I’ve Heard That: So…You Get Coffee Every Day on Your Way to Work

by | Last updated Jun 21, 2022 | Podcast

In the third episode of our I’ve Heard That podcast on the Hurrdat Media Network, host Meghan sits down with SEO Director Ross Allen and Local Search Manager Alexi English to talk about all things local search, including how businesses can optimize their local business listings for a stronger online presence.

What is local search optimization?

English: Local search is a type of search engine optimization (SEO), and the goal is to increase a business’ visibility for relevant searches related to services your business offers and searches with local intent.

Allen: It’s kind of symbiotic with the on-site website optimization that I do with SEO. Local search is kind of an extension, though it lives by itself. Having a well-optimized website actually helps Google My Business profiles appear higher in the searches. Making sure everything is optimized as much as it can be on the actual website itself will play into the hands of Google My Business and make sure the visibility is there.

What are some of the features and attributes someone can use to optimize a Google My Business profile?

English: Reviews are really important, and not just for ranking, but for converting, too. I know for me, when I’m looking for a nail salon, I immediately go to the reviews, and I don’t just look at the stars. I look at how many reviews there are. And that’s something you can control. You can ask your customers for reviews.

Allen: Even if there is a negative review, it’s an opportunity to communicate with that customer. Just by doing that and seeing that you’re paying attention and that you do care about that review, it can also count as a positive, even though it’s a negative. If I read a review and I see that it’s negative, but that company has tried to respond to that review and resolve it as quickly as possible, that to me is a plus.

How does a business optimize for local search on their site?

Allen: It’s making sure that the information is the same, and it’s correct. The address is the same. The opening hours are the same. Where we can go above and beyond with on-site optimization is by writing some hyperlocal content that will highlight the locality of the business. Yes, we have the address information there, and we’ve got the phone number and everything else that is stationary for that business. It’s black and white. It’s there. But what you can do is embellish upon that by writing some content that pulls out some landmarks and some features and some really hyperlocal content that pinpoints it in the locality. Search engines can come along and say, “There’s the address, and there’s that landmark. There’s that feature. They’re absolutely there.” That can really help the business in local search.

What’s your top advice when optimizing for local search?

English: Make sure your Google My Business profile is complete. I drive this in so much, but your business category is so important. A lot of times I’ll notice a business we work with will have categories that don’t relate to them at all, and that can be a negative. A category is huge, but so is making sure your profile is complete.

Allen: Name, address, and phone number. Making sure that’s the same everywhere. Consistency is key. Make sure your name, address, and phone number are the same.

English: It’s also a bad experience for potential customers. If I call the wrong phone number, I’m going to be annoyed. Or if your hours are wrong, I’m going to be annoyed.

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Read Full Transcription

Speaker 1 (00:03):

Welcome to I’ve Heard That, the podcast from Hurrdat Marketing that discusses digital marketing trends, tips, and more.

MeghanTrapp  (00:10):

Hi everyone. My name is Meghan, I’m Agency Director at Hurrdat Marketing. I’m really excited for today’s topic. A topic near and dear to my heart, local SEO or local search. So welcome. I have two awesome guests, Alexi and Ross from our team. Ross, tell me what do you do at Hurrdat?

Ross Allen (00:30):

Hi. Well I’m Ross, I’m the SEO Director at Hurrdat and I oversee the SEO teams and LSO teams, so local search teams. I manage them on a day-to-day basis as well as getting into the trenches and working on client websites, optimizing them for organic search, helping with the local search team and getting that local search visibility.

MeghanTrapp  (00:50):

Awesome. Yeah. Definitely search engine optimization on a more technical side and on a web-based side. And for you Alexi, what do you do?

Alexi English (00:59):

Hi everyone. I’m Alexi, I am the Local Search Manager, so I help oversee the local search team on a day-to-day basis and also help optimize businesses for local search.

MeghanTrapp  (01:11):

Awesome. So who wants to go first? Explain what is local search?

Alexi English (01:15):

I can start if you want. So local search is a type of search engine optimization and the goal is to increase a business’ visibility for relevant searches. So searches related to services your business offers and searches with local intent.

MeghanTrapp  (01:36):

Yeah, definitely. Ross, anything to add?

