Transcript For Do I Need To Continue Website SEO, GMB SEO, and GMB Reviews Month After Month? – 105
Caleb Baumgartner: Hello, everyone, and welcome to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I am producer Caleb Baumgartner. In today’s episode, Bob, Jesse, and Sue tackle a listener question about digital marketing and the usefulness of monthly SEO for your website, including Google My Business and more. If you’ve had your website redone, is it worthwhile to continue to pay for SEO services? The crew discuss the advantages of monthly SEO and what to consider to make an informed decision on your SEO services. Have a question of your own? Submit questions at localseotactics.com/questions. Thank you for listening, and enjoy the show.
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, here with Bob Brennan and Sue Ginsburg, looking to answer your questions and shed some light on the topics here. I say that somewhat of a punchline, Sue, because you do have a little bit of a light coming over the top there. Bob was just doing some Seinfeld references there with the angel halo Elaine reference. So I think it’s a little bit fitting there.
Sue Ginsburg: Okay. And today I am coming to you from a field of fresh sunflowers because we’ll be talking about a listener and client question who is in the scenting and odor control business, Giant Enterprise, a great business in Atlanta, Georgia. And they make everything smell like fresh air, and good, and feels like you’re outside in a field of sunflowers.
Jesse Dolan: That’s their new slogan. I can see it right now.
Sue Ginsburg: That’s right. It sounds like a good one. So today we will be discussing their very good question of new website, have been doing GMB SEO and reviews, now adding website SEO. Do I need all these? What am I getting from all of these? Is there synergy between them? Will I get an ROI on this now that they’re adding an additional service? Which is a really good question on your marketing investment that I’m guessing other business owners have, as well. So with that, the quote of the day today from the well-known Stephen Covey, “Most of us spend too much on what is urgent and not enough on what is important.”
And I don’t know this, but my interpretation is that he meant time and money. Most of us spend too much time and/or too much money on what is urgent and not enough on what is important. And I think that applies here, and I think it’s a really good question for business owners to ask not just about their website and SEO and getting ROI, but pretty much on everything on your to-do list.
So what we’ll talk about today is what are you looking for from your SEO, GMB SEO, reviews, and all other time and money that you’re putting into your website to get an ROI? Is it worth it? How do you get a positive ROI? And I think what gets in the way of business owners understanding this is they’re experts at their business, which is what they should be, and usually not experts in digital marketing, and need to ask somebody. Who can we ask? They may not know somebody they can ask, they can trust. And here we have Jesse and Bob, who we can trust and who know those answers, so that’s what we’re going to do to find out. And we can all learn how you determine what’s enough, what’s too much, what’s the right amount, what’s the best way to look at this and evaluate so that I get a positive ROI on my online investment? So with that, I will toss it over to you two, the experts.
Jesse Dolan: Bob, let me set the stage with some context for all the listeners. I’m going to ask you kind of from the business owner angle and some of your feedback on what Sue was just saying. So in this situation, we have somebody who had an outdated website that definitely needed an overhaul. It was dated. You could tell it was from a decade or so ago easily. And we provided them with a brand new website. They’re doing month-to-month SEO. We’re also managing and optimizing and performing SEO on their Google My Business listing, and they’re using our review lead product to get more reviews, the automated review system that we’ve talked about before.
And now they’re hitting this point where all this is coming together. Some of these services turned on right away. Some of them, like launching the new website and the subsequent monthly SEO, are now engaging. And you have somebody who is a business owner, was spending zero per month in this area, and now they’re spending a substantial amount of money every month and questioning whether they need to. Not so much questioning the ROI on it necessarily, that’s not really the angle here, but more of like, okay, do I need to keep doing all of this? I’m not used to doing it all. Do I need to keep moving forward with this? Is this an investment I’m going to be making every single month?
And I say investment. I think I’ve said this before a few times, at least on the show. This stuff is not an expense. It’s an investment. It’s not like the trash man, where you just have to pay this thing to get this thing taken care of. If you’re putting money into the digital marketing, you should be getting money back out of it. You should be getting an ROI on it. So I do have some thoughts I want to share, but Bob, but I’ll throw it to you first, from the business owner angle, on your perspective for if they should keep doing all those services going forward every day.
