Saturday, July 24Digital Marketing Journals

search engine optimising

5 Ways to Take Your Small Business Marketing to the Next Level
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, Sponsored Posts

5 Ways to Take Your Small Business Marketing to the Next Level

Here are five reasons a small business owner should consider partnering with a marketing agency:1. Free Up Valuable Time & Resources for the BusinessThe CallRail survey revealed that the two greatest roadblocks for business owners to create a marketing plan were time and budget:44% of respondents said they were too pressed for time, overwhelmed with running the business, and had no budget to hire anyone.74% said they would rather spend their time on primary business responsibilities than on marketing.Many entrepreneurs operate with a DIY mindset and try to juggle too many tasks on their own.A marketing agency brings more experience to the table while also freeing up an owner’s invaluable time for other important tasks that may have fallen by the wayside.2. Monitor Trends & Make ...
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...
Google Starts Cheering Anti-Spam Edits in Google Maps
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services, Uncategorized

Google Starts Cheering Anti-Spam Edits in Google Maps

Like my post? Please share!Just about every day I send in edits on Google My Business pages that have committed one party foul or another, but this is the first I’ve seen Google go out of its way to encourage those edits:It was a partial edit of a business’s name, in which I removed a single stuffed-in keyword.  I find two things interesting, at least in this case.  The first is that I made that edit back in 2018.  The second is that that edit has stuck for almost 3 years, even though it would have been easy for the business to add back in the keyword.  Often when you make a Google Maps edit on the name of GMB page and Google agrees with your edit and makes the change, the business just changes the name back to whatever it was, and Google doesn’t do anything about it.  Often it become...
5 Top Enterprise Local SEO Challenges (& How To Solve Them)
Enterprise SEO, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

5 Top Enterprise Local SEO Challenges (& How To Solve Them)

Local SEO is a strange beast. Mastering it for an enterprise requires both knowing how to do “national” SEO, Google My Business SEO, and then understanding how Google treats your target search queries in different markets.That means there is an infinite number of challenges in enterprise local for search marketers.What Are the Most Common Challenges in Enterprise Local SEO?Prioritizing local with internal stakeholders.Having a single source of truth for location data.Optimizing store locators.Google My Business management & optimization.Building a local search presence for service area businesses and marketplaces.1. Prioritizing Local InternallyIt sounds strange, but I can’t tell you how many multi-location organizations we have worked with where the locations were not the priority ...
What We’re Seeing From the June & July Core Updates [Case Study]
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

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...
Shoehorning Cities into the Address Field of a Google My Business Page
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, Uncategorized

Shoehorning Cities into the Address Field of a Google My Business Page

Like my post? Please share! I may have seen this before, but it must not have registered with me until I saw it more than once on the same page of Google Maps results.   In any event, it’s new to me.  Below is an example.  Do you see what’s out of place?Is it the plump business name?  Nope.  Keyword-stuffing like that is omnipresent.  What else looks odd?That “service area” – Holy Moses!  Has Google started displaying in Google Maps all the cities in your GMB service area?  That’s what I thought at first, but notice: the cities are in the “address” field.The street address is in the address field, but so are 12 cities (known as “suburbs” in Australia) and communities the business serves. That isn’t a fluke, because on the very same page of Google Maps results is another GMB page w...
What Everybody Ought to Know About Events & Google My Business
GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

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’s New in Local Search Grid? Reasons to Put Rankings on the Map!
Blog, BrightLocal Products, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, News, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO

What’s New in Local Search Grid? Reasons to Put Rankings on the Map!

In the months since we launched Local Search Grid, we’ve been hard at work adding new functionality and updates to make it the de facto geo grid of choice. Alongside the usual, subtle quality-of-life updates you’re not supposed to notice, we’ve launched some big new features that take understanding and improving your local search performance to the next level. Here’s why there’s never been a better time to put your rankings on the map! New Key Metrics in Competitor Tables One of the really neat things you can do with Local Search Grid is to track your competitors and find out why their Google My Business profiles might be winning in local SERPs. You can view the business category they’re using on GMB, see the number of reviews and their average review rating, and find out where you mig...
A Guide to Responding to Positive and Negative Yelp Reviews
Digital Experience, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

A Guide to Responding to Positive and Negative Yelp Reviews

When it comes to making a purchase decision, the majority of potential customers will look to reviews for help.It doesn’t matter whether this is choosing a restaurant, booking a holiday, or picking somewhere to visit at the weekend; what other people have to say matters.Yelp is a platform that allows customers to leave such reviews for the businesses they have visited and supported, from cafes to cottage rentals and everything in between.Whilst (we hope) the majority of Yelp reviews you receive are positive and full of praise, there are always going to be times when a negative experience brings this average down. It’s important to bear in mind that your responses to these comments can have as much influence as the reviews themselves, both good and bad.Responding to reviews is the best w...
The Complete Guide to GMB Attributes for Local SEO
Enterprise SEO, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

The Complete Guide to GMB Attributes for Local SEO

Google My Business (GMB) attributes are a uniform way for businesses to share what they offer and what a customer can expect when using that business.They are also a way for a business to optimize its local search presence. The more detailed a listing is with attributes, the more likely that listing could rank for a specific targeted search with an attribute modifier — for example, [accessible restaurants near me] or [miami hotels with free wifi].In this blog post, you’ll discover the different types of GMB attributes available to businesses depending on your primary business category, and how local marketers can best leverage these attributes.Types of Google My Business AttributesThere are two types of attributes within a listing on GMB: factual or subjective.Factual attributes are mai...
How to Create a Winning Local SEO Strategy for Your Business
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

How to Create a Winning Local SEO Strategy for Your Business

With 90% of consumers searching for local businesses online, local SEO is an essential marketing tool for businesses looking to attract potential customers.Whether you have a physical location or an online business that serves a specific location, you need a strategy for targeting localized searches and users in your area. This is how you rank higher in Google search, outshine your competitors, and attract even more customers.In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a local SEO strategy for any business to generate more traffic from local search.Does Your Business Need a Local SEO Strategy?First off, not all businesses need local SEO. Only businesses that serve a specific geographic location (or several) need to rank in local search for the key terms potential customers are searching f...
How to Influence “Years in Business” in the Local Pack Results
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, Uncategorized

How to Influence “Years in Business” in the Local Pack Results

Posted Jun 28, 2021 by Joy Hawkins In this Guide:Why you should add an opening date Earlier this year, Google started to display opening dates in the local pack results.  If you choose to not add your opening date inside Google My Business (GMB), Google will often pick a date based on other sources – and these sources could easily be wrong.  I recently did an audit for a business that was displaying as being open for 7 years, when in reality they have been open for 23 years!  Since Google actually allows you to control this, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want ...
Google My Business Management 101
Blog, BrightLocal Products, googe optimize, Google My Business, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

Google My Business Management 101

It’s no secret that Google My Business (GMB) is an incredibly popular platform and plays a huge part in influencing local rankings. According to a survey carried out by Whitespark, Google My Business is the number 1 ranking factor for the local pack. But GMB goes beyond rankings. Many call it the homepage for local businesses—the first place customers will find and evaluate your business—whether they are looking at customer reviews, exploring your services, or converting directly from your listing. This is why we’re proud to announce the next free course to land in BrightLocal Academy: Google My Business Management 101. We’ve created this detailed new course in collaboration with local SEO and GMB expert Niki Mosier. Why? Well, we noticed that there’s lots of advice out there about set...
Are You Making These Big Mistakes with Your Google My Business Listing?
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services, Webinar

Are You Making These Big Mistakes with Your Google My Business Listing?

Google My Business can be one of the most valuable tools for any local business – one that can help you gain customers or clients and, most importantly, revenue.However, many GMB listings are suffering from all-too-common, critical issues.On June 16, I moderated a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar presented by Mark Luckenbaugh of Local Viking.He shared how to make sure you’re avoiding these pitfalls – whether you manage a single GMB listing or thousands of them.Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.Are you making it hard for local customers to find your business when they’re searching for you?If your business is not showing up for relevant search queries, then you probably need to look into your Google My Business (GMB) profile.Most GMB issues can’t be resolved through brute ...
Most Common Website Errors and How to Fix Them (Part 2)
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, SEO APP & Web Development, seo company, seo services, The Top 10

Most Common Website Errors and How to Fix Them (Part 2)

Maintaining a website is important to maximizing your business potential. It’s how customers find you, learn about you, and transact with you. Without it, it could be challenging for you to break into a competitive market. One great way to ensure your business’s lasting impact is to make sure that your site is user-friendly and error-free.  Here’s the continuation of common website errors and the steps you can take to fix them.500 Internal Server ErrorThis is one of the most common error messages users will encounter on the internet. It is a catch-all response to indicate an internal problem encountered by a web server, preventing it from fulfilling a request.  What Causes It:  When you get this error, it means something went wrong with the server, but it’s unsure what it is. Usuall...
4 Lesser-Known Local SEO Tips Even the Experts Miss
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services, Webinar

4 Lesser-Known Local SEO Tips Even the Experts Miss

More people are searching for local businesses than ever before.This also means local search has never been as competitive as it is today.So how can local businesses stand out and rise in the rankings?How can you make it easy for customers to easily find your business and connect with you?On June 9, I moderated a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar presented by Jared McKinney and Matt Boyce of Podium.They shared tips on how to rank higher in search using some lesser-known local SEO tips.Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.Data from Google and other sources tells us that local searches consistently lead to actual visits to physical locations.But often, local businesses don’t pay attention to simple yet impactful tactics that can actually make a difference for their SEO.What fo...
4 Known GMB Issues & What To Do About Them
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