Ross Allen (01:39):

Oh. I think that it’s symbiotic with actually the onsite website optimization that I do. Local search is an extension, although it can live by itself. But having a well optimized website actually helps the Google My Business profiles actually appear higher in the searches. And making sure that everything is optimized as much as it can be on the actual website itself will play into the hand of Google My Business and making sure the visibility is there.

MeghanTrapp  (02:07):

Awesome. Yeah. So let’s break it down because I know in other episodes we’ve talked about SEO and another SEO type topics. So when we’re talking about local search, it’s really a specific area of a search results page. So at the top typically you have ads sometimes, sometimes not. I guess so, so typically now and not so typically always. And then under that you usually have a Maps Pack, and that’s where you Google My Business listing lives. And then under that you have directories and websites.

MeghanTrapp  (02:39):

So I mean, directories are websites where it talking about like yelp.com or even Facebook, Angie’s List, and then you would have like a client’s website. So when we’re talking about local search optimization, we’re talking about getting as much coverage for a local business on that search results page. So that could be a local service ad, it could be usually what we’re referencing is Google My Business and Maps Pack, or it could be some of the barnacle SEO.

MeghanTrapp  (03:07):

So like their Yelp listing showing up or their Angie’s List listing showing up and of course their website. If they can gain majority of those spots then typically they’re a good candidate for somebody to click on and hopefully do business with. So how do we optimize local businesses for local search? A lot of it has to do with Google My Business’ ranking algorithms. So tell me, what is Google looking at? What’s the ranking algorithm looking at? How do you get that number one placement?

Alexi English (03:40):

Yeah. So I always start with the three main factors, relevance, distance, and prominence. And we can go through those if you would like.

MeghanTrapp  (03:47):

Yeah. Explain it.

Alexi English (03:48):

Okay. So relevance. So how does your business or does your business relate to what the searcher is looking for? So I always use two examples. If you’re a coffee shop and they’re searching for an ice cream shop, you’re not going to show up in the search results. And then I also use a gym. If someone’s looking for a gym open 24 hours and you’re not, you’re not going to show up in the search results or there’s a good chance you probably won’t show up, so.

MeghanTrapp  (04:16):

Awesome. Explain distance. Yeah.

Alexi English (04:18):

Yeah. So distance, I think sometimes businesses struggle with this. So the example I use is if your business is located in Elkhorn but you’re searching in Omaha, there’s a good chance you’re not going to show up when someone is searching for a service you offer in Omaha.

MeghanTrapp  (04:34):

I think that’s looks like a really difficult or a challenge for a lot of local businesses that may or may not be located near where somebody’s searching. So a lot of times there’re certain services you may search for over your lunch hour. And when we used to go into an office that would typically be like, okay, a lot of people are downtown while they’re working or a lot of people are in Lakeside area or something while they’re working. So if your business isn’t physically located near where somebody might be searching when they do their search, then you’re not going to have a strong signal when it comes to proximity being a factor.

MeghanTrapp  (05:09):

And then of course that gets even a little more challenging based on region. So if we’re saying, hey, Elkhorn, there’s a company in Elkhorn than I’m thinking of, and they want to be found in Omaha, well they’re local to Elkhorn. So people that are local to Elkhorn searching for their services are going to come across them, they’re going to dominate that search. But if they’re trying to dominate Omaha and search, then somebody that also offers that same service in Omaha is probably going to outrank them because proximity is such a high weighted factor for Google.

Alexi English (05:46):

Yeah. And there’s a lot of ranking factors that you can’t control, but that’s one of them that you can’t really change. Except maybe-

MeghanTrapp  (05:53):

You can move offices?

Alexi English (05:54):

… Yeah. You can move offices so you could open a new location, but yeah.

MeghanTrapp  (05:58):

Yeah, definitely. And then the third factor.

Alexi English (06:00):

Okay. So prominence is the third one. So the example I like to use for this one is like if you’re looking for a coffee shop, Starbucks and Scooter’s are probably always going to show up. And then also I think this relates to links.

MeghanTrapp  (06:13):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alexi English (06:14):

And I don’t know, Ross can probably explain that a little bit better than me, but.

MeghanTrapp  (06:18):

Yeah. So prominence being that?

Alexi English (06:20):

How well known your business is.

