How to Get a Customer to Edit Their Negative Review

“When you forgive, you in no way change the pas — but you sure do change the future.” — Bernard Meltzer Your brand inhabits a challenging world in which its consumers’ words make up the bulk of your reputation. Negative reviews can feel like the ultimate revenge, punishing dissatisfactory experiences with public shaming, eroded local rankings, and attendant revenue loss. Some business owners become so worried about negative reviews, they head to fora asking if there is any way to opt-out and even querying whether they should simply remove their business listings altogether rather than face the discordant music. But hang in there. Local business customers may be more forgiving than you think. In fact, your customers may think differently than you might think.  I’ve just completed a study of consumer behavior as it relates to negative reviews becoming positive ones and I believe this blog post will hold some very welcome […]

Read more

New Things I’ve Learned About Google Review Likes

Last time I counted, there were upwards of 35 components to a single Google Business Profile (GBP). Hotel panels, in and of themselves, are enough to make one squeal, but even on a more “typical” GPB, it’s easy to overlook some low-lying features. Often, you may simply ignore them until life makes you engage. A few weeks ago, a local SEO came to me with a curious real-life anecdote, in which a client was pressuring the agency to have all their staff hit the “like” button on all of the brand’s positive Google reviews. Presumably, the client felt this would help their business in some manner. More on the nitty-gritty of this scenario later, but at first, it made me face that I’d set this whole GBP feature to one side of my brain as not terribly important. Fast forward a bit, and I’ve now spent a couple of days […]

Read more

Rural Local SEO: A Marketing Package Strong on Education

Can your marketing agency make a profit working with low-budget clients in rural areas? Could you be overlooking a source of referrals, publicity, and professional satisfaction if you’re mainly focused on landing larger clients in urban locales? Clients in least-populated areas need to capture every customer they can get to be viable, including locals, new neighbors, and passers-through. Basic Local SEO can go a long way toward helping with this, and even if package offerings aren’t your agency’s typical approach, a simple product that emphasizes education could be exactly what’s called for. Today, I’d like to help you explore your opportunities of serving rural and very small town clients. I’ve pulled together a sample spreadsheet and a ton of other resources that I hope will empower you to develop a bare-bones but high-quality local search marketing package that will work for most and could significantly benefit your agency in some […]

Read more

The New Moz Local Is on Its Way!

Exciting secrets can be so hard to keep. Finally, all of us at Moz have the green light to share with all of you a first glimpse of something we’ve been working on for months behind the scenes. Big inhale, big exhale… Announcing: the new and improved Moz Local, to be rolled out beginning June 12! Why is Moz updating the Moz Local platform? Local search has evolved from caterpillar to butterfly in the seven years since we launched Moz Local. I think we’ve spent the time well, intensively studying both Google’s trajectory and the feedback of enterprise, marketing agency, and SMB customers. Your generosity in telling us what you need as marketers has inspired us to action. Over the coming months, you’ll be seeing what Moz has learned reflected in a series of rollouts. Stage by stage, you’ll see that we’re planning to give our software the wings it […]

Read more

I Want To Rank Beyond My Location: A Guide to How This Works

Staff at your agency get asked this question just about every day, and it’s a local SEO forum FAQ, too: “I’m located in ‘x’, but how do I rank beyond that?” In fact, this query is so popular, it deserves a good and thorough answer. I’ve written this article in the simplest terms possible so that you can instantly share it with even your least-technical clients. We’ll break rankings down into five easy-to-grasp groups, and make sense out of how Google appears to bucket rankings for different types of users and queries. Your clients will come away with an understanding of what’s appropriate, what’s possible, and what’s typically impossible. It’s my hope that shooting this link over to all relevant clients will save your team a ton of time, and ensure that the brands you’re serving are standing on steady ground with some good education. There’s nothing quite like education […]

Read more

Restaurant Local SEO: The Google Characteristics of America’s Top-Ranked Eateries

“A good chef has to be a manager, a businessman and a great cook. To marry all three together is sometimes difficult.” – Wolfgang Puck I like this quote. It makes me hear phones ringing at your local search marketing agency, with aspiring chefs and restaurateurs on the other end of the line, ready to bring experts aboard in the “sometimes difficult” quest for online visibility. Is your team ready for these clients? How comfortable do you feel talking restaurant Local SEO when such calls come in? When was the last time you took a broad survey of what’s really ranking in this specialized industry? Allow me to be your prep cook today, and I’ll dice up “best restaurant” local packs for major cities in all 50 US states. We’ll julienne Google Posts usage, rough chop DA, make chiffonade of reviews, owner responses, categories, and a host of other ingredients […]

Read more

How to Find Your True Local Competitors

Who are your clients’ true competitors? It’s a question that’s become harder to answer. What felt like a fairly simple triangulation between Google, brand, and searcher in the early days of the local web has multiplied into a geodesic dome of localization, personalization, intent matching, and other facets. This evolution from a simple shape to a more complex shape has the local SEO industry starting to understand the need to talk about trends and patterns vs. empirical rankings. For instance, you might notice that you just can’t deliver client reports that say, “Congratulations, you’re #1” anymore. And that’s because the new reality is that there is no #1 for all searchers. A user on the north side of town may see a completely different local pack of results if they go south, or if they modify their search language. An SEO may get a whole different SERP if they search […]

