(JEMSU) a Local SEO Agency

Local SEO is a powerful marketing solution to drive traffic, leads and sales to small businesses that service a much smaller market than the whole country.  Millions of people use Google and other search engine every day on their mobile phones and desktops to find local products and services in their cities.  Google and other search engines have powerful intent algorithms to determine which search queries warrant localized results.  Having your business show up at the top of the first page of Google, especially within the local Google Maps pack is a powerful way to drive exposure, clicks and sales to your business.

Google My Business listings displays review ratings along with either a website link, directions or click to call directly in the Google Maps pack.  These rich features in the Google Maps pack both enhance the credibility of your business with positive reviews and boost the calls or click-thru-rate to your business and website.

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Local SEO Google Maps Pack

Local SEO Success Story

The Challenge: Increase online visibility, traffic and leads via search engine optimization.

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Google Local Rankings

Google Local Rankings

Google Map Rankings

Google Map Rankings

Google Organic Rankings

Google Organic Rankings

Our Local SEO Approach (Nutshell)

1. Business Research.  Local SEO always starts with research.  We aim to gain a thorough understanding of your business model, your customers, your market/s and most importantly how your customers search online.

2. Goal Setting & Conversion Tracking.  What does setting goals and tracking conversions have to do with  local SEO?  Everything. The best local SEOs measure every aspect of the organic sales funnel with precision.

3. Keyword Research. Applying our understanding of how your business model fits local search, we conduct comprehensive keyword research to find the best keywords and that fit an array of criteria that yields the best possible search ranking results.

4. Content Optimization.  Integration of best researched keywords into the key meta data, headers and content of your website assures our keyword strategy is aligned with your content.  Our team may optimize existing content or write new content to assure your website content properly reflects the keyword strategy.

5. Code Optimization.  Optimizing the code of your website involves a long list of items.  Our code optimization list contains over 50 items.

6. Google My Business Listing Optimization. Your Google My Business listing is an important part of our local SEO strategy.  We follow the best practices to optimized every aspect of your Google My Business listing.

7. Off-Page Optimization. Several important off-page profiles need to be properly build out, optimized and managed.  Your Google Search Console and LinkedIn company profile are just a few of the off-page profiles that we optimize.

8. Citation / NAP Building.  We make sure your business name, address, phone number and other relevant business data are properly listed across all the major business directories as well as over 150 additional sites.

9. Authority Building aka Link Building.  Acquiring backlinks to your website is one of the most important elements of local SEO, but is also one of the most challenging.  We take a diversified approach to acquiring backlinks.

10. Content Writing & Optimization.  Writing optimized and localized content is a critical aspect of local SEO, our team writes both static and dynamic keyword rich content as part of our overall local SEO strategy.

11. Custom Analysis.  Google’s ever changing search algorithms require us to constantly monitor local SEO progress and make changes or additions where necessary.

12. Reporting & Consultation.  We provide all of our clients with a dashboard and matching PDF reports that allows them to monitor every aspect of our search engine optimization progress.  In addition, we provide video reports, consultation phone calls and insight on all the data.

Google My Business Infomation

Google My Business is an app and website tool that allows you to manage how your local business appears on Google.  This section will review the best local SEO practices to optimize your Google My Business listing to improve rankings in search.

1. Business Name.  Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.

Throughout the examples below, names or parts of names in italics would not be permitted.

Your name must not include:

