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Issue 2, Why It’s Ranking: Air Conditioning, Grand Rapids MI

Welcome to the second issue of “Why it’s Ranking” where I break down a random 7 pack and see what is working, why, and what these businesses can improve on. After the feedback I received from a lot of you on the first post, I decided this will be a regular type of post.

The first 7 pack analysis breakdown happened last Wednesday, so I will try to make it a weekly post on Wednesdays.

So let’s get started, shall we?

Pandora is on, my cup of tea is made, so all we have to do is start analyzing.

7 Pack Analysis: Air Conditioning Grand Rapids, MI

The results are in:


At first glance, it looks like this should be another competitive breakdown but there is one interesting thing that sticks out to me, and that is the Aire Serv location is NOT in Grand Rapids, but included in the search results.

Why is this happening? Well, it is one of those lucky businesses that seem to be on the line and close to the cluster of other businesses listed. Look at this map below to see how close it is in proximity.


As you can see, it isn’t exactly far off from Grand Rapids, despite having a different city name. Perhaps that is why it is included, but we’ll break it down a bit more later on.

A Spot: Grapids Heating & Cooling Inc.

There is something unique that I’m starting to see here. If you remember last week’s search, Plumber in Atlanta there was a business that certainly didn’t deserve to be ranking in the 7 pack, but they were and it was in the #2/B spot. The conclusion I came to was that Google was adding a LOT of weight to the business name and since the business name was Atlantis, it was nearly an exact match of Atlanta. Here, we have the business name as “Grapids” a mixture of grand and rapids.

Now, I don’t know what the rest of their analysis looks like yet, but I can already tell that organic factors favor a couple other businesses before Grapids, but I believe due to the partial match of location in the business name is giving them a local advantage.

Their website isn’t very attractive at all. I would bet they are missing out on a lot of conversions but the on page optimization looks decent enough. One impressive thing is that they utilize a blog, and have 210 pages in the index. This probably really helps with their industry and location relevance.

Using Bright Local, I am able to see that Grapids has 74 citations, and most, at least the top citations are all consistent for the most part. One problem I notice though, is that among top citations they seem split on the name, like they don’t know whether to put Grapids Heating & Cooling, Grapids Heating and Cooling, and adding Inc. or not adding Inc. to the end of both variations of business names. This factor alone, I don’t think is a huge deal but they should keep an eye on it in case of a future update by the Big G.

They also have 16 reviews showing, which is a decent amount but they may want to consider adding more to keep up with some competitors. They have 12 photos on the GMB page, no videos.

Areas of Improvement – While it looks like Grapids is pretty strongly situated in the #1 spot, there are some areas of improvement to address. Perhaps not ranking related but they should consider some sort of theme redesign to get the most out of their traffic.

They should also have some videos created, not only to add to their Google page, but it could also provide a powerful citation that no one else in the 7 pack has. Not just that, but it creates a wonderful additional ranking opportunity with optimized video. I would also add additional pictures to the listing.

One thing I’d be a little concerned with if I were them, is the inconsistent business name format throughout all their citations. I don’t believe this to be a big problem right now, but it could if Google makes an adjustment.

Other stats:

Domain Authority: 12

Links (OSE): 53 total, 6 unique domains

Total indexed pages: 210

Conclusion: This company looks solid for the most part especially considering the weighted business name and amount of indexed pages, mostly coming from the blog. They have a lot of industry relevance and local relevance. They can improve their conversions with a new design, but overall this is a solid business when it comes to the 7 pack.

B Spot: Schaafsma Heating and Cooling

This business looks like one of the strongest without really diving in. I say that because it looks like they have the strongest organic site out of the pack, with an amicable 34 reviews being listed as well.

From a design standpoint, I think Schaafsma looks a bit busy. It seems stressful, just being on their website. The on page optimization is really not very good.

I thought Grapids was impressive with 210 indexed pages, but Schaafsma is even better off with 360 indexed pages. However, I’m not sure it is all quality pages.

At first, I was wondering why they’re the #1 organic website for this search string, but ranking 2 in the local results. With the amount of indexed pages, and lack of proper on page optimization they are reducing their overall location relevance.

This company could be #1 with just a few minor changes.

Areas of Improvement – They have 78 citations but they have a few problems with consistency, a few citation sources are listing an old address, and they also have the same problem as Grapid with not knowing whether to you “& or and” when typing heating and cooling.

They also have a big problem with on page optimization, 2 H1 tags, awful use of the title tags, no variance in city specific landing pages.

Another thing is they have a youtube channel with a lot of videos. The problem is, none of them contain NAP information or links back to the website. They’re missing valuable citations when they can just spend a couple minutes editing video descriptions.