4 Known GMB Issues & What To Do About Them

It can be frustrating when a free service like Google My Business is not working as you expect it to. And I totally understand that you get a ton of business from your Business Profile on Search and Maps.The Google My Business team understands this, as well.Support is doing the best that they can — particularly given what a tumultuous year it’s been in local search.In this article, you’ll learn about four of the Google My Business issues being worked on as of mid-May/June 2021.You’ll also find helpful steps you can take to resolve these issues and improve your own listings.What Happens When You Report an Issue to GMB?It can help to know how the Google My Business team prioritizes fixes when they receive a bug report.Typically, Product Experts (like yours truly) will see an issue in the ...
The Top 12 Advantages of Internet Marketing For Your Small Business
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Internet marketing, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

The Top 12 Advantages of Internet Marketing For Your Small Business

It’s not surprising that 92% of business owners believe that having a website is the most effective way to pursue digital marketing. After all, your website serves as your online storefront. However, not every business owner understands the importance of internet marketing as an overall strategy. Your website needs to be more than an online business card or digital store. You can use marketing on the internet to build your brand, bring in new leads, and get customers. What is online marketing, and some of the benefits of internet marketing? Let’s take a look. What is Internet Marketing? A lot of businesses struggle with e-marketing simply because there is no clear and easy internet marketing definition. The truth is that digital marketing encompasses a variety of strategies. Each one is...
BrightLocal Welcomes Claire Carlile as Local Search Expert
Blog, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, News, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

BrightLocal Welcomes Claire Carlile as Local Search Expert

We’re delighted to announce that Claire Carlile has joined BrightLocal as our in-house Local Search Expert. Claire’s one of the most respected and well-loved people in the local search industry, always bringing a wealth of first-hand experience and unique perspectives to the content she produces and the wisdom she shares. A rare breed, Claire combines a deep understanding of local search and digital with extensive knowledge of the fundamentals of marketing. She boasts an envious academic background in marketing which allows her to approach projects with a strategic and research-driven mindset. We took notice of the great content Claire was creating a couple of years back and jumped at the chance to get her involved in our own content initiatives. Earlier this year, Claire created an am...
How to Get Better Results for Your GMB Listing with Fewer Tools
AdNouncement Lite, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

How to Get Better Results for Your GMB Listing with Fewer Tools

This is a sponsored post written by Local Viking. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.With a portfolio of agencies managing Google My Business (GMB) listings, client acquisition dialed in, and workload piling up, the birth of Local Viking was a true baptism by fire.We needed something that could start the journey of containerizing reporting, help our staff automate some of the mundane optimization activities, and lead the charge into a more accurate and sensible rank tracker for our clients.If you want to check out the day-to-day strategies we use in our real-life agencies that rank thousands of GMB listings, download this free guide.If you’re looking for quick GMB management tips, then you might find our 15-Minute Marketing Methodology case study useful.But if ...
How to Build Back Customer Loyalty After Covid-19
Blog, content marketing, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services, social media

How to Build Back Customer Loyalty After Covid-19

Improving and measuring customer loyalty is crucial for every business in gaining visibility and profit – allowing businesses to not only retain loyal customers for the long-term, but capitalize on this to attract new customers. But when Covid-19 restrictions began, the importance of customer loyalty became even more apparent. Consumer spending was at an all-time low globally, meaning word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat purchases became crucial for many businesses. 66% of consumers would keep buying from their preferred brand, even if that company is competing against a “more innovative” business, showing how powerful consumer loyalty can be.  In this article, we’ll explore 6 tactics you can use to boost your brand’s customer experience and build brand advocates that last once Co...
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...
Are You Making These Big Mistakes with Your GMB Listing? [Webinar]
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, Webinar

Are You Making These Big Mistakes with Your GMB Listing? [Webinar]

Google My Business can be one of the most valuable tools for any local business – one that can help you gain customers or clients and, most importantly, revenue.However, many GMB listings are suffering from all-too-common, critical issues.Join our next Search Engine Journal webinar on Wednesday, June 16 at 2 p.m. ET as Local Viking’s Mark Luckenbaugh shares how to make sure you’re avoiding these pitfalls – whether you manage a single GMB listing or thousands of them.Are you making it hard for people to find your business when they’re searching for you?In this presentation, you’ll learn how to:Identify technical GMB issues that can hurt your visibility.Avoid technical issues, filters, and ranking stagnation.Improve local pack rankings – fast. You will also discover some free resources an...
Most Common Website Errors and How to Fix Them (Part 1)
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, SEO APP & Web Development, seo services, The Top 10

Most Common Website Errors and How to Fix Them (Part 1)

Owning a website is more than just ensuring that your page loads quickly and appears professional. You also need to make sure it does not contain damaged links and is free from errors. The thought of a major website error can be daunting. For business owners especially, even just a minute of website down could mean loss of sales and revenue. Fortunately, most website errors are easy to solve. Even for those without a programming background, you can get your site up and running in no time. You only need to know where to start. We’ve put together a list of common website errors and the steps you can take to fix them. 400 Bad RequestThis error indicates that the website server cannot understand or will not process the request you sent, like a request to load a webpage, due to what it perce...
Review-Gating is Against the Google My Business Guidelines
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Reviews, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

Review-Gating is Against the Google My Business Guidelines

Posted May 12, 2021 by Joy Hawkins What Is Review Gating? All businesses want great reviews but unfortunately, the reality is at some point in time you’re likely to receive a negative review. Review-gating is the process of filtering candidates before asking them to leave your business a review on Google, Facebook, or some other review platform.  Normally review gating is done by sending customers an email template that first asks them if they had a positive or negative experience.  If they had a positive experience, they are then directed to leave a review on Google, Facebook, etc. But, ...
Your Guide to Better Local SEO Rankings
AdNouncement Lite, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

Your Guide to Better Local SEO Rankings

This post was sponsored by Local Viking. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.If you’re working on local SEO projects and managing Google My Business (GMB) listings, you’ve probably scrambled to answer at least one of these questions:How can we increase our visibility?How can we expand our ranking coverage?My GMB listing is “filtered” or stuck – what now?Don’t fret – we’ve got you covered!Everything you need to know about ranking and visibility for Google My Business is in this comprehensive guide from Local Viking.Learn actionable local SEO strategies based on years of serving large agencies in a white-label fashion, owning a portfolio of general and niche agencies, and working with marketing teams on national GMB campaigns with over thousands of locations acros...
How Do You Get a Branded Google Map Pin? 5 Facts to Know
business, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

How Do You Get a Branded Google Map Pin? 5 Facts to Know

Posted Jun 2, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Updated on June 2, 2021 We have seen a big increase lately in the amount of branded map pins that exist on Google Maps.  I was told by several people that they were a part of Google’s local campaigns but didn’t see any mention of them in the help center and very little information on how you qualify for a local campaign.  Luckily Kyle Harris from DAC Group was able to get me some answers about these pins and how to get them. Branded map pins are a paid feature. Yep, sorry guys, you need to pay Google to get this feature.  It’s not free...
10 Years of Local Search Blogging
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services, Uncategorized

10 Years of Local Search Blogging

Like my post? Please share! Today marks 10 years since I started blogging about local SEO and related topics, and in my view it marks the real start of my business and all that’s brought – including 400+ posts, way more skill, great clients, a great living, some friendships, a better understanding of my place on this dustball, and a bit of fun along the way. Therefore, as Klingon ritual dictates, I must offer up a few stray thoughts today, even if there is an 80% chance it’s all irrelevant to you and a complete waste of your time.  On the other hand, if you’re a business owner who’s interested in the blogging or “content” thing, or if you’re a longtime reader here, or if you’re a local SEO-er, there may be bits and pieces of interest to you. As I alluded to in my post from 5 years ago, ...
4 Local SEO Tips Even the Experts Miss [Webinar]
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, Webinar

4 Local SEO Tips Even the Experts Miss [Webinar]

More people are searching for local businesses than ever before.This also means local search has never been as competitive as it is today.So how can local businesses stand out and rise in the rankings?How can you make it easy for customers to easily find your business and connect with you?Join our next Search Engine Journal webinar on Wednesday, June 9 at 2 p.m. ET as Matt Boyce and Jared McKinney of Podium share tips on how to improve your local SEO strategy and visibility.Data from Google and other sources tells us that local searches consistently lead to actual visits to physical locations. To rank higher in local search you need ratings and reviews that build trust in your brand.In this presentation, you will learn how to:Rank higher in search using some lesser-known local SEO tips....
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...
Service Pages and Local SEO: 20+ Principles to Make Them Your Rock-Solid Foundation
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services, Uncategorized

Service Pages and Local SEO: 20+ Principles to Make Them Your Rock-Solid Foundation

Like my post? Please share! I work with clients on all kinds of local-visibility-related challenges, but you would not believe how much time I spend on service pages: explaining, critiquing, troubleshooting, inventorying, creating, and refining them, and then doing it all over again. By “service page” I mean any page that’s focused on a specific service you offer.  But everything I recommend here also applies to whatever you may offer: products you sell, medical treatments you perform, legal cases you handle, etc.Service pages can help you in many ways, including in that they:Turn more of your visitors into customers, no matter how good or bad your search engine visibility is. Can bring you most of the organic rankings you’ll get. Can pop you into the Google Maps results / local 3-...
SEO Code of Ethics: Boost Your Visibility the Right Way
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

