Tag Archives: Local Presence

How to Localize Hispanic Content

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Localize Hispanic Content

Conventional wisdom in business and media has long been to approach the United States as an English-speaking market. When other languages are included on American marketing materials, mainstream news, or product packaging, it’s often little more than an afterthought. Even this much is typically only done in particular regions or neighborhoods with large immigrant populations.

Today, however, there are over 40 million Spanish speakers living all across the United States. That’s nearly as many people as the population of Spain itself. As an English-speaking website owner, failing to consider the needs of the Spanish-speaking community or relying on Google Translate to reach this market can be costly. You’re risking your reputation and potentially alienating a large untapped customer base.

Spanish Marketing for Selling in Foreign Countries

Increasing your website’s Hispanic SEO performance can also help you reach beyond the borders of the United States. This allows you to tap into markets in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. E-commerce now represents more than $15 million of annual economic activity in Mexico.

You can look to global e-commerce leaders to demonstrate the value in the Mexican market. Amazon began operations in Mexico in 2015 and had 50 million users across 25 cities in the country less than 5 years later. The Mexican e-commerce market has been ripe for expansion for some time. Mexico is also a great first target for United States businesses looking to dive into their first foreign market. This is because there are so many bilingual employees and contractors available in the United States to help with such an undertaking.

When creating website content for the Mexican market or for other Latin American countries, it’s important to do better than simply running the English version of your website through Google Translate. Google Translate is a powerful tool that can be extremely useful in helping you do business with foreign clients. However, it is not the proper resource for creating foreign language website copy.

Google Translate and other automatic translation software cannot properly translate the nuance and context of long or complex web pages. Automatically translated webpage content can lead to faux pas, senseless statements, or copy that just doesn’t flow because it sounds quite literally like a robot wrote it. While technology makes impressive strides every day, the industry standard for creating foreign language content is still to hire a capable writer or translator who works in your target language.

Hispanic SEO vs. Spanish SEO

Hispanic SEO vs. Spanish SEO

Another problem with automatic translators is that they may default to the style of Spanish spoken in most of Spain. There are many subtle—and not so subtle—differences between this Castilian Spanish and the Latin American Spanish spoken throughout Mexico. Even within the United States, Spanish speakers utilize a multitude of different dialects. A webpage that is marketed to Mexican consumers but has been automatically translated from English to Castilian Spanish will be off-putting to your audience at best. At worst, it will be unreadable.

Working with a qualified Spanish SEO provider can deliver the human touches that make copy resonate with readers. This ensures your SEO keywords are translated effectively and utilized correctly.

Spanish SEO services for English speaking e-commerce operators are a multi-faceted endeavor that exists at the intersection of three ideas:

  • Translating
  • Copywriting
  • SEO

Speaking a language consists of so much more than memorizing vocabulary words and understanding grammar. A high-powered SEO service that employs bilingual SEO experts will become a crucial resource for allowing you to truly communicate with your clients across the language barrier.

Identifying Your Hispanic SEO Keywords

When you begin to plan your Spanish language SEO strategy, you’ll want to begin by translating your high-performing English keywords to the correct form of Spanish. For this task, an automated translator may be acceptable for getting started. Instead of Google Translate, consider trying the Spanish-specific SpanishDict.

Its Spanish language focus will ensure solid translations and it includes additional features that will identify word variations specific to particular regions or countries. Analyze your website visitor data to see where the majority of your Spanish-speaking customers are visiting from. You can use that information to choose the correct translations of any keywords or phrases subject to different regional dialects. Identify synonyms as well, and try to work these into your keyword rotation to see what performs best.

In addition to your translated list of best English keywords to give your Spanish SEO service provider, you’ll probably want to research and identify new keywords specifically for your Spanish language content. Use Google Analytics to determine what search terms people in your target country are frequently using, just like you would when developing your English language keywords and content.

Preliminary Testing of Your Hispanic SEO Strategy

A good first project for testing the waters in your target country is to run translated ads that have performed well for you elsewhere.

Take the following steps:

  • Identify your highest performing English language ads
  • Choose 3 to 5 of these ads that represent a variety of tones and keywords so that you can gather data about what works best in your foreign market
  • Pay a translator or Spanish SEO service provider to convert the ads to Latin American Spanish.
  • Set a fixed budget and time frame for your ads to run—remember this is a preliminary data gathering campaign to help inform your strategy going forward.
  • Run the ads in your target country
  • Collect and analyze the data

Understanding Your Online Competition

Understanding Your Online Competition

When you start doing business in a new foreign market, it can be beneficial to study your competitors. Cultural attitudes, shopping habits, and internet browsing preferences can vary greatly from place to place. Translating great English content is not always a sure way to create great Spanish content. A thorough study of your biggest competition can help you bridge that gap.

Identify your biggest competitors, which may include whoever is selling similar products or services in the same areas you want to market to.

Spend some time visiting and researching their websites, and make a note of the following:

  • Website layout
  • Color schemes and visual style
  • Average length of content
  • Type and tone of content
  • Website traffic data
  • Backlinks
  • Use and placement of images and multimedia
  • Frequency of updates and new content
  • How the content is tied to the products or services being offered
  • Social media presence

Experiment by emulating elements of your competitor’s operations to see what sorts of changes help drive engagement or boost sales.

Additional Thoughts on Translation

Bilingual Spanish- and English-speaking translators are readily found at good rates in the United States. However, just as each writer has their individual strengths and areas of expertise, so do translators.

Think of all the different types of materials that sometimes require translation:

  • Manuals
  • Technical documents
  • Legal documents
  • Government reports
  • News stories
  • Scripts
  • Subtitles and other descriptive text
  • Novels, short stories, other creative writing
  • And, last but not least, your website’s search engine optimized content


The point is that not every English-to-Spanish translator is created equal, and not all of them specialize in working with e-commerce platforms and online content.

Writing is sometimes compared to a sort of magic because it is a craft that allows thought to be transmitted from one person’s mind to another simply by marking symbols down on a page. Translation, then, is an even more incredible form of this magic because it allows the same to be done across language barriers and cultural differences.

The core concept of translation is simple: you take something that was written or spoken in one language and rewrite or re-speak it in another. Within that concept, however, there is room for a world of subtlety and nuance. While someone translating an important legal document will translate precisely and on a word-for-word basis, someone translating a novel or movie script will be working to recreate the correct feeling or tone more so than striving for technical accuracy.

This sort of translator becomes part of the creative process through the choices they make in interpreting one language into another. Your website’s Spanish SEO content, assuming it is written to be both practical and conversational, will fall somewhere between those two examples. Getting it right will likely require the help of a translator with a specific skill set.

