SEO Meetup Glasgow

Next SEO Meetup in Glasgow

So the next SEO Meetup we have in Glasgow is on the 18th of April at 7 pm in the Barony Bar in Strathclyde Student Union.

You can register to attend this meetup via our meetup page.

Speakers at this SEO meetup will be

  • Ross Tavendale ( Type A Media )
  • Richard Norman
  • Craig Campbell

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Our first meetup in Glasgow was on the 13th of February 2019 and it was well attended so we have decided to move to a bigger venue in the hope we get more people attending this event. Meetups are not only good for picking up tips and advice from the wide range of speakers that we will attract, but the networking side of this is invaluable, meeting other Digital Marketing experts locally especially in Glasgow isn’t that easy as there are not a huge amount of events here in Glasgow or the surrounding areas, many of the big meetups and conferences tend to be down south.

Business to be had at Local Meetups

In my experience of speaking and attending local meetups, I’ve seen many people collaborate and work together on projects, working with local people you can see and meet up with regularly is a great way to do business, not everyone is comfortable outsourcing aspects of Digital to people they do not know. Personally, I used to steer well clear of these meetups and conferences as I didn’t want to share information with other people, I felt as if everyone would keep information to themselves, but I was very wrong.

Some of the people I talk to most, could be seen as competition but we work together and help each other, as there is enough business to go round, so you can collaborate on projects with others and it works very well, not only with fellow Glasgow experts but at any other conferences and meetups I attend, I end up talking to other people who have skills and expertise in areas that I might be weak on, and I can utilise them to make sure my projects are the best they can be.

Local SEO Glasgow

So at the meetup on the 13th of February I was talking about Local SEO, some tips and tricks that I find work well when trying to rank local websites, rather than posting some slides with no explanation of what’s on them, I’ve decided to make a video of me talking through my slides saying exactly what I was talking about at the SEO Meetup in Glasgow.

You can watch that on the video below.

The other speakers at the last SEO meetup didn’t want to have their slides recorded, but we do have a snippet of the event which you can see below, but it is ideal to get along to the meetup as some speakers give a lot of information away when they are not being recorded, and its important that we also try and encourage people to get along to the event itself.

So do sign up for the next Glasgow SEO Meetup, it’s completely FREE.

 

Below is the transcribed version of the main video:

So, we held a Glasgow SEO meetup on the 13 of February. I just want to share my slides with the people that weren’t able to make it. The slides I’m not going to just share simple slides, they do need an explanation, hence why I’m doing it in a video. So, I want to thank everyone again for turning up, it was the first SEO meetup we’ve had in Glasgow for a number of years, and it was a great turn out, met a lot of good people. And we are coming back to do it in April at a new venue, the Strathclyde Student Union, which will allow us to hold up to 150 people. There’s also cheap beer, and we will be hosting a whole heap of other meetups, and we will have other good speakers in attendance so you can continue to learn and hear different stories and advice and all that good stuff. So, hopefully, the Glasgow SEO meetup does become popular.

First Local SEO Meetup in Glasgow

But what I’ve done at the first local SEO meetup, I wasn’t too sure who would turn up, the level of skills that would be in the room, and stuff like that. So, I started off with a talk I’ve done a couple of times. So, it was local SEO, no bullshit tips and tricks to rank locally. I will start off.

So, I was talking about, you know, I speak at SEO conferences, stuff like that, just giving the audience a bit about myself. Liked by some, speak at loads of different events. And then you get guys like this who will go out there and call me a criminal, that I scam people, and stuff like that, all because they believe I do black cat SEO, which some people think is totally illegal.

But, it’s all nonsense, there are no real hacks when it comes to SEO. We maybe do different tactics, do things that maybe someone else wouldn’t and stuff like that, but I do affiliate marketing stuff and it’s all for myself. So, I don’t really have to play within the customer guidelines or whatever. The only person I’m putting at risk is myself.

Affiliate Marketing

So, that’s one of the affiliate websites that I just started, 7,000 keywords ranking, gets decent traffic. I’ve got drop shipping websites that make a considerable amount of money. I’ve got a couple of them. So, that’s the kind of stats there.

So, I do like to think I’ve got a broad range of skills. I’ve been in the industry for 17 years, and have a fairly good track record. But this talk was about local SEO. So, local search statistics in 2018, it will tell you that 88% of consumer, local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. 46% of all searches in Google are seeking local information. And 97% searched online to find a local business. So, the stats are really high for people who are looking for small local businesses. In particular, if it’s someone looking for a plumber or whatever, they don’t want someone up in Aberdeen for example, they need someone local, so they will go something like Plumbers in Glasgow, or in Paisley, or wherever you may be based.

Local SEO

So, you’ve got with standard SEO a number of different factors. Off-page SEO, on page SEO. Technical SEO, as the main things that kind of drive SEO as such. Local SEO is kind of the map listings and you’ve got your page that looks like this. And what happens is you can set yourself up with a local map listing, and what you can do is either get your postcard delivered to the address where you claim your business is, or you can get phone verification. Now, in a lot of instances, phone verification isn’t available purely because you don’t have any citations, you don’t have any credible work history. There’s nothing that Google would check to verify you’re a legit business.