SEO Code of Ethics: Boost Your Visibility the Right Way

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of setting up your website and online presence in a way that captures the attention of your ideal customers.You want folks to find your website when they do searches about your industry, and to be engaged by the content on your website and blog. This will help educate leads about your offerings and build their trust in you, so they ultimately become customers.However, there are right and wrong ways to go about SEO. It’s important any agency you work with adheres to an SEO code of ethics so you can trust that your website will be boosted by Google rather than penalized.What is ethical SEO? Let’s take a look!What Colour is Your Hat?You may have seen high-quality SEO companies, such as Local SEO Search, talk about implementing only “white hat...
How “Glocal” Content Marketing Helps International Brands Stay Local
content marketing, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

How “Glocal” Content Marketing Helps International Brands Stay Local

How do today’s major global brands develop a digital presence and compete organically in local markets throughout the world?It’s called glocal.No, that’s not a typo – glocal is a sophisticated combination of global and local influence fueled by modern localization technology and strategic international marketing implementation.With the help of localization technology, global brands can be relevant and attractive on a local level, too. It’s the modern secret to building a global brand’s local staying power.When done right, the glocalization process taps into the power of content localization and SEO. This strategy ensures brands are easy to find and well ranked in local SERPS. Check!FYI Trend: International Brands Earn Local TrustThe [local loyalty] trend isn’t new.Since the inception, l...
Does Upvoting a Review Help it Show Up Higher on Google?
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, Reviews, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company

Does Upvoting a Review Help it Show Up Higher on Google?

Posted May 25, 2021 by Joy Hawkins People often want strategies to help them control which reviews Google highlights in the Knowledge Panel.  One specific tactic that gets brought up a lot is the upvote feature that Google has beside each individual review.  We wanted to see if upvoting a review on Google impacted where the review showed up so we did a test on this for a client of ours who had a negative review being highlighted in his knowledge panel. We had multiple people upvote a specific review that was left by a well-established Local Guide to see if we could get...
SEO Consulting: 9 Things to Know Before Choosing a Consultant
Business advice, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

SEO Consulting: 9 Things to Know Before Choosing a Consultant

There are over 1.8 billion websites in existence, and getting yours noticed might seem hopeless. After all, you’re a small business, and you have a lot on your plate.You’re focused on providing the best products and services for your customers, and you have to manage your employees. You don’t have an entire department ready to do your marketing for you.You can’t throw in the towel, either. The key is to find help, and ensure it’s the right help.You’ve heard of search engine optimization (SEO). Is an SEO consultant the way to go? Or should you hire an SEO service provider?The answer is yes. You need both — and you can get them in the same agency. Here are the 10 things you need to know before getting started with SEO consulting.1. You Need An SEO PlanIf your small business is going to su...
SEO Consulting: 9 Things to Know Before Choosing a Consultant
Business advice, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

SEO Consulting: 9 Things to Know Before Choosing a Consultant

There are over 1.8 billion websites in existence, and getting yours noticed might seem hopeless. After all, you’re a small business, and you have a lot on your plate.You’re focused on providing the best products and services for your customers, and you have to manage your employees. You don’t have an entire department ready to do your marketing for you.You can’t throw in the towel, either. The key is to find help, and ensure it’s the right help.You’ve heard of search engine optimization (SEO). Is an SEO consultant the way to go? Or should you hire an SEO service provider?The answer is yes. You need both — and you can get them in the same agency. Here are the 10 things you need to know before getting started with SEO consulting.1. You Need An SEO PlanIf your small business is going to su...
What Business Types or Categories Don’t Have Access to Google My Business Posts?
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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 to Fix Common Service Area Business Issues in Google My Business
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How to Fix Common Service Area Business Issues in Google My Business

When it comes to Google My Business’s rules and guidelines there is a lot of room for improvement.Yes, they have rules written down, but those guidelines are vague in many areas and contradictory in spots.That makes things confusing for even the smartest marketer or business owner. Trying to understand some of GMBs guidelines is almost like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube in a dark room.And the rules pertaining to Service Area Businesses (SABs) seem to be the most confusing.In this column, you’ll learn about the most common problems SABs experience in Google My Business — and how to solve them.What is Unique About Service Area Businesses in GMB?Service Area Businesses are those lacking a physical storefront location where customers can visit.SABs have employees that go out to their custo...
Google My Business News: New Features, Updates and Tests from March-May
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Google My Business News: New Features, Updates and Tests from March-May

The midway point of the year isn’t far off, and it’s safe to say that a lot has gone on in local SEO already this year.  So far in 2021, we’ve seen big changes to Google Posts, updates to review summaries in Google My Business (GMB), high scores from Local RankFlux, and 2-Packs showing on Google mobile results. But, in the past couple of months alone even more tests and updates have been impacting GMB. In this GMB news roundup, we take a look at the biggest headlines affecting local SEOs recently. Think we’ve left something out? Put it in the comments section down below! Competitor quotes in GMB Messaging It’s often recommended that businesses make use of GMB’s Messaging feature to better communicate with customers. But you might want to hold your horses. LocalU shared  that when sear...
Why Do I See Different Rankings Than What My Rank Tracker Reports?
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Why Do I See Different Rankings Than What My Rank Tracker Reports?

Why Do I See Different Rankings Than What My Rank Tracker Reports? - Whitespark When it comes to rank tracking, the data is often misunderstood. A very common concern amongst business owners is, “I checked my rankings and see different results than my rank tracking report. Your tool is inaccurate.” In this Whitespark Weekly episode, Darren discusses this common concern and breaks down the top 4 factors that impact ranking results. If you’ve ever struggled with seeing different results or fluctuations in your ranking campaigns, don’t miss the video below. Video Transcript Hey there, Darren here from Whitespark. Have you ever looked at the re...
How Does Google My Business Handle Solo Practitioner Listings?
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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. ...
Top GMB Insights Trends Enterprise Brands Need to Know
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Top GMB Insights Trends Enterprise Brands Need to Know

New research from Rio SEO shows dramatic effects on Local Search and offers insights into how to be more effective in monitoring search habits at the local level and leverage those changes for better economic performance.Rio SEO tracked consumer trends across over 200,000 locations in a range of verticals.The report covers these categories.Business ServicesFinancial servicesSit-down restaurantsQuick Service RestaurantsRetailHealthcareHospitalityMassive ImpactAdvertisementContinue Reading BelowIt’s widely known that the impact on business was massive. But this new research shows how the pandemic affected website clicks, click to call, and driving direction clicks.According to Rio SEO:“Without question, COVID-19 had a massive impact on the local search landscape in 2020. Across the over 2...
Apple Maps Ratings: What’s New and What’s Next?
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Apple Maps Ratings: What’s New and What’s Next?

UPDATE: The Apple Maps Ratings update was launched in the USA as part of iOS 14.5 on April 26th, 2021 (some territories had access to it earlier). The update functions exactly as described below, back in October 2020. Sometimes it’s nice when there are no surprises, huh? Originally Published October, 2020 At the end of August 2020, Apple revealed it would be launching its very own ratings solutions within Apple Maps. Talk of “Apple reviews” flew around the Twitterverse and, as usual, there was a lot of conjecture about what this new feature might mean. Apple Maps ratings (yep, that’s right — ratings not reviews, though they may be on the way) has been in beta testing in iOS 14 and will soon roll out globally. The update was first spotted by Twitter user, Beau Giles.Source: 9to5mac Cu...
Google Adds 3 New Features For People Ready to Travel Again
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Google Adds 3 New Features For People Ready to Travel Again

As search trends show a renewed interest in travel, Google is adding new features to help people plan their next trip.Google reports searches for hotels reached a 10-year high in April 2021, as did searches for “where can I travel” and “travel restrictions by country.”To help answer those questions, and keep people up to date with travel advisories, Google is rolling out three new features in search results.New Travel-Related Features in Google Search ResultsTodays updates to Google Search are designed to help people stay informed about the latest travel guidance and explore potential destinations.Latest Travel GuidanceWhen searchers look for travel information like flights, hotels or things to do, Google currently lets them know if there are COVID-19 related travel advisories or restri...
What to Do If You Lost All Your Google Reviews after Accidentally Deleting Your GMB Page
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What to Do If You Lost All Your Google Reviews after Accidentally Deleting Your GMB Page

Like my post? Please share! As I’ve observed and written for many years, your Google reviews are never completely safe – and never completely gone.  You can lose them in bulk or in a drip.  You can lose them because of Google’s filter, manual removal, a bug, or a reviewer’s change of heart.  You can also lose your Google reviews – all of them – in a puff of smoke when trying to move to a different Google account. The specific scenario I’m thinking of is that you deleted a G Suite account or other Google account and thought your Google My Business page and reviews wouldn’t be affected, only to discover that both your GMB page and your pile of reviews are gone. Oops. If it makes you feel better, Google’s messaging often is unclear, such that routine steps sound scary and shooting yourself...
NEW: Manage Local Search Grid at Scale with New Support for Enterprise Plans
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NEW: Manage Local Search Grid at Scale with New Support for Enterprise Plans

