Local SEO Strategies with Doron Milner
In the podcast:
03:31 – Doron Background
09:13 – Local Listing Optimization Part 1
18:04 – Local Listing Optimization Part 2
22:19 – Local Listing Optimization Part 3
25:57 – The Role of Social Media Posting in Your Local Listing
29:38 – Local Listing Optimization Part 4
30:56 – Google’s Rule Regarding Mobile and Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
34:04 – Backlinking and What is it About
40:01 – Acquiring Backlinks
43:07 – Getting Reviews to your Listing and Why is it Important
46:27 – Produce Content that includes Local Information
49:12 – Where You Can Find More About Doron Milner
If you have a local business, Doron Milner reveals practical SEO strategies that you can use to rank for local terms.
Ilana: Welcome back to another episode of talking web marketing. I’m your host Ilana Wechsler and today I am interviewing a friend of mine actually called one Milner and like myself to Ron has a digital agency where he’s a little bit different to mind where he only services local businesses so a local dentist local podiatrist or chiropractor etc you get the idea so businesses that really have only only want to service local communities that have no desire to rank for terms or appear for ad terms nationally or internationally and so therefore a lot of the advanced strategies we talked about on on our podcast and other podcasts that are spoken about don’t apply to local businesses which is why I I’ve asked around to come on today’s episode because the local SEO strategy.
These are really very different to if you’re a business that’s trying to expand nationally or internationally. So in today’s episode to run it has been very generous with his knowledge he has shared six, I guess, fundamental strategies that a local business should have in place if they want to rank for local terms. He said he’s been very generous, you could apply these yourself, it doesn’t require a little bit of rolling up your sleeves and doing the work or alternatively you could if you’ve got a staff member, you could hand them this to do list and they could very easily implement these strategies. It’s not rocket science. It’s not that technical ends but really it’s a lot of legwork that does need to be done if you want to rank for local terms. So we do cover some very practical applications. If you’re on the go listening to this. Don’t worry about taking notes because we’ve created a summary PDF that you can download really easily so you can just print that out or two for yourself.
For give it to the staff member. Or alternatively, you could hire an agency as well. But if you didn’t want to hire an agency yet, just print this out. And we’ve got you covered on there with the summary PDF, how do you get this PDF, just go to talking web marketing dot com, that will actually redirect you to our agency website to the podcast section on our website, and you can find the episode there. So without further ado, let’s get stuck in today’s episode.
Doron: Thank you very much.
Ilana: It’s lovely to have you on. And I’ve asked you to come on today’s show, because you have some really practical and relevant knowledge, which I know a lot of our listeners could get a lot of value on because you run an SEO agency and you also do AdWords as well, actually. So before we kind of get into the nitty gritty of really practical and relevant SEO strategies, I’m always interested in people’s stories and backgrounds. Do you mind kind of touching on your back I know you’ve had you’ve done lots of different things. I think our listeners can sort of learn about your journey and how you got into the SEO space.
Doron: Yes, sure. Originally I was in hospitality and under restaurants and studied marketing, for Hospitality for hotels and restaurants. After realizing that I need to be there at the at the physical location of the time I decided to get into digital at the time, Edwards was quite new and I wanted to work in an industry that that was online and where they had their services online. So I managed to find a small agency in Sydney that was doing really big things with AdWords all over the world that we’re working for companies like bizarre and mobile sidewalk in the states doing mobile marketing and and that was about 15 years ago So then we’re really hidden ahead of the game then.
Ilana: AdWords back then would be very different to what it is now.
Doron: We were getting results on $5 a day for customers think of it like that.
Ilana: Wow, that is like 10 cent clicks or something.
Doron: Yeah, exactly. We would get a 10 cent clicks and we were getting things like download movies and download music will, you know, we would we were getting results for like, $1 a click back then. So, you know, we were really ahead of the game. And it was really interesting. And I learned a lot from those guys. One of them was the founders of Skype. And yeah, I managed to learn quite a lot about AdWords and SEO and just the digital landscape then. And yeah, I mean, we, we were working for really big companies worldwide. And I realized there that there wasn’t really any space for local guys or anyone really helping small businesses. We get a lot of small businesses come in, and we started just doing the same sort of stuff for all of them, almost like a cookie cutter approach. And we’re charging them really small fees for the small businesses like $50 a month to manage their campaigns back then, and I started to realize they’re kind of Google’s going to go local.
We realized that it was a real opportunity for local businesses to be serviced. And there wasn’t anyone really helping them for a price that they could afford. So I teamed up with a friend that I met in the industry. And we decided to start a company, local web, which is the company that we ran today really servicing small local businesses that were targeting customers in their area. We didn’t focus on any e commerce. It was all service based businesses, your chiropractors and osteopaths, and local dentists and lawyers and tourists, companies, anyone that service locals in the areas massage therapist, painters, electricians, all the trades all of those guys and gave them affordable SEO that worked we help them with conversion optimization and fixing up their websites. Back then I had horrible websites so we are the offered to redo their sites or found cheaper alternatives to get the websites we developed and designed to help them maximize the conversion rates when people did come to the sites and I all started seeing results. And that’s where the focus was. It was always local. And as Google became more and more local, we just kept pushing more, more local rankings, local results. And that’s it. That’s us.
