You Offer 10 Services and Serve 10 Cities, So You Create 100 City Pages? Why City-Page Proliferation Is Dumb

You want to rank for a bunch of keywords in a bunch of cities.  You don’t have a physical location in each city – which makes you ineligible for Google My Business pages in all those places – but you figure you can “optimize” as many pages you need.  Your competitors do it, so why […]

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Juiciest Comments from the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey

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The annual Local Search Ranking Factors study is always a pleasure to contribute to, and even more so to read.  The numbers and charts that reflect local search geeks’ experience are more than worth the effort to read (and re-read), but the comments are where most of the forehead-slapper insights go to party together. Darren […]

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What Exactly Is a “Fake” Google Maps Business Listing These Days, Anyway?

When Google claims it has made “fake” Google My Business listings a rare sight, you’d better check your definition of “fake” or Google’s, because both can’t be right. Yes, those things above your thing on the local map probably are fake listings.  Your competitors are taking one potshot or another, one after another. But Google […]

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Yelp Provides Embed Code for Showcasing Yelp Reviews on Your Site

Last summer, Yelp quietly started providing embed code that you can use to stick any customer’s Yelp review on your site. As closely as I monitor Yelp, I didn’t know about that feature until now.  A few people wrote about it in passing, but I didn’t know about it until Mike of HikingMike told me in his […]

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Why Is This [BLEEP]er Outranking Me in the Google Maps Results?

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If you’ve made any effort to get your business more visible on Google’s local map, you’ve seen competitors whose visibility there surprises you.  Either they’re deadbeats and you have no idea why they rank well, or they’re hardworking and you’re not sure what part of their work has paid off. In either case, you want […]

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The Ridiculous Hidden Power of Local Reviews: Umpteen Ways to Use Them to Get More Business

Even the obvious benefits of great customer reviews are almost too many to count.  To wit: They take a little pressure off your site to “convert,” because visitors arrive largely pre-sold. They can help you eat up more of page one of Google. They help you cultivate non-Google Maps or non-Google sources of visibility. They […]

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Your Google My Business Page in 2017: How Hard Is It to Mess Up?

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Google’s local-business pages of yore offered many ways to blow up your rankings – in the good sense or the bad sense.  Lots of customizable fields you could stuff full of keyword powder and watch go “boom.” In recent years, though, Google has childproofed businesses’ pages.  Usually, when you don’t fill out your page quite […]

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Dumbest Reasons to Hire a Local SEO Company or Person

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I’ll never say you need to hire me or anyone else.  If your goal is to reach more customers/clients/patients in the local search results, you may or may not benefit from a third party.  I often tell clients and others that they should farm out as little of their local SEO as possible. Still, if […]

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If You Rename/Rebrand Your Business, Will You Lose Your Google and Yelp Reviews?

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Let’s say you’re considering renaming or re-branding your business.  Part of that will involve renaming your online “local” listings – including Google My Business and Yelp.  Easy enough, but what will happen to your reviews?  Google’s form doesn’t inspire confidence, nor does Yelp’s handling of reviews in general make it feel like anything but Russian roulette. Will […]

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