Great news for agencies and brands managing 100+ locations: you can now set up custom plans for Local Search Grid credits! This means no more repetitive, manual purchasing of additional credits for businesses using this powerful tool at considerable scale. What’s New? Since launching Local Search Grid in February of this year, we’ve spoken to dozens of agency and brand customers who were excited to use the tool, but were unable to make it work with their otherwise fully-customized BrightLocal Enterprise plans. Now that Local Search Grid has been added to these custom plans, no matter how many Grid Points, keywords, Locations or reports you need each month, you can easily set up recurring, automated purchases of the required credits by speaking to the Enterprise team. Not sure how many ...
Best Practices for Getting and Using Your Google Maps API Key
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Best Practices for Getting and Using Your Google Maps API Key

With the rise and prominence of local search marketing, brands have begun to build robust location pages with advanced mapping features to meet the growing needs of searchers.The page types typically include a map to show users where the location is, what are the cross streets, and any major landmarks. This enables the user to easily find the location and increases a brand’s opportunities for conversions.With numerous mapping options available, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with them and understand how to implement them — especially the top contender: Google Maps.And for that, you’re going to need a Google Maps API Key.In this column, you’ll learn from my colleague/co-author Marshall Nyman and I what a Google Maps API Key is and how to get started.What Is a Google Maps API Key?Go...
Do Google My Business Identity Attributes Impact Ranking? SterlingSky.ca
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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...
Spin-off Pages: a Bazooka for Your Local SEO
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Spin-off Pages: a Bazooka for Your Local SEO

Like my post? Please share! You’ve been on many sites that have them.  Your stronger competitors probably have some.  You may even have a few on your site.  In any case, what I call “spin-off pages” aren’t a new thing, but SEOs and business owners tend not to think of them often or at all, and almost never do they treat spin-off pages as a major part of their on-page local SEO work.  That’s a tough break for them, but great news for you. What is a spin-off page?  It’s a new page you create that’s all about a more-specific version of a service/product/treatment for which you’ve already got a page on your site. In other words, you identify a page on your site about a service (or other offering) you consider a high priority, you think of ways to bust that page into smaller chunks, and you ...
Title Tags for Local SEO: Increase Your Local Traffic and Click Through Rate
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Title Tags for Local SEO: Increase Your Local Traffic and Click Through Rate

So this business here, their title tag is actually Angels Moving Company in Vancouver | Fast, Friendly, Professional Movers.  Fast, friendly, professional movers, that’s what you want to catch. You want them to see that. But it’s been cut off because Angel’s moving company in Vancouver, they’re stuffing those keywords in the beginning and it’s actually taking up space, removing those sort of compelling words. And so, this is where you’ve got to think about what is going to fit in the search results.  Okay, with this in mind, how can I make Jim’s title tag even better? We had all the keywords in it. Now let’s make it catchy. I’ve updated his title tag, to Jim’s Plumbing in Salem, OR – Plumbers You Can Trust and Count On. So I’ve got plumbing, Salem, Oregon – that’s his primary market th...
SEO in 2021 & Beyond: Complete Guide for Home Services and Contractors
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SEO in 2021 & Beyond: Complete Guide for Home Services and Contractors

As a home services provider or contractor, you’re probably more than glad that 2020 is in the rearview mirror. It was a very difficult year for anyone who makes home visits or does in-person work. The good news is that it’s a new year and you have new opportunities to take advantage of digital marketing. What are some new trends this year, and what can you do to boost your business? Here are some ideas. Share Stunning Images on Social MediaYou might think there’s not much about engineered hardwood in Toronto that would be social media-worthy, but you’d be wrong! People love seeing images of beautiful homes with gorgeous flooring. Whether you sell flooring, have a landscaping company, or are a construction contractor, you have stunning pictures to share. These pictures help potential c...
Rebranding Your Business | Checklist for Google My Business & Local Search
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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...
6 Tactics for Marketing During Covid-19
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6 Tactics for Marketing During Covid-19

The pandemic has taken its toll on businesses across the globe, particularly local businesses that rely on regular footfall. During this time, it’s been more important than ever to have a solid digital strategy and gain visibility online. Here, Jonathan Birch, Creative Director at Glass Digital, shares six ways local businesses can ensure they’re seen online and excel at marketing during Covid-19. With Covid-19 driving businesses into online-only approaches, it’s vital for local businesses to use digital channels to keep their audiences in the know. But, as well as keeping the discussion open, it’s also important that local businesses prepare to make the changes needed to compete in this quickly changing new landscape.  While for some that means making a totally new move to selling onl...
Maximizing the Web for Your Business
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Maximizing the Web for Your Business

We’ve definitely learned in the last year that digital marketing is essential if your business is going to survive significant disruptions. Companies such as Bubbles and Balm, who were previously hesitant to grow their online presence, found a digital pivot crucial to survival in 2020. Hopefully, your business already has a strong website and social media and you’re building your reputation and search engine optimization (SEO). However, you can always maximize the impact of the web on your company. How can you take advantage of digital marketing to the fullest? Let’s take a look. Make Sure You Own Your WebsiteSome websites give you the opportunity to set up a free website, but you don’t fully control the platform. This means that your ability to sell products and services can be limit...
A Local SEO Goldmine for Retailers
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A Local SEO Goldmine for Retailers

Check Your Free Local Listings DashboardNow That You Have The Data, Figure Out What It MeansTips for Retailers to Make the Most of Google Merchant Center InfoA lot of data to inform your SEO strategy is hiding in plain sight; you just need to know where to look. For multi-location retailers, Google Merchant Center can be a treasure trove of data to help gain that competitive edge.Last November, just in time for the holidays, Google began showing free local product listings at the bottom of Google My Business pages.They are the free version of Google’s Local Inventory Ads and look like this:This program is open to any brick-and-mortar business with a Google Merchant Center account in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sw...
Local Quizness – What Happened in Local SEO in March?
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Local Quizness – What Happened in Local SEO in March?

The world of local marketing never stands still, and staying on top of the trends can take its toll.  That’s why we created Local Quizness – a monthly quiz to help you recap the biggest stories affecting local businesses and marketers. Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions – and rest assured you’re aware of the news that matters most.Happy with your score? Share this on Twitter using the hashtag #LocalQuizness! If there are any you missed, check out all the links below:
10 Quick Restaurant SEO Tips to Boost Your Google Search Visibility
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10 Quick Restaurant SEO Tips to Boost Your Google Search Visibility

Define Your SEO & Content StrategiesDominate in Local SearchEngage With Customers on Social MediaEncourage Reviews & TestimonialsCreate Unique ContentConsider Content LocalizationApply Basic On-Page SEO Best PracticesThink Mobile FirstImplement Schema “Restaurants” MarkupMeasure Your EffortsSummaryA lot of factors have put an increasing amount of pressure on restaurants to improve their online presence.Whether through disruptions due to the pandemic, increased competition, or changes in the importance of having a strong online presence, we know we have to up our game.Right now, improving visibility at the local level is essential for both in-person dining and carry-out options.There are a lot of paid ads, partner services, and referral options for gaining traffic. However, risin...
Yelp Reports Major Growth in Searches For Diverse Businesses
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Yelp Reports Major Growth in Searches For Diverse Businesses

Yelp Search Data Shows Growing Consumer Interest in Diverse BusinessesAdditional Highlights From Yelp’s ReportNew Attribute For Asian-Owned BusinessesYelp’s latest local economic impact report reveals that searches for diverse businesses grew significantly over the past year.The report defines a diverse business as a women-owned, Black-owned, Asian-owned, or Latinx-owned establishment.Businesses that identify as either women-owned, Black-owned, Asian-owned or Latinx-owned can display attributes on their Yelp page to assist people searching for a diverse business.Business owners can opt-in to more than one attribute, if applicable, such as Black-owned and women-owned.Yelp data tracks when business owners opt into those attributes on their business page. Its latest report aims to measure ...
Why Not All Customers Are a Good Fit for Your Business
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Why Not All Customers Are a Good Fit for Your Business

We have all heard the mantra, “The customer is always right.” Originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909, the logic behind this business philosophy is to instill a sense of good accountability towards customers. Many companies still use this principle and build their business models around it. With the fierce competition in the business world, some companies even go to ridiculous lengths to satisfy their customers. However, the business landscape has greatly evolved over the years, making this customer-centric ideology outdated and irrelevant. Of course, businesses should always value good customer services, but as business owners, we should also protect our best interests. Taking this mantra a little too sincerely could be self-destructive. You need to acknowledge that the cus...
How to Increase Offline Sales for Local Businesses
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How to Increase Offline Sales for Local Businesses

Local Restaurant SearchesYouTube and Local ShoppingGoogle MapsGuide to Offline SalesGoogle is More than Ten Links on a Search ResultCitationsGoogle published a guide on four ways to drive local search traffic to an offline local business and make more sales. It’s a good reminder that Google is more than just the ten blue links on a search page.Understanding all the ways customers are trying to find businesses will help create more sales.For local retail, Google shared that various kinds of searches are growing exponentially.In particular, three kinds of searches are showing dramatic increases:The first kind of search involves consumers searching for businesses that are local to them.The second type of search involves consumers who are searching for businesses local to them that have som...
Local 2-Packs Spotted in Google Mobile SERPs
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Local 2-Packs Spotted in Google Mobile SERPs

