Sunday, March 7Digital Marketing Journals

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12 Proven Local SEO Tips to Dominate the SERPs and Map Pack
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

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 ...
Core Web Vitals and the Page Experience Update: What They Mean for Local Businesses
Blog, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local SEO, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

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...
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...
7 Local Marketing Measurement Best Practices for Times of Crisis
googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local Search, Marketing Analytics, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

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...
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...
Star Rating Now Showing in Google Review Summary
Blog, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, News, Reputation Management, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

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...
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...
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 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 ...
Expert Local SEO Predictions for 2021
Blog, googe optimize, Google My Business, google optimization, google seo, Local SEO, News, pagerank, paid search, Reputation Management, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, seo services

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...
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 ...
[Quiz Result] Can a Food Truck Have a GMB Listing If They Don’t Have a Permanent Location?
Advanced Local SEO Training, GMB, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, pagerank, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo services

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

Posted Dec 22, 2020 by Colan Nielsen This is part 1 in a series of posts that will dive into the questions, and answers, from the 2020 Local SEO Blackbelt Quiz. If you haven’t taken the quiz, head over there now and give it a shot.  Here are the scores from the following quiz question. Can a food truck have a GMB listing if they don’t have a permanent location? We had over 900 respondents answer this question. Here’s how the answers break down. The correct answer is Yes.Food Trucks are businesses but are often unable to use Google My Business due to their inability t...
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...
What You Need To Know About Google Local Services Ads
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What You Need To Know About Google Local Services Ads

Google’s Local Services ads (aka LSA, Google Guaranteed ads, Local Services by Google, Google Local Services) is a pay per lead advertising platform that has expanded across the United States, and in Canada (excluding Quebec) but limited to 4 business categories. Below is a list of the eligible business categories Google has set for Local Services ads. Nationwide CategoriesAppliance repair services Bankruptcy law services Business law services Carpenter services Carpet cleaning services Cleaning services Contract law services Countertop services Criminal law services Disability law services DUI law services Electricians (available in Canada) Estate lawyer services Family law services Fencing services Junk removal services Financial planning services Flooring services Foundation...
Trade Secrets for Online Marketing in 2020
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Trade Secrets for Online Marketing in 2020

May 15, 2020 John Vuong Business advice, Online marketing, SEO How can you be successful with online marketing in 2020? Unfortunately, there’s not a single sure-fire strategy. Instead, online marketing relies on having a toolbox of tactics that you use regularly. A lot of small businesses wonder what should be in their toolbox. Are you missing a key strategy? Are you still relying on old tools that no longer work? It’s time to find out!Here are the tricks of the trade when ...
Is COVID-19 the End of “Google As Your New Homepage”?
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Is COVID-19 the End of “Google As Your New Homepage”?

Like my post? Please share! Over the years, we’ve seen Google add so much stuff to the search results that we’ve concluded Google doesn’t even want searchers to click through to your website, because (Google assumes) everything people want to know is right there in the search results.  Some smart people in the local-search space have called that slow transformation “Google as your new homepage.”  Who needs to see your homepage when Google can save people a click or tap? As with so many other things, COVID-19 will probably change that.  At least in the crazy world of search, it seems the big lesson is: we still need to click. Google’s local search results are affected by the disruption and (to a lesser extent) contribute to it.  In the long haul, that may us a little less reliant on them...
How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
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How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool from Google that helps business owners manage their online presence across the search engine and its growing portfolio of utilities.Seasoned SEO professionals use GMB listings to leverage a location-based strategyCreating a GMB listing is the first step to local search success.And for good reason.GMB offers the greatest impact for brands seeking local exposure.A feature like Google’s Local Search emphasizes the need for a GMB listing for both new and established businesses.It gives a list of businesses nearby and a lot of information needed to find a specific business like:Business address.Business hours.Category.Reviews.Google’s Knowledge Graph also utilizes verified Google My Business information.AdvertisementContinue Reading BelowIt helps gener...
2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Presentation
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2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Presentation

2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Presentation - Whitespark The 2020 Local Search Ranking Factor survey results are in! I just presented the top highlights and takeaways at Whitespark’s Local Search Summit, and the slide deck is available below. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post and resource with the complete a...
Don’t Miss These Online Marketing Techniques for 2020
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Don’t Miss These Online Marketing Techniques for 2020

