Use AdWords Location Extensions? Better Make Sure They Match Your Google My Business Info

Adding location extensions in AdWords is a great way to draw more nearby customers, and sometimes to muscle into the paid Google Maps results.  All you need is to have a Google My Business page, run AdWords ads in your area, and go through a pretty easy syncing process. The trouble is good results may […]

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The Perfect Stack of Online Reviews: How Does Your Local Business Measure up?

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“I picked you because of your reviews” is nice to hear, especially it’s often.  But how do you achieve that? Having “good reviews” isn’t always enough.  Plenty of businesses have good reviews, but don’t attract enough business, or rank well, or beget the kinds of reviews that beget more customers who beget more reviews.  That’s […]

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25 Hard Truths of Google Reviews

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Google reviews can help your business for obvious reasons: They’re mighty visible in the Google Maps search results, and searchers pay attention to the reviews (and sometimes believe them).  The big problem is just as obvious: Google does an awful job of policing reviews, causing all sorts of mischief and mayhem. You’d like more and […]

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How to Rank for “Near Me” Local Search Terms

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You’ve noticed or heard that “near me” searches are super-popular, and that you should try to rank for those terms in Google Maps and in the rest of the local search results. Only two burrs in your saddle: How? What happens if and when all your competitors jump on the “near me” bandwagon by doing […]

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11 No-Outreach, No-Content Ways Local SEOs Can Help Businesses Rustle up Good Links

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Too many local SEOs and their clients take an all-or-nothing approach to link-earning, and that’s a shame. Most SEOs casually take the “nothing” approach and don’t help their clients with links at all, and wonder why their clients’ visibility doesn’t improve. Most of the others – the SEOs who know how much good and relevant […]

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Local SEO for Multiple States: a Case-Study in How to Expand Your Reach

You probably want to reach more customers/clients/patients outside your immediate area.  The question is: how? In general, what I recommend is to specialize as much as possible, work your tail off to earn relevant links over time, and maybe create great “city”/location pages or “state” pages.  Spend most of your time on those things and […]

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Want to Smear a Multi-Location Business on Yelp? Just Regurgitate Your Review

Let’s say you had a bad experience at a local business with half a dozen locations, and you feel the need to review the business.  How many bad reviews do they deserve from you? a. One bad review on one site. You’re one customer.  You had one poor experience.  You can’t remark on their other […]

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The High Cost of Thinking Your Local Search Visibility Is Free

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The name’s a shameless rip-off of Wil Reynolds’s excellent presentation on “The High Cost of Free Traffic.”  One reason I’ve got no shame is that that describes the situation perfectly: Although technically your business’s visibility in Google Maps and the rest of local search is free, you run into trouble once you start treating it […]

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30+ Internal Resources Every Serious Local SEO-er Should Have or Develop

No, this isn’t one of those dreadful “274 Local SEO Tools” posts.  Most of those lists suffer from bloat, or come from a seller with an ulterior motive, or are stuffed with affiliate links.  Also, because of the constant changes in Google and in the rest of the local-search ecosystem, most “tools” roundups  have the […]

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Is There Anything You Can DO to Get Yelp Reviews These Days – without a Public Shaming?

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For years Yelp has told business owners not to ask for reviews on Yelp.  Not that you shouldn’t ask only for positive reviews or tell customers what to say.  Not that you shouldn’t ply them with discounts or gift cards or other wampum.  You’re not supposed to ask for Yelp reviews, period. In practice, Yelp’s […]

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