Local SEO Tips - February 2023

Local SEO Videos

I've shot several detailed videos on Local SEO that I recommend you check out…

…if you don't want to watch the videos, you can scroll down the page for the text content.

Here's a full Local SEO Course:

Ranking in the Google Maps is critical for some local businesses.

Basically, if Google is serving up maps listings within its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), then Local SEO is absolutely critical to your success.

The good news is that there are some excellent Local SEO Tools available to help you rank easier, quicker, and better.

Here is a picture of what it looks like when maps listings are showing up in your SERPs:

Reasons why ranking in the Maps SEO (AKA Google Snack Pack) is Critical:

  • You used to be able to see the first few non maps organic SEO results below the maps on the 1st page after your search.  No longer because Google has made the paid ads section larger over time.  Therefore, if you want to be seen at all, you HAVE to be in the maps
  • On mobile devices, the ranking in the organic Maps section becomes even more important since there's even less screen real estate. With increased mobile traffic, ranking your maps listing becomes more valuable over time.
  • The Maps organic listings stand out strongly with their brightly colored reviews, so they get a lot of attention from searchers
  • Having a highly reviewed business on your Google My Business page (GMB page/listing), is a huge sign of trust and increases your conversions and sales and not just your traffic.  Check out here how to get reviews on your GMB page.

You can't rank if you GMB listing Suspended:

Approximate Transcription of the 2022 Local SEO Tips Video:

This video is about local SEO tips for 2022. And beyond or GMB, SEO or maps SEO. Basically, for local businesses, the maps listings what you see down here have become more and more prominent over the last several years and they made more searches localized. You can see in this example, there's not even a Dallas there's not a city modifier, obviously plumbers, and every pretty much every search phrase are going to rank for the first organic results. The first non paid results are going to be maps, you see these, these are paid. So some people call what goes down below the the maps listings organic and then they call the other one maps. But to me, they're both organic, you got maps, organic, and non maps organic, let's go down to and there's even like I tried to, I made it, I have a huge screen, and I made it as big as I could, and I still couldn't see the first result.

So these maps listings are super important. And now, now more than ever, and I think they're going to continue to be this way. If you look, again, let's do Dallas plumber, it's a little bit better results, we get the ad and then we can see the Baker Brothers down there as the first result, again, I had to make the screen really the first result that make the screen really, really big. And so but ranking in the maps is very important. It's I call it the VIP line. Because it's the first place where people really see it, it soaks up most of the traffic for searches like this, and Google makes more money this way. If I click on this listing, versus this one, they still have an opportunity to sell me ads. When I click through and it goes to it goes through listing, there's there's more you'll see more ads, as opposed to if I click here, now I'm off their platform, they get more data as well.

So Google likes where this is going because Google as much as you might guess, they like to make money there. They're still a public company that's accountable to shareholders. So maps is huge, it's not going away. It's super important. And I'm going to give you some tips in this video along with I'll put some links to this below. There's a free maps SEO master plan and guide that I'll put a link to below. And then there's a maps SEO paid training course that you can, you can check out as well to get more more detail on on what's what's going on here in terms of what you can do to increase your maps rankings. So first is I would say like proper raincheck tracking. And that means that you need to track geo grids. And I'll put a link to I've got a link to local biking as well. And I still see, even in experienced SEO groups, I still see people and it's hard to tell people Hey, you're just thinking about this wrong because then thinking about it this way for so long. I rank x in the maps or they'll be like,

Hey, I'm ranking six in the maps and I can't go beyond that What's wrong, and it's sort of like well, but that's not really how it works anymore. You can't really say this unless you rank really really well I've had some cases where it's like number one across everything okay, I ranked number one in the maps that makes sense. But here it's more a geo grid thing so each one of these dots is one about one mile apart. And if you're not tracking this you're not really you don't really you can't really say how you're ranking and there's some opportunities to talk about below that you won't know to try to do you want to figure out Oh, this this this would actually help me rank better.

And and because Google's algorithm over the last couple years it's heavily influenced by where the searcher searching from and what and how much your Google My Business Page (how to setup a GMB) is kind of digitally geographically relevant to that location. Let's give another example This one's a little bit more stark. You have number one right here number 16 you know a mile to the east or I think that's a little bit of a blip I bet if I were to rerun that this would be number one or not quite so bad but you've got for number one and number seven number one and number five or one I mean these are all just a mile apart at mile one number one to not ranking at all and so you know again, what would you say if someone were to say well I'm what I'm ranking what in the maps for this one there's there's no number that you can really pick even if you were to average these that still doesn't really tell you the situation.

