Level Up Your Local SEO - A Business As Unusual Webinar
Local SEO for multiple locations can be quite confusing when you really start to get into it. Fortunately, Claire Carlile was able to guide us through the wilderness at the latest Business as Unusual webinar. She covered off tips for optimising your Google My Business profile, how Google is becoming your businesses new homepage, and which features you should be making the most of in GMB.
Watch the video below. Transcript underneath!
Level Up Your Local SEO Transcript
Jon Payne (00:02):
Hello participants. There's no participants. Yes, there's one, hooray. People are coming in.
Claire Dibben (00:05):
Oh that's good.
Jon Payne (00:08):
Hello welcome everybody. There is tangerines being eaten.
Claire Dibben (00:17):
Jon Payne (00:18):
Dancing happening on a different screen and on my screen there is an old man wobbling his upper torso for your delight.
Jon Payne (00:31):
Welcome along everybody. We'll get rid of the PowerPoint in a minute, but just for the people who are entering a bit late, pop in the chat if you would. Thank you, you've already started to do it.
Jon Payne (00:44):
Hi Andrew, how you doing?
Claire Dibben (00:46):
Make sure to change it to all panellists and attendees. Otherwise it's only us who will see the lovely messages.
Jon Payne (00:53):
That's not a message particularly for Andrew who'd already done that. Oh no he just sent it to all panellists. Bugger.
Jon Payne (00:59):
Hello Azeem. That's brilliant. Suddenly the chat improved as Azeem entered. Damn straight Azeem.
Jon Payne (01:08):
Hello everybody, tell us, by the way, while you're saying hello, Claire has eaten her tangerine, this is good. I tell you what, I'm really loving the use of capitals as well, everybody. If we could have more messages shouted, that is going to be perfect.
Jon Payne (01:25):
Oh hi Mr Dog. The dog is here, that is also good. Shall we see if we can get him on the camera. No it's not going to work.
Jon Payne (01:31):
Tell us what superpower you would choose. Previously from FlyBe Hannah, we're glad to have you here. What superpower would you choose? I haven't even thought about this.
Jon Payne (01:47):
Claire have you thought about what superpower you might choose?
Claire Carlile (01:51):
Me Claire? Superpower, I would like to bring peace and healing to everyone and everything I look at.
Jon Payne (02:05):
Which superpower was the question, you've chosen two superpowers there Miss Carlile, if I can narrow it down to one.
Claire Carlile (02:13):
Healing or peace. Peace and healing.
Jon Payne (02:18):
Peace and... okay I'll give you those two. I love the fact that Lucy Heskins is being able to tell the difference between a baby and a muffin, which suggest a blood bath at the last tea party. Being able to identify Jon's tiny head amongst a set of eggs. Thank you very much, that is very pleasant of you Owen.
Jon Payne (02:44):
Power of language. Being able to get the right words for the situation every time. Josephine, I have to tell you, that's a terrible superpower. Other people are choosing flight. Claire says, it's a good one, er no not this Claire. There are two Claire's on the call, one of them you can see, one of them you can't.
Jon Payne (03:01):
I am going to turn the music, two of them you can now see. I am going to turn the music down, try and fade it, but I am no Lilly Raye guys, this might be painful. I can't even see the music at the minute, because it's hiding behind your great superpowers.
Jon Payne (03:24):
Azeem would choose to be someone else for 24 hours and he would choose to be me. Fuck it, I'm not fading it. Just going to stop, go away music.
Jon Payne (03:32):
Thank you Azeem I can assure you those would be the most boring 24 hours of your life. Tragically, although you know what, you could come round and a man of your build would probably be more scary to the builders that I am having to occasionally discuss project management slips with.
Jon Payne (03:52):
Hi everybody, thank you for coming along to Business as Unusual. We're talking about levelling up your local SEO today with the absolutely fabulous Claire Carlile, who you can see on your other screen.
Jon Payne (04:07):
Hello Claire, welcome along. It's lovely to have you. We're going to start talking to Claire in just a minute, but I need to give you one message from our sponsors. And yes, I am going to try and sell you something. Not you Claire Carlile, because I believe I don't need to sell it to you, because you're already sold on the whole idea of attending this years Digital Gaggle. That's digital, Digital Gaggle, because in a revolutionary move we have taken Digital Gaggle, the in-person conference digital and online.
Jon Payne (04:41):
I know, it's incredible, isn't it. No-one else is doing it. We just thought, you know what, fuck it. Let's get the conference on a virtual platform. It's available now, the great news is instead of paying £100 a ticket, you need only pay between, well £100 if you still want to and we'll send you a golden egg or something. It won't be golden actually, obviously it will be sprayed. Right down to 99, no excuse me 19 of your earth pounds.
Jon Payne (05:12):
Would love to have you there. Claire Dibben, Dibs as I'll start to refer to her, has helpfully put the link in the channel. You don't have to attend as a part of your attendance here. It is optional. But I think the important thing to remember is Claire Dibben needs to eat and as our marketing and events manager she's not been eating very much and we need to help her out.
Jon Payne (05:42):
Okay, that's the end of the advert, please come along to that, that would be great.
Jon Payne (05:46):
However, let's talk about your local SEO. In fact while I start talking about that, if you want to throw in the chat there your level of experience with Google My Business, local SEO generally. Not you Claire Carlile we're going to ask you to do that using your face. But yeah, start to tell us that, that would be great. And if any questions come to you. There's a Q&A if you feel like you'd like to ask those anonymously you can set it to anonymous. Just in case you feel that perhaps your question is stupid.
Jon Payne (06:22):
Someone reminded me the other day that there is no stupid questions when I thought I was asking one. So that was very nice. I think probably she was being generous. I asked a very daft question.
