LocalU Author Page

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

New Review Highlights on Google Maps

By Joy Hawkins / March 19, 2020

Andy Simpson noticed last night that there is a new review summary format on Google My Business listings.  So far, I’m only able to see this on the Google Maps app.Below is an example of what it looks like.  The 3 reviews that are highlighted are reviews that contain common words that show up in…

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Google Quiz

By Joy Hawkins / February 28, 2020


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Taking Advantage of the Google My Business Updates

By Joy Hawkins / July 15, 2019

June was a busy month for SEOs, especially for those of us who spend some of our time with local SEO. Google has kept us on our toes with, not only a Core Algorithm Update, but a handful of updates to Google My Business and the local SERPS. These updates affect local businesses the most,…

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Is Content Marketing the Best Approach for Local Businesses?

By Joy Hawkins / August 10, 2018

Today we have a guest post from Brandon Schmidt, Director of Digital Strategy at YDOP, an internet marketing company in Lancaster, PA that specializes in Local SEO, website design & development, digital advertising, video marketing, and conversion optimization. Most local businesses don’t benefit from traditional content marketing approaches. Learn why that is and how you can…

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Google My Business: Don’t Set It and Forget It

By Joy Hawkins / August 3, 2018

Today we have a guest post from Markella Haynes from MDG Advertising. At MDG Advertising, Markella develops and executes social media marketing strategies for clients across a wide array of industries, while leading the local search marketing efforts for the team. Google My Business: Don’t Set It and Forget It So you’ve accomplished one of…

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Google My Business Flowchart: The Ultimate Guide on How to Fix or Verify your Google Business Listings

By Joy Hawkins / May 3, 2018

Today we have a guest post from David Hunter of ASAPMaps & Epic Web Studios.  The flow chart he shares at the end of the article is an amazing resource to have so be sure to bookmark this article and refer back often! Google My Business is the free business listing platform that works with…

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Understanding Google’s Updated Structured Data Guidelines

By Joy Hawkins / January 18, 2016

Last March, Google revised their Structured Data Policies.  While most changes were relatively straightforward and clear, a few were not.  In fact, some policy changes are still not obvious no matter how many times you read over the guidelines.  Fortunately, I was able to get some clarification on a few items recently during a meeting…

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How to Launch Your Local Video Content Strategy (Part 2 of 2)

By Joy Hawkins / August 28, 2015

[Ed. note: The following is a guest article written for Local U by Paul Sherland of IX Brand SEO Services Company.] OK, so you’ve read part 1 of this article in the Local U blog about how video can be the foundation for a local content strategy. The hard part is the first step —…

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G+ Page In One Account, YouTube In Another? No problem!

By Joy Hawkins / May 6, 2014

Clients often come to us with preexisting Google+ accounts that contain Google business pages and YouTube channels with content that have already been claimed. The business page and the channel are often in two separate accounts (YouTube channel in one login and a business listing in another). This setup used to be normal, an acceptable…

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An Introduction to Local Search for Restaurants

By Joy Hawkins / February 5, 2014

[Ed. note: The following is a guest article written for Local U by Jackson Lo of Menu.ca.] Restaurants may not be the hottest topic in local search, but they are one of the most widely searched industries on a daily basis. Today, we still see only a fraction of restaurants using the web as a…

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