News reporting: In this episode Adam Torres and Qamar Zaman discuss local SEO and marketing. How to be found in the local ranking and where to start with.
Adam: Hey, are you a business owner, entrepreneur or professional? If so, we want you to apply to be a featured guest on our show. My name is Adam Torres and I host the mission matters series podcast. I’ve recorded over 3000 episodes and we are just getting started. How do you know if you’d be a good guest to be on the show? Well, only one way to find out and that’s to apply, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret; we want guests to have a story to tell, guests with a brand, a product or a service that can benefit my audience and listeners. If this sounds like you, go to mission matters.com and click on be our guest to apply. I’d love to talk to you. I need to know more about your story. Again, head on over to missionmatters.com and click on be our guest to apply. Alright, now let’s get into the show.
Hey, I like to welcome you to another episode of mission matters. My name is Adam Torres and if you’d like to apply to be a guest on the show, just head on over to the website mission matters.com and click on be our guest to apply. Alright so today is a very special episode for those of you that have been following the show for a while.
I have Kumar Amman back on the show and we co-host an episode of mission matters marketing weekly, and we have a treat for you today. I should say Kumar has been doing a master class and I’ve been asking him a lot of questions and today we’re on part 3 of that series and another subject will be how to be found locally. First off, Kumar is welcomed back to the show.
Kumar: Thank you Adam. I am super excited today.
Adam: Again, man. Kumar: Well, let me tell you, I will be taking notes. As always, I feel like I’m back in school every time I have you back on here in a good way, by the way, because I like school, number one, and I take a lot of notes. So I’m pumped about today’s topic and how to be found locally, maybe first we just if I can have you do a recap of what we’ve covered so far. And I don’t mean like a 10 minute recap but my goal is I want everybody that’s listening to go back and check out part 1 and part 2.
Kumar: Right? So in episode number 7, we started to solve a problem because the biggest challenge of a business owner that is actually listed in this podcast is that you’re not getting found on search results and Google is constantly changing what we can do. So we started taking that seriously. So we started episode number 7 where we taught you and taught you literally how to build a website page.
So you can start to rank and that was episode number 7. And that was precisely how to write website content that ranks on Google. Then Episode Number 8, we went further in how to write a blog that kind of amplifies the pages that you’ve done to rise on the top of search results, we got that so that episode number 8.
Today, Episode Number 9 is going to be now you have a website, you have a blog. Now what to do so now you want to be found locally. In other words, when somebody’s searching for a local plumber in your area, you want your business to show up so you can start making some money. So today is just that we’re going to go over local SEO and marketing.
The correct Settings
Adam: Awesome. Well, let’s just dive right in. So part 3, how to be found locally, where do you want to start with this one?
Kumar: So to be found locally, a lot of people just have this understanding that okay, you know, and I get these calls from business owners that, you know, want to be ranking locally. And they say, well, I have a website and I want to rank locally. And I said “okay well let me check” so when I do a check, they have, they do have a website. But their website is not done well, which is not their fault. But the biggest problem is that the website does not show their address on the homepage. So the very first thing is that if you’re a local business owner, make sure that your address is showing in the footer of your homepage, not just for the user experience. So Google can determine from out of relevance that you are a local business situated and address and that address needs to be exactly, you know, how your businesses Incorporated.
And that’s the first biggest mistake that people make is they don’t exactly put the address the way it’s supposed to be. They just put the name of the business and they just leave it there. Or they will put the name of the business and they will put the address which may not be exactly the way the address needs to be in the map. And they put the zip code and they just leave it there. So what I want to first talk about is the terminology that we use in SEO. It’s called a nap. A nap doesn’t mean go to sleep; it means name, address and phone numbers. So if you are a business owner, and you are, let’s say, a plumbing company based in Los Angeles and you’re called “Mr. plumber”, Mr. Plumber must have a name. That is exactly what you want to put, don’t put anything else, a lot of people try to be smart in the name, they will put Los Angeles plumbing company that’s not your name, that’s the keyword that will be found for your name. So don’t be smart, put the name of your company, “Mr. plumber Inc” or LLC or doing business that once you have that Mr. plumber defined, then where are you located most people because they are working from home, the biggest mistake they do is they don’t want to put their address because they don’t want people coming and visiting them at home. And Google does not rank you at a home address. Even if they did, you will be having foot traffic coming to your home. So you want to go to an executive office or a shared office and they have these plans where you can rent an address, and you can use that address to be found. So you can go and meet your clients etc. They’re inexpensive, but what you do is you get an address from them. So that becomes like your place of business to be. And then that’s the address that you want to plug in and into your website. And then you put a phone number and the phone number you want to put is not a toll free number, you want to put a local number. So it kind of gives relevance to Google as well as the user that you are a local business owner rather than a toll free number, like a franchisee or something.
