On our second episode on SEO, Nalini Prasad from Blu Shark Digital joins In Camera Podcast for a conversation on Local SEO. Nalini explains why you should consider Google My Business as the heart and soul of your business and shares actionable tips that could dramatically improve the way Google ranks your business in the local pack.
We talk about products on Google My Business and how to use them to generate leads, even after hours. Nalini explains why Google posts have become a powerful way to promote your law firm. Furthermore, we give tips on how to avoid having your listing suspended by Google and what to do to reactivate it if it does get suspended.
Learn how you can geotag your pictures with GPS coordinates and how you can get Google Assistant to book a free consultation for a shy prospect.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Citation Management Tools
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Liel: [00:00:00] The local pack has become the most desired sport in the search results page. But how do you get Google to want to list your law firm there? I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and this is In Camera podcast where you will learn how to optimize your Google my business like a pro.
Liel: [00:00:48] Welcome to In Camera Private Legal Marketing Conversations. Grace, how are you today?
Grace: [00:00:53] Good. How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:00:54] I’m doing very well, Grace. And Grace, today we’re getting ready for another conversation on our SEO special, right.
Liel: [00:01:05] And so, Grace, why don’t you introduce our guest and our topic? Please do the honors.
Grace: [00:01:12] So today I have the honor of welcoming one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. That’s Nalini Prasad. She is the chief strategy officer at Blu Shark Digital, a digital marketing agency focused on helping small to medium sized law firms build their business and stand out online. At BluShark Digital Nalini designs and implements cutting edge strategies across the four fundamental aspects of digital marketing, sophisticated content creation, creative link building, savvy technical optimization and community driven local SEO. Also, she frequently speaks across the country, educating legal audiences on how to best utilize trending SEO techniques to generate quality leads online. If you want to find out more about Blue Shark Digital, please visit blusharkdigital.com. That’s b.l. U. S H A R.K. D-I g.i. T a l dot com. Nalini, Welcome to the in-camera podcast and thank you so much for joining us on our conversation on local SEO.
Nalini: [00:02:14] Thank you, Grace and Liel. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I obviously really love discussing this. So I’m interested to see where the conversation takes us.
Liel: [00:02:21] Yes. Nalini and I was just telling you a moment ago, like every time that we are at a conference, whether it’s a trade show, whether it’s a legal marketing conference, whether it’s another kind of conference. But wherever you are, you’re always kind of the authority for local SEO, always giving insight in latest trends when it comes down to it. So it’s a real, real honor to have you talk about this particular topic with us. And let’s just get started. What we’ve been doing Nalini here is starting up the conversation, but asking about what are the most common mistakes that you see law firms make when it comes down to local search engine optimization
Nalini: [00:03:02] So the biggest and sadly most prevalent issue that I see with SEO in terms of local SEO and you Google my business is people just completely ignoring it. So a lot of our folks, when they hear about SEO they go oh yeah, that has to do with the Web site, that has to do with showing up in Google. But sometimes the local Google my business profile is the forgotten child, right? So they don’t even realize that there’s this whole business profile that Google just judges you on every single aspect about your business. But you have to do the work of actually creating this profile and nurturing the profile. And so just people not knowing about it, I think is the biggest mistake.
Grace: [00:03:40] Yeah, that seems like a huge problem. I know that we’ve talked about SEO a couple times, but that’s number one. From what I’ve seen, being a big mistake is they just don’t utilize it. Right.
Nalini: [00:03:51] Utilizing it, it’s also the fact that they don’t even know where or how to access it. A lot of times people will have their Google my business verified or claimed because they’ve worked with a company. But then let’s say they leave the company or maybe they had a marketing specialist who set it up for them and then they lost their marketing coordinator or the in-house person. They don’t even realize that this is now not being attended to. So kind of teaching people how to even access it. Where do you log in? Things like that? It seems so elementary to a lot of folks, but it’s not, it’s it’s not something that just comes naturally to a lawyer. Right. You’re doing, you’re worrying about your cases and filing the next brief. But I think, them not even knowing how to access it. Is one of the biggest issues, too. Is allowing other people and trusting other people to do it for you. But what happens when those people are gone?
Liel: [00:04:37] And Nalini. So, yes, obviously that sounds like a terrible thing to do. Not paying attention to your listings. You said something here that Google actually judges a lot of your business based out of your citations, primarily Google my business. What kind of judgments can Google make or what kind of information Google is looking at? Whenever looking at your listing as a law firm.
Nalini: [00:05:04] Yeah, absolutely. So I like to call the Google my business profile, the heart and soul of your company. Essentially, it is the one place that Google is going to go other than your Web site to say what’s this brand’s name, what’s their address, what’s their phone number and how are people interacting with them? What other information can I find out from them from this profile? So Google continues to create these new fields. It gives the businesses the opportunity for them to fill in information about them. Google saying, hey, I want information about you. I want you to tell me a little bit about your attorneys. I want me. I want you to post pictures. I want you to get reviews from your consumers. Tell me, what your consumers like about you. Right. There’s no questions and answers. There’s making sure that people are actually engaging with your profile by clicking on directions to your office or clicking on the button that says Web site. So while this is your heart and soul of your branding and how Google understands you, you also have this opportunity to connect your Google my business profile to your Web site. And when Google is able to put those two together, it uses all the information that you’re giving it through this profile as well as information that it collects as it scans the Internet.
Nalini: [00:06:21] And it says, oh, I found this out about your brand. It pulls that information into your Google my business profile. So sometimes if you’ve ever looked yourself up and you noticed that Google has some huge case you worked on and all of a sudden it’s on your profile, but you’re like, I didn’t put that there because Google knows all. And so it’s kind of stalking you and taking all of that good information about you, all of your PR, all of the good and the bad. Right. So there’s bad reviews on Facebook. You’ll see on your Google my business profile. Here’s the number of Facebook reviews they have. Here’s their average score. It’s kind of taking all of the information you’re giving, but also all of the information that’s out there about you and putting it on this profile. And that’s why it’s the heart and soul. It’s the one thing that Google really wants to go off of when it figures out who’s going to be in that local three pack, which I’m sure we’ll touch on.
Liel: [00:07:09] Absolutely. Nalini, you’ve said something here, very wonderful, which is Google starts pilling up information on you and starts populating on your listing, which is wonderful. But how do we get there? How do we first set up these listing to be powerful and reassuring enough for Google for then Google want to further complement with research and information on you?
Liel: [00:07:31] What would be that first basic setup and optimization that law firms should be making on their listing in order to set themselves on that right track?
