Local SEO in 2019 with Dana DiTomaso

hello I’m Nicola Minkоv here at Serpact I
have more than seven years in SEO, my focus in SEO is on technical SEO, Google
and Local SEO and SEO strategies. Hello, my name is Borislav Arapchev, for
short Bobby. I’m an SEO strategist third party agency with almost 16 years in SEO
and my main focus is branding, Local SEO and content. As you know it’s
our new webinar and we are very happy to start with Dana DiTomaso. Dana is
President and partner at Kick Point. She helps people and teams do better
marketing. Dana pushes people and teams to set goals and track data so they understand what strategies and tactics bring value and what is just
waste of money. Dana speaks to a lot of conferences around
the world about reporting and analytics SEO and brand building. In her spare time
she also enjoys drinks fancy beer and yelling at football players. Hello Dana
there was how your career in digital marketing starts. So I got a degree in
geography. Actually, originally I was going to be working in a field called
ecosystem restoration where we take parts of you know the environment that
have been damaged by industrial activity and turn it back to its natural state
again, and when I graduated from university the government that had just
come into power didn’t really like environmental things and cut a lot of
the jobs so I was hunting for a job and I got a job in an environmental software
company and then from there I went to a CRM company for Lotus Notes and anyone
who’s been in the field for a long time I remember Lotus Notes and then while I
was working there I realized that actually what I really enjoyed was the
internet and web sites so I got laid off from that job had a really nice
six-month severance package used that to teach myself web design and then when I
launched my very first web site this was in – I started poking around in
when I started learning us you know and then in 2001 I really got into it and my
very first client for the first site I launched when I was still working full
time I did this part-time on the side said to me well why is it my site on on
Google yet and I said I don’t know I’ll get back to you and so then I started
googling and I found Rand Fishkin blog which wasn’t even Moz or SEO Moz at that
point it was the previous web design company and SEO book and other resources
like that and I just turns out I really enjoy SEO and so we as an agency we do
web sites but it’s not it turns out I’m not actually a great web designer I
should I’m a better marketer. Okay today we are talking about Google my business
a lot of people think that it’s it’s not important, but help me to tell them that
it’s a really good channel for a conversion, for a trust and what is your
above advice on how to use GMB Chanel know properly and how to use post
postings there? Yeah so I think I think a lot of people underestimate the
volume of search queries that have a local intent in some way and even if you
don’t type in you know I want a baker in where you live for example or an Italian
restaurant or those kinds of businesses which immediately leaps to mind as being
a locally focused business. There’s certainly lots of local intent behind
queries. So for example, if you google something that you want to buy and maybe
you were hoping to get you know Amazon for example, Google is going to show you
the Amazon for your country, you know, so if I’m in Canada and I could go
something like amazon.ca if I’m in the States I get calm and and really that is
local intent at its basest form and I think SEO is really underestimated the
volume of locally focused queries. I also think that there’s a thought that you
know local SEO is very much for small businesses and large businesses can’t
benefit from it but certainly, you can. And a good example I think of
organizations who get it are those who work in automotive fields even if you
have a huge vertical across the entire country a bit slightly course if I google something and I’m in
Toronto I want to see local listings for myself and she birthed the seeing local little uh I think that’s where yeah like
really googling like search first probably have a Google my business page
for that office, you know, and even if like well we don’t want to have local
people come by our place you know this is where you claim a knowledge panel or
something like that there’s certainly lots of features that are available to
you. And then I would say to when it comes to things like posts a lot of
people really underutilized GMB features you know post have gotten a lot of
enhancements recently and if you think about the thing that gets Google’s
attention is the thing that matters posts have gotten lots of attention and
it is something that matters QA is something that is criminally underused
and definitely put in questions and do it yourself
because if you don’t do it other people are gonna do it and they’re gonna ask
weird bad questions and you know more than once you’re on traveling and you
look for a restaurant and then you look at their QA and the community of things
like are you open Christmas day and no one has replied for example it’s like
and this was a Segoe and it just shows you know as an organization you’re not
really paying attention to everything and is that idea when we everybody first
start again into social media and you would say you know don’t register in all
the networks because you want to focus on the ones you can actually pay
attention to and it looks very poor if you have a Facebook page and had to
propose six years ago or if you have a a blog where the last time you blogged was
five years ago. It’s like having a happy holidays banner outside your place of
business in April, you know, it’s not something that shows that you actually
carry the business and the same thing is true of GMB. Okay yeah I’m totally agree
with you that business has to react when someone asked something about the place
comment something to take people for the reviewer to be proactive. What are the
most important things about GMB posts for
if you publish offer or some event or some product what is the most points
that have to be done so to make it in the best way?