MeghanTrapp  (06:21):

Exactly. And so Starbucks and Scooter’s have invested a lot in their brand and putting a shop on every single corner so that you know their brand really well. Obviously they have invested very heavily in their own sites. And so they do usually have a stronger prominence factor. Prominence like it’s weighted stronger for them than somebody who’s a mom-and-pop coffee shop or just newer to the scene coffee shop. Because of course in our own minds we know coffee is synonymous with Scooter’s or Starbucks. We may or may not have heard yet of the local business coffee shop. And so Alexi was alluding to back links. Can you break that down, Ross? How does Google know who’s actually prominent in the real world?

Ross Allen (07:08):

Sure. It’s simple but it’s difficult as well in a strange kind of way. Back links are super important for organic search. They are a super strong signal to Google about the relevance and the authority of a particular brand or a website. So obviously if you are a Scooter’s or a Starbucks, a lot of people are going to be talking about you, a lot of people are going to be linking to you. So the amount of links and the quality of the websites that are pointing to those sites are the key factors in which bring up the prominence of those websites.

Ross Allen (07:43):

Obviously Starbucks and Scooter’s have a million dollar budget, so they can throw a organic search and a pay per click and a local search, so they have all the bases covered. And being the brands that they are, they can rely on their brand name because people don’t say that I’m going for a coffee, I’m going for a Starbucks or I’m going for a Scooter’s. It’s similar to Kleenex. They use the brand as the actual product that they’re going to find.

Ross Allen (08:10):

So people will automatically use those brand terms when they’re talking about them. Rather than it being just a coffee, I’m going for a Starbucks, I’m going to Starbucks. It’s they use that within the medium that they’re using to link to the website. So that increases the prominence of those websites because of the frequency of the terms and the number of links that people use to those websites.

MeghanTrapp  (08:36):

Yeah, definitely. So it’s like a strong winner when you type in cafe near me or coffee. Or you’re driving to work and you’re searching for where can you get your cup of coffee, well then Google’s like, “Hey, we know there’s a Starbucks on this corner.”

Ross Allen (08:50):


MeghanTrapp  (08:50):

And it’s like, “Hey, we know you’ve visited before too.”

Ross Allen (08:53):


Alexi English (08:54):

How many times in a week.

MeghanTrapp  (08:55):

Yeah. All the time, right? So those are a lot of factors that we can’t necessarily control when we’re talking about optimizing local businesses. So really you can’t control unless you move your office, you can’t control how close you are to the searcher unless you’ve been around for ages and have endless deep pockets. You’re not going to really influence your prominence, maybe some PR would help or backlink efforts. And relevancy, if you’re a coffee shop that’s what you are. So, talk to me about the factors that you can influence. How can a business optimize to improve their ranking regarding the other factors?

Alexi English (09:37):

Yeah. So the first one that comes to mind, and I feel like it relates to relevance and you can control this is your primary category in your additional categories. So if you aren’t using the correct primary category when someone is searching for the main service that you offer you’re not going to show up. And then obviously your additional categories are very important as well.

MeghanTrapp  (09:58):

I think we see that a lot in restaurants, for example, that are like, “Hey, I’m a steakhouse. But I also want to improve or offer more catering.”

Alexi English (10:10):


MeghanTrapp  (10:11):

“Or I also want to be able to host parties in my party room.” It’s like you’re still a restaurant and you don’t want to lose traction there, so that should be your primary category. However, there are secondary categories for catering. And if you use your attributes you can also show that you have a party room. And giving that additional information to Google is how you can optimize so that when someone’s searching at least Google knows that about your business. Besides categories, what are some of the other attributes or features and things that someone could use?

Alexi English (10:47):

So reviews are definitely really important too. Not just for ranking but for converting too. I know for me when I’m looking for a nail salon, I immediately go to the reviews. And I don’t just look at like, oh, they’re five stars, I look at how many reviews they have also. And that’s definitely something you can control. You can ask your customers for reviews.

MeghanTrapp  (11:09):

Yeah. It’s a fine line. You cannot give them incentives to leave a review. That’s cheating the system, Google will take those reviews down or Yelp. But, yeah. It’s definitely a good point because as you read reviews, you’re taking it with a grain of salt. I think a lot of business owners get freaked out when they get a negative review and they think it’s going to ruin their online reputation. Well it might if it’s one of one review. But if they’re continually giving great service to their customers and those customers are leaving reviews and that one negative review is going to be the outlier. And it’s going to get pushed down as new reviews come in and as other people like the positive reviews or engage with those positive reviews.

