurate and I'll tell ya why. Look at the ads in your screenshot. They're from a few cities. ;)

     
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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  8. xoziggieox

    xoziggieox Registered Member

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    Whitespark is important.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  9. Andrew Scherer

    Andrew Scherer Senior Member

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    Good call, I spotted a 916 ad in adwords, that is local to me, definitely not NC
     
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