Wednesday, October 27Digital Marketing Journals

GMB

Can Service Area Pages With Duplicate or Similar Content Increase Traffic?
Advanced Local SEO Training, business, GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

Can Service Area Pages With Duplicate or Similar Content Increase Traffic?

Posted Oct 11, 2021 by Colan Nielsen At our April LocalU event, I covered Shades Of Grey: Controversial Local SEO Tactics that Drive Results. I covered local SEO tactics ranging from keyword stuffing to review snippets in the organic search results. One of the topics I discussed, which always draws a wide range of opinions, was the concept of creating service area pages that have duplicate, or very similar content. Duplicate, or similar content has always been a controversial topic. Google has confirmed on many occasions that duplicate content is not a negative ranking factor. It’s underst...
Does Adding Photos in Google My Business Increase Ranking? [Case Study]
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

Does Adding Photos in Google My Business Increase Ranking? [Case Study]

Posted Oct 4, 2021 by Joy Hawkins I often see posts come up in Facebook groups that recommend adding photos constantly to your Google My Business listing because this helps a business rank higher in the local pack results.  Most people say it’s because Google likes “fresh” or “recent” content. TLDR; According to this case study:Adding photos to a Google My Business listing had no measurable impact on ranking in the local pack search results. The search results didn’t show the photos we added and often defaulted to the cover photo. Adding photos to the GMB landing page (the business websi...
3 Little Known Facts About the Google My Business Cover Photo
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

3 Little Known Facts About the Google My Business Cover Photo

Posted Sep 13, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Google My Business has a designated section for the cover photo that sounds very simple but actually has quite a few nuances that many business owners and marketers are unaware of. In an ideal world, you just add your cover photo, Google displays exactly what you put, and you move on with your life.  Unfortunately, that’s not always what happens. Fact 1: The cover photo can show up in the 3-pack There are many queries on Google that show images in the local pack results.  Sometimes, these 3-packs display images that are related to what you search.  In thi...
Does Geotagging Photos Influence Ranking?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

Does Geotagging Photos Influence Ranking?

Posted Sep 8, 2021 by Joy Hawkins When people talk about what strategies they utilize in Local SEO to get their client’s ranking, I often hear references to geotagging images. TLDR Adding geotags to images in Google My Business (GMB) listings had no measurable impact on rankings in the local pack.  Similarly, adding geotags to the photos on the business website had no measurable impact on organic or local pack rankings. What is geotagging? Geotagging photos is the process of adding latitude/longditude tags to an image so that where the photo was taken can be identified.The Exif format has ...
How to Add & Remove the Temporarily Closed Label on a Google My Business Listing
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

How to Add & Remove the Temporarily Closed Label on a Google My Business Listing

Posted Aug 24, 2021 by Joy Hawkins The temporarily closed label has been around for several years but is not a very utilized feature currently.  It is meant to be used when your business is closing for an extended length of time, but not permanently. How do you temporarily close your Google My Business listing? To get your Google My Business listing marked “temporarily closed” you can go into the Google My Business dashboard and on the info tab there should be an option to mark it as closed temporarily:How to Remove the Temporarily Closed Label in Google My Business If you want to re-op...
Does Moving Your Business Impact Rankings? [2 Case Studies]
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

Does Moving Your Business Impact Rankings? [2 Case Studies]

Posted Aug 9, 2021 by Joy Hawkins When I first started working in the local SEO industry, we feared clients telling us that they were planning on moving their offices.  There was the thought that because of NAP consistency and duplicate listings, moving was a local SEO nightmare.  Fast forward 15 years and I’m actually seeing several scenarios where relocating can actually help increase your rankings. Case 1:  We had a business that was in the home services space and was set up as a service area business with Google My Business.  Because he didn’t have a physical office, he used his home a...
Do Google Posts Impact Ranking?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

Do Google Posts Impact Ranking?