So, if that’s the case, they will send a postcard out to you. So, it’s the first thing you should be doing, is setting up your local my business listing if you don’t already have one. Now, it’s quite simple and easy to set up. The screen is very similar to the one in front of you, business name, country, region, street address, postcode. All that kind of stuff.

Now, once you fill all that out, people can suggest an edit. Just bear this in mind. So, anyone can go in there and change the name, the location, the hours, and everything else of your Google My Business listing. And the reason that I mention this is if you don’t verify your listing, someone else can take your listing from you, and you’re not notified. Once you very your My Business listing, Google … so if anyone was to suggest an edit to the opening times or anything else, you would be instantly notified that someone’s changed the times, and you can either approve it or change it back to what it was. But if you don’t verify your listing, it will tell you there, that’s a Google Maps forum, people’s competition was stealing leads by changing phone numbers in Google Maps. And that’s obviously something that people are still doing to this day.

Verify your GMB Listing

So, you need to make sure it is verified, otherwise, competition can potentially take your map listing right off you. So, if that’s someone complaining, and there’s no real legal recourse as far as Google is aware. You can do a formal report if you contact Google My Business support. The reality is they don’t care, they don’t really help you. You’re just a number. So, do bear that in mind and make sure you verify your own business listing right from the offset, in case someone does that to you.

Now, what is really important for your Google My Business listing is not links, is not content, it’s not anything like that, that would stand you in good stead doing search engine optimization. Local business is completely different, and what they look for is what is known as NAP, and that’s the name, address, and phone number. And they want that to be consistent throughout the citations that you’ve got for your website.

So, you don’t want to use multiple locations on the same page, for example, if you’ve got an office in Inverness, Manchester, Glasgow, London, you don’t want to have all of those locations in the one page. You want to have them all on individual pages. You don’t want to use acronyms for your name, address, and postcode. And you don’t want to overdo name, address, and postcode either, and spam everywhere.

 

So, what is NAP+W? You’ll hear people talk about that as well. It’s name, address, postcode, and website. So, whatever you want to call it. But regardless, acronyms, so for example, and I know it’s laughable, I’m not a doctor, but if I was a doctor, it could be Dr Craig Campbell at 123 Test Street, New York. And the postcode, other people may put in Dr Craig Campbell 123 Test and then St. rather than Street. And then you have Dr C. Campbell, 123 Test Street, blah, blah, blah. So, that’s inconsistent in that listing, they’re not the same. And you want to remain consistent, as consistency is the key. That’s Google looking for a consistent name, address, postcode verifications of your business.

Local Citations for SEO

So, you can get local citations, you can get citations on a whole heap of websites. Yell, Thomson Local, tons of other ones, Yelp, Hot Frog, there’s loads of directives out there. You don’t need a million of these, it’s ideal to get some good citations though. There is a good service out there called citationsbuilder.com, and you can use one of these packages to get your citations rather than you doing it yourself. Just copy and paste, they can actually do it for you. They also do a free citation audit to check for inconsistent NAP on your citations.

The key part of this whole thing with Citations Builder is, and it’s a common mistake that people make, so what I tend to find is people who do citations will copy and paste their business description and everything else. Copy and paste it into all the different directories, and what happens if you’re feeding all these directories duplicate content. So, you might find that one or two of these get indexed by Google. What’s different about Citations Builder is they actually spin the content to make it unique. They also send your citations to an indexing tool. So, what they try and do is make sure that if you buy the 35 citations package, that you’re going to get as many of those 35 citations indexed as you possibly can.

You’re not going to get 100% of them indexed, but if you get between 60 or 70%, you’re doing well. And that is what Google is looking for when it comes to My Business, they’re looking for citations. So, look at Citations Builder, it’s really important that your citations get indexed though, or they’re not going to benefit your website.

Do Citations Help with GMB Listings?

Now, I’ve taken this screenshot from a company called Blue Corona over in America. And they’re talking about NAP and how does it help SEO. And they’re telling you that for starters, make sure your NAP is correct on your website as well as other sites throughout the web. And all the kind of stuff. So, that’s another company verifying it.

Now, when you’re doing this, setting up your Google My Business, make sure that you use the same Google account for your Google My Business as your analytics and search consul. Tie them all together. If you want to, you can also you Twilio and make sure that you get a local number, rather than some mobile number or whatever else. I think a local number certainly ties in with a local business, and your citations, and everything else, and it will work well for you.

But back to the NAP, Tim Capper, a well-known expert who does a lot of Google Local stuff, will tell you that citations are a local search ranking factor. And it’s critical that you keep your citations correct and up to date across all your business listings.

And you’ll see there that he also goes on to say that keep your NAP consistent, and all of that kind of stuff because that is what Google is looking for. It’s not the only thing Google or looking for, they obviously use relevance, distance, and prominence. But, the citations do take you a long way when it comes to local rankings.

