Local SEO

Local SEO

Local SEO

Episode 032

We’re introducing the topic of local SEO this week. If you don’t know your Google My Business from your Local Business Schema Data then tune in. We take a look at how local SEO works and some of the key things you can do to improve your local presence.
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Unknown Speaker  0:02
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.

Michael  0:23
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the SEO Show. I’m your host, Michael. And as always, I’m joined by my trusty reliable companion, Arthur.

Arthur  0:34
Hello, Happy Friday.

Michael  0:36
Happy Friday. What do you got planned for Friday outside of shooting a podcast?

Arthur  0:41
Not much to be honest. I’ve got a few things on this weekend, but I might want some 40 tonight. Good to have 40 back on TV.

Michael  0:48
Yeah. So last night was the first round of an IRA. I found it pretty boring. To be honest. The game.

Arthur  0:55
Well, yeah, it’s I like it as background TV. Yeah, it just gets me I like winter. I’m a winter guy. So it just it’s like the initiation of winter for me. Yeah, it starts it gets a bit cooler gets a bit crisper. get shorter.

Michael  1:09
I like the Christmas right now.

Arthur  1:10
Yeah, I’m definitely a winter boy. Winter boy winter, man.

Michael  1:15
Anyway, definitely not a boy. Yeah, we’re not here to talk about whether he’s a boy or not, or even talk about NRL. No. What are we here to talk about?

Arthur  1:23
We’re here to talk about ser. Well, more importantly, not importantly, but more specifically, local SEO?

Michael  1:30
We haven’t. We’ve done 30 Odd episodes. We haven’t spoken about local SEO?

Arthur  1:33
No, I we’ve touched on it in some episodes, but we haven’t done a dedicated episode to local SEO.

Michael  1:39
No. Sorry. Today is the day. Gather, gather, gather yourself, get a drink, get comfortable because we’re about to go deep on local SEO. But let’s start with something really obvious. What is local FBI?

Arthur  1:57
Got a question for me. I’m always opening up the conversation. Local SEO is I guess, optimising your GMB profile, Google My Business Profile. So your business appears for local searches. So this is probably more relevant for service based businesses. So if you’re a cake shop or you know an air conditioning, DLR electrician, you’re probably going to want to have a optimised Google My Business Profile.

Michael  2:24
And so basically, with those types of businesses, it’s where someone is searching for electrician suburb, generally, yes, location based searches. Yep. So with local SEO, what makes it different, I guess from normal SEO, you know, where will people be spending that time? To me? It’s all about Jim Bayes. And it’s about the profile optimizer. Yeah, exactly. Setting it up.

Arthur  2:48
Yeah. So not too worried about people visiting your site. I mean, it’s a plus but it’s more about having a super optimised. GMB profile and being prominent when you’re searching for local, I guess businesses. Yeah. And by prominent remain, you show the map pack, the local packet, the snack pack from local pack, Google Maps or whatever you want to call it. Yep.

Michael  3:09
And what a lot of businesses will do is, you know, you get your Google GMB, Google My Business so we’re going to call it GMB to be quick and easy, but you get GMB profiles set up and verified. But then you let it leave it together. Duft Exactly. Gather cobwebs,

Arthur  3:24
most businesses will just do the bare minimum. So name phone number website. That’s it, and just lays dormant there. People that search for it have a bad experience because they don’t get much information about your business at all. And it could potentially be a deterrent as to whether or not someone does business with you. Hmm, yep.

Michael  3:41
So what what should people be doing? Because there’s quite a lot with the GMB profile. Let’s start with the profile. And then we can go into a bit about how capital Fei works. Sure. Do you want to do it the other way around?

Arthur  3:53
Doesn’t matter. Really?

Michael  3:54
Yeah. Let’s dive right on the Jim Bay tangent at the moment. It is a central cog in local SEO. So let’s talk about the GMB profile. Then we’ll talk about what you should be trying to do to please google from a local point of view. So with your profile, let’s say you’ve created it, you’ve got your name, your phone number, your address, but it’s just laying dormant. What are some areas that you know, what do we like to optimise or even just set up on a profile to make it I guess, stand out more and you know, if a person comes across it, it looks like an active? Yeah.

Arthur  4:23
So I guess the first thing to do would be make sure that you’re filling out as much information as possible. So giving Google all the information about categories and subcategories, so that can be very important. Making sure that you are targeting the right categories, making sure that you’ve got all your information up to date.

Michael  4:40
So just on the topic of categories, that’s like for your business, your business Yeah,

Arthur  4:43
so whether or not you’re can’t think of anything off the top of my head electrician, exactly. A plumber to electrician. Yes. Yeah. So making sure that you you are targeting the right categories and making sure that you have filled out all the information information correctly. So Not just your business name and phone number, but you’ll address opening hours. You know, having a little buyer, basically giving enough or as much information as you can to anyone that’s searching for your business.

