Local SEO 2019 – How to Rank in Google Maps Tutorial

[WPXperVideo id=20 ]if you have a local business and you want to be found in the map pack on Google I’ve got a really extensive video here to help you do just that and we’re starting right now if you want to transform your website into a customer or lead generation machine I’ll show you all my best tips tactics and secrets to get there fast let’s dive in hey there how’s it going I’m West McDowell web strategist for the deep end and if you’re not subscribed to channel yet we do two new videos a week and you’re not gonna want to miss any of them so go ahead and click on the subscribe button and the little bell icon next to it so you never miss another video you need to succeed online now this is an update to a video I made a while back but I promise this video is going to be the most complete up to date tutorial on ranking your business in 2019 you’re gonna find this is the same advice I would give you if I was one-on-one consulting with you and by the end of this video you’re gonna know exactly how to outrank your competition in the map listings as well as the organic listings in your local area and since this video is so comprehensive there’s a lot to cover here and I’ve made a downloadable cheat sheet that you can get leaving the link in the description below or you can click right up here to download that because that way you can just take this all in in real time and not have to worry about taking a bunch of notes if your local business you already know that people are turning to Google to search for what you offer and you definitely want to be found there whether you sell pizza or photography services and when I talk about being found in local search there’s really two places I’m talking about up top in the map listings these map listings these three listings right here they tend to get 33% of the clicks on any given search and then I’m also talking about right underneath that what we call the organic listings and you want to be found there as well because those tend to get about 44 percent of the clicks now the good news is a lot of the work you’re gonna do to get found in the map listings is going to carry over and also help you in the organic listings so you can be found twice which basically translates into local Google domination and not only that but voice searches are becoming more and more popular over here where people are searching for you know a restaurant near me or a salon near me and by really getting your local s Oh on point you can also be found in those searches so there’s a lot of factors that contribute to where exactly you’re going to be found in the map listings starting with proximity then we’ve got on-page factors what happens on your website itself then we have proper Google my business optimization as well as citations and backlinks so right off the top proximity is definitely the number one factor that Google takes into account when serving up the results so in other words how close is your business to the person that’s searching for it so if you’re an insurance broker office and someone down the block is typing in just insurance broker you might be the first one that pops up and proximity really is the nut single number one biggest factor when it comes to where you’re gonna be found in these searches however if you play all your cards right and get everything else exactly right you can rise above it in certain searches meaning even if you’re not the closest person you still may show up first if you get everything else better than your competition so the first thing we’re gonna go over is a proper set up after Google my business listing so we’re gonna need the computer for that let’s jump into it okay so the very first step of getting your Google my business profile set up is to make sure that it doesn’t already exist because what Google does a lot of times is relies on you know user submitted information so maybe you have a customer or a client who wrote a review for you or input it in themselves it happens so you just want to make sure that it’s not already there so all you want to do is just come right to Google and just type in the name of your business and then do a Google search and see what comes up the fact that the Google my business listing isn’t showing up right here in the sidebar tells me that there’s no such listing for Lisa Weinstein consulting which is a fictitious business I’m making up right now just for this video so I’m actually not surprised it doesn’t exist at this point but now let me show you what it would look like if there was a listing there so this is what I’m talking about in the sidebar if you do have a listing it’ll pop up right there and I’ve already claimed my listing for the deep-end so if one of your customers kind of added it for you it probably wouldn’t be claimed by anybody else I would hope not and there would be a little button kind of down here that would say claim this listing and you would just want to click on that but in this case of Lisa Weinstein consulting we don’t have a listing so we’re gonna go ahead and create one so the first step is just to go to google.com slash business I would assume 99% of you already have a Google account if not you’re gonna want to sign up for one otherwise let’s just click on sign in okay and once you’re signed in you’re just gonna enter in the business name and then click Next and you’re gonna fill out all this information as completely as you can okay now here is where we get to a part that’s a little tricky so I get this question a lot for my previous video so some of you have a business where people come in and shop you have a storefront or maybe you’re an accountant you have an actual office where people can come in and visit and then there are some of you who probably do not you know electricians plumbers people to travel