10 Better Ways to Do Keyword Research for Local SEO

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3 main problems with most keyword research methods, especially for local search: They tell you what searchers search for, but not what customers search for They rely too much on third-party tools They give you analysis paralysis Most people’s keyword-research strategy is this (more or less): Use the “Keyword Planner” in Google Ads Use a […]

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Google Maps Reviews Now Include “What Do You Like About This Place?” Prompts

In what is at least a test, Google now asks Google Maps reviewers to select attributes they like about the business they’re reviewing.  When I went to post a review yesterday, Google asked how I liked the “Quality,” “Value,” “Responsiveness,” and “Punctuality” of the business. I haven’t been able to replicate that for other businesses, […]

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The Local SEO Data Jackpot You Missed: Google Analytics – Search Console Integration

If you’ve never done so, log into Google Analytics, then go to “Acquisition,” “Search Console,” and “Landing pages.”  There you’ll find a mashup of (1) Google Analytics data on landing pages and (2) Google Search Console data on how specific pages perform in the search results.  Whether you do local SEO yourself or you do […]

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Hardest Truths of Google Maps Spam

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It’s hard enough to keep a lid on competitors’ Google Maps / Google My Business spam.  That’s even harder if you don’t know what to expect, or or if you give up because you assume you’re doing it wrong. It’s easy to get your spirits crushed. As with Google reviews, you know Google isn’t too […]

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10 Basic Parts of an Effective Local SEO Audit

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There’s no shortage of info on the “ultimate” local SEO audit, and on all the checklist items big and small that people insist should be in your audit.  But there are two intertwined problems: a. Good SEOs aren’t necessarily good at doing audits.  Most audits are overblown and disorganized. b. Their audits often are tough […]

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Your Bunker Plan in Case Google My Business Pushes the Pay-to-Play Button

It may not happen soon – or suddenly or permanently – but the chances are good that sooner or later Google will monetize more of the Map.  Maybe all of it will become ad space, or maybe certain features of your Google My Business page will require you to load quarters into them.  Probably a […]

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Does Google Look the Other Way When a Local Pack Advertiser Spams the Google Maps Results?

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For better or for worse, you can “buy” your way to the top of Google’s local 3-pack if you have a Google My Business page that already ranks OK, and if you use AdWords, enable location extensions, and meet a few other criteria. It appears that’s also how you can buy wiggle room to spam […]

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Google Expands “Suggested Review” Google My Business Posts

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I always like when Google drops a subtle hint about what it wants you to do. If you haven’t done a Google My Business post recently, and if you have a good-sized pile of Google reviews, there’s a good chance Google will auto-generate a “Suggested Post” that quotes one of your Google reviews.  (As of […]

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One Good Reason to Offer Google My Business Post Offers

Two problems with Google My Business posts are (1) they’re not too visible anymore unless someone searches for your business by name, and (2) people without itchy mouse-fingers only see a tiny preview of the post in the sidebar. Those are valid concerns.  Though you can use my hack to keep Google My Business posts […]

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The Easiest Way to Get a Google Maps One-Box Result – without Spamming

I’m talking about a local search result like this (click to enlarge): Local “one-box” results (as they’re called) show only one Google My Business page, alongside some organic results.  It’s good for your business to have a one-box result any time you can nab one, because of how visible you are on the page: You’re […]

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