Yeah I think a lot of people forget to put tracking on the URLs that they post
on Google my business so Annie Cushing who’s a fantastic
analytics person she created a spreadsheet it’s just a Google sheet and
you can copy as her campaign tagging tool and you can put in there what your
source medium campaign name term would be and it automatically builds the UTM –
URL for you so you don’t need to use Google’s tool and that way – you can
record like this is what I meant so it’s really important to be consistent and
I’ve seen lots of different ways out there where people will tag GMB so for
example our typical is tagging it as organic with the sort with Google and
then we would do the campaign as GMB or GMB post and then the other thing is
that you won’t know exactly which post people click on unless you actually
leave the name of the campaign in the term or the name so do use that field as
well and I think that that’s something where people are like oh I’m just
hanging everything GMB post well then you have no idea which post it was
because people can’t go back in your history or if you’re posting every day
they’re gonna see more than one option that comes up and post it do convert for
sure we’ve seen that absolutely people come to the website they convert but the
other part of it too is that if they’re really interested in your business
they’re going to see again that you’re posting that you’re offering deals and
they might just hit that call button from Google never actually make it to
your website but then they’ll mention you know I saw in your you know I saw on
Google that you’re offering this deal for example so we have a client who has
a senior’s discount and so we mentioned it and Google my business and people
call them say si you had a seniors discount we don’t know exactly where out
of all the different places that we’ve marketed it but they saw the seniors
discount but why not put it right there in GMB because we know if someone’s
going to mention it they call in. Thanks Dana, what about some SEO meets a for
GMB post for a cured stuff Inc or more relevant keywords in the post? No, I
would say I think maybe at one point it did work a little bit and then Google’s
liking people are gonna abused this which yeah I like how Google thinks that
people in the Internet are mostly nice but mostly there’s a lot of spammers
and I think that they at some point it probably had a small lift but that’s not
something that we see now and I think Joey Hawkins from Sterling sky is
absolutely the authority on this matter she runs lots of experiments and so and
if you work in local SEO and you have not bought the experts guide to local
SEO the joy and her team put together you really need to buy that it’s
fantastic but that’s where she keeps up on those
sorts of things and she hasn’t seen any lift from posts in terms of actual
ranking there’s other things for sure that can elevate your ranking but that
isn’t one of them. Yeah, I’m totally agree. What kind of mistakes we can commit at
publishing in GMB, maybe most common mistakes? I think one is actually related
to posts but it actually related to QA a lot of people will answer questions as
like yes/no without taking an opportunity to expand on the answer or
rephrase the question back to them because I think a lot of people forget
that you can edit the question after you’ve asked it so someone can edit the
question to make it look bad for you for example or questions come up when people
search too so that ask a business a question when you start typing in your
question what’s in your QA will come up as possible answers so if you’re getting
the same question again and again in your Google my business your answer is
probably not good enough that it’s actually coming up and people keep
asking it again and again and certainly every business has you know maybe you
don’t have an FAQ page maybe you do but those FAQ’s on your QA and this is
something to where you can also use that content for posts you know if you get a
common question put that in your Google post right because that’s probably
something that people are thinking about is you know do you handle the service
what use those for your posts any a lot of people feel a lot of pressure where
they’re like I don’t know if I have a lot of time to do posts it’s extremely
quick and there’s lots of tools out there that can help you with publishing
one of the ones that we use is public and I think they’re sendabul as well
handles it I’m surprised at the major platforms like HootSuite and Buffer
haven’t gotten on this yet I feel like again that’s a real blindness towards
local SEO where it’s not something that they think big brands do but I’m pretty
sure a big brand would love to have buffer integration for their Google my
posts integration anyway but I think that’s
where people really think about they’re not putting the right kind of stuff in
their posts and I think that people also really under use event posting where
events can be extremely useful because they can hang around for a long time
and they also don’t use things like a video where you probably have a video.
And one or is that question about FAQ now we are in the era of a huge FAQ SERP
result you know about that and your recommendation is very smart because if
we create a strategy to answer all the questions with our website and relevant
questions actually we can get more ideas for answers and questions from our GMB. Oh,
absolutely and and what I told people I’ve been telling people this for years
I think since answer boxes came out is could someone answer their question
about your business or follow along their path of researching about your
business or what you do strictly through answer boxes never actually clicking on
someone’s website and if you own those answer boxes again it helps you from a
branding perspective because now you’re being seen as the expert and there is
definitely local intent in those answer boxes we see that for example if your
again if you’re in Canada the medical advice you get may not be American
medical advice right and any WebMD owns everything but really when you’re
thinking about more specific stuff so Alzheimer’s related questions the
Alzheimer Society of Canada is gonna come up in Canada the outside Society
for the states gonna come up in the States and I think people forget about
that even from a national perspective you should own those answer boxes Google
wants to give people stuff that is correct for them and relevant so you
know I mean their hearts in the right place when it comes to these answer
boxes so why wouldn’t you try to take advantage of that and related to FAQ
specifically on site something that we are doing more of our clients right now