Michael  5:12
Yep. And this is important because when people said you brand, a lot of this stuff is going to display on the right hand side in the little panel there. Yeah, exactly. So I filled out profile. And it’s not just all that content. It’s things like shadows, right?

Arthur  5:25
Yeah. So what’s the next point? Yeah, photos are huge. So most GMB profiles will be lacking high quality photos of their business. Yep. I mean, users can upload photos, but they’re often not going to be great. I mean, you can approve them and remove them. But you really want to have some high quality professional photos of your business if you are trying to drive people through the doors. Yeah, so definitely invest in. You don’t have to have a professional photographer. Just make sure you’re taking good clay photos of your business that you want people to see.

Michael  5:52
Like a high quality iPhone shot. Just thought about and shot the right way is going to be more than sufficient. Yeah. You need to I’d probably want a mix of photos as well. So like yeah, showing in the office. The team out the front. Yeah, the if you’ve got vans or cars on the road photos of that just that show that you’re a real going concern. You know, you’re a trustworthy real business.

Arthur  6:15
Yeah. Have a fun little stat. So business listings that have photos. A double W more reputable and can drive 35% more clicks.

Michael  6:24
Nice. You’ve come with the stats. Yeah, I

Arthur  6:26
came prepared this week. Beautiful. Wow. That’s another one. The average GMB profile has a living photos. Really? Yes. Yeah. Average? Yes.

Michael  6:34
Because we see a lot with none. Exactly. People out there that are going to town with optimising.

Arthur  6:38
Well, there’ll be people that like, let’s just say there’s a restaurant, that’d be a lot of people uses adding photos to that profile. Yep. So I think across you know, like your own photos and uses photos, there’s on average 11.

Michael  6:50
Yeah, but you as a business owner should definitely be uploading really high quality shots, not leaving it up to your users. Exactly. And you can control what actually then shows in the search results. So if you said someone searches your brand, on the right hand side, there will be like a cover photo, I guess, or a profile pic or thumbnail for all the photos. You can pick the one that looks the best for your business and make sure that that shows in the search results. Yeah. So again, if you have a team of like 20 people and cars and vans, some sort of like, you know, wide angle shot of everyone would be cool to show at that point. But yeah, I guess the general gist that is, don’t just let your profile sit dormant. Yeah, right. I fill out every aspect of, you know, all the different fields that you can. What else should people be doing with their GMB profile?

Arthur  7:38
Well, there’s a thing called q&a. So this doesn’t actually show up in your GMB profile photo maps. And it’s when people ask questions about your business, you can take the opportunity to answer them and they’ll start showing up on your GMB profile. So it’s always good to have a look and have a look at your listing and see what sort of questions are being answered because it might be super relevant to your business or, you know, very helpful to someone else that’s searching for your business. So yeah, another missed opportunity a lot of people don’t look at and kind of just sit down answered,

Michael  8:09
yep, yep. Another thing that I think a lot of businesses don’t do, is setting up your what’s known as products product catalogue. Does doesn’t have to be products, it can be services. But it’s another opportunity again, coming back to the search results when you search a brand. On the right hand side, if the business has set up their product catalogue, it will have the name of the products and an image. And if you click on it, it will pop up and you can have a big description of one product or service. So fill that stuff out. Yeah, get some images, custom design that stand out in the search results. attract attention, that sort of stuff. You

Arthur  8:47
can add services as well. So if you’re like a carpet cleaner, you can have your different packages or whatever, and your GMB profile. So yep, very helpful.

Michael  8:55
Even for our agency, we have the SEO show as a product in our product catalogue so that when you look in the search results, it’s just another cool app for the show. And if you click into it, it will offer you the link to go check out the show’s website surprising how few people do that. That’s a big one. Yeah, really big one most, a lot of businesses don’t do it. And another thing that I do, and we’re pretty guilty of this ourselves is post DNB. Yeah, you know, we post an Insta we post on Facebook, LinkedIn, but GMB, you should post because that shows that you’re not a dormant.

Arthur  9:26
No, isn’t it gives you an opportunity to announce you know, offers events, whatever will be happening with your business. It’s like free advertising, basically.

Michael  9:35
Mm hmm. Yeah. So again, it should be part of your like as a business, you want to be active on all your social profiles, showing off that you know what you’re doing. You’re trustworthy, you’re good at your craft, all that sort of stuff across all of those profiles so that at any given moment when someone comes across them and is assessing your business, you’re putting your best foot forward. All of this needs to be done on your business profile? Yes. It’s not. In most cases. No. And look, it’s

Arthur  10:04
not that hard to do. Let’s be honest.

Michael  10:06
Yeah. So what is the steps? How did people even do this? You know, like, we’re just assuming people know,

Arthur  10:11
how would they go about doing it themselves?