Bob Brennan: Right, right. Well, you do in one form or the other. The best analogy I can give you is in business, should you do accounting? Well, yeah. You should do accounting. Now, initially when we first started our business, this was 26 years ago, and it grew quite rapidly in probably right around the half million to three quarter million a year mark. I had to have a lot more accounting done and I was paying somebody probably $3,000 a month to do all my accounting, all the bookkeeping, everything that went with it, taxes, the whole nine yards.
And after a year or two of that, when I looked at that number, which was a pretty substantial number, it wasn’t like they were doing anything wrong. And I didn’t know much about accounting. So at some point in time, a business counselor said, “Hey, you need to understand your numbers. You need to get into your accounting, understand it forwards and backwards, and then you can decide, hey, do we need to keep this service? But either way, you need accounting done.”
So we did that over the course of a year. We brought somebody on full-time, in-house, that did our accounting because we were continuing to grow. And so that number stayed more or less the same for us, dropped a little bit because we were able to gain some efficiencies, but then we got some better controls of what we were doing. And we didn’t entirely dismiss the accounting firm. They did our taxes and stuff, and cross-checked our books, which was perfect.
So I don’t know if that kind of answers things in that you need these services, you need to be in that three pack in the GMB, and you need to be at the top of Google, and you need to have a constant eye on that, going after other keywords, going after just other ways of expanding that. Now, you may have to use a service for a while and then you may choose to bring some of that stuff in-house and use a portion of that service just to round everything out. But I encourage business owners to get extremely intimate with the knowledge that we try to impart in this podcast. And hopefully we will release some courses here in the near future.
And we have clients like that. They handle some of that stuff themselves and then we handle a portion of it, and then we have clients, we handle all of that, but they know full well what they’re doing. And then there’s this great interaction that they’re giving us, like, hey, we want to go after these keywords, or we want to go after this particular market, or whatever the case is. And that overall picture is what I would encourage. Because again, as a business owner, when I look at an expense, I’m always asking, “Can I reduce it?” Or, “Am I getting the proper return on it?” And those are healthy questions to ask. But that’s kind of my strategies. I look at things as what can I do to reduce costs without compromising or risking the business?
Jesse Dolan: Go ahead, Sue.
Sue Ginsburg: I was just going to say, Bob, you also gave a great example earlier on the automated review program. If you are in a business where your service people or whoever it is that’s interacting with the client or customer is regularly asking and getting reviews, then that substitutes for your automated review system. The point is you need to be getting reviews. How you get them can either be via an automated request program or another way of doing it. The bottom line is you need to get reviews. So if one is working, that’s great. Do that. If that one doesn’t work, then you need to stick with the program.
Bob Brennan: Yeah. And Jesse, I think Jesse can … And you’re exactly right, Sue. You need to subsidize it, but you do need to train your team to get reviews. I just think it’s essential in this day and age. And Jesse can speak to what that review quantity should be in terms of when is enough, enough? In my opinion, it’s never enough, but there are some minimums that you can speak to on that.
Sue Ginsburg: I think the bigger issue there is will your people, whoever it is that you’re asking, encouraging, requiring, will they be asking and getting, will they be successful in getting the reviews? That’s what you need to look at.
Bob Brennan: Right, right.
Jesse Dolan: That’s right. I think the accounting analogy, the parallel there is great. And I think that resonates with everybody listening, especially if you’re a business owner. I think you grasp what Bob was saying there, because you can’t stop doing accounting just because you don’t want to pay that person three grand a month, or that firm, I should say, or that agency, three grand a month. It’s not a question of am I doing accounting anymore or not? It’s more of, do I need that level of support or service, or can I bring this in-house now that I’ve gained some knowledge, and things like that.
And just going through their services here in question, starting with the reviews, to your point, Bob, yeah, in a perfect world, we’re having twice as many reviews as the closest competitor. Now, if you’re talking, you’re into the hundreds or thousands of reviews, then maybe that’s not quite as much, but if you’re talking a competitor has 15 and I have 30, or they have 25 and I have 50, or they have 50 and I have 100, you want to be doubling. They’re going to continue to get reviews, so you have to continue that, too, right? You don’t just hit this point of I’ve doubled the reviews and now, hey, I’m done. We don’t need any more reviews. That thing keeps moving forward, and has for years and will continue as long as this is out there for us.