Jon Payne (06:33):
Any questions would be great and we'll look at the level of experience in the room, so we know where we're going. Claire, I'd like you tell us who you are, what you do and how you got into local SEO. Would you do that Claire, would you do it?
Claire Carlile (06:51):
I'd love to do that. Hello, hello. I am Claire and I got into digital marketing probably about 20 years ago working in-house for an activity provider. I live in Wales, in Pembrokeshire in west Wales. I did that for about 10 years and then thought, I like this marketing stuff. And in particular, I thought I really like this SEO stuff and then I thought I'm going to learn some more things about this. And then I did a Masters in marketing and I became a chartered marketer. And then I set myself up, self-employed. I've been self-employed freelance for 11 years now.
Jon Payne (07:41):
Nice. Why local SEO as opposed to all SEO? Or do you do all SEO and you're just famous for your local SEOs?
Claire Carlile (07:54):
Famous for your local. That should go on a T-shirt. I say I do digital marketing. And you have to do SEO to do local SEO. I really like local SEO because I tend to, and I have worked with quite a lot of businesses, that either have a physical location or serve people in a specific area. Local SEO is pretty much an essential, can we call it a channel? Or a skillset for those businesses.
Claire Carlile (08:31):
Also it's a really, really nice niche to be part of. And it's full of some really great people and that's one of the reasons that I like it.
Jon Payne (08:41):
You know what? I agree with you. I mean, I know we're both in SEO, I'm less so, more than most of the people I know. Used to do nothing but SEO and now we're a bit more inbound and CRM and marketing automation, at Noisy Little Monkey as well. But the SEO community, local and normal, is that right?
Claire Carlile (09:01):
Normal, normal community.
Jon Payne (09:02):
Is there such a thing as a normal SEO? Probably there's a standard SEO. It's just so friendly. Everybody shares so much and it's just a lovely place to be, so we're glad to be part of it and we're glad to have you on here as well.
Jon Payne (09:24):
Thinking about local, is the Royston Vasey a choice because of something that happened recently, or are you a fan of the League of Gentlemen?
Claire Carlile (09:34):
I think when the League of Gentlemen was on television, the local shop for local people was probably my favourite part and then I put this background up when I was presenting at SMX and I don't think anyone got it. Because it's very much of an era, isn't it really, League of Gentlemen. It's culturally very specific. It's quite niche. And then when you posted the photo I was like, I'm going to change my background back, because local SEO it's a local shop for local people, isn't it?
Jon Payne (10:12):
Yeah, I love it, we'll have no trouble here. Brilliant. When we last spoke, we were getting prepped up for this. You were talking about how there's this concept of, not a concept a fact, that perhaps Google is becoming your new home page, you being the business owner. Can you explain that concept for the people on the call?
Claire Carlile (10:43):
Jon Payne (10:46):
Claire Carlile (10:47):
No. No, I can't do that. It's a bit of a multi layered answer. If you think of the way that the search landscape has changed. So think about the SERP looks and the way that's changed over the years. We know that increasingly Google is trying to answer people's questions or actually serve them in whatever way they want to be served, right there in the SERP rather sending them off somewhere else.
Jon Payne (11:22):
SERP is search engine results page, right?
Claire Carlile (11:28):
It certainly is, it certainly is. Think about all of the SERP features that we have. Featured snippets, people also ask, direct answers. Then we've got the knowledge panel, the knowledge profile. There's a lot of busy things going on in the search engine results page.
Claire Carlile (11:45):
That's one thing, Google is trying to keep them on there. So there's a concept of, it's a home page. People aren't necessarily going through to results, because Google wants to keep them there. And then if anyone thought that the sky was falling down last year when Rand Fishkin was talking about zero click searches. Zero click. Increasingly, especially on a mobile, I think it's up to 50% of searches don't result in a click through to a website.
Claire Carlile (12:13):
Everyone was getting very excited about that. A lot of people that work in local search were like this isn't a new thing, because people like Mike Blumenthal have been talking about Google as your new home page, probably about 2015, 2017.
Claire Carlile (12:34):
We're used to those clicks being stolen away. If you think about how, you know when you search, make a non branded search and you get the three pack. Yeah. You're looking for an electrician in Bristol, and you get your little three pack of results. When you used to look at that, they all used to link through to the business website.
Claire Carlile (12:55):
Now, increasingly and probably because small business websites were so awful Google has very much changed the results, you can get a lot of the information that you need right from the GMB profile. You can click to call, you can get driving directions, you can read about services, products. You can also make a booking. There's lots of things that you can do from there.
Claire Carlile (13:18):
In that sense we've always been thinking about the fact that Google doesn't want to drive people through to our website anymore, they just want to get us to give the information to the potential customers, and the customers right there in the SERP.
Claire Carlile (13:32):
The third layer is if you are making a branded search. Whatever your business is, you're looking for yourself, and then we think about the whole of the search engine results page in terms of, well what can people see. Hopefully they're seeing your GMB profile. It's going to give them lots of information. Every other single result on that page is telling a story of your business. Whether that's ads or whether that's local listings. Whether it's your social media profiles that are coming through. It's seeing the SERP, the search engine results page, much more holistically and thinking about making sure you put your best foot forward to give people the information that they need. Either to make a conversion right there in the SERP or encourage them to make that click through to your website or your entity or wherever you're trying to send that potential lead.
Jon Payne (14:30):
Is there a difference between in the likelihood of people clicking something that keeps them on a Google platform, whether that's maps or all or whatever, if they've done that branded versus non branded search. If I'm searching for plumber in Bristol versus Dave's Plumbing Shop in Bristol or Dave's Plumbing Shop. Am I likely to... is there any difference in the click through rate, do you think, can we tell, do we know?