  • Marketing taglines.
    • Not acceptable: “TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank“, “GNC Live Well*”.
    • Acceptable: “TD Bank”, “GNC”
  • Store codes.
    • Not acceptable: “The UPS Store – 2872
    • Acceptable: “The UPS Store”
  • Trademark/registered signs.
    • Not acceptable: “Burger King®
    • Acceptable: “Burger King”
  • Fully capitalized words (with the exception of acronyms) or unnecessary spaces.
    • Not acceptable: “SUBWAY
    • Acceptable: “Subway”, “KFC”, “IHOP”, “JCPenney”
  • Business hours information, including closed/open status.
    • Not acceptable: “Regal Pizzeria Open 24 hours“, “Sears Outlet (Closed)
    • Acceptable: “Regal Pizzeria”, “Sears Outlet”
  • Phone numbers or website URLs, unless they reflect your business’s consistently used and recognized real world representation.
    • Not acceptable: “Airport Direct 1-888-557-8953“, “webuyanycar.com
    • Acceptable: “Airport Direct”, “1-800-Got-Junk”
  • Special characters (e.g. %&$@/”) or irrelevant legal terms unless they are part of your business’s real world representation
    • Not Acceptable: “Shell Pay@Pump“, “Re/Max, LLC“, “LAZ Parking Ltd
    • Acceptable: “Shell”, “Re/Max”, “LAZ Parking”, “Toys ’’R’’ Us”, “H&M”, “T.J.Maxx”
  • Service or product information about your business, unless this information is part of its real world representation or this information is needed to identify a department within a business. Service information is best represented by categories.
    • Not acceptable: “Verizon Wireless 4G LTE“, “Midas Auto Service Experts
    • Acceptable: “Verizon Wireless”, “Midas”, “Best Buy Mobile”, “Advance Auto Parts”, “JCPenney Portrait Studios”
  • Location information, such as neighborhood, city, or street name, unless it is part of your business’s consistently-used and recognized real-world representation. Your name must not include street address or direction information.
    • Not acceptable: “Holiday Inn (I-93 at Exit 2)“, “U.S. Bank ATM – 7th & Pike – Parking Garage Lobby near Elevator“, “Equinox near SOHO
    • Acceptable: “Holiday Inn Salem”, “U.S. Bank ATM”, “Equinox SOHO”, “University of California Berkeley”
  • Containment information indicating that your business is located inside another business (whether or not the businesses are part of the same organization).
    • Not acceptable: “Chase ATM (in Duane Reade)“, “Apple Store at Stanford Shopping Center“, “Benefit Brow Bar – Bloomingdales“, “Sam’s Club Tire & Battery (part of Sam’s Club)“, “Geek Squad (inside Best Buy)
    • Acceptable: “Chase ATM”, “Apple Store”, “Benefit Brow Bar”, “Sam’s Club Tire & Battery”, “Geek Squad”

2. Categories. Categories describe what your business is, not what it does or sells.  Categories help your customers find accurate, specific results for services they’re interested in.

In order to keep your business information accurate and live, make sure that you:

  • Use as few categories as possible to describe your overall core business from the provided list.
  • Choose categories that are as specific as possible, but representative of your main business.
    • Do not use categories solely as keywords or to describe attributes of your business.
    • Do not use categories that pertain to other businesses that are nearby or related, such as a business physically contained within your business or an entity that contains your business.

Select categories that complete the statement: “This business IS a” rather than “this business HAS a .” The goal is to describe your business holistically rather than a list of all the services it offers, products it sells, or amenities it features.

You should focus primarily on adding the most specific categories for your business; we’ll do the rest behind the scenes. For instance, when you select a specific category like “Golf Resort”, Google implicitly includes more general categories like “Resort Hotel”, “Hotel”, and “Golf Course.” Feel free to skip adding any category that seems redundant with a more specific category you selected. If you can’t find a category for your business, choose one that is more general. Google can also detect category information from your website and from mentions about your business throughout the web.

3. Business Location.  Let customers see your business location on Google by adding a street address.  Use a precise, accurate address and/or service area to describe your business location. P.O. boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable.

  • Make sure that your page is created at your actual, real-world location.
    • Suite numbers, floors, building numbers, and so on, may also be included. Information like cross-streets and nearby landmarks should only be included in regions where the official street address doesn’t accurately pinpoint the business’s location.
    • If you need to specify a mailbox or suite number, enter your physical address as “Address Line 1,” and enter your mailbox or suite number as “Address Line 2.”
    • If your business rents a temporary, “virtual” office at a different address from your primary business, don’t create a page for that location.
  • Don’t include information in address lines that doesn’t pertain to your business’s physical location, like URLs or keywords.
  • Don’t create more than one page for each location of your business, either in a single account or multiple accounts.
    • Individual practitioners and departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings may have separate pages. For more info, go to specific guidelines about individual practitioners and departments.
  • If your address doesn’t have a street number, or you’re sure that you’ve entered the address correctly but the system still can’t find it, you can pin your business’s location directly on the map.

4. Service Area.  If you don’t have a business location, let customers know where your business provides deliveries or services.  Service-area businesses, or businesses that serve customers at their locations, should have one page for the central office or location and a designated service area. Service-area businesses can’t list a “virtual” office unless that office is staffed during business hours.

Some businesses, like pizzerias that have restaurant seating and deliver pizza to customers, are hybrid service-area businesses. These businesses can show their storefront address and designate a service area in Google My Business. If you serve customers at your address and want to set a service area, your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.

Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your business information as well as information from other sources.