Ilana: That’s awesome. And I think, you know, you identified a real need in the market to, you know, I think many business owners can be always kind of think the grass is greener and you’re going to grow to go vegan and service overseas customers. But I really like the fact that you stayed true to your core business of servicing local businesses, the local need, because there is such a huge need for that.
Doron: Yeah, and it’s just seems to be going more and more that way with, with Google and with local communities and local councils, everyone’s sort of starting to push that community feel again, in their local communities, and really starting to use more local businesses as well. And people are going back to their community feel now. So yeah, and it is really good for for your, your suburb and your city to be buying and shopping and using local services.
Ilana: Yeah, and you know, as as someone who also has an agency and I talk to clients all the time, I can also appreciate the fact that the local dentist and the local chiropractor or osteopath really doesn’t know a lot of the fundamental stuff that you have is like bread and butter, right. So I thought for this episode, maybe we could touch on a little bit of some of the really like basic and fundamental SEO strategies that a local business can use and apply for their own business if they wanted to kind of do a little bit of DIY or dabble a little bit on their own.
Doron: Yeah, sure. I mean, a lot of our customers want to do stuff on their own, because they don’t have the money to do it, to do everything, especially starting out. So we’ve really helped businesses do a lot of the stuff on their own. And then when things get a little bit more technical out, to come back to us all that they use up more of our services, especially as they start to grow. So we consulted with a lot of businesses to help them to the basics and like groundwork and makes our job easier later down down the track. And it also gives them a basic understanding of how this all works. That’s not just magical smoke and mirrors to them also.
Local Listing Optimization Part 1
Ilana: Yeah, that’s awesome. You know, I know a little bit about SEO, and certainly no, as though expert and know enough to be dangerous, I tell people, this will be really helpful for me. So what would you say some basics and the fundamentals that business owners could do as well.
Doron: So probably the first one and it’s really an easy one is such as can be time consuming is to list your your business listing on Google or claim claim your business listing. So if you want to be targeting local SEO and local keywords, you want to be showing up in the local map pack, Google’s map pack, which shows up in the Google’s results with their map. And that’s your business listing with Google, it’s now called Google, my business used to be Google called Google Places. And then Google Maps, it’s now called Google My Business. And often you’ll find that even if you haven’t done anything, your business might already be listed, because Google wants to have as many businesses listed there as possible. So even though you might not have set up your listing, and might already be there, so it’s worth doing a search in Google Maps for your business name, and seeing if your listings already there, and then claiming that listing. So when you say, claiming that listening, what does someone have to do to do that. So you’d have to basically go into Google, Google My Business. So its own dedicated area in Google, like, yeah, so if you have a Google, you have to have a Google account, so that could be a Gmail account, or any one of the Google services will give you a Google account. And let’s, let’s say other search, while we hear that you’re an electrician, in bond I and you’re typing electrician, implant I and you go to the map pack, and you see that your your, your listing is there, and you are I want to give a name, but let’s say someone electrician professionals, you click on that listing.
And it will basically ask you if there’ll be an option there. If that isn’t claimed to claim that listing, I can say I’m the listing. And then it’ll ask you all of the details, your details. And what they’ll do to kind of verify that it’s you is send you a postcard in the actual mail to your physical address that’s listed for that listing, or give you a call to the mobile number. So maybe Google’s picked this up from a directory listing somewhere, maybe you’ve listed in the yellow pages or to local. Previously, Google’s created that listing that you haven’t set it up and in that listing will have a mobile number that you’ve made, you’ve put into your yellow pages listing or a physical address that you’ve entered into a directory somewhere else that Google’s picked it up from. So to claim that listing, now, we’re going to want to verify that you are you with the other the number that’s listed on the listing or the address, and that that’s how you you, you get the listings that you say, this is me, this is my business, Google says, Please verify it. We’re going to call this number that will hopefully go through to you. Are we going to send a postcard in the mail to this address with a verification code?
Ilana: A quick question on that, let’s say your business just runs off a PO box. Can you still register your business with a PO box?
Doron: Not on Google Maps now. So what what you can do is you can hide your physical address and say that you are a service that goes out to other businesses. So let’s say you’re a painter, you don’t really ran from your business from your home. But you don’t want all your customers knowing where you live, you can say I’m a painter, this is my physical address, don’t show my address to anyone. But I service people within a 30 kilometer radius of this address, Google will send a postcard to that address with your pin your verified and it might just say your suburb if you happy with that. So it might just say, you’re in Bondi Beach, or you’re in Parramatta, for example, and that’s what I’ll show on the listing rather than your actual physical address. But peel boxes aren’t, aren’t really allowed, because they’re worried about people gaming the system.
Ilana: Yeah,that’s what I thought like, and then, you know, many businesses run off a p o box, but then you’d have so many businesses registered to that one po boxes. But that’s, that’s really clever of Google that you can actually hide your home address, but, you know, still register your business. Yeah, that’s right. And as I said, a lot, a lot of my customers are service service based businesses, and I don’t want their home address there at all. So a lot of them are, are hidden. And that’s not a problem with that. Awesome. So from my understanding the Google My Business is actually separate to the organic results really, aren’t they?