out or at least even you know people like web designers graphic designers who work from home where you don’t really want people dropping by and it wouldn’t even actually matter where you are because people aren’t physically coming in anyway so basically there is an option here that says I deliver goods and services to my customers so there is a little bit of controversy with this basically Google wants you to check this box if this is the case for you if people aren’t coming into your actual physical location and you’re traveling out or you work remotely they want you to check this box however generally all the experts on the subject say that whenever you click this box and then you don’t have your address published you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot in terms of ranking by that what I mean is generally when you have your address listed you have a better chance of showing up in that Google 3-pack in the map listings now there are some exceptions to this rule I’ve done a few little unscientific tests lately to look up different kinds of businesses and it does seem that Google’s getting a little smarter about this and they kind of know the difference between you know a pizza restaurant where people are coming in versus a web designer who works from home where it doesn’t really matter that they show the the closest search results I see this a lot with you know with plumbers electricians contractors people who always come out I do see that being less of a ranking factor but if you really want to be safe I would still recommend putting in your address at least for right now going into 2019 that seems to be an important thing and ranking maybe in the future Google will be even smarter about it and kind of really know the difference but for now if you want to be safe put your address in but if you really don’t want your address published you can go ahead and take your chances by clicking this and then that but I’m gonna leave those unchecked for the purposes of this video and now just click Next okay now this is very important so basically one of the major ranking factors in Google my business is category match so basically is you want to have a really close match between what people are typing into Google and then what the category of your business is for instance if people are typing in web designers in Chicago you want to have web designer be your category or at least the closest thing that Google has you can’t just type it in yourself it has to be a Google approved category so let’s go ahead and type that in here let’s let’s just type in consultant and see what pops up okay so we’ve got all these to choose from so what you’re gonna want to do is for your primary category which is all it’s gonna let you choose right now we’re gonna choose the one that’s the most appropriate so let’s go ahead and say media consultants and then click on next you’re gonna want to fill in your phone number and your web address and your website URL so just gonna make one up here click Next okay so now we’ve come as far as we can come until we get verified so what it’s basically gonna do is they’re gonna want to send you a postcard in the mail with a code on it just verifies that you are where you say you are let’s just go ahead and click on finish there that’s it so just type in the contact name it’s gonna go to and then just click on mail and it’ll mail it out so when you get that postcard in the mail back you’re gonna you follow the instructions on it to verify listing but let’s also talk about a few ways to really optimize that listing to make it better than your competition because let’s face it most of your competition I’m pretty confident are not gonna be doing all of these things giving you the advantage so let’s check that out okay and since Lisa Weinstein consulting was a fictitious company we don’t actually have that verified we’re gonna go in and jump into another client’s listing for the purposes of finishing this out so basically what we’re gonna want to do is really optimize this profile to give you the best shot of ranking so from the dashboard of your business you’re gonna want to go to this info tab which is generally the default and there’s a few things I want to talk about here so when it comes to the name of your business for instance this is Glen Devon motors it’s a high-end car rental agency there’s a few things I want to talk about in terms of your company name so and this is going to be up to you but one of the major ranking factors of showing up in that 3 pack and Google Maps is actually having your category keywords in your business name meaning if this business name or Glen Devon Motors car rental agency or at least car rental or as close as you can get to it that would probably help this rank a little higher however I really caution you about this and it’s gonna be up to you if you want to take this risk or not yes it’ll help you rank higher for sure but you have to ask yourself if adding those keywords in the category is going to make your listing look spammy Glen Devon Motors car rental agency what I might do I think it doesn’t look that bad to say Glen Devon Motors clevon Glen Devon Motors car rental agency or even Glen Devon Motors car rental now it’s up to you what maybe you are a web designer so it might make sense to be you know Debra Hill web design or something like that that makes a lot of sense but then there are some categories that are gonna sound a little spammy if you do it so I leave that up to you know that it will help you rank higher possibly but it also might get you fewer clicks if it looks like your keyword stuffing just remember if you use these category keywords in your business name that now becomes your business name as it appears everywhere on the web so whenever you’re on a directory or social profiles even on your website you’re gonna