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My Failed Attempt At Local SEO, (learn from my mistakes)

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by jaselc, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    Ok, I totally Messed up at Local SEO, so don't make the same mistakes that I did.....

    Something a little different here, Im going to show you my failed attempt at local SEO! I know most of the stuff you see is about ‘what you should be doing’, how to guides, tutorials and the rest of it. But people usually shy away if they fail. Although the best way to learn is from your mistakes, apparently!!

    Why am I telling you this?

    Making a complete hash of things has taught me a lot, and the fact that I failed on my first attempt allowed me to figure out exactly what I was doing wrong. I also figured out what I should have been doing and for that reason I am now able to rank a local site without any problems.

    So if you have been struggling to rank for a local search term then save your self a ton of time and don’t make the mistakes I made right here!!

    How I was going to make a Fortune !
    My grand idea was to make a number of local sites and get them ranked number 1, id then sell listings and target local businesses and make a tidy profit every month!!

    It’s by no means a new method but there are still a lot of niches to target and I figured that If I could rank a site for a local business, e.g ‘carpet fitter in (cityname) then I could rent the site to local carpet fitters for about £150-£300 per month. Now there are tons of businesses and tons of cities! Just think of the profits if I could rank 5 sites in 10 different cities!!!

    Mistake Number 1

    Having not done any local SEO before and at the time I was still quite rusty on SEO in general, I did something stupid, and that was to dive in at the deep end. I went and registered a number of domain names and started to create a few different sites at the same time for a number of different local businesses. I just presumed that it would be easy to rank them. I spent ages creating content, setting up the sites and then doing SEO on them, it was a bit overwhelming to say the least.

    Trying to rank several sites before I had even done 1 successfully was a big mistake! If my SEO strategy was to fail, all of my sites would fail.

    Lesson learned – Take on 1 project at a time, only move on to the next project once completed and you have achieved results! This is a good lesson not only for local SEO but anything in life.


    Mistake Number 2

    At the time Google was making some significant algorithm changes (Not that I new this). I looked at the sites already ranking for my keyword. They had very little content a very few backlinks. My initial thoughts were…. ‘Create better content, more words and more backlinks than they have’ that should do the trick!

    Wrong.

    My biggest mistake was this… The first bit of link building I did was to get a spun article and submit it to article directories; the anchor text I used was my main keyword and a few variations of it. I also created links using blog comments and a few directories.

    Now I have a site that has better content than my competitors and more back links with my keyword anchor! Sit back and watch it fly up the rankings!!

    Not so fast, I found that my sites were stuck around page 3-5 on Google. Was my keyword density to high? It sure was, at 52%!!. so I built more links but this time I diversified my back link profile with more generic anchors to lower my main keyword percentage.

    What happened? Nothing! Was I being penalized by the big G?

    Lesson Learned – Don’t build backlinks with exact match anchors! Especially when you have the EMD.



    Mistake Number 3

    Not using my common sense. I was so worked up into building more back links and producing more content that I completely lost track on what Google actually displayed in a local search result and what factors might affect this. I didn’t use any local directories, I didn’t register with google places! See’s quite obvious now but if you want to rank a local site, build links only from local sources.

    Having back links from all around the world is not natural if you are trying to rank a site in Leeds.

    Lesson learned – Concentrate on building a back link profile from local directories and sites only!!


    So there are a few of the mistakes that I made. I have only touched on the subject here but I actually did a full analysis of the site ranked number 1 for the keyword I was targeting and it threw up some pretty interesting results! I'll try to post more when I get time.




    So what exactly does rank a local SEO site?

    There are many things that I would do differently and SEO is evolving all of the time, so here are a few pointers:


    • Make sure your local telephone number and address are on the home page
    • Make sure citations are consistent; Address format should always be the same on your site and local directories.
    • Scrape a list of local directories and submit your site to all of them!
    • Check the back link profile of your competitors and emulate a couple of their best links
    • Get Google+ with your business details and use Google places
    • Get reviews for your product/business
    • DO NOT over do your back linking

    These are the most significant ranking factors. I hope you have learned something from this post, I know it’s getting quite long now so I’ll leave it there, and please share your top ranking factors for local SEO!!
     
