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Journey to riches with Local SEO

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by SMac, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. SMac

    SMac Newbie

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    Hi all, I decided that I'd like to document my journey, and what better place to do it than here on BHW?

    I've spent the last 2 months devouring everything I could find on this site. I found BHW while doing research into how to promote an offline business I set up with my uncle (unfortunately, in a competitive niche - too competitive for a beginner).
    After reading every method thread I could find, I've found that (since the beginning), it has been the Local SEO method that I'm drawn to. To clarify, I mean ranking for a local keyword and renting the site, or selling leads.

    On Renting Vs. Selling leads - I'm not sure of the best way to do this. I feel Renting is easier to set up, as you can import their testimonials and their info etc. but is a harder sell. While in lead generation, its easier to sell, but I'm still rather unclear as to how to gain trust with the discerning customer (i.e. without background information, testimonials, social media accounts etc.).
    On the above count, I have decided I've had enough of reading and just want to jump in and try to make some money, and figure it out as I go.

    [Results are from KWfinder.com] The terms I'm going for are:

    [City] + Plumbing = 210 Searches/Month - CPC $4.55 - PPC 31 - Difficulty 17
    Plumber + [City] = 173 Searches/Month
    [City] + Plumbers = 70 Searches/Month
    Plumbers in [City] = 70 Searches/Month
    Plumber in [City] = 30 Searches/Month

    Total = 550 Searches/Month

    For these search terms, the majority of front page results are Yell or Thompson Local. There is one EMD which is a plumbing parts supplier rather than actual plumbers. Not much competition around.

    Step 1 - Register Domain [DONE]
    I've registered the clean domain "[City]-plumbing.com" for around $15. I'm using hosting I already have.

    Step 2 - Design Website [TO DO]
    This is where I must decide to set up for renting (create dummy info, get to Page1, make a deal and put in real info) or lead generation (no info whatsoever, just generic webpage).
    In the absence of advice, I'm going to do the following:

    Create a blank website optimised for lead generation via an email contact form.
    Attempt to rank (by free methods only! Web2.0s mainly)
    If website doesnt rank due to lack of content, location citations etc then I'll redesign the page with some dummy info and try to get it to rank that way
    If it ranks, but creates no leads, then same solution as above.
    If it ranks and is creating leads, improve the lead generation.

    Step 3 - Rank Website [TO DO]
    ...TBC

    That's my introduction post! I'd be very keen to hear advice from everyone! Thanks!
     
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  2. WebzSuite

    WebzSuite Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good luck, I am sure that many people will find your journey very interesting.
     
  3. Zanskar

    Zanskar Regular Member

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    Good luck with your journey!
     
  4. Red Storm

    Red Storm Newbie

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    all the best
     
  5. SMac

    SMac Newbie

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    Hello all!

    Quick update here.

    I've designed the site as a one page lead generation page at the moment. I can play around with design to increase conversion once we're on Page 1.
    For design, I wanted to use the 'Responsive Boat' theme (child of Zerif Lite) but for some reason it wouldn't work properly, so instead I invested in something I've been looking at for a while, which is the 'Total' visual composer theme, which makes everything so much easier.

    As a free alternative to scrapebox, I've been using 'Expired Web2.0 Ranker' to scrape for expired Tumblrs. Found a gem yesterday, PA28 in my niche (but not geolocation), which I've now registered, and intend to put some real effort today into making it look real. (Better a few hours now, than a penalty later!).

    One thing I'm trying to do is find expired Web2.0s from people in my area, as it would be more appropriate to leave a review for my service on one of those pages than one in my niche but a different location. Just using the area keyword hasn't thrown anything up yet, anyone know if there's a good way to do it?

    We're not in the Top 100 yet, but I haven't got any backlinks yet, the page was only made yesterday, and I haven't done any on-page yet, so I'm not worried.

    As a quick way to recoup money, I'm also using my template to create a website for local tradesmen in the same niche (but in SEO saturated areas) who have old HTML websites and trying to sell it to them cheaply (for a website, looking at around 200-300 pound - hopefully with a retainer!). One sale should help buy me some more Web 2.0s and social signals, and open up a virtual office to recieve the google postcard, as well as covering all my costs so far.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Sounds good. Good luck with your journey.
     
  7. gary2

    gary2 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good Luck with your journey:)
     
  8. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    I wish you success. However, I do question your strategy.