Google’s Local 3-Pack might soon be a Local 2-Pack (on mobile at least). This week, Joy Hawkins at Local U (via Mariano Rodriguez from LawRank) shared findings of 2-Packs being spotted in local search results on mobile.  Since the news was first shared, more and more people have reported seeing a set of just two results when performing local searches on mobile.Seeing a 2-pack on Android Mobile. Anyone else?#localseo pic.twitter.com/bpICh5W2tX — Ben Fisher (@TheSocialDude) March 30, 2021   Both Android and iPhone users are being presented with 2-Pack results:I’ve been seeing it on iPhone/safari: pic.twitter.com/ArBEDQuzJ2 — Frank Olivo (@FrancoOlivo) March 31, 2021What’s new? When performing a local search, users are usually presented with three top results. This is referred to as...
Google Enhances Business Profiles For Stores With Delivery & Pickup
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Google Enhances Business Profiles For Stores With Delivery & Pickup

Google is adding more information to Search and Maps about businesses that offer options for grocery delivery and pickup.The information is getting added to search automatically, which means there’s no work needed on the part of businesses, but it’s an update worth being aware of.This addition to Google Search and Maps is rolling out as part of a larger update which includes a number of other useful features.We’ll look at the other features at the end of this article – let’s first go over the enhancements to Google My Business profiles.New Information in Google My Business ProfilesGoogle is bringing shopping information to stores’ business profiles to assist people with finding convenient grocery delivery and pickup options.AdvertisementContinue Reading BelowThe information Google is ad...
How to Track Google Posts in Google Analytics & Search Console
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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...
Odd Relationships in Local Search
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Odd Relationships in Local Search

Like my post? Please share! One of the first things you notice about Google Maps and the rest of the local search zoo is that usually there’s no single, isolated reason one business outranks another.  Rather, all kinds of factors come into play: some obvious, some less obvious, lots of maybes, and some that probably nobody knows about.  But I’d go a step further and say you’re in a much better position to get some solid rankings if you know how some factors tend to interact with each other, often in unpredictable ways.You can’t look at local search ranking factors in a vacuum.  Google sure doesn’t seem to.  Now, it’s not a bad idea to work on your local SEO with a big checklist.  That can get you far, especially if you stick with it.  You only run into trouble when you seem to have do...
New Local Search Grid Module Added to BrightLocal Academy
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New Local Search Grid Module Added to BrightLocal Academy

We’re pleased to announce the arrival of a new BrightLocal Academy module all about how to use our latest tool: Local Search Grid. The module is called Put Your Rankings on the Map With Local Search Grid and is part of the ‘Level Up Your Local SEO with BrightLocal’ course. It includes lessons on:How to uncover deeper ranking insights How to set up a report to get the insights you need How to spot opportunities for growth and get ahead of the competitionThe module also has two short quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding. What is the ‘Level Up Your Local SEO with BrightLocal’ course about? The ‘Level Up Your Local SEO with BrightLocal’ course uses the power of interactive content to guide you through the theory of local SEO and shows you how to tackle it more effectively u...
Beat Burnout: Tips to Run Your Biz Without Burning Out
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Beat Burnout: Tips to Run Your Biz Without Burning Out

February 23, 2021 John Vuong Business advice No one wants to be depleted of energy, motivation, and enthusiasm. But it happens. Burnout affects anyone; even the most passionate and strong-willed entrepreneurs are not immune to it. A Business Insider article on depression in the startup community, 50 percent of the general population of business owners experience burnout.  What exactly is burnout? What causes it? And how does one break out from this phase and come out driven a...
4 Killer Tips to Make your Website Work for Your Business!
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4 Killer Tips to Make your Website Work for Your Business!

March 25, 2021 John Vuong SEO APP & Web Development If you have a small business website, you want to make sure it’s working hard for you. You’ve put a lot of effort and money into it! You should get a strong return on investment. However, that won’t happen by itself. You have to set your website up for success by making sure it engages visitors and follows other best practices. What do you need to do to ensure your website is set up to maximize the engagement you get fro...
Wix and Google Announce GMB Integration
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Wix and Google Announce GMB Integration

Wix Business ModelWhat GMB Integration OffersQ & A With WixGoogle Integration ExpertiseWix Making Strides in Local SearchWix and Google announced an expanded partnership that integrates Google My Business (GMB) directly within Wix. Businesses can now access GMB data, customer interactions and manage their  profile directly from Wix.Wix Business ModelThe value proposition in a service like Wix is that they take handle the technical side of an online presence. Things like search engine optimization (SEO) and structured data are taken care of by Wix. Wix also provides marketing tools that help small businesses succeed. This allows businesses to focus on doing what they do best.AdvertisementContinue Reading BelowIntegrating Google My Business fits in with the Wix business model of makin...
New SEO Tool Tracks % Of Google SERPs with Local Packs
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New SEO Tool Tracks % Of Google SERPs with Local Packs

A new, free tool for SEOs provides insights about Google search features from an analysis of 60 million US queries.Developed by Local SEO Guide, the Local-Pack-O-Meter tracks data for ten different types of Google search features such as local packs, knowledge panels, shopping, job postings, ads, and more.What separates the Local-Pack-O-Meter apart from other tools that monitor Google search features is the amount of data it has access to.Traject Data, a client of Local SEO Guide, supplies the SERP stats from roughly 60 million US search queries. The significantly larger sample size, compared to similar tools, may result in data that’s more representative of all US queries.“While tools like MozCast have their own versions of a SERP Feature tracker, these are typically only for a relativ...
How to Use On-site Features to Complement Physical Stores
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How to Use On-site Features to Complement Physical Stores

In this article, guest contributor Elliot Mark explores how local businesses can create online customer experiences to complement physical brick-and-mortar stores, and provides customer service tips for retailers. Throughout recent years, the growth of the online retail industry has made it increasingly difficult for brick-and-mortar retailers to compete, pushing them to adapt to maintain their viability. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has only added urgency to this process. Unable to carry on as usual, even the staunchest holdouts have had to embrace online operations. While there are some notable distinctions, online and offline retail overlap far more than they differ. Consider what it takes to bring a customer back, for instance. Superb customer service, whether it involves pro...
10 Common Local SEO Myths Debunked
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10 Common Local SEO Myths Debunked

There are many strategies and tactics that you can implement to help your business increase rankings in local search results. But for every well-known and proven ranking strategy, there is an equally well-known unproven strategy masquerading as an effective local SEO tactic. In today’s Whitespark Weekly episode, Darren is busting 10 common local SEO myths! Stop wasting your time implementing these tactics in the hopes of positively impacting your rankings! Video Transcript Hey there, Darren here with another way Whitespark Weekly video. These videos are to help you understand local SEO, give you optimization strategies, and keep you up to date on the latest in local search. If you’re new here, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter. We will send you ...
Website Creation: Services or Platform To Use
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Website Creation: Services or Platform To Use

March 16, 2021 John Vuong Business advice As a small business owner, if you’re going to create a website you probably want something that is simple to understand and easy to use. However, you also want to make sure it’s customizable enough that your website will match your brand. That’s where website builder services come in. Many of these website creation services offer easy-to-use drag-and-drop interfaces, while others have a variety of templates to choose from. If you’re b...
Proven Local Marketing Strategies to Drive Customer Experience & ROI [Webinar]
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Proven Local Marketing Strategies to Drive Customer Experience & ROI [Webinar]

Today’s consumer is looking for more personalized, meaningful brand interactions. How can you better connect to maximize your marketing ROI?Join our next sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar on Wednesday, March 24 at 2 p.m. ET.Dan Dillon, VP for Marketing at Reveal Mobile, shares five proven local marketing campaigns you can use right now to reach high-intent audiences.In this presentation, you will learn:Strategies to get customers back into stores.Top-performing CTAs for hyper-personalized ads.How to implement geofencing marketing on Facebook.Targeting tactics to retain customers and win market share.How successful brands use geofencing to create exceptional experiences and drive ROI.Dillon provides a data-rich view into how digital marketers use geofencing and location-based marke...
How to Land Your First Local SEO Client
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How to Land Your First Local SEO Client

We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of our second free course for BrightLocal Academy, called ‘How to Land Your First Local SEO Client‘. We’ve created this course in collaboration with local SEO specialist Claire Carlile because we realized that while there’s plenty of content out there that helps people learn how to do local SEO, there’s little that helps people get their local SEO agencies off the ground.  Winning that first client is a massive milestone for anyone starting out, but there’s a lot of work needed to get to that point. For the most part, it’s trial and error but early missteps can have negative knock-on effects as your agency grows. For example, you might find yourself in a tricky situation down the line after having underpriced your services at the start, l...
Local Quizness March 2021 – What’s The Story in Local SEO?
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Local Quizness March 2021 – What’s The Story in Local SEO?

Claim your listing on the new BrightLocal Agency Directory to begin generating leads from businesses that are searching for help with digital marketing right now. Every week, BrightLocal’s Customer Success team receives requests for recommendations of top-rated agencies that can help our local business customers with their digital marketing. And, just as often, we receive… Read More
Google Maps Lets Users Add Photos Without Leaving a Review
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Google Maps Lets Users Add Photos Without Leaving a Review

Google Maps Photo UpdatesDraw Roads on Google MapsGoogle Maps Community ChallengeGoogle Maps is introducing three new ways for users to add helpful content for others, including the ability to share photos without leaving a review.The Google Maps features announced today aim to make sharing and finding local recommendations easier, and a new community challenge may add some fun to the process.Google Maps Photo UpdatesA new content type will soon be rolled out to Google Maps called photo updates.Photo updates allow users to share experiences and highlights with recent photos without being required to leave a review.A photo update consists of a recent picture of a place with a short text description.To add a photo update, start by selecting a place in Google Maps and going to the “Updates...
What Happens to Your Rankings if You Do No SEO Work for Over a Year?
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What Happens to Your Rankings if You Do No SEO Work for Over a Year?

