Why Your Business Must Focus on Google Local Listings

Mike Blumenthal

Mike Blumenthal

Marketing Podcast with Mike Blumenthal

If you run a business that relies on local customers then you’ve probably come to the conclusion that being found online – even though a purchase may be made offline – is paramount to your success.

All the sales expertise, brilliant product demos and awesome packaging won’t amount to much if you’re not actually in the game.

As consumers, we’ve created and adopted all manner of ways to filter out unwanted sales messages, even those we may actually need to hear.

The key then for local businesses is to do everything in their power to show up early in the buyer’s journey by placing great emphasis on things that will help you show up in the search engines – particularly in Google Maps and on mobile devices.

This includes doing things like creating local content, focusing on reviews and making sure your listings in directories are accurate and up to date.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Mike Blumenthal, one of the North America’s leading Google local search experts and creator of the Understanding Google Places and Local Search blog.

Questions I ask Mike:

  • Why is Google search so important for local business owners?
  • How do you get into the Google Local 5,7,3 pack?
  • What is the difference between local and organic ranking?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why it is so critical to make sure all of your business information must be accurate and up-to-date
  • How reviews help your local search rankings
  • How social media and offline marketing helps search results

16 Step Checklist for the Perfect Blog Post

perfect blog post checklist

You work hard to create content – sometimes on the fly in the midst of the raging storm that is entrepreneurialism.

In the rush to get the thing out though you can diminish its impact through oversight and sloppiness. You might even do your brand more harm than good. And then all that hard work has less payoff.

Use this sixteen-point checklist as a guide to help establish a pre-publish blog post/page routine so you can hit publish with incredible confidence.

☐ Keywords – Do you have a plan for optimizing certain keywords and phrases as the focus for this post? (Yoast SEO Plugin helps analyze if you’ve used these phrases in the right amount.)

☐ Grammar and Spelling – Have you proofed your post to catch typos and embarrassing grammar missteps? (Check out Grammarly – it will check you as you go.)

☐ Headline – Have you spent time writing an appealing headline? Use strong adjectives and action packed benefit statements.

☐ Hook – Does your first paragraph draw the reader into the payoff even if you spend the next ten paragraphs setting it up?

☐ H2, H3 – Have you made your post scannable by breaking it into subsections and lists with H2 and H3 formatting to help with readership and let Google know what’s important?

☐ Permalink – Have you changed your permalink to include your keyword rather than simply use the default permalink post title?

☐ Links – Have you looked for ways to link internally to related posts or externally to resources that add value? Have you used keywords in the anchor texts of these links?

☐ Category – Have you chosen an appropriate category that matches up with your core themes? Categories can help organize and produce their own feed to use in other ways.

☐ Tags – Have you tagged the content to include people, things or resources you’ve mentioned?

☐ Featured Image – Have you included a compelling image and chosen it as your featured image? The image in this post was created using Canva.

☐ Image alt attribute – Have you written an alt attribute to describe your image in terms of your keywords?

☐ Title – Have you written a title attribute that uses your keywords? (This is a feature of a good plugin such as WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast.)

☐ Meta Description – Have you written a description that might entice someone to click through if they read it in search engine results? (Again Yoast)

☐ Author – Have you chosen the correct author if you have multiple authors for the blog?

☐ Preview – Have you looked at a live preview just to make sure everything is as it should be?

☐ Publish – Have you hit the publish button?

Okay, now go out there and promote the heck out of your perfect post!

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