Michael  10:13
Yeah. Like if we’re, I’m gonna assume most businesses should have claimed their profile and, like, verified it.

Arthur  10:20
I’m pretty sure Google kind of runs you through the whole process. It tells you how optimise your profile is, whether you’re sitting at 60% 75%. It lets you know whether or not you’ve added images. So, I mean, they make it super easy for any business to fill out the profile. Well enough.

Michael  10:36
Yeah, it’s just a time investment in writing it on getting the graphics design, basically, yeah. But if you if this is all totally foreign to you, the first thing you should do is search, Google My Business. And go to the first site and login and just see if your business is in there. If you have it under your control. If not, you’re gonna have to try and hunt it down. It will be if it’s on maps, there’s a GMB profile for it. So you need to get control of that and then optimise the hell out of it. Basically, what we’re saying. The other big thing is reviews. Very important. We did a whole episode we did recently. So okay, well,

Arthur  11:13
I was gonna say probably don’t need to go into too much depth there. But very important to get legitimate reviews from customers that have had good experience. Anyone that has had a negative experience, make sure that you address the issue. I think it just makes a profile look a lot more legitimate. And there’s ways about getting reviews. So you know, if you’ve worked with someone, you know, having a little link in your invoice, email invoice or having it in your signature, or just sending it out to x clients, and just trying to get reviews that way. But building out, you know, a large list of reviews is very helpful. Yep.

Michael  11:46
The old social proof. Very important. And coming back to the topic of local SEO reviews are a ranking factor, positive reviews. So if you can cultivate more positive reviews, and even more, just as many as possible, it’s a good thing from a local SEO point of view.

Arthur  12:04
Yeah, it can be tough to it. Can we know firsthand, it can be tough even though you know, clients will rave about how like how much you love working with you. Trying to get a review sometimes is like pulling teeth. Yeah, it’s easier said than done.

Michael  12:16
But let’s maybe move on to talking about actually local SEO ranking factors in the light. How does Google will even figure out local rankings and how who to show? You know, if I search for i Dr. Brisbane, there’s going to be in the maps in the search results. There’s going to be three businesses that make it to the top. Yeah. How is that happening?

Arthur  12:41
So three things? Yep. Relevance. So we touched on that making sure that you are targeting the right categories in your GMB profile. You could also you know, insert some keywords into your title. That will definitely help you appearing on your business appearing for maybe a more generic search that isn’t your brand. So making sure that your profile is good and relevant to what of searched you want to appear for. Yep, we’d be the first thing. Proximity location. So obviously if you’re in the Sydney CBD, and you’re searching for an optometrist, you’re not going to see results in Parramatta or Penrith or you know, Campbelltown, you’re going to see results which are in your proximity or in your location. So, that’s another massive ranking factor.

Michael  13:26
And so sometimes people will be like, I want to be in the maps for like electrician, Sydney, and they’re based in Penrith. Yeah. And he just not gonna be No, like there are ways in the past where people would use virtual addresses on have heaps of different Google GMB profiles in different locations. Yes, that stuff can work here and there but then Google’s always trying to stop that stuff from working too.

Arthur  13:47
Yeah, you can you can set a service area so if you’re an electrician and you serve a Sydney you set the service area to Sydney you can hide your actual address, so no one knows where you are located. But I’m not sure how well that would work I’d still be very much dependent on where your I guess your basis or your addresses Yeah, where were you sure

Michael  14:05
where your address is and what the person is searching for and where they are actually located themselves a person searching Google’s looking at all of this stuff. So it’s very hard to trick Google these days into showing I guess you fill out these really big high value location terms when you’re out of area. But so anyway, that is important, like obviously, your location and the proximity of you to the person searching what’s the other the other part that Google is looking at so that you know they look at your location they’re looking at keywords in your profile, they’re looking at reviews as we covered but what else

Arthur  14:39
so I guess prominence as well so making sure that you are a legitimate business. So making sure that you have you know, directories on sorry directories and citations set up or with the correct information or with you know, your right address your right phone number, all the information matches up. That is a you know, Google can crawl that and see all that information and then it gives you a legit demissie basically Google knows that you’re a legitimate business. Having social profiles set up, reviews, like you said, are very important. So making sure that you have all that social proof. Yep, running in the background. So Google knows that you are legit.

Michael  15:13
Even things like structured data, like the schema in the code that says you’re a local business, and it says, what your addresses and what your phone number is, and what your social profiles are, and all that stuff, Google. Yeah, roll it and understand it. All of those things together, go into influencing ranking in the maps. That’s pretty much all there is to it from like, I guess, with local SEO as well. There is the on site side of

Arthur  15:38
things. You mean, like having location pages set up? Yeah, that sort of thing? Yeah. I mean, it depends what type of business you walk, because you might be a business that has multiple locations. So having those locations set up on your website and having those linked to the GMB profiles, because you’re probably going to have multiple profiles, super important, making sure that you have one account and managing all your locations on that account. Yep. Because there has been situations with clients where, you know, they have dozens of listings, and it’s so hard to figure out who owns what listing, and it’s all like, there’s no consistency. It’s just a mess. Yep, so making sure that if you do have a lot of locations, it’s all under one login. And you can manage it really easily. And there’s consistency.

