The concept of barnacle SEO is simple enough: get visible on a site that ranks well in Google for the local search terms you’re going after, because that’s usually easier than getting your site to rank for those terms. (You’ll still try to do both, of course.) I’ve also written about the most-practical ways to execute it .
But barnacle SEO poses three challenges:
(1) It takes work.
(2) Most people overlook easy wins.
(3) The payoff usually isn’t as obvious as, say, high rankings in Google.
I’ve put together a checklist of all the ways (I can think of) that you can gauge the usefulness of a “barnacle” site. I hope it helps you figure out where to channel your efforts.
To be more specific, I hope the checklist helps you determine:
- Which review sites bring the most payoff with the least effort
- Which “barnacle” site(s) would be best to advertise on
- Which listings might be worth paying for
- Which sites you might want to publish content on (where possible)
- How you can get more benefit from a site where you’ve already got some presence
Here’s the checklist:(click to open PDF)
Of course, there’s no site that meets all the criteria. Yelp, Facebook, and YouTube probably come closest. But those sites are saturated, and getting visible there may or may not be practical for you. Just use the checklist to understand how one site stacks up against another, in terms of how it might help your local visibility.
By the way, because I had to fit all those points onto one smelly old pirate scroll, some points could use a little more explaining. Here’s a little more detail on some of the criteria:
“Does it show “review stars” if you get a review?”
I’ll be lazy and recycle the example I used in my last post :
“Can visitors immediately see the info they’re looking for?”
The trouble with an otherwise decent “barnacle” site like Angie’s List is that you’ve got to be a paying member to read the reviews. Even on the BBB (an overlooked place to get reviews) the reviews are a little buried.
Not a reason to ignore either of those sites, but the semi-hidden reviews detract from the payoff a little bit.
“Does it give you an extra way to stay in touch with visitors?”
You can stay in touch with Facebook fans, YouTube channel subscribers, Pinterest followers, and the like. Maybe they’ll become customers (even returning customers) one day.
“Is its SEO enviable?”
Do you have a favorite “barnacle” site (especially an often-overlooked site)?
How about a barnacle strategy that’s worked well for you / your client?
Any questions about the checklist?
Leave a comment!