need to refer to your business as that full business name and next we are going to talk about your categories so they only let you put in one you remember when you registered so now we’re gonna click the little edit icon here and what we want to do is fill this out with a few extra categories now obviously only do it if it makes sense don’t add categories you don’t actually cover but if you offer multiple services this can really make a difference between being found or not so I’m going to go ahead and click on add another category and I would just type in car service how about that people might be typing in that because this is a high-end car rental agency so they might be typing that in so I’m just going to click apply and then you can go ahead and you can add a service area so what you would want to put in here so this is remember if I said you travel out or you service different areas of the community different cities different zip codes you would just want to put in all those zip codes or cities right in here and then you would click apply all right in ours so you’re going to definitely want to add your business hours so just click on each of the days you’re open and then all right so I’ve just said every day from nine to six click apply and then special hours you’ll add if you have holiday hours or something I’m gonna skip over that for now make sure you got your phone number in there and your your website address you can add services if you want to list those out here I’m not gonna go into all that right now but here is something you’re definitely gonna want to do and that’s add a business description so you’ve got 750 characters here to do this with and you’re definitely going to want to include your category keyword and your city in this description preferably a few times but the trick is don’t make it look spammy or artificial okay so right here I’ve you can see that I have used the category once your car rental agency located in Los Angeles California I’ve said Los Angeles here again and I’ve also said car rental agency again and in Los Angeles again so basically you get the idea just you’re gonna want to use this opportunity to add your keywords does it make sense that your category names add your location you just really want to make sure that Google gets the idea that you were in the location you say you’re in and you do what you say you do so I’m going to go ahead and click on apply now scrolling down okay so now what we want to do is add photos this is gonna be very important so go ahead and click here and since this is an existing business we already have some photos here but the way you’re gonna want to do this is you’re just gonna add them by clicking on the little plus sign and you’re gonna drag your photos right into here but before we do that I just kind of want to go over here so basically we’ve got different categories of photos you know you want to make sure they’re in the right area you know you can add videos as well videos are great interior shots exterior shots at work so thank you helping customers team that would be your your employees identity that would be you know your logo right here that would be under identity but if you really want to take things up to the next level and kick it up a notch I’m gonna show you a really cool trick you can use to really further emphasize that you are in the location that you say you’re in and that involves will be called geo tagging your photos which sounds very complicated but stay with me here because it’s not I’m going to show you exactly how to do it in like two steps okay so here we are on the website GE oh I am gr dot-com and it’s really easy all you need to do is take the photos you want to add to your listing I’m just gonna go ahead and drag one over here and then what it wants you to do is tag the place so if you’ve already verified your account you should just be able to type in the name of your business perfect and it pops right up here so I’m just gonna go ahead and click on that and if it’s not listed to here for some reason you may just have to type in your business address which works just as well alright so we’ve got the little pin right here in the right place it gives you the latitude longitude you don’t have to mess with that and then what you’re gonna do is go right down here and click on right exif tags so it’s tagged the photo with the location just in the metadata and you don’t have to worry about anything else Google can read that on the photo and it really just further cements you into your location so then go ahead and click on download and you’ll do this for every photo you want to use and what I would do here for some extra points is I would if I were you I would name all of your photos with any kind of combination of your business name your category names and your location so let’s go ahead and name this one car rental agency Los Angeles California and I’ll just click on save and again you’ll do this for all your images and then you’ll go back to your listing click on the plus sign and then you’ll just go ahead and you’ll drag and drop that photo right over there okay and one more thing I want to show you is if you go over to posts this is a fairly newish feature that basically allows you to add little offers or little news items to your Google my business listing so when people are searching for your business name that in that right sidebar it’ll come up with whatever the latest offer you have is or the latest thing you’re doing in the community so it’s a great way if you have some kind of a sale or some kind of a special promotion you can promote it right there I’m just go ahead and you know on post then just you would just write it like normal it’s under different categories you can have an event you can have an offer you can feature a product so you’ve got 1,500 characters just write it