Claire Carlile (15:06):
I imagine that there's going to be greater conversion if someone is making a branded search anyway, because that's more generic across the board isn't it. In terms of taking an action one would imagine because they're further down the funnel in whatever they're doing.
Claire Carlile (15:19):
But with local there is a lot of actions that we can be measuring that aren't to do with the website. That's one of the nicest things about GMB, is that it is very measurable. There's a lot of business critical actions that can take place that aren't sending people through to your website. Because when you're a local business, you want people to call you. Or to get driving directions. We can measure those things by GMB and they have nothing to do with someone coming through to our website.
Jon Payne (15:52):
Sweet. How would you go about measuring them, is that something when you're in your Google My Business profile as the owner or the person who edits that, is that where you see that stuff, or is it search console or...
Claire Carlile (16:07):
There's various ways of measuring that. You can use Google My Business insights. There are various parts of that which can be taken as data points. Number of clicks to call, number of driving directions. But then thinking about driving actions that aren't taking place exactly like that, you can be using tracking. Call tracking is another way to get your map. And then if you're thinking about actually what people do when they come through to your website from GMB, then you can add UTM tagging to all of the various elements of GMB to make sure that you know that they have come from GMB and then you can go on to measure what they actually do on your website, once you've got that visitor.
Jon Payne (16:58):
We see lots of people who've cottoned on to the fact that they need to use a shortened link with some tagging in it, very often on their company Twitter profile, company LinkedIn, company Facebook page, so that they can see the traffic coming from there and isolate it as profiled traffic. So many people are missing that trick of measuring that stuff easily in analytics by adding the UTM tracking. But we're dealing with non-tech people a lot of the time and of course they're going to miss that stuff.
Jon Payne (17:35):
For those who are on the call who are new, and actually those of us who are old, like me, and set up a Google My Business profile when it was probably called Google Maps or Google Local or Google Plus, or a combination of all of those things. Or, actually like me, if you do a search for Noisy Little Monkey and scroll to the bottom of the page, you can see it says show results about Noisy Little Monkey brackets (search engine optimization company) from where I submitted it to Freebase 2007, I think that ended, was it? Or started, I can't remember. Anyway long time ago.
Jon Payne (18:13):
I say that and I have no idea what I could do now to optimise my, I've got a fair idea, but what could we do to get more clicks and engagements from that page.
Claire Carlile (18:26):
If we're on Google My Business, so you've got all the things that people normally do, which is add a link to the website. A lot of the time people stop there. GMB used to be this pretty much set it and forget it thing. You claimed the listing, you added a photo and a logo. You wrote a little description, you put in the link. Jobs a good 'un, finished, all done, fantastic.
Claire Carlile (18:58):
That's not really the case now, because people... one Google adds features all the time. And Google isn't particularly good at communicating, either the fact that there are new features. Drink, that's it drink.
Jon Payne (19:16):
Stay hydrated everyone. Stay hydrated. This message was brought to you by...
Claire Carlile (19:19):
Is it when you say Google you have to have a, is it, no, okay.
Claire Carlile (19:23):
So new features does Google communicate, probably but you need to be looking in the right place. So potentially you wouldn't know about those changes anyway. But there are loads of features in GMB. There's so much. Just thinking about what you've got. You've obviously got the primary website link, depends on your primary category, but you can have a menu link. You could have an order ahead link, you could have a menu URL, you can have photos, you could have services. You could have products. You've got your business description. You could have messaging. You could have request a quote. What else is there? Q&A which isn't strictly a feature... it's a feature of Mac so it gets pulled into the business profile.
Claire Carlile (20:15):
You've got a lot of stuff that actually comes from GMB and is powered by GMB but your business profile will also pull in information from other places as well. That's another thing that you need to keep an eye on. And you need to know how to influence Google to pull those in and include them.
Claire Carlile (20:34):
When we talk about Google as your new home page, and we think about your business profile as the first thing that people will see, especially when they're making a branded search.
Claire Carlile (20:44):
Google Posts. How could I forget Google Posts. There's so much that you could be doing...
Jon Payne (20:49):
Oh yeah of course.
Claire Carlile (20:51):
Exactly, basically you need to use all of the features. Use them in a way that actually gets return for your business. Don't just try Google Posts and maybe just add a couple of links to a blog post that you wrote. That's not where people are in their journey. That's not the information that they need.
Claire Carlile (21:14):
Learn about the features and find out how to get the best of those features for your business, your organisation.
Jon Payne (21:22):
Brilliant. So I've got, I've just misspelt toilet in the chat. I've got a question that... you're looking at the chat as well. Deborah has raised her hand. Deborah if I knew what to do about that, I'd sort you out mate, but I have no idea. Maybe you can put it in the Q&A. Maybe it is in the Q&A and I just don't know how to drive this. Nope.
Jon Payne (21:42):
I think the question in the chat or in the Q&A if you would Deborah. It says we can allow her to talk says Claire Dibben. Claire that's fine, if you want to try it, let's go there.
Jon Payne (21:56):
But while you're figuring out how we can allow Deborah to talk, I can't because I'm no longer the host of it. Let me ask the question that the wonderful Kim Brookes has asked. Which is, am I right in thinking judging by the way Kim's posed her question. I suspect it's still like the old days when I was playing around with it, you had to choose your primary category and then you could put in sub categories where you listed, is that still the case? That's brilliant. I can see a reflection of my torso in your glasses, which I have to say is disturbing, but also lovely.
Claire Carlile (22:35):
Disturbing but lovely, that's your strap line isn't it?
Jon Payne (22:38):
It is, it is.
Jon Payne (22:41):
Kim says, what if the business category uses US spelling, such as jewelry?