Translation, Transcreation, and Localization

Transcreation and localization are two concepts that will also come into play when designing your content strategies for foreign language markets. These ideas are more of a framework than hard definitions. The concepts of translation, transcreation, and localization will mesh and overlap in the course of creating your Hispanic SEO, and the extent to which you use one or the other will depend on your strategies and target audience.


Taking something written in one language and writing it in another language. For example, the English word hello is translated to Spanish as “hola.”


Transcreation is similar to translation but focuses on the cultural context of both languages to overcome the emotional and tonal boundaries of a technical and precise translation. A simple example of transcreation might see the English word hello switched out for the time-specific buenos dias or buenos tardes because those are the more natural informal greetings for the target audience.


Localization can be thought of as a form of transcreation with special emphasis on a particular geographic area, be it a single neighborhood or an entire country.

Get Help With Hispanic Content

Hispanic Content Strategy Development

In today’s marketing landscape, using Google Translate to connect in another language is not going to cut it. In worst case scenarios, your brand looks like it’s out of touch in connecting with people. That’s bad for reputation and sales!

If organizing and executing a Hispanic content strategy seems daunting, then it’s time to get help from experienced marketing professionals.


Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Consultant, Researcher and Marketing Strategist

Jenny Stradling is the co-founder and CEO of Eminent SEO, a boutique design and multi-channel marketing agency. Jenny began digital marketing in 2005, started Eminent in 2009 and is actively consulting some of the biggest brands in the US today. Her agency is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona, but her team is currently spread across the US.
Jenny is a mom, stepmom and grandma and there is nothing she loves more than spending time with her family. She also enjoys cooking, reading, podcasts, live music, yoga, singing, painting, writing, organizing and making – anything creative really!
Jenny is passionate about researching and sharing information on a wide variety of topics. Some of her current projects are focused on specific issues and causes she cares about, such as: mental health, recovery, personal growth, sustainability, wellness, cannabis, ethics, equality, marketing and business strategy. She also loves to share reviews, stories and content that helps support and feature other artists.

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Responding to Patient Reviews: How HIPAA Affects What You Should Say

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Responding to Patient Reviews: How HIPAA Affects What You Should Say

You’re going about your day going from patient to patient when one of them says something seemingly innocuous online. “You were much better than your reviews said you’d be!” It’s a backhanded compliment out of nowhere, but suddenly your day is ruined. You check up on your reviews, and sure enough, some people have left some unflattering remarks about your medical practice. Not just that, but you know for a fact that these remarks aren’t just unfair, but maybe they’re even untrue. You shoot off a quick response to try and correct the situation and go about your day.

Unfortunately, you may have just violated HIPAA without knowing it, even if you were careful in your response. Even if you don’t say anything very specific about a patient visit, you could still have violated HIPAA. There is a very careful art when it comes to how to respond to negative patient reviews online. This is in part because anything you say about any visit is automatically tied back to the person who made the review. This allows information to be determined about your patient and your relationship with them, which can put you in violation.

So, what should you do about this? Just let patients say anything and everything without responding? Well, not quite. There is a very careful and measured approach you can learn to craft HIPAA-compliant responses for social media and online reviews.

HIPAA Compliance and Online Reviews

HIPAA Compliance and Online ReviewsThis is territory that we all need to be aware of these days. A vast majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and most people today use reviews to find doctors. This means that a huge portion of your patients will have had their opinions shaped by what other people have said about you on the internet before they even come in. This also means that we need to be 100% certain that as we respond to these reviews, we are on the level and compliant with the law.

The number one way that you can start off on the right foot when it comes to online reviews and HIPAA compliance is 100% de-identification. When you respond to a review, you cannot outright or by implication confirm any information about a patient, even if they disclosed it themselves.

De-identification requires that you not accidentally or on purpose confirm any of the following information:

  • Names of the patient or family
  • States of residence
  • Any dates including their date of birth or age, the date of their visit, and their date of admission or discharge
  • Telephone numbers
  • Identifying numbers including social security numbers, vehicle identification numbers, license plate numbers, medical record numbers, account numbers, health plan numbers, and certificate or license numbers
  • Contact information including email, IP address, and URLs
  • Biometric information like fingerprints or voiceprints
  • Any photos or identifiable images
  • Any diagnostic information at all

Confirming any of these small points of information will land you in hot water (and may have already landed you in hot water). When you’re responding to someone online and acknowledging that you, in fact, treated them, you have already confirmed that a patient treated by you has at least the username and IP address associated with the post, if not also their name, photos of them, and much, much more that they may have included in their post. Remember that this all counts as a breach of HIPAA, even if they were the one to disclose it.

How Should You Respond Then?

A good way to get a handle on what to do is to see a bad example and look for how we can fix it. Let’s take the following review and see how two different responses do and do not work inside of a HIPAA-compliant framework.

Example Review:

“The wait for my appointment was entirely too long, taking well over an hour. I asked the person at the desk how long it would be, but they didn’t even respond to my question, instead dealing with paperwork for other clients. The doctor was inattentive when I finally got in and said that I should lose weight to treat my chronic sleep apnea, which I have been working on, but I was looking for help between now and then, which they didn’t even attempt to provide.
– Tom Smith

In this review, the (fake) patient disclosed that they had been treated at the clinic, their name, that they have sleep apnea, that they were diagnosed as overweight, and that they aren’t being given other treatments to help with the sleep apnea right now. So, what would be a bad response here?

Non-HIPAA-compliant response:

“We’re very sorry that we were unable to make your appointment a good one. Please contact us to let us know how to make it right.”

From an interpersonal perspective, an apology seems like the right thing to do, but you’ve just inadvertently told everyone who looks at that review that the patient is, in fact, being treated by your office and that anything else they said about their health might be true. As a medical professional, you simply cannot do this, as hard as that may be to accept. Now let’s see one that works.

HIPAA-compliant response:

“As a matter of policy, we endeavor to schedule enough time to see each patient promptly and avoid wait times so that we can respect our patients’ time and health. Every day, we do our best to deliver the highest standard of care to our patients. Occasionally, emergencies and other factors can cause the wait time for our patients to fall short of that ideal. Thank you for taking the time to give feedback, as it helps us do better. Please contact our head office directly at (email address) to discuss any further comments or suggestions.”

This completely avoids any confirmation of whether the patient was in the office or not, thus staying HIPAA-compliant. It also gives the patient an avenue for further recourse that actually lets you help them, rather than letting them sit online spreading more bad reviews about you and your business. It may at first seem unnatural to stay vague, particularly when facing particular negative claims, but all reviews need to be treated this way to stay on the right side of HIPAA.

Tips for a HIPAA-Compliant Responses to Reviews

Tips for a HIPAA-Compliant Responses to Reviews

Here are a few tips for giving a good HIPAA response for online reviewers:

Keep It Anonymous

We’ve already covered this, but it needs to be said again – confirm nothing about your patient. This will keep you out of hot water.