Doron: Yeah, that’s right. So the Google Map businesses that are totally different business listing, it sits within Google, you set up all of your details in there, it’s a different listing to your your website, although they do complement each other. So optimizing your local business listing is going to help the optimization of your website and optimizing your website is going to help the optimization of your listing. And our I’ll go into detail about that a bit later.
Ilana: Cool. Alrighty. So that’s point number one.
Doron: Yeah, so you list your, your business with Google. And if I can elaborate on that point a little bit further, if you don’t mind. That’s, that’s quite a big one. Because that’s we are going to go through other tips about getting local business. But in terms of your mat optimization, it’s really important that you do this, right, because everything else that you’re going to do from here is going to be affected by how well you set up your business with Google. So when, when you set up your Google My Business listing, you’ve got to make sure that it’s done properly. And the most important thing with this is that your, your name of your business, your address, and your phone number is consistent with anything that’s already out there on the web. So for example, and we call that you’re now you’re in IP name, address, and phone. So Google’s going to find discrepancies around the web. And the more discrepancies that are, the more that’s going to harm your local listings. So you want them to all be the same, it’s, you’re starting this from scratch. And it’s a new business, it’s quite easy. If it’s an existing business that’s been around for 10 years. And you might be all over the place in terms of directories all over the web, like yellow pages, and true local and up frog or, or industry directories, you want to start cleaning that up. So say, for example, we registered our businesses, local web advertising PTO are limited, we then change that to local web. So that that then affects what’s happening with your Google listing.
So you want the name that’s in the most directories already to be what you use on your Google listing. So we use local web advertising p to our limited instead of local web. And the address should be the sign and the phone number. So you put all of that into into Google as it stands, where might be elsewhere on the web, or on your website. And then you flesh out your your Google My Business listing with photos, lots of photos, external pictures of your building, if it’s your house, don’t worry, internal images. If, again, if you’re a service based business, they can be images of properties that you’ve worked on, if you’re a painter, if you’re a massage therapist, just internal pictures on the premises, pictures of your team, if you’re a business with the team, or the boardroom, your logos, all of those things, you want to get as many internal pictures and external pictures that you can into your listing and really flesh out that listing. Google will have recommended categories as you start typing and or recommend categories. If you can add two or three categories that are relevant to your business, that’d be great. Put your operating hours into your web address, into your phone number, all of that into your business listing so that it’s complete and it’s 100% fleshed out that’s, that’s the first port of call is to make sure that your listing is really fleshed out and is correct your name, address and phone numbers, the sign.
Ilana: Can I ask a question on that? Say, you’re a local business and you’re on, you know, level five of ability, I would imagine there are nuances with that where you might put level five after the address or “LVL” instead of “LV.V”, “L”, etc. You referring to nuances like that?
Doron: Yes. The most, that it’s the same, the better but at the very least, you know, the street number, street address, postcode, all of that, you know, if you’ve put in the state, or you haven’t put in the States, are you in Bondi Beach two to six Sydney, New South Wales, or are you just Sydney Australia. So you want you wanted to try and be the same as all the directory listings, which you’re going to do next, if you don’t have so most people, I would say, start with the Google listing, put in the address that you’ve registered, let’s say the government or with a main directory, and then go on to the next step of stage two, which will be listing all the other local directories with the same details that you’ve now put into your Google Maps listing. So their advice is, if you’re already listed in in a directory, a big one like yellow pages, or the white pages are sending us those details for your Google Maps listing and fix us up if you are sort out your Google Maps listing and then start listing and all of these other directories.
Local Listing Optimization Part 2
Ilana: And let’s say some of the categories that you’ve entered in the Google My Business can you change them later?
Doron: Yes, you can change anything in the Google My Business the right way to do it, they’re not so what’s going to happen is once you’ve verified your listing, Google’s going to probably send you a little postcard in the mail like old school and that postcards going to have a little pin and you can go into the verification process later back into your login to your Google My Business listing later, verify that it’s you with your pin. And then your listing will be live and you will be up on Google. And then that’s when you start going in or at the same time listing in all of your local directories. And I would start with the big ones first, and try and do as many as possible. And to kind of get organized with that which starts to just be organized with how you’re going to list so basically, make sure that your details are consistent, have a little summary of what of what your business does. So two or three business listing titles at blurb write this all down your address, your email address, your best contact number, some of your social media links, a logo like a 300 pixel logo, that you can use some related images that you’ve already used for your Google listing maybe your business ABN if it’s an Australian business, so that you’ve got all the details with you.
Because directory listing in directories is really time consuming. It takes a lot of time, you’ve got to go into each directory, set up an account, put in your business name, your address, your phone number, some pictures, your logo, all of those things, then they’re going to want to verify that it’s you, I would recommend setting up the alternative email address or using a separate one with in within your company that’s maybe a contact email address or an email address, it doesn’t clog up your inbox, because then they all going to email you back to verify the listing. Some might call you back, some are trying to upsell you to a premium I will go after the big ones like being Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo, local, true local, there’s a bunch of directories, you can you can just google Australia and if you’re in Australia or American if you’re in America, business directories and the big ones are yellow pages true local Yelp Ozzy web dot com today, you start local dot com or you go into 10 or 15 of those and just flesh out a good listing, not only will that help you because people do use those directories in in and of themselves. So that’ll help but Google will see the signals around the web and see that you listed in these directories. And if you start to get reviews in those directories, that’ll help you and a little push your Google Maps listing up, which is ideally what you want at the end of the day. Because that’s what that’s what’s going to get you your business in local search. If someone types in electrician bond I you want your company to show up when they searching for that in the top three map back listing. And these directory listings are going to help you a lot. It’s a big socials ultra big signal, it’s a signal to Google to start ranking your heart.