Read more

5 Google Business Profile Tweaks To Improve Foot Traffic

Your agency recommends all kinds of useful tactics to help improve the local SEO for your local business clients, but how many of those techniques are leveraging Google Business Profile (GBP) to attract as many walk-ins as possible? Today, I’m sharing five GBP tweaks worthy of implementation to help turn digital traffic into foot traffic. I’ve ordered them from easiest to hardest, but as you’ll see, even the more difficult ones aren’t actually very daunting — all the more reason to try them out! 1) Answer Google Q&A quickly (they might be leads) Difficulty level: Easy If you have automotive industry clients, chances you’re familiar with Greg Gifford from DealerOn. At a recent local search conference, Greg shared that 40 percent of the Google Q&A questions his clients receive are actually leads.  40 percent! Here’s what that looks like in Google’s Q&A: It looks like Coast Nissan has a customer who […]

Read more

Affordable, Stat-Based Retail Strategy For Your Agency’s Clients

Retail clients are battling tough economics offline and tough competitors online. They need every bit of help your agency can give them.  I was heartened when 75 percent of the 1,400+ respondents to the Moz State of Local SEO Industry Report 2019 shared that they contribute to offline strategy recommendations either frequently or at least some of the time. I can’t think of a market where good and relatively inexpensive experiments are more needed than in embattled retail. The ripple effect of a single new idea, offered up generously, can spread out to encompass new revenue streams for the client and new levels of retention for your agency. And that’s why win-win seemed written all over three statistics from a 2018 Yes Marketing retail survey when I read it because they speak to motivating about one quarter to half of 1,000 polled customers without going to any extreme expense. Take […]

Read more

B2B Local Search Marketing: A Guide to Hidden Opportunity

Is a local business you’re marketing missing out on a host of B2B opportunities? Do B2B brands even qualify for local SEO? If I say “B2B” and you think “tech,” then you’re having the same problem I was finding reliable information about local search marketing for business-to-business models. While it’s true that SaaS companies like Moz, MailChimp, and Hootsuite are businesses which vend to other businesses, their transactions are primarily digital. These may be the types of companies that make best-of B2B lists, but today let’s explore another realm in which a physical business you promote is eligible to be marketed both locally and as a B2B. Let’s determine your eligibility, find your B2B opportunities, identify tips specific to your business model, analyze an outreach email, explore your content with a checklist, and find an advantage for you in today’s article. Seeing how Google sees you First to determine whether […]

Read more

Taking Local Inventory Online: An Interview with Pointy’s Mark Cummins

Let’s go back in time 20 years so I can ask you the question, “How often do you look at a paper map every month?” Unless you were a cartographer or a frequent traveler, chances are good that your answer would be, “Hmm, maybe less than once a month. Maybe once or twice a year.” But in 2019, I’d wager there’s scarcely a day that goes by without you using Google Maps when planning to eat out, find a service provider, or find something fun to do. That web-based map in your hand has become a given. And yet, there’s one thing you’re still not using the Internet for. And it’s something you likely wonder about almost daily. It starts with the question, “I wonder who around here carries X?” A real-world anecdote After the tragic fires we’ve had this year in California, I wanted to wet mop all the […]

Read more

Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019

64% of 1,411 surveyed local business marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. Via Moz State of Local SEO Industry Report …but please don’t come away with the wrong storyline from this statistic. As local brands and their marketers watch Google play Trojan horse, shifting from top benefactor to top competitor by replacing former “free” publicity with paid packs, Local Service Ads, zero-click SERPs, and related structures, it’s no surprise to see forum members asking, “Do I even need a website anymore?” Our answer to this question is,“Yes, you’ve never needed a website more than you will in 2019.” In this post, we’ll examine: Why it looks like local businesses don’t need websites Statistical proofs of why local businesses need websites now more than ever The current status of local business websites and most-needed improvements How Google stopped bearing so many gifts […]

Read more

The Guide to Building Linked Unstructured Citations for Local SEO

This article was written jointly in partnership with Kameron Jenkins. You can enjoy her previous articles here. When you’ve accomplished step one in your local search marketing, how do you take step two? You already know that any local business you market has to have the table stakes of accurate structured citations on major platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Infogroup, Acxiom, and YP. But what can local SEO practitioners do once they’ve got these formal listings created and a system in place for managing them? Our customers often come to us once they’ve gotten well underway with Moz Local and ask, “What’s next? What can I do to move the needle?” This blog post will give you the actionable strategy and a complete step-by-step tutorial to answer this important question. A quick refresher on citations Listings on formal directories are called “structured citations.” When other types of platforms (like online news, […]