Criticize Cautiously

Any time that you put out criticism in the online space, there is a possibility for blowback or misinterpretation. Take a big breath and sleep on it before you respond to any criticism leveled at you, and after you write something, take another big step back before you send it. When emotions run high, judgment gets impaired.

Stake Your Claim

Remember to register on My Google Business, Yelp, and other platforms as the proprietor of your medical establishment. This will help you get notified when things do happen online that need your attention.

Follow Up Offline

Encouraging people to contact you or your office directly will help you not only to deflate the incoming stream of negative reviews you have to deal with, but it will also help you direct the conversation back to improving patient care, which is what we all really want anyway.

Focus on Positive

If there’s something positive (and anonymous) that you can say about your business practices, do so. You have space, and you can always use it to say things about how you run the office that doesn’t say anything about the patient.

Use Templates

An amazing tool to avoid running afoul of these easy mistakes is to make a template ahead of time for general use. If you’ve created one that’s applicable, it will save you a lot of time and guesswork about what you should and shouldn’t do. It doesn’t have to be entirely unique — it just has to say what’s true, not ID the patient, and direct the patient to contact you.

DON’T Contact Without consent

If you call someone who made a negative review, it could be construed as harassment. Let the patient reach out to you and suggest a way to do so. That way, there can be no mistake about your intentions.

DON’T Alter Content

Once you’ve posted something, it’s out there. Chances are that if someone had a strong reaction, they’ve screenshotted it, so they have a copy even if you change your wording later. Take the time to get it right the first time and then consider the matter done.

DON’T Dirty Delete

When you get a negative review, your first instinct might be to make it go away. This is only going to infuriate the original poster and potentially get you into even hotter water.

Getting Help with Your Online Reviews

Getting Help with Your Online ReviewsThese are the kinds of issues that can make or break your practice and which significantly distract from the business of actually running it. If you find that you’re spending time dealing with these kinds of reviews, it is probably time to get help. A third-party consultancy that is trained in HIPAA and in responding to reviews like these can be a huge time saver and prevent you from accidentally taking on unnecessary liability.

Eminent SEO has special training in assisting medical and healthcare clients with compliance, along with a range of digital marketing services. We will be happy to help set the record straight for you and make sure that you can spend your time practicing medicine rather than defending your reputation. Contact us today, and see what we can do to lighten your load.

Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Consultant, Researcher and Marketing Strategist

Jenny Stradling is the co-founder and CEO of Eminent SEO, a boutique design and multi-channel marketing agency. Jenny began digital marketing in 2005, started Eminent in 2009 and is actively consulting some of the biggest brands in the US today. Her agency is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona, but her team is currently spread across the US.
Jenny is a mom, stepmom and grandma and there is nothing she loves more than spending time with her family. She also enjoys cooking, reading, podcasts, live music, yoga, singing, painting, writing, organizing and making – anything creative really!
Jenny is passionate about researching and sharing information on a wide variety of topics. Some of her current projects are focused on specific issues and causes she cares about, such as: mental health, recovery, personal growth, sustainability, wellness, cannabis, ethics, equality, marketing and business strategy. She also loves to share reviews, stories and content that helps support and feature other artists.

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What Is a Local Citation?

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What Is a Local Citation

If you are a business owner in your community, you have probably heard about something called a local citation. You may have wondered what this term means. In simple terms, a local citation is any mention of your business on the internet. They can range from a partial citation such as a mention of your company name all the way to a complete citation that includes the company name, address, and phone number.

Does a Citation Need to Include a Link?

While a link back to your website within a citation can be helpful in giving your website an extra data point for search engines, it is not necessary in a local citation. Even without the link back to your website, the Google algorithm will still identify that your company was mentioned through the local citation information and give you credit for the mention. The more often your company is mentioned other websites, the greater your local ranking will be on search engines.

Structured Citation

These citations are located in a business listing directory such as:

  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Mapquest
  • Yellowpages
  • Superpages
  • Any other online directory such as your local chamber of commerce website

These citations will include the most information about your business such as the company name, address, phone number, website, and even directions or a map to your location.

Yelp and Facebook also include an option for customer of your business to leave reviews or comments regarding your products or service. These reviews are often used by potential customers or clients when deciding whether or not to visit your establishment.

Unstructured Citations

An unstructured citation is simply a mention of your business information on any website that is not a business directory. There are many places to find unstructured citations such as:

  • Blogs
  • Magazine sites
  • Newspaper sites
  • Wikis

Unstructured citations may include a blog about your products or services or even a mention of special deals your company is currently offering.

They may include a phone number or website link in addition to your company name but, this information is not required as long as your company name is mentioned.

Why Are Local Citations Important?

Local MapThere are two main reasons that local citations are extremely important for your business. The first is to verify that your business exists to search engines such as Google. If the only mention of your business comes from your own website, many search engines will struggle to verify that you have a legitimate business. By having your company name mentioned on other reputable websites, the search engines can easily verify that your business exists.

Local citations will also help you to establish prominence for your business in search engine algorithms. Have you ever wondered how search engines rank the pages that are displayed at the top of the results list? The algorithms for these search engines factor in citations when ranking local search results. The more citations your company has on the web, the higher your company’s listing will rank in search results. The key to ranking higher in the search results is to get your company name and information mentioned as often as possible throughout a variety of websites.

Are Some Citations More Important Than Others?

While having your company name mentioned anywhere will help you, having it mentioned on certain websites will help more. For example, having your company mentioned on the white house website will be more beneficial than having it mentioned on a small-scale blog. Citation value is separated into different classifications of importance.

Core Search Engines

Search engines are not distributors of business data. They receive the data and categorize it when determining how to display the information in search results. These include Google, Bing, and Apple Maps.

Primary Data Sources

These are the data collectors that verify information from a variety of sources and distribute the information to other sites. They include InfoGroup, Acxiom, Localeze, and Factual.

Tier 1

Tier 1 sites are the prominent sites on Google and are often used by people who are searching for businesses. There are two types of sites listed in tier 1, generic and Hyper-Local and Niche sites.

Generic Sites

  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Yellowpages
  • BBB

Hyper-Local and Niche

  • Lawyers.com
  • Avvo
  • Denver.com
  • Physics.org

Tier 2

Tier 2 sites are still prominent on Google search results but may be lesser known such as:

  • Yellowbook
  • Merchant Circle
  • HotFrog

Tier 3

These sites are not frequently listed in Google searches and are not very well known by the general public.

  • Yellowise
  • Local Database
  • My Local Services

Tier 4

These sites have a very low authority and are rarely heard of.

  • IGotBiz.com
  • UnitedStatesSeek.com

When looking at citation options to get your business more attention from search engines, it is important to consider the quality of the citation.