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  2. umerjutt00

    umerjutt00 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Start 1 project and finish it first... This is the most important thing and that's why i am still stuck at my 3rd site..... lol.. The first 2 sites i started are now successful and now i am working on a 3rd site... this way i can focus on 1 thing at a time...
     
  3. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    Good to hear that you first 2 sites are now successful......

    Yes it's important to work on 1 project at a time.... So many people start something and then something else will catch their eye before they have completed their project. That project then becomes a waste of time.

    People usually move on to another project when things start getting a little tough, or they hit a hurdle. Successful people are those that carry on through the tough times and are 100% focused on completed the task!
     
  4. linktolinker

    linktolinker Junior Member Premium Member

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    Telephone I can understand but address on homepage? really? Is that necessary. Sounds weird to me.
     
  5. xitrumgia

    xitrumgia Newbie

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    OP which field are you in?
     
  6. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    In general or Local SEO? I have a an SEO blog as well as niche sites. I don't have 1 particular field in terms of Local SEO.
     
  7. BusinessMagnet

    BusinessMagnet Power Member

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    If you can't do Local SEO, why not just outsource it?

    You'll not just earn rankings and in meanwhile you can earn some money by doing other work.
     
  8. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    I can do local SEO!! My original post was just outlining the mistakes I made when I started out, so other people can learn from them. I'm quite capable of doing local and any type of SEO these days! :)
     
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  9. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    Yes, I believe it is good practice to include the business address on the home page. You want to send a clear picture to Google and your visitors and stating your address on your main page helps to emphasise that message a lot! I believe it's an important ranking factor
     
  10. Phrancis

    Phrancis Registered Member

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    Cool stuff. Glad someone is letting newbies know the pitfalls so we can recognise them and not fall cos of them. Thumbs up. Many thanks.
     
  11. Phrancis

    Phrancis Registered Member

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    I checked ur website and though I should bring this to your attention. Your step 4 on ranking on G, the link in the menu goes to Step 3. The only link that actually goes to step 4 is the bottom link after the whole of step 3. I've already gotten to the step 4 but I thought I should bring it to ur attention since I wont be the only one to want to read it.

    PS: great website and really awesome content. :You_Rock_
     
  12. Andrew Scherer

    Andrew Scherer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    This is a lot of good white-hat info on ranking local sites.
     
  13. oinky222

    oinky222 Regular Member

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    This is a great lesson here. I went through the exact same mistake at first and would have really benefited from a post like this
     
  14. madhanraj

    madhanraj Newbie

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    Nice. Mistakes are the foot steps of success......Everybody must cross mistakes before leaping to success.I hope.!!
     
  15. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, I've corrected the mistake with the link. Glad you enjoyed the post
     
  16. Rua999

    Rua999 Power Member

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    I find the opposite to be true to me. When you're confident that the seo you are doing has worked in the past and is gonna work on the sites you are working on it can be far more productive to work on a few sites at a time.. especially when you're waiting for content to be written, etc
     
  17. jaselc

    jaselc Regular Member Premium Member

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    Yes this is absolutely fine if you have already completed 1 and you know that it works. If you are not certain that it will work then working on more than 1 is risky! Newbies should take 1 step at a time, once you have more confidence you can do multiple sites :)
     
  18. Numbuh362

    Numbuh362 Elite Member

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    Thank you for this thread, it has many common mistakes and it will help many new members avoid them.
     
  19. joeiik

    joeiik Junior Member

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    Thanks for sharing experiences. Question: Scrape a list of local directoriess.. What do you mean by local directories?
     
  20. JoeMongan

    JoeMongan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Some really nice dos and donts you got there. Is it true what I read that for local SEO hosting locally is best?

    -RK