Claire Carlile (22:48):
If it's what it comes up with within GMB then it's powered by GMB, so I wouldn't worry about it.
Jon Payne (22:58):
Would you put jewellery UK spelling as a sub category?
Claire Carlile (23:02):
You can't change it yourself.
Jon Payne (23:04):
Can you put it in a sub category though.
Claire Carlile (23:06):
It's not like the olden days Jon, it's not the Wild West anymore.
Jon Payne (23:12):
SEO, SEO, SEO, digital marketing. Okay. So just use the category that it suggests that's closet to where you are and put up with the fact that we're using American English.
Claire Carlile (23:21):
Yeah, because the category is in there powered somewhere within the secret thing. Whatever powers the things. It's whatever comes up in Google is fine. Choose the most appropriate one. The primary category is the most important in terms of it's thought to hold the highest level of importance in terms of ranking. And then the secondary categories, you need to make sure that they are relevant to your business offering. They don't hold as much power, but they do give Google a good indicator of what it is that you do as an organisation or as an entity.
Jon Payne (24:00):
That makes sense. That's cool. Thank you Andrew, saying that he thought that you had beautiful eyes but it turned out to be my reflection.
Claire Carlile (24:09):
The story of my life really, that one.
Claire Dibben (24:14):
I'm going to see if I can figure out how to let Deborah...
Jon Payne (24:17):
Deborah's muted at the moment.
Claire Dibben (24:18):
We've never done this before. So this is very exciting. I'm going to do that.
Jon Payne (24:21):
This is ever so much fun.
Claire Carlile (24:22):
I'm scared that there'll be lots of difficult questions now all the way through the...
Claire Dibben (24:29):
Is it, is it working?
Jon Payne (24:31):
Deborah, two things please. One be especially conscious that this is the first ever live question that we've had on this, so it's got to be a good one. But also balance that with we don't want too difficult a question that's going to put Claire Carlile under too much pressure.
Claire Dibben (24:46):
I'm trying to click the unmute button and it doesn't seem to be doing anything. So Deborah you may have to put your question in the chat. But hey we tried.
Jon Payne (24:58):
Scream it into the void. That's why Claire screams, "Fuck this machine," into the void every time we do one of these sessions.
Claire Dibben (25:04):
Do it quite loud, we may hear you.
Jon Payne (25:06):
Sorry Deborah, we'll see if we can figure that out. Before we get onto another question, because we've got a couple in the Q&A. We were talking about maybe, how does one if we've got marketers or agencies on the call, how does one convince your client or your boss to go ahead and invest more time, resources, maybe money into local SEO?
Claire Carlile (25:42):
I think that, if you're trying to get money, normally it's about demonstrating the return on investment I guess. It's a measurement piece isn't it. Working out what it is, what are these business critical actions that you need people to make. Working out how you're going to measure them. But if we are purely looking at if you imagine that there's already a measurement piece in place in Google Analytics. Using UTM tags, and then you are tagging those up properly, that make sense in the context of whatever your measurement protocol is within the organisation. And then you can be looking at which parts of GMB is traffic coming from? What is that traffic doing when it gets to the website? Is it doing the things that we want it to do? Are there e-commerce conversions? Are people signing up for newsletters? Are they visiting key pages? Are they downloading a white paper?
Claire Carlile (26:44):
Basically, if you think about what it is that you need people to do and what you can measure on the website, as well as those other things. Are we using call tracking? Are we using something like, say you had a bricks and mortar store, are we using coupon codes that help us to track leads that come from GMB and they're coming into store and are actually presenting these to us, or they're using a QR code or whatever.
Claire Carlile (27:14):
There are lots of different ways of tracking the impact that your GMB work actually does. You've got the website and then you've got other pieces of the puzzle that fit together to help you monitor.
Claire Carlile (27:27):
Whether or not it's actually moving the needle, is this traffic doing the stuff that you need it to do.
Jon Payne (27:34):
It's that thing of flipping it on its head. Nearly every time that we talk to people in digital marketing, how can I convince my boss. Well figure out what it is you need, what your boss wants to happen, then figure out how you measure, and then figure out how you make it happen from the thing you're asking us to justify.
Jon Payne (27:58):
We'll come to Azeem's question a bit later probably. The question I wanted to ask, we're talking a lot about Google My Business, like that's the only thing that we've talked about today. Are there other things I can do to help my business rank when someone does that non branded local search?
Claire Carlile (28:24):
Non branded local, this is a big question isn't it?
Jon Payne (28:30):
Claire Carlile (28:30):
You've given me a big question. If you're talking about local search. You've got the Map Pack and you've also got organic local. It's almost like you've got two separate algorithms there at play.
Claire Carlile (28:44):
The reason that we talk about GMB quite a lot when we talk about local search, is because a lot of the time, people are focusing or thinking of the local pack. The three pack. And obviously GMB also, a lot of your website signals are very important as part of that algorithm. Your prominence basically. When we think of authority in standard SEO, prominence is a bit like authority when it comes to local businesses.
Claire Carlile (29:15):
You can think about ranking in both of those places. Appearing in the Map Pack, the algorithm that we think of when we think in terms of that Map Pack. You've got proximity as a factor, that's how close the searcher is to the businesses that are being listed. But when it comes to regular, organic search, then that's your chance to rank outside of where you might have that proximity factor in play.
Claire Carlile (29:41):
It a piece, but there are lots of different opportunities when you're thinking about local and getting some sort of visibility within these geographic searches.
Jon Payne (30:00):
Kind of along that topic then, if I've got loads of reviews, do I go to number one?
Claire Carlile (30:07):
Jon Payne (30:09):
Thanks for your time. Bye bye everyone.
Claire Carlile (30:12):
All done, all finished.
