Last but not least, we feature seven tips from Andrew Shotland to wrap up our local SEO expert Q&A blog series featuring 56 answers from the top local SEO experts.
Q 1: What do you think are going to be the biggest changes in local search within the next year (2018) that small businesses should pay attention to?
A 1: I think the biggest change will be an increase in Google Ads where a lot of organic GMB results used to be. So SMBs will need to get better at buying traffic, find additional ways to squeeze organic traffic out of Google and start working new organic channels.
Q 2: If you were a small, local shop selling baked goods or beverages with limited time to work with your online marketing, what are the top three things you would focus on in order of importance?
- Claim and update your profiles on Google My Business, Yelp , Facebook, Bing and Apple Maps. These will likely be the first point of online contact between you and your potential customers
- Create a simple, well-made website that clearly describes your services, answers your customers top questions and has a clear call to action
- Build an email/text message list and experiment with using it to bring customers in the door/help you get new customers.
Q 3: With the increase in mobile device usage, what do you think restaurants and online retailers should be doing as a minimum in regards to local SEO?
A 3: See above
Q 4: Do you think local SEO will get more or less important as time goes on?
A 4: More but I am biased but so is the AI that will often default to things that are near you when you ask it questions that imply local intent.
Q 5: How do you think the advancements in virtual reality will affect local businesses in search, if at all?
A 5: More people will be wearing those ridiculous goggles at the bar while I am trying to enjoy my beer.
Q 6: Do you have any suggestions for in-house marketers to get buy-in on local SEO initiatives?
A 6: Always start with a small test that when extrapolated out to a large number of locations shows potential for huge wins.
Q 7: How important is Google My Business and Reviews as it relates to restaurants in local search?
A 7: As important as golf is to Trump.
In 1994, Andrew helped launch Showtime Networks first website. From there he joined NBC’s Internet division and ran NBC.com, launching some of the first TV to Web experiences. In 2003, Andrew helped launch InsiderPages which was acquired by CitySearch in 2006. Since then, he’s been helping clients big and small with this strange thing they call “SEO”.