And we’ve got plenty of episodes. Anybody, just localseotactics.com, just search for previous episodes on podcasts, just type in reviews. I think we’ve probably got half a dozen episodes on different strategies and tactics, doing the Mr. Rogers approach, which is kind of this in-person approach that works best, that Bob’s talking about, for how to get it on a one-to-one basis. And if you’re crushing it doing that, then yeah, then you don’t need an automated tool to help you do that.
But like you’re saying, Sue, if either the business you’re in, or maybe the people you have on staff, if that’s not working, you still need to get reviews. And then maybe you need an automated system to do that, but it still comes back to you need to get reviews. What’s your method of doing it? Are you going to spend your time and your energy and your people, or are you going to outsource it, in this case to an automated program that’s going to be that heavy lifting for you? I’d say the same thing goes on your Google My Business SEO.
Sue Ginsburg: Jesse, let me interrupt for a second before you leave reviews. You said it depends on the type of business and your staff, who you’re asking. Another thing it depends on is your clients. Some people, even if they’re leaving a positive review, aren’t comfortable doing it right there in front of you.
Jesse Dolan: Sure.
Sue Ginsburg: Maybe they need a moment to think of their words, and they feel awkward with you standing behind the counter or even walking away. That’s another factor, too.
Jesse Dolan: And usually, just with one more asterisk, an automated review program is going to do more than just give the reviews. It’s going to give you some reporting, maybe some ability to display those reviews on your website automatically, and some other functions, too. So there’s definitely ROI in things beyond just getting the reviews from said programs.
Switch it over to the GMB, to address that topic. Like, should I continue doing Google My Business SEO? Same thing here is hopefully you’re only making that decision if you’re at the top of the mountain, if you’re in that three pack, because if you’re not, then you still need SEO. You still need this ongoing effort to get in there. Again, whether you’re paying an agency or a firm to do that, or you’re doing that internal yourself, it’s not a, should I be doing this or not? It’s who’s doing it for me. Am I doing it internally or not? Again, just like that accounting. That’s just such a perfect parallel to that.
And we’ve talked, and that kind of dovetails, also, into just the website ongoing SEO. There’s things that are always in play. Google changes the rules. COVID, if you will, right? The marketplace in general changes what we’re searching for and what we need to optimize for. Last but not least, your competitors. If you’ve jumped into the three pack, you’ve bumped somebody out. As long as they’re paying attention, they’ve noticed that, and they’re going to double down and get back in there, too. It’s this constant game. So none of these efforts are ever stoppable. You have to continue the entire time. And again, it should be providing you an ROI, whether you’re spending your money internally or with an agency. It just comes down to what are you putting your resources on?
Obviously, I think we know, and maybe we’re a little biased because we’re in a digital marketing firm here, but when you’re paying experts to do it, you’re getting expert level results, expert level tools, expert level utilities, talents, knowledge base. If you’re doing it in-house, make sure those people are learning, that they’re staying up to the latest tactics and tips and Google best practices, things like that. Because just because they’re doing it doesn’t mean they’re doing it good.
A lot of times we bump into clients that are doing social media. They’ll just hire some young person, like, well, they have a Facebook account, they’re going to do our social media. It’s like, just because they can scroll Facebook and like things and understand how to log in doesn’t mean they know how to market on there. And the same is kind of for SEO, just because somebody can post to your Google My Business doesn’t mean that they’re doing everything for the optimization.
So I think at the end of the day, it does come down, the overall answer here is it depends, which is like the classic SEO answer. But it really is case by case, client by client. Do you feel you have the ability to continue this stuff, or one of these services, in this particular case, with your in-house staff? If not, then use that third party, that external agency or firm to do it for you, because it’s not a question of should I continue doing this thing? It’s who’s doing it, who’s doing it for me, really. That’s how I frame it up.
Bob Brennan: Yeah. And I can just throw one other thing, too, is measure everything. Obviously, if you’re not measuring the phone calls, and in our case, we recorded the phone calls, you’re not measuring your metrics and you have no idea if you’ve moved the needle or not. We made some changes recently to one of our websites in what’s on the landing page and the message that’s on the main landing page, based on the recordings of what questions people were asking, what were our customers asking? What were the first two, three questions they were asking 20 people, and we kind of wrote them down, and it’s like they’re all asking these three things. Well, if we can publish those three things on that landing page, what happens to our needle? What happens? And we’re seeing really good results.