Nalini: [00:07:40] Yeah, absolutely. So as I mentioned, there’s a ton of new fields and a lot of fields to fill in information. But at its core, the most important items is when you first establish this profile, you’re actually going to connect it to one of your Gmail accounts has to be a G-mail. And the first three things that it actually asks you to enter in before you can even have this profile is what is the name of your business? So the name of your brand and you want to use if you have a DBA, you can use that. But even to be doing business as that is consistent across your Web site, consistent across the Internet. Right. So you’re putting the name that you want Google to associate with you. You have to put your address and you have to put your phone number for legal address is really important. Sometimes you guys may see some Google my businesses that don’t have an address and you’re like, well, how’d that happen? For some service industries which are not going to apply to you guys as lawyers. But, you know, plumbers or people who are working in a huge service area, they don’t have to have a brick and mortar. Right. They can put an area that they’re working in. But for you, your address is really important. And the way that you actually get this profile verified is you have to say, hey, Google, here’s my name, my address, my phone number. Google then sends you a postcard to your brick and mortar to actually verify that you are working there, that your business is there. There’s a passcode, a pin on that postcard that you put into the account and then you are verified. From that point forward, all of your consumers can see you on the front end. So those three items are the most important.
Nalini: [00:09:10] And once Google understands your name, your address and your phone number as it sees more information on the Internet that is connected to that exact same name, address and phone number. It’s able to verify that it’s your information and pull it into that profile.
Grace: [00:09:25] So, yeah, Google wants to know it’s you. Right. I mean, it’s all about the user. Right. So we’re trying to make sure that everything is correct. Google’s trying to make sure you are indeed there physically. So thinking about it from that perspective, I know that you’re saying all organizations should do this, right? Now, there is legal. Right. We’re talking about specific to law firms and on the GMB, on the Google my business page. Are there specific features that you would suggest that law firms leverage? Like I know there’s frequently ask questions and some other things like that. What are your recommendations Nalini?
Nalini: [00:09:57] Yeah, absolutely. Good question. So there is there’s a feature now where you can put products, right? And for law firms, a lot of people are saying, well, my product is that I can take this to court. I can get you a settlement. But something that we don’t think about often is that a lot of law firms do give a free evaluation, a free case evaluation. And that’s something that you want to let your people know, especially because other firms don’t do that. So under the products section, in the back end of your Google my business, making sure that it is very clear that you do free evaluations is really cool. And that shows up right on the front end. I would say using the appointment feature is pretty good for law firms in particular.
Nalini: [00:10:38] And with that, also your hours. So if you have a call service and there’s a number of good ones out there. Right. We know all the vendors there’s you know, podium has its own little thing now so does ruby, whatever you use, if you use and you’re paying for it, you should be telling Google that you can take calls even after hours. Right. So you can say that you do work till nine because that’s how long your answering service is going to answer. And you can make sure that after those times that the appointment feature is set so that if someone can’t get to you by phone, they can at least set an appointment for that free evaluation. Right. So just making yourself be available even when you’re not.
Grace: [00:11:18] That makes perfect sense.
Liel: [00:11:19] That’s yeah… That’s actually very powerful features. Nalini, another thing I’d like to ask you about is Google my business posts. Google allows you to create posts very similar to those that you would post on social media platforms and you can also add call to actions or use them as events or other kinds of formats of posts that you can use. Nalini, do you mind talking a little bit about what’s the opportunity in these posts and why should law firms consider using this feature?
Nalini: [00:11:53] Yeah, I really like that you mention that it is very similar to a social post and this was a very big turning point. Last summer’s when this came out about June, it was a big turning point I mentioned because it was where Google started to say, hey, we’re taking this profile that used to just really had your name, address and phone number. And we’re starting to make this truly an engagement platform that we’re trying to make this like a social platform. It was the first big feature that Google came out with where it gave you a lot of leverage and leeway as to what the content had to be in that post. Right. Like you said, it could have been an event. It could have been a tidbit about one of your lawyers. It could’ve been about like the dog you adopted last week as the firm. You could get really creative and fun with it. And for each of these posts, you could direct your consumers to a certain page on your website or even not on your Web site. Right. But it allowed people to engage with your brand beyond your home page to learn more about you. And so that’s the very beginning. That was in June when they said, hey, lets beta test this, guys. If, you know, some folks got it, some didn’t. Kind of like on Facebook where half of us will see a new look and feel on Facebook. And then a couple of months later, after your friends have been talking about it, you see it look, you know, where did my like button go. That’s how Google does their items as well. They roll it out slowly. They let people try it out and then it kind of hits another group. So as people started to do the Google my business posts. It was very limited to you know, it was like seventy five characters or something very small at first. There were only so many different calls to action you could do. And it expired weekly. So you would have to keep posting. We learned a couple months later that they expanded it to about 750 characters. So now your post could be much longer. You could do a lot more things there, right? It was like, oh, people like it. Let’s keep doing this. Also, Google understood that they could see if the consumer was actually engaging with your business through this. How many people are clicking on this post. What information about your business do people care about? And so one of the biggest things that, you know, I’ll talk about is like a big takeaway, too, at the end is on the back end of Google my business. Once you learn how to log in and you learn how to add things there, there’s a tab you can click on called Insights. And it’s Google’s local specific analytics. So all of the features that you fill in, all of the data that’s being created and accumulated by Google, they start to show you that there. And as soon as you start to see data that is being collected by Google about one of the features, that is your indication that, OK, this is a ranking factor and Google is collecting that information. And Google is using it. Right. So in November of last year, about five months after they released the posts, we started to see that they were actually writing down and they were doing the numbers for how many people clicked on your posts, how many posts you’re actually doing, how often you’re doing them. So they’re now starting to judge you on that information. And so the biggest reason of why I would say it’s important for you to do it and take the 10 minutes to do them is because it’s actually a ranking factor at this point. It’s while it’s one of many, it’s still something you could be doing to help yourself.
Liel: [00:15:06] That sounds very powerful. And so, of course, is one of the things that law firms should be paying attention to when leveraging with. And before we leave this subject, let’s just assess, do we know at this point if it’s fine for you to replicate your Facebook post, for instance, on Google My business. Like I know a lot of people will try to be as efficient as possible. Some people are very particular as to using different platforms to show different kinds of points of view and insights to their business. But the reality is that most of people kind of struggle with time and to keep content creation timely so they can actually remain active in these platforms so is it ok to have same post from Facebook appear on your Google my business.
Nalini: [00:15:51] So one of the things that as you say it is a struggle with the time is that a lot of firms do have more than one Google my business as well. So if you have three different profiles across three different locations, the big question is, you know, can I use the same post on all three of those? So the short answer of that right now is yes, for long term planning, is it best practice? I would probably say no. So I would take the extra time to come up with the different topics and little things and try to keep them. You know what happened in your firm this week or take a different lawyer and make it their job to come up with something that week. Right. So you’re sharing the burden. It’s not going to take too much time or what we do in-house actually is a good tip is kind of think about what you can do that’s timeless. So if you were talking about an item that has to do with your practice area, it’s a tidbit about car accidents or it’s a tidbit about DUIs or divorce. Right. That could be posted this week or the fourth week of this month.