is putting fa Q’s on individual service pages and marking those up with FAQ
markup and we haven’t got I would say enough clients doing that yet that I
have you know results on how good it’s been but certainly we have clients with
more of a global focus who have implemented markup on their epic use and
saw huge gains on the number of Russians and cliques that they were
getting from organic search as a result of that. yeah. Thank you a really good
explanation I also I want to say that I was amazed when I listened to a Greg Gifford maybe I hope you know them, oh right, we know each other very well he’s very passionate with he said that
local business Google GMB offer business is the most powerful Authority
an entity of a business so Google trusted much more than your website for example
because you can do what you want in your website but in GMB you have some rules
you have more structured information so Google trusted mostly Yeah, and I think
um a – I mean there was a recent ranking change right which I think Joy called
the bedlam update which I thought was pretty great because that’s we noticed
that – for sure we saw that week some of our clients dip down and now people are
coming back up again and we weren’t sure what it was but definitely clients who
have multiple categories energy and B for example their non primary category
is getting more exposure than they were before so if you decided you know I I do
employment law and immigration law but employment law is my bread and butter so
I’m gonna put that on there first and you know what actually because I want to
be really specific and and I think the Google isn’t going to understand that I
do multiple things that I’m only gonna put that one category on there you’re
probably penalizing yourself now because now Google it finally is realizing yes
people do more than one thing and you should show for multiple categories so I
think the other half of GMB you as well is really keeping on top of it and
responding to changes because you know when Google introduces new features like
when posts came out they probably had a tiny little ranking in fact for that
brief period that was nice you know when QA comes out like they featured in
the law right so when Google releases these new features you really got to
jump on them because Google rewards people who uptake their features and
really like meeting people from the GMB team which I got an opportunity to do at
local you this year genuinely they just want to
make sure that people’s businesses show up well on maps you know and spam is
obviously something that we’re gonna get to that you know but it’s something
where they really genuinely want to make GMB more useful for everybody and then
does take feedback for sure. Yeah, your answer is connected to my next question.
We see a lot of spam nowadays in Google Maps. People that create fake listings
just to attract traffic and links or make fake reviews to competitors to take
them down. What is your advice on how to fight spam? Yeah, spam is such a
problem and you can’t actually report individual comments now as being
spammers so that’s nice individual reviews what you couldn’t do until I
think that was last week I think that came out it was very very recently and I
think the biggest thing with spam is frankly fighting spam is almost
sometimes more effective than actually spending time doing a actual SEO one of
our employees Liz we actually bought her a fake award destroy her GMB listings
because she’s been so aggressive at eradicating spam for some of our clients
and they’re more competitive verticals so lawyers for example always are really
competitive vertical especially criminal defense lawyers which we have a couple
clients in those categories and that’s a lot of spam that she is constantly
fighting we had one client actually in Edmonton where were based and there was
a firm that have renamed themselves Evanson do UI lawyer and they were just
gonna be called themselves that forever and I think she had to report them
something like 22 times before they finally got kicked off of Google my
business and that was a lot of work so definitely report that spam it is worth
it because eventually if Google does kick them off like they typically can’t
come back without creating a brand new listing which means that they’ve lost
all those fake reviews that they are buying as well so do spend time we
always have a spreadsheet tracking you know here’s all the businesses that we
are we’ve reported for spam use there’s a form for Google so don’t just use the
in Maps reporting something as being inaccurate or closed
definitely reports that as a let’s sort of oh they have a business
redressal form essentially where you fill that out with the companies that
are being bad and eventually Google will do something about it but use that form
don’t necessarily just use the reporting function in Google Maps which is fine
you know when I’m traveling and I see a spammy business come up I use that well
clear this business is not here a lot of what I see when I’m traveling for
example is a computer repair iphone repair places those are always super
spammy I’m reporting those all the time but what we found is that in maps if you
tend to report the same types of businesses in the same location
eventually you’re not going to be allowed to report businesses anymore
which is why you have to use the form so you don’t get kicked out of recording
businesses because they think you’re being annoying when in reality you’re
just really aggressive about spam. Yeah I have one question about a lot of
tools are introduced it from Google in GMB for past years this amazing of
course for us but not for all type of business what I mean if you remember our
spoke in say last year post what do you think about that
yeah and I think that one year later there’s a lot of I think there’s a lot
of smart people at Google and I don’t think they’ve ever owned a business or
worked at a business right and I think that that is one of the big flaws that
they have and it’s something that I and other people in local SEO field have
been advocating for for years is you have to get actual human beings to come
to you who own businesses and tell you what they need so and some of it too is
just from a we live in California perspective and so for example you know
there’s a lot of seasonal businesses in Canada where in the summer you do paving
asphalt and then in the winter you just know removal right and what what you
have Google my business as a result of that because as far as Google is
concerned those are two wildly different categories so people will often set up
two completely separate businesses with two completely separate phone numbers
