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  • #18081

    Mike Blumenthal

    Mary and Carrie created a Google as Your New Home Page scoring tool as a way to assess the depth of information that Google has about a given business. It is a reasonable proxy for many of your efforts and stands as a measureable guidepost against the future work you will be doing for that customer.

    While the tool nor the state of brand knowledge does not directly impact rank it certainly can reflect reputation and even more it can more importantly predict conversion success.

    We have analyzed the first set of results from the tool and while the same size is smallish (~93) it is enough to provide reasonable guidance to how well others are doing in this arena.

    – We have seen Brand Page scores range from 0 to a high of 37.
    – The average score amongst all of the participants was 19.
    – The median (ie half are greater than and half are less than) is 20
    – The mode (the most common score) was 21

    The fact that these values are similar indicates that this data follows a “normal” bell type curve that you can readily see in this graph.

    Obviously most results cluster in the 15-24 range with them tapering off at both extremes. Many phenomena have probability distributions that are bell curves and the fact that this tool has it, creates some level of confidence that we have identified variables that represent a decent model for understanding your result.

    The bottom line? This provides users of the tool an idea of what they should be striving for over the next 12-18 months and where they sit relative to other businesses. Obviously this would vary by locale and category but these numbers point out the general range of relative success (greater than 20) and the range of excellence (greater than a score of 30)

    I am curious if you have used the tool and what you think?

    Here is a guide to using the tool.


    Mike Blumenthal
    MDG Advertising
    MDG Advertising

    Hi all!

    As I’m taking a deeper dive in the new GMB queries insight, and I’m trying to get a better understanding of what type of search our offices would report as.

    For instance, we have an office named “Jupiter Dental Group” (in Jupiter, FL). The top three search queries were “Jupiter dental group,” “Jupiter dental” and “Jupiter dentist”. Understanding that our office name is very similar to a potential discovery search query, how do you think Google would categorize these searches – discovery or direct?

    I reached out to Google and they said it doesn’t necessarily have to be an exact search for the entire name of your business for it be considered a “direct” search.

    Any insight is helpful!

    Sarah Snyder
    Sarah Snyder

    Thanks guys – you all rock! I did a deep dive in Payscale and followed up in Glassdoor and definitely have a better idea what’s considered common. To Will’s point, the original idea of the exercise was to find humans with as much as common as me …. and local meet-ups hadn’t even crossed my mind. Good call!

    Like anything else, no simple answer! But I did get the info I needed for what I’m trying to do so thank you all again. 🙂


    Mary Bowling

    Good Luck, Craig!

    Might you be willing to post version 2 of this video on the LocalU blog? AND/or do a Deep Dive video with us on this topic? If so, please email me directly at bowling736@gmail.com


    Mike Blumenthal

    1- More and better photos. You are in an “eye candy” industry. Distant photos of a showroom do not resolve well at mobile viewing sizes. I would get some close-up staff PLUS customer with eyeglass photos, just customer with eye glass photos. See https://localu.org/blog/your-google-my-business-profile-image-your-most-important-image/
    2- Google Posts- these have some impact on relevance and rank but can have a huge impact on conversions. See https://localu.org/blog/video-deep-dive-google-posts-impact-study/
    Another idea on this is to post your coupons there and have your staff direct patients to do a brand search to retrieve them. Brand searches influence rank
    3- Get a few Google Q & A out there. See https://www.getfivestars.com/blog/the-big-guide-to-google-questions-and-answers/ If you can answer ONE obvious question on the knowledge panel that is common you can increase conversions
    4- Reviews from around the web. You have up to 3 spots for third party reviews, including reviews from your own site. Why leave that on the table? see https://www.getfivestars.com/blog/google-as-the-new-home-page/
    Facebook is an obvious choice but an industry specific site makes sense as well
    5- Google reviews. Ratings have little impact. Not sure why you have so many but they do little of value
    6- Yelp has an outsize influence on ranking. Get some reviews there.
    7- Unique and compelling content for the local landing page. First party review content is an obvious choice there but there are others. See https://searchengineland.com/solve-duplicate-content-local-seo-issues-multi-location-businesses-255509 (note allstate mention)
    8- Internal linking. If your local landing pages are important than link to them more obviously using keyword phrases from the home page and where apprpriate from around the site
    9- Links to the local landing pages from offsite. A possible route is via something like this: https://localu.org/blog/video-deep-dive-3/
    10- Sponsorships and such as mentioned in #9 can and should lead to local news articles where the location and their activities make their presence seen in the local news media. We have seen this to lead to ranking gain


    In reply to: Nearby Now

    Mike Blumenthal

    At Localu Joel noted the following

    So, Joel Headley, of PatientPop who was with Google Local for many, many years. He talked about how Schema drives features in the search engine results. And that that really should be your cue as to when you should be using Schema or not.