Nalini: [00:16:49] So what we do is we actually map out four posts each month at the beginning of the month and then it just you take 30 minutes out of your day and you have it done and then you know what to think about it again. Right. And just make a calendar event for you to do that. The one thing I will say is that with every single new feature that Google does come out with, they a/b test it. Right. And from the testing, they learn how are people abusing it or how is it working well for them? What do they want people to do? And then you’ll start to see guidelines happen. So for posts in particular, one of the things that we saw right away was they came out with a content guideline, meaning certain words and phrases. We’re going to get your post deleted right away. And its e-mails unit says, hey, we took your post down. An example. We learned kind of the hard way and not you know, this is not something that was bad at always, we have criminal lawyers. And so we wrote about sex crimes. Right. As one of the types of things. But the word sex is a no no.
Nalini: [00:17:42] So, you know, take the word rape, those types of things, they’re going to absolutely. To end even drugs. So it’s kind of hard to even write about marijuana when that’s a big, hot topic right now. So it’s very important to kind of look at the guidelines and see what they’ve said no to. But also keeping in mind the example of drugs. Right. That’s really easy to write. A very respectable post with the word drugs in it. That has to do with your business. And so as they see more and more people writing a normal post, but getting suspended for that, by having that that one post be pulled down, Google will say, oh, OK, maybe it’s not that bad. So we’ll need to teach our bot that drug in a bad way is what we’ll delete, but not the others. So there’s definitely guidelines that are happening. And more importantly, just this past two weeks ago, there was a huge glitch where when you posted a certain photo, it automatically deleted your post and it wasn’t a bad photo or anything, but certain types of formats were just getting dinged. So Google had to go back and fix that.
Nalini: [00:18:41] And then in the process of fixing that item, it looked like there might be other glitches, too. So some people are seeing their post show up in the back end as if they did it, but not in the front end. So just keep in mind, if something weird is happening right now, if you try to do this right after this podcast, they are fixing some of their glitches. But look up all the guidelines and you’ll be you’ll be good.
Liel: [00:19:01] Thank you for so many insights, Nalini. And actually it’s always reassuring right? When you are listening on other people that are exploring similar issues as you. And so that’s the thing, right? Every morning when something weird starts happening, you go to the forums and you hear people talking about the same worries and it resonates and it’s always reassuring. But some law firms may not necessarily go to the to the SEO forums and check what’s happening. What’s the forecast of Google’s algorithm or what’s happening in terms of glitches. And so it’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s not always something that you’re doing wrong. It’s not that your content is wrong. Is that Google is, Google is making internal adjustments in order to be able to better serve your content. And that could be one of the reasons. Now, Nalini, one thing that you’ve mentioned here very, very powerful, right? Google gives, Google takes. How can we as law firms, make sure that we can retain our Google my business listing? Right. There is a lot of almost terror stories about people who one day woke up to see their Google my business listing, disappear or be suspended. And so how can we prevent from getting there and what can we do if we actually end up being in that situation? Is there anything to do?
Liel: [00:20:25] Yeah, absolutely. So the biggest thing that’s happening now and since last June, so June was just a big pop in time for Google local. Is the people who are waking up and seeing that their Google my businesses have been suspended. Obviously, there’s something in the Google guidelines that Google said, hey, you’re not following the rules, but what we predominantly been seeing recently is this whole shared office space situation where people are essentially trying to optimize in more than one location. So, hey, I’m doing really well here. I’m ranking number one in in D.C. But I want to go into Arlington now and I’m going to get a Google my business there and try to optimize and I’ll be number one there. So I’m not just getting leads in D.C., but I’m getting leads in Arlington and also going to do that in Fairfax another big city in Virginia right across the river. Right. But Google has said, hey, you don’t really have offices everywhere. You’re just kind of playing the Google game and you’re just trying to optimize through my Google, my businesses. I don’t appreciate that. Right. And so what they started seeing was the trend was that firms saw one firm do that successfully. So then they started doing all this. And all these firms have got offices everywhere. But what people were doing to get around cost. Right. Because obviously, it’s very expensive to staff a full office somewhere else. They were looking to We Works and Regus’s some of these larger shared office and executive suites.
Nalini: [00:21:48] And so Google started to catch on to that and say, hey, look, you know, we had two thousand new Google My businesses be verified this month. That’s pretty high. Let’s see what’s going on. And they’re all happening in legal. And then when they looked up those addresses, they were like, hey, these are all kind of in the same buildings. These are all. They don’t look like real law firms. And so Google said, OK, if you’re doing this, you’re going to get suspended. But what they did was they taught their bot to basically look up that address. And if that address was associated with a shared office space or an executive office suite, then you automatically got suspended. Well, Google realized was there’s a lot of people out there like a lot of you listening right now. Maybe firms that just started six months ago and you’re like, oh, yeah, I want to learn about how I can, you know, market myself and I can grow my business. But you just started. So you actually are using a Regus office. Right. You’re still meeting clients there. But it’s your home base because a brick and mortar in Miami is ridiculous. A brick and mortar in San Francisco is ridiculous. So all of you folks who were legitimately using Regus and We Works. You’re kind of tainted by the folks who were taking advantage of it. And so what happened last summer was even the good folks were getting suspended.
Nalini: [00:22:57] And so you asked, you know, what happens if you are suspended, but you’re doing all the right things and you need to appeal to Google and say, hey, you got the wrong bad guy. So Google did create an appeals process where, you know, people started to go into the Google chat and call Google and their phones are ringing off the hook. So Google created a form to answer the questions that they need to know about if you really are in that space. And there are five certain photos that you need to take to prove that you’re there. But even when you were the good guy, because they had so many people emailing them, they were backlogged. And so unfortunately, while there is a process to appeal it, it does take time. And so your SEO company. You know, just today someone was saying that they were nervous because their SEO company had sent the photos and they hadn’t heard back for a week or so. And honestly, at the top of the support page right now on Google support, it literally has a banner that says we’re receiving a high volume of questions about suspended listings. If you’ve appealed for reinstatement, our team is reviewing your appeal as quickly as we can. Thanks for your patience. If Google took the time to make that a banner because they realize it’s a problem, I would say don’t panic.
Nalini: [00:24:14] Don’t panic. If you are really there, if you have the photos to prove it. It’s going to come back. What sucks is that your Google my business is not showing to your consumers for those weeks that you’re waiting. But it’s going to come back. So I would say just Google’s on high alert. They’re being crazy and they’re sweeping wide. But you can appeal it. You will be fine if you’re doing the right.
Grace: [00:24:34] That’s really scary. And good to know at the same time. Right. Like you said, I guess we know that they’re just taking their time on it. And if you’re doing it right. Just hold off and you’re gonna get it right. Basically, you’re saying.
Nalini: [00:24:49] I think it’s really interesting, too, because if if this was a service, right. If you had paid the Yellow Pages or the phonebook to put your ad in there. Right. And they forgot to print your ad for two months and you lost a lot of business because of that. There would be some sort of I apologize. You’ll get a month free, right. Something like that. Right now, all of these businesses, as you know, Google has made it so that they become a real part of how you get leads. If your profile is not there anymore for over a month, that’s really damaging to a business. And it’s upsetting because there’s there’s no like. Oh, I’m sorry. I wish that there was. And that’s where the frustration I think comes from, from all the folks that I’ve heard. So I’d be interested to see if Google does anything in terms of, oh, we suspended this Google my business wrongfully. I wonder if we give them extra juice or something like that. It would only be fair. But, you know, it does suck as a business. You do hurt from it. So I hear the cries and the panic and I get it. It is dollars down the drain, but it’s also there’s nothing you can do at this point, unfortunately.