Consistency Is Important

local citation mobileWhen it comes to local citations, it is important that each citation for your company lists accurate information. To do this, you will want to look at each site that features a citation for your business and make sure that there is only one listing and that the listing contains accurate information about your business. You will want to focus most of your attention on the Core Search Engines, Primary Data Sources, and Tier 1 sites. You should then verify your tier 2 citations as well to ensure accuracy within those sites. Tier 3 and 4 are the lowest priority when verifying citation accuracy as they will not make or break your SEO.

How to Build Local Citations

There are five important steps to follow when creating citations for your business. It is important to follow all five steps to ensure the best possible results.

Step 1 - Email Address

To create listings for your business you will first need an email address. It is always recommended when doing anything related to your company to use a company email address rather than your personal email address. This means an email address that is associated with your company’s domain not a Gmail or Yahoo address. Having a company domain email address will cause your listings to be more trusted and more likely to go live after creation.

Step 2 - NAP Consistancy

Be sure that your name, address, and phone number are the same on every site that your listing appears. The formatting may be different on individual sites and that is fine as long as the information contained in the listing is correct. Check to make sure no numbers have been inverted or swapped in the address and phone number fields and that there are no spelling errors in the company and street name. These errors may cause your listing to be less trustworthy and delay it going live.

Step 3 - Categorization

Read through all category choices and choose the ones that best describe the type of business you own. Then be sure to select the same categories on each site you are posting the listing to. This consistency will make it easier for search engines to verify your business and see that it is a legitimate company.

Step 4 - Details

Add as much detail as you can without going overboard. You can add photos, your logo, a description of your company, hours of operation, contact information for social media accounts and much more.

Step 5 - Verification

Claim your listing. Once you have created the listing on a site, most will ask you to verify the listing before allowing it to go live. This verification process will be done via email or phone. For phone verification, the company will call your business and request that you enter a pin number you had previously received or give you a pin number to enter online. Verified listings have more authority and a higher level of trust.


Finding Citation Sources

There are a few ways you can go about finding citation sources for your company listing. Which option you choose will depend on how much time and money you have to devote to the project.

Hire a Company

If you have the money to invest in the project but lack the time to do it yourself, hiring a company to do the legwork for you is a great option. These companies will find the most reliable citation sources for businesses in your local area and compile a list of the top citation sources for your local area.

Search for Citation Sources

You may also choose to search for citation sources on your own. This process can be lengthy but the rewards for your company will be great. Begin by finding the top national citation sources. These may include:

  • Google My Business
  • Apple Maps
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Yellowpages
  • MapQuest
  • Citysearch
  • MerchantCircle

Once you have compiled this list of national listing sites, you can then look for citations based on your business category and location. Begin a search that contains your company type, city, and state.

Review that results of other citations for similar businesses. You can do this a general search or search out specific competitors and review their citations. This will help you to determine which direction to go while creating your own citations. You can accomplish this by searching for the following:

  • (city) Business directory
  • (city) Directory
  • (city) Business Listings
  • (keyword) Directory
  • (keyword) Business Directory
  • (keyword) Business Listings

map mobileWhen determining how to best optimize your local SEO, citations are considered one of the basic foundations for any company. Citations should be created before you focus on engagement, content, and link building. One of the greatest parts of local citations is that you never have to worry about them again unless any part of your business information changes. These changes may include moving to a new location, new phone number, make changes to the company name, etc. If any of these things occur, it is important to update your citation listings to maintain the most accurate information.

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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How to Gain Public Support for Marijuana Dispensary Marketing

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How to Gain Public Support for Marijuana Dispensary Marketing

Business owners and the employees that work in the medical marijuana community may not think about whether they have public support for their marijuana dispensary. And why should they when the primary focus is on serving the people who already find value in their products and services. But there’s a larger picture here that affects the long term livelihood of any cannabis-based company and it’s centered around neighborhood sentiment about the industry as a whole. If this speaks to you, without the support of local municipalities, businesses, and the people who live nearby, your marijuana business won’t have a leg to stand on.

Know the Legal Challenges of Marketing Marijuana

Enthusiasm is great when you want to open your doors with the intention of serving the public well. But intention doesn’t pay the bills; your customers help you do that. The playing field for the cannabis industry is tightly woven with regulations and laws that may have loopholes for constructing workarounds, if you can find them.

Although marijuana laws differ from state to state and invariably with the federal level as well, following specific laws pertinent to your state of business is paramount to setting yourself up for success. And while some states may seem to have more forgiving or gracious pathways to starting a cannabis business, government strategies have long been set up in a manner that won’t be in your favor.

This is why you need to hire legal experts in marijuana, real estate, and intellectual property.

Online Aspects

There are intricacies involved in the medical marijuana industry that don’t enter into any other business. And if your cannabis business is going to have a website, which it should, intellectual property may be involved. In addition, since the marketing of marijuana has other laws that must be abided by (especially when marketing products for sale online), you’ll need to know what you can say and visually display, and what you can’t. An attorney with expertise in cannabis will know how to properly draft the terms and conditions of your website, as well as what’s needed in the physical location of your operation.

Real Estate Aspects

Searching for and securing the right space for your marijuana business can be a lofty battle, likened to a chess game that you’re stepping into – with a deficit.

It isn’t about knowing what you need today to run effectively and efficiently, but foreseeing your needs one, three, and five years down the road. Even if you’re looking to rent space from a property owner, (if they are good with your business model) adjustments will most likely be required to accommodate your needs. Tenant improvements can easily be worked into the lease agreement. But unless you’re taking up an entire strip center or planning on being housed in a standalone facility, you will have to share your intentions with nearby tenants, property owners and homeowners.

This is where the challenges can come at you from all sides. We witnessed this in Phoenix, Arizona.

Embrace the Negative Nancys

A desired location for a medical marijuana dispensary is more than just logistics. The property has to come with the right zoning. If it doesn’t, a zoning variance is required. This is where it gets sticky. To prepare for the zoning hearing, other public meetings will take place designed to help the cannabis business acquire positive sentiment behind their proposed zoning variance request.

Here’s what can happen, and does.

By proposing your cannabis enterprise to the local residents (business and homes) you will be opening yourself, your personal and business brand, to a litany of ridicule and judgment. Not everyone is an advocate of what you do. In fact, there remains a lot of fear about it in the minds of many naysayers.

Marijuana Dispensary Marketing Tips

To have a viable shot at easing their fears, perhaps even removing them, give them a forum to speak. Make sure you listen to them. What the naysayers will tell you often provides the clues to what you’ll need to do to quell their negativity. If you can do that, they are less likely to show up at the zoning variance hearing and derail your plans for occupancy.