Jon Payne (30:15):
Pay for the reviews, get a thousand, you've won SEO.
Claire Carlile (30:19):
When it comes to the local pack, we're talking about find a plumber in, or vets in Clifton or solicitors in Reading, all of those types of searches that will give us a Map Pack basically. Google doesn't write a list and say dear lovely marketers and people, these are all the things that you need to do in order for you to appear at number one. Sadly it doesn't happen.
Claire Carlile (30:49):
What do we do, we test and we do little experiments and we speak to people and we see what works. The local search ranking factors is sort of put together once a year. I think there was... skipped a year, so it's Darren Shore that puts it together and it was David Mimmin in the past. He talks to a number of marketers, local SEOs and talks about what's... I keep saying moving the needle, but I listen to many American podcasts so I'll keep saying it. What's moving the needle for them. Reviews unsurprisingly, they're important. They're important.
Claire Carlile (31:27):
If you think about how we search and how important reviews are for us. We use reviews to help us to make a decision about which business, or which product, which service to buy. Views are super important for a number of different reasons. Not just to do with ranking, it's to do with conversion isn't it? Reviews are very, very important and getting reviews.
Claire Carlile (31:49):
If we're talking about the context of GMB we need those to be Google reviews, but obviously we need lots of different types of reviews depending on the vertical. First party reviews are also very important, but with regard to GMB getting those Google reviews is super important and developing some sort of review and feedback loop that allows you to collect those is super important.
Jon Payne (32:16):
Two questions, oh man that was good. This is great. I'm learning so much, thank you.
Jon Payne (32:21):
Thing one is, oh I got too into my compliments. Thing one is... oh you said the first party reviews, what's a first party review?
Claire Carlile (32:33):
A first party review and this is taken from the language of everything that I read and listen to with regard to reviews. A first party review would be one that you collect yourself as an organisation or as a business, and is given to you not via a third party platform.
Jon Payne (32:57):
Like I'm a restaurant and I have on my website, for some reason, the ability for some people to leave reviews, on my website not on Trip Advisor. Maybe on Trip Advisor.
Claire Carlile (33:06):
Or it could be writing it down, it could be emailing it to you.
Jon Payne (33:08):
Claire Carlile (33:09):
It's lots of different ways. And then third party reviews would obviously be Google reviews, very important. And then things like, it depends on your vertical doesn't it, but Trip Advisor or loads of the review sites.
Claire Carlile (33:27):
If you think about whatever your niche is, so whoever's listening, if you think about what your niche is and then think about those very industry specific review sites that someone will go to. It could be law specific, it could be medical specific, it could be travel specific. But think about what the important and influential review sites are within your sector.
Jon Payne (33:52):
Brilliant. That's really useful. I wish I could figure out how we could get rid of the four star review someone gave us on Facebook in about 2006. No it wasn't that long ago, it was like 2011. And someone said this is a nice Facebook page Jon, and I don't even know the lady. Weird. And they gave me a four star review for our Facebook page which we don't even use.
Jon Payne (34:13):
Anyway, let's just all calm down. Me particularly. Good timing on that question Olive. Question from me is how do I get more reviews? Not me personally, that would be weird.
Claire Carlile (34:31):
More reviews. This is me giving you a, can you see?
Jon Payne (34:33):
Claire Carlile (34:34):
It's a five star review for you. You were upset about your four star, sorry.
Jon Payne (34:44):
Four point five, oh no maybe it is a four star. I don't know. It's my aggregate review isn't it. That's what it is. Because I bet my mom reviewed me on Facebook. And then that lady.
Claire Carlile (34:55):
She would have given you a 10, I'm sure.
Jon Payne (34:56):
Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Very, very easy woman to manipulate and do a good review.
Jon Payne (35:04):
How does a business get more reviews. How do we encourage our customers to get more reviews? I guess it's again, different by sector, but are there some rules?
Claire Carlile (35:10):
Are there some rules?
Jon Payne (35:12):
Or some rules of thumb.
Claire Carlile (35:16):
I would say, be sure that you're ready to ask for those reviews. I'm not saying don't ask for reviews because they might be bad. But if you know that there are some awful things going on in your organisation, or you know that there is some sort of trigger point where it's going to cause a problem, then think about that before.
Claire Carlile (35:39):
Let's just say we're all ready to ask for reviews, we're all ready in our mind, we know that, do you know what, you can't please all the people all the time and we're not going to take it too personally if someone has a problem. So let's start from there.
Claire Carlile (35:53):
How do you get more reviews? Ask for them. It's one of the keys. First of all you have actually got to put it out there that you would like to receive reviews. Every single business is going to have very different process... not very like fundamentally different, but let's have a think about... rather than just going we've done reviews. Let's understand the customer journey, let's understand the touchpoints. Let's understand who we need to ask, who needs to ask them and when they need to ask them.
Claire Carlile (36:26):
If you've done that work and you've done that ground work, it's pretty easy to put in place a process that is going to be your review and feedback loop. It could be something, let's just think of simple things that we see every day. Somebody having a little poster by the till when you go to the till, like us, review us, tell your friends, maybe with a QR code on it, take a photo of it.
Claire Carlile (36:50):
Maybe they're using their short links from Google and they're adding it to little business cards that they pop into a bag. Maybe it is a high value, it's a solicitor. It's someone that's done a piece of work with a person or an organisation. At the end of that, what email do you send. Do you ask, how do you ask. Do you include cues in that email. Do you remember to use the name of the service that that person has experienced to try and encourage them to talk about that.
Claire Carlile (37:27):
It's very nuanced the whole process. But on a very basic level, one of the best ways to get reviews is to actually ask for reviews. And that might be face to face, because that's very powerful.