Liel: [00:25:48] Yeah. And as a matter of fact, Nalini, one thing that was even more frustrating is one of our clients. We work with get him reinstated their listing. And after we’ve submitted all of the information and Google reviewed, they said, you know what, everything looks legitimate. We’re good. We’re gonna go ahead and reactivate the listing. But then they had a technical issue internally. They could not reactivate the listing. Any stated, like already authorized, like it’s good, everything’s, you’re legitimate, but we still cannot show your listing. And it went like that for almost a month.
Nalini: [00:26:25] Yeah.
Liel: [00:26:25] From the moment they acknowledged that you guys are good, there is nothing else that you need to do from our end to prove that you’re a legitimate business operating at that location. Nevertheless, we just cannot get your listing back up. We have a technical glitch and we’re sorry about it. And that’s where it starts. That’s where it ends. Like there’s nothing there’s no other appeal that you can do to that. And I think not. Yeah. I think we’re moving forward in the conversation we’re going to have to also acknowledge why is it so important to diversify? But the reality is that really nothing else compares to Google. Right. The power that the Google my business listing has will hardly match any other directory. While there are others that are important, not as important as Google my business. Grace, I know you had one more question about Google My business, right?
Grace: [00:27:14] Yeah, I did. It’s a little bit of a different topic in the same vein. Right. So I wanted to ask you a little bit about a zero click searches. So I know people look at their analytics and and they see things in zero clicks and they’re wondering, what does that mean? Can you give us a little insight into that?
Nalini: [00:27:33] Yeah, absolutely. And as folks who if you follow blogs, you’re gonna start seeing a lot of this because, you know, just this morning I saw something come in from Search Engine Journal, but a lot of time has been spent on doing some a/b testing for the past month.
Nalini: [00:27:48] And so there’s a lot of data on the zero click idea. And so with zero click basically means is Google has become successful at what they were trying to do. Meaning that Google wanted to have so much information on the search result page that you could find your answer without having to click into a Web site and click to go somewhere else. Right. They could keep you captive forever in their little Google search result page, whether that be with snippets that you guys have talked about if you’re listening to other podcasts. You know, before this or whether that means that there’s like some nice looking information as the search result. So you don’t have to click into the website, but you can see like the answer is there or that your Google my business is answering that information with the post or whatever that may be. So the zero click is something that makes businesses very nervous because it’s not bringing traffic to their site, but it’s showing that Google is so powerful that you need to get as much as you possibly can on that search result. Right. So making sure that you’re taking care of your coding and the technical and the back end of your Web site to make sure that you get everything you possibly can get out there in that first initial view.
Nalini: [00:29:06] It is almost like sales. It’s like intake something that you guys can, you know, as lawyers can relate to. If you pick up the phone and you don’t wow that person, they’re going to hang up the phone and go to the second person. Right. And so in the same sense, you’re portraying that first initial call as what you show up in that search result. So from the local standpoint, it means making sure a post is there, making sure questions and answers are there, making sure your reviews are really, really good. So that when they look at that on the first look, they want to call you up or they want to convert with your brand because most likely they’ve already made a decision, which is insane. But that’s basically that zero click is that people can make a decision without even having to click off of the search result page. And so it’s really important that you put everything you can there and you make it look pretty.
Liel: [00:29:54] So, Nalini, a quick question with regards to that. So does that mean that we should be looking at metrics that don’t just limit to actual clicks and traffic that gets to your website? Should we actually start considering impressions on the local pack, impressions of your featured snippets? Is that kind of information is going to become every time more correlated to the number of business that you’re generating, new clients, new leads coming your way? Is there going to be a way that we’re going to be able to kind of like connect dots between us seeing our business being featured more, more and more on the search results page and also seeing an increase on calls without us necessarily being able to trace it back by clicks?
Nalini: [00:30:41] Yeah, absolutely. That was that’s a great distinction that you make there. So worth mentioning, just like what you said. It just backs up that fact, is that the insights that I mentioned earlier where it shows the data on the back end of your local business. One of the main metrics is impressions. It’s it does show you the click through for how many people go to your website, how many people have clicked to call you. But it is very true that what they do is they show you how many times you just showed up in the search result as a result. And they actually take it a step further and they show you what searches you showed up for. So the queries are listed there as like best law firm in Chattanooga or, you know, lawyer, maybe just your name as a branded search. But what you can do is actually go look at those top 10 queries that make you show up in that search result and even try to optimize for those, because if you’re showing for them already want to try to optimize those words even more and show even more, because like you said, really, you want to show versus get the click. It’s about that first touch in that first view.
Grace: [00:31:48] That makes perfect sense. And I think that kind of takes us into the next question before we get into our next topic. And that is why do you feel directory citations matter?
Nalini: [00:32:00] So this one I love, because a lot of people will say, well, citations are so like 10 years ago. Right. They don’t even matter anymore since Google has come out with all these new features and all these new ways to determine how consumers are engaging with you and why you’re important. Right. People are like reviews are the most important and maybe it is, but every little piece counts. And so the way that I like to describe citations is that originally the way that Google determined who would be in the top three when you looked up something, right. That map pack at the top was based on citations. So it was based on which person, which brand had the most directory listings that were consistent that had the exact same name, address and phone number on the directories as was on your Google my business listing. Right. And so if you were a mess and you change your phone number, you moved offices and you forgot to update your directory listings. Back in the day when Google was so it was less AI and so machine oriented. If even, you know, a one number in the phone number was wrong or if you had a comma in the wrong place or you put it, if you had put like P.l instead of place. Right, those things would not connect as the exact same on your profile. It would say, Oh, this doesn’t match exactly. So I can’t give you the juice. And if you didn’t have that juice, you couldn’t be shown. Now everybody has all these, you know, Google taught its bots that he P L equals place that AVE is avenue, right. That you’re allowed to have those little differentiations. But the thing now is, if you don’t have your citations, you don’t even get to come into the game to play. It’s like the the foundation item you have to do in order to even be considered. So think about it that way. And that makes you think, oh, this is pretty important, right? It’s not a race of how many you have versus your competitor, but it’s a factor of. Do you have them or not? And so you need to have them and you need to make sure that they are consistent. A V E can be there instead of avenue now. But you still need to have generally the same name, the same address and phone number so that it can match.
Liel: [00:34:07] Nalini, since we’re in the topic of citations. Can you also explain a little bit how can you use a schema to make sure that your citations aligned also with what’s on your website? Right. And so Google can also see that correlation, which will boost your credibility in terms of how reliable information about your business is available online.