If a nearby homeowner is concerned about his family’s welfare and the risks that a cannabis store might bring, explain the characteristics of your security protocols. If privacy is an issue (should neighboring property back or side to the proposed cannabis shop location) discuss how to remedy it by adding height on an existing perimeter wall. Share your operating hours with them and come up with a plan that everyone can live with.

Marijuana Industry Advocacy Is a Full Time Job

Just like in any industry, not everyone is going to love you. But staying cognizant of potential setbacks fueled by misinformation or unflattering public sentiments will help you avert the same.

Top Tips for Public Support in Marijuana Dispensary Marketing

Public relations will have an impact on marijuana dispensary marketing, be it good or bad. To arm yourself and create a strategy ahead of time, you’ll need to map out potential challenges. Once you’ve identified them, generate a list of solutions for each challenge. This will save you time, energy, and money because you’re eliminating prospective setbacks to your business launch that would come with being positioned on the defensive, instead of the offensive stance.

Tips to Stay On Top of the Public Outcry

  • Stay current on state marijuana laws
  • Stay current on local legislation
  • Know key players in local government who are marijuana advocates
  • Forge positive relationships with other business owners who will speak well of you
  • Attend community and charity events
  • Host neighborhood meetings to show local support
  • Retain solid legal representation who knows the marijuana industry
  • Partner with a marijuana dispensary marketing agency
  • Keep facility security and employee professionalism as a priority

The Sweet Spot between Outreach and Off the Grid

It’s been said that people can’t criticize you if they don’t know you exist. True. But with easy access to people, places, and all the what-ifs and what-fors that fall within them, a point, click or swipe on social media makes staying silent a virtual impossibility, pun intended.

While it may be an initial preference to keep your cannabis business on the down low, it’s not a strategy that will give you any traction and credibility. If you want to be a leader within your community, take on what’s necessary to get you ahead, use the existing laws and regulations to your advantage, and leave the rest behind.

See How Public Support and Strategic Marijuana Dispensary Marketing Go Hand in Hand

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 53: Contribute to Eminent’s Art Wall; Google Rolling Out ‘Local Business Cards’

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Eminent SEO Art Wall Banner

Eminent SEO News: Art Wall to Support Local Arizona Artists

Creativity comes in the form of inspiration. As a way to help inspire creativity in our office, we have officially started a new art wall that we plan to fill with custom artwork from some of the interesting and talented local artists we have here in Arizona!

So far we only have two pieces, but check out the work of Aaron Motley and Andy C Artwork (the two artists featured in this pic below) and let us know if you or your favorite Arizona artist is interested in adding to our Eminent SEO Art Wall. You can contact hello@eminentseo.com to find out more. #EminentSEOArtWall
Eminent SEO Art Wall Mesa AZ

What’s New in SEO: Google Experimenting with ‘Local Business Cards’

As Google’s search results pages continue to get more visual, the tech giant is reportedly testing out “local business cards,” a feature which doesn’t have an official name yet.

These local business cards appear in a horizontally scrollable carousel, similar to the Candidate Cards and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) the search engine has rolled out in recent months.

Haven’t seen this feature yet? Don’t worry. Not too many search users have.

Search Engine Land reports that local businesses cards only show up when searching for a “few dozen” local businesses that Google apparently approached directly. The content in these cards are custom and not drawn from Google My Business or any other feed. This feature also marks the first time Google has returned an animated GIF on a search results page. The carousel was reportedly created with mobile users in mind, but it shows up almost identically in desktop results.

A Search Engine Journal write-up on this development gives even more details on the implications this new search feature has on local businesses:

  • Businesses need to submit a request to be included, but Google must approve it first.
  • Certain services and content can be promoted in the local cards, which will show up near the top of a results page.
  • This content appears to show up in order of sheer popularity, rather than by traditional ranking signals such as backlinks, domain authority, etc.
  • Websites of businesses that have brick-and-mortar locations appear to have a leg up on the competition at this stage in the game.

So if your website is newer or has a low domain authority, you still might be able to show up high in the search results if you create a popular piece of content that gets featured in the local business cards. The problem is Google’s not letting everybody opt in at this point. How will this impact local search going forward? Stay tuned.

March Social Media Roundup

March was fraught with memorable holidays: Pi Day, St. Patrick’s, Good Friday, Easter, etc. On social media, we had a little sumpthin’ sumpthin’ for each of those big days. Our St. Patrick’s “What’s Your Leprechaun Name” graphic especially was a hit. See below for our holiday creative images, motivational posts and helpful SEO statistics that make up the best social content we shared in March.

#3LittleWords #Empower #Individuality #TeamEminent

A video posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

I Literally Cannot - Bossbabe - ESEO

Whats Your Leprechaun Name - St Patricks Day - Eminent SEO

Mobile Searches Increase Year Over Year - ESEO

March Blog Roundup

Our first pair of blog posts in March focused on websites – why you should avoid an easy website builder and how to deck out your site’s 404 page. We then shared several tips on how to find and hire a qualified content marketer. Catch up on our most recent blog posts below, and don’t forget to head over to the entire blog and submit your email so you’ll never miss another post. Happy reading!

How Easy Website Builders like Wix, Muse and Weebly Hurt Your SEO and Growth Efforts

You can use a website service like Weebly, Wix or Muse to build a decent-looking online storefront, but are these codeless website builders positioned to help you grow a business? Find out about the pitfalls of using an easy, codeless website builder, including how most of them struggle with SEO.

Why You Shouldn’t Neglect to Optimize Your Website’s 404 Page

Believe it or not, you can actually create a good user experience with your website’s 404 page, not that you ever really plan on taking a visitor to that page. In this post, take an in-depth look at how to optimize your 404 page, when to redirect broken links, and when it’s OK to serve a 404 page to a user.

How to Find a Qualified Content Marketer to Add to Your Team

Effective content marketing can give your business a boost and indirectly lead to more sales. What is content marketing? How do I find a highly qualified content marketing? Find out the answer to those questions in this comprehensive blog post.

Featured Service: Brand Reputation

A scathing online review or even one ill-advised blog or social media post can break you. Such a mishap could make you lose clients, thousands of dollars and/or take years to recover from.

Don’t let such an incident keep your business from growing! When you start working with Eminent SEO, we can do a brand reputation audit to see what we’re up against. We’ll seek out mentions of your business online, and then we’ll work on removing or obscuring any negative or damaging reviews, if any.
Brand Reputation Can Make Or Break You - Eminent SEO
Not only do we seek to destroy any negative mentions of your business, but we also take a more positive, proactive approach. This usually involves helping your brand get better visibility on more platforms, such as review sites and directories, and encouraging your existing customers to leave some positive feedback of your business in high-profile places.

Let Eminent SEO build a custom brand reputation strategy for you! Click to learn more about our Reputation Management Services, or just call 800.871.4130 today.

Until next time, see ya online!

