About Local University

Who We Are

Local U brings together some of the top minds in the local search space: Joy Hawkins, David Mihm, Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling, Joel Headley, Colan Nielsen, Greg Gifford, Krystal Taing, Carrie Hill & more. Occasionally, representatives from Google attend our events and are available to walk business owners through the features of Google My Business when appropriate. We pride ourselves on our collegial focus and our end-goal is to have every attendee go home with a lengthy list of ideas and action items they can apply to their own in-house, enterprise, or agency client relationships.

Our Events

Local U Advanced is a full day of instruction focused on Local SEO and Search.  Its usually preceded by an evening networking event at a nearby venue and gives all attendees ample opportunity to get their questions answered.  We also can help with specific problems during Q&A time, breakout sessions, breaks & more.  Historically, over 90% of attendees have said they felt the event was worth the price and over 85% said they’d recommend Local University to others. We have a money-back pledge – and if you feel you didn’t get the most out of your attendance, let us know and we’re committed to making it right. 

Typical Local U Agenda

Each Local University features a full day of learning that combines the latest in tactics with tested tips and case studies – sure to provide you with a lengthy “to-do” list when you return to your office!  While we used to do half-day events, we now reserve those for corporations to add to their own conferences – so if you’re looking to add LocalU content to your event, get in touch with us!

  • Local, Social, and Voice – The Trifecta of Local Online Success – Erin Jones
    Cultivating raving fans within the local and social communities via tried and true methods incorporating local recommendations, social content, and brand voice online.
  • The Best Content for Locally Targeted Pages – Carrie Hill
    We’ll take a look at what content works for a localized page – from reviews to product and service descriptions and a few stops and starts in-between
  • Reported vs Actual – What’s Stealing Local SEO Visibility – Cindy Krum
    You know what Google and other tools are reporting on your rankings and visibility but what about the things that push you down in search results that are not reported in most local SEO tools? Things like ads and PLAs in both the Map Pack and in the regular search result can push you down, and you might not even know. Similarly, things like Knowledge Graph and Knowledge Graph disambiguation can be impacted by location, making it easier or harder for your SEO efforts to be successful. In this talk, Cindy will outline how you can know when things like this, that are not regularly reported in your local SEO tools, might be impacting your ability to rank and get traffic from local SEO.
  • PR for Local Business: Crafting a Unique Story and Befriending Gifted Storytellers – Craig Mount
    Utilize public relations for local businesses to 10x local marketing campaigns. Find out how to successfully implement PR into your agency workflow and get meaningful media mentions for local businesses.
  • The Power BI presentation you never knew you needed – Greg Gifford
    Power BI is an amazing reporting tool, but the user interface is confusing and there’s no real documentation to help you learn how to use it. In this presentation, Greg will show you how Power BI works, basically giving you a cheat code to skip several levels ahead in knowledge. He’ll also share a life-changing agency-level rollup report that lets you slice and dice tons of client data, from life-span to organic results. You’ll wonder how you ran your agency without it…
  • Entity Entropy: Managing Local Search for a 2400-Location Academic Health Center – David Mihm
    Helping enterprise clients manage their local search presence isn’t easy to begin with, but Google My Business’s historically-poor understanding of the relationships between facilities, clinics, and providers makes it even more challenging in healthcare. David will share an in-depth case study of his sole consulting client for the past four years — including how he’s dealt with clinic-practitioner listings and his data-backed view of the 2020 patient journey.
  • The State of Reviews – Mike Blumenthal
    What changes have we seen in the review landscape, how does that affect how we can market our products and services  – and what can we expect to see in review marketing in the near future.
  • Breakout Sessions:
    • Agency AMA
      Joy Hawkins, Allie Margeson, Dana DiTomaso
      This is your chance to get all of your Agency questions answered. How do you hire? What tactics work best for training? What tools are in your kit?
    • Site Reviews
      Various Speakers
      If you submitted your site to the site review lottery and were informed that you were chosen, this is the time to see your site through new eyes. We’ll have a variety of speakers from the day weighing in!
    • Expand and Conquer
      Amanda Jordan,
      The perspective of an experienced SEO can help businesses decide where and how to expand. Learn how to use data to propose business expansions into new territories.
    • AMA About Managing Multiple Locations/Enterprise Accounts in GMB
      Krystal Taing, Greg Gifford
      Here’s your chance to ask and answer all of your multiple location GMB questions.

Listen on iTunes Google Play or Stitcher

Video: Last Week in Local for Week Ending January 24, 2022

Mike and Carrie discuss the last week in local search! Today they discuss what’s new in local SEO, including a whole lot of Google information, what’s new in the world of retail, tips for creating great content, the State of Local Search 2022, and a whole lot more! Get your…

Video: Last Week in Local for Week Ending January 17, 2022

Joy joins Mike to discuss the last week in local search! Today they discuss what’s new in local SEO, including Google’s Vicinity Update, is it worth it to add attributes to a Google Business Profile listing, Google Business Profile limitations for new managers, scammers stealing parking meter payments with QR…

Video: Last Week in Local for Week Ending January 10, 2022

Mike and Carrie discuss setting yourself up for SEO success in 2022, Walmart joins the ranks of retail delivery services, Dallas denies droves of Dollar Stores, more Knowledge Panel updates for colleges and universities the upcoming LocalU Advanced on April 5th, and much more! Pitch an idea for LocalU Advanced…

Video: Last Week in Local for Week Ending January 4, 2022

Welcome to the new year!  Mike and Carrie discuss some interesting features from maps, a semantic geographic patent from Google, the upcoming LocalU Advanced on April 5th, and much more! Pitch an idea for LocalU Advanced Virtual on April 5, 2022 Apply for a LocalU Scholarship  Last Week in Local…

Video: Last Week in Local for Week Ending December 20, 2021

The SEO community has been abuzz over the news of the most recent Google update, dubbed the Vicinity Update by our own Joy Hawkins and the team at Sterling Sky. In addition to the Vicinity Update, Carrie and Mike discuss COVID-related changes for both Kroger and Google employees, updates to…

Video: Last Week in Local for Week Ending December 13, 2021

Lots of great info this week, including rumblings of a local SERP update, Google’s new map interface, key factors in making reviews count, Starbucks has a new labor union, the most popular Yelp search filters, and so much more!   Last Week in Local is a look back at the…