out here it’s kind of a shorter form and then add an image to go along with it and then you just click on publish and these things last for 7 days so it’s not like a set it and forget it do it once and it’s always there but they can be really powerful getting the word out on a new offer and to really round out your Google my business profile you’re gonna want some reviews 5 star reviews as many as you can get I do have a whole video on this if you want to click up here you can watch for some really strategic ways of getting good reviews so getting these reviews aren’t really a huge ranking factor per se meaning they’re not going to push you up to the top but you don’t want to be in the top if you don’t have any reviews because what will happen is you’re there with two other companies and let’s say the other two have reviews and you don’t no one’s ever gonna click on your listing so you not only want to show up in that top three spots you want to get the click as well and for customers to be able to see those five stars right there that’s usually enough to do the trick okay next section we’re gonna talk about proper on-page optimization so what do you do on your website to make it really closely aligned with all the information under Google my business profile now there’s actually lots to do here but the first thing you want to do is make sure your website is really mobile-friendly because over 60% of people particularly in a local search are going to be doing it from their mobile devices and Google knows if it’s going to be a good experience or a bad experience and guess what they don’t show to customers they don’t show the sites that they know are gonna be bad so from Google just type in Google mobile-friendly and then just type in your web address right here and then click on run test and it’ll give you a list of all the improvements you can make to make it even better for mobile okay so now here we are on the design of a home page for that same client so there’s a few things you’re definitely going to want to include on the home page that are really going to let Google my business kind of latch on to certain areas to really put it all together and the first thing I want you to pay attention to is what we call the h1 tag here this is the main header for the page so what you want to do is you know and we can get into a lot of semantics here about whether it’s better to write for the search engines or to write for people I happen to believe it’s always the priority one is to write to be persuasive to the people coming to the page but that’s not the purpose of this video the purpose of this video is just to show you everything you can do to rank as high as possible so what I would definitely recommend in that case is to include the category keyword and the city so what we’ve got here is car rental agency in Los Angeles so both bases are covered and I think I’ve done as decent a job as possible of actually making it read well too for human beings to be fairly persuasive so we’ve got that covered there and then what you’re gonna want to do is be sure to include those keywords in other areas around the page as well so what we’ve got here is you know it doesn’t always have to be the exact same wording but we have the word car rentals and we have Los Angeles again we have Los Angeles car rental agency we have remember how we chose the secondary phrase car service we have car service Los Angeles so basically what you’re trying to do is really just add these keyword phrases wherever you can as long as it reads well so find those opportunities what I like to tell people to do is you know write for people first and then throw in those opportunities as you can so here’s something that’s really important it’s kind of a and above and beyond to measure you can do so what I would recommend you do is get a video it can be a custom-made video the video really can be anything obviously if people are gonna see it I recommend that it makes sense to be on your page but I want you to remember two things first it has to be on YouTube because Google owns YouTube so it’s a big ranking factor to have a youtube embedded video on your page and the second thing I want you to pay attention to is how we’ve titled the video it has the name of the business and it has car rental agency in Los Angeles California with the zip code so we’re really doing everything we can to include that all over the place and just having it be embedded in a YouTube video is going to be even more powerful so put some thought into what that video could be you could even just go to fiverr.com and have basically an actor read whatever script you want them to read maybe a blurb about your business if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself just keep in mind if it’s on your home page people are likely to actually see it so you’re probably better off putting a little bit of effort into the video if we’re gonna do it and going down the page we’ve got another in of Los Angeles and car rental and here we have this section where we have little links to the areas that we service so we’ve got you know Van Nuys Airport it’s a which is close to this actual rental car agency we have Los Angeles Beverly Hills Pacific Palisades these are cities and what we’re doing here is we’re actually linking each of these city names to the official city website again just another strong signal to Google that we’re operating in this locality and then down to the footer this is a really important area actually as well so what we’ve got so this is going to be on every page in the footer we have the name of the business we have the category and city and then we have the address is exactly as we have it in Google my business again you want to have it be exactly the same everywhere and phone number and then hours notice we didn’t just say Monday through Friday 