So the takeaway for that is sort out all of your company details, make sure they are exactly the same as you Google My Business details and start sitting down and, and setting up directories. Awesome, too. So that’s, that’s tip number two, it is time consuming. But if you get all of your things in order first, and then you can even walk through it in a few hours. And I would imagine it something, you only have to do what they need to do it again, that’s it. And as I said, once you’re in there, they also are good for you to be in the Yellow Pages, or true local is good for your business. And they really are a strong signal for your Google Maps. Listing Yellow Pages is paid, though, isn’t it, Yellow Pages has a free listing and a paid so they will try and upsell, you see that paid listing. But what a lot of these are free, if if you want to have a paid listing, that’s fine as well, I wouldn’t put too much money into it. If they’ve changed or only offering paid options, then then just leave it or make that decision as to whether or not it’s worthwhile paying for it. Because as I said, some of these you’ll business from in and of themselves, but might be worthwhile trying it and see and asking your customers how they found you. And maybe they did find you through the yellow pages or to local than then it’s worthwhile. If you’re finding that no one’s finding it through that and you’re paying a few hundred dollars a month, then it’s definitely not worthwhile. If it’s maybe $100 a year, then you might want to keep it.
Ilana: Awesome tip. And I’m sure it’s something that someone could give one of their admin staff or something.
Doron: Yeah, definitely.
Local Listing Optimization Part 3
Ilana: Tip number three?
Doron: So moving on, start to look at your social media, social media. Again, it’s good on its own. But it’ll also help your your local rankings and a strong social media presence is basically central for any business wanting more exposure in a local setting. So you want to have your, your profile setup on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, maybe even Instagram, that’s a great way to engage with your customers already, I wouldn’t put too much effort into it, people become obsessed with that, because it’s, it’s kind of still new and exciting. But just make sure that you have profile setup in there, someone’s done and fleshed out you’ve got got information on there. And it’s also it’s also a social media profiles. also quite good for for customer reviews. So managing that if people are coming in and leaving your abuse, that’s good. And they allow local customers to follow and share content, that’s ideally what you want. So when you’re writing a blog, or when, when you’ve got something new on your site, you want to share that on your social networks.
And ideally, you want people to be sharing that as well. So if you write some really good content on your website, you then share it to a social site, maybe you put in five or $10 and boost that so that it goes out to people that aren’t necessarily following you. And people click on that link and come back to your site. And people share those articles, that’s going to help your normal SEO, and it’s also going to help your local SEO, especially if the articles you riding have to do with local events on local services, or mentioned local places. So if the content on your side local, has local addresses, then that’s, that’s, that’s really good. It’s gonna, it’s going to help your local listing. And what I would say with that as well is on your website. And this is maybe going into point three a little bit, you need to have your map and address on your website. So you should have a Google map showing where your business addresses with a written down address of where you are, and phone number so that Google can crawl that and see that on your website. It’s the same address that’s on your Google Maps listing, which is the same as on your social media profile. Again, consistency is key with all of this.
Ilana: So it’s like, you need to make a decision at the very beginning, what what exact syntax and, you know, interest in front of are we going to use and then this, roll it out?
Doron: Yeah, exactly. That’s why it’s sometimes good to use that one 300 or one 800 number so that if your numbers change, you can always divert that, or you could even buy just a local number, that’s not necessarily your physical address that you can relate to that your numbers always the same. We’ve changed offices, you know, three or four times, but our numbers always been the same. And it’s never been too difficult to go in and change all of those addresses, it’s a bit of a pain in the local listings, you can get a company like, like our company does a citation audit, where we ordered and crawl the web and find out where all of your listings are, and then kind of give you a document saying, Here’s all of your listings, these all the ones that have your current correct name, address, and phone number, these are all the ones you need to go in and clean up. So you know, for businesses, 10-15 years old, you’ve moved three or four times of might be worth getting an order done for a few hundred dollars, seeing what there is to clean up and going in and fixing up those listings.
Ilana: Sounds like it’s definitely worth it. And that’s an awesome tip about having that, you know, generic phone number that you can then redirect when you move office.
Doron: Yeah, makes it really simple and it’s a good thing to do.
The Role of Social Media Posting in Your Local Listing
Ilana: A quick question on the social media thing that you’ve touched on. Just so I’m cleared. I write a blog post on my website, I think go to social media. And I put a link to that blog post on social media. Is that right?
Doron: Yep, that’s great. And the better the content, the more chances of people sharing, which is what you want. And if you can mention or, or have an address or some sort of local words, and then mentioned your city or your suburbs or things like that, that’s going to help your local listings as well. But any, any blog post, or any content that you have, you should try and share across multiple platforms as it is, and you’re getting more use out of there.