So the key is metrics. So whatever you do, just make sure you have metrics to measure. Maybe you decide, okay, money’s tight, we’re going to stop all of this. Okay, that’s fine. Do that, but pay attention to the number of calls, and if the calls stay the same, well, then you’re okay. But if your calls drop precipitously, you might want to get back on that wagon again and start spending money in that area. And again, measure that. Are we seeing calls increase because of that? And it’s tricky because you may have other marketing methods out there, but do the best you can to segregate it and measure it.
Sue Ginsburg: Bob, I would add not just measure it, but look at the metrics and see what they’re telling you. Don’t just have the metrics. I would add another level onto that and say, this is a very successful business. This client is a very successful business, great business owner, runs it really with his employees and his clients’ satisfaction in mind, and what I keep telling him is that having a new website and doing SEO on it will truly open up a new sales channel, because I do believe that.
They had a very outdated website. It was doing nothing. And so my question for both of you is, with that in mind, does that make you think differently, and sorry, is there synergy between doing website SEO and GMB SEO, and how do they work together to help each other, to strengthen each other, to make each one better, I guess that’s what synergy means, between those. And can you learn? They have different metrics, too. I mean, can you learn something from looking at the other to make it become a better sales channel, or become a stronger sales channel quicker, or to become a separate sales channel from what the business that you’re already getting?
Jesse Dolan: A couple things to unpack there. Like you’re saying, if you had a website that wasn’t ranking, wasn’t attractive, and it really wasn’t part of your sales efforts, once that baby ranks and converts, like you were saying, Bobby, it’s the actual, the calls you’re getting, and the emails, not just your traffic. To your point, Sue, that is a new sales channel. People are coming to you now, asking for your products and services, instead of your sales team, again, reminding people that next time you need blank, call us. And that’s pretty revolutionary.
A lot of clients we’ve talked to that are kind of in that position think they don’t need the website and the digital because they haven’t had it before. It’s really just this void. And they assume I’ve been successful without it, so I don’t need it. But once they start getting those kind of phone calls, that we’re coming to you, that inbound marketing, instead of the outbound marketing, really changes perspective on things, right?
I mean, really, Bob, going back a couple decades, that’s why we are here with Intrycks, is the businesses you’re referring to for 26 years, we did tons of that outbound stuff. And I’m not going to rehash the entire story on that, but once we figured out that when people found us on Google and called, asking to buy a widget or gidget, it’s like, holy crap, this is a completely different sales model. And it really does get your attention, for lack of a better way to phrase it up there.
And with that, Sue, like you’re saying, there’s tons of stuff for digital marketing. The two we’re focused on here are your GMB SEO and your website SEO. It’s undeniable that there’s a relationship between the two. Technically, they are two separate algorithms and two different hands, if you will, of Google, the natural search results that show webpages and then the Google My Business map pack rankings are two different things within Google, but they are linked together. A, they’re on the search results page together. B, in your Google My Business listing, you’re linking your website and you’re drawing all this relevancy. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander on both.
We’ve seen in our experiments and testing, changing something on a webpage, the landing page that’s linked to your Google My Business listing, and getting some better increase in rankings there, will impact the rankings on your Google My Business listing, and vice versa. Now, there’s no direct correlation stated by Google, things like that. This is what we see out there in the wild.
And on top of that, we know that from a psychological standpoint, Sue, you and I were on a workshop yesterday, presenting, talking about this same thing, that if I’m a consumer and I do a Google search and I see a business in the map pack, and then I also see that business at the top of the natural results underneath for the regular website listing, that immediately tells me that they’re authoritative or expert or trusted. And even without deciding, I’m gravitating towards clicking or calling that business probably first, just because they seem like the most legitimate because they’re showing up in both of those spots.
So kind of two parts there. One is, yeah, there’s definitely a relationship within the Google algorithm between the two, and rankings on that page. But then from a user standpoint, and from a conversion standpoint, which is ultimately what we’re talking about, is getting the business, not just the ranking, being in both and focusing on both of those, you’re going to get much better results than if you were only on the top on one or the other. That’s just a given. So don’t stop your SEO is the bottom line. Continue.
