Andrew Shotland

Andrew Shotland

Andrew Shotland is the proprietor of Local SEO Guide, a leading local search engine optimization blog and consultancy.

Google Maps

7 Things I’ve Figured Out About The New Google Maps

Google has been busy changing a lot of the user interfaces for its local search services. Between the new Google Maps, the Google Local Carousel and the new Reviews Pop-Ups, they have certainly thrown the local search world into a tizzy. I have been playing around with the new Google Maps, and I thought I’d […]


Confessions Of A $100/Month SEO Client: Part II

Last month’s post on the realities of low-cost SEO for small businesses seemed to hit a nerve and got some great responses. One of the best was from a Bill Trott, the owner of Bill’s Pest and Termite in Phoenix, not to mention a guest star on Discovery’s Property Wars. Here’s the email Bill sent: […]


Confessions Of A $100/Month SEO Client

Are you an agency trying to sell super cheap search marketing services to SMBs? If so, here’s some free market research! Last week, I got my kitchen counters resurfaced. Inevitably the service guy asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I did SEO, the conversation quickly turned to the local […]


14 Ways Facebook Homes In On Local Search

With the announcement of Facebook Home, Facebook has pushed the accelerator on its local mobile strategy, which was already in high gear, thanks to Facebook Local Search and its big brother, Facebook Graph Search. By the end of 2013, I expect the social media giant to further strengthen its hold as the #2 local search […]


The Most Common Problems With Local Business Listings

Two weeks ago, Greg Sterling and I published “YQ,” a study on the state of location data for Yext, where we discovered (surprise!) that the state of business location data on the Web is pretty messy. The study provided us with the opportunity to look at patterns among thousands of Yext’s customers, and I thought […]


10 Simple Things SMB Websites Need To Fix Before SEO

When speaking with SMBs and companies that sell marketing services to SMBs, I hear over and over again how a business wants to rank #1 for important local keywords. Then, I look at their website and have visions of money being poured down the drain, horses being led to water sans drinking, Sisyphus rolling a […]


SEOMoz + GetListed: Let The SMB Toolset Death March Begin

SEOMoz’s recent acquisition of GetListed has got me thinking — there’s a dangerous trend going on in the SEO Tools market. I call it the SMB Death March. SEO Tool Market The SEO Tool market has exploded over the past couple of years, and with good reason. These days, it seems like most businesses understand that showing […]


What Is Foursquare’s SEO Strategy?

Two weeks ago, Foursquare launched a new version of its homepage which Greg Sterling touted as “taking on Yelp” by adding a search box. Naturally, my first reaction was to figure out what Foursquare’s new SEO plan. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was none… First a bit of data. According to SEMRush, Foursquare’s […]


5 Things Businesses Need To Know About Apple Maps Right Now

You’ve probably heard all of the noise about how much Apple Maps suck, but do you know what doesn’t suck? The 1,000,000,000 iOS devices projected to be in the hands of consumers worldwide by 2015. But forget about the far away future. Tomorrow, Apple is likely to unveil the “iPad Air“, which combined with the iPhone5 […]


Are You Ready For The Coming SMB Marketing Boom?

Without a doubt, 2012 has been an insane year for small business marketing on the Web. Most companies I know providing digital marketing services to SMBs have been up to their eyeballs in work. What’s going on? Aren’t we in some kind of recession? Apparently not. While attending the BIA/Kelsey SMB Digital Conference in Chicago […]


The SMB Guide To Changing Business Names & SEO

Dr. Geoff Bell*, a dentist in Carlsbad, CA (you’re welcome Doc), has a problem child – his son. Things had been going well. People hadn’t been flossing (I’m looking at you, dear reader), he was ranking #1 for “Carlsbad root planing” and business was booming. Then Junior had to go get a dentistry degree and decide […]


Google Places Ranking Factors – The PhD Version

Bizible, a start-up that makes local marketing software for SMBs, approached me recently* to preview the results of a Google Places Ranking Factors study they had conducted and I was intrigued enough by their findings to share some of them here. Bizible’s team is made up of former Bing AdCenter guys and counts a PhD […]


Have You Been The Target Of A Google Places Hit Job?

