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DMD October Webinar

Based on the latest Pigeon update, Rio SEO’s retailers saw a 20% increase in online traffic from search above last season. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to make sure your local search strategy is utilizing best practice SEO and user experience.

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Finding-Local-Search-Success,Post-Pigeon-&-Penguin-3Hot on the heels of the latest Penguin update, marketers are scrambling to measure its effects. Penguin 3.0, the first update since October 4th, 2013, completed its rollout early Monday, October 20th. That's right, those who were hit by the last Penguin update waited over a year without an update or refresh to see if their clean-up efforts had done the trick.   As if elusive penguins weren't enough to worry about, marketers and brands have also had to contend with the finicky new local search algorithm Pigeon, which launched in July this year. Designed to provide more useful and relevant local search results, Pigeon brought hundreds of traditional web search algorithm factors into play for local search. It also improved on distance and location ranking parameters.   Late in September, Google also released the Panda 4.1 update, affecting 3 to 5% of queries –just to keep things interesting.   In the constantly shifting local search landscape, where it can feel like the targets are forever on the move (and interspersed with furry and feathered but unfriendly animals), what's a marketer to do? Pigeon & Penguin-Proofing Local Search A year is an awful long time to wait out an algorithmic penalty – longer than many brands can afford. Though Google has suggested they'll refresh Penguin more often from here on, however, there are no guarantees.   We recently did a client survey at Rio SEO of the top retailers (those with hundreds of thousands of visits) and examined search traffic analytics right after the Pigeon update. What we found was that those with optimized local landing pages saw a 10% - 20% increase in traffic to those pages from search and an average of 20% increase in their local positions on SERPs (ie.: local map positions, etc.).   You don't often hear these stories right after an algorithm update; typically, doom and gloom stories of the biggest losers plaster the web. In every algorithm update, though, those who have prepared and followed best practices rise above when the biggest losers fall.   If you want to be one of the former, read on. Tracking and Measuring the Effects of Algorithmic Changes Beyond anecdotal evidence, how can you tell if your site has been impacted (either positively or negatively) by a Google algorithm update? Accurate tracking, measuring and reporting on the KPIs (key performance indicators) that actually matter is key.   These include, but are not limited to: • Your rankings on the big search engines • Rankings in local search • Citation consistency across the ecosystem • Traffic from all engines, directories and niche sites • Link activity analytics • Number of reviews per location • Average review ratings   You can learn more about each of these and how to use them for local search success in my last column on defining local SEO KPIs.  

Improve Your Local Search Strategy with Best Practices for Organic & Local Results