Ilana: Like it! What are your thoughts on your website of putting links to your social media accounts?
Doron: Yeah, I think it’s a great idea. I don’t believe that a lot of people actually click on those links, but it’s good to have them. So now, the social signal on your website, some people say, Oh, you know, you sort of leaking your visitors that way, etc. So that’s why I’m interested in what your opinion is, because I think there is divided opinion about it. Yeah, so leaking your visitors and moving them off your site, or your leaking your SEO.You can always test it. So from an SEO perspective, not it’s good to have it from keeping people on your site, big businesses and businesses. Luckily, Google and Facebook never want to push people away from their site, they want to keep them on their site, as long as possible, smaller businesses, people are going to want to go there to to see reviews, potentially, and what people are saying, and it’s still your property. So it’s not going from your site to someone else’s site, it’s going to another one of your site. So they delving deeper, in my mind, if someone is clicking on a social links, they’re interested in your site, it’s better than them leaving the side if you’re concerned about that, or you need them, like say, You’re an e commerce site, and you you really want to push them to a sale, then maybe it’s not as good. So maybe that’s where you hearing differentiating on that. Because you want to drive into a sale, if you’re a service based business, and people want to research you a bit more or you’re leading your your time to a sale from a lead is longer than, yeah, keep them on on your social sites on your business site.
As long as it’s, it’s you that they’re looking at, I don’t have an issue with that I would test it, I’d put them on there and see how many people actually going to those links by checking your analytics. I know that for my customers, they they small service based businesses, if you’re looking for a removal list in Sydney, you’re not going to go and click on their Facebook profile. Once on thought, you’re just going to call the number and ask them how much it costs to move. And then you might look later on their Facebook or try and see reviews to see if they’ve got any bad reviews. But most people do that on a Google listing already. So not not worth putting too much thought into it. If you’re a really big business, and you can really track all of these interactions, then you can start diving in deeper into that stuff. But a lot of small businesses get bogged down with all of the things that are possible and all other opportunities and options and really just got to go after the big wins. And then as you get bigger, you can focus on the smaller details later.
Ilana: I think it’s quite overwhelming for people because there’s so much noise in the market. “If you don’t do these” “You gotta do these”.
Doron: And a lot of its correct that depends on the business that you’re in, and what your objective is, as well. So you can really get bogged down in the details where whereas it’s not necessary for most businesses.
Ilana: Yes, I like to think of the 80/20 approach. I can do that 80% of results.
Doron: That’s right.
Local Listing Optimization Part 4
Ilana: Awesome. Alright, so anymore?
Doron: Yes. So that’s your social stuff. And then I mean, there’s, there’s things that would be a little bit technical, but you don’t have to know much about it. But you just want to know that your site’s mobile friendly? Yeah, yeah. So I’m not saying you can go and make it mobile friendly. But it would be better if it was mobile friendly, and it loaded faster. And it may be worth investing in a company to to update your site, or at the very least make a mobile version of your website, which you can do as well, if it’s not a responsive, mobile friendly site. But most of your searches, if you’re a small service based business are going to be on a mobile and what you really want. And what Google really wants in the last few years, is for your site to look good on a mobile and to load quickly on mobile, and that is going to affect your SEO for your your general SEO and your local SEO, it’s also going to affect your local conversions from from a customer’s perspective. So that’s something I would look at, make sure it’s mobile friendly, make sure it’s mobile optimized, if it’s not hire someone to kind of fix that up for you. Not a huge deal, I wouldn’t go focus on that as your initial thing, get all the other stuff out of the way and slowly chip away at these bigger things later, down later down the line. Yeah, um, so that’s, that’s that kind of leave that we can go into that more if you want that.
Google’s Rule Regarding Mobile and Non-Mobile Friendly Websites
Ilana: I know, I just want to ask, I heard there was a rumor who knows if it’s true, can help verify this. But that Google was penalizing websites that have been penalizing in terms of rankings for the websites that were not mobile optimized? Is that correct?
Doron: Yeah. So like, a lot of people talk about Google penalizing you and and penalties that aren’t really penalize you as such. But they reward other sites, right. So if there’s a site that’s mobile friendly, and there’s a site that’s not mobile friendly, and you’re both going up the same search term, they’re going to reward the mobile friendly site above your site. So they’re not going to penalize you in the sense that they’re going to push you back. But they are going to reward your competitors. So you could see that as a penalty because you’re moving down the rankings. But it’s not really it’s just that there are awarding other sites for doing the right thing. And that’s where you want to just become in line with Google in terms of Page Speed, and how fast your page loads and how easy it is to navigate and that it’s mobile friendly. So ultimately, for 2018, you want to start thinking about putting a bit of money into fixing up your side a bit.
It’s essentially your, your shop window, your website is the only thing that a customer gets to see of you if they don’t know who you are. And if it doesn’t look good, and it’s not easy to navigate, then you’re losing out on potential business that’s worth putting money into that.
Ilana: I couldn’t agree more. Do you guys do mobile web design stuff?