just so that they can rank for each one and you can just imagine how competitive
snow removal business would be in Canada I’m sure you’d be good that too so I
think that’s where businesses really misunderstand
things like snow tires you know where again snow tires are only necessary
during the winter months people only think of it once the first snow flies
but in the summer you know what else are they supposed to be ranking for and
again like I think that this is a failure of Google to really recognize
that not every business is in this beautiful climate of California
year-round where everything is perfect did you read where cope ever and I think
they just need to talk to our businesses basic stuff like being able to close
temporarily for renovations you have to actually talk to somebody Google my
business to get that done that should be something you have built in the GMB it’s
you couldn’t do holiday hours for years and years and years like it’s just it’s
stuff like that that just makes me think the developers are not really thinking
about that end user small business owner who can barely use their email and now
you expect them to navigate GMB like this is it’s too difficult for sure. Thank you
really good info explanation. Now another big question: How can we rank locally in
the area that we came now office or yeah That’s the tricky one yeah yeah like a
service area there’s no society that’s the same service what is yours. I have
some ideas but let me know what you think because I think yeah. I
think you have to pay just to cover those areas for sure but I also
think you have to get reviews from those people I think that makes a difference
and then you also need to do who all the blog posts about ranking in areas
outside… Sorry Dana, can you repeat because last 20 seconds connection error
Oh yeah sorry sorry I’m at a hotel so important if he hotel Wi-Fi so yeah so
Whitesburg there’s A++ room F – – Wi-Fi. So white spark is a really great
resource for local post so if you’re not you work in local and you’re not
following Whitesburg you absolutely should be
they have a great post on ranking outside of your main area and a lot of
that has to do with just writing posts articles case studies where you’re doing
services in those areas so for example if you’re a pest control business and
you have your home office in say you know we have a client for example it
just pest control the Sunshine Coast in Australia and he is trying to expand
into Brisbane so he needs to have some case studies on his site about how they
got rid of all these you know bed bugs in Brisbane for example or conquerors or
you know you can just imagine the pest control in Australia have huge huge bugs
there but I think that that’s where just just write about it and again it’s
something where you tell people like if you don’t tell Google that you do this
Google isn’t going to know that you do this and it’s something to where I often
say to people like go on the homepage of your website can people tell what it is
that you do or do you say things like we have synergies or we provide products
around the world and like it could be literally any business at all just say
like I do pest control in the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane
you know just write it out there and it’s not no-one’s ever like oh this
content is too simple for me you know I think that that’s that tendency oh I
want to seem fancy or I want to seem bigger than I am but people just want
clean clear simple language and so does Google so why wouldn’t you do that
because it serves both audiences at the same time. And maybe this is connected
with NAB strategy for every type of vacation .okay great! So the evergreen
question is: how to get better reviews? Yeah, well first off you gotta ask for it
get over being afraid of asking for reviews I don’t know why people are like
oh I don’t want to bother them like just ask for view the worst thing they can do
is say no you know and ask for the review in the method to which you
normally communicate with your customers so if you have a lot of people who use
SMS to communicate ask for reviews via SMS for example and asked Kourt right
after the service has been applied so for example I had to get my hot water
tank fixed at my house plumber came out and did it and literally while I’m
standing there he says can I have your cell phone number we’re just going to
send you a request for review about your experience
great and looked at it you know they were using I think they’re using Verdi
for it I prefer GatherUp as a good review management tool but because you
asked for it right away hey there I’m the most important thing… sorry oh sorry can you repeat? Where did I cut off” Yes yeah so ask for it right
away don’t ask for it three weeks later and
then the other thing is too is is if they don’t you’re not the most important
thing in that person’s life so if they don’t leave a review send one follow-up
don’t send ten you know just one follow-up but just see if they’ll
actually do that and I think that those are the things those little basics that
really increase reviews and if the business is being really hesitant if you
work agency side like I do and a business is being really hesitant about
asking for reviews just take screenshots of their competitors and how many
reviews they have and say look if you want to compete with these people you
need to get at least 73 reviews for example and that can be really effective
to give them a benchmark of how many reviews they need to get and we found
that they can get really competitive and clients like okay great you know I’m
going to beat those guys and we’re gonna get 100 reviews great that’s exactly
what I want please go ahead and do that and asking for reviews is one of the few
things that the client really has to do and so I find that that’s something
where it’s a real struggle agencies like to like get the kind to remember
consistently ask for reviews it makes such a difference you have to do it. Тhen
in this connection we have a client from USA that use some service some
company that was referring to call his clients real quartz and to ask them very
kindly when gently to leave for review for his business and it’s very
successful people write reviews so now he cares about more than 50 reviews that
are real and that are positive most of them
five stars with text and it’s a it’s real it’s not punishing just they have
time to trust them to to leave review and it’s working very well I see. Yeah
and I mean if you have time to call people I got the most personal thing
that you could possibly do you know yeah yeah I could have another story about
reviews that I think would be interesting too so um one of them is you
