Google Maps Spam Patrol: Why You Need to Do It, and 10 Tips to Make It Doable

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/26943288773/in/photostream/

Why not make your local competitors work to outrank you?  They won’t have to work too hard if you assume Google keeps the Google Maps results clean, because that doesn’t happen much. “Spam patrol” is my name for the process of identifying Google My Business pages that violate any of Google’s guidelines and that, as […]

[Continue reading…]

How Many Ways Can Someone Troll Your Google My Business Page?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sounderbruce/19597247799/

What’s the difference between the Google Maps business results and middle school?  Well, at one you get lunch and the possibility that the heckling and hounding ends for the day once the bell rings. It’s easy to get worn down in local SEO.  The work it takes for you to get visible and stay visible […]

[Continue reading…]

When Should You Do Your Own Local SEO?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/phirschler/6403499411/

You know the good reasons and bad reasons to hire a local SEO person or company.  The pros and cons of doing it yourself are clear, too.  What you’re less sure of is: when has the do-it-yourself option piled up enough pros that it’s clearly the better choice for you? It’s a sliding scale.  You […]

[Continue reading…]

10 Types of Ninja Pages You Can Sneak up the Local Search Results

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cuatrok77/9958782363/

People who do local SEO are pretty resourceful at rubbing keywords all over pages they want to rank. They’re less creative with the types of pages they try to get to rank. Often those pages are limited to the homepage, a few “service” pages, and maybe some doughy “city” pages.  Those types of pages matter […]

[Continue reading…]

How Can You Tell a Competitor Does Effective Local SEO?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/criminalintent/26122538677/

It’s trickier than you think. You can monitor competitors’ rankings and links until you’re cross-eyed.  You can study them with SEMRush, Moz, Alexa , and other tools until hens grow teeth.  The insights you get from those activities can have value, and may be a good use of your time, but trying to dissect a […]

[Continue reading…]

Should You Bother Using That New Google My Business Feature?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nilsrinaldi/5158417206/

Google adds, changes, and kills off features at a puke-inducing pace.  With the possible exception of AdWords, nowhere is the pace of change faster than in Google My Business. For local SEOs and others who (try to) keep up with this stuff, one school of thought says you should use every new Google My Business […]

[Continue reading…]

Which Local Citation Sources Let You Specify a Service Area?

Just because you set your sights on a region doesn’t mean you’ll rank well there.  That’s always been true of the service area you pick for your Google My Business page, so why should you care about the service-area settings on local-search sites much smaller than Google? A few reasons: 1. You might improve your […]

[Continue reading…]

Google My Business Shakes up Service-Area Businesses: What Has Changed and What to Do

Using Google My Business long has been a murky matter for owners of service-area businesses.  Most people have wondered what kinds of addresses are eligible, how many GMB pages they can have, whether to “hide” their addresses from showing publicly, and how big of a “service area” to specify (or whether to specify one at […]

[Continue reading…]

The Lowdown on Local Falcon, a New and Different Local Search Rank-Tracking Tool

https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckymatsubara/42017229951/

Tracking local rankings is a tricky matter if you’re a business owner or professional SEO, and even more so if you’re a maker of rank-tracking software.  Yet a local-rankings tracker called Local Falcon came out recently and already has carved out a niche. Local Falcon does one thing: It shows and tracks Google Maps rankings […]

[Continue reading…]

Google+ Autopsy for People Who Do Local SEO: What to Know and What to Do

https://www.flickr.com/photos/robandstephanielevy/3092240036/

Google constantly tweaks the local search results, but every now and then makes a change that at least seems big.  I’m here to tell you the official shuttering of Google+ is not consequential for local SEO, and that your strategy shouldn’t change one whisker. Still, the end of Google+ (hastened by the breach and cover-up) […]

[Continue reading…]