Posted Jul 26, 2021 by Joy Hawkins One of the most frequent questions I get asked related to Google posts is if they impact where a business ranks in the local pack.  To answer this question, we did a test recently on a few inactive Google My Business listings. TLDR Adding Google posts to Google My Business (GMB) listings had no measurable impact on rankings in the local pack. The Methodology: To test this, we picked 3 different Google My Business (GMB) listings that we started adding Google posts to.  These 3 listings had no SEO efforts whatsoever (no content, reputation, or link building...
How to Succeed With Google Posts: What We Learned From Analyzing Over 1,000 Google Posts
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

How to Succeed With Google Posts: What We Learned From Analyzing Over 1,000 Google Posts

Posted Jul 19, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Wondering how to make your Google posts perform better? In this case study, we wanted to find out what types of posts performed the best and manually analyzed over 1000 posts from a variety of different small businesses. For the full video of this presentation plus several others, check out our videos on demand from LocalU in April. In this study, we looked at both clicks according to Google My Business (GMB), and clicks and conversions inside Google Analytics (by using UTM codes). Guide to Google My Business Posts:What type of Google post performs best...
You Can Now Remove Phone Numbers From Google My Business LIstings
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

You Can Now Remove Phone Numbers From Google My Business LIstings

Posted Jul 16, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Recently, there have been a few threads on the Google My Business forum where business owners cannot figure out why Google won’t allow them to add a phone number to their Google My Business (GMB) listing.  It turns out there is a new setting that allows businesses to disable the phone number from appearing on their listing.  Mike Blumenthal commented that this might be useful for business types like farmers’ markets that don’t really have a phone number that people can contact for help. This feature could use some improvements because...
What We’re Seeing From the June & July Core Updates [Case Study]
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What We’re Seeing From the June & July Core Updates [Case Study]

Posted Jul 8, 2021 by Joy Hawkins It has been a while since I published anything about an algorithm update.  I was starting to think a lot of the updates were becoming pretty similar and it was the same-old thing over and over. However, I’ve been spending a lot of time digging into this one client of ours and they are benefiting a ton from the last 2 updates so I thought I would share what I’ve been noticing. This particular business is a personal injury lawyer in a very competitive market.  Earlier this year, they doubled their SEO budget and we put all the effort into content, onsite SEO...
What Everybody Ought to Know About Events & Google My Business
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What Everybody Ought to Know About Events & Google My Business

Posted Jul 5, 2021 by Joy Hawkins In this GuideHow to deal with events in your knowledge panel Google sometimes shows events in the Knowledge Panel for businesses, like this example for Folly Farm: Where do they show up? According to Krystal Taing, These were temporarily removed in 2020 due to COVID.  They only show up now on Google search and not at all on Google Maps or the Google Maps app.  They were removed from Google Maps in March 2020. Where does Google get event details from? Events show up generally because they are scraped from the website and automatically...
What Are “Relations” in Google My Business?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

What Are “Relations” in Google My Business?

Posted Jun 7, 2021 by Joy Hawkins I first heard the term “relation” when talking to Google My Business (GMB) support and had no clue what they were talking about.  Most people don’t know these exist because they aren’t present inside the Google My Business dashboard and some types are invisible on the actual listing itself. What is a Relation? A relation is basically a way for Google to connect different Google My Business listings to each other.  There are 4 different types that I have run across thusfar. Located In – This is meant for businesses located inside othe...
The Ultimate Guide to Practitioner Listings on Google My Business [2021]
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

The Ultimate Guide to Practitioner Listings on Google My Business [2021]

Posted Jun 1, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Included in this Guide ⭐What are practitioner listings?✨What business types are allowed practitioner listings?💫How do solo practitioners differ from multi-practitioner listings?🌟What if the practitioner no longer works there?Public-Facing professionals (doctors, lawyers, dentists, realtors, etc.) are allowed their own listings separate from the office they work for.  If you’re wondering if a person is allowed a practitioner listing, ask yourself if they do the following:Have a direct relationship with customers where cust...
What Business Types or Categories Don’t Have Access to Google My Business Posts?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

What Business Types or Categories Don’t Have Access to Google My Business Posts?

Posted May 18, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Not all business types have the advantage of utilizing the Google My Business posts feature.   Usually, if a business type doesn’t have the ability to utilize Google Posts, it is because the industry is regulated.  The following Google My Business categories do not have the ability to utilize Google Posts:Adult Entertainment Camp Cannabis shop Casino Conference Center Gun Shop Hotel (all hotel categories) Vacation Rental Wine Store (and other alcohol-related categories)There are also some categories that have a limited ability to ...
How Does Google My Business Handle Solo Practitioner Listings?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, Strategy, Tips

How Does Google My Business Handle Solo Practitioner Listings?