know they had several locations across the province and but when you googled
their brand name only their main first location would come up typically in the
map pack so that main location was getting all the bad reviews for all
their locations across the entire province so they would be like I was at
the store in Lethbridge and they give me terrible service except they’re leaving
that review for a GMB that’s in Edmonton for example and like maybe they should
leave the review for the store and so what we ended up doing this was
something really simple as a retail store camera store and we just put
postcards in people’s bags saying please leave us are you with a URL and that
honestly that fixed the problem and so it doesn’t have to be like a
multi-million dollar effort to get everybody involved we just put a
postcard in people’s bag sometimes it can be so basic and cheap and then if it
doesn’t work you know try something else but start with the simple stuff first
you know it’s not really insurmountable you just have to ask people don’t think
of Lully even you review less than that most the time. Yeah the personal touch is
very important for the reviews and the channel and the moment yeah you know
they’re connected because if you try to get reviews from somebody who worked
with you three years ago it’s not very smart
yeah they will be like “who are you…? What do you want from me” Can I go little back for the previous question let me ask you if you
are doing business in Canada you have office in Canada you want
to expand your business for in USA for example yep is it okay according to you
to buy some virtual office in USA with address and phone and to use it to verify or
holistic in USA for your business? Yeah. Yeah so if you physically have an office
so let’s say we opened up a second office in Seattle we would have to have
actual kick point employees at that office that clients could come and see
if you just rent an office space and you don’t actually have the you know
infrastructure of a real office then that’s not a real listing you’ll get
kicked off for sure co-working spaces are different I find a lot of people say
well don’t have an office in a co-working space but we started in a
co-working space co-working space is a totally legitimate business as long as
you’re there if you’re just renting the co-working space because you want the
position close to the center of town for example and you’re never actually going
to be at that office it’s not going to work for you but if you open a second
office in another city then and you have actual human beings at that address that
people could reasonably come and visit then yes you can get a GMB if you’re
just renting a virtual office because you want to look like you have these
different offices that doesn’t count. If you offer virtual or online services
like Photoshop designs and you are in Canada and you send it to a client in USA
in fact, you don’t need an office there but you work with clients from USA so it’s a
tricky for me? Yeah I mean for us I would say like more than half of our
clients are from the states and I mentioned Australia you know we find
Zealand as well and I think that that’s just I mean part of that honestly comes
because I do a lot of speaking engagements so that’s why that’s how we
get that kind of business but I think again like that’s where if you’re
thinking about a kind of business maybe there isn’t local intent for that type
of business so it’s okay that you’re located
somewhere else like your GMB may not actually factor into that because if
someone’s searching for say a website designer like maybe they want to
actually meet some with someone face-to-face and in that case you
for them anyway but if they’re just looking for the best web designer for a
project than they might go on a directory for example you know and your
website might not be the thing that comes up because extremely competitive
vertical but if you look at the directories that are coming up like you
listed there for example that can really make a difference for you if you’re
trying to expand out of your area and I mean frankly if you’re trying to expand
out of your area in this kind of feel like what we do then writing speaking
doing webinar these types of things can really help get your exposure out there
and that’s completely independent of my business. Thank you, okay.
GMB is a really interesting idea. What you think that if a business is selling some
goods you just publish most of the products in
the GMB or some part of them I think that that there is so much section you
know product services Q&A posts so we have to use all of them as possible to
make better conversion from it. Yeah if these features are available to you use
them not all businesses have products or services depending upon what vertical
you’re in but use it if you have it absolutely and I think definitely Google
is making changes to products products seems to be the big focus right now at
Google my business and I suspect I mean my hunch is that they’re actually going
to integrate with Google Merchant Center and push people over to using that
platform and then they will pull products into Google my business from
the Google Merchant platform because of course then people will buy ads because
then you can be on the Shopping Network it makes sense I think from it if you
think about how it flows right everything eventually flows to making ad
revenue for Google so it would make a lot of sense to hook GMB up with
merchant services so that you can do shopping ads no question and I think
that’s where it’ll go to so again if you’re a small business and you’re not
thinking about like putting together a shopping feed or something like that and
you have the kind of business where you could then it’s something where again
your competitors are probably already there and you’re gonna have some
problems when they beat you because they got there first. Okay, thank you. So what
do you think about the future of digital marketing in particularly in wako Google
my business optimization what can we expect
can we expect in how to prepare for future changes? Yeah I think the biggest
thing in and with this is a meme yeah I think this is a theme through the whole
talk is just pay attention to where Google’s going and think about the new
features that they’re focusing on because that’s probably where Google my
business is going to be going so for example this recent bedlam update for
example it is showing that Google cares more about just your primary category
that’s really interesting so that means that you know you really have to pay
attention to categories for example and maybe this doesn’t pork in like a larger