May 22, 2020 John Vuong Business advice, Internet marketing, Online marketing, SEO As a small business owner, it may feel like there’s simply too much to do. You need to manage your business and grow your products and services, but that means little if people aren’t aware of your business. The good news is that online marketing strategies can make your job easier. Being able to reach people remotely can save you both time and money.Even better, if you don’t have time to man...
Doable Examples of Online/Remote Services Offered by Local Businesses
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Doable Examples of Online/Remote Services Offered by Local Businesses

Like my post? Please share! While everything and everyone is on lockdown, how can a “local” business still bring in a little revenue?  How can you set yourself up for a strong comeback?  And how can you do it from your yurt? As you might guess, you do it by offering an online or “tele” version of at least one of your services.  Customers / clients / patients may need to keep their distance, but many still want or need now what you offer.  Only a video, phone, or other online option meets both of those needs. The problem now is you’re not sure where to begin, because you don’t have examples or blueprints of online-only services that you can adapt to your situation. I’m not saying a remote option is an option for every business.  Some businesses can only do their work in-person, and don’t...
A Complete Local SEO Checklist
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A Complete Local SEO Checklist

A local search strategy is incredibly important.For community businesses and businesses looking to take advantage of mobile, as well as new and changing consumer behaviors, having a local SEO plan is now a necessity more than an option.Customers across all industry types are searching for the best products and services near them – and this does not just mean retail and ecommerce.They want local answers and services fast.One of the significant differences between local SEO and “regular” SEO is how you target customers.However, the differences don’t stop there.As local consumers look for better and more relevant experiences, “near me” searches continue to rise.About 46% of all Google searches have local intent.Consumers with smartphones are increasingly using GPS-based apps to search for ...
Google Review Attributes, Local Link Building & UTM Tagging Guide for GMB
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Google Review Attributes, Local Link Building & UTM Tagging Guide for GMB

Meh, Links: A process for identifying local links that generate customers, leads, and search visibility Gyi is well known in local search circles for his catch-phrase “meh, links” which is the most succinct way of saying,“All other SEO factors considered, it’s probably the links that are making the difference in why one business is outranking another”You will hear a lot from people within the industry that “links are way oversold, all you’ve got to do is create great content, fix your site, incorporate searcher intent, create for users, add Schema…” Yes, all of that is important… BUT the difference maker is the links. Re-frame your mindset around local link building, especially in competitive verticals.  It’s time to correct your myopic view on link building and stop thinki...
Reopening Checklist for Local Businesses: Make It Confusion-Free, Local SEO-Friendly, and Safe
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Reopening Checklist for Local Businesses: Make It Confusion-Free, Local SEO-Friendly, and Safe

Like my post? Please share! No matter how operational your business has been, or how “open” it can be now, or how your goals have changed, sooner or later your local search visibility again will be one of your sorest spots.  Whether that’s already happened or is still a while off, at the very least you don’t want your local SEO to be in worse shape than it was before the lockdown. There’s a good chance you’ve been open in some capacity this whole time.  So when I say “reopening” I’m referring to whenever you’re (1) welcoming more in-person business and (2) focusing more of your local SEO effort on drumming up that in-person business.  My guess is you’re not emerging suddenly.   Of course, I don’t know your specific situation, so I assume it’s safe and legal for you to “reopen” in one ma...
Location Page Technical Audits, Local SEO for Hotels & Building Relevance
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Location Page Technical Audits, Local SEO for Hotels & Building Relevance

Location Page Technical Audits, Local SEO for Hotels & Building Relevance | #WLSS Day 2 Recap Day 2 of our Local Search Summit was filled with lessons in link building, GMB suspensions, technical SEO, local services ads, email marketing, and more. Today we are shining a spotlight on the technical side of locati...
Top 10 Dentists in Toronto, Canada in 2020
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Top 10 Dentists in Toronto, Canada in 2020

July 28, 2020 John Vuong The Top 10 If you need dental work, you know that you need a reputable dentist. Going to the dentist is a top fear for many people, and having the right professional makes a big difference. How do you know which dentist in Toronto, Canada to choose? This list of the top ten dentists will give you a great place to start. Whether you need a simple cleaning or a more significant procedure, these dentists are professionals you can trust.Top 10 Dentists ...
Free SEO Help for Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Hurt by Looting & Rioting in 2020
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Free SEO Help for Small, Locally-Owned Businesses Hurt by Looting & Rioting in 2020