    Firstly, are plumbers looking for leads from an Internet site? I'm in the UK and its impossible to find a plumber who has any time to take on a new job. I ask because if you're trying to rent out the site, the rental price is going to be limited by the value of the leads it generates. Also, tradesmen I know get work through word of mouth, not Internet searches. It might be different where you are, but you should consider it.

    Secondly, plumbers might not sell a particularly expensive service. If you need to spend $1k to reach the top spot in the SERPs, you need to make sure that the product being sold has a high enough price to justify giving you some of it. My advice would be to look for services that are high priced, not professions. An average call out fee for a plumber might be $100, so if your site gets a plumber 10 leads a month, he may be willing to pay you $100. If you can get 3 leads for a drain cleaning service that costs $400 a time, you might be able to rent your site for $120 a month instead. And I bet there is less SEO competition for "drain cleaning service + city" than "plumber + city".

    If I were you, I would look for professional services that need promoting, not trades. Their services will have higher ticket prices and their customers will be more likely to look on the Internet to research where to buy.

    Just my two penneths. Good luck on your journey, whatever route you decide to follow.
     
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  9. SMac

    SMac Newbie

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    Thank you, unreliable witness, for your very insightful post!

    Ill admit that this is a bit of a playground for me. Ive never ranked anything before, and never really made any money online. I dont expect to be giving up my job off this one site. The reason I chose this niche is simply because of all the hundreds of niches I tested (I was Tor'ing TF out of kwfinder, moz, majestic etc. to get more free searches), this one seemed to have almost no competition.

    I suppose you could call this a proof of concept. Even if I can make £100pm, thats money I can use to rank for more competitive niches in future. I dont have much money to invest, Ive spent about £50 on this so far. (Most of this is assets too, like a website builder).

    In all honesty, Ill consider this niche to be a success if I get on the front page of google.

    Id love to hear more of your insight (on here or by PM). Id particularly appreciate any tips on ranking a site such as this.
     
  10. cyrusv

    cyrusv Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    When I started, I tried to rank for a niche I was familiar in for local seo. After ranking #1 for the main keywords, I realised I could sell SEO to the page 2 guys, or I could rank for #1-#5 for the main keywords. Of course, I chose to rank #1-#5. This was how I started my business. I started out generating leads for others, in exchange for a "commission".
     
  11. SMac

    SMac Newbie

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    Update.

    So I have tried to do what any 'new local business' would do. Ive made about 15-20 citations (Google, Bing, 118, Yell, Yelp + smaller ones) with consistent NAP. For address, I just chose a random road in an industrial estate in the city. Ive not google verified my address yet, Im hoping that with enough consistent citations, Google will allow me to verify by phone. If not, Ive found a trick that I'll try.

    Ive got a few high PA tumblrs, however Im waiting to see the effect of citations only (as a learning point) before deploying Web 2.0s.

    Checking the Google Index, my site still hasnt been crawled (Ive tried to force it) so google still thinks it has a "Coming Soon" page. Thatll be why Im nowhere in the top 100 pages xD
    Im sure once all the citations are up and running (especially Google) then Ill get a crawl.

    Looking ahead, once citations are all online Im left with a few options to boost my ranking:

    1-PBN - 2.0s are sat in waiting. Would rather not register loads of domains.
    2-Social Signals - Considering buying a package rather than buying a license to AddMeFast bot (which I used for my offline).
    3-On Page - Not very sure about how to do onpage. Ive installed Yoast and its coming up Green. Ill be looking to do some more On Page while waiting for my citations to index. Mainly going to post a blog article every day. I have read that in low competition local searches, On Page isnt very important. Although others have said good On Page will rank you without backlinks.
    4- Reviews - Google reviews seem important for ranking in Maps. Not a fan of the idea of fake reviews, but I cant think of another way. Im gonna be doing more research into Map Ranking.

    If anyone has any more tips, id be grateful to hear them!
    Thanks all!
     
  12. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    I think you'll struggle with a budget under $100. Citations won't provide much power. They are best used as a foundation for a diversified link anchor text profile. I wouldn't wait to see what happens with citations, I'd just get on and build more links.

    Expired Tumblrs may provide some power, but only if they have a lot of referring domains. It isn't easy to judge quality using DA/PA metrics. Good expired Tumblrs are hard to come by as @Nargil says. I've bought from him before and you can pick up some good ones far more easily than scraping your own. Time is money, so spending weeks finding expired Tumblrs is usually not as efficient as buying them.