change in GMB for example but if you look at the changes to products or to
services yeah that’s gonna make a big difference
when it comes to the types of things that that you should be focusing on in
your local search strategy so I find a local SEO keeping up is a huge part of
Italy in non local SEO yeah stuff happens for sure but these are slow
shifts over time there isn’t typically a huge change overnight that can
completely alters how you do stuff and more than once the local SEO like
literally I’ll be at a conference and the night before they’ll change stuff
and then you have to go and we take all your screenshots for your deck you’re
presenting the next day for example and so I find that that’s in local SEO like
that’s something that happens a lot so you really do have to keep up and so
that’s where tools like Joey Hawkins guide to local SEO can be really helpful
paying attention to the blogs that you know we’re good can really make a
difference in terms of just paying attention to what’s going on and keeping
ahead of your competition. It’s good idea to for Google’s in Twitter for example
or Google my business for the new features. These days I see that
Google is rolling out option to report spammy local guide or spammy user in
Google Maps if they are writing some fake reviews or making fake objects
which is really good option I think. mm-hmm Yep for sure because there really
wasn’t a way before the you could report a review but after. I meet some local
guides with level 10 the highest level that just copy pasting text from
Wikipedia and pasting them to some hotels to cities just to make points
which is bullshit, you know. Yes. I think it’s also useful for people and for the
maps. mm-hmm And I think they again Google really underestimates
people’s willingness to do weird stuff to get fake internet points you know
like yeah someone’s doing this to get a level 10 because they want to be a level
10 it means literally nothing in real life it doesn’t pay you any money or
maybe you’re gonna do you know but that’s the kind of thing that people are
going to do as soon as your game if I something people are gonna find a way to
beat that game and I think that’s nice yeah Google I think wasn’t like what I
remember so I’ve obviously been doing this for a long long time and I remember
the the very first piece of spam that ever went out on the Internet was for
people applying for green cards and they posted it in news groups and so I
remember I was on the the news group for the computer science department at my
university and somebody wrote oh hello it looks like you don’t know how to use
use groups here’s the information and and the people wrote back who posts the
spam they’re like no we meant to post it here and I’m like but it’s not relevant
to the topic and they’re like yeah we know and it was just such a completely
unknown concept and then spam was unleashed but it’s just people will find
a way to abuse the system unless you give them parameters that don’t love
would you use it and I think that’s where you just have to kind of not
assume that people are inherently good because there’s definitely people out
there who are willing to take advantage of whatever leopold’s you give them. I
thank you Dana. We have some questions from people that are watching
in yes some of them are asking: How
do you measure your GMB success and what statistics you are looking at? Yep yep
so as I mentioned before UTM tagging your or say URL for sure use a call
tracking number on your Google my business and the trick with this is that
you have your… Bad connection again sorry number for your main number … Oh am i
coming back… yeah tracking yeah
so for call tracking put the primary number pre-business
in the secondary field and then put the call tracking over in the primary field
and what’s nice about that is is so that you can see how many phone calls people
call where law Dana again we have a connection a lot of what’s happening
right sorry it’s been so good until now I’m not sure is it
am i back or not no okay no no yeah okay do you recommend
using some different form line only GMB to track callings we had this channel? Yeah,
absolutely I do and I think that that’s again like make sure your primary number
is still on your listing just put it in the secondary field but absolutely use a
call tracking number or else you won’t know how many calls you get from GMB and
I think that that’s something where businesses really don’t realize that and
also what’s really interesting too is it can tell you the amount of inaccuracy
you get in GMB insights because then you can see how many times the google says
you got phone calls versus how many times you actually got phone calls via
call tracking number and GMB tracks when people tap that phone icon but a lot of
people don’t actually follow through with the call I don’t know what they
expect is gonna happen when they tap the phone icon and why they abandon ship but
that happens a lot so again like really take GMB insights with a grain of salt
because it’s not something that’s a hundred percent accurate for sure same
thing with Google search console you know it’s like 80 percent there but it’s
not giving us everything for sure. Yeah for example I cannot click the button “call now” but to enter numbers
in my phone which will be not tracked by Google Jimmy if we use a call tracking
number and to be recorded in our statistics. Yep, yeah, absolutely
and we use call rail for example for call tracking and they have a really
good Google Analytics integration as well but there’s lots of call to action
solutions out there. Yeah, which are the most used tools for managing and for statistic, for analytics of GMB?
Yeah, we use Google Data studio for our reporting and so we actually use super
metrics right now with their GMB connector apparently Google is working
on their own they GMB connector so then you wouldn’t have
to pay for Supermetrics but they do have a clam or you can buy just one data
source if you just need GMB I mean Supermetrics has much better data sources for
things like Google Analytics and search console too but if you just need GMB
then they do have the one data source plan that you could buy for data studio
and I do have I’ve done webinars in the past I’m sure there’s links out there
where I’ve given away dashboards for local SEO so if you just want to start
dipping your toes into Google Data studio that’s a good way to get started
for sure. Great! So, Dana we have a lot of questions from our audience but we’ll
try to answer a lot of them. So now, next one is related to call tracking but it’s
not the same. How we can track goals it’s goes from GMB in our website? Yeah, so
tracking goals is what you said for GMB?