Michael  16:21
And I would say, coming back to the on site, certain types of businesses, so like, let’s say, electrician, franchise business, where it’s got one brand, but locations all across New South Wales, they might build out our pages for regions in New South Wales. So like, you know, the Hunter Valley and the south coast and Sydney. And then within there have pages for the main, I guess, areas that people will be searching for. That is a valid local SEO, I would call it a local SEO tactic in that you’re not necessarily trying to show in the maps, but you’re trying to show in the organic results, Southern so that sort of stuff combined with link building, and all the stuff that we always bang on about is also important now and from a ranking in the maps point of view, having a strong domain links to your domain, that sort of stuff. Links from.com. Today use if you’re in australia.co.uk, if you’re in the UK, that sort of stuff plays into it as well, definitely, yeah. But um, really, that’s, I think, a pretty good introduction to local SEO.

Arthur  17:21
I think so it’s really not that difficult to set up a profile and manage it. Like you said, All you need is to invest your time. Yeah. And for a lot of businesses, it could. It’s a massive missed opportunity, I believe anyway, because there’s millions of business outfit businesses out there that don’t have a proper optimised profile.

Michael  17:39
Yet, so think about it from the customer’s point of view. What are they looking at when they’re out there hunting down a business to help them with their need? What do you look like compared to the competition?

Arthur  17:48
I do it all the time. Hey, you know, when I’m looking at buying any sort of product, always check out the store the retailer have a look at the GMB profile. If I see one that’s neglected, it’s a massive deterrent for me because I don’t personally maybe it’s just my perception, but they don’t seem like a legitimate business.

Michael  18:03
Absolutely. Like to give you a concrete example, I looked up someone to work on pavers, outdoor pavers, like restoration for them. The companies I was looking at some, they would just be a name on a webpage. So they might rank organically but their GMB doesn’t exist. No reviews, no customer testimonials, no photos before and after, and that sort of stuff. And then the company I went with every little dot was ticked or box was yeah, you know, like their GMB was awesome reviews before and after photos. Yeah, they just had a brand. And that’s when I went

Arthur  18:36
with similar example, I guess maybe maybe a bit flipped. But I bought a new PC recently. And I was considering buying one from a retail computer like a computer retailer. And I had a look at the GMB profile. And there was so many negative reviews. Basically, delivery time and how long it took to put together the PC, people were just complaining, it took forever. And I found one which had a lot of positive reviews, which looked legitimate, cost me probably about $200 more, but I went with those guys just because I knew that they would deliver. Yeah, it had a lot of legitimate reviews at a proper profile. So, you know, I’d rather spend a bit more and have a better experience exactly working from working with a business that I know is going to deliver. So

Michael  19:21
and that’s really massive that point because we will often have clients in our agency come to us and say, Well, I’m not the cheapest. I want to charge more. You know, I’m more upmarket. Yeah, I want clients that are happy to spend a bit more. But what are you doing to actually deserve that or earn that or get clients I guess comfortable with spending more? Exactly because there are people out there that don’t want the cheapest they want a good experience and we’ll be happy to pay more but if you’re not

Arthur  19:44
if you’re not sure I prefer cheaper and good experience but of course but in

Michael  19:49
your case just there you went with a bit more expensive because you didn’t want the headache of exactly around for this thing to turn up. You would these other guys. Yeah, because they’d put their best foot forward

Arthur  19:57
exactly like business and stuff. They’re not gonna tell you upfront that stuff you need to kind of dig for. Yeah, that’s where the GMB profile is very powerful. Yep.

Michael  20:07
So I guess if you want those higher spending clients, if you want to be a bit more upmarket, then you need to earn that you need to show people you deserve that by having really well optimised. GMB profile is just one of the, I guess, strings in strings. I was gonna say strings in your arsenal cogs in

Arthur  20:24
your SEO wheel. Okay.

Michael  20:27
Yeah, we’ll go with that. So, look, hopefully that’s been a good little introduction to local SEO. We are all done for this week. We’ll be back next week with another episode of the SEO show. But until then, see you later. You got to say Happy

Arthur  20:41
SEO in happy SEO and happy Friday. I hope everyone has an amazing weekend. There you go. See you later. Bye.

Unknown Speaker  20:49
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. It will really help the show. We’ll see you in the next episode.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet your hosts:

Arthur Fabik


Michael Costin


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