So you have all of that structured together and you put it either on the left or the right side of the footer, so people can find it. And the last thing you want to put is an address embed code. And I’ll tell you how to get that. So make sure that you have your name of the business, not your name, name of your business, your address and your phone number, zip code, etc. Put it together so that’s the very first thing a lot of people have. And if they have it, it’s done right. If they don’t have it, they definitely don’t, they skip it. And what they do is they put it in the ‘Contact Us’ page. And that’s fine, too but the recommended solution that I’ve found to help rank you better is just put it in the footer. So it looks nice.
Adam: And so I want to, I want to take a moment on this. So what are the, what happens when somebody doesn’t do this, right? Because I feel like, and I’ll pick on myself, so once upon once upon a time I started a company, this company’s not with us anymore wasn’t a media company was another one. And I did have a shared office space and I remember kind of going through it. And I didn’t really kind of understand some of the things he said. So I just kind of clicked through the boxes pretty quick. I did a couple of that but I didn’t feel everything. I don’t think I set any of it up right now you’re saying this, I think I’m going to pick on myself here. Like what happens when you don’t do these things, right? Like, because it’s pretty straightforward, like what needs to be done. But what happens when you skip these steps?
Kumar: So when you skip these steps, you’re never going to be ranking in the local map area. Now, bear in mind that, you know, if you’re in a shared space, and you started the business, and somebody was going to search and come and see you, you know, how will they come and see you. So then you have to text them a message and you know, in those days, nobody was texting anyway. So that’s the very first thing you want to do is if you don’t do it, right, people are not going to be able to find your business, you know. So that’s the first thing because a lot of people think that Google is only one dimensional but Google is actually multi-dimensional. So there’s the Google homepage, which everybody knows about, but there is a tab called Google Maps. So if you have business, and you’re not on a map, how will people find you? Right?
So I’m kind of breaking those down into parts. So by not doing it, it’s a problem, you’re not going to be found, you know, and if you don’t do it the right way, you are going to have what I call a brand fracture. So you have half of the things right and half of the things wrong. So what happens, I’ll give you a perfect case study. Say you’re a you know, local plumber, and you registered your business with the local association and you have your address and then you went to AT&T, and you got a phone number there and you did everything so you know what to guess what’s going to happen. Those things are that AT & T is going to sell your data to a data aggregator; the data aggregator is going to take your information and put it into the system, so you can be found when somebody searches for your name or your address. Now on one side your data is there but on your side of the things you have put in half of the information maybe you have your name right, the business name right but your address you are using an old place that you had because you felt you know I don’t want to show my PO box there. So I’m not going to show any address, I’ll just use the address that was there before. So now it’s called a brand fracture half innovation is there, the other half is not so it becomes a brand fracture as a result, Google cannot crawl your local listing correctly. Hence, you’re not going to get found.
Adam: And so if somebody set it all up incorrectly in the first place, there’s still time for them to fix that. Yes?
Adam: All right.
Kumar: There’s always a time to fix that, the longer they take, the longer it takes to get fixed. So early on, get it done right. But if you obviously didn’t, then there are ways to fix it. And, and we can talk about that, at the end of the show.
Adam: Awesome. Continue with the lesson, I just want to get those couple questions out. But
Kumar: Sure, we have a website, at this point, we have put our address, the next thing you want to do is take your address and Google that address, the way your address, you entered on the website and see if there is a map for your address. And most likely, if you have never done it, you’re not going to see the map address in Google so you know, you put your address. And if your business does not show in Google, then what you have to do is you can write this down, go to Google, ‘My Business’, and it’s called my business. But if you go to Google My Business, Google has a program where you can log in with your Gmail address or whatever email address that you use and you can put that listing. In other words, now Google is telling you, I have a business, let me put a map for you in our directory, because that’s a directory, and you want to copy exactly what I told you to put it on the website, don’t be creative, make sure that you copy exactly what is there, you have a business name, you have the address, and you want to put your zip code your phone number, don’t put your cell phone there. But in the business, you have a different number, if you put a cell phone, in your business in your homepage, then put the same phone number there, whatever number you’re using. Some people try to be creative, what they do is, well, since I’m going to get a call on this cell phone, I’m going to put my cell phone here, but then on the home page, they’re going to put some other number. Don’t be creative, if that’s why it needs to be your nap, which is the name address and phone number needs to be consistent across all the channels. So that’s the thing.