Ross Allen (11:56):

Well even if it is a negative review, that it’s an opportunity for you to communicate with that customer. And just by doing that and seeing that you are paying attention and you do care about that negative review, that can also count as a positive even though it’s a negative. I go to read a review and I see that it was negative but the company has tried to respond to that review and resolve it as quickly as possible, that to me is a plus. So it may be a negative review, but it could still be seen as a positive and an opportunity to reach out to that customer.

MeghanTrapp  (12:29):

Yeah. That’s a great point. And Google is definitely favoring these reviews, like favoring reviews signal in general. I think it’s been one of the most increased weighted factors. So from-

Alexi English (12:43):

That’s like number two after GMB now.

MeghanTrapp  (12:46):

… Yeah. So fill out your GMB listing and then have a strategy in place to continue to generate new reviews and respond to reviews. But it’s been really important to Google lately because it’s hard to fake. Yes, you can create spam accounts, but Google’s filter for getting rid of fake reviews is actually getting better and better. And so it’s a good signal for Google to say like, “Hey. Look at all these people are doing business at this location and they’re having a great experience. So when Ross searches for a cup of coffee, hey, maybe he would like it too.” And I guess that’s why reviews are so, so important.

Alexi English (13:25):


MeghanTrapp  (13:26):

Yeah. Tell me about some other factors.

Alexi English (13:28):

So another one would be behavior signals. And I think this relates a lot to making sure your Google My Business profile is completely filled out, which would give you a better chance of converting. So you add the more people that are clicking the call or clicking for directions will help your ranking for sure.

MeghanTrapp  (13:47):

Yeah. I think that’s one of my takeaways too from what I’ve seen over 2020 moving into 2021 predictions is that you must, must, must complete your GMB profile. Google continually gives us new options and new features to optimize with. In the last year they’ve rolled out like, hey, you can add a Zoom link. I don’t think it works all the time, so. But you can add a link to do a virtual meeting. Of course you can do booking or reservations or products and services came out, I feel like it was almost two years ago now.

Alexi English (14:20):


MeghanTrapp  (14:21):

So Google’s really making it so that it’s the zero click. The zero is a new homepage, and if you’re a customer looking for that local business you may or may not need to go to their website. And we’ve talked to clients that are like, “Hey, my website traffic’s down.” We’re like, “Yeah. But your Google My Business and traffic is way up.”

Ross Allen (14:41):


MeghanTrapp  (14:42):

And it’s because they’re getting those clicks, calls, directions, those questions answered before even having to click to the website. You can read, yep, that’s what they have. That’s where I want to go, check out a menu, book a reservation, and drive without clicking on their website, so.

Ross Allen (14:56):

Yeah. So and opening time is one of the key things that they look at on a Google about my business profile. It’s one of the key things that I always check because is it open? What time do they close? How long have I got to get there?

MeghanTrapp  (15:07):

Well and tell me how COVID’s changed thing. I mean really-

Ross Allen (15:09):

Oh, for sure. Yeah. Like messaging using the Google My Business Messaging platform. To get that message out there about the message that you’re taking for COVID safety has been key to a lot of our customer, our clients. Getting that message out there, keeping it as up to date as possible has been key. And having that visibility on the profile itself on the knowledge graphs saying that we’re open, but we’re only open during these shorter hours or we’re offering curbside service or it’s you can come in and collect but you can’t come in and sit down in any the restaurant or something like that. It’s been very important to have that feature available so that we can get that message out to the clients and the customers.

MeghanTrapp  (15:52):

… Yeah. And that’s everything from a checkbox, like saying yes, I offer curbside or delivery, to utilizing the Google My Business featured message to explain what COVID precautions you’re taking. To doing the Google My Business posts and saying like, “Oh, wait. Actually we have Mother’s Day specials and here’s how to do it.” I think it’s just utilizing as many Google My Business features as you can so that Google has that information about your business.