Each year, Moz conducts a survey of industry experts on local search ranking factors. The 2014 survey results were released in September and this year, Moz asked survey respondents to rate specific factors that contribute to rankings across pack/carousel and localized organic results. Participants also addressed which factors have increased or decreased in importance since the introduction of the Penguin algorithm.   The study points to critical areas of focus for local marketers. If you need to prioritize your optimization efforts, start with these areas identified as most impactful by local search experts (just don't forget to move on to the rest afterwards!).   First, experts ranked the influence of eight groups of ranking factors across the two types of local results: pack/carousel and localized organic. You can see more on Moz's methodology here.   Moz_Local_Search_Ranking_Factors_1 Image Credit: Moz   On-page signals (21%) – the presence of name, address, phone number (NAP); link signals, and external location signals – ranked most important, according to industry experts.   Looking into the factors ranked most important for either pack/carousel or localized organic results, we see different areas of focus that point to opportunities for marketers struggling in one area of the other:   Moz_Localized_and_Pack_Carousel_results   In localized organic search results, industry experts rated on-page signals and link signals as of almost equal importance. Together, they are considered about equally as influential as all other factors combined.   For pack/carousel results, however, experts feel on-page signals are far less significant – and link signals even less so. My business signals – categories, keyword in business title, proximity, etc. – are considered significantly more important here than for localized organic results. External location signals like YP and aggregator NAP consistency and citation volume are also given more weight for pack/carousel results by industry experts.   Moz identified the Top 5 Localized Organic Ranking Factors as: 1. City, state and landing page in title 2. Domain authority of the website 3. Page authority of the landing page URL 4. Quality and authority of inbound links to the domain 5. Quality and authority of inbound links to the landing page URL   Their Top 5 Pack/Carousel Ranking Factors are: 1. Physical address in city of search 2. Proper category associations 3. Consistency of structured citations 4. Quality/authority of structured citations 5. HTML NAP matching My Business Page NAP   For the full list of Moz's top 50 local ranking factors segmented by localized organic and pack/carousel and commentary from their survey experts, see The 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors.   To learn more about how you can maximize local search traffic this holiday season, check out Rio SEO's webinar on Nov 13th: How to Maximize Local Search Traffic This Holiday Season.   Author: Bill Connard   Originally posted at Search Engine Watch
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 1:00 PM EDT   local seo automation delivers results Digital marketers are challenged every day to deliver ROI metrics that measures the effectiveness of new technologies. Local SEO is a multi-faceted tactic that like any initiative requires planning, execution, measurement and ongoing optimization. We will be discussing the importance of measuring your local SEO coverage. As user experience becomes more important in the local search ranking factors, it's key to have the right tools to measure performance to make our daily working lives easier and more effective.   continue reading
Multi-location businesses face unique challenges in the management, optimization, and distribution of local business listing information. Accuracy is critical for every business, but those with a number of locations must also master scale.   It's easy to get bogged down in spreadsheets and a hodgepodge of tools. After all, most marketers struggle to see the ROI from local campaigns, so it can be difficult to justify putting budget here to streamline your efforts. You might simply rely on Yext, or have an agency do the work for you.   continue reading
female driver hand holding a phone with interface navigatorConsumers searching for information about local businesses increasingly turn to their smartphones for answers. According to Google’s Mobile Search Moment Study, 77 percent of mobile searches take place at home or work, where a PC or other device is available to the searcher and now over 1 out of every 3 searches is done on a mobile device.   Local search has become an almost-daily ritual for consumers, two-thirds of whom use local search three to four times a week. Four in ten of those consumers use local search every day.   continue reading
Bill Connard, the Vice President of Local Search Solutions at Rio SEO – the software automation and analytics division of Covario, based in San Diego, California joins Enterprise Radio to tell us more about the fast-growing field of Local SEO, how it works, and its impact on businesses and retailers nationwide.   continue reading
Ad Roundup: Platforms additions power greater engagement   A trio of announcements this week should help both small and large businesses push engagement and relevance. Here's how:   First, Rio SEO has integrated with Neustar, powering enhanced local business listings across the Neustar Localeze platform."Integrating with Neustar' s API (Application Programming Interface) for local business listing management gives our customers a competitive advantage with the ability to not only verify, but optimize and update their local business data in real time," said Bill Connard, vice president for local search solutions at Rio SEO. "Clients subscribing to this service can easily see how their business information is indexed in Neustar's system and update that data on the fly. This ensures that brands with any number of locations are communicating the most updated, enhanced information possible to Neustar's distribution channel with a click of a button."   continue reading
More Enhanced Local Business Data Expected to Garner Increased Local Search Engine Visibility for Rio SEO Customers   SAN DIEGO, July 11, 2013 – Rio SEO, the leader in SEO automation and a SaaS-based provider of enterprise search, local SEO and social media marketing tools, today announced it will join forces with data aggregator Acxiom to acquire relevant data and enhanced content about customers’ local business listings.   continue reading
By Bill Connard / VP of Local Search Solutions   At our local SEO webinar last week, I emphasized the importance of managing local business listings across the three major search engines, social engines and data aggregators to optimize your brand or business’ local visibility. The webinar was moderated by Greg Sterling, the founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, and Mike Shannon, one of our agency customers at Best Rank, who addressed their clients’ successes with local search.   Greg Sterling kicked-off the webinar with some intriguing statistics regarding the impact of data distribution for local SEO and the huge volumes of local queries. He shared data from Google and Bing that 20 percent of all queries on personal computers have a local intent with more than 4 billion of those local queries occurring in May alone. Greg also discussed the influence of online activity with the transactions that occur offline.   continue reading
In today's discussion around content marketing, much of the focus has been on volume. If content is the fuel that drives inbound marketing, mining for more of it seems paramount.   Except when it's not. As content marketing becomes nearly ubiquitous, other factors such as integration with other marketing programs, analytics and distribution are receiving increasing attention. Even viewer psychology is beginning to be employed.   continue reading

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