Like my post? Please share! If you’re part of a small and locally owned business that’s been looted or trashed by rioters in recent days – or if you know someone in that situation – I’m glad to provide some pro bono marketing / SEO help.  All you’d need to do is contact me, though you’ll probably want to read the rest of this post for context. Many problems marketing just can’t solve, of course.  But I can think of at least a few situations in which a little well-executed local SEO or other online marketing helps your business get by for at least a while longer.  For example:Your store or office is boarded-up or not staffed, so you need to offer a mobile, home-based, or online/virtual service. Your store is destroyed, but you can sell some of your products online and ship them. You’re...
How Do You Keep Your Clients Engaged?
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How Do You Keep Your Clients Engaged?

We Asked the Experts is a series designed to provide you with the most relevant insights from local search experts. Each month we’ll cover a different question and share insights from key figures in the local SEO community in an effort to help you further your knowledge and strategy. Have any of the following ever happened to you?You’ve got a handful of clients, but you never or rarely have calls with them You do have calls with your clients but you have to send a bunch of emails before you can get them on the phone You share links to reports with clients, but have no idea if they’re reading them Your client is resistant to your input or ideas Your clients still won’t follow your advice and respond to customer reviewsIf you’re sitting there nodding your head, then I’m afraid to say...
SEO Techniques For Multiple Location BusinessesBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA
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SEO Techniques For Multiple Location BusinessesBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA

Every business no matter how big or small, whether serving one location or several, needs the unique customer pulling techniques of search engine optimization (SEO). If you run a business that provides local services, SEO that helps a customer easily find your service can work wonders in improving your business and profits. A Local SEO company is characterized with pulling massive traffic and boosting sales significantly for their clients. For businesses serving a handful of locations, SEO is simpler but for multiple or several locations, it becomes a little complicated. Managing reviews, location based optimization and content management can get tricky and hard to stay organized. Before we move on to provide you a detailed strategy to implement local SEO, let’s look at some cr...
How to Create Location Landing Pages that Convert & Local SEO Reporting with Google Tag Manager
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How to Create Location Landing Pages that Convert & Local SEO Reporting with Google Tag Manager

How to Create Location Landing Pages that Convert & Local SEO Reporting with Google Tag Manager - Whitespark That’s a wrap for Day 3 and our Local Search Summit is now complete!  Our last day included talks on reputation management, Local Services Ads, LinkedIn partnerships, analytics, link building, spam-fight...
Are Local Services Ads Stealing Clicks from Google My Business? A Case Study of 110 Listings
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Are Local Services Ads Stealing Clicks from Google My Business? A Case Study of 110 Listings

Posted Dec 8, 2020 by Joy Hawkins In September 2020, Google rolled out Local Services Ads (LSA) to lawyers across the United States.  The rollout happened fast and since lawyers generally focus a lot on marketing, we weren’t surprised to see so many law firms sign up for the platform very quickly. I have heard many people ask if Local Services Ads (LSA) are essentially stealing clicks that would have otherwise gone to the local pack results (Google My Business listings) if the ads weren’t present.  We wanted to see what the data is telling us so far. Methodology In this case study, we look...
Prepare Your Business to Thrive Post-COVID-19
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Prepare Your Business to Thrive Post-COVID-19

August 19, 2020 John Vuong Business advice, SEO In March, when things started to shut down in Canada, many people assumed it would be a matter of weeks before things were back to normal. That has not been the case – months later, most areas are still closed and many nations continue to experience increases in detected cases. All is not lost, however – there are promising advances in vaccine trials and a variety of other good news. Canada is working on plans to reopen now that...
Want to End Your Lease But Not Your Local SEO? Factors to Consider If You Might Leave It Behind
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Want to End Your Lease But Not Your Local SEO? Factors to Consider If You Might Leave It Behind

