Big SEO appointment in the morning. Google Places advice needed?

20 replies
I have an appointment in the morning at Applebee's with a large roofing company in town. I know they advertise in the paper plus Google Adwords. They want to talk with me about some SEO. The keywords get 1900, 320, and 210 local monthly searches on Google. The issue is the largest 2 keywords are in the larger city which is 5 miles away. The address of the Google Places listing is in the smaller city. Not sure if I can still make this work.


Also, how would you suggest setting up the deposit and monthly amounts for this amount of search volume?
#advice #appointment #big #google #morning #needed #places #seo
  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    can anyone tell me how they would structure this particular deal?
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  • For Google Places, I recommend getting a virtual office in the middle of the cluster of current page 1 rankings. Since it's a roofing company, no one will be going to their office anyway. Getting virtual office space is quite easy in big cities. You can usually get an address with mail service for $10 / month.

    The proximity filter isn't the end all and be all, but in a competitive arena like roofing, why take chances? If they are not game for changing their address, just explain that it will take much longer to get them on page 1. If their current address is a long stretch from the current page 1 results, or if their phone number is a different area code... you likely have very little chance of getting page 1 unless they change address (and phone if needed). If you need to change the phone number, they can keep the existing one, of course, but buy a new one that will forward to the existing one and be sure to use that new one in all citations, too.

    As far as how much to charge. Hard to say. If they're as large as you say and you know you can deliver a stellar setup with citations, etc... $1,000 is not unreasonable. You can even discount that if they commit to 6 months of SEO with you or something.

    For deposit, just charge 1/2 of the setup fee you decide on and take the other 1/2 upon completion. A solid setup only takes a few days, but the citations may take a couple of weeks for you to get them done properly.

    I hope that helps a little bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author RKCastillo
    How are they ranking for the keywords in that city now?

    I think that wil make a difference in you providing service to them as well.

    Google Places ranks their results by: Relevance, Prominence and Distance.

    If they're already ranking well in the city you have the prominence part down it shouldn't matter too much the distance game.

    If they aren't ranked anywhere distance will make a difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarakelly72
    thats nice to hear this.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    Google Places:


    Small keyword(same town)-page 2
    Larger keywords(town 5 miles away) -page 9 both keywords
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    My appointment is at 11am cst this morning. Any other advice before then would be appreciated.


    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    where do you advise getting another address or phone number?
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    Would a UPS store box work? They are only $15/mth
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    i understand about getting another forwarding number. that is the cheap part. just trying to have everything together before my appointment. thanks
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  • No, you cannot get UPS addresses. Google specifically for a "Virtual Office." They're everywhere. Your client wouldn't be the first to use one.

    And since you're so far from the city and he's only on page 9 for that city search term, and I assume the address is in "Small Town, USA" rather than "Big City, USA." With all of that... your job will be MUCH easier going with a new address. Better to realize that now than 4 months from now and you're still stuck on page 4 or 5 or whatever. Your work will double if you decide to change later because you'll have all those citations to fix.

    Case in point... I had a client that wanted to be found for a St. Louis term. Their zipcode was a smaller town nearby. When you Googled that zip, it was Small Town, MO. NOT St. Louis. This was my rookie mistake and since we've come this far, client doesn't want a virtual address... no page one for places for them. It's that simple. Phone area code is different from other page 1 rankings, zip is different, etc.

    Now 5 miles isn't that far, so I'd be surprised if you're dealing with a different area code, but the zip may tell google "small town" rather than "big city" that would be an issue. That's not just distance... that's a relevance thing as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
    To me, 5 miles isn't a big deal. When you start talking about 15-20 miles you might be making a good case for sticking with the smaller city but if they're wanting the big business that comes from the search volume on those two big city keywords, I say go for it.

    I live in a town with a similar situation - we have a smaller "city" about 5 miles away, and another one about 10 miles out. In reality there's a cluster of about 5 small cities in our general metro area. Point is, I've been able to get both Google Places and organic page 1 results for "keyword big city" even though the business is technically located in "keyword small city."