Other Stats:

Domain Authority: 24

Links (OSE): 424 total, 46 unique domains

Total indexed pages: 360

Conclusion: This is a business that can easily rank in the A spot. Their lack of proper on page optimization for location relevance is exactly why I believe they aren’t ranking in the A spot. A couple other small adjustments that aren’t even time consuming should allow for much better results. Changing their category to HVAC contractor may also be a quick win for them. A lot of laziness is what this amounts to.

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C Spot: Jacobson Heating & Cooling

I must give my compliments to this company for having a nicely designed site. I can’t complain too much about it, a few things I would do differently for conversions sake but overall this is a pleasant sight(and site) for sore eyes.

But…. For goodness sake, the title tag optimization is horrendous. Holy keyword stuffing mother of search.

On page optimization needs a lot of work.

Citations are good for the most part, just the same issues as everyone else forgetting whether they should use the & sign or type out and. SMH. Other than that, their 57 citations are good, no issues with phone or address, just the silly mistakes made with the business name.

Areas of Improvement – Basic citation cleanup would be nice with the business name but that’s not going to get them in either the A or B spot. In order to move up they need a lot more citations along with cleanup, probably an additional 40-50 citations but they also need to spend a LOT of time on on page optimization.

The website is nice, but the on page is not. This is the area where they can likely see the most improvement. Those long URL’s though would need to be changed, shortened, and reworded for maximum impact. However, using 301 redirects and changing all that would put them on a projection of 3-6 months before being able to expect a ranking increase.

No description on the GMB page either, could add additional pictures, video, and work on listing optimization as well.

They also need to work on the responsive version of their website. It is not truly mobile compatible on all devices so come april 21st, they’re going to see a big dip in traffic.

Other Stats:

Domain Authority: 15

Links (OSE): 37 total, 10 unique domains

Indexed Pages: 35

Conclusion: There are some quick wins this business can have, but unfortunately those quick wins aren’t going to improve their rankings, it will take a long term strategy. If they handle it themselves, maybe 9-12 months until they improve their rankings. 3-6 if a knowledgeable agency handles it. Perhaps some advanced, tiered backlinking would shorten up that time period. None of that will matter though unless they fix the responsive issue with their website.

D Spot: Vander Hyde Services

42 reviews. BOOM.

Sadly, that’s going to be one of the only booms this business will have in this breakdown.

The 42 reviews are definitely impressive, and one would expect them to be a little bit higher than the D spot but of course there’s a reason for everything, isn’t there?

The website is mediocre at best, but I’m willing to overlook that if they had good on page optimization but it’s awful. Everything from the URL’s, to Title tags, it’s all bad. GMB page is also not very well optimized, with a super generic description without mentioning important keyword categories or the location. They need more pictures and add some freaking videos.

Why are all these businesses against using videos for citations and additional ranking opportunities?

This isn’t really a comment on them particularly but just an observation… Notice the first 3 rankings, actually ALL the rankings except this business, have heating and cooling or similar keywords in the business name. This is the only one without it. Seems like a legitimate reason to have heating and cooling in your business name for Google My Business. May have to research into this a little further and look at the results nationwide for HVAC Contractors.

The citations are a bit of a problem. Phone number and address are consistent across the 67 citations but the problem they have is the name. The others have small problems, not knowing the difference between and, and &. This one though, they have half their citations for Vander Hyde Services, and Vander Hyde Mechanical. That’s more of a problem than the difference between “And” and “&”.

Areas of Improvement – Citation cleanup can probably help them, maybe it won’t change their ranking position but it might allow them to maintain it.

Listing optimization for their GMB page would help a bit but still likely won’t impact their rankings. They need a massive on page overhaul, citation clean up, GMB optimization, and probably an additional 30-40 citations in order to see any difference in their rankings.

They could also benefit from some additional backlinking, but that would go up naturally with an increase in citations.

Other stats:

Domain Authority: 21

Backlinks (OSE): 4 total, 2 domains.

Pages Indexed: 34

Conclusion – This business has a very high upside but I’m not sure they will ever be able to see it. Something not mentioned in the areas to improve was the fact that they’re covering many different services so they’re going to be affected by the diluting of industry relevance on their website. Lots of work ahead if they want to move up, but if they do nothing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they fall off the pack and lose their traffic.

E Spot: Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning

Well, I did some consulting for Aire Serv a while back. Not this franchise but the main company. They basically have duplicate content on all their franchise sites for each area served. They didn’t want to create unique content on all those sites, or pay for someone to do so, so I recommended setting them up on sub domains so duplicate content wouldn’t be an issue. They ended up doing that, but it looks like they now redirect the sub domains to folders within the main domain. Stupid decision for the long term, but whatever.