Jon Payne (37:41):
The face to face one's an absolute killer isn't it. The other one, we worked with a... I'm going to say ambulance chasing solicitor, they weren't an ambulance chasing solicitor, we particularly don't work with personal injury solicitors because they're arse holes. But we do work with some specialists in particular kinds of pain who had been ripped off by other solicitors who were like, oh your arm hurts, here's three grand. And he said I can never get good reviews. And this guy is giving out life fixing cheques. It doesn't fix the injury but... they could be millions of pounds, and the person had previously had to settle with some no mark personal injury solicitor and they'd got three grand.
Jon Payne (38:26):
This guy is like well, your life has changed, you need a new house, you need a new car, you're not going to live as long, you deserve some money. I'm like when do you ask for the reviews, about three months after. Why don't you ask when you give them the cheque? He's like, it feels seedy. I'm like man, when they're getting that cheque and you've made their life significantly better, that's the time and feel seedy you're in personal injury.
Jon Payne (38:50):
That psychology of when something good has happened, getting someone to give you that review. It's really different to wipe off the good. Even if it's something less life changing. I was about to say like a haircut.
Claire Carlile (39:03):
Like a haircut, yours is... yeah. Good.
Jon Payne (39:07):
This was a life changing haircut. Cool. Excellent.
Claire Carlile (39:11):
The last thing on reviews is that, follow-up is another good thing. If that's part of your process, there's tools like. Well there's lots of different tools, but the one that I like is GatherUp, which is really low cost, it's a really good option and one of the things that it does is, if you set it to email people, it will then follow-up, I don't know, whatever, two weeks later, one week later. Because you will be absolutely surprised at the number of people that just don't do it first time, but then will do, with a gentle reminder. That's another thing to think about.
Claire Carlile (39:53):
If you're doing it all manually, it's quite hard work. But if you can find tools to automate the process, then that's what you're looking for really.
Jon Payne (40:01):
If you can find a tool like Hubspot, we're a Hubspot diamond partner, we can help you automate your NPS and review requests.
Claire Carlile (40:07):
Basically you want a system that works for you. And someone who knows that system inside out. Because that is another part of the tool, isn't it. Working with someone that knows all the different ways to use that to help a business in your industry.
Jon Payne (40:25):
Yeah that makes absolute sense. That's really cool.
Jon Payne (40:30):
We've got lots of questions that I need to ask. One from Olu which relates to reviews. And then we've got some in the Q&A.
Jon Payne (40:37):
One from Olu is was, I've got to scroll up, no-one type for a minute. Please don't type, please don't type otherwise Olu you can type it again. I've gone too far, gone too far. Oh Olu what happened to your question?
Claire Dibben (40:50):
Do you want me to read out the questions.
Jon Payne (40:52):
Yeah, what was Olu's question? Oh I've got one from Olu because it just hit on the review things. Is Trust Pilot important for reviews? Olu's a freelance photographer. A very good freelance photographer.
Claire Carlile (41:06):
I don't know, is it? Do you use it? That's what I'd think about is does my target market, does my potential, would they use this? And also does this appear in the search engine results page when you make a search for either my brand or for a generic term that I want to rank for. That will give you an indicator potentially of whether or nor people are going to be using that as a tool to help them make a decision.
Jon Payne (41:39):
Also looking up a big competitor or two to see if they've got reviews from that platform showing as well.
Claire Carlile (41:43):
Maybe but I'd say it depends on the search landscape and also our knowledge of consumer behaviour with regard to our niche. I don't know that much about Trust Pilot actually.
Jon Payne (41:58):
It's good for hotels apparently.
Claire Carlile (42:01):
Is it, it's not that good.
Jon Payne (42:03):
What a little man I am. I have to say Olu, I think Claire's answer is really good, and actually I see many freelance...
Claire Carlile (42:14):
Better than yours.
Jon Payne (42:14):
Yeah absolutely better than mine. You've put me back in my box very gently and it was delightful. Thank you. If feels like Trust Pilot is travel and I don't know. No Trust Pilot is for lots of different stuff. But I don't feel like it's for freelance photographers. Thank you Claire.
Jon Payne (42:34):
Azeem, a man I've never heard of, no lovely Azeem wanted to ask.
Claire Dibben (42:39):
Azeem, handsome Azeem I call him.
Jon Payne (42:42):
Sorry, say that again mate, I talked over you.
Claire Dibben (42:42):
Handsome Azeem I call him.
Jon Payne (42:47):
Isn't he, isn't he HanZeem. UTM tracking. How do you clear up broken UTM tracking that has been implemented by an old agency?
Claire Carlile (43:01):
What a question.
Jon Payne (43:05):
Claire Carlile (43:08):
I imagine that you're thinking of an agency that might have tagged things up incorrectly and then that is borking what you see in Google Analytics when you try and put together your reports to say this delivered this, this delivered this, this delivered this. Azeem is that what you're thinking of? Yes, I'm sure it is.
Claire Carlile (43:34):
The way that I have dealt with that in the past is...
Jon Payne (43:37):
No-one has ever written 1000% borking in a sentence before. Thank you Azeem, the chat is on fire on this one.
Claire Carlile (43:45):
You've got to watch out for that.
Claire Carlile (43:48):
You can do something like, what did I do, I used the case function in Google Data Studio to clear up, what I did was okay these are all the instances of the borked part, it's been called this, this, this and this. If anything is called this, I then want it to become this. Basically, if you don't understand any of that. Then just find someone that's really good at Data Studio that can just make you a simple report. But basically what you're doing with that scenario is you're just telling Data Studio I want you to take anything that's called these things or the broken ones and I want you to put them in this pot, the correct one instead. You can do that in Google Data Studio.