Like my post? Please share! Now you’re looking at your lease through the local SEO lens.  A combination of the pandemic, the lockdown(s), the quasi-reopening, and other changes has made you want to save money where you can, or work from home indefinitely, or move your HQ.  The basic concern is, “Will I destroy my local rankings if I rent somewhere else or stop renting altogether?” Your more-specific questions might include:Should you stay in your current building? If you stay, how long should you stay? If you move, which address (old or new) should you show online? Should you stop showing your address online? How important is your exact address, in the grand scheme of local SEO?The answer to those questions and others in a similar bucket is: “it depends.”  It depends on a lot of fac...
Grow Your Small Business Effectively With Digital Marketing StrategiesBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA
Advanced SEO Techniques, Digital Marketing Services, Digital Marketing Strategies, googe optimize, google optimization, google seo, Local SEO, Local Seo Packages, local seo services, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, SEO For Small Business, seo services

Grow Your Small Business Effectively With Digital Marketing StrategiesBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA

In today’s highly competitive business era, advertising is essential for all businesses. However, small businesses usually lack big budget for advertising purposes. Hence, such businesses find it challenging to compete against their competitors, especially if their competitors are big brands and well-known companies. Small businesses have to face many hurdles and challenges to grow and beat the market competition. They need to tackle all the difficulties and challenges to succeed and grow.Such businesses need to consider the constantly changing behavior of their targeted customers. It is significant to understand what target customers are expecting from the business. No business can deny that most customers today prefer online shopping. It is expected that the craze of online...
What is a Google Guaranteed GMB Listing? How Do I Upgrade my Profile to get the badge?
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What is a Google Guaranteed GMB Listing? How Do I Upgrade my Profile to get the badge?

More importantly, from a consumer perspective the Google Guarantee acts as protection from poor quality of service, up to a lifetime maximum of $2,000. So if you hire a business and the work quality is extremely low and you can’t resolve it with the business, you can submit a claim to Google.  How much does it cost to upgrade your GMB profile? Google advertises Google Guaranteed upgraded business profiles for $50USD/month and is subscription based, so if you cancel – bye bye badge.  What are the add-ons that are included? Google mentions additional add-ons in their advertisement within the GMB dashboard, these include recorded phone calls and dedicated support. Enabling the upgrade creates a Local Services Ads account, so this will likely utilize the same interface as LSA offers to ...
How do I Contact Google My Business Support?
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How do I Contact Google My Business Support?

Posted Dec 14, 2020 by Joy Hawkins Updated June 29, 2020 If you’re looking in your Google My Business dashboard and no longer seeing a call button, you’re not alone, many in the local SEO industry have been frustrated by the recent changes in how to contact GMB support.  Over the last few months, Google My Business has consolidated virtually all of their support contact forms into one single form. As of today, the only way to contact GMB support is through this form. Alternatively, you can still find that same form inside the GMB dashboard, which we will outline below. Email Finding email ...
Google Local Services Reviews Not Showing in Google Maps? Why That Happens and What to Do
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Google Local Services Reviews Not Showing in Google Maps? Why That Happens and What to Do

Like my post? Please share! Many businesses use Google’s Local Services Ads (AKA “Google Guaranteed”) program to show up at the very top of the local results – above all the other ads, and above the local map (AKA the 3-pack).Local Services Ads (LSAs) are still not an option for every business, and they’re not a good option for everyone, but they often earn their keep for the businesses that do use them – if my clients’ experiences are good indicators.  By which I mean people see the ads, click on them, and in some cases become customers.  (If you’d like to know more, Tom Waddington did a great overview of LSAs.) Google even makes it extra easy to ask customers for reviews: Google gives you a special “write a review” link (different from the Google My Business one) and encourages you ...
Digital Marketing Practices To Follow During The COVID-19Best SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA
Business advice, coronavirus, covid-19, Digital Marketing Services, Digital Marketing Strategies, googe optimize, Google, google optimization, google seo, nCov-19, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, SEO, seo company, SEO For Small Business, seo services

Digital Marketing Practices To Follow During The COVID-19Best SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA

We all know that the COVID-19 breakout has slowed down the markets. In this lockdown/quarantine situation, you can still grow your business and take advantage of the massive customer base, if doing nothing but browsing most of the time. Unique businessmen think of this crisis as an opportunity in disguise. Let’s discuss some ways in which you can maximize this time to grow your business and bounce back when the time is right. Strengthen Bond with customers on social mediaUse your business’ social networking accounts to connect with customers and target them. Don’t push for sales or conversions.  More people are logging on social media, and they need to be in communication. People are information hungry right now and if you can provide it to them it will add to your cred...
How to Create a Dynamic Travel Sector Reviews Strategy
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How to Create a Dynamic Travel Sector Reviews Strategy