5. Hours.  Regular business hours.

6. Special Hours.  Enter hours for days when this business has an irregular schedule.

7. Phone Number.

8. Profile Short Name.  If you’re a verified business, you can create a short name, or a custom name, for your Business Profile to make it easier for customers to find you.  When you share your short name, customers can enter the short name URL in the browser’s address bar, like “g.page/[yourcustomname],” to go directly to your Business Profile.  Your selected short name should be associated with your business name or the name by which people commonly refer to your business. We recommend including your location to make the short name more distinct. For example, you can use your business name with your location, like your city or neighborhood.  Keep your short name simple so you can easily promote it, and customers can remember it. If you have a short name, you’ll get a short URL to request reviews from your customers.  Your short name can be changed 3 times per year.

9. Website.

10. Appointment Links.  Let customers make appointments through Google by adding a link to an contact us page.

11. Services.

12. Description.  Published content should highlight what makes your business unique. You can use this field to provide useful information on services and products offered, as well as the mission and history of your business.

You should be upfront and honest about the information provided, focusing on content that is relevant and useful to your customers to understand your business. Content that’s irrelevant to your business or has no clear association with it isn’t allowed.

Content published in this field should not:

  • Be misleading to users. Do not provide inaccurate or false information about your business or the services and products offered.
  • Display low-quality, irrelevant, or distracting content. For example, misspellings, gimmicky character use, gibberish, etc.
  • Focus on special promotions, prices, and offer sale. Examples of content not allowed include, “Everything on sale, -50%” and “Best bagels in town for $5!”
  • Display links. No links of any type are allowed.
  • Display offensive or inappropriate content:
    • Harassing, bullying, or hateful content. Published content must not promote hatred or incite violence against individuals or groups based on ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
    • Content containing obscene, profane, or offensive language.
    • Terrorist content. We do not permit terrorist organizations to use this service for any purpose, including recruitment. We also strictly prohibit content related to terrorism, such as content that promotes terrorist acts, incites violence, or celebrates terrorist attacks. If posting content related to terrorism for an educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purpose, be mindful to provide enough information so viewers understand the context.
    • Sexually suggestive or explicit content. Content must not include profanity, sexually graphic and offensive slang terms, terms that are common signals for pedophilia, content that promotes pedophilia, bestiality, or sexual violence, or content that promotes escort services or other services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.
  • Display unpermitted content:
    • Do not upload content related to the sale of dangerous and illegal products or services.
    • Do not upload content that exploits or abuses children.
Important: We do not allow content that contains private or confidential information such as personal financial information, government-issued IDs, contact information linked/associated with a name, sensitive records, images, transcripts or links that contain personal information. We also do not allow solicitation of the above information through local posts/business description other than user’s own name, email and phone number.

13. Opening Date.  Add an opening date to your Google My Business listing to tell customers when your business first opened, or will open, at its address.  Only the year and month of your opening date are required. You can enter a date up to one year in the future, but it won’t show on Google until 90 days before the date.

Google My Business Posts

You can connect with existing and potential customers through your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps through posts. You can create and share announcements, offers, new or popular items in stock, or event details directly with your customers.

When customers have more access to your business information and updates, they can make better decisions as they browse. This allows you to:

  • Directly communicate with your local customers.
  • Improve your customer experience with timely information.
  • Promote your sales, specials, events, news, and offers.
  • Engage with your customers through videos and photos.

Posts can include text, photos, or videos to promote Business Profiles. They’re visible to users through:

  • The “Updates” or “Overview” tabs of the Business Profile on mobile on Search and Maps based on various signals
  • The “From the Owner” section of the Business Profile on your computer on Search and Maps

When you add photos to your Business Profile, they automatically show as posts on your profile. These posts cannot be edited and will show only to customers. If you remove a photo, it’ll no longer show as a post.

Post Types

1. What’s new.  Provide general information about your business. You can include a photo or video, description, and an action button. For example, a restaurant can make a post to promote a new menu item.

2. Events.  Promote an event at your business. Events require a title, start and end dates, and time. If there aren’t start or end times, then the system will default to 24 hours on the date it’s posted. These posts may also include a photo, video, description, and an action button. For example, a bookstore may advertise a local author’s book signing or a book club meeting. Events that meet certain criteria may also show on the “Overview” tab of the Business Profile to make them more prominent to customers.

