Dumb Shortcuts to Getting Online Reviews

Getting happy customers/clients/patients to speak up and write online reviews is usually tough.  Even if you do everything you should, it’s still tough going.  Not all the happy people will speak up, and there’s always a chance the unhappy few will. If you’re wise, you’ll realize you can’t get to perfect, but that you can […]

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Local SEO Fairy Tale: No Problems = Good Rankings


In SEO, fixing problems is only half the challenge.  The other half is to become notable in some way. Once in a blue moon I get an audit client who says something like: “Phil, helpful action plan there, but I’m a little disappointed you didn’t find more problems!” That’s understandable.  You’ve put a ton of […]

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Did Your Local Rankings Really Sink, or Are You Just Looking at Them Wrong?


You wanted a fresh look at your local rankings, but now you need fresh pants. It’s bad. Or maybe it’s not – at least not the rankings.  Of course, it’s possible somebody involved in your SEO/visibility effort messed up, or that many people joined in a carnival of errors, or that Google got bored. But it’s […]

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Should You Make It a Page or a Post?

You’ve got content you want to stick on your site.  Maybe it’s about a specific service or product you offer, or it’s in-depth “educational” info, or it’s your answer to a frequently asked question, or it’s some attempt to reach people in a specific city, or something else. You know what you want to put […]

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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


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?


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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