Posted May 11, 2021 by Colan Nielsen In our April LocalU event, I covered Shades Of Grey: Controversial Local SEO Tactics that Drive Results. I covered tactics ranging from keyword stuffing to review snippets in the organic search results. There were several tactics that didn’t make the final cut. One of those tactics was if solo practitioners should have two listings on Google My Business. Google recommends that solo practitioners have 1 listing that combines the name of the practice with the name of the practitioner.  For example, “Allstate Insurance: Bob Smith”.  Ho...
How to Get Review Notifications When You Manage Over 100 Google My Business Listings
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How to Get Review Notifications When You Manage Over 100 Google My Business Listings

Posted May 4, 2021 by Joy Hawkins If you manage more than 100 listings inside your Google My Business dashboard, Google stops sending you email alerts when you get new reviews.  What you select as your settings has no influence on this.  Since we manage over 100 listings in our account, we found a workaround to make sure we were getting these notifications for our clients. Since this automatic setting is based on the number of listings that a particular account manages, the key is to split up the listings into smaller groups using other emails that you have access to. ...
Do Google My Business Identity Attributes Impact Ranking? SterlingSky.ca
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, New Feature, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, Strategy, Tips

Do Google My Business Identity Attributes Impact Ranking? SterlingSky.ca

Posted Apr 27, 2021 by Colan Nielsen Last October, Joy covered 4 Google My Business Fileds That Impact Ranking on a Whiteboard Friday. The four fields Joy covered were:Business Name Categories Website ReviewsUp until recently, those were the only features inside the GMB dashboard that had a direct impact on ranking. As of this month, we discovered a fifth feature that has a direct impact on ranking in the 3-pack and Google Maps – Identity Attributes. Key Takeaway: GMB Identity Attributes have a strong impact on ranking for keywords related to the attribute. What are Identity Attributes...
Rebranding Your Business | Checklist for Google My Business & Local Search
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

Rebranding Your Business | Checklist for Google My Business & Local Search

Posted Apr 20, 2021 by Joy Hawkins In the local search space, rebranding is something that happens quite often.  This is a checklist of all the places a local business needs to update online when they are changing their business name.Update website first.The logo needs to reflect the new name.  Often logos include taglines.  If you want it to be clear that something is a part of your business name, don’t put it on a second line. Any place that references your business name (About Us page etc)Update the Site name inside WordPress or whatever CMS you use. Update y...
How to Track Google Posts in Google Analytics & Search Console
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, Tips

How to Track Google Posts in Google Analytics & Search Console

Posted Mar 30, 2021 by Joy Hawkins We have a big study on Google My Business posts that I’m presenting at LocalU on April 7th. While doing that study, there were several things we learned about Google Posts. Clicks in Google My Business Insights Don’t Match Clicks in Google Analytics.  If you’re looking inside Google My Business, they have data showing you how many clicks your posts received.The numbers you see here will not match the numbers you see inside Google Analytics.  There are many reasons for this which I have highlighted in this post. How to Track Google Posts in Google Analy...
[2021] How to Interpret Google My Business (GMB) Insights
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

[2021] How to Interpret Google My Business (GMB) Insights

Posted Mar 4, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Updated March 4, 2021 There are many questions that often come up about how to properly interpret Google My Business Insights.  I’m going to break down the different sections and explain what they mean. For an overview of the new Mobile vs Desktop breakdown and the upcoming display to track driving directions, website clicks, and bookings via GMB, check out this article about the 2021 GMB Insights Update. How Customers Search for your Business This chart is only reporting on impressions (not clicks).Direct = People that are searching for your business b...
How Much Do Local Rankings Fluctuate in Google? How Can You Rank Higher in Local?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

How Much Do Local Rankings Fluctuate in Google? How Can You Rank Higher in Local?

Posted Feb 16, 2021 by Joy Hawkins It’s pretty common to see threads at the Local Search Forum like this one where a business owner is wondering how they can rank higher on Google.  The challenge I see most often is that a lot of business owners seem unaware of how much rankings in the local search results fluctuate.  There are 3 principles that I’ve observed in the last decade that summarize what people should be aware of. The top positions seem to be more stable.  If you’re in the top 3-5, you will likely see less fluctuation than positions 5-10.  For example, we o...
Are Coworking Spaces Against the Google My Business Guidelines?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

Are Coworking Spaces Against the Google My Business Guidelines?

Posted Feb 2, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Recently I have seen more and more discussions around coworking spaces and how Google My Business deals with them.  We actually use co-working spaces here at Sterling Sky for meet-ups regularly and love the flexibility they provide.  But are you allowed to use a coworking space for your address on your Google My Business listing?  The answer is “it depends”. In February of 2021, Google updated their guidelines and added a section addressing coworking spaces.  The following section is new: “Businesses can’t list an office at a co-workin...
[Quiz Result] Are Appointment-Only Businesses Allowed a GMB Listing?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, Strategy

[Quiz Result] Are Appointment-Only Businesses Allowed a GMB Listing?