Doron: Yeah. So we have in house developers and designers, and we designed and built websites, all of our websites on mobile and tablet friendly as well, we just do that because our customers end up asking us once they’re going down the road, and they’re optimizing. And I get to a point where maybe their sites letting them down. They asked us because I trust us to fix it up. So it’s a function that we do. It’s not the cool part of our business. But yeah, it’s something we do. So say your business has a new website they’ve happy with and it’s not mobile friendly? Can you easily convert an existing website that the customers happy with into a mobile responsive site? Yeah, look, it’s not always easy to do, you’d want to read probably recommend doing it on WordPress, you can take the design, build it into a new WordPress theme that is mobile responsive and mobile friendly. The other thing you can do is just create a specific mobile design, I can build a site on a on a mobile URL and that redirects to mobile URL. That’s what we used to do. And now with responsive sites, it’s it’s probably better practice to to take that site and building into Yeah, they WordPress mobile responsive theme done well, you can get it done for a few thousand dollars. Some companies will will will do that for you. It all depends on how complicated your side is. But for a basic site, most web developers will be able to take your design and and yeah, just build it on a mobile friendly platform.
Ilana: Awesome. That is a no brainer. I think in 2018, as you say, it’s all mobile. And I know for the local businesses that we do AdWords, it’s all mobile and phone calls.
Backlinking and What is it About
Doron: Yeah, that’s it. That’s it. Okay. So moving on from that I think about getting some backlinks any SEO companies going to talk to you at some point about backlinks, okay. So for the people who’ve never heard of what a backlink is, yes, I like that. I might be getting a little bit too technical. But let’s just talk about it as other people linking to your site. Yeah. So other websites that find you valuable in some capacity, and I happy to put a link on their side, so your URL on their site that links to your site. So the directories would be an example of that. Except that’s a backlink exactly the directories of backlinks or let’s say that you are a I remove a list, and you’ve got a good relationship with a carpet cleaner. And each time you do a removal from someone leaving, they say to you personally look at you recommend a carpet cleaner because I need to get these carpets cleaned. Because I don’t want to lose my bond. And you say, give a referral to a carpet cleaning company money that you use, or you give them a business card. The same thing applies online. If you that remove a list online. And you know that offline, people are asking you for carpet cleaners, you might say on your website. If you’re looking for a good carpet cleaner, try these guys x y Zed carpet cleaning and put a link to their site, that’s a backlink on the site. And you can do a deal with that carpet cleaner and say, Look, I often refer you business because I trust you, you have to put a link on your site that if someone’s looking for a marvelous company, they link back to me. So you see, it’s a reciprocal link. It’s it’s relevant. It’s it makes sense, Google will like it, it’ll help you you’re not trying to do anything dodgy or spammy. You just referring businesses that you trust and that you know your customers may need on your website. So that’s that’s essentially a backlink and you can speak to related businesses in your area, you can go to your local Chamber of Commerce and set up a listing with them or speak to people there about linking to you.
And that’s a really good opportunity to get a relevant backlink because you’re a local business, you’re going to your local Chamber of Commerce, you can register with their site link to them. And when you go out and do networking, you can speak to businesses that are relevant to yours are related to yours and ask if they wouldn’t mind putting a link you could even write an article so local article, a blog post about local event that’s happening. And now in bond I soon You know, there’s this winter festival coming along as a whole load of businesses that would be related to that I might write a blog on the local Winter Festival in bond I let’s say I’m a local restaurant there and talk about the other local businesses and and link to those businesses. And then I can ask them to link to me or just say, Are you happy to link to this article that I’ve mentioned you in promoting the Winter Festival and you can all support each other. So it’s not as difficult as people might think you can pay for links. And there’s a lot of businesses that get links for you. I mean, we one of those businesses as well. You can get articles from blogs written specifically for what you do. But think about getting some links to your your website in general, to promote the overall authority of your site links to your contact page that has your map listing on it and start thinking about links to local articles that you may be writing about local events that are happening, that’s a really good way to get some local exposure, especially when there’s an event or a festival happening in your suburb or town.
Ilana: Would you say that each link is created equal? for lack of a better way of phrasing it. there’s some worth more than others.
Doron: There are some worth more than others, and you probably pushing me into a more technical area here.
Doron: That’s all right. All depends on who’s listening here and how much they know. But I’ll keep it simple, going a little bit deeper than then bring it back a bit. But you can imagine that let’s say I’ve got an analogy which most people understand. Let’s say it’s the Soccer World Cup at the moment, as we talking now. And let’s say we sitting around a table and we discussing soccer. And at that table, we’ve got guys that are soccer players for their local league. People that don’t play soccer aren’t really that interested in soccer, people that are soccer coaches, you might have a professional around the table as well. And you might have someone that’s associated with FIFA sitting at that same table. So it’s quite a mixed bag of people at their table. Now, I don’t follow soccer myself, and I don’t play soccer. But if I’m sitting at that table, and I say, Who do you think will win the World Cup, I’m going to probably wait the opinions of those people differently based on their experience with soccer. So the soccer coach I’ll probably give a little bit more respect to and when he tells me he thinks will win the World Cup, the person that works for FIFA, I’ll probably give a bit more respect to the professional soccer player, I’ll probably give a bit more respected. And then the the soccer dad and the soccer mom sitting at the table, then I’ll give them a little bit of white because they’re involved in soccer. I watch soccer, enthusiastic, but probably not as much as the professional the guys that involved with FIFA. And it’s the same online Google knows that some sites have more authority than other sites. Some sites have visited by more people, more people listen to, or respect some sites than other sides. And they’ll kind of white that accordingly. So your local electrician might have, let’s say, without getting technical, a Google ranking on Google where Google gives it a certain amount of authority. And then you might have a massive company that that’s global global art and our electrical company that has a lot more weight based on what Google thinks how Google thinks it’s, it’s relevant to the industry. So if you get a site link from a new site, so local newspaper, that’s going to have a lot more weight than if you get a link from just a friend that has a blog, for example, that makes sense.
