12 Kinds of Growth in Local SEO
Local Visibility System
by Phil
2w ago
You don’t just want to become easier to find: you want to be harder to avoid.  Higher rankings make you more visible, but alone they don’t make you unavoidable.  Your goals will require more than that.  You need multiple ways to advance your goals, and not just 1 or 2. It’s like how there’s not just one way to grow your wealth.  You can get paid more, spend less, reduce your debt, reduce your tax burden, buy assets that appreciate, turn savings into investments, etc.  It’s similar in other situations, too: There are many different ways a farm can produce more food, a ..read more
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Photos & Local SEO: Simple Ways to Put More Notches on Your Belt with Images
Local Visibility System
by Phil
1M ago
The biggest problem with most advice on “image SEO” is it focuses too much on what images you should take and how you should take them.  Often that advice rests on an assumption that you’re in a photogenic line of work, where it’s both easy and wise to take photos of what you offer and where you offer it.  But what if your services appear only as brain waves in your head, your products are tough on the eyes, or your place of business looks like Sanford & Son’s?  Even if your photos don’t have the good looks, somehow you still need to give them legs. Another problem is much ..read more
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Review-Fu: 13 Nimble Ways to Get More and Better Reviews of Your Local Business
Local Visibility System
by Phil
2M ago
In your effort to get reviews that grow your cred and your business, it’s easy to get stale.  You ask the same people, in the same way, around the same time, for roughly the same favor.  You leave it alone unless and until there’s a big problem or a big gap in your armor.  Perhaps out of fear that you’ll try something worse, you won’t try something that might work better.  That’s fine SOP, except when you start losing business because your reviews aren’t as plentiful, prominent, or persuasive as they might be or as competitors’ reviews are. No review-rustling strategy is p ..read more
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Why Does One of Your Business Locations Outrank Another in the Google Maps Results?
Local Visibility System
by Phil
3M ago
There’s a long list of reasons one of your Google Business Profile pages might be riding high on the local map while another is buzzard bait.  My aim in this post is simple: to help you narrow down the list of possible causes, so you can make your weakest location more visible and bountiful.  To do that you’ll probably need to try something you haven’t tried or considered yet, or at least know what to expect. There will always be differences between locations of your business, of course.  Just as discrepancies are natural in the real world, they’re unavoidable in the search res ..read more
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Google Maps “Suggest an Edit” Loophole: 2nd Reports Approved (Sometimes)
Local Visibility System
by Phil
5M ago
When you use “suggest an edit” to report a business that’s spamming Google Maps, your standard operating procedure might go something like this: you send in only one report per Google Business Profile per violation, and you wait until Google approves or rejects it before you do anything else.  That’s not bad SOP, and often it’s good enough. But impatience can be a virtue – at least if you measure success by how many of your Google Maps anti-spam reports get approved, or by how quickly they’re approved.  Some forms of repetition Google ignores.  Other kinds of repetition seem to ..read more
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What Makes Some Google Maps Spam Stick?
Local Visibility System
by Phil
6M ago
Some businesses flout Google’s suggestions rules, moon their competitors, and are punished with great local rankings and plenty of businesses.  How do they get away with it? The reasons vary from case to case, but they’re always more specific than “duh” explanations like that “Google doesn’t care” (it doesn’t) or that some people play dirty pool (they do).  I don’t claim to know exactly what goes into Google’s internal decision-making.  But I have observed when a dubious Google Business Profile page is likely to be removed or fixed, and when it’s likely to linger and stink up t ..read more
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Why Google Search Console Is the Best Way to Measure, Track, and Troubleshoot Your Local SEO
Local Visibility System
by Phil
7M ago
What about Google Analytics, and GBP Insights, and third-party rank-trackers?  Each of those has its place in the world.  You may use them, and they may help.  But if you had to pick one way to measure how you’re doing in the local search results, one place to monitor progress, one tool to help you troubleshoot, Google Search Console is your best (or least-bad) choice.  In my experience, it’s the sturdiest buoy you can cling to. Whether you do your own local SEO, art part of a team that works on it, or are an SEO professional who needs to put out the occasional fire, here ..read more
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Local SEO Keyword Research Doggie Door: How and Why to Search Google Maps Reviews by Keyword
Local Visibility System
by Phil
8M ago
Here’s the doggie door, which I’ll explain in a minute: 1. Go to the Google Maps tab OR open up the Google Maps app and pull up any business that has a Google Business Profile. You must go either to maps.google.com or open the app, because this won’t work anywhere else, like in the Google Business Profile “dashboard,” in the Chrome app, etc. 2. Find the reviews and click on the “reviews” link, as though you’re a customer who wants to browse them. 3. Click on the magnifying glass icon, type any word or brief phrase into the search bar that pops up, and check out the list of all reviews contain ..read more
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Business Hours and Local SEO: 17 Ways to Use Your Hours for Maximum Boom
Local Visibility System
by Phil
9M ago
Business hours get no respect from local SEOs.  Rarely do we see them as a problem, or as a possible solution to problems.  That’s because we seldom scrutinize hours as we would other moving parts on a website, a Google Business Profile page, or anything else that can make a business visible or invisible locally.  If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably thought way more about your hours than your local SEO person has. Hours aren’t even one of those factors everybody works on but nobody writes about.  In the excellent 2023 Local Search Ranking Factors survey by Whitespa ..read more
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Starting Local SEO with Nothing: 30 Ways to Start Cold and Succeed
Local Visibility System
by Phil
10M ago
Are you starting your local SEO work at Customer #0, with few or no connections, few or no resources, and not much certainty as to where to begin?  Working on local SEO for this new business may feel like you just moved to a foreign land with only the clothes on your back.  You may not even speak the lingo.  You’re starting with your wits, work ethic, presumably a computer somewhere in the trunk, and not much else.  In other words, you’re starting with zilch.  Cold-start SEO (as I call it) is a mighty different thing from doing SEO for a company that’s been around for ..read more
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