Read more

The State of Local SEO: Industry Insights for a Successful 2019

A thousand thanks to the 1,411 respondents who gave of their time and knowledge in contributing to this major survey! You’ve created a vivid image of what real-life, everyday local search marketers and local business owners are observing on a day-to-day basis, what strategies are working for them right now, and where some frankly stunning opportunities for improvement reside. Now, we’re ready to share your insights into: Google Updates Citations Reviews Company infrastructure Tool usage And a great deal more… This survey pooled the observations of everyone from people working to market a single small business, to agency marketers with large local business clients: Respondents who self-selected as not marketing a local business were filtered from further survey results. Thanks to you, this free report is a window into the industry. Bring these statistics to teammates and clients to earn the buy-in you need […]

Read more

3 Empowering Small Business Tips for Today, 2019, and a Better Future

“American business is overwhelmingly small business.” – SBE Council Small businesses have created 61.8% of net new jobs in the US since the early 1990s. Local business is big business. Let’s celebrate this in honor of Small Business Saturday with 3 strategies that will support independent business owners this week, and in the better future that can be attained with the right efforts. What’s Small Business Saturday? It’s an annual shopping event sponsored by American Express on the Saturday following Thanksgiving with the primary goal of encouraging residents to patronize local merchants. The program was launched in 2010 in response to the Great Recession. By 2017, Small Business Saturday jumped to 7,200 Neighborhood Champions (individuals and groups that organize towns for the event), with 108 million reported participating consumers spending $12 billion across the country. Those numbers are impressive, and more than that, they hold the acorn of strategy for […]

Read more

What the Local Customer Service Ecosystem Looks Like in 2019

Everything your brand does in the new year should support just one goal: better local customer service. Does this sound too simple? Doesn’t marketing brim with a thousand different tasks? Of course — but if the goal of each initiative isn’t to serve the customer better, it’s time for a change of business heart. By putting customers, and their problems, at the absolute center of your brand’s strategy, your enterprise will continuously return to this heart of the matter, this heart of commerce. What is local customer service in 2019? It’s so much more than the face-to-face interactions of one staffer with one shopper. Rather, it’s a commitment to becoming an always-on resource that is accessible to people whenever, wherever and however they need it. A Google rep was recently quoted as saying that 46% of searches have a local intent. Mobile search, combined with desktop and various forms of […]

Read more

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Taking Full Control of Your Google Knowledge Panels

They say you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, but when the turnip (and your biggest potential competitor) is Google, the lifeblood of the local business locations you market could depend on knowing where to take control. As Google acts to confine ever-more stages of the local consumer journey within their own interface, local enterprises need to assume as much control as possible over the aspects of the Google Knowledge Panel that they can directly or indirectly influence. This cheat sheet is your fast track to squeezing the most you can out of what Google is still offering. How Google changed from local business benefactor to competitor It may not come naturally, at first, to think of Google as a competitor. For many years in the local space, their offering of significant free screen real estate to any eligible local enterprise was like a gift. But, in their […]

Read more

Follow the Local SEO Leaders: A Guide to Our Industry’s Best Publications

Change is the only constant in local SEO. As your local brand or local search marketing agency grows, you’ll be onboarding new hires. Whether they’re novices or adepts, they’ll need to keep up with continuous industry developments in order to make agile contributions to team strategy. Particularly if local SEO is new to someone, it saves training time if you can fast-track them on who to follow for the best news and analysis. This guide serves as a blueprint for that very purpose. And even if you’re an old hand in the local SEM industry, you may find some sources here you’ve been overlooking that could add richness and depth to your ongoing education. Two quick notes on what and how I’ve chosen: As the author of both of Moz’s newsletters (the Moz Top 10 and the Moz Local Top 7), I read an inordinate amount of SEO and local […]

Read more

Local Business Transparency & Empathy for the Holidays: Tips + Downloadable Checklist

Your local business will invest its all in stocking shelves and menus with the right goods and services in advance of the 2018 holiday season, but does your inventory include the on-and-offline experiences consumers say they want most? Right now, a potential patron near you is having an experience that will inform their decision of whether to do business with you at year’s end, and their takeaway is largely hinging on two things: your brand’s transparency and empathy. An excellent SproutSocial survey of 1,000 consumers found that people define transparency as being: Open (59%) Clear (53%) Honest (49%) Meanwhile, after a trying year of fake news, bad news, and privacy breaches, Americans could certainly use some empathy from brands that respect their rights, needs, aspirations, and time. Today, let’s explore how your local brand can gift customers with both transparency and empathy before and during the holiday […]

Read more

How to Win Some Local Customers Back from Amazon this Holiday Season

Your local business may not be able to beat Amazon at the volume of their own game of convenient shipping this holiday season, but don’t assume it’s a game you can’t at least get into! This small revelation took me by surprise last month while I was shopping for a birthday gift for my brother. Like many Americans, I’m feeling growing qualms about the economic and societal impacts of putting my own perceived convenience at the top of a list of larger concerns like ensuring fair business practices, humane working conditions, and sustainable communities. So, when I found myself on the periphery of an author talk at the local independent bookstore and the book happened to be one I thought my brother would enjoy, I asked myself a new question: “I wonder if this shop would ship?” There was no signage indicating such a service, but I asked anyway, and […]

Read more
1 2