9:00 to 6:00 because this is basically exactly how they have it listed out on Google my business every day of the week and I’ve even formatted you know that the nine colon zero zero um you know there’s so many ways that this could be formatted but to have it be exactly the way Google does it is the way you want to do it and then right over here you would want this to be an actual embedded a Google map it’s not just an image with the map pin in the exam the right address this is just kind of a dummy page this isn’t the right address but it just gives you the idea of what should be there and then underneath that we have a link click here for driving directions so it’s another it’s a link to a Google map that basically again it’s another signal to Google that you are where you say you are so all these things working together really do a good job of telling Google that you should definitely be found for your keyword in your city and while it’s great to have all that information on your page exactly the way it appears in your Google my business listing there’s still a little bit of work to be done to really make it count and that’s to add what we call schema to your website that really allows Google to map out and structure exactly what information needs to align with what so in other words phone number it’s not just text on your page but it but there’s actually something pointing to it saying hey Google this is the phone number this is the address so it really aligns everything perfectly and there’s a really easy way to do it so let’s jump into that okay so run the back end of the deep ends a wordpress website and the way we get to this page we’re on the plugins page so you’re just going to navigate down here towards his plugins then you’re gonna go over here and you’re gonna search for a plug-in called local business scheme alight okay so this is basically a really lightweight plugin you can use to further signal to Google your location and all the information so it lines up just perfectly with what they’ve got so go ahead and once you found that here just click on install now and then on activate okay once that’s activated you’re just gonna go over down on the right the left sidebar sorry and go down towards says WP Speed lbs that’s the one we’re looking for go ahead and click on that and this is this couldn’t be easier you’re just gonna enter in all of your details exactly the way you entered them in on Google my business and once you’ve put it all in you’re just gonna go down and click on activate and then Save Changes and another thing you can do on your website to really help you rank locally is to use your blog to post really location specific content now ideally you’d want to keep it grounded in your niche so you wouldn’t just want to talk about generic local events necessarily but anytime you can tie what you do to something that’s going on locally or use quotes from other local people or other local businesses and really use your city name as many times as you can in your articles really tying you to your city it’s gonna do you a lot of good in the long run alright in the next topic I want to cover our citations so a citation is just any mention of your business or your brand anywhere on the web these usually come you know in directory listings social profiles that kind of thing but the main thing that you really want to keep in mind here is what we call the nap na p name address phone now the thing that’s so frustrating about the nap is it has to be very consistent across everywhere it appears online so what you want to do is once you input your address on Google my business it’s gonna format that address in a certain way now what you want to do is whenever you build out these citations and I’m going to go over that in a second how to do that you’re going to want to use the exact address the exact phone number the exact way it’s written out and they’re sticklers for this I’m talking as consistent as if you’re abbreviating the word street versus writing out street whichever you go with whichever google my business has that’s how you want to do it that goes for a state abbreviation versus spelling out your state if you have a sweet number do you say sweet 170 or do you say you know pound sign hashtag 170 do you say unit 170 these are all things you have to really pay attention to but I think you get it so let’s jump over the computer to get started with citations so your first step when it comes to building citations is actually taking an audit and seeing if you have any current citations out there and if so do any of them need to be cleaned up well let’s go ahead and see what we’ve got here okay sirs type in your business name right there and if you’re new if it’s a brand new business you probably don’t have any citations anyway so you can probably safely skip this step but I would still just try to make sure all right so we’ve got a pretty dismal score here of 34 percent so and it’s saying you know there’s a chance to get up to 83 percent using Moz local but let’s just go ahead and see what they have to say about what we’ve got so here are our complete citation so these are ones that they deemed to be thumbs up and it gives you a little percentages with them so basically you know super pages Citysearch insider pages and hot frog these are not as optimized as they could be what that tells me then as you should go into all these listings and really make sure that there is optimized as possible the for instance on Citysearch says it’s 9% incomplete and 36% inconsistent so by inconsistent maybe the address isn’t showing up exactly correct or in exactly the same way that it doesn’t Google my business so then let’s go over to the incomplete tab and see we’ve got here okay so it’s saying on super pages it says to add two more categories because I think it’s they’re seeing what’s on Google