Ross Allen (16:22):

Yeah. And being vigilant, because of that you can have Q and A’s. Asking questions asked and making sure that you are available to respond to those. It’s key that you have somebody with eyes on it all the time. Because people are asking questions and if you’re not responding to those it can be seen as negative. And certainly if you’re not answering questions, then it’s not going to be a very good customer experience.

MeghanTrapp  (16:44):

Yeah. And that also gives you insight really into what customers don’t know about your business and how you can help answer that. Whether that’s on your website or training your staff or just responding to it in Google My Business. I think we’ve seen as we read through some customers, it’s Q and A but they’re basically FAQs.

Ross Allen (17:04):


MeghanTrapp  (17:04):

As we read through that we’re like, “Oh. Customers didn’t know that about our business. We should make a page about that. Or we should make that an easier transaction point for them.”

Ross Allen (17:13):

Yep. Or is that something we-

MeghanTrapp  (17:14):

They didn’t know we had a kiosk.

Ross Allen (17:15):

… Yeah. Or can we add that to the business description?

MeghanTrapp  (17:15):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ross Allen (17:15):

So it’s prominent, it’s there, it’s visible.

MeghanTrapp  (17:20):

Yeah. So we definitely have spent a ton of time on Google, which is not the end-all be-all. Okay. So that’s where the majority of search is, but Google does not just take the business owner’s word for it. So we’ve said complete your Google My Business profile, but Google’s also going to go and cross-check. So explain that, Alexi.

Alexi English (17:41):

Yep. So it’s also really important that you’re making sure your business information is correct across a lot of what I call the top tier directories. So like Yelp. I mean Yelp’s been very important especially for COVID too, because they have COVID features as well. They actually might have more COVID features than Google does.

MeghanTrapp  (18:00):

And I know many business owners are cringing. I’m sorry, I know you all hate Yelp but it does serve a purpose.

Alexi English (18:06):

Yeah, definitely. But also making sure Facebook’s up to date. What are some other top ones?

MeghanTrapp  (18:14):

I think it depends on your industry vertical too, because really there’s new ones that continually emerge. As we think about lawyers-

Alexi English (18:20):


MeghanTrapp  (18:20):

… There’s Avvo.

Alexi English (18:20):


MeghanTrapp  (18:22):

Lawyers.com. Restaurants. Of course there’s OpenTable which I know you have to pay to be part of.

Alexi English (18:27):


MeghanTrapp  (18:28):

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So it just really depends. And then there’s plenty of healthcare ones like Doc Sock. And there’s-

Alexi English (18:34):

Home services ones.

MeghanTrapp  (18:35):

… Home services, Thumbtack, Angie’s List. So it really depends on your industry vertical. But again, this is just another place that if Google goes and cross-checks it and it’s out of date, Google’s going to have to make a decision is the information that the business owner gave me, correct? Or is this information that’s out there on these other sites correct? And what you don’t want to have happen is that you fed it your correct business hours for COVID, but your old business hours are out there on these other sites and Google reverts it back. And now you have angry customers that are stopping by when you’re not open.

Alexi English (19:10):


MeghanTrapp  (19:11):

So super important to take care of. I think as a local SEO too, there’s always this debate where saying like, “Hey, do your Google My Business and citations are important.” But at this point in the game, they’re really table stakes. If you haven’t done this, you’re behind the game or you’re behind already. So I feel like citations are not going anywhere because it’s stuff you should have already done.

Ross Allen (19:38):

Yeah. It should be baseline.

MeghanTrapp  (19:38):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alexi English (19:39):


MeghanTrapp  (19:39):

Yeah. So tell me, Ross, a little bit about what it means for onsite. How does a business optimize for local search on their site?

Ross Allen (19:45):

Sure. I think you’ve already alluded to it. It’s making sure that the information is the same, it’s correct. So the address information is the same, the opening hours are the same. Where we can go above and beyond that on onsite optimization is writing some hyper local content that will really highlight the locality of the business. So yes, we’ve got the address information there, yes, we’ve got the phone number and everything else that is stationary for that business. It’s black and white, it’s there, that it’s not going to change.

Ross Allen (20:17):

But what you can do is then embellish upon that with writing some content that pulls out some landmarks and some features and some really hyper local content that really pinpoints it in the locality. So Google can or the search engines can come along and read the website and say, “well, yeah. There’s the address and there’s that landmark, there’s that feature they’re absolutely there.” So that can actually help the local search business and the profiles appear in the search in the local packs and the Map Packs.