Nalini: [00:34:32] Yeah, absolutely. So while you already verify your address by getting that postcard and going through that whole thing, Google still wants to make sure that your Web site is connected to the right address and they want to have a double check. Right? Another check on you that your address is correct. And the way that you do this is through schema that you mentioned. So schema, a lot of people realize is for technical for your search results to look really pretty. Like you can have frequently asked questions in your result or you can have a video show up or something like that. That’s really cool. But two of the really important aspects for local SEO is organization schema. So having the name of your brand be marked up, meaning that you have certain coding in the back end of your about us page or even in your home page that says this is your actual brand name and it matches what’s on your Google my business profile. The second one is location markup. So by having your… So whether you do it on your contact page or your footer of your Web site, the bottom on every page. And we think best practice just personally is the footer.
Nalini: [00:35:41] You put that address there exactly as it is. On your Google my business, and then you put that coding on the back end to say this is my address. And so when the bot reads it, it says, oh, this matches your Google my business, it’s real. Some of the things that we’ve seen because Google is so hyper sensitive right now was actually we had a new client and so they were getting their Google my business created for the very first time. Right. So we we put the information in there. We prompted the pin. That client started with us at one address with their Web site. Right. And we were in the process of creating their new Web site. So on their existing Web site, we did not update their address to the new place they had just moved a week ago. On the Google My Business, we used the new address so they could get the postcard right. So now we’re going to have to verify it. We get the postcard and we say, OK, we’re going to put in the pin. We put in the pin. And it says, you know, verified but suspended.
Nalini: [00:36:41] We’re like, holy crap. That was quick. Well, we just we just discuss what’s going on. And so what ended up happening was Google had a second right then and there check to look at the Web site that was linked. Right. We had to put a Web site in there for the Google my business. And they looked at the footer and they saw the address was different than the address we verified. And so right away when it had the bot crawl, it it said this address does not match this address. We can’t verify this. As soon as a day later, we updated the address on their old site. It went live and it was fine. So that’s to show how quickly in real time Google’s actually checking those things. And that’s probably happened to other people. But you know, you live and you learn, you figure that out. So really having your Web site updated as soon as you move, if you’re updating your Google my business is really important.
Liel: [00:37:27] It’s a good reminder, right? A lot of these rules are monitored by bots. And so, you know, a small change will actually be almost immediately recognized. I mean, it’s terrifying. Right. Going through the process of having to change your location. So because you never know how it’s going to backfire. And so as much as you want to prepare, there’s always an opportunity for something unexpected to occur. So thanks for sharing that example. Grace, what else do we have lined up here?
Grace: [00:37:56] So our next topic is fairly brief, but I wanted to discuss it because I know it’s a big deal right now and that’s on voice search. How do you see voice search influencing local search?
Nalini: [00:38:09] Yeah. Absolutely. So I think that voice search with local search is kind of similar to organic search and page search. Right.
Nalini: [00:38:18] By being able to understand what people are saying and for Google to understand the words, it’s going to be very similar. The only difference is that it’s hyper local. So the way that Google determines a three pack is based on where someone’s standing. So when someone’s standing somewhere, Google knows your location just by your phone or by your I.P. address. And so that’s the only aspect I think that’s really changed when you’re thinking about local versus regular organic for voice search. But the biggest aspect is that you see things like Bert just came out, which talks about how Google’s A.I. is becoming so sophisticated that it’s able to understand each word and concepts. It’s not just we know some synonyms now. So the example that I always give is it’s crazy because when you used to say into your phone, you know, or type. Can I pick up prescriptions for someone? Right. You’re asking the question of can you pick it up for another person? Are you allowed to by policy? Right. But what Google used to show you is results of what time CBS is open. Can you pick up a prescription? Right. But since Bert about it, you know, that came out a couple months ago. Google is now showing you the policy of the pharmacy. It now understands so much more how that question is being asked. Right. And what you’re really looking for. So the more specific you can be in your content on your Web site when you are also kind of including the locations of, say, you are in D.C., the more you can do those long tail keyword pages that have the word D.C. in it. And that is connected to your, you know, your profile. Maybe you do a post a week with something that has to do with, you know, rear end collisions in D.C., something that somebody might ask instead of people asking for a car accident lawyer. Now, they may ask for I got in a rear end collision what to do. Right. They’ll be more specific because it’s like they’re talking to a human on the phone. And so with voice search, you want to make sure that you’re doing more specific long tail examples of what people might ask about. And you want to put those on your Google my business in the form of a question and answer or a post, something like that, so that as people ask real questions, you have that real answer there.
Liel: [00:40:41] Yeah, that’s actually great insight. A great take on voice search, Nalini. And so one thing that I also think it’s very interesting to see as to where Google wants to take all of this voice assistant utility is to really get their bot to actually complete actions on behalf of the user. And like the next step, which it’s already being tested, as a matter of fact, is for the Google assistant to actually complete actions directly with a business, whether that’s booking a consultation or getting some specific information after having talked to the actual business. So what we’re seeing now is that the Google assistant is actually calling like dialing out the businesses and the Google assistant, like a robot is basically talking at agent on the phone and saying, I would like to book an appointment for this and that. Right. And so while I think there are still a lot of glitches to be overcome until that really becomes very effective and useful, that’s really where we’re heading. And I think, you know, I remember from last year at South by Southwest, one of the things that people were predicting. Well, experts on the matter were predicting was that people were going to start relying very heavily on this technology, because every time we’re becoming more and more private and less wanting to interact with other humans at times. And so the more that we can get machines to do for us, the more we’re going to use it. And so we’ll see maybe one day we’re going to want to book our free consultations through the Google assistant. So until that day comes. Why don’t we start talking about how is it that we can measure results? Like what are the metrics, Nalini, that we should be looking at? Whenever we are trying to measure results for local search and we’ve talked a little bit about that already. But really, if you’re a law firm that’s paying a vendor for them to optimize for you specifically for local SEO, what are things that you should be looking at to understand whether this actually going on the right track?
Nalini: [00:43:03] Yeah, absolutely. So the obvious one that everybody kind of thinks about is where was I ranking before I started working with an SEO company in the local pack? Right. If you’re not in the top three, you click more places and you can see maybe your number 14.
Nalini: [00:43:17] So, you know, after six straight months when you should see a little bit of movement or eight to twelve months, you start to take a look at that and say, hey, have I gradually been moving up? Am I 7 now? Am I for now? Right. That’s the obvious one. But something that if you have a marketing coordinator or a director or someone else or you love analytics yourself, something that I would say to look at very quickly is in that insights tab in the back end of Google my business, there are two items, one that I want to caution people of. So there’s one that’s impressions. And so that the impressions what it does is it shows how many times you may have shown up on the map view. Something that’s really, really important to know is that number may look like thirty thousand in a month. And you might say, oh, well, I showed up a lot for that. But what happens with that is it’s actually very, very heightened and it’s very dramatized because the way that it actually pulls that data is if I were to look up tacos and I clicked into the map view. Right. The map view is really big. And so it’s going to show me about 20 or 30 taco places in a three mile radius. Yeah. Every single red dot that’s on that map just got an impression. So I may not even have clicked into it. I mean, I’ve even considered it. I may not have even read of Red Dot or senior red dot. Right. But you’re getting an impression data count there. And so you need to take that with a grain of salt that it’s not your actual number of how many times you’re being seen right now.