What Happens to Your Rankings if You Do No SEO Work for Over a Year? - Whitespark Today, we are revisiting a case study that we did for MozCon 2019 on the process of going from zero web presence to ranking hyper-locally, From Zero to Local Ranking Hero. This was an 8-month-long journey of a business growing its digital footprint and analyzing what worked (and didn’t) along the way to discover exactly what impact different strategies have on local rankings. Over a year later we want to know, where are their rankings now? In this Whitespark Weekly episode, we’re investigating what happened to their rankings after the local SEO work was done and NO addit...
Should I Pay Annually for the Local Data Aggregators? 3 Things We Learned.
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Should I Pay Annually for the Local Data Aggregators? 3 Things We Learned.

Posted Mar 9, 2021 by Joy Hawkins There are several reputable companies that offer services with an annual fee that are designed to keep your online local directory listings up-to-date.  One way of doing this is to focus specifically on the major local data aggregators that push information out to tons of different websites. We did an experiment to see what happens if you sign up for one of the annual data provider services and cancel it a year later. Not renewing caused wrong information to come back.When we did the experiment, the listing on Acxiom (which is no longer an active aggre...
How to Set Up a Website For Your Small Business
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How to Set Up a Website For Your Small Business

March 8, 2021 Bryan Cinco SEO APP & Web Development You know that having an online presence is essential to bringing in new customers and clients. A website is a vital way to connect with people searching for your products and services online while explaining your value and how you stand out from competitors.  Is setting up a website difficult? It doesn’t have to be! You can get a basic online presence started quickly and easily. From there, you can work on building up yo...
The Most Popular Local Search Blogs
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The Most Popular Local Search Blogs

As mentioned above, one of Mike Blumenthal’s posts – “Google Testing (Or Rolling Out?) New 3-Pack Carousel” – was broadly shared and gained a large number of links. This article is the most linked-to local SEO article, even after we do adjustments for some domains sending unusually high numbers of links. Overall, the list is dominated by Moz (Local) with most posts written by Miriam Ellis, and by Sterling Sky (written mostly by Joy Hawkins and Colan Nielsen). Of the top 30 posts, only 7 were not published on either of these two blogs. After Mike’s article, the most linked-to non-Moz and non-Sterling-Sky article was Whitespark’s “2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Presentation” (written by Darren Shaw) which ranked 19th, followed by GatherUp’s “Do Consumers Support Businesses Requiring M...
12 Proven Local SEO Tips to Dominate the SERPs and Map Pack
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12 Proven Local SEO Tips to Dominate the SERPs and Map Pack

Get on a Local Search PlatformUse Structured DataTap Into Google My Business & Optimize for ItUpdate Event StatusAudit Your ListingsManage Your ReputationUse Hyper-Local ContentConnect With Customers via Always-on MessagingMonitor TrendsOptimize for Voice Search & MobileTrack Rankings & Build Out Local Landing PagesDon’t Forget Links Are Still Very ImportantBeing visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) is more important than ever, especially for businesses that have physical brick-and-mortar locations.Restaurants, retail stores, and other types of local businesses have many potential customers looking for your products and services.COVID-19 has changed the way we do business and consumers’ informational needs have grown. Optimizing your local presence is critical for ...
[2021] How to Interpret Google My Business (GMB) Insights
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[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...
Core Web Vitals and the Page Experience Update: What They Mean for Local Businesses
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Core Web Vitals and the Page Experience Update: What They Mean for Local Businesses

Google is currently putting together the final changes for a search algorithm update that they’ve announced will land in May 2021.  The update is being called the Page Experience update because of its focus on usability rather than things like keywords or search relevance. Google has already provided some information on the update, which aims to measure and potentially rank the experience that a user encounters when visiting a page. The fact that Google have given so much warning about the update says all you need to know about how seriously to take it. We know it’ll impact organic search results but as of yet, there’s no word on whether there will be any specific impact on Google My Business rankings. Although this update is due to hit the algorithm in May, there’s no reason not to ge...
Does Optimizing Content for “Near Me” Work for Local SEO? Sterling Sky Blog
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Does Optimizing Content for “Near Me” Work for Local SEO? Sterling Sky Blog

Posted Mar 2, 2021 by Joy Hawkins We asked this question at a LocalU Advanced event: “Does adding instances of “near me” terms onto a website increase its ranking for “near me” keywords”.  The vote was very divided with 44% of people saying no and 56% of people saying yes.We have done a ton of testing on optimizing for “near me” terms (ex: “plumber near me”) and have found that adding instances of “near you”, “nearby” and “near me” to the content of a page (including meta tags) does have a positive impact on ranking. Here is an example of a client’s homepage traffic ...
How to Delete or Merge Duplicate Google My Business Listings
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How to Delete or Merge Duplicate Google My Business Listings

A Quick Recap: Why Google My Business Is Essential for SuccessWhy It Is Important to Delete or Merge Duplicate Google My Business ListingsHow to Merge Two Google My Business ListingsHow to Delete a Duplicate Google My Business ListingLet’s say you just moved to the city of Chicago, specifically Lincoln Park, and you want to try their famous pizza.You Google [best pizza in lincoln park] and the search results pop up.You see many businesses representing the best pizza in Chicago. How do you choose?You look at the reviews; a recent study shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.Not only that, but you consider the convenience factor.Is the pizza joint close?What is the address? Hours of operation?You ultimately decide to get the pizza delivered a...
Seed Audiences: the Most Practical Way to Make Blogging Work for a Local Business
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Seed Audiences: the Most Practical Way to Make Blogging Work for a Local Business

Like my post? Please share! For most business owners and others who try it, blogging is a frustration factory.  The way they go about it, it’s a time gobbler, a grind, and a disappointment until they give up – 47 blog posts and 0 new links, 0 visitors, and 0 customers later. What’s wrong with the way small / local businesses blog? I’ll be the last one to say blogging isn’t effective.   It sure can be.  This blog is a vital organ of my business, and that’s true of some of my clients’ businesses, too.  But certain pieces need to slide into place first, preferably on the sooner side. The big trouble is that blogging (as it’s commonly done) is at best a tough way to earn links, build an audience, and pick up local rankings for semi-competitive terms.  As in it’s ineffective at all 3 most of...
8 New & Updated Google My Business Features for Local SEO
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8 New & Updated Google My Business Features for Local SEO

Google has rolled out several new features and attributes in Google My Business (GMB) since the Coronavirus began.If you’re running a local business, you need to know about those updates so you can get the most out of the platform.In this article, we’ll check out 10 recent changes to Google My Business that you need to check out.1. Health & Safety AttributesLate in 2020, GMB rolled out new attributes so searchers can make informed decisions about the health standards at businesses they may visit.These new GMB attributes are:Appointment required.Mask required.Staff wear masks.Staff get temperature checks.Temperature check required.Keep in mind that f you follow stricter health-related guidelines than your competitors and you advertise those guidelines on GMB, you could very well capt...
What Happens When Google Removes 98% of Your Reviews | A Case Study
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What Happens When Google Removes 98% of Your Reviews | A Case Study

Posted Feb 23, 2021 by Joy Hawkins Google has a long way to go to solve the problem with fake reviews but every now and then we see a business that loses a huge chunk of reviews because they did something to violate Google’s policies.  In this case, I tracked a dentist that lost 98% of their reviews because they were caught review gating.In this case, losing most of their reviews didn’t even impact their overall star rating which supports the finding from Mike Blumethal’s study that showed review gating didn’t really have a large impact on the overall rating of a busin...
7 Local Marketing Measurement Best Practices for Times of Crisis
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7 Local Marketing Measurement Best Practices for Times of Crisis

It’s hard for local marketers to believe that it was just last March our goals were completely upended and we were forced to drastically change how we view local marketing measurement and success for both channels and campaigns.Soft skills such as flexibility and the ability to pivot at the drop of a hat became a non-negotiable requirement.Hard KPIs, as a result, have had to shift as what customers expect from brands requires a heavy lift of development to execute.Curbside pickup, once a service targeted to busy individuals, is no longer a unique value add a brand offers but an expected health & safety protocol for all consumers.The same is true for contactless delivery.What does this mean specifically for local marketing—and particularly, how you measure success?In this post, my co...
NEW: Claim Your Agency Directory Listing
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NEW: Claim Your Agency Directory Listing

Claim your listing on the new BrightLocal Agency Directory to begin generating leads from businesses that are searching for help with digital marketing right now. Every week, BrightLocal’s Customer Success team receives requests for recommendations of top-rated agencies that can help our local business customers with their digital marketing. And, just as often, we receive requests from agencies and consultants to be added to our legacy lists of Top SEO Agencies. We wanted to help bridge this gap between businesses in need of digital marketing assistance and the many talented agencies and freelancers operating in the US and actively seeking new leads.  Introducing the Agency Directory  Today, we launched the Agency Directory – an in-depth directory of digital marketing agencie...
Wix vs WordPress? Mueller Says Solve Content Issues
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Wix vs WordPress? Mueller Says Solve Content Issues