Without going over the impacts that the Coronavirus has had on the travel sector, one thing for certain is that it has highlighted the importance of both dynamism and agility within SEO strategies for the travel sector.At the heart of any good SEO strategy is a base level content strategy.From this base level, you can design and develop an agile reviews strategy that not only helps achieve your SEO objectives but also your wider business objectives:Greater brand awareness.More leads.Greater return custom.When working with travel companies, a common rabbit hole they fall into is the notion that to rank for specific keywords you need exceptional lengths of prose.For a lot of informational queries, this is true, but in travel, there’s only so many times you can phrase “golden sandy beach.”...
2020 Holiday Guide to Google My Business
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2020 Holiday Guide to Google My Business

This year, the holidays will look very different for most of us. The pandemic has affected us all in different ways and its effects are far reaching across economies and consumer habits. Here at Whitespark, we love local businesses and strive to create useful free resources for small businesses owners and marketers on this blog. We know this has been a challenging year for you, your families, and your business. We wish you and yours a happy holiday season! Adapting Your Holiday Sales Strategy for COVID-19 According to Google’s latest consumer trend report, half of U.S. shoppers say the pandemic will affect how they’ll shop for the holidays this year. Shopping locally is more important than ever – but everyone’s looking for a deal. What’s a small business to do? We’ve created a ne...
When Can Google Maps / GMB Content Cause Google Ads Disapprovals?
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When Can Google Maps / GMB Content Cause Google Ads Disapprovals?

Like my post? Please share! Any restricted terms that find their way into your website’s source code can cause Google to disapprove your Google Ads (AdWords) ad – even if you didn’t personally add that content to your site.  That’s the short answer. “Banned” terms that show up on your Google My Business page (like in your description) or on Google Maps (in the form of Google reviews) won’t prompt Google to pull your ads, as long as that content stays on your GMB page(s) or in your reviews.  You run into trouble only if a person or piece of software puts even one of those restricted terms onto your site.   By the way, I find it tiresome to call them “restricted terms” or “disallowed content” or whatever constitutes Google’s huge no-fly list of search terms in AdWords.  So from now on I’l...
Local SEO Workflows to Better Manage Your Google My Business Listing
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Local SEO Workflows to Better Manage Your Google My Business Listing

Want to learn how to keep returning customers engaged and convert new customers through your Google My Business listing?On October 28, I moderated a Search Engine Journal webinar sponsored by SEMrush and presented by Ross Tavendale, Managing Director at Type A Media.He walked through some simple workflows that small business owners can start doing today in order to work smarter with their Google My Business (GMB) listing.Here’s a recap of the presentation.Running a small business is hard.Often, as the owner of a small business, you are in charge of HR, finance, operations, sales, marketing and a million other things.In today’s fast-paced environment, if you’re just standing still and maintaining the status quo, that actually means that over time your business will experience attrition a...
LocalMailbag: What Are the Critical Elements of a High Converting Local Contact Us Page?
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LocalMailbag: What Are the Critical Elements of a High Converting Local Contact Us Page?

Many businesses treat their contact page as just a place to put a plain old contact form or address, but it needs to be so much more than that! If you give this humble page the attention it deserves, the pay off can be extremely rewarding for your business, winning you more customers and bringing in high quality leads on a regular basis. Here are the absolute must-haves for a winning contact page that actually converts site visitors into paying customers.Business contact information Trust factors and social proof Strong location-specific content On-page optimization Including core business information also helps reinforce trust and build relevance in both Google and Bing, because it signals to these search engines that your business is legitimate and credible.  Inc...
Who Keeps Updating My Google My Business Listing?
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Who Keeps Updating My Google My Business Listing?