my business and they they want us to go ahead and make sure all those categories are added to these as well and this one is insider pages it’s saying add one more photo and add one more category so it’s pretty much telling you exactly what to do which is the good news and then you can easily just click on update listing it’ll take you to it and then just make sure you closely match it to what Google my business has and then if you go to inconsistent see it’s really good about showing you exactly what’s wrong here so in this case it said it starts with Suite 170 and it looks like it’s spelling out California so you can really start to see what I’m talking about they’re real sticklers about this stuff which gets kind of frustrating but got to play by their rules if you want to get the results so and then duplicates it’s giving a thumbs-up so it looks like we are good to go on duplicates so once you get all of these fixed the way they want you to get him fixed what you’re going to want to do is add even more citations this is kind of an instance of the more the merrier the more you have the better shot you have to rank so there’s a few there’s a place that I want you to go that’s really going to show you a lot of your best opportunities to get some of these citations so okay so we’re gonna be talking about these citations in basically two different areas you want to get citations on directories that apply to your category type of your business and you also want to get them on directory sites that apply to the city that your business is in so you’re going to go to whites proxy a slash best citations by category slash us if you’re here if not you’re gonna want to choose your particular country and you’re just gonna go down and look at the business category are in so if you’re an accountant it’s going to show you the these are the ones you want to get or if you’re an architect how about these ones do you want to get listed on all of these because a lot of businesses a lot of business categories have their own stuff like lawyers have of oh you know contractors have Angie’s List for instance so you’re just gonna want to find all the opportunities you can and build out those citations on as many as you can all right so next we’re going to talk about the directories that apply to your cities so it’s the same thing you’re gonna go to white sprocket CA slash best citations by a city / US if you’re here of course and just scroll down to the city where your business is so what you’ll notice is for most of these it’s gonna be the same stuff that’s going to be Yellow Pages Yelp Facebook all that all the normals that that apply to all the cities but then there will be here and there certain directories that are really cities specific like look here so for Beaumont Texas we’ve got local dot Beaumont enterprise com where Beaumont edu so there will be those opportunities so basically put a list together of all the ones for your category and all the ones for your city and just go and spend an afternoon inputting your information on all of those and make sure it’s as consistent as possible with how it appears on your Google my business listing and you should be in really good shape okay know the last big factor that we want to talk about here are backlinks which are basically just any other website linking to your site people used to think that backlinks weren’t super important when it came to ranking in the map listings but they are they are actually a pretty powerful ranking signal to Google even in local SEO and the good news is once you build these citations you’re going to get a lot of backlinks naturally that way through the directories that you’ll be listed on but you’re probably going to want to get some additional backlinks as well if you really want to dominate both the maps and the organic listings and the first place to start is by getting a Better Business Bureau link it’s a pretty high authority link that you’re definitely going to want to get I think there’s a paid version and a free version so when you fill out your profile Better Business Bureau they’re probably gonna follow that up and try to hit you up for a paid version of the profile but I don’t think you need that I’m pretty sure that the link is the same either way I’m actually ever really in depth the video about how to build quality backlinks and you can watch that by clicking right up here and you can absolutely do this yourself however go in knowing it is time consuming for that reason I’m probably gonna recommend that you just hire this part out I use a company called the Hoth for this they’re experts they know what they’re doing and they’re not that expensive so basically the time you’d save just by hiring them to do it is well worth the money and they actually have a local package which basically you can have the backlinks and citations built in one package using them so I would I would definitely recommend going that route and I am including the link to the Hoth in the description below so if you want to check that out alright that was a lot to cover I hope you learned something and I hope you’re able to actually implement this on your own site and see really great results but now I want to hear from you I know you’ve probably got a lot of questions about this we’ve covered a lot so any questions or comments or any tips you have for other people watching this video just go ahead and leave it in the comment section below I’ll answer any questions that I possibly can and if you’re not subscribed to the channel yet go ahead and click on the circle icon right down over here you’re not gonna want to miss out and if you haven’t access to that free cheat sheet that’s gonna guide you through all this stuff you can get that by clicking this box right up here alright I’m West McDowell for the deep end and I’ll see you in our next video