Liel: [00:44:50] Google has realized that that’s really terrible and it’s not an easy way for them to know who the authority is. They’re working on figuring out how to make that better. But the one thing you do want to look at is it’s called discovery. And so it looks like a little pie chart. It’s got three colors in there. And I don’t have it in front of me. But I know for a fact that it gives you a nice key and it tells you what those search result impressions are. This impression numbers can be much lower because it is more realistic. These are what the actual queries were typed in to have you show up for what you want to make sure is happening over time, if you are using an SEO company, is that your branded searc, so when people look up your firm name or your name as an attorney that’s staying similar or you know, that can grow to that’s fine, because when people do that, you’re going to show up, you should be showing up or something wrong. But the other color that’s in therei is non-branded searches. So when people look up personal injury, lawyer or divorce lawyer, DUI lawyer, drug lawyer, those keywords that don’t have your name at all. But you’re showing up, right? If your SEO is working, then you’re showing up more often for those keyword terms and you should see that number grow. So if for keyword terms, you’re showing up 10 percent of the time, when you start with your company, you want to be showing up 30 percent of the time, 40 percent of the time growing. So make sure that that piece of the pie is getting bigger and people are finding you by the services that they need from you.
Liel: [00:46:20] Excellent. Thank you so much, Nalini. And I guess before we move on to a different topic which is selecting an SEO vendor, right. What to look at, the skill sets that one should have. I do want to pick your brain a little bit as to what do you anticipate local search to evolve over the next year or so. And when I say a local search, I also want you to consider like the first page of search results in Google. Like what can we expect for that to transition into? Because I think over the past few years we’ve seen such a dramatic change, and particularly whether you’re looking at it from desktop or from mobile. It’s almost two different experiences. And I’d like to hear whether you feel that, you know, there are you know, that the desktop experience is going to become its own thing and the mobile experience is going to become its own thing is going to be streamlined. What what do you think’s going to happen moving forward?
Nalini: [00:47:30] So I’ve been screaming this from a rooftop everywhere that I speak. And I am a gambling person. I do want to put money on it. But I think that I just I want to say by December, we’re going to have a local five pack. I think that they’re going to absolutely extend that as they’re coming out with all these new features and all these ways to find a number of authoritative results. Right. They they may want to say, I should give my people some more results, more answers. And because Google has spent so much, it almost seems like more time focusing on developing the Google my business profile and the local optimization side of things. It seems like. Why not make that bigger on the search result page and make the organic shorter? And obviously I love organic, but I do see that happening. And I also see, you know, how we have the snippets happening in organic or out for your paid ads. You can have like here’s a deal that’s being run. Here’s a click to call phone number. I see us having snippets within the Google my business three or five pack where maybe if you, if somebody searches for a car accident lawyer. Right. And there’s a really good review about them helping settle a car accident case that the review is going to show up right under their name there where you can click.
Nalini: [00:48:49] Right. So the idea of saying without having to click into this person’s Web site, I can see a little bit more about them. I know they can handle car accidents, this is a great review. Let me just call them again with the no click. I don’t have to go to the website, but I know enough about them within that three pack. And the reason I think that is because with reviews I don’t know if you saw this, but the newest thing is when you click into reviews now there’s a filter and Google has taken every word that has been mentioned more than three times in the reviews and it has created a filter at the top. So now some of the words are like respectable understanding, car wreck lawyer. And if you click on it, you can see all the reviews that actually use those words. So it seems like first step is to be able to organize them. Second step is to pull that into the search results. So those are kind of things that I I just feel like they’re going to happen based on what they’ve done in the past. And I do think local will get bigger by the end of this year, not even by next year.
Liel: [00:49:48] So when you say that you think that the local pack will grow to be 5, you mean 5 organic results plus the paying direct paid listing there. Yeah. So that’s pretty much like that’s over that, particularly on a mobile device that’s… .
Liel: [00:50:08] That’s already including scrolling. And so it really speaks for, you know, where the future of search engine optimization is heading. Right. It’s very, very interesting to see how all this is going to evolve. Well, thank you so much. Nalini that’s quite visionary from your stand point.
Liel: [00:50:29] And so maybe towards the end of the year we should call you back…
Nalini: [00:50:31] I know…
Liel: [00:50:31] We can actually have that conversation okay, Nalini?
Grace: [00:50:37] I want to come back to this, because…
Nalini: [00:50:39] I have to tell you, I said it first.
Grace: [00:50:42] In Camera podcast by Nalini from Blu Shark Digital Guys.
Grace: [00:50:48] And I have a comment about that, actually. So from the very beginning, I’ve always told people when you write reviews, write a real review. Right. And a part of that is mentioning, obviously with the idea that this is a law firm and you’re being represented for legal reasons. Right. You don’t want to tell people, oh, I slipped and fell, you know, fell in Wal-Mart or whatever. But, you know, they took care of me when I fell down, you know, things like that. Those are the types of reviews that I request and always have, you know, whether I work at Target or wherever I work. They said, you know, can you mentioned the product if you can? Can you mentioned your experience with it? And whoever it is, even the name of the person in this case would be an attorney. Right. Where you would say this, this attorney really helped me out. So and so and so on. With the case that I had about a slip and fall. There you go. And there’s your point, Nalini, about pulling out the words.
Nalini: [00:51:45] And so when somebody looks up, slip and fall, that’s gonna be a really good review that they’ll want to show and easily know that they can show.
Grace: [00:51:51] Exactly right.
Liel: [00:51:53] Very, very good point. Grace there. And Nalini, as we were mentioning on selecting local SEO vendor, what are what are the skill sets that we should be looking at?
Nalini: [00:52:04] Yeah, I think that if you’re interviewing people for local specifically, I think one is making sure that they’re knowledgeable and not just knowledgeable on what’s happened in the past, but how knowledgeable are they on what’s happening right now. Because it is such a volatile aspect of SEO, where it’s always changing. If you haven’t read about what happened last month, you’re already two months behind. Right. So I would say people who can have an educated conversation with you about what they think they’re gonna do in the future for your accounts. Right. Has a strategy and is thinking ahead. Someone who has, you know, essentially you want proof of concept. So someone who has the experience working with a number of Google my businesses. So I would say, hey, you know how many? The same thing has been lost on how many Web sites you manage. Well, how many Google my businesses do manage. Right. And you want to be large enough so that you’ve had things happen to you. Like I said, where we tried to verify it and we figured out right away the Web site had the wrong phone number. You want to be able to have had those those goods and those bads and have learned from things and know what to do. So I do think making sure that they know what’s going on right now and in the future and that they have the experience with it. Those are going to be the two biggest things. And if there’s one other, which this is like finding the right right, right person and you get lucky. If the company has it, if the company is somebody that’s in touch with Google. You’re like done. That’s it. They have the backdoor to Google. You’re great. But if not, then having a company that’s not afraid to say, hey, we do have a contractor who does SEO that knows Google because if we can’t handle it in-house, we have someone that we can escalated to that’s not Google support. So knowing what their connection is to Google is also very good.