Ilana: That makes perfect sense. That’s a really, really clever analogy. I like it.
Doron: Well, no worries!
Ilana: You never really done in that respect to in terms of trying to acquire backlinks.
Doron: Try and go for the easy ones first, so your smaller mates and other businesses, and then maybe start going after the local newspapers and maybe write an article and call them up and say, Look, there’s this event happening, I’m a local business or you’re going to be writing an article, a local article about this event, would you mentioned my business? So would you mind mentioning my business or maybe even going and just reading it, seeing what local newspapers are writing about and where there are mentioning other businesses, and then contacting them to find out how you can get listed and it’s not as difficult as it seems. And once you listed or linked in an article on one paper, it’s been easier to use that to maybe write an article or get an interview for another paper. A great way to do it is it is an interview an interview about something that’s unique or special about your business. But local papers are always looking for local businesses, a local stories, if you’ve got a cool local story that you can write up or something that’s different about you, or how your business started, or something that’s interesting, then you can start getting listed or or think about speaking to the local papers and start getting links like that, again, being in that paper is going to get your exposure in and of itself, having the leaf it’s going to push your local listing. So it’s good to start thinking like that as a local business. Awesome. I like it. Yeah, yeah. Now it’s all once you start in that local mindset, and speaking to people locally, networking locally, setting up your businesses online, it’s a big mix of online and offline stuff, you just want to connect those dots.
So if you’ve done something offline, it’s also connected online. So if you do an interview for a local newspaper, and they write up the article, ask them to link back to your website. There’s so many businesses out there that have got articles written about them in major newspapers that haven’t got a link back to the side because I never thought about it. It’s criminal offense, isn’t it? It is a big deal online, and then reviews would be probably the next thing. Oh, wow. Is Yeah, you want those Ruby Arabic? So you don’t get Google reviews or reviewers. But specifically, with regards to your local listings, yes, Google reviews. So you’ve set up your Google My Business listing, if putting your great pictures, maybe a video if you got video, that’d be great. You’ve done your name, address, and phone number. And now it’s just sitting there but no one’s written anything. And the reviews are going to be about 13% of your your overall SEO local strategy. So it does have a lot. Yeah, it does have a lot of white again, it’s not the be all and end all. And if you have 100 reviews, and someone else has 50, they might still rank above you, even if they have five because I’ve done other things better. But it is important that not only gives credibility to your business, but it’s going to help your ranking. And the stats say that that 70% of people will write a review if you just ask them. So if you’ve done a good job for someone, shoot them an email or give them a call and say, here’s a link to my business listing, please, can you write a positive review for me? And more often than not, though, that will if you just ask.
Getting Reviews to your Listing and Why is it Important
Ilana: That was going to be my question. Had it had as a business, get those reviews. And as easy at times, it says really as simple as just asking.
Doron: Yeah, we’ll put it on your invoices. When you send out invoices, put it in your email signature, leave me a review with a link to your listing. And to get that link to your listing, just go to your Google business listing, click on writer of view, that URL will pop up on your screen, copy that URL. And you can paste that into any link anywhere on your email signature in an email to a friend, even by your phone, you can SMS it’s even an SMS campaign and, you know, send out a bunch of messages.
Ilana: And I think the timing of when you ask for that review is also pretty critical. Like I think I heard of one business who had an iPad set up at the reception of the business so that when people just walked out of I think it was a dental surgery, I can’t remember what kind of business but they’ve just walked out there feeling really good, they probably relieved at their dental experiences over and there’s an iPad, you see that going, Hey, if you want to leave us a review, you just go here.
Doron: Yeah, that’s great. making it easy is definitely key to that. So you know, if it is a physical place of massage or dental, and I some somewhere where you go to them for their services, having something there to make it easy is is perfect. And again, just just ask your customers and I’ll do it for you. You don’t have to go crazy about it. But just start getting reviews. And and people do they respect those reviews and that they are going to start looking for them get those reviews on Facebook as well. Or if you’re on to allow to, you know, push push for your local as well. Would you say that the tree local or the Facebook reviews are better than the Google reviews. I guess as a business owner, if you had to choose which review platform you wanted your customers to leave reviews on. Which which would you choose. For me, I would choose Google because that’s where the searches appearing. So I do everything based on on search. If I’m getting most of my business to a Google search, then I want my Google reviews to have the best reviews because that’s on your business listing. They’re all important. If you’re a business where customers go to leave feedback or complaints on Facebook or something like that, then you want to push your Facebook reviews. And it is difficult because it’s hard to get the same person to leave multiple review. So depending on where you think you’re going to have the most people looking at your business. That’s where you’re going to want to get the reviews. And you may ask different people to leave reviews in different places and people engaging with you on Facebook. And while you’re on Facebook, you can say, you know, if you had a good experience, are you happy with the service, please go in and leave us a review. Now, if you’re using Facebook Messenger, if you’re on if they found you through Google, or they’ve interacted with you from a Google search, then ask them to leave a review on on Google business.
