3 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hi warriors

I have successfully ranked my website on Google for my local offline business and I'm getting some nice traffic and customers from it.

It was an easy rank for my keywords as my competition in my area seems to have no idea about SEO. I can see the same scenario for keywords for other types of services in my area (eg. plumbers, electricians, tradespeople etc.) and I wonder whether it would be a good money making strategy to rank a local business directory for my town and have like a page for plumbers, a page for electricians etc. and rent the listings on the page for say $20 a month or something. This is what I mean by local SEO in reverse. Instead of offering my services as an SEO consultant with lots of promises, I would rank the page first then rent listings on the page.

There are a couple of hundred local phrase match searches for these keywords according to the Google Keyword tool (a similar number to what there is for my business so I can kind of gather what the accurate traffic might be like but I'm still guessing I suppose). However how would this go if there were say 10 businesses listed on the page? Would each business not really get enough traffic for their money?

I am also wondering whether Google SEO updates are usually a problem with local search and whether I risk finding my site implodes during a Google update then I have a bunch of local clients who don't understand crying scam?

Would it be difficult to get local businesses on board? Not sure how I would do it either as I don't want to cold call or go annoying business owners?

I intend to rank the pages of the directory first so I can show them statistics for how many people land on the page and they can see the page ranks #1 on Google. I would also not do it like Yellow Pages where people are locked in to a contract. They could choose to quit after a month if they are not getting results so the number of searches to the page would need to deliver. I don't think people would be confident to give it a go if I don't do it this way.

Has anyone tried something like this before? Does it sound like a good idea or something that is too risky.

The reason I ask is I can't see that anyone has done this before for my keywords and when it is so easy to get these local rankings I am wondering why someone hasn't already jumped on this idea?
#local #reverse #seo
  • Profile picture of the author thomaspaylor
    I have several websites that follow that business model.

    They were very successful until about 18 months ago when Google started placing more prominence on local (geographic) websites appearing in search results. The google places (google plus local) or whatever they call it now takes up so much of page one for local searches that the CTR has dropped off a cliff if your not no1 in the organic listings.

    My niche was travel which is slightly more competitive, we would create niche websites based around a town and then optimise for certain keywords such as "hotels in town name" etc

    I then employed a sales guy to sell to the businesses and each business could monitor the enquires through the enquiry forms on each listing.

    After the various google updates, laterooms, trip advisor, booking.com etc etc have over taken us in the local searches even though our sites are totally dedicated to the town in question.

    I no longer sell listings on the websites, instead they are now adsense websites which focus on content for the local town in question.

    The business model can work, and in a less competitive industry than travel (such as trades) you can do ok.

    Dont underestimate the work involved in signing up the local businesses. Tradesmen get called all day long for directory type websites (they do in the UK) and other advertising and sometimes its hard to sell the benefits of internet advertising if they are not tech savay.

    They wont just find your website from a google search and signup on mass. You will have to do some leg work in pitching each business and signing them up to a 12 month or monthly advertising listing on your site.

    Hope this helps.
    "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison
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  • Profile picture of the author Pawprints34
    Thanks for the insight.

    I think it wouldnt be too hard to get number one rankings. The competition is quite low in this town and these niches. I noticed all the silly google adwords mini or whatever they call it so im sure i can get above it.

    As you say i thought it would be hard to get local trades people on board and i dont want to cold call or harrass people.

    I was hoping plumbers would google "plumber my town", notice the site ranking above their yellow pages listing and have a "your ad here" type message on the page where people could read about the advertising then contact me via a webform then i could discuss it with them on the phone. But interesting how you mention that this probably wont happen.

    The other option of course is to send brochures to potential target businesses, but im sure most of that stuff just ends up in the bin cause as you say people dont realise the value of being number one in google search.

    Thanks for the insight into it though.

    I reckon real world businesses that apply what i have learned online is more the way to go rather than scammy things like affiliate marketing, lists for weight loss or internet marketing products...etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author thomaspaylor
      A little tip for you.

      Adsense payments are good for local trades....

      Build your site and if you struggle to sign people up for paid listings, give the listings away for free as long as they write their own listing. This will help grow the content on your website and the advertiser is getting something for free. You can then create a great local resource.

      You can then place adsense ads around the website and above/below the listings.

      You can then have just a couple of advertisers who pay for monthly banner adverts site-wide. Combine that with the adsense income and you should get a decent return for each site you do.

      If you PM me ill send you an example.

      Good luck.
      "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison
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