Yep. Traffic comes from GMB. Yeah, so definitely of course use Google tag
manager to set up advanced Google Analytics tracking tap the we record
taps two phone numbers and of course if you have call tracking on your website
then you would use that taps on email addresses form fiddles but really look
and see where like segment out your Google my business traffic specifically
and see what they’re doing on your website which might be different from
people coming to your website from other means such as organic and is there
something that GMB people for example are really looking at that other people
aren’t maybe that should be going your QA you know maybe it’s it’s you need a
specific landing page for google my business instead of just popping them
out with homepage you know you don’t have to just put the homepage of your
website in that website field you can put any URL you want so I think that
that’s something that a lot of people don’t think about too is how can i
optimize that experience people are coming to my website from GMB and make
sure that I’m making them happy as well because it’s a really nonspecific action
right you’re tapping a button labeled website if you’re on desktop or you’re
just tapping a globe on mobile and you’re ending up on their website but
why are they here you know what do they want
why are they on my website and said it is calling me and so really looking at
that and seeing what they what they actually
want how to get out of you. Great! Next question is: Can you recommend another
tools for GMB management different from spur metrics Google Analytics and GMB
and what is your recommendation Dana? For managing GMB there’s lots of
tools out there that do it we don’t actually we don’t actually use any tools
right now or a lot of our clients where they do have lots and lots of locations
they actually subscribe to a service like say Moz local for example to handle
that large-scale management we have a couple clients on next so that’s up to
we sort of help the organization get set up with that but usually if you have
that many locations that I’m talking like more than ten you should probably
be managing yourself in-house don’t rely on an agency to manage this
for you there’s also though if you genuinely want to work with an agency
and you have a lot of locations there’s more slash agency technology hybrid
places like Rio SEO for example that does a good job of large scale
management and we actually have a client right now who has moved to Rio from next
for their GMB management and it’s so far so good so I think that that’s where
it’s just think of what the right fit is going to be it’s not necessarily one
tool is the best fit for every single client or every organization out there
really think about what’s going to work best for you in your situation. Okay,
great! Dana another question: How we can be a
partner in GMB with maybe they means about partners program in Google my
business? Yeah, I’m not a hundred percent sure without me there’s not really like
a certification yeah yeah I think that’s where I don’t think people are really
aware of that either and that logo gets tossed around a whole bunch I mean more
partner program for things like Google ads and analytics so then you can put
the partner badge in your website and people don’t really know what it means
and like oh well says they’re okay I guess I’ll call them we actually have a
section on our website yes we’re Google partner it just means
we spent a bunch of money with Google for our clients it doesn’t really mean
anything and just being really honest with people about things like the Google
Ads certification it’s the reading
comprehension it doesn’t mean you’re good at ads it just means you’re good at
reading their documentation so I think I think it’s important for us to as an
industry to just get out there and be like look this doesn’t mean what you
think it means and to is redoing how they do from your
partners anyway and Google Ads so it doesn’t necessarily mean what used
to anyway which adjustment you’ve got your I spend way more money than
everybody else on Google Ads essentially yeah yeah I don’t don’t worry too much
about certification honestly just be good at what you do and have good
testimonials. Yeah, testimonials and the results and when we have a pleasure to
listen you in some conference around the world we can understand for your
knowledge. So Dana what do you think about link building for GMB address not
for the personal website? Oh, interesting yeah once while somebody
asked me about that am i I don’t know what you’re expecting to get from this
um I think link building for your website like Google knows your GMB
exists I don’t think links leading to your GMB do anything feel free to prove
me wrong and do a case study and see but I think if you google people doing
link building GMB I don’t think that a lot of people if they’ve tried it it’s
not something that they’ve seen any results from but I mean like
experimentation is at the heart of SEO if you want to try it and then report
back and see if it had any lift like the best example would be if you have a
client with two locations one you build links to the GMB the other location you
don’t see if the rankings improve and for one location versus the other I
would love to hear the results of that study but it’s not something that we
would spend her time on it’s hard enough to build links just for web sites like
why would you bring on the extra work of building links for GMB to you know link
building is hard it’s a lot of work. Another question from our audience about
citation: Dana what can we use to monitor citations about our brand? Yeah,
so um citation building in general we use Whitesburg for that but then
monitoring citations you definitely want to just watch for mentions of your
business ran nicked or non and so there’s lots of
different tools that will do that like one of the tools we use is hrs which
does find unlink brand mentions or you can use a tool like mention.com for
example that’s a good yeah we used mentioned calm to and some clients too
if they’re again if they’re a larger organization they probably have some
sort of social media monitoring software that includes mentions monitoring so
whatever they have like ask them and maybe they might need the SEO team might
need to talk to the social team so they you might be unaware that this
organization has this tool already that could be used for this purpose but
monitoring was mentions for sure and I mean Google Alerts it doesn’t catch
everything but for a small business just set up a Google Alert because sometimes
yeah people could mention you on websites and it might get caught as well
so it’s uh but most the time to you especially when you’re dealing with a
small business like one or two locations they’ll know if somebody mentioned them
so it’s not like if the news is gonna write an article about you for example
you’ll know you know but that’s really mentioned calm could be a good
monitoring tool and I think they have a free plan if you don’t have that many
mentions as well. Thank you, okay it’s now time for our funny part of the
webinar, we show a picture to the audience and to you Dana and the best idea
for Alt tag you have to choose the winner for the best Alt tag description.