3. Offers.  Provide promotional sales or offers from your business. Offers require a title, start/end dates and times. A “View offer” action button is automatically added to the post. You can also include a photo, video, description, coupon code, link, and terms and conditions with the post. For example, a pizza parlor may advertise 20% off large pizzas for a week. Offers appear near the top of the Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. They also appear with all other posts in the “Updates” tab.

4. Products.  You can use the product posts to add products that will appear in your “Product tab.” Manage the product entry in the Product Editor. The product post doesn’t create a post to share.

Local SEO Success Story

The Challenge:Design an SEO friendly website for a new pediatric dentist office. Increase new patient acquisitions via organic traffic and paid search traffic. Build customer & brand validation acquiring & marketing 5 star reviews.

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Google My Business Reviews

90% of customers read reviews before buying a product or service from a company.  Google My Business reviews are often the most visible and read reviews for local businesses.  We help local business automatically gain more 5 star reviews using both SMS and email.  In addition, we promote 5 star reviews on your website and social media to increase social validation.

1. Quality.  Receiving 5 Star reviews is critical to portraying the quality of your business and the products or services you offer.  A majority of customers give 5 star or 1 star reviews.

2. Quantity.  The quantity of reviews you should acquire is relative to your business, market and competitors.  We recommend trying to acquire more 5 stars reviews than your competitors to make your business stand out.

3. Replying to Reviews.  Responding to reviews allows you to build relationships with customers, but they’re also public. When replying to your customers, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Be nice and don’t get personal. This isn’t just a guideline—it’s also a good idea as a business owner. It’s difficult to win an argument with a frustrated customer, and you want to avoid burning bridges. Keep your responses useful, readable, and courteous.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Users are looking for useful and genuine responses, but they can easily be overwhelmed by a long response.
  • Thank your reviewers. Respond to happy reviewers when you have new or relevant information to share. You don’t need to thank every reviewer publicly, since each response reaches lots of customers.
  • Be a friend, not a salesperson. Your reviewers are already customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. Tell reviewers something new about your business, or share something they might not have learned from their first visit.

Replying to negative reviews

Negative reviews are not necessarily a sign of bad business practices. For example, the customer may have had mismatched expectations. Replying to reviews can help identify points on how to improve the experience for customers.

Below are tips to help you respond well to negative reviews, and leave a positive impression with both current and future customers:

  • Do not share personal data of the reviewer or attack them personally on Maps, on other services, or in the real world. Instead, suggest that they contact you personally to resolve the issue. A positive post-review interaction often leads to the customer updating the review, and shows prospective customers that you really care.
  • Investigate the reasons behind the reviewer’s negative impression of the business. Check your records for the reviewer and their experience with your business.
  • Be honest about mistakes that were made, but do not take responsibility for things that weren’t your fault. Explain what you can and cannot do in the situation. Show how you can make uncontrollable issues actionable (e.g. bad weather made you cancel an event, but you’ll monitor the weather and provide advance cancellation warnings).
  • Apologize when appropriate. It’s best to say something that demonstrates compassion and empathy.
  • Show that you’re a real person by signing off with your name or initials. This helps you come across as more authentic.
  • Never lash out. Never get personal. Always be polite and professional, just as you would be face-to-face.
  • Respond in a timely manner to show that you pay attention to your customer’s experience.

Google My Business Photos

Adding photos to your Google My Business profile enhancing engagement.

1. By owner.  

2. By customer.  These are photos taken and uploaded by customers.  If you notice that a photo uploaded by a customer violates the Google Maps photo policies, you can request for it to be removed. The photo will be reviewed and possibly removed from your Business Profile.

3. 360.  These are interactive 360 degree photos from Street View for your business, if it’s available. Sometimes these images aren’t accurate. You can either change the map marker for your business to associate it with different Street View imagery, or add your own Street View imagery using the Street View app.

4. Video.  Upload a some videos of your office space and employees in action!

5. Interior.  Upload pictures of the interior of your office here.

6. Exterior. 

7. At work. 

8. Team.  This is where you should upload photos of your team as a group and individual team members.

9. Identity.  

Google My Business Insights

Google My Business insights allow you to see all the various ways customers interact your listings.

How customers search for your business. 

  • Direct – Customers who find your listing searching for your business name or address.
  • Discovery – Customers who find your listing searching for a category, product or service.
  • Branded – Customers who find your listing searching for brand related to your business.

Queries used to find your business. 

  • Listing on Search
  • Listing on Maps

Where customers view your business on Google.

  • Visit your website
  • Request directions
  • Call you
  • Message you