Grace: [00:53:54] Very, very true. Right.
Liel: [00:53:55] Very very good point.
Grace: [00:53:55] Exactly, right Liel?
Liel: [00:53:59] I mean, you remember my last set up on the AAJ. Like, I actually created a whole banner that says, well, we’re Google partners and just put it right there on the front. Like before anything, our name or anything, because it’s really so important. Right. I mean, like what? There are certain times, like when things as we were talking, we’ve mention it so many times during this episode like there is… Google is not a perfect machine. Like things break. And so how do you make sure that you get, first of all, the reassurance that things from your end are OK? Right. And then that you’re actually talking to the right people to get to the point where things are going to get fixed for you, because the reality is that, you know, those who are pushing, those who have the connections, those who are following up on things and have direct access are going to see faster results that those who are just sitting and waiting. And that’s why it’s so important. Right. Like, particularly with us that we handle a lot of pay per click. Like I really dare people to ask, like, when was the last time that they actually got a refund on a click that they think that it’s illegitimate and most people they’ll tell you well, never I didn’t even know that you can dispute that. Well, you can, but it depends as to how you know, how much of a connection do you have to the actual organization and insights you have as to how to manage this kind of situation. So, yeah, very, very good point.
Grace: [00:55:21] So I think we’ve covered just about all of it, but I want to bring it home right with our little takeaways here. And I do want to mention something that I don’t know if you’ve touched on or not, but it has to do with the local guides. So I’m actually a a local guide set level seven. So I’ve been invited to the event that’s going to take place.
Nalini: [00:55:43] Oh, yeah, very nice, look at you!
Grace: [00:55:45] So, I mean, I have to apply obviously you have to make a video, all this crazy stuff. But. So if you have somebody on your staff that’s a local guide, try to take advantage. You know, if you can tell me if I’m wrong, Nalini is just something that I know I get a lot of perks because I’m a local guide.
Grace: [00:56:03] I utilize that on behalf of Persist and Gacovino and Lake and basically everyone I work for, you know. So, I mean, do you have any comments about that before I ask my last question?
Nalini: [00:56:13] Absolutely. What you said. I can’t echo that enough to take advantage because, you know, a lot of times when there is spammy competitors out there, especially if you’re an SEO agency, having someone who is a high level Google guide who has the trust factor from Google already, if you go there and you say, hey, this person who says D.C. personal injury car wreck lawyer as their name and you go there and you suggest an edit and you say this is not their real name, it’s actually Bob Smith, law firm. Your account is going to carry more weight than an average Joe who is not a local guide. So it does have perks for when you want to get something on a competitor’s change because they’re actually being spammy. It also helps if you ever have any issues with your Google My business to be able to waive that badge and say, hey, look, I’m one of you. Let me through. Like I’m not a crazy person. So absolutely and you know that, it’s kind of fun to become a local guide.
Nalini: [00:57:14] I want to throw a question to you. Basically, you know, you get points for adding photos, get points for suggesting things and catching spammy things or from like reviewing people. So how did you kind of get there? Is it just doing a lot of reviews or where was most your points?
Grace: [00:57:29] So it’s a combination, actually. I visit a lot of food places and I love food. And every time I went, I would take a picture of my food, the location of the outside, and I’d even take videos, you know, because you could post the videos along with it altogether. And I would get, you know, very in-depth reviews, not just like, you know, a sentence. I’d be a hundred three hundred word reviews. And, you know, for every one of them, they give me additional points. And so I’d get, you know, one after the other. And again, I travel to a lot of places and I eat a lot of food. So that’s mainly where it came from. Oh, and I got a lot of really good points for missing places. So if there’s a location around you that you’re able to say, OK. Google says, I don’t know what this is or where it is. And you go there and you say, OK, I know what this is. And you put the name and you even take a picture of the space that’s there or the location. And you add that that gives you even more points than pretty much anything else. So that’s good. If you’ve never been right, a Google my business listing, you just started and you have somebody that’s a Google guide that says, OK, this law firm is a missing place. Well, guess what? You can go put that as the missing place and Google will now thank you for that, because you said this law firm is truly here. You have a picture of it and the name of it, and you’re doing yourself a favor, doing the law firm a favor, especially if you are Google Guide.
Nalini: [00:58:55] Yeah, absolutely. No, and that’s really cool and really important too.
Grace: [00:59:00] So that brings me to my last question. All right. Let’s bring it home here, Nalini. So for law firms that are actually managing their local SEO strategy in-house, which, you know, I think we can suggest at the beginning, but maybe as you get bigger, you really should have somebody that helps you and is an expert. But let’s leave that aside. What are three things that an in-house SEO firm that they’re handling in-house? What are three things they can do that will actually make an impact on their local SEO strategy?
Nalini: [00:59:28] Yes, I’m actually we get this for last, but I’m going to actually give some really cool, actually, how you do tip. So everybody will say, you know, fill in all the fields.
Nalini: [00:59:37] And that one, I’m just gonna leave it that fill in every field that is on the back end. There is one in particular there are two, one primary category that’s really important. Google keeps coming out with new and newer categories. So before there didn’t used to be denials insurance lawyer that exists now. Right. Very niche things are coming out. Make sure that your niche, your knish practice area is there. You’re doing like personal injury lawyer. That’s fine. But if your niche item is there, go ahead and put it there because you’re going to be more specific to Google. They’re going to know more about what you do. Right. So your primary category really important. The date established if you’ve been a firm or you’ve been barred for the longest time, putting the date that you were barred or the date that your firm was established is going to help you right away over those people who have just graduated law school and they’re playing the SEO game. So those two make sure they’re filled in. But everything, fill them in. That’s tip one. Tip two ,reviews. Everybody knows you need to do them.
Nalini: [01:00:38] But there is actually something called BDAY bud. There you go, so bdaybud.com. And what it does is it automates sending birthday wishes to people. And I would say take your list of existing clients and past clients and actually put their date of birth in there and have something shoot out to them that says, you know, it was great working with you, blah blah blah. But then one little line that says, if you wouldn’t mind leaving a review, I’d really appreciate it. The fact that you’re remembering them a year after you’ve talked to them or you know how long it’s been, they’re going to be like, oh, shit, this guy remembers me. That’s great. Or this one remembers me. Right? They’re already happy with you. If they can click on that link and it takes them right to where they they just click a star number and write some words. You make it dummy proof and easy for them. You’re likely to get a few reviews out of that. So. Get reviews and try to use that, set that up so easy to get an intern or a marketing associate to do that for you. And the last one is kind of really brand new and very cool.