Okay. Actually it’s better if we give time to our guests to choose right
alt tag because we don’t have so much time for that and Dana feel free to
give your best Alt tag for this image. Hmm…
You know it’s funny because this image came up because I was actually really
mad at where I live in Edmonton because they okay so the image shows you know
“take a risk it’s the most Edmonton thing you can do” which is this funny slogan
that came out of this project which was called make something Edmonton which was
to encourage innovation in the city and I was on the board for make something
Edmonton is like yeah this is really cool and then literally nothing happened
with it and so we have this billboard painted on a building about make
something Edmonton but nobody in Edmonton actually takes a risk and so I
just went off on this rant about the city which resonated with people so that
was great just as a business owner obviously you want your city to take a
risk and it doesn’t so if I’m thinking about like alt tag for this picture I
could be snarky and say you know it’s it’s you know “oxymoron for her Edmonton”
or I mean genuinely if I was actually writing an alt tag that I wanted to be a
real alt tag for this and not funny then I would actually write like billboard
that says you know the actual text for it it’s actually funny when talking
about alt tags at a call with a client yesterday who was like oh should I put
the brand name and alt tags I’m like no just describe the content of the picture
for accessibility do not spam alt tags all tags on the thing that you do when
you have literally nothing else to do with that see I like really don’t worry
about it so anyway like funny alt tag for this would be like you know “City
says one thing does another” basically is what most of the time honestly I feel
like happens is people it’s so easy to talk about things like innovation and
it’s so hard to actually do it and and and walk the talk and I think that’s
that’s one of things that I would want the alt text for this picture to
represent is just just do what your say you’re gonna do you know don’t say
you’re risky when you’re really not. Okay thank you so much Dana. So the alt tag
it’s a very very tricky for this type of image. Is really interesting. Yeah,
so we’re in the final minutes of our webinar
then a please what’s your final words to our audience and please tell me there
was more about voice search prediction from your opinion yeah because we have
one question from our audience yeah boy voice search I don’t know I feel like
it’s still kind of a toy I don’t think it’s legitimately used by real people
for anything other than like I’m gonna yell at Google and see what I get out of
this and I mean saying that my phone just went off thinking that I was
talking to it I’m not talking to it go away yeah yeah no I mean again like the
toy it’s not ready for primetime I think there are some verticals like recipes
for example which are massively benefiting from voice search you know
and I think that that’s something if you work in a recipe cooking vertical yeah
you’re should be all in unvoiced search and really focusing on that but the
stuff that works from voice search is the stuff that works for other stuff
like schema markup for example so you should be doing that anyway
and then you’ll benefit from it so as for like where I think search is going I
think this is where I think Google really has to make a decision soon on
how much they’re gonna deal with spam because the results are gonna get to the
point where people don’t trust them anymore because they’re still full of
spam so for example again like i Cavill a lot for work I’m in Seattle today I
last night I googled restaurants the results were terrible went on Yelp
results were much better you know or if you were in Europe
go on TripAdvisor for example and the results are significantly better than
anything Google can do so and Google knows this they’re they’re aware that
there are problems so they genuinely need to make a decision like do we
actually care about being accurate or we just having this because we have this so
I think that’s something really to pay attention to because that’s going to
determine how much local search becomes part of Google’s life going forward is
it going to continue to be this like sort of okay but not super great thing
that it is now or is it going to become an integral part of search and even if
we think about for example when we talk about people like Danny Sullivan and and
John and Gary and the webmaster hangouts like they don’t touch local right and
it’s very clear that they do know that they don’t it’s not part of the
wheelhouse right so if it was part of the wheelhouse I think it would be a
higher party at Google but it’s not so that really also demonstrates the
amount of divorce between local results and non-local results and so if local
results are going to be more prominent at Google then yeah those guys will
start talking about a webmaster hangouts but until they do like I don’t think
that’s a huge deal at Google I think it’s some little silo and they’re like
oh well yeah that’s weird I guess. This is very interesting topic because for the past years you
know John Gary and Dany but especially John trying to be very close to the SEO
community and they actually work with the community and they listen what the
people like you talk to them and I think this is very very positive for our
community. Yeah, I would love it but they don’t know about it at all and even when
so there was a recent thing where they got rid of stars and search results
because he said it was self-serving and I mean my response to that is like do
they know that marketing is essentially self-serving like that’s the literal
definition of what we do is it’s that’s that’s marketing and it just felt like
such a weird I’m not involved in this but we’ve made a decision on a type
response to get rid of stars for that purpose and actually the Google my
business people didn’t know that was happening they had no idea they saw the
posts at the same time as everyone else and we’re like we had no idea this was
happening so I think that really shows the level of disconnect between the
webmaster team and the and the Google Local team. Yeah, maybe we need to one
more one more John there but we hope one one day or you can be there. Yeah first off no, second of all I
don’t want to move to the states so I like I like my nice socialized health
care up in Canada thank you America’s nice to visit but I wouldn’t want there.
Okay and so thank you Dana for sharing your amazing knowledge with our audience
from Bulgaria especially, and the guys from around the world, thank you so much because for us is very very
important to share knowledge from very high quality experts like you
and I wish you all the best for every project and every case. So thank you that
you’re with us today thank to our team to prepare the webinar. Don’t forget to
subscribe to our youtube channel and watch our new webinar series in Serpask. Next
one will be with Aleyda Solis and next month, in December we’ll introduce two
people from actually two very very high quality specialists from Google. They
will be part of our webinar so don’t forget to check and see what we prepared
for our audience. Thank you again and have a good day Dana, night good night our Bulgarian audience. Thank
you so much for having me! Thanks. bye bye.


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