Now as you’re doing this, and you have claimed your Google My Business Page, your Google is going to say what are your working hours? In other words, what hours is your business going to be open? Now here’s a big mistake people do, what they do is they’ll do it. I’m available from 9 to 5 and all of the times I’m not available. Now bear in mind that you are a storefront and that’s available. You know, if you’re a storefront and you’re only open from 9 to 5, that’s fine. But if you’re a virtual company, you’re a plumber, you’re available all the time, because you want to get the leads, make it available 24/7, make it available 24/7 and put in the comments box saying you know by appointments only after that time. So Google is giving you the opportunity to do that.
GMB Hours Settings
Kumar: The next thing you want to do after you have defined your office hours, you want to categorize What is your business? And what the biggest mistake people do over in this category is to select everything that Google is giving them. So if you’re a plumber, you are a plumber, just select plumbing, if you’re a lawyer, and you are a divorce lawyer, so select divorce lawyer. But a lot of people, what they do is they select a lawyer, divorce lawyer, Injury Lawyer, this lawyer, that lawyer, and that is too many, you know you can add those later. But at least one at least, but one that is more relevant to what you do because if you go too broad, you’re not going to rank for anything. At least select one, you know, if you’re a plumber, you would plumber if you also do electrical work if you’re an electrician, create a separate map that doesn’t use plumbing because usually plumbers are different, so do that.
GMB Business Description
Kumar: Once you have that, now what you’re going to do is describe your business, be creative. They will tell you, you know how you describe your business, in a few words describe your business. So when people actually read it, it’s motivating for them to click and learn more. In other words, if you offer a service that is available after 12 o’clock, you can say I’m the only guy in town that will come to your house, you know, within 30 minutes whatever the promise you do put it there obviously don’t do wrong promises because that will come and bite you in a different section which I’ll talk about. So once you’re done all of that, and then you hit ‘Submit’ you will get a postcard within 5 to 7 days to your address that you have shown. Now be careful if you did not use the right address, that postcard is going to oblivion. You will never get it so you will never get the postcard delivered as a result your business will not be verified. So once you get that postcard, you will get a quote in that postcard you will open in a letter from Google, I love those types of letters, because anything for Google is fun right? So when you open that up you get the card you go back to Google My Business Page the directory where you have gone into setting up that. Okay you go and put the code and then bingo it says your business is verified. That’s the best thing what you, what you get and before you take the next step, you go and take some pictures and you’ll upload some pictures and there’s a section in that area called ‘Upload Pictures’ from the owner and you want to do your logo you want to put pictures of your inside, you want to pictures on the outside it’s pretty intuitive. It’s hard to explain that on the podcast but you can see all of that in Google My Business.
And then once that is done now your business is verified and you can now search in Google Maps and you will see that your map is there. The next step is to take that map and it’ll give you a small button it’s called the ‘Share’ there will be 4 directions; website, phone call etc There is a button called Share you click on the share will give you a link and you take that shared link and you go back to your homepage and remember we told the, told you to put your address you tell your developer and if you’re the developer you copy that and put it there so now when people click on that footer website of yours and they want to see where they are they can see in the Google map where you are located.
Adam: This is, I mean this is a big deal because like I guess the, what I have to throw out there is that you know Brick and Mortar versus online so a lot of people working from homes right now. A lot of people like maybe some people even giving up their offices like how does that relate to all of that as I was just thinking about myself I’m like “Oh, we gave up that office and I’ve been working from home and a home studio and all these other things” like what would you suggest for that and the things.
Kumar: So if you’re Brick and Mortar obviously people are coming to see you but most of us are sure, especially accountants, lawyers, plumbers, we are working from our trucks and cars. So the best thing is to go to that you know, shared office space get a $50 address, it’s worth the investment because that is giving you an extra freebie because remember you have your website that’s your one placeholder now you are getting an extra place there from Google which is pretty much free Google is not charging you so when people are able, you’re doing a good job of plumbing, why not build that asset and have something else benefit you. So while there is a compromised living in the office, you know leaving the big office and you know there are some really big benefits that the digital front offers you with Google My Business.