You need a more complex tool and I keep harping on this with people but it's hard to hear it because it's something so new if you haven't heard it before, so make sure you're doing that and if you are doing that great if you're not check out the local Viking link below and I'll also put a link there's a there's a video I did a review video I did for that as well.

Okay, so also what what goes on on your website that you have connected to the Google My Business Page has a pretty big effect on what you rank for. So for longtail, so let's say for a plumber, if you want to rank for Tankless Hot Water Heater Installation, and you have no content, no pages about that on your It's gonna be hard for your Google My Business Page to rank for that, even if you smash it into the Google My Business back end a bunch of times.

On the flip side, if you have a nice page about hot water heater insulation that Google can find and crawl and likes, then that is going to dramatically increase it has to be anywhere on your site. Really, it doesn't have to be content on the GMB URL, the URL that's inside the Google My Business Page, if someone were to click from the Google My Business to the website, that isn't necessarily that doesn't have to necessarily be the URL that has the hot water heater, you just have to have a page on your site about that. And that's actually pretty substantial. And you know, what the URLs are for your for your pages, it's a little bit beyond the scope of this video to tell you exactly what to do with the URLs because there's a lot of little things that you can do. And also what your Google might what URLs go into your Google My Business Page. So not just what goes in your Google My Business Page, but also the normal URLs, how you do a multi location business, you know, you don't want to have the URLs be just all homepage URL. So this is a big mistake that a lot of businesses make, you want separate URLs for each one, and then you should be set up as a specific way. And then how all your pages interlink actually matters a lot.

In terms of, you know, you want to be linking to your Google My Business URLs in a specific way. And those should link out to other URLs as well. And here's a quick tip, point of interest pages. So back to the your relevance to specific places, let's there's a really good analogy I've thought of on this, which is, if you're let's say you're at a train station, alright, and you're looking for a burger place. And there's one that is actually physically closer if you're driving. But then there's another one that's technically further but it's at the next train stop or the next. It's not the next train stop, right? That one actually is going to be have an extra bit of digital relevance because Google is going to be where, okay, you were at a train station, and it's going to part of its algorithm is going to look along that train station, or it's going to understand that that location is actually relevant to where you're at. So this means that you don't actually have to be physically closer than everything that does help your actual location is a huge part of it.

But there's other relevant factors. So when you go to create point of interest pages, or you know pages about our content on your site about things you want to create digital relevance to, if you're not tracking a geogrid, then you don't know where to go. So like, in this case, oh, we let's find something near the seventh spot, and put some content on our site about it or put make a GMB post about it. In this case, it's it becomes it could be a lot more wasteful. So over here to the kind of the Northeast, I could create point of interest pages till I'm blue in the face, it doesn't really help me, as opposed to creating point of interest pages down to the southwest, that's going to be much more useful. Right? Again, if you're not tracking the drag geogrids, then it's that's why it's why someone asked this question. It's like, Oh, I need How do I rank better and, you know, I rank this and this and it's like, well, you need to take a step back, and you need to figure out how you're actually ranking. And I'll put a link to there's a cool local promise tool that's super easy to use. And I did a review of that as well. And I'll put a link to that below. That really makes it pretty quick and easy and pretty cool point of interest pages. Okay, so there's another

factor that is important. I think it's become more important over time I've noticed, you know, if if I have a GMB and I just like never log into it. I think it's slowly loses kind of traction and trust in Google's eyes. And this could be as simple as just logging into it. I think that just logging in and poking around and looking at the insights and is is a safety. It's a a trust factor in and of itself. You know, a lot of people talk about GMB posts. I think part of what GMB posts do is they show activity and I think that's the primary benefit that you get from them. I've done GMB post testing and it was not super impressed.

I know that some people like it, and again, I think that their ground about doing something they could do other ways. So for example, responding to reviews, adding photos, adding or updating the GMB business website, adding or updating services, adding special hours adding a description, all of these things you can do and you could just have like a VA going okay, once a month go in and I mean literally five to 10 minutes they could spend, just find one of these things, do something and then log and then log off, boom, okay, that that's going to increase the trust over Google My Business Page. And it's it's one of the factors for what I would call a Google My Business safety. So part of what happens here is Google really is cracked down on GBS and a lot of genuine business owners are getting hit as a result so people who legitimately should have a Google My Business Page. I mean, that's that's an arguable word legitimate, but that like a like a plumber or a restaurant or something like that maybe not a restaurant, but certain niches, it's definitely much more likely to get immediately suspended upon receiving the letter, or you have it for a few months and then it gets suspended. Okay. And there are some there are some best practices here that don't really see other people talking about and I'm basing this off of tons of testing that I've done and plenty of GMB suspensions. And this is a lot of extra work and I've tried to get my clients to do it and even for my own lead gen properties. I'm not perfect about this but if you want maximum safety one Google account per GMB Okay, that that means you can't have one be a manager of all of them. One. account is tied to one GMB. All right. I know this is a pain but what can happen is you know, I had a I had an account with a good bit of GM bees in it. And there were some just random GM bees from from multiple projects.