Someone tweeted their intention to build a Wix site to test how well it ranks for local search compared to WordPress. John Mueller responded with a series of helpful suggestions, emphasizing that platforms that take care of the technical are ideal for small business owners.Wix Versus WordPressThe initial tweet was about creating a test between Wix and WordPress.Rob May (@robinlmay) tweeted:“Going to get and build a @Wix site and see if I can get it ranking in some local city (here) for #SEO related services (as a test against WordPress) – just to see if it will work. Will take all appropriate steps/measures for best practices. Huh. Wonder how that will go?”Tests Can Be MisleadingOne of the things about SEO tests is that they are subject to interpretation. In other words, the meaning of ...
How to Write Meta Descriptions for Store Locations
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How to Write Meta Descriptions for Store Locations

Today’s Ask An SEO question comes from Sussana in Guatemala. Sussana asks:“What is the best way to write a proper meta description for store locations? Should they contain the store’s phone number?”Thanks for the great question, Sussana!There is no one right way to write a meta description for a store location, but there are plenty of wrong ways.Below, you’ll find what we do when creating meta descriptions for locations for our clients.  These same principles apply to some product, service, and category pages, too.One thing that’s important to note is that meta descriptions likely will not help you rank in Google at this point.They do help you to get more traffic to your website from your rankings, though.AdvertisementContinue Reading BelowThink of the meta title as the advertisement th...
How Much Do Local Rankings Fluctuate in Google? How Can You Rank Higher in Local?
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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...
Star Rating Now Showing in Google Review Summary
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Star Rating Now Showing in Google Review Summary

In the world of local SEO, there’s always something new to keep your eye out for that could be a game-changer. This week, that news is that star ratings are now appearing in review snippet on Google My Business listings.First time I’ve seen the star rating appear with the review snippet here pic.twitter.com/gXoP0mG7hn — Tom Waddington (@tomwaddington8) February 3, 2021Spotted on Twitter by Tom Waddington on February 3rd, 2021, this change is yet another step from Google to bring online reviews front and center.  What’s new with Google review summaries? Previously, when a business’s Knowledge Panel was generated by a local search, Google would highlight potentially relevant keywords. For example, “great service” might be bolded for a restaurant. Now, not only is a searcher presented...
Local Search Grid: Put Your Rankings on the Map
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Local Search Grid: Put Your Rankings on the Map

We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of Local Search Grid, a brand-new local rankings tool from BrightLocal that allows you to see the bigger picture of search. Without further ado, here’s how awesome it looks.Snazzy, right? There’s a lot I could say about Local Search Grid and what this new tool means for your search strategy (and I will!) but for now I’ll let our launch video do the talking:If that’s piqued your interest and you want to start using Local Search Grid right away, simply:Log in to your BrightLocal account Select a Location from your Clients & Locations dashboard Click ‘Rankings’ in the Location Sidebar menu Click ‘Local Search Grid’ in the dropdown that appearsWant to know more before you dive in? Read on to find out just how Local Search...
Local Quizness February 2021 – What’s New in Local SEO?
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Local Quizness February 2021 – What’s New in Local SEO?

It may have only been the first month of the year, but the local SEO news didn’t ease us in gently!  Test your knowledge of last month’s biggest stories in our monthly local marketing news quiz – Local Quizness!  In just 10 questions, you can challenge your knowledge of the biggest tests, new features, and changes affecting local businesses in January. And as always, you can share your scores over on Twitter using #LocalQuizness. If you wanted to catch up on any of January’s news, we’ve provided links to some great articles exploring the stories. We’ll be back next month with another news quiz – see you then! 
Star Rating Now Showing in Google Review Summary
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Star Rating Now Showing in Google Review Summary

In the world of local SEO, there’s always something new to keep your eye out for that could be a game-changer. This week, that news is that star ratings are now appearing in review snippet on Google My Business listings.First time I’ve seen the star rating appear with the review snippet here pic.twitter.com/gXoP0mG7hn — Tom Waddington (@tomwaddington8) February 3, 2021Spotted on Twitter by Tom Waddington on February 3rd, 2021, this change is yet another step from Google to bring online reviews front and center.  What’s new with Google review summaries? Previously, when a business’s Knowledge Panel was generated by a local search, Google would highlight potentially relevant keywords. For example, “great service” might be bolded for a restaurant. Now, not only is a searcher presented...
Are Coworking Spaces Against the Google My Business Guidelines?
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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...
7 Ways Local Businesses Can Improve Website SEO
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7 Ways Local Businesses Can Improve Website SEO

Anyone who runs an online business needs to get to grips with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of working to make your website rank more highly in results pages on search engines such as Google. There are a few strategies you can use to help your site rank better in local search results. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can improve your website SEO through simple WordPress improvements. Why is ranking well for local search queries so important? According to Business Wire, 67% of Americans prefer to shop with local businesses where possible. Additionally, an estimated 46% of all Google searches have local intent. Speaking anecdotally, I have seen the importance of local search results first-hand. 80-90% of the business for my web design agency, Lform Design, c...
[Quiz Result] Are Appointment-Only Businesses Allowed a GMB Listing?
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[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...
7 Phases of a Local Business Reviews Campaign That Makes It Rain
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7 Phases of a Local Business Reviews Campaign That Makes It Rain

Like my post? Please share! Even people who do a solid job of getting online reviews tend to make the process tougher than it needs to be, because they do the right steps in the wrong order.  That can mean unnecessary trial and error, frustration, wasted time, wasted money, and more bad reviews and fewer good reviews than you might have had otherwise. Whether you’re the business owner, an employee, or a third party, you have a choice as to how you sequence your work.  Examples of good steps that can trip you up if you do them at the wrong time include offering customers a choice of multiple review sites, asking them to upload photos or go into detail, and using software or other tools to lighten your lift.  Good ideas?  Maybe, but the effectiveness depends on the timing. What’s the leas...
Google Maps Search Trends For January 2021
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Google Maps Search Trends For January 2021

Google is sharing insights about trending searches in Google Maps, a rare set of search data which may assist local marketers.Local search data for the month of January traditionally offers a look into peoples’ New Year’s resolution plans, with searches for gyms, healthy restaurants, winter vacations, and various forms of self improvement spiking during this month.Unique to January 2021, this set of Google Maps search data offers a look into what people are doing when they leave the home during a time when travel is discouraged.The data reveals people are doing a lot of the same things they do every January, with a different approach to it this year.Instead of searching for international travel destinations, people are searching for local travel. Instead of searching for the nearest gym...
Google Posts No Longer Expire After Seven Days [NEWS]
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Google Posts No Longer Expire After Seven Days [NEWS]

TL;DRGoogle Posts are now visible in the business's Knowledge Panel for more than 7 daysBefore this update, Google Posts expired 7 days after creationGoogle Posts are a great way to communicate with customers directly within SERPsOn Tuesday, January 19th, eagle-eyed SEO Brodie Clark spotted that Google Posts older than seven days were appearing in the local business Knowledge Panel. Nice one for Local SEOs to be aware of. Now seeing standard Posts appears from months back by default. Would show for 7 days previously, then “expire” and become hidden behind the ‘view all’ button. Glad to see more visibility given to Posts – this change makes sense IMO. pic.twitter.com/H3pQTDG5qH — Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) January 20, 2021As Brodie mentions, Posts created within Goog...
Where to Be in 2021: Conferences & Events to Improve Your Local Marketing
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Where to Be in 2021: Conferences & Events to Improve Your Local Marketing

Where to Be in 2021: Conferences & Events to Improve Your Local Marketing - Whitespark Updated on January 19, 2021 (Originally published December 17, 2019 by Jessie Low) There is no shortage of marketing conferences, webinars, and workshops to attend to help grow your skill set, stay current, and advance your...
Local SEO Audit – How to Do a Quick SEO Audit + Free Template
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Local SEO Audit – How to Do a Quick SEO Audit + Free Template

Start 2021 off right with this quick local SEO website audit that Nick Pierno – Whitespark’s Director of Custom Projects – presented at our 2020 Local Search Summit. Nick runs through the importance of how assessing the SEO viability of a website can help surface potential problem areas and shares his audit checklist to get you set up for success. Video Transcript A Note on SEO Scan Tools There are some good SEO scan tools (Woorank or SEOptimer) out there that I usually run sites through during my audit process to catch anything I missed or just get a kind of programmatic look at things, I’d say these scan tools work better in tandem with a manual audit, rather than as a replacement for one. Gauging a Website’s Overall Local SEO Health You can obviously spend a dozen ...
3 No-Nonsense Ways to Get More Customers for Your Car Shop
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3 No-Nonsense Ways to Get More Customers for Your Car Shop

January 20, 2021 John Vuong Business advice According to the 2019 statistics, there are about 35.7 million vehicles registered across Canada. And all of these vehicles require regular tuning and maintenance to remain in top shape and to prevent accidents. If you’re a business owner providing any auto-related services anywhere in the country, what this statistic tells you is that you have a steady flow of business waiting for you to capture! But how can you get these drivers t...
Why Was My Google My Business Listing Suspended?
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Why Was My Google My Business Listing Suspended?