Adam: Yes, that’s a big deal. That’s a great, great point because I was just thinking about even for everybody that’s been watching this for a long time now and that’s watching the entire series because this is only part 3 of this particular series but I’ve recorded many other episodes with Kumar. They’re probably thinking “Man does Adam just sit here and ask this guy for advice on how to improve his business”. The answer to that question is yes and I’m doing it for all of us because Kumar knows a lot of stuff about this. So thank you for that Kumar.
Kumar: Actually, I don’t know if you recall the very first book we co-authored was my topic was Google My Business. After that I wrote an entire book on how to get found on Google which is Google My Business book. So I’ve been drinking this kool aid for a few years now.
Adam: I do you remember that now that you say that I was just thinking about it. Oh yes, that was the first one else a couple years ago now. And yes, man flies on this stuff. It’s awesome and it’s still as relevant then as it is today so let’s keep let’s keep digging further man. This is great.
More GMB Reviews
Kumar: Okay, so now you got your map, you got your pictures loading etc. Now the best thing is, when people want to do business with you, what is the first thing they always do they like to know is, is your business even legit? Do you have customers? And that’s what I love Google about because when you are a business and you have done a great job like you Adam, if you have a mission matters, Google My Business Page, you know, you do an excellent job podcast day in day out, you know. Do you have a business page where you can get reviews, and you know the review business that you can, anytime you’re buying whether you’re buying from BestBuy or you are going to a restaurant, don’t you always check reviews the same way people are checking about you. You know, there’s even a search on mission matters podcast review.
So imagine if they found this in a Google address and they find the reviews and you know, you get excellent reviews, Google helps you rank better. So with the map address comes the free feature that you are able to get reviews; on the other hand, the flip side is if you did not do a good job, people will go and complain. And even if you did a good job, and they complained, at least now you have a way to go and reply to that review, to get that complaint off. So that’s another feature of a review business as a Google, you know, that you can have now. So that’s the third feature, the review business in Google.
GMB Post Updates
Kumar: The fourth feature in the Google My Business, or local, which we are still talking about is Google gives you this feature of posting blog content. It’s called ‘Update’. So remember, in Episode Number 8, we talked about you, you have created a blog. So the first thing you do is after you’ve created the blog, you go and share the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, and Pinterest, wherever you are. But now you have another opportunity, you can come to Google My Business Page, there’s a section called ‘Post Update’, you can go there, you can put the link to the blog, you can put a picture of yourself or whatever the product you’re talking about, and hit publish. So now your content is getting shared because you did an excellent work on writing the blog, your content is now getting shared in the Google sphere, that will help you rank. So now that’s another benefit of local SEO that a lot of people ignore, they don’t even know how to do it.
Kumar: So since we are on the topic of local SEO, once you have, I’m going to recap it before I go any further. You take your website, footer, you put the address, then you go to Google, you go and put your claim on your business if you haven’t done that, and then you start posting the content of these from Google My Business. Now once Google My Business is active, you want to create something called a citation; citations are a bunch of directories that will automatically start linking to you, when you register your business. And they will, they are like Yelp, they’re like houses or their merchants circles and Apple Maps, you will start to get links from those directories automatically sometimes, but sometimes you have to do it yourself. So if you have not got it, go to these sites like Yelp, there are all free directories. And one way to do that is do a Google search for how do I add my business to Yelp? How do I add my business to you know, expertise? How do I add my business to Angie’s List? So I know at the end of the show notes, I’ll send it so we can add a list of sites that you need to be on. You don’t need to be in all of them but there are about 30 directories that you want your business to be in. Because those are backlinks that you are getting that are pointing back straight to your local business map and that’s going to help you rise up on the search results. So those are the things and for clients that that work with you Adam like when you send them a podcast they need to share that podcast in their Google business page so that will help create more visibility for the show that they have been you know gladly on so that’s one of the ways to do.
Adam: That’s big time, no I like it and man you just got me thinking like my wheels are spinning over here and I’m like we’re missing I can just tell you a mission matters we’re missing out on everything that you decided. Now that I’m kind of kicking myself on the moon, the standpoint of you wrote about it and one of our books and I’m not doing it man. Let’s just say that there are other business owners right now that are also in the kind of the same spot that we are like, how long does this stuff take? Like if you were to like so they’re like, you know, I’m missing the boat and all this tomorrow, we need some help, like, how long does this take?
Kumar: Before I talk about this, this process is not creative, but time consuming. So the two that..
Adam: Yes, that I can, I can say.
Kumar: So the one part is, you know, going through my book, reading everything, listening to the podcast or do it yourself. So if you’re one of those, definitely read my book, or listen to the broadcast, and at least do your functions…
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