Ilana: Awesome. Reviews are a big, big deal. So yeah, more and more. They just, you know, we live in a social world where the ultimate social proof is, you know, a review really.
Doron: Yeah, I mean, reviews on your testimonials. And that’s what what builds customer confidence. And more and more people are realizing that these reviews are actually real, they’re not fake, you know, in the past, it was like, now you’ve just got 10 of your mates or that it’s legal review. Now people can tell that they’re real, and the sub many that it’s Yeah, it’s valuable.
Ilana: Awesome. lesson. So that is a lot of really actionable items task that people can do is did did we cover it all?
Produce Content that includes Local Information
Doron: Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s those are the basics that I think is enough for people to do to go in a bit deeper, you can also start thinking about, and I mentioned this previously, but it’s just one more point on it is to kind of produce content that that includes local information and local news on your site, whether that’s blogs or events that are happening, it’s really good for love SEO, and it’s good for your business in general. So start thinking about blog articles, or writing a blog if you don’t have a blog and start thinking about local events in your area, and actually blogging about those things so that you establish a local reputation. And that’s another way to incorporate keywords into your site as well. You can use those local base keywords in these blogs about local events. And that’ll also help you then get in with some of the local news organizations and things like that. So that kind of ties it all together. So don’t forget about content content is king and runaway says that it’s very big for SEO, it’s big for local SEO, and it’s becoming more and more important. How often would you say that someone would have to write content for your blog content? So for me, it’s more about consistency.
Most people don’t have the time to do it. So I’d say start with once a month, but always do it once a month. If you are I could really do any batch you can write 12 articles. Yeah, I was just about to say that. Sorry. Yeah, that’s all right. I was gonna say, if you’re a good writer, are you happy to sit down for a day or two days and ride, you know, 10 dogs, write them all out and pre loaded. If you’ve got WordPress, or just hold on to them, you can preload them, you can schedule them to go out during whenever you want, and then get it done. You can even get a writer or hire someone, we’ve got a blogging service for our customers as well. hire someone to just smash them all out for you. So you’ve got that monthly blog sorted. And then when you feeling particularly creative, or there’s a local event or something that’s happening in your area, that you can write an extra blog that month about that event. That’s, that’s the way I would recommend it. Otherwise, it becomes too overwhelming.
Ilana: Always kind of feeling like you’ve got something that you have to do run.
Doron: Yeah, about 500 words to 1000 would be good if you can do that. And I’m sure incorporating an image as well in the blog post. Yep, if he can get into blogging, have a nice image people love image, you’re going to want some internal links linking to other blogs on your site or other pages on your site, some external links with various people that you might be talking to other companies, news agencies or other other relevant businesses or organizations.
Ilana: Awesome. Well, I think anyone listening to this episode is going to have a full to do list I haven’t done any of this stuff before. Great tips thank you so much for sharing them and thank you for coming on today’s show. And where can people find out more information about you and the services that you provide?
Where You Can Find More About Doron Milner
Doron: On me specifically you can Google my name the Doron Milner there’s a bunch of stuff there might some of its relevant to what I do professionally some of its more relevant to just what I do in life my business is “Local Web” so you can Google “Local Web” or “Local SEO Services” or “Local SEO Sydney” and I’ll show up and on our site on our local website we have a blog that also gives you a lot of tips on how to do this or how to blog for SEO purposes how to fix up your on page SEO how to do your local SEO so we’ve got a blog on that they can find out more about us and what we do and also how to do stuff for yourself we’re very open about sharing all of us at local web want to make it easy for people to do a lot of the stuff themselves.
Ilana: I’m sure what you do could also be applied you know you’re in Australia to someone in a local suburban America let’s say.
Doron: Yeah, so it’s funny funny enough we started just with local businesses in our suburban and city but we do have customers overseas even though you know our business is called local web but they local customers so it’s not necessarily about us only servicing local people but about servicing people that that have a local business so this can be applied anywhere in the states in London we’ve got customers in Bali in Indonesia they all apply the same principles and attract local business.
Ilana: Awesome. So localweb.com.au isn’t it?
Doron: That’s us yeah, localweb.com.au, we do help people on all over the world. So if you do want to don’t feel that you can reach out and happy to give free advice as well. We’re going to start a video blog a blog soon, and we’ll send that out as well. So if there’s a link at in this podcast to us, and yeah, just jump on and sign up and we’ll send you details.
Ilana: And there will definitely be a link to your website. So yeah, you can check out the show notes for today’s episode to find out the URL.
Darren, thank you so much for coming on. It’s been a amazing source of local SEO knowledge. I’ve definitely taken a lot of notes and learn lots of things. So thanks for taking the time out of your day. And I’ll talk to you soon.
Doron: No problem. Thanks so much for having me. I’m really enjoying it. Sorry. sounded a bit sniffly. It’s winter in Sydney. So you are excused. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great.