Jon Payne (44:36):
I feel a very deep and meaningful geek love for you right now. I've got quite the crush. Be still my beating heart. That was a beautiful answer about something really complex explained superbly. And I'm sullying it with my words.
Jon Payne (44:55):
Andrew has a question with proximity in mind. Thank you Andrew. What do you say to business' clients that are based out in the burbs but want to rank in the centre of variable city?
Claire Carlile (45:09):
What is it, what is he saying? What, what?
Jon Payne (45:11):
What do you say to a client that isn't in the centre of a city, let's say there's someone in the outskirts of Reading, a city we've already used as an example, they're on the outskirts of Reading, maybe they're in Slough or Bracknell. But they want to show up for something like Plumber Reading, or whatever. How do you help them?
Claire Carlile (45:33):
How do you help them?
Jon Payne (45:35):
What do you say to them?
Claire Carlile (45:36):
What do I say to them? I'd say how much would it cost for you to get a bricks and mortar storefront in the place where you want to rank. Because in the Map Pack, in those three local listings, proximity in terms of proximity of the listed business to the searcher, if you're looking to meet the needs of people that are obviously in that area cause they want a plumber, then that's the best way.
Claire Carlile (46:04):
You are not going to appear in that Map Pack if you are 10, 15, 8, 5, 6 miles away. But what you can do, is think about... we spoke about this before, the organic results. A lot of service area businesses, so people that serve people in the people's locations will have a website that is well optimised in terms of areas we serve. It could have pages and I don't mean spammy, boilerplate pages for every single town in the UK. Plumber in Birmingham, plumber in Moseley, plumber in blah, blah, blah. But if you've actually well targeted, well crafted unique landing pages for those neighbourhoods, then that will be a strategy and a way for them to earn some visibility in those organic results.
Jon Payne (47:11):
Brilliant, but in truth if they really want to show up in the Map Pack it's very, very difficult to spoof or kid that thing, right?
Claire Carlile (47:24):
Well no it's not very difficult, but it's against guidelines. It's very easy, but it's against guidelines.
Jon Payne (47:30):
Right, and we don't want to get a penalty or something like that.
Claire Carlile (47:34):
If you're a real business that's interested in your long term longevity in terms of your brand and your customer base, then how much is it going to cost for you to get a... and I don't mean a virtual office, I mean a real office.
Jon Payne (47:52):
Not just something that Googles goes, oh that's where everybody gets their post sent. Cool, okay. Thank you. I hope that answered your question Andrew. Oh you've got another one. He's got another one.
Jon Payne (48:05):
Claire am I alright going through these? I tell you what I'm going to take your answer on that Claire and I'm hoping you're saying yes.
Claire Dibben (48:18):
You're doing it so crack on.
Jon Payne (48:21):
Okay, cool. We've got would you recommend a business that is in the burbs, switches to being a service area business. We answered that in the last bit.
Claire Carlile (48:33):
I'd say no, because Andrew is then talking about service area businesses. If you're... this is quite local SEO-y now. If you have...
Jon Payne (48:46):
That's why we got you on.
Claire Carlile (48:50):
Say for example you are... we keep coming back to services. Say you do mobile massage.
Jon Payne (48:57):
As well. It's funny you say that, but this is going to be really pertinent to me. Business has been hard.
Claire Carlile (49:05):
Can we think of something else? Let's think of the service. I'm just going to go with that. Mobile Massage. Or a sport's therapist, but you're mobile. Sport's therapist, mobile. Okay. It means that you go to people's locations to serve them. Okay, all right.
Claire Carlile (49:26):
You don't have a physiotherapy practise. So you're a service area business. Normally when we think of service area business, it's things like plumbers, electricians, they don't have an actually bricks and mortar storefront.
Claire Carlile (49:40):
If you are a pure service area business, when you set up Google My Business you hide your address, but Google still uses your address to help them approximate or give proximity. Just because you set your service areas to Wales, UK, Bristol and Slovakia doesn't mean that you'll suddenly rank in those places.
Claire Carlile (50:10):
If you are in the burbs and you switch to being a service area business, you will still be the home address or whatever you used, your hidden address, will still, basically that will be where your proximity is.
Claire Carlile (50:26):
Would you change to a service area business purely, probably not, because then you won't even have a map pin. If you're a service area business, people won't be able to see you on the map because you won't actually have a pin.
Jon Payne (50:39):
So you would not recommend that?
Claire Carlile (50:41):
It's a long and convoluted answer isn't it really.
Jon Payne (50:46):
I just made you give me a binary one. Put me back in my box if you feel that's appropriate.
Claire Carlile (50:54):
Let's just say, I think it's really on a case by case basis. If anyone has a difficult question related to service area businesses that they'd like to send to me, I'd love to answer it.
Jon Payne (51:04):
That's lovely, that's good stuff, because I'm starting a mobile masseuse business. Does Claire have the secret, oh sorry I haven't finished.
Claire Carlile (51:16):
Jon Payne (51:18):
She has both the key and the secret to loving you. Does Claire have a secret to choosing which photo is going at the top of the GMB panel.
Claire Carlile (51:32):
Jon Payne (51:34):
How much does it cost?
Claire Carlile (51:37):
Jon Payne (51:40):
Please send your postal orders to Claire at Royston Vasey.
Claire Carlile (51:44):
Do you want the short answer or the long answer?
Jon Payne (51:48):
We've got five minutes.
Claire Carlile (51:51):
Okay. Have we really, oh my gosh. In GMB you can select your profile photo and it is very likely that Google might show this, if it doesn't then it's chosen something else to show. Because it could still show a user generated photo. Go and look at the Google guidelines. It needs to be the right size, right resolution. Sometimes they prefer outside photos rather than inside, but I guess that's probably specific to the niche. Because if you're a plumber you're not going to have an outside photo are you. It's going to be you probably servicing someone's boiler.