Nalini: [01:01:51] Google, just like we talked about, it’s becoming more of a social platform. It’s really starting to keep track of how many photos are posted and who’s posting them and where are they posted. So what I would urge you to do is if you Google geotag photo for Google my business, you will find the one tool that everyone is using. You basically can upload a photo type in a city and it will actually embed the latitude and longitude of the city in that photo. So when the bot crawls that photo on your Google my business profile. It will see that that photo was taken in Denver or in D.C. or wherever. And the more photos you have uploaded that have that geotag that latitude and longitude, the more likely you are to rank in that city. So take all the photos that you have, put them through that program. Geotag them and upload them back to your site. It’s really important because Google is going to start really considering those photos. And that’s something you can get ahead of people right now since these people aren’t doing it.
Grace: [01:02:53] That’s such a good tip. You know, I’m going to go download it right now, right?
Nalini: [01:02:59] geoimgr.com. I can’t remember it off the top of my head. But if you Google, I’ll be the first thing that pops, right.
Liel: [01:03:04] That’s actually great. And obviously, photos taken from your mobile devices, most of times they include that information. And that’s that kind of like goes in line with what Google is every time relying more is on information gathered through mobile data and I think this is a really good tip. Nalini, taking your existing photos and marking them up with coordinates, that’s cool. Grace, well, I think we’ve reached the end of this conversation. Again, Nalini you thank you so much for filling these conversation with valuable examples. And you know, an amazing perspective and predictions for the future of Google search. So we will definitely have a follow up to this conversation and invite you back to see whether those predictions that you have had came to fruition or what’s what’s what’s in it for us when it comes down to local search. I just want to thank you again for making the time talking to us. We know you’re very busy. And so we hope that we get to welcome you back to our conversation on legal marketing sometime soon.
Nalini: [01:04:18] Yeah, I very much appreciate the time you guys have allowed me to speak here. And it’s always fun speaking with both of you. Thanks, guys.
Liel: [01:04:24] Thank you.
Grace: [01:04:25] Thank you, Nalini.
Liel: [01:04:31] Well, Grace. Another great and successful conversation on SEO, I think you know, talking to Nalini is always just like super exciting. She knows so much and she’s so passionate about it. Right. Like…
Grace: [01:04:45] So much fun.
Liel: [01:04:46] Yeah. And I mean, probably this conversation would have gone on for another 30 minutes. We would have taken out many more insights that could have helped. But I think we’ve got some very, very good and actionable substance out of this conversation, Grace. So why don’t we recap what are those takeaways that are actionable and that really anyone can go and implement? Like almost right away.
Grace: [01:05:13] So I think what I took from all of this and you correct me if I’m wrong or just add to it, right. Local search SEO is primarily Google my business. Right. So I think we can just cover a couple of the best practices involved in the Google my business. Based on what Nalini told us. What do you think?
Liel: [01:05:31] 100 percent agreed. Right. And the only thing that Nalini said is kind of like your entry ticket to the local search game is your citations.
Grace: [01:05:45] That’s right. It’s listed correctly all the way across the board.
Liel: [01:05:48] So while we’re going gonna be spending more time talking about how to optimize your Google my business listing, it is still very, very important that your name, address and telephone number is consistently listed across all the citations that are relevant for local search. In the past, we have mentioned tools that will help you do so, whether it’s Moz local, whether it’s Yext, whether you want to pay a service like Bright Local to do it for you, or if you are working with an agency, most likely they will be taking care of that for you. But it’s extremely important that you have your citations taken care of and they’re consistently providing the information that Google is comparing your Google my business against to.
Grace: [01:06:36] That’s right, so it’s the same across the board guys as, I mean Liel and I can’t say it enough and can’t emphasize it enough. Consistency is key. Consistency and content consistency in local search consistency in your address. Right. So consistency is key and that includes in the best practices. Right. So I think that kind of takes us to the next section when it comes to, you know, the date established. And, you know, you need to make sure you include very specific and certain things that Nalini mentioned as an example. The primary category. If it’s available as a niche, you need to include your primary category as a niche. Again, this will just help you. And it doesn’t further subdivide your firm. It helps further subdivide it for the user, which is what Google cares about, right Liel?
Liel: [01:07:24] Yes. And so category great area to stand out. Of course, you want to make sure that every single field that’s given out by Google, you you complete it. You’re adding information. Don’t leave, don’t leave blank spaces.
Grace: [01:07:42] Right. And you wish to write about us.
Liel: [01:07:47] And I think like really one one very remarkable tip that Nalini is giving us here is that you potentially have pictures on your Google my business listing that were not necessarily taking out of a mobile device and therefore, they are not marked down with coordinates.And so Google doesn’t necessarily know where the picture comes from, but you can run it through an application and get that tag added to the file.
Liel: [01:08:17] And so Google will now see the photo and your listing overall as more relevant and it makes all the sense of the world. Right. Because a lot of people actually put professional photography on their Google my business listing and so professional photography will not necessarily have this information attached natively. So by actually adding it, you’re increasing your chances to gain more visibility. Right?
Grace: [01:08:47] Right. Right.
Liel: [01:08:49] OK. Well, I guess, Grace, there’s one more element that we spent quite a quite some time talking about, because it seems like it has so much potential. And that’s Google my business posts.
Grace: [01:09:01] I think she gave a really good tip on how to handle it. Right. You create four posts for the month at the beginning of evergreen content that is specific for Google My business, so that your best practices state that over time you should always have something slightly different for the different social posts or social media platforms that you’re on. Consider Google, a its own as well and make sure that you’re building it out for that target. Right. You know, it’s just something they should utilize.
Liel: [01:09:32] You definitely want to make sure that you are constantly creating new posts, new content. Right. We went from having very limited amount of characters to almost 750 characters now being allowed. So it has certainly evolved. And Google is seeing that businesses are really leveraging these. And so definitely a great opportunity to use. And I think you’re right. Great. When you say like, you know, it doesn’t take much of an effort if you just, you know, at the beginning of each month, take some time to really create your post. Think about your post for the next coming month. And if you have multiple locations, then tweak those posts also so that they’re not actually identical amongst them, but they have a local element that would be relevant to each one of your different office locations. So definitely something that needs to be utilized. Grace, another thing that I really like that Nalini mentioned is the feature that allows you to book appointments, like schedule appointments during the times that your office is either closed. So you’re not missing out on people who are maybe exploring your Google my business listing. You could actually get themselves aligned for an appointment next day or in the next available time slot that you have, that you are open for business. What do you think?
Grace: [01:10:55] Right. That’s right. I mean, you know that to me, that’s part of this set office hours, right? Scheduling appointments, feature and use the Free Appointment setter. They are all free tools. Why don’t you use them? And I think they’re super important to make sure that you do use every feature set that is in there. They’re there for you and they’re there for the user. I agree.
Liel: [01:11:13] Yep.
Liel: [01:11:14] So, Grace, I think we’ve had a great conversation on local SEO and I’m excited for what’s coming next. Right. So like these conversations have been getting better and better. And I’m really looking forward to next week for us to meet and have another legal marketing conversation here at in-camera podcast. Thank you very much all for joining. And we’re looking forward to talking to you again soon. Bye bye.
Liel: [01:11:14] Bye, guys.
Liel: [01:11:47] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe, tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.