Sue Ginsburg: And does it make a difference what the category is? This client’s category is not a straightforward chiropractic or dental services. It’s a little bit of an unusual business, odor control, trash chutes. Does that make a difference in what you need to do to be found?
Jesse Dolan: I don’t think so. Whether it’s more or less difficult to be found or to draw relevancy for certain terms for sure can depend on the niche, but that wouldn’t change the strategy just on the basic, like, do I need a GMB and SEO and do it on your website, an SEO, right? If Google is showing the map pack for terms related to your business, because not every search you put in is going to trigger the map pack, I think we all kind of know that by now, but if the things that you want to be found for are triggering the map pack, or some of the terms are triggering the map pack, then you’ve got to do GMB SEO, Google My Business SEO, and you’ve got to do your natural website SEO.
Again, now whether it’s easy or not to get into that map pack or to get that relevancy is a whole different discussion. But yeah, if you’re seeing those in the results, then you want to make sure you’re attacking both for your own efforts.
Sue Ginsburg: One thing that I also always think about is for myself, and then also looking at stats, most of the searches that I do, even if I’m sitting here at my computer, I do on my phone. It’s just out of habit. I don’t know. And on your phone, the GMB is what shows up.
Jesse Dolan: Oh, yeah. It’s even more prominent, just from the space of it all.
Sue Ginsburg: Well, that’s good. So the bottom line is you’ve got to keep doing it. Whether or not you do it yourself or have an outside expert do it for you is your choice, but you’ve got to keep doing it, and you can and will and should track metrics.
Jesse Dolan: Back to Bob, your example of the accountant. This isn’t the trash man, right? Or this isn’t some kind of external service that’s, should I be doing this or not for my business? If you know people are looking for your products and services online, you need to continue SEO, just like you need to continue accounting. You just can’t ignore that for your business. So hopefully that resonates with everybody.
Sue Ginsburg: Thank you. And what I will say is if you remember one thing and one thing only, footnote, Stephen Covey, spend your time and money on what is important, not what is urgent. And I think that just as humans, we can all plead guilty to getting sucked down some rabbit hole, doing something that we started and we think it’s urgent, and then all of a sudden, it’s 90 minutes later and you’re like, oh my God, what am I doing this for? So be intentional, think about what you’re doing, what you’re spending your money or investing in, and make sure it’s important, not just what is urgent.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. Every dang day, that’s a struggle. I mean, in all seriousness, for all of us, that’s the difference between productivity and just being busy. So awesome stuff, Sue. Great question. And hopefully for everybody out there, I mean, we kind of wove some other topics in. Pretty comprehensive stuff there, but hopefully it reinforces the messages. Or if anybody’s out there kind of thinking and been on the fence of these same things, hopefully that helped you out and gives some clarity and some guidance there.
Everybody else out there, if you have a question, go on out to localseotactics.com, go down to the bottom, submit a question. You can just send it in via text. Sue will receive it. She’ll communicate with you, maybe get some more nuance out of it, and we’ll bring it up on the show and answer it for you and anybody else who may be having a similar question in their mind.
If you want to take it to the next step and actually call in and leave a voicemail recording, we’ll play it on the show, give you an extra special shout out with your voice on it, and send you one of these fancy Intrycks t-shirts, which are extremely comfortable. You guys always see me wearing these, not just to promote the brand, but it’s a super comfy t-shirt. Let’s just be honest, some free t-shirts, some free swag, kind of sucks. These are nice. So if you’re wondering if I should call in, yeah. You’re going to like the t-shirt. I promise you that.
Sue Ginsburg: Try it. You’ll like it.
Jesse Dolan: Try it. You’ll like it.
Bob Brennan: That’s right.
Jesse Dolan: So yeah, we’d love to hear from you, love to answer your questions, and see if we can continue to help out out there for your digital marketing and SEO needs. So all right, everybody, I think that wraps it up for this episode. Thanks for your question, Sue. Bob, thanks for that awesome accounting analogy. I think that was really good for everybody. So, all right, we’ll catch you guys on the next episode. Take care.
Bob Brennan: Bye, everyone.