    Mike: For a given feature set. If the feature can provide you with some additional SERP space, or some additional activity, then that’s the feature you want to be sure you’re using,


    He said essentially that if google wasn’t using a given schema then it offered no real world value.


    Mike Blumenthal

    I agree that it should be fresh content but many businesses have marked up less than this. 🙂

    As a reference to what the current Google guidelines are this post
    https://localu.org/blog/video-deep-dive-getting-review-rich-snippets-benefit-rich-snippets-single-location-websites/ is still up to day.

    The gold standard is the Google schema guidelines. There are two specifically:

    Rich Snippet Guidelines (Local Business tab!)
    Which says:
    Google may display information from aggregate ratings markup in the Google Knowledge Cards. The following guidelines apply to review snippets in knowledge cards for local businesses:

    Ratings must be sourced directly from users.
    Don’t rely on human editors to create, curate or compile ratings information for local businesses. These types of reviews are critic reviews.
    Sites must collect ratings information directly from users and not from other sites.

    And the general structured data guidelines
    Which says:
    Provide up-to-date information. We won’t show a rich result for time-sensitive content that is no longer relevant.
    Provide original content that you or your users have generated.
    Don’t mark up content that is not visible to readers of the page. For example, if the JSON-LD markup describes a performer, the HTML body should describe that same performer.
    Don’t mark up irrelevant or misleading content, such as fake reviews or content unrelated to the focus of a page.

    So you can use aggregate for a local business. If it is on a page other than the testimonials it should provide a link over to the actual reviews page.

    There are several gray areas about testimonials in that they are cherry picked and from only happy customers. Probably not within what Google wants.

    In the case of GetFiveStars we have several options that meet the stricter interpretation as well as more lax ones so a business can choose. Barbara Oliver for example asks every user for a review (not just happy ones) AND publishes all except those that violate a very strict TOS.

    As for the nested nature of the schema you can see how we handle it in the screen shot below (visible in real life here).

    If you have specific coding and nesting questions let me know and I will have David Deering join the convo.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    Darren Shaw

    Hey Matt!

    This question is right up my alley. 🙂

    I would like to introduce you to the newly updated, totally enhanced, dynamic (mouse over the segments), Local Search Ecosystem! We haven’t officially announced/promoted this yet, and the reason we haven’t is relevant to your question.

    Before we release this, we are putting together new packages for our Citation Audit and Cleanup service:


    1. Google
    2. Bing
    3. Apple Maps
    4. InfoGroup
    5. Acxiom
    6. Localeze
    7. Factual
    8. Facebook


    1. Google
    2. Bing
    3. Apple Maps
    4. InfoGroup
    5. Acxiom
    6. Localeze
    7. Factual
    8. Facebook
    9. Yelp
    10. Yellowpages
    11. D&B
    12. CityGrid
    13. Foursquare

    These packages are designed to focus on cleanup on the sites that actually matter. We are also going to do a “Comprehensive” package that includes the top 30ish sites, for people that are a bit more obsessive and really want to dive deep on the cleanup.

    My recommendation to you would be to:

    1. Get cleaned up on the Essentials+ list. No duplicates or incorrect listings. You want to have one, and only one, claimed, accurate and fully filled out listing on each site.
    2. Get cleaned up on any sites that are important in her industry. Zillow, Trulia, homes.com, etc.
      Run some searches like “real estate agents _city_” and take note of any industry specific sites that appear on page 1 or 2 of the results. Check other cities too.
    3. Get cleaned up on any sites that are specific to your city. Run some searches like “_city_ business directory.
    4. Don’t worry about consistency on the other less important sites. Just check them to make sure you’re listed and have at least one correct listing. You might want to reference our top 50 list, here: https://whitespark.ca/top-local-citation-sources-by-country/

    Hope this helps. Please no sharing of the Local Search Ecosystem yet. Don’t want to get it out before we have everything in place for our proper promotion of it.

    Mike Blumenthal

    Joy Hawkins has just published her Expert’s Guide to Local SEO. It takes a deep, deep dive into the tips, tricks and resolutions needed to navigate Google’s local ecosystem. Forum Members Get 20% off.

    It includes a series of regularly updated ideas that your agency can use to maximize your client’s success on Google.

    The regular price is $1599 and with your discount it is $1279. Just use the code: FORUM20 when purchasing. Order Here.


    Mike Blumenthal

    Sorry for the agro

    I will look into Stitcher… it might take a few days. In the meantime here is a web interface to the current and past library

    Local Search Deep Dive Podcast

    Last Week in Local: Local Search & SEO Podcast from LocalU

    Let me know if those are marginally useful and in the meantime I will get to work on Stitcher. Thanks for the feedback!

    Mike Blumenthal

    In this episode of the Deep Dive, Mary and I discuss how the four pillars of brand success in a local market, customers, community, business relationships and media built on a foundation of a trusted name provides the basis for both local branding and prominence at Google.


Viewing 12 results - 1 through 15 (of 82 total)