Anyway, this location is unique because it is ranking even though it doesn’t have a Grand Rapids Address. I suppose, I should say it doesn’t have a Grand Rapids Address in the 7 pack, but if you look at other citations like Angieslist, and Manta, they do list a Grand Rapids Address. Interesting that they’re ranking in the pack even with conflicting citation data.

What I do wonder though, is if the address listed on the other citations happen to be the same address Google has, but recognizes the address as Walker, MI instead of Grand Rapids, perhaps due to being in a zip code that shares city borders.

Citation data is a mess. Conflicting NAP all over the place. From business name, to address, to phone number.

On page optimization needs to be a bit better but there’s nothing he can do to control that.

Areas to Improve: The big issue I see is conflicting NAP data, specifically the different phone number being used in Google My Business than the number listed on the website. On page optimization needs to be improved but franchise owners have 0 control over that. It’s a shame… at least they benefit from the advertising provided by the main company.

Other stats:

Domain Authority: 51, but page authority is 26

Backlinks (OSE): 57 total, but all from one domain. I know there’s more than this, but Open site explorer isn’t telling me.

Indexed Pages: N/A

Conclusion: There’s a lot of question marks surrounding this business. The conflicting NAP data is a big problem, and lack of control over on page optimization issues reduces the chances of this business ranking higher. Due to these issues, and the lack of reviews the business has, you can consider this position wide open for a competing business that wants to rank.

F Spot: Heyboer Heating & Cooling Company

Heyboer must have somewhat recently had their site redesigned or upgraded. They used Hibu for their website which is the rebranded version of yellowbook which is better than their original crappy sites but still awfully optimized. This is good news for competitors not yet ranked.

The Google My Business listing itself isn’t fully optimized. They’re mentioning counties served instead of cities and that does make a big difference.

On page optimization of the website is bad, no surprise there considering it is a Hibu website. 4 h1 tags, 2 of which are different phone numbers. The other 2 contain no keywords whatsoever. The title tag is split with 2 pipelines, overall horrible structure, and the same goes for the URLs.

As far as citations go, out of the 41 they have they sure are missing some rather important ones. They have similar problems as the other companies do with names, but also address formatting problems but nothing too awful. They have a couple low authority citations that have conflicting phone numbers.

Areas of Improvement – Good luck on getting Hibu to help out with on page optimization issues. That’s going to be a problem and the way they’re structuring their urls on a lot of site with nonsensical numbers at the end isn’t helpful either.

While they should cleanup their citations, the biggest impact is going to be creating NEW citations. They could probably use an additional 60 citations.

The GMB listing also needs to be filled out to the maximum and optimized.

Adding reviews would also be helpful.

Other Stats:

Domain Authority: 10

Backlinks (OSE): 6 total, 3 domains

Indexed Pages: 5

Conclusion: The bottom part of this 7 pack should be easy to overtake. There’s no real competition here. This business has a lot to do if they even want to move up one spot. The work they have ahead of them shouldn’t be focused on just moving up in the ranks but also maintaining their rankings. Biggest areas of impact would of course be a site redesign, to get away from Hibu, but citation building and review harvesting to secure their positioning.

Spot G: Bel-Air Heating and Air Conditioning

This one actually has some high upside but man is the citation data a mess. Conflicting NAP data all over the place, scattered through their light weight 31 citations. The good thing about the lack of citations they have, is that it’s less time consuming to fix all their crap.

The website itself isn’t bad, it’s clean, simple, basic. However, the on page optimization is still extraordinarily weak.

The Google My Business Listing needs to be fully filled out to 100%, add more pictures, connect the videos, etc. They should also be trying to generate additional reviews, otherwise some scrappy business not in the 7 pack could easily overcome them.

Areas of Improvement – They need to focus on building more citations while doing proper on page optimization. They should also have landing pages for the specific locations since they are a multi-location business, or at least it appears that way.

Review harvesting is something they should start implementing, having 0 reviews is a great way to get booted from the pack if someone else starts beefing up their reviews.

Other Stats:

Domain Authority: 25

Backlinks (OSE): 77 total on 22 domains.

Pages Indexed: 52

Conclusion: This is another company with a lot of upside when it comes to search. More citations will certainly help as well as a few issues tended to in the Google My Business listing. The big impact stuff has to do with on page optimization, they have a disadvantage due to multiple locations and not having separate location pages. If they take action and make improvements they can see themselves jumping a few positions fairly easily. If they sit around and do nothing, then they will fall out of the pack.

Alright guys, that sums up this week’s massive 7 pack analysis.

Is there anything you disagree with or would like to add?

Are there any suggestions you would like to make about future posts? Let me know in the comments below!

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