Posted Feb 2, 2021 by Colan Nielsen We had 817 people answer this question in our 2020 Local SEO Blackbelt Quiz. The correct answer is yes. Here’s how the answers broke down.Google My Business currently doesn’t have an option for hours to allow businesses to indicate they are available by appointment only.  If a business is appointment-only, Google states that it shouldn’t provide hours on their listing. For example, the home-based massage therapist can set themselves up as a storefront as long as they don’t set business hours because they don’t want people walking u...
[Quiz Result] Can a Food Truck Have a GMB Listing If They Don’t Have a Permanent Location?
Advanced Local SEO Training, GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

[Quiz Result] Can a Food Truck Have a GMB Listing If They Don’t Have a Permanent Location?

Posted Dec 22, 2020 by Colan Nielsen This is part 1 in a series of posts that will dive into the questions, and answers, from the 2020 Local SEO Blackbelt Quiz. If you haven’t taken the quiz, head over there now and give it a shot.  Here are the scores from the following quiz question. Can a food truck have a GMB listing if they don’t have a permanent location? We had over 900 respondents answer this question. Here’s how the answers break down. The correct answer is Yes.Food Trucks are businesses but are often unable to use Google My Business due to their inability t...
Are Local Services Ads Stealing Clicks from Google My Business? A Case Study of 110 Listings
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

Are Local Services Ads Stealing Clicks from Google My Business? A Case Study of 110 Listings

Posted Dec 8, 2020 by Joy Hawkins In September 2020, Google rolled out Local Services Ads (LSA) to lawyers across the United States.  The rollout happened fast and since lawyers generally focus a lot on marketing, we weren’t surprised to see so many law firms sign up for the platform very quickly. I have heard many people ask if Local Services Ads (LSA) are essentially stealing clicks that would have otherwise gone to the local pack results (Google My Business listings) if the ads weren’t present.  We wanted to see what the data is telling us so far. Methodology In this case study, we look...
How do I Contact Google My Business Support?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, Uncategorized

How do I Contact Google My Business Support?

Posted Dec 14, 2020 by Joy Hawkins Updated June 29, 2020 If you’re looking in your Google My Business dashboard and no longer seeing a call button, you’re not alone, many in the local SEO industry have been frustrated by the recent changes in how to contact GMB support.  Over the last few months, Google My Business has consolidated virtually all of their support contact forms into one single form. As of today, the only way to contact GMB support is through this form. Alternatively, you can still find that same form inside the GMB dashboard, which we will outline below. Email Finding email ...
Can I Stop People From Adding Images to My Google My Business (GMB) Listing?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO

Can I Stop People From Adding Images to My Google My Business (GMB) Listing?

Posted Dec 14, 2020 by Yan Gilbert In most scenarios, businesses cannot block people from uploading photos to your GMB listing via the “upload to public” feature.  The one exception to this is if the business is getting slammed with tons of inappropriate photos from users due to a public media incident.  For example, the stone supplier referenced in this article had the ability to add a photo disabled after users uploaded tons of statues of genitalia after the social media scandal.If a public user has uploaded an image you would like it removed from your listing, and...
Who Keeps Updating My Google My Business Listing?
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, NAP, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, Tips

Who Keeps Updating My Google My Business Listing?

Posted Dec 14, 2020 by Nikki Brown We often see posts on the Local Search Forum from people wondering why business details on their Google My Business (GMB) listings (name of the listing, categories, business hours, phone number, etc.) have changed without their knowledge or consent. Unauthorized changes on GMB (no matter how minor they seem) can lead to major issues with ranking and tracking.  It can also show customers the wrong information about your business. The best way to make sure you’re sending the right message to your clients on GMB is to monitor your listings for unauthorized e...
How Does Google My Business Penalize Keyword Stuffing: 50 Examples [Case Study]
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Maps Spam, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, Tips

How Does Google My Business Penalize Keyword Stuffing: 50 Examples [Case Study]

Posted Dec 14, 2020 by Colan Nielsen What is Keyword Stuffing? Keyword Stuffing is the practice of adding keywords to your name in Google My Business to help it rank higher.  It’s still a very common practice in Local SEO because it gives you a ranking advantage on Google Maps and in the 3-Pack. The study that came out from Local SEO Guide as well as the Local Search Ranking Factors confirms that having keywords in the name of your Google My Business (GMB) listing does help it rank higher.A seriously legit looking business name. #StopCrapOnTheMap pic.twitter.com/GJLFacma4t — Joy Hawkins ...