    Low priced guest posts (under $10) that are really PBN posts might provide some power. There are several providers on the marketplace. I don't like them because they scream PBN, but some could work. Ask for samples.

    Alternatively, some providers on the marketplace have web 2.0 networks that they sell fairly cheaply. For example, @luke6966 offers 5 web 2.0 links for $55. I haven't used his services, but they get good reviews.

    With a link profile that only has a few links in it, make sure every link you build has a URL or brand as its anchor text.
     
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  13. tokyoseo

    tokyoseo Newbie

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    Its funny I came across this because this is very similar to what I'm doing. Its even in the same niche. I wish you success on your journey. ill definitely be following this thread.
     
  14. SMac

    SMac Newbie

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    Thanks again Unreliable Witness +1 thanks!

    You've given me some good info there about what to expect from those tactics.
    For more info, this is the competition landscape:

    1. EMD but for a supply merchant. Maybe a little on page. 4k backlinks but from only 20 domains. Low DA/PA.
    2. As above but linked to a contact page
    3-6. Yell, Thomson Local etc.
    7. Branded domain, no seo, PA1 DA1, 0 backlinks
    8+. As above.

    Given the above, what tactics would you suggest?

    Update:

    We're indexed thanks to the Search Console giving google a shifty. We're at #112 with no content, only a few live citations and no backlinks.
     
  15. Unreliable Witness

    Unreliable Witness Regular Member

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    I'd recommend plenty of interlinking content. A page is only worth writing if it is indexed and if it gives visitors what they want. I'm sure you could probably write 10 800 word articles on some aspect of plumbing, and relate them to the city in passing. For example, if your city was London, work in a few references to London sewers, or the drinking water quality, or the fact that most sewage used to be dumped directly in the Thames. Make your site about city + plumbing.

    4k backlinks from 20 domains suggests the reason the site is ranking is because it has many links from just one or two sites. Find out which sites and why they link so many times. The competition site might not have many links, but if it is supported heavily by a parent company site that is a DA 90, you're not going to get to the top spot.

    But also, you might not need to rank number 1 if the competition doesn't sell what searchers for your terms want. Number 2 might be just fine. The key here is good page titles and meta descriptions. Capitalise every first letter of every word in the page title, and write titles and descriptions that intrigue.

    Try citations, add Tumblrs. See if that works without having to buy further power. If it doesn't, then consider adding it.
     
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  16. BillTomy

    BillTomy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  17. David Jones

    David Jones Regular Member

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    All the best with your journey.
     
  18. Scraper9

    Scraper9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi bro, you are going good so far. The thing is that I have heard from couple of people in the UK that the majority of local owners doesn't see the real value in buying leads at least it's not like in the US market, I don't know the reasons but it's good to keep that in mind.

    The advise I can give is when you start rank in top 100 and you have the foundation content and links and the whole project start to get some shape in general, start contacting biz owners right away. Don't wait until you reach page 1, contact them early and let them know that in a few months from now you will be able to generate leads for their businesses and ask them if they might be interested in buying from you. If they show interest.. good, if not move on to the next owner. Don't wait until you rank just to find out that for some reason this project wont work.
     
  19. congratulationzz

    congratulationzz Registered Member

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    what is your keyword tools mate? can you tell me? thanks
     
  20. SMac

    SMac Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for your support.
    I've been super busy since my last post, and haven't done anything.
    However, I've climbed to #40 (Page 5) in the meantime. I'm assuming this is either because my (singular :')) backlink from a Tumblr got indexed, or Google is slowly deciding I'm useful content. It could also be down to citations, but I haven't checked the status of the 15 or so citations I made.

    Today, I rewrote an article I found (Passed plagiarism checks 100%) and posted it. About 450 words. City name density about 1.5%. Various combinations of different keywords + city. I will post a few more over the next few days.
    I also added a Privacy Policy.

    Having read the forums, it would appear the main advice is to not move onto Off-Page until you've got a good amount of On-Page, which is why I haven't moved onto PBN/Web 2.0 etc. yet.

    I haven't contacted potential customers yet. If I have to spend money to rank, then I'll be sure to have some customers first. If I can rank with a few Web2.0s + Content + other free/cheap methods, then I will get the leads first.

    QUESTION: Some Tumblr Web 2.0s I'm finding have a PA of 28, yet they only have one backlink from commenting on another Tumblr blog. Is this a false high PA (I assume 28 is decently high for what I want) or do they truly have this authority?

    Thanks all!

    PS. @congratulationzz Im using KWFinder