Tips & Tricks From the LocalU Advanced Workshop in Santa Monica


Local University hosted their Advanced Workshop in Santa Monica in November. We’ve rounded up some tips, advice, and quotes from event speakers that resonated with us and can help you step up your local SEO game.

Joy Hawkins avatar

Joy Hawkins is one of the most knowledgeable local SEO’s, especially when it comes to Google My Business. If she is providing you with tips to help improve your GMB listing, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of her advice!

Stop Wasting Time -10 Things People Do Wrong with Google My Business:

Stop Under-utilizing the Homepage
For your GMB listing, ensure the landing page you are linking to contains the keywords are you are targeting. This can make a difference for your listings’ ability to rank in the pack. Unless you have a ton of location pages, using your homepage is ideal as it’s generally better for rankings. Don’t forget to include your top keywords and related content on the landing page because GMB is looking for this.

Stop Ignoring GMB Categories
Take time to review categories regularly as they are always changing and there may be additional opportunities that come up for your business. Especially because in 2017’s Local Search Ranking Factors, #3 was choosing the right GMB categories.

Stop Expecting GMB to be Able to Detect Spam
If you are reporting spam on Google, you need to show clear, detailed evidence. It’s on you to prove what you are reporting, so use videos and photos.

Stop Whining About Your Negative Reviews
Complaining about your negative reviews is a waste of your time and energy. If the review does violate one of GMB’s policies, flag it as inappropriate, see if it is removed, and if not, go ahead and contact the support team, however; you will need evidence, proof to back up your claim. Don’t expect them to remove it based on a “he said/she said” claim.

We have an extensive post on How to Remove a Fake Google Review. Beyond whining about a negative review, also stop worrying about it. Focus on building your business and stronger/better services, so that in the end the reviews from actual happy customers outweigh the negative and/or sometimes fake reviews.

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