The postcode trick. So, if you ever hear people talking about the postcode trick, it’s actually that NAP thing we just spoke about. And basically, Google is looking for your postcode, or your name, address, postcode, or whatever you want to call it. And a lot of people then top up the citations they’ve got with a bit of spam, whether they use Scrape Box, GSA, or Money Robot.

And it’s all with a view to getting more of those citations indexed because they feel that if the guy in position A has 100 citations, for example, they might want to get 120 or 130. That’s not the answer. But you can do this to try and get ahead of the competition. Money Robot, an example here. You want quality citations rather than quantity. And you want them indexed. So, don’t spam it up too much. Nothing wrong with a little bit, but be careful.

Does Google Reviews Help Local SEO?

Do Google Reviews help when it comes to your Google My Business rankings? Absolutely not. So, this particular search term was lawyers in London. And you’ll see that the top, or the position A, has no reviews. The second one has 23, and the third one has six. So, the answer here is reviews don’t help. But they do build trust with customers. They can also help people click in your map listing, so click through rate is impacted, which is always a good sign for Google. And having good reviews is certainly not a bad thing.

Doing Fake Reviews

If you’re going to do fake reviews, people do it, it’s not ideal, try and get your customers to do it if you can. But if you’re going to do it, drip feed them on. Don’t just do five-star reviews, do try and keep it natural looking. Write reviews differently, and do other random reviews rather than just using fake personas that are just leaving reviews constantly. It’s not good. And as I say, you can simply ask your clients to give you real reviews.

Click through rate. I’m going to go back to that. So, click through rate is an important thing. If a particular map listing is getting hit on a more frequent basis, then it’s probably going to get a higher position, because Google sees it as more important. So, just bear that in mind. It does impact SEO. Loads of people argue the point out there. But click through rate is definitely a ranking factor, and I’m sure it will impact your local stuff as well. But, keep it natural looking. Google is always watching for all these kind of tips and tricks and shoddy stuff. It’s okay to mix it up with a few things, but always try and be careful.

Google My Business Flaw

Now, one thing that people give Google way too much credit for is they can see everything, and everything’s state of the art and there are no flaws, and it’s all Perfect. Now, Moz a couple of weeks ago, or just over a month ago now that I’m recording this video, how someone can ruin your Google My Business local SEO traffic. And they were referring to a blog post that I’d done. Now, what happened here was there was a massive flaw on Google My Business. And if you look at the bottom there, it says that My Business opens on January 15th 2020.

Now, what happened there was it was … you’re allowed, anyone’s allowed to suggest an edit to a business. Someone can go in and suggest an edit to my business and say that it’s not opened until 2020. As a result, my Google My Business went done, and I wasn’t getting any traffic from Google My Business listing. A massive flaw and you don’t even get notified by Google of this change.

So, what we’ve done is obviously reported that to the right people, and that has now been patched. But don’t think that Google can see everything, they also make mistakes. As I say, it was easy as just going in there and adding an opening date, and sending that request in. And it basically wiped out my business listing. But thankfully that particular hack is now fixed.

Link Building for Local SEO

Now, when I go onto link building, link building doesn’t really help local SEO as such, but you probably then want to move onto link building. So, you can do generic outreach, which is always good. Find the angle, find the link targets, do outreach, follow up, and hopefully, you get some responses. PR link building. So, you can use PR to work with SEO. Get good websites that have got good traffic and authority, and get yourself a link on them. That works really well.

You’ve also got PBN’s, private blog networks, and so on. They still work as long as you do them properly, and you’re getting links from websites that have been trafficked but not spammed to death, and all that kind of stuff. You can also buy good outreach links from the likes of Money Hat, and there are various other ones out there as well. But a wee trick that I wanted to show, and it’s more for fun rather than maliciousness, but getting PR links is obviously costly, costs thousands and thousands of pounds per month. Now, take this article in the Liverpool Echo. You see underneath the image it says image copyright unknown? Now, to me, that flags an opportunity.

At the top of an article on the Liverpool Echo, or most other press websites, you’ll see the author of the article. And this particular one is Liam Thorpe. I could reach out to Liam on social media and email LinkedIn, it’s not going to be that hard to find him. And I can tell him that that is my image, and I would like to get the credit for it. The chances of Liam arguing the point are pretty slim, just going on previous experience. He’s not going to say that it’s his image, because he doesn’t know. The newspaper has already stated that the copyright is unknown. So, if I lay claim to that, the chances are they’ll probably link to it.

Broken Link Building Trick

You can also use this kind of strategy if there are broken links on newspaper articles. So, for example, if the newspaper, which is website A, linked to a particular website that’s no longer there, it’s been deleted, or whatever it’s going to be, you could also reach out to that editor and say that you rebranded, or something else, another cock and bull story, that can be linked to your website. And the chances are, that has a high success rate.

So, it’s a little image trick, or playing on 404 pages, and stuff like that, to then get yourself some press links. That works really well. So, a little trick there that I wanted to give you, just as you start getting into your link building campaigns.

But that was my talk for SEO Glasgow meetup. And hopefully it went down well, and hopefully, we can get a lot more people at that meetup going forward.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 17 years.

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