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 46: Google Local Pack Takes Over Top Spot, Best of ESEO’s August Social Media and Blog Posts

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Google Local - Eminent SEOWhat’s New in SEO: Google Keeps the Top Spot to Itself in Local Search

Early in August, Google implemented a fairly big shakeup in its search results by making its “local pack” more exclusive, as we explained on our Eminent SEO blog. More information about the local search feature has come down the pike since. Not only are there now only three spots in the local pack, but the box is featured in the first or second spot of the non-paid results much more often than it used to be, essentially meaning Google-approved businesses will always show up before any other.

A new report by seoClarity says the old local 7-pack only used to appear in the number one slot of the search results 25 percent of the time. However, the results box has been showing up in very top spot 93 percent of the time ever since shrinking to three featured businesses. Moreso, the local pack now shows up either in the first or second spot 99 percent of the time, versus just 31 percent before the change-up. The move to a 3-pack means there is more territory on the first page of results for organic listings, but it appears they all will almost always fall below the local pack now. For more on the eye-opening study, see seoClarity’s report.

August Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

Max and Meg found themselves in various new situations as part of our social media outreach in August, including partaking in a popular meme near the beginning of the month. We also kept it light with some humorous posts and we shared a photo of our great team lunch at Olive Garden. Take a look at the best posts from our social media accounts in August. Which one is your favorite?

Apple Strengthening My Core - ESEOMax Mustache You A Question - Eminent SEOMax Straight Outta Google - Eminent SEOLife Is Sweet Meg - Ice Cream - Eminent Social MediaChildhood Memory Not Paying Bills - Eminent SEODerplicate Content Meme - ESEO Tweet48 Percent of Mobile Users - Eminent SEOChuck Norris Approved - ESM TweetIts Fry Day - Eminent SEOEminent SEO Team Lunch At Olive Garden

August Marketing Blog Roundup

We took our blog efforts up another notch in August, sharing timely information and tips on topics such as SEO, social media and branding on our Eminent family of blogs. Below, check out the top posts we published in August, including the aforementioned in-depth look at Google’s move to a smaller Local Pack. For more marketing and SEO news, how-to’s and tips, we invite you to follow our Eminent SEO blog.

Google Reduces 7-Pack in Search to 3-Pack: What This Means for Local Businesses

Early in August, Google somewhat quietly shrank its renowned 7-pack in local searches to a 3-pack. While that means more competition for local businesses to earn one of those three spots, it does open up some opportunities on the first page of local search results. Read about how businesses with a local focus can take advantage of this shakeup.

Top 10 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Maximize Organic Traffic and Sales

If you have a hand in an ecommerce site, read these 10 crucial tips for help on getting your website to begin to shine in the search results, which will help you gain more traffic and, ultimately, more sales. Who wouldn’t want that?

Why You Should Avoid Buying Followers on Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms

When it comes to boosting your social media presence by buying followers on Twitter or other platforms, just say no! For one, there are tools on the web where anyone can look up your account and see how many fake followers you have. For other reasons why you should abstain from buying subscribers, check out this post.

How Do You Develop a Brand Strategy?

Have you figured out what sets your business apart from the competition and who your targeted customers are? If not, it’s time to get started on developing a brand strategy. See this post for some tips to keep in mind as you’re building a strategy for your company.

Featured Service: Website Blogging

Many clients do not realize how important blogging is to the overall health of a strategic website marketing campaign. When done properly, optimized blogs can dramatically increase the authority of your website. Why? Google loves to see fresh, relevant content. It tells them you care about your visitors and want to provide them with the latest and greatest information you have to offer. Because Google wants to provide its users with up-to-date information, it will give a higher ranking to sites that add optimized, unique and relevant content more often.

77 Percent Users Read Blogs - Eminent SEO

Since blogging is such an important part of organic marketing, why would you let an amateur handle it? Leave the blogging to the pros and watch the traffic and conversions come in.

Visit our Website Blogging Services page to learn more. Or, call now to speak with one of our experts: 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Google Reduces 7-Pack in Search to 3-Pack: What This Means for Local Businesses

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Google's 3 Pack Algorithm Update

Among all the changes happening at Google, the tech giant made a significant shakeup in local search earlier this month that kind of went under the radar.

For starters, the company separated Google+ from YouTube, meaning you no longer have to have a G+ account to log in to YouTube. Then, Google+ Photos starting shutting down on August 1 in favor of the standalone service known as just Google Photos. After that, of course, Google announced a new parent company, Alphabet, had been created.

Lost in the midst of all of that was a potentially major change to local search results on Google. Last week, Google shrank its traditional 7-pack in local searches to a 3-pack.

What’s Changed in Google Local Search

Not only do companies with a local focus have to do everything they can to optimize their websites and end up on the first page of Google’s search results, but, until recently, a select seven businesses got an extra-special, front-and-center placement.

The Google 7-Pack Is Now the 3-Pack

When conducting a search for a local service, Google used to feature seven businesses between the paid spots at the top of the first page and the rest of the organic search results below. Those seven businesses had verified Google+ pages that were tied in to their websites, and they presumably had put the best local SEO practices in place.

However, the 7-pack has now been truncated to a 3-pack, and some of the features thereof have been simplified, if not stripped down. Let’s look at a couple of examples. If I search for a “Phoenix AC company” in Google, this is what I immediately see:
Screenshot - Google Phoenix AC Search

On the first results page, you can see the pay per click spots at the top (along with some other paid ads on the right sidebar) and then a small map and the 3-pack immediately below. There’s a slight variation to this format depending on what you search for, what device you’re using, and where you’re located.

If I’m looking for somewhere to eat and I type in “Phoenix restaurant,” I’ll get a page that has just one paid ad at the top with the first organic result appearing just above the 3-pack.
Screenshot - Google Phoenix Restaurant Search

If I wanted to be a little more specific in my search, I could type in “Italian restaurant Phoenix” and see the 3-pack at the very top with some ads on the right-hand side.
Screenshot - Google Italian Restaurant Search

Google actually used to have a 10-pack on the first page of search results at one point, so the search engine’s recent move to a 3-pack marks its second truncation of the feature. As you can see, the 3-pack’s placement on the page differs by search, as does the number of ads you see on the sidebar, and this format could change slightly as time goes on. You could search the same term in the morning and again at night and possibly see a variance of the format. Google never lets all of its secrets and rationale out of the bag.

With the change to a 3-pack, Google also brought back the “More (search term)” link right below the last business in the spotlight, as you can see in the three examples above. If you click on that link, it will take you to a map of businesses in that industry in the geographic area you searched. Each page on the map lists 20 results, with the first three listings on page one corresponding to the 3-pack.