Claire Carlile (52:28):
Another thing to note that in the UK on the desktop, check on your branded search and see whether or not they are linking to photos in GMB which will come from Google/maps, or maps.google.com, I can't remember the URL. Or it might be actually being populated from Google search, from image search.
Claire Carlile (52:49):
That's a very strange vagary of the way that search works in European countries.
Jon Payne (52:56):
Wow, that's in depth. You have the secret to understanding, maybe how it's choosing but not necessarily fixing it like that. Is that fair to say. It sounds like you've got to go do some research.
Claire Carlile (53:09):
One is it being populated, look on the desktop, is it being populated by GMB. If it is make sure that you have got your profile photo. If it isn't being populated by GMB and it's being populated by image search, make sure that the image that you want to be indexed, on your home probably, is indexable. Is actually appearing in the code and you can right click and open it as an image. Because if it's being taken from somewhere within a different part of the page, Google can't index it and they are going to choose something else, maybe from another website that you don't want to be linked to.
Jon Payne (53:43):
This is just absolute gold. Wow. We should just do a Q&A with Claire. This is absolute genius. Wonderful. Dibs do we have any more questions at your end? I've done all the ones from here. It's almost as if we've timed this perfectly.
Claire Dibben (54:02):
We have quite a long one in Survey Monkey. In which they've said they appreciate it may be out of the scope of the Webinar. But I'll ask it anyway. This person has said, "My local is defined by country, so we have UK as a location, also Germany as a location and so on." This person has managed to set London as a location for the UK on the UK website. They need to set Ontario for Canada on the Canadian website as a page there. They'd like to set Düsseldorf as the location for Germany and give it the main website address. Would love any advice on this.
Claire Dibben (54:39):
Also, if it is, obviously we're short on time, but I have dropped Claire's contact details into the chat. So if we can't get round to you answering that question effectively in the space of time we have left, and likewise for any other questions that you have. Obviously Claire really knows her stuff, so do just get in touch with her. And I'll put her Twitter handle in there right now as well.
Claire Dibben (55:01):
I'm going to disappear from view again.
Claire Carlile (55:06):
Jon Payne (55:07):
She has, she's like a ship in the night? No, ghost in the machine.
Claire Carlile (55:13):
Ghosts in the ships passing in the night? Am I answering that question?
Jon Payne (55:18):
Yeah, see if you can.
Claire Carlile (55:21):
I can't see that question anywhere, some I'm just trying to.
Jon Payne (55:25):
No it came in through Survey Monkey.
Claire Dibben (55:27):
I'm going to drop it in the chat right now so that you can see it.
Jon Payne (55:30):
Drop it in the chat. Drop it in the chat.
Claire Dibben (55:33):
Drop it in the chat.
Jon Payne (55:34):
If you've got a question in Survey Monkey.
Claire Dibben (55:35):
Drop it in the chat.
Jon Payne (55:36):
Yes that's a 50 year old white man doing an impression of one Mr Snoop Dog and Dog.
Claire Carlile (55:47):
My local is defined by country, so we have UK as a location and also German. I might be getting the wrong end of the stick here. My answer could be wrong, but it sounds like you need to have multiple GMB listings. If you're talking about bricks and mortar locations in each of those countries then you can have a GMB listing for each of them.
Jon Payne (56:15):
Claire Dibben (56:16):
I think that's a brilliant answer.
Claire Carlile (56:18):
And then link to the relevant page on whatever websites are for that location.
Claire Dibben (56:25):
There we go and if they want anymore info I've put your Twitter in the chat and I've also put your website in the chat as well.
Claire Dibben (56:33):
I think, we're pretty much, we're running to time which is magnificent for us.
Jon Payne (56:37):
Bank on time and we should end with Azeem's question, which was should, because you were answering all of the questions so well, Azeem put a bit of an outside one in there, saying should he use water, carbon dioxide, foam or a dry powder fire extinguisher to put out the absolute fire that you are sharing.
Claire Dibben (56:56):
Claire Carlile (56:58):
I would say shower me with praise.
Jon Payne (57:02):
Nice. I'm also doing that thing that they do in poetry clubs and on Zoom, because that's how I roll.
Jon Payne (57:13):
Thank you Claire that was absolutely fabulous, it's 4 o'clock so probably people need to leave and go and do some work. We will put up a video of this. Probably early next week. This is a difficult time of year because we've got various other things going on.
Claire Dibben (57:28):
We've got Digital Gaggle next month, Thursday 19th November. And then we've got the Bristol HubSpot User Group.
Jon Payne (57:35):
Tickets are being sold guys, so come and get them while they're hot.
Claire Dibben (57:37):
Stop talking over me. Thank you. We've got the Bristol HubSpot User Group in December. It's always good to shout at your boss when everyone's watching isn't it.
Claire Dibben (57:56):
I'll send round a recording of this on Monday and it will have links to Claire, if you want to get in touch with her and ask her some more questions, and lots of good resources as well.
Claire Dibben (58:05):
Claire you've got a UTM tracking guide which I will send out, which is very useful for people.
Claire Dibben (58:10):
Okay, Jon you may resume speaking now. Goodbye.
Jon Payne (58:14):
I was just trying to sell tickets to your event Claire. Men always use that excuse, don't they, when they talk over ladies, let me stop doing that and say Claire, any final thoughts.
Claire Carlile (58:28):
No, but thank you.
Jon Payne (58:31):
You're welcome. It took every fibre of my being not to talk over you. Thanks everybody, that's the end of the webinar. Goodbye.
Claire Carlile (58:38):