Posted Dec 14, 2020 by Nikki Brown We often see posts on the Local Search Forum from people wondering why business details on their Google My Business (GMB) listings (name of the listing, categories, business hours, phone number, etc.) have changed without their knowledge or consent. Unauthorized changes on GMB (no matter how minor they seem) can lead to major issues with ranking and tracking.  It can also show customers the wrong information about your business. The best way to make sure you’re sending the right message to your clients on GMB is to monitor your listings for unauthorized e...
Top 10 SEO Companies in Canada Ranked
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Top 10 SEO Companies in Canada Ranked

October 29, 2020 John Vuong The Top 10 Are you on the hunt for the most trusted search engine optimization (SEO) all over Canada? To narrow down your options, it’s best practice to compare the performance of the leading players in the industry and see if they can help you reach your goals. When executed right (and consistently), SEO can fuel the growth of your business. So it’s important to carefully assess if an SEO company has the skill and expertise to improve search engin...
10 Bootstrap Ways to Grab More of Your Service Area in Local Search
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10 Bootstrap Ways to Grab More of Your Service Area in Local Search

Like my post? Please share! You’re probably frustrated by the puny patch of land in which you rank for anything.  How can you grab at least a little more of your service area? It takes work, but you can rank in (and get more business from) places beyond the one city or few towns where you rank today.  Those gains will happen mostly in the local organic results, but most strategies can drag your Google Maps rankings along, too. Here’s a video of my talk at the recent Whitespark Local Search Summit, hosted by Darren Shaw.  It’s called “10 Bootstrap Ways to Grab More of Your Service Area in Local Search,” and I hope it gives you some doable ideas for how to do exactly that. If you want a handy reference, or if you don’t need my color commentary or the Q&A at the end, here is a one-page...
The Role of Artificial Intelligence In Improving SEOBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA
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The Role of Artificial Intelligence In Improving SEOBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA

Customers are out there searching for the right services and products that you as a business are claiming to provide. They are using every means available to them to look for products, services, and information that they need. They are looking for genuine and good products and service providers on search engines, local business searches, using different platforms like mobile and tools like voice search. The point of all this is that your customer is looking for you desperately and it is you who has to meet them halfway. Be where your customers are and seize the opportunity. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key method to do this. It establishes your presence in all the locations where there is a probability of consumers looking for you. SEO ranks your website where it matte...
How to Create Google My Business Posts That Get Results
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How to Create Google My Business Posts That Get Results

Having a Google My Business (GMB) profile is one of the best ways to get attention for your local business and boost your rankings.With so many features, working with GMB can get overwhelming.One feature worth using: Google My Business Posts.Posts give you the ability to promote your brand, services, products, events, and offers.GMB posts are displayed at the bottom of your Google My Business Knowledge Panel and are a great way to show off what your business has to offer.Get Familiar with the GMB Posts PolicyCreating posts are fairly easy to do, but before you make posts, it’s important that you are familiar with Google My Business Posts content policy.You want to make sure that you know what is and what isn’t cool when it comes to posts.If you violate GMB posts policies, your post will...
How Does Google My Business Penalize Keyword Stuffing: 50 Examples [Case Study]
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How Does Google My Business Penalize Keyword Stuffing: 50 Examples [Case Study]

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

November 26, 2020 Bryan Cinco Internet marketing, Online marketing, SEO There’s only so much you can do on your website to get more traffic and increase user’s awareness of your brand. To widen your reach across the internet and make it easier for your target customers to find you, applying the best practices for off-page SEO is a must. What Is Off-Page SEO? It describes any actions performed outside your own website to improve your rankings on search engine results pages. Di...
Goofiest Local SEO Metrics and Better Numbers for You to Watch
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Goofiest Local SEO Metrics and Better Numbers for You to Watch

Like my post? Please share! It’s hard enough to pilot your business into Google’s local search results and pick up the right customers.  That’s even harder if your instruments point you in the wrong direction, or you look at them wrong, or you look at the wrong instruments. In local SEO it’s easy to waste precious time and energy on goals that don’t matter, problems that don’t exist, or showy numbers that obscure important numbers.  The end result is you waste time and work less on what affects your business the most, and generally achieve the opposite of what you want.   I spend a lot of time with clients (long-term, audit, and consultation) homing in on one thing and tuning out another thing.  Below is a rundown of what I’ve found to be most common goofy and unimportant measurements o...
New Features, Updates and Tests Roundup
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New Features, Updates and Tests Roundup