It’s a Golden Grahams kind of day … You and your marketing team have set up the first steps to your local presence: a Google Places Page. Life is good. A few days later, you check in and you see that your position and display are great—but what is up with the three star rating? […]


Google Plus Connections Are The New Links

A couple of weeks ago, Google caused a big hub-bub when it launched Search Plus Your World (“SPEW” for short), the catchy-titled deep integration of Google Plus and Google’s organic Web results. Naturally as soon as that happened, many of my clients, big and small, called to get some perspective on what this might mean […]


Mobile: The Ghost Of Future Local SMB Marketing

“If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Local Online Marketing” on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” – Ebenezer Scrooge Tis the season to contemplate the future of the local Web marketing for small businesses […]


5 Tips For Responding To Negative Customer Reviews Online

It’s holiday time and I thought I’d spread a little cheer by talking about negative reviews and how fun they are for local businesses. As Yelp says, “negative reviews can feel like a punch in the gut”. Even better, according to a recent study by Cone Communications, four out of five consumers have changed their […]


How To Find Local Influencers On Google Plus

Google has been making a big deal out of privacy lately, but Google+ just launched a slew of new features designed to make people easier to find. I am particularly intrigued by the new Ripples feature, which allows you to see who has shared a post and track it as it gets shared by others. It is, […]


Top 10 Negative Google News Ranking Factors

Last week, I released the results of a survey of Google News Ranking Factors with some of the top news SEOs in the business. While there has been plenty of response regarding the Top 10 Most Important Factors, I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at the Top Negative Factors. In […]


5 Tips To Get More Online Customer Reviews

Google’s acquisition of Zagat last week and Yelp’s excellent snarky response has brought customer reviews to the forefront of the news again, so it’s a good time to start thinking about how garnering more online reviews fits into your business. In my experience, when it comes to reviews there are four types of businesses: Businesses that […]

Google Shopping

4 Tips For Success With Seasonal, Local SEO

While pondering what to write about this month, I noticed my wife searching the Web for back-to-school items the kids needed – new backpacks, pencil sharpeners, new shoes, erasers in the shape of pandas, and so forth. If you search Google for “kids backpacks”, you’ll see a “Nearby Stores” link displayed just below the image/shopping […]


What Will Google Plus Google Places Equal?

I have no idea what social network Google Plus (Google+) is going to kill. I have no idea if it is going to be huge or not. But I do have an idea of what it’s going to do to Local Search, or at least I have a vision. Whether my vision is right or […]


Nifty Hard Core Local SEO Tactics From SMX Advanced

The panelists at last week’s “HardCore Local SEO” panel at SMX Advanced, Mike Ramsey of Nifty Marketing, Will Scott of Search Influence and David Mihm of GetListed, presented some excellent data on various tactical approaches to improving Google Place Page rankings. For today’s column, I thought it would be helpful to excerpt some of the […]


Confessions Of A Yellow Pages User

Hi. My name is Andrew Shotland and I am a print yellow pages user. I know, I am one of those cutting edge online guys who makes his living off the “yellow pages are dead” thing. But, then, a main water pipe to the house started to leak and flooded my lawn. I ran to […]


Yellow Pages SEO In The Post-Panda World

This week at the Yellow Pages Association conference in Las Vegas, I will be leading a session on the state of search engine optimization and how local directories can benefit (or not) from using SEO strategically. For those of you who can’t make it to the show, I thought I’d provide some highlights of my […]


Does Your Local Mobile Search Strategy Suck?

If you are a small or local business, I bet it does. If you are a big business I bet it does too, but let’s stick with the small guys today. Mobile usage is growing and because location is often at the heart of mobile search queries, mobile is important to businesses that rely on […]


Local Search: Fish Where The Other Fishermen Aren’t

Most businesses tend to focus on the big channels when it comes to local SEO efforts. While it makes sense to optimize your Google Place Page and pay attention to your presence on other big local search services (e.g. Bing Local, CityGrid, DexKnows, Insider pages,, Merchant circle, Superpages, Yahoo Local, Yellow book, Yelp,, […]


Google Place Search Winners, Losers & WhoKnowsers

It’s been a few days since the launch of Google’s new Place Search results, and while there is plenty more prognostication to come on the subject, I thought it would be helpful to sum up the collective wisdom of SEO pundits from around the globe on what it all means for getting traffic to your […]

Link building

Franchisee SEO – Can You Trust Corporate’s Recommendations?

Franchises and their franchisees often tend to have love/hate relationships — it’s the nature of the beast. Franchises tend to want their franchisees to focus on corporate priorities and to play by the corporate rules. Franchisees tend to want fewer restrictions from corporate and more support. In general it seems like the relationship works best […]

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