I did some I was testing some some naughty stuff in there. And I thought just the GMB that I was working on with no, they all went down. And every time I did this in probably about three or four different accounts and every single GMB in those accounts that that that account was that Google account was tied to went down. Okay, so now i'm not saying that even if you're not doing sketchy things, or not trying things out, things still happen. Google still shuts down businesses just kind of on a whim, you know, your competitor will report you and they'll be like, Oh, you're you're suspended and look at everything else in your account. And who knows, maybe the guy who's looking at it, they're not I mentioned they're looking at hundreds if not 1000s of accounts a day. And he's just like, screw it, I'm just gonna I'm just gonna suspend all these because why not. And then the good luck getting those back, it's a pain in the butt to get Google My Business accounts back. And so that that was that without I lost? You know, in my lead gen stuff, I lost probably 20 25% of my IGN B's over the course of like a week,

about a year ago. And it was because of this because I wasn't being maximally safety maximally safe. And as I mentioned above, just log in every once in a while and be active and that's going to be a safety factor. The GMB business name so one of the biggest ranking factors is having keywords in your business name and I think they've turned us down a little bit but it's still really important. So if you want to rank for Dallas plumber, having Dallas plumber in your ads, your business name is going to help you that said it dramatically increases the closer you get to the exact keyword, the more likely you are to be suspended and the harder it will be to get it back. And so you know you can technically the GMB business name is supposed to be the exact business name as you would have in an LLC which is why I try to have business names that are that have keywords in them but that don't look spammy so they have a little bit of flavor Joe's plumbing company instead of just plumbing company or Joe's plumbing company Dallas, you're not supposed to technically have the city name in it but there's a lot of franchises that where it's like oh, you know I'm this franchise and I owned and I own the Dallas territory so I'm franchise Dallas, so that I do get away with that a lot. The city name you can usually put the city name in there but I would never any more do an exact match business name.

I had a client that came to me and their GMB had been suspended and it was their business name. It wasn't it was super wildly aggressive. I was like Oh that one of their guys learn Hey, business name matters. So they just stuffed like four or five keywords in the business name. It was ridiculous. I was like oh change this. And then you'll get your and then request a reinstatement they did that they got it back really quickly. They were very grateful 234 months in I can't remember the rankings weren't as good and they were like well our rank isn't as good as just like yeah, the putting smashing the keywords in the GMB business name does help with rankings but you're gonna you're you're you're walking a fine line here and the chances of you getting suspended are really high especially the way they were doing. But this guy I don't know he put them back in and they got suspended again and it was like I told you what do you there's not What do you want me to do you know it's gonna take longer it's a longer road when you have a less aggressive business name because the GMB business name does affect a lot and this is why Google is targeting and they're looking at that a lot. So just kind of the normal SEO stuff also matters. So the the higher up you rank for let's say Dallas plumber your your domain is the the the easier it will be for your GMB to rank off page matters.

So the way you get your citations matters as part of off page entity SEO for your brand. How trusted your brand is, you know like McDonald's has a very trusted brand. At least in Google's eyes so you know they set up a GMB location it's very unlikely to get suspended and it if it was trying to rank for something it would you know rank very easily. So the overall business entity along with the GMB is a separate entity as well. The GMB entity stuff matters. The engagement on your site that Google is tracking and the on page as I mentioned above just the normal stuff. So you know that those are the five tips and I think that those by itself can make a huge difference for you. But obviously in like 15 minutes, I can't explain to you all that there is to know about maps SEO, if you want to know more. There's a free maps SEO master plan. I'll put a link to that below. And then there's a not free maps SEO ninja training course where I go into a great amount of detail and all the techniques that I use. And yeah, so if you liked this video, please like if you have any questions, please put a comment below. I'll definitely respond to it. Subscribe for more videos like this. Thanks for watching and have a good day.



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