Other Features Removed: Addresses, Phone Numbers, Google+ Links

The new 3-pack has a sleeker look than the 7-pack, but some of the information that used to be listed for each business is no longer present. Most notably missing are the full addresses and phone numbers of each business. Presumably, you could have done a search before and dialed up a business of your choosing without having to visit any individual websites. Now, the Google 3-pack encourages you to either visit the websites of the featured businesses or get directions (if applicable) to their location.

Also noticeable in the move from a 7-pack to a 3-pack is the lack of a Google+ link for each business. There’s now no easy way to get to the Google+ page of any of the three in the spotlight. In fact, if you click directly on the name of one of the three companies, it will take you to the aforementioned map.

A Couple of Features Added: Ratings, Business Hours

Google used to only show how many reviews each business in the 7-pack has received (formerly seen as “Google reviews,” now just called “reviews”), but you can now see the rating for each company out of five stars, if there are any reviews. You can also now see the business hours of some in the 3-pack, which will basically tell you what time the company opens up next or, if it’s currently open, what time it closes.

The 3-pack is also more visual than the 7-pack. Besides the snappy symbols that link to the websites of and directions to each business, you might see a photo for some of the companies on the right-hand side of the spotlight. Also, as seen in the first search example, a map might appear above the 3-pack, depending on your search. When Google had a 7-pack, a map usually appeared in the right half of the page, but it wasn’t as visually connected to the spotlight as it is with the new 3-pack.

What the Google 3-Pack Means for Local Businesses

You can bet more companies will be fighting tooth and nail to get slotted in the 3-pack, but all hope shouldn’t be lost if your business can’t quite make it in there.

First-Page Organic Search Results Expanded

When Google produced a 7-pack on page one of your search results, the number of organic, non-7-pack results shrank to 6 or 7, and all were generally below the fold. However, the number of organic results outside of the new 3-pack has been expanded to 10. It’s uncertain at this time if Google simply dropped four from the 7-pack into the organic list immediately below, but this shift may mean that there’s more room for your business to work its way onto page one. If you do make it onto the first page, a strong meta title and description is going to be key.

Google+ Business Pages De-Emphasized for Local Search?

If you didn’t have a business Google+ page before or couldn’t get it verified that it corresponds with your website, Google may no longer be holding your website hostage in the search rankings, as it looks like the company is slowly backing off holding its own social network over users’ heads. This notion still hasn’t been confirmed, so, at this time, we’d recommend keeping your Google+ business page active and continually updated. However, if it’s true that a Google+ business page no longer has any bearing on one’s search rankings, then the field would be leveled for more businesses to contend for a spot on page one, which generates around 90 percent of the search traffic.

Closing Speculation

This major local search change has got many marketers speculating what the future will hold for local businesses. By shrinking the local pack to 3 spots instead of 7, the first page of results shows only Google-approved products above the fold. Could local rankings eventually become ad placements since Google+ didn’t work out?

Share your thoughts on the future of Google local placement in the comments below! If you’d like to learn more about how Eminent SEO can boost your local marketing efforts, including optimizing your website for Google, keep reading: local business marketing.

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 43: ESEO New Hire, News and Magazine Websites Get an SEO Boost

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Eminent SEO News

The Eminent team continues to grow, as Content Manager Andrew Gilstrap started with us in May.

andrew gilstrap - Eminent SEO

Andrew assures the highest level of quality assurance for Eminent SEO and its clients by editing, writing and placing web content, including web content pages, blog posts, press releases and various video/image media.
Learn More About Andrew

Good To Know In SEO: Google Update Caters to News and Magazine Websites

Google updated its core search algorithm in the middle of June, and Search Metrics SEO Blog noticed it largely benefited websites belonging to news publications. The websites for Fortune, NBC News, Tech Crunch, Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal were among the winners in SEO visibility because of the latest Google update, which largely focused on informational and newsworthy keywords. Search Engine Land writer Barry Schwartz said even his small SEO news site, seroundtable.com, saw a 134 percent increase in keyword visibility on Google and a 25 percent increase in Google organic referrals a week after the update. Search Metrics noted, however, that news publications’ recent gains in visibility seem to be only a temporary success.

May Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

Team Eminent and our brand mascot Max celebrated several national holidays and some local events in May through the early part of June. Check out some of our favorites among Eminent SEO’s recent social media posts. Which one do you like best?

mothers day - Eminent SEO

memorial day - Eminent SEO

international donut day - ESEO

peanut butter cookies - ESEO

May Marketing Blog Roundup

Every month, we like to round up our favorite blog posts from the Eminent family of sites. Below are the top posts from May 2015. As always, check out our blog for the latest website and marketing how-to’s, news and tips.

How to Dominate Local Search
Google continues to localize search results, and small businesses can reap the benefits, provided their website is set up and written in the best way. For example, is your business’ phone number and address consistent throughout the internet? See this post for some tips on how to gain more exposure on a local level in search engine results.

5 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Producing Sales
Your website may be experiencing a high volume of traffic, but most of it isn’t converting into sales. Why is that? Your website is your storefront, and if users aren’t impressed by what they see, then you’ll continue to experience low conversion rates. We offer five reasons why your website may be hindering your conversion rates. See if any apply to your business and get some ideas on how to change it.

Why Your Team Should be Well Versed with Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is all about finding qualified visitors for your website, converting the user into a qualified lead and enticing the leads to become loyal customers. Your sales and marketing teams need to lead the charge for your company’s inbound marketing efforts. See why inbound marketing is so crucial in today’s business environment, and how your company’s digital efforts play a role in that approach.

How to Improve Facebook Engagement and ROI on Your Business Page
It often takes quite some time for any company, especially a small business, to feel anything other than invisible on Facebook. Be ready to boost a few posts and focus on the particular community that you want to reach. Read this blog post for additional tips for your business’ Facebook strategy.

How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Your Advantage
As Google continues to update its algorithms, your company should be exploring every avenue to attract visitors to its site. Can you build connections with other companies and link to each other’s sites? How can the images on your site build your visibility, and what are some steps you can take to keep users on your site longer? See here for answers to these and other important website marketing questions.

Featured Service: Local Marketing

local marketing - Eminent SEO
How strong is your local marketing campaign? Does your Google Place Page (Map) show up in local search results? Can you easily find your business on all of the major social sites and important directories? Do you feel like you are getting enough local traffic, calls and conversions? No?
Local businesses need local traffic, both on and off-line. Read more about our Local Marketing Services here, or call us to learn more: 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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How to Dominate Local Search

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local search

When a local business depends heavily on their website for business, it’s no secret that local SEO is the best approach to their marketing plan. Since Google has done some vast algorithm updates to local search results, local businesses need to use all local resources online in order to get the best exposure in the organic search results. It’s time to get more creative with the local push. Below are some ideas to get found better on a local level:

Fix Your Local Listings with NAP Consistency

Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) Audit

The first thing any business with history online should perform is a local NAP audit. This will pull in all of the current business listings that are indexed in Google and exactly what the name, address, and phone numbers are included in each listing. In order for your Google+ page to rank high, your NAP needs to be consistent across all platforms.