    I would imagine that in your situation it has less to do with distance from city center as strength of competition. In many medium sized towns you won't find a lot of claimed places listings or a ton of backlinks for the competition's organic listings, and if you're smart about how you structure the client's website* you can quite easily, over a period of some months, get google to rank you in that nearby city.

    * www.domain.com/cityname/services
    www.domain.com/othercity/services
    etc.

    My page 1 rankings were in the lawn care niche - I want to say that just so you won't think I'm bragging about getting page 1 for "artistic poodle trimming" or something.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    Appointment was reschedule for noon tomorrow. This will give me more time to come up with the proper game plan.
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  • Just putting this out there:

    Why wait those "some months" when you could get it ranked much quicker by having a better address?

    I suppose it's just me, but if I were the roofer (of course, assuming the address I used didn't matter much to me) I would want page 1 asap so I could start raking in business. I'm thinking $10 / month vs the opportunity cost of NOT being on page 1 for those 2 or 3 months... or more depending on the competition. Easy decision for me.

    Additionally... let's say you get page 1 and over the course of the next few months, the other roofers, with addresses closer to city center, get wise and start optimizing their listings and sites. All things being equal, being closer to city center will tip the scales in their favor.

    My thought is to set things up for maximum advantage from day one because changing it later is impractical. To me, there's really no excuse when it's a company like a roofer or plumber where people don't visit the physical office location anyway. There's really no hassles with setting up virtual space.

    5 miles isn't far, but depending on the number of companies you're fighting against, it may make a big difference. Not sure about the number of roofing companies you're looking at, but for plumbers, accountants, photographers, etc. there's lots of competition in that 5 mile space.

    EDIT:

    Would love to hear how the meeting went!
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    As stated earlier, the meeting was rescheduled.



    I have looked high and low all day and can't find a virtual office anywhere near the $10 mark. I am all ears. The city is Huntsville Alabama.


    Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    also, how would you price the setup and monthly?
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    i purchased the wso on monday morning from dr ben and dr dan. i asked the question before buying. unfortunately, this wasn't addressed. dr ben has emailed me back with a quote but still avoids the main question at hand.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tracy411
    Hi Rolltide,

    I found these guys on Google. They advertise virtual office space starting at $50 a month. I know it isn't $10/mth, but it isn't the $100 a month I saw asked for by other companies. Of course, you'd have to look into stuff like reputation, features, etc.:

    Virtual Office: Huntsville, Alabama (Not any kind of affiliate link)

    You could deal with the monthly cost a couple of ways:

    1- roll in into the price of your monthly fee so that the price of that part is not an issue.

    2-if you feel or need to bring up the cost per month directly, discuss it in terms of ROI (i.e. that it isn't much if it helps them to get page one for keywords that wouldn't be possible without it). Talk about what the average client is worth per job (or you could do this based on avg lifetime customer value), give a conservative estimate on how many new clients they might get with a page one listing using the virtual office. That should be sufficient to show them the value of that monthly fee. Example: if it seems that you could conservatively get them 5 clients and the average job brings them in $3000= $15,000, then can they see how that $50 a month fee is a mere investment? See what I mean?

    Tracy
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  • Profile picture of the author emrom
    Just an added thought...call google places...they give free advice all over the place.
    You can get a rep and talk to the same person...goodluck
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  • Google place reps will not comment on optimization, and you had better not mention virtual address just to be on the safe side. You never know how they will interpret that.

    I'm sorry you couldn't find anything for $10 but $50 isn't bad. This is something the client should arrange, too. It's their business and there's no reason for you to get in the middle of that. I always explained the advantages to my clients and they were usually willing to go ahead. There was no need for me to point out that $50 or even $100 was even a big deal.

    This may be obvious, but I'll say it anyway... make sure the virtual space is at city center. No point in getting one farther from city center than the current address is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Depending on how much business they get and could get from the bigger city I would have them consider renting an office in that bigger city. I know around here you can rent semi-shared office space for under $200 a month.
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