MeghanTrapp  (20:49):

Yeah, definitely. And I know that some businesses we’ve worked with in the past really struggle because they’re a new business or building up in an industrial area or an area that doesn’t even have a road name. And so giving Google this additional context is super important. And not only context about where they are but what they offer, because Google only has so many categories to choose from or boxes to check about amenities. So if you can give Google even more information about what you do, what you offer it’s again crawled and shown in a result if that’s what somebody’s looking for.

Ross Allen (21:25):

Yeah. And without geeking out too much, we can put some certain code on the website in schema format. That actually tells the search engines this is a local business, this is the offerings that it has, these are the opening hours, these are the products that it actually serves. And that’s just in a bite size chunk of code that sits behind the website. So we can optimize the pages themselves with some great content that’s hyper local, but we can also give Google the exact code that it wants for us to highlight that it’s a local business. What it offers, the times it’s open, et cetera, and all these important things that it can just plug straight into its algorithm.

MeghanTrapp  (21:58):

Yeah. Spoon feed Google. Why not?

Ross Allen (22:00):

Exactly. Yep.

MeghanTrapp  (22:01):

And it’s looking for it, so make it easy. So that’s, we’ve covered Google My Business, your listing, we’ve covered your site, we’ve covered directories, and the local search ecosystem. I think the one thing that comes to mind that’s also important now is user-generated content. So a lot of what Google’s looking at too, because again it’s hard to spam or fake, is so you mentioned reviews. We’ve talked about FAQs, like other people interacting with your business. But also photos, I think that can go a long way for businesses. It’s a chance to showcase maybe the friendly faces of your staff or your delicious looking food.

MeghanTrapp  (22:41):

I think a lot of businesses that have not added photos are horrified when we show them like that’s the… We’re seeing the outside corner of your building and that’s not even where your business is or it’s not where customers would enter. Or, oh no, somebody posted a photo of a hamburger that’s sliding off the plate and that’s not what you want everyone to see. This is like your billboard, and so making sure you’re addressing photos and uploading beautiful imagery. Because it’s indexed, it also is associated with those keywords and with your business.

Alexi English (23:20):

Yeah. Personally for me when my fiance and I are looking for places to eat, we’ll look at the menu and then we’ll go on Yelp or Google and actually look at the photos to see what they’re food looks like. And that’s how we’ll decide where we want to go.

MeghanTrapp  (23:32):

Yeah, definitely. And now users can also add video. So I mean, it’s been interesting too because that you can see the customer service or you can see how it actually came out, not just a quick photo.

Alexi English (23:43):

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

MeghanTrapp  (23:45):

And then I know besides that this is one that we cannot control because you know user-generated content it’s for your customers to control. One of the other things that you cannot control is user behavior and how it’s interacting with your Google My Business listing and with your site. Google’s looking at that. I know we cover that when we talk about technical and onsite SEO. But that’s another major factor for Google is, if we show your business and it’s not what people are searching for and they click on it and then they click back, that’s like a negative signal. So making sure you’re optimized for things that you actually do. I think sometimes businesses want to say they are Jack of all trades and they do one of everything. They’re a plumber, they’re a handyman, they’re a… And it’s like-

Alexi English (24:34):

Yeah. So they have categories that don’t relate to them.

MeghanTrapp  (24:36):

… Yeah. Or they’re like, “Well we want to do that. We want to dabble on that. If someone called me, we could do that.” And then they just win nothing. They’ve divided the pie by 10 instead of being like, “Primary service is plumbing, and we also do a few of these other things.” HVAC is another one that comes to mind.

Alexi English (24:55):


MeghanTrapp  (24:56):

So those user behavior signals show Google if you’re relevant or not. Back to relevancy being a prominent or being a large factor. So making sure you’re optimized for what you actually do, and then as users interact with your GMB listing that’s a strong signal. Hey, did they click on driving directions? And Google knows if you actually drove there.

Ross Allen (25:19):


MeghanTrapp  (25:20):

So creepy. No. But that’s another signal that’s hard to spam. Unless you’re sending a flash mob to your business, it’s another hard signal to spam. So it’s looking at all those things like people clicking, calling, driving directions, engagement with the listing.