UPDATED December 18th, 2020: Added news of Preview Call History rolling out to Google My Business As we approach Christmas, there seems to be no let-up in the fast pace of updates and tests in Google My Business. At BrightLocal, we may have been busy releasing a detailed piece of research, a complete guide to local SEO and an entire learning Academy, but that won’t stop us catching you up on all the latest Google My Business news over the past month. Between official updates, rumored tests and new features, there’s a lot to cover, so strap in! Google launches Small Business Advisors program In Mid-November, Google served up a new program designed to assist small businesses in the United States with their online marketing (using Google tools throughout, naturally).  For $39.99 per sessi...
How to Ready Your Business For Scalability? 4 Essential Steps To Avoid ObstaclesBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA
Advanced SEO Techniques, Business advice, business analysis, Digital Marketing Strategies, Email Marketing, googe optimize, Google, google optimization, google seo, search engine optimisation, search engine optimising, search engine optimization, Search Engines, SEO, seo company, seo services

How to Ready Your Business For Scalability? 4 Essential Steps To Avoid ObstaclesBest SEO Company | Professional Digital Marketing Agency USA

Setting up a business is one thing but growth and scalability are a totally different story. The metrics change drastically in the latter. It is true that the beginning stages for any business can be tough and complicated, however business owners must also think of ways to prepare for the future plans of scaling up and expansion. Once your business has traversed the road between setting up and scalability newer challenges begin to appear and the best way to mitigate them is to be ready and prepared. Scalability means growth and expansion which should be the target of every business. Without it, you start stagnating and your business ultimately ends in a stalemate. Scaling your business should be approached with caution, if you go too fast you can end up crashing and if you ...
The 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey Analysis
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The 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey Analysis

Back in September I presented the results of the 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors at Whitespark’s inaugural Local Search Summit, and today, finally, I am pleased to release the written analysis and full survey results. Sorry for the long delay! It has been a couple of years since I published the last Local Search Ranking Factors Survey results, and much has changed since then. Google continues to add new features to GMB, tactics and strategies are shifting, and Google is getting serious about monetizing local. Before I dive into my analysis, here’s the iconic pie chart that you’ve all been waiting for. This is how the local search experts think local pack/finder rankings are weighted in 2020: Side note: Particularly observant readers may have noticed that social sign...
How to Optimize Your Landing Page and Bring in Paying Customers
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How to Optimize Your Landing Page and Bring in Paying Customers

December 8, 2020 John Vuong Internet marketing A landing page is an important tool in turning page visitors into paying customers. A great landing page informs, persuades, and excites prospective customers about your offers. At a glance, landing pages seem so easy to make — until you track your data and find out that none of the dozens of pages you put out there are driving leads to your business! In this post, we give you simple yet effective ways to optimize your landing pa...
Next-Level Google Maps Spam-Squashing Moves
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Next-Level Google Maps Spam-Squashing Moves

Like my post? Please share! This is an unofficial sequel to my February 2019 post called “Google Maps Spam Patrol: Why You Need to Do It, and 10 Tips to Make It Doable.”  In that post I explain why you should keep your competitors’ Google Maps / 3-pack spam (or honest mistakes) from spinning out of control.  As I often tell my clients, if your competitors want to outrank you in the local search results, you might as well make them work for it and do it fair and square.   If you’re not too familiar with the idea and practical SOPs of spam patrol – or spam-fighting, spam-hunting, or whatever  you’d like to call it – you’ll probably want to take a few minutes to read that post (and maybe this one and this one). Now, if you’re clear on why and how to do Google Maps spam patrol, and maybe ...
The Year in Local Search – 2020
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The Year in Local Search – 2020

2020 has nearly come to an end (cue sighs of relief!)  While this year presented many challenges, especially for local businesses, it also created the opportunity for triumph. Google My Business introduced more new features than ever, and we saw the good side of many organizations that strived to provide extra resources and relief to those in need. Although we may all be glad to see the back of what’s been a pretty hectic year, we’d be remiss not to look back on all the exciting things that have taken place. For us, it’s been a year filled with GMB news, updates, and changes, and we even had some laughs along the way too, (Four Season Total Landscaping anyone?) So, before we say “so long” to 2020 for good, we invite you to join us in reflecting upon the year in local search.What woul...