Many local businesses rely on their Google My Business (GMB) listing as a major online marketing tool.In fact, for a large group of small businesses, a GMB profile is their only form of internet marketing.Foolish?Yes.Risky?Yes.But for small local businesses that operate on a tiny marketing budget (or even no budget at all), a free GMB profile is often the only online marketing strategy they have.When they run into issues with Google My Business, those issues can literally put them out of business.One of the biggest stressors to a small business owner in this situation is when their Google My Business listing gets suspended.With a Google My Business suspension, your GMB listing is no longer visible on Google Search or Maps, or you have lost control of your listing (your business listing ...
Should a Small Business Have a Blog in 2021?
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Should a Small Business Have a Blog in 2021?

Posted Jan 19, 2021 by Colan Nielsen Should a small business have a blog? This is a question that we get asked all the time by both business owners and marketing agencies. Carrie Hill posed this question to the Twitterverse in November.  Here’s a controversial topic – Local SEOs – should local businesses that have a fixed, geographic area they serve, blog (given they write content approx. 1x a month.) We’re discussing at the @LocalSearchLink https://t.co/knZVRfsKlh#localseo #localuPlease vote/share! — Carrie Hill 🗺️🎙️ (@CarrieHill) November 16, 2020 What i...
7 Powerful SEO Strategies You Shouldn’t Ignore
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7 Powerful SEO Strategies You Shouldn’t Ignore

January 14, 2021 John Vuong SEO There are several search engine optimization (SEO) strategies floating around the internet today. How do you know which ones work and which ones don’t? Going after the most popular SEO strategies may not be your best option because your competitors are doing the same. But what about SEO strategies that others ignore? Whether you’re doing your SEO on your own or having someone else do it for you, ensure not to overlook these 7 strategies. These ...
Local Quizness – Quiz of the Year 2020!
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Local Quizness – Quiz of the Year 2020!

In our first webinar of the year, we’ll be joined by local search experts Ben Fisher, Joy Hawkins, and Andrew Shotland (from Steady Demand, Sterling Sky, and Local SEO Guide, respectively) to discuss the key local SEO events and trends of last year and look ahead to what might be coming in 2021. The State of Local Search… Read More
What is Google My Business ‘Direct Edit’, and What Does It Mean for Agencies?
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What is Google My Business ‘Direct Edit’, and What Does It Mean for Agencies?

Ben Fisher is a Platinum Product Expert for Google My Business. He’s a master of the spam redressal form, is always on top of the latest news, and loves to share his knowledge with others. Here, he explains the new ‘Direct Edit’ feature in Google My Business, or, as he’s calling it, the Transparent Merchant Experience. In 2017, Google My Business (GMB) launched the ability to update your business information, make posts, upload photos, see how many views you have received, and more, within SERPs. The blog post they released was then titled ‘Manage your business listing without leaving Google Search.’Now fast forward to 2020, and they have upgraded the experience in a blog post titled ‘Update your Business Profile on Google Maps and Search‘. See the difference there? The main change ...
Expert Local SEO Predictions for 2021
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Expert Local SEO Predictions for 2021

Now that 2020 is well and truly behind us, we can begin looking forward to bigger, better things. That’s right folks, the time is once again upon us to bring out our BrightLocal crystal ball and enlist some of the local search community’s most well-loved experts to help us with some local SEO predictions for the coming year.  But, before we get started thinking about what’s to come for 2021, how did our experts fare with what they predicted in 2020? Reflecting on 2020’s Local SEO Predictions A lot happened in 2020, but how many of our experts’ local SEO predictions came true?  Unfortunately, a lot of our pros had hoped 2020 would see a reduction in spam, but with the introduction of new Covid-19 support, resources, and features, plus limited Google My Business support, it seems Google ...
Types of Buyers & How Understanding Them Could Transform Your Business
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Types of Buyers & How Understanding Them Could Transform Your Business

December 29, 2020 John Vuong Business advice, SEO Why is it important for business owners to understand their buyers? Well, knowing who your buyers are, where they are located, and what they want helps you come up with effective strategies to deliver their services to them. It’s also crucial to understand their purchasing behaviour. The more you pay attention to their needs and wants, the more specific and targeted your action plan becomes.Keep in mind that different types ...
What to Do If Google Auto-Updates Your Google My Business Info and Gets It Wrong
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What to Do If Google Auto-Updates Your Google My Business Info and Gets It Wrong

Like my post? Please share! You probably know Google’s tendency to mess with the business info you put in your Google My Business dashboard.  Whether Google emptied fields you filled out, or “corrected” basic facts about your business, or injected info that may be 100% wrong, the telltale orange writing in the GMB dashboard is always a hassle and sometimes a big problem.   Google’s “we know better than you do” MO got worse throughout 2020.  Around the time it temporarily froze some GMB features, Google started piling on new features at an even-faster pace than it had before.  Sometimes Google would fill out those new fields or check those new boxes for you, and often not correctly.  Also, Google started more frequently overwriting or removing old info – info you may have put in you...
COVID forces platforms to adapt their local and e-commerce offerings, and more
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COVID forces platforms to adapt their local and e-commerce offerings, and more

SEO year in review 2020: COVID forces platforms to adapt their local and e-commerce offerings, and more Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f...
core updates, passage indexing and page experience
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core updates, passage indexing and page experience

Google algorithm updates 2020 in review: core updates, passage indexing and page experience Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._f...
Biased language models can result from internet training data
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Biased language models can result from internet training data

Biased language models can result from internet training data Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.v...
Joe Beccalori on the importance of blending SEO with other digital marketing
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Joe Beccalori on the importance of blending SEO with other digital marketing

Video: Joe Beccalori on the importance of blending SEO with other digital marketing Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; ...
Some early observations on the Google December core update
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Some early observations on the Google December core update

Some early observations on the Google December core update Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.ve...
Will COVID vaccine rollout bring back in-person conferences?
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Will COVID vaccine rollout bring back in-person conferences?

Will COVID vaccine rollout bring back in-person conferences? Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.ve...
Brand reputation and the impact of Google SERP selections
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Brand reputation and the impact of Google SERP selections

Brand reputation and the impact of Google SERP selections Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.versi...
5 Basic On-Page SEO Factors that Will Get You Ranked on Google
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5 Basic On-Page SEO Factors that Will Get You Ranked on Google

December 22, 2020 John Vuong Online marketing, SEO Learn On-page SEO core elements that you need to tweak on your website to increase your chances of ranking highly on Google’s search results pages. To make it easier for your customers to find you after performing a Google search, it’s essential to clinch a top spot on Google’s search engine results pages. And one way to boost your ranking is through on-page SEO. On-page search engine optimization is the method of optimizing ...
Google algorithms vs Google penalties, explained by an ex-Googler
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Google algorithms vs Google penalties, explained by an ex-Googler

Google algorithms vs Google penalties, explained by an ex-Googler Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0...
COVID leaves its mark on e-commerce and paid search
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COVID leaves its mark on e-commerce and paid search

PPC 2020 in review: COVID leaves its mark on e-commerce and paid search Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loa...
Google confirms passage indexing is not yet live
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Google confirms passage indexing is not yet live

Google confirms passage indexing is not yet live Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0...
Unlock actionable tactics to measure search marketing success
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Unlock actionable tactics to measure search marketing success

Unlock actionable tactics to measure search marketing success Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n...
Google Search Console brings back request indexing tool
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Google Search Console brings back request indexing tool

Google Search Console brings back request indexing tool Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.versi...
[Quiz Result] Can a Food Truck Have a GMB Listing If They Don’t Have a Permanent Location?
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[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...
Google services were down including Google Ads, Google Analytics, Search Console & more
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Google services were down including Google Ads, Google Analytics, Search Console & more

Google services were down including Google Ads, Google Analytics, Search Console & more Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments...
The expansion of People Also Ask in the search results
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The expansion of People Also Ask in the search results

The expansion of People Also Ask in the search results Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.versio...
RSAs vs ETAs, how, when, and why PPC experts use them
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RSAs vs ETAs, how, when, and why PPC experts use them

RSAs vs ETAs, how, when, and why PPC experts use them Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='...
Alan Rabinowitz’s Google ranking & online reputation management tips
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Alan Rabinowitz’s Google ranking & online reputation management tips

Video: Alan Rabinowitz's Google ranking & online reputation management tips Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.pu...
Live, interactive search marketing workshops start tomorrow!
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Live, interactive search marketing workshops start tomorrow!

Live, interactive search marketing workshops start tomorrow! Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n....
Bing Webmaster Tools adds Microsoft Clarity integration
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Bing Webmaster Tools adds Microsoft Clarity integration

Bing Webmaster Tools adds Microsoft Clarity integration Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.versi...
Google Maps local listing now showing web search results
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Google Maps local listing now showing web search results

Google Maps local listing now showing web search results Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!...
Google to move the Structured Data testing tool to schema.org
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Google to move the Structured Data testing tool to schema.org

Google to move the Structured Data testing tool to schema.org Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n...
Don’t miss the SMX 2021 event lineup
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Don’t miss the SMX 2021 event lineup

Don't miss the SMX 2021 event lineup Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0';n.queue=...
Joe Beccalori on the diminishing value of organic
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Joe Beccalori on the diminishing value of organic

Video: Joe Beccalori on the diminishing value of organic Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.vers...
Eternal testing, the key to Facebook Ads success
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Eternal testing, the key to Facebook Ads success

SMX Overtime: Eternal testing, the key to Facebook Ads success Your privacy means the world to us. We share your personal information only when you give us explicit permission to do so, and confirm we have your permission each time. Learn more by viewing our privacy policy.Ok !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s){if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n; n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n....