Ross Allen (25:38):

Yeah. It’s very similar to organic search, it’s multifaceted. It’s not just a plug and play and a once and done, it’s an ongoing process where you’re constantly looking it, constantly refining, and just making sure that everything is as optimized as it can be.

MeghanTrapp  (25:52):

For sure. So we’ll go around to the table. Number one, advice for optimizing for local search.

Alexi English (26:00):

So I’m just going to stick with making sure your Google My Business profile is complete. Again, I think I drive this in so much, but your category is so important and I talk to our team about that all the time.

MeghanTrapp  (26:12):

It’s so important.

Alexi English (26:15):


MeghanTrapp  (26:15):

Google knows it’s so much more than just picking that category. There’s a whole subset of keywords that Google associates with each category. So if you’re not sure, I think another good tip is to check your competitors. What are they showing themselves under?

Alexi English (26:30):

Yeah. We do that all the time. Definitely.

MeghanTrapp  (26:32):

If that’s who you want to compete with and that’s what they’re saying they do, then that should probably be your primary category as well.

Alexi English (26:39):

Yeah. And a lot of the times I’ll notice a new business or a business we work with they’ll have categories that don’t relate to them at all. And that could be a negative towards you, like you were talking about earlier. So, yeah. Category is huge, but also just making sure your profile is complete, so.

MeghanTrapp  (26:54):

Definitely. What about you, Ross?

Ross Allen (26:56):

Name, address, and phone number. Making sure that that’s the same everywhere.

MeghanTrapp  (27:00):

Consistency is key.

Ross Allen (27:01):

Consistency is key, yes.

MeghanTrapp  (27:03):

Agreed. Yeah. Because I mean, Google can figure it out but why would you leave it? Don’t make Google work hard? It’ll move on.

Ross Allen (27:12):

Yeah. Why introduce that question? Why have that question mark there? Make sure that everywhere you’ve got your name, address, and phone number is the same.

Alexi English (27:17):

And it’s also a bad experience for potential customers. Like if I call the wrong phone number, I’m going to be annoyed. Or if your hours are wrong, I’m going to be annoyed.

MeghanTrapp  (27:26):

Yeah. Well I mean I actually personally had that experience recently where I thought I was calling a real estate management company and it sent me to an agent. And I was like, “I don’t want to call you, I actually needed to call the office.” So I know that there’s complexities when we’re at lawyers offices, but trying to reach the individual lawyers and how Google has guidelines around each one of those is just like that consistency is key is so important when you’re trying to differentiate yourself as the person versus the office information. Totally true. So you guys named two of my top favorites.

Alexi English (28:07):


MeghanTrapp  (28:08):

My other advice would be making sure you’re doing business in the real world. Like doing quality business, answer your phone, treat your customers with the respect, call them back, empty your voicemail. There’s so many things that happen that are operationally based that no marketing strategy or no local search strategy could fix. And it’s because like we see, “Hey, we drove a lot of calls.” “Oh, but why are we dropping?” “Oh, because your receptionist said we have no appointments or because she never returns calls or your voicemails full or.” Or like when we have a booking link, my favorite, or a menu link and it’s a PDF, it kills me.

MeghanTrapp  (28:49):

People are looking at your Google My Business listing and trying to look at that menu on their phone probably, and who wants to wait for a PDF to open on your phone? So I think it’s not only just giving it the right information, it’s giving it easy to use information so that it’s a seamless journey from someone who’s searching, selecting you, and then choosing to do business with you.

Alexi English (29:12):


MeghanTrapp  (29:13):

Awesome. Well thanks so much for joining me today. I’m really excited that you guys were able to come in. And it’s nice to see your faces.

Alexi English (29:22):

Yeah. It’s been so fun.

MeghanTrapp  (29:22):

So, thanks for joining. Yes.

Ross Allen (29:22):

Thank you.

MeghanTrapp  (29:23):

All right. Well like and subscribe wherever you get podcast.

Speaker 1 (29:27):

I’ve heard That is a part of the Hurrdat Media Network. For more information, follow Hurrdat on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram, or visit hurrdatmarketing.com.

Speaker 5 (29:36):

A Hurrdat Media Production.


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