Fix Listing Inconsistencies

Once the audit is complete, you can manually go to each listing that you have access to and correct the information that is inconsistent. If there are a lot of inconsistencies, these adjustments will help move up your Google+ listing in the search results.

Claim and Create Missing Directory Listings

If your business isn’t listed on all of the major directory and citation sites, this would be the time to create those listings. There are tools you can use that will help you determine what those websites are, such as Moz Local.

Push for Reviews

Now that your listings are consistent and showing up in the search results, you need to make sure that there are good reviews to support them. Reviews build trust to both users as well as the search engines. Push for more reviews on your top directory listing referral source such as Yelp, Google+, or both.

Don’t Only Focus on NAPs

Write Quality Website Content

NAP work should be a core strategy for receiving local visibility, but not the only strategy you implement in order to obtain a strong local presence on Google. High quality website content is another primary ranking factor with local search results. According to Moz, the on-page SEO signals account for about 21% of local rankings. Your content should be optimized with key phrases that are going to produce a return on investment. Don’t waste time writing thin content that is meaningless for users; focus on high quality content that users will see value in.

Earn Quality Backlinks

Link earning is another ideal way to gain organic rankings in Google. Since the local pack results are constantly changing, you want to make sure your business does well organically as well. Earning high quality backlinks from partnerships, sponsorships, etc. is a great way to boost up organic visibility.

Social Signals

Social is going to continue playing a key role in local search signals. Social signals currently account for about 5.8% of ranking factors. In order to increase social signals, your website should be producing high quality content with a blog or another form of content that is socially shared on a regular basis. The more social signals your content receives, the more authoritative your domain will become. The result will be increased organic visibility.

Be Creative with Your Keyword Strategy

Each local business is going to have city based keywords as part of their strategy. In order to compete with all of the other local businesses trying to rank for the same exact terms, think about what makes your business unique from the others. Incorporate that into your keyword research and content development. If your major city is overly competitive, start by targeting specific neighborhoods or smaller suburbs.

Closing Thoughts

Local search is constantly changing. In order for your website to maintain its presence in local search, your website must have a strategy that incorporates all of the above methods. Each industry is different which means the local search algorithm may be specific to your unique industry trends. Make sure you have the right local SEO strategy that is most effective for your industry.

Are you having trouble gaining or maintaining local visibility in Google? We have an entire staff dedicated to local SEO who can help develop a strategy that’s effective for your business. Call today: 800.871.4130

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Why Your Local Business Needs a Google My Business Page

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Google Plus Local Place Pages

Even though Google+ is the second largest social network (still way behind Facebook), that’s not the main reason your business should be active on the platform. Users spend less than 7 minutes per month on the social network.

So why even get active on Google+ if millions of people sign up for it but never actually use it? 

Because Google+ has actually replaced what most people think of as Google Maps or Google Local or Google Place Pages… and anyone trying to drive local traffic, both to their website and their actual brick and mortar locations, needs to have a Google+ Place Page.

When you are active on Google+, your Google+ Place Pages gets better organic rankings in Google. In fact, for many searches that Google deems “local searches,” businesses with Place Pages get listed at the top of the page – above the normal organic results.

For example, look at what we get when we search Google for “phoenix accountant”:

Google Plus Place Page Organic Results

The usage of the term “Phoenix” implies we are searching for a local result, so Google displays accordingly.

You see that area highlighted in the red rectangle on the left?  What do you see below almost every single company name?  “Google+ page,” right? Those are the Place Pages.

Now up in the right, you see the map? That actually comes with you as you scroll down the page. Remember how the maps used to appear just to the right of the search result? Not anymore. Clearly Google wants you to click on a map!

When users click the map on the upper right before visiting a website they are provided with the opportunity to read and write reviews, see images and videos about the location and get the phone number or driving instructions – all without ever having to visit the actual business website.

How You Can Increase Your Local Organic Visibility

Like it or not, this is what Google is serving up for local organic searches right now.

So how do you get your map listed at the top of the local organic searches?

Unfortunately, that Google Places listing in the left red rectangle is a whole different thing than your Google+ Local Business Page (which is where all your social features can be found) – very confusing!

How can you sort out this mess and optimize both for the best search rankings and traffic?

Here are some things you can do:

Fill out your Google+ Place Page completely.

This is the information that shows up on a Google Map. Make sure to pay extra special attention for the categories in which you list your business. The name, address, and phone number must match the info on your website.

Get links and citations.

What are citations? Generally they are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number – hosted on a 3rd party site (sometimes with a link back to your map or site). This builds your domain’s authority, boosts your map visibility and pushes your site and map up the SERPs.

Encourage people to give you online reviews on your Google My Business Page.

Google knows searchers look at the these reviews and use them to determine the value of a service, product, etc. Generally more reviews show popularity for the place and therefore add value to the listing – especially when the reviews are highly rated.

Fill out your Google Local Business Page. 

When Google moved Maps to Google Local Pages at lot of companies lost their maps. Even though it’s been quite some time, many local companies haven’t claimed their new page and filled out the information correctly. If you’re not sure how to do it, here’s a guide.

Keep your Google My Business Page updated with posts.

This page has all your social features. Share articles, images and connect with others so that your platform is always up to date when people visit. No one wants to follow an inactive account! And when people do visit, they’ll be more likely to add you to their circles, +1 and share your content, which helps boost your rankings.

In Closing

Confused? You’re not alone. Having separate accounts for Google+ Places and your Local Business page was intended to make things easier, but instead many are still lost and frustrated with the transition.

It’s actually a time-consuming process just to set it up properly, and if you want to boost your rankings too that actually requires a large amount of on-going work… so remember you can always hire Eminent SEO to help. We can sort out the mess and get you up and running in no time.

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Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Consultant, Researcher and Marketing Strategist

Jenny Stradling is the co-founder and CEO of Eminent SEO, a boutique design and multi-channel marketing agency. Jenny began digital marketing in 2005, started Eminent in 2009 and is actively consulting some of the biggest brands in the US today. Her agency is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona, but her team is currently spread across the US.
Jenny is a mom, stepmom and grandma and there is nothing she loves more than spending time with her family. She also enjoys cooking, reading, podcasts, live music, yoga, singing, painting, writing, organizing and making – anything creative really!
Jenny is passionate about researching and sharing information on a wide variety of topics. Some of her current projects are focused on specific issues and causes she cares about, such as: mental health, recovery, personal growth, sustainability, wellness, cannabis, ethics, equality, marketing and business strategy. She also loves to share reviews, stories and content that helps support and feature other artists.

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