GMB Ranking Update

Using BrightLocal to Guide Website and GMB Optimizations

In today’s solo episode, Jesse uses Intrycks as a test case to show the effectiveness of BrightLocal’s local search grid tool. He shows that by using BrightLocal’s tracking metrics, you can create actionable goals for your SEO and monitor your progress towards those goals. This episode highlights the importance of finding meaningful, actionable metrics for your SEO growth and why it’s important to have the right tools to track them. Check this episode out today!

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What you’ll learn

  • What steps to take to improve your SEO, and how BrightLocal can guide those steps.
  • How to make sense of BrightLocal reports.
  • Why it’s important to have actionable information to guide your SEO efforts.

Transcript for Getting Our GMB To Rank Higher For Our Local Niche – Day 45 Update – Episode 96 –

Caleb Baumgartner: Welcome to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I am producer Caleb Baumgartner. In today’s solo episode, Jesse uses our Intrycks website and GMB as Guinea pigs for showing how BrightLocal reporting could be a powerful tool to track SEO progress and create actionable information to improve SEO rankings. This quick guide will make it easier to understand what BrightLocal is telling you and will give you a better understanding of how to approach your SEO goals. 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 a solo episode. It’s been a while since we’ve done a solo episode here, but today I’m going to talk about if you guys remember back in episode 85, I guess, and if you haven’t checked that out yet, maybe start there.

In episode 85, we were talking about BrightLocal and their new local search grid for reporting on your Google Business Profile ranking. And we talked about using our InTrycks website really as an experiment to try and get our GMB ranked. It’s one of those deals where we’ve just never really pursued it that much. Most of our business comes from word of mouth clients, from existing book of business, from this podcast as a sales funnel for all you out there that have needed professional help. And so we decided to use the new BrightLocal rank tracker to kind of use ourselves as a test subject, putting into practice a lot of things that we do for our clients that we talk about here on the show.

So we’re going to do an update on that today. It’s been, what was it? March 4th, I think is when we recorded that episode and a few days after that is when we got started, so kind of break some of that down and dive into that. We’ve had some pretty good success. We haven’t put a ton of energy into it, but I think with the things that we’ve done, we’ve had some big success that we want to talk about.

Before we get into that, I want to mention as always go out and use our free instant SEO audit tool. If you haven’t checked that out yet, you can run your webpage or our competitor’s page through the tool and see how it’s optimized for any particular keyword. You can find it at, top right corner yellow button that says Free Instant SEO Audit.

Additionally, if you’ve heard us talking about in our previous episodes, our digital courses that are coming up, if you want to get on the waiting list for that, we’re getting real close to launching that. Those of you that are in our beta program, been very helpful with reviewing the course, kind of getting it prepped and helping us work out some bugs. For the rest of you, it’s upcoming pretty soon. If you want to get on that list, go to, and you can sign up for that.

So let’s just dive in here. I’m going to share my screen for everybody watching on video, and if you’re listening on this on audio, I’ll try to talk through it as well on the podcast, but this might be one that’s going to be cool to check out on video here as well. You can go to and pull up our podcast episodes for each page. We’re going to have a link to the YouTube video, and it’s actually embedded in the page there too, to make it really easy for you. Just go check that out.

I’ve got up here first, we’re going to get to the actual rank tracker. I’m sorry. The map local search grid, sorry, is the right term with BrightLocal that we originally started the episode on back in 85. First, I’m starting here with kind of more of the aggregate ranking tracker. So just kind of set the stage. We started implementing some changes on March 7th, recording this here today. It’s April 21st. So what we’re a little somewhere in that 45 day range, since we started doing some optimizations to it, and we’ve had some pretty good success.

As you can see here, looking at this, I’m just looking at the Google maps here. I’m not going to really break down this rank checker here that we’re seeing. That’s all through BrightLocal and we’re only looking at the Google maps. So just to look at like just the straight GMB rankings, and before we started this back in February, February 14th, this was a once a month report that we were tracking it. We had one keyword in the number one position, and then we had, what does it say? Three keywords in the two to five position. Fast forward to today, or actually a couple days ago, April 19th is the last time we ran this, and we add four keywords in the first position and six of them in positions two to five for the same keywords the entire time, and there’s a lot of other keywords in the top 50.
You can see here if you’re watching that video that have started to pop. So we’re definitely making some good traction, but I look down here, we can see some of the keywords, Minnesota SEO, search engine optimization. Those went up compared to their, what is it? Two spots to the number one position, one spot up to the number one position. This one went up five spots, web designer, to the number one position. This one went up 13 spots, internet marketing, to the number two position. SEO Minnesota unchanged at number two. SEO, just with SEO only, was unchanged at number one also.

A couple more here, Minnesota internet marketing went up six spots to number three. Web design went up 42 spots to number four, so that was really non-existent before. Not that we’re in the three pack, just outside of it, you’re at number four, but objects in the mirror are closer than they appear as we say, right? Then a bunch of other ones that are five, 16, 19, some other ones coming down the list. The important part on a lot of these like Minnesota web design, web design, Minnesota website design, internet marketing Minnesota, actually that one was on there, that went from up 12 spots to 16. So it was what? 38, but those other ones, and then some other longer tail search engine optimization, Minnesota, things like that, where we’re still outside of the top 10, we’re actually showing up now where it wasn’t even in the GMB rankings before period. Lots of good traction there. And especially as I get into sharing with you the things that we’ve done so far. We really have a lot to go for tactics to employ here. So looking pretty good, looking pretty good on a start.

Breaking down the local search grid. And again, this is a new tool that was put out by BrightLocal. There’s other competitors that have the same technology, Local Falcon and Local Biking are two of the biggest ones, and that we’ve talked more extensively about that in that episode 85. Again, check that out. We’ll link to that in the show notes here as well. But what we’re looking at here is basically if you were standing on these various spots and you just did a Google search for the terms we’re talking here, where would we show up? And this helps you to understand where your reach is based off your proximity away from your local backyard. How far did you reach get for showing up in the GMB? You can rank in your backyard, but what about two miles away, 10 miles away, 20 miles away, things like that?

So for us here, we’re doing a seven by seven grid. So 49 points spacing 10 miles between each point. So a pretty extensive geography we’re looking to tackle here. When we started this back, first run on March 4th, kind of for a baseline for this term for SEO, you can see our average rank through this tool was 17.8, and you can see down here for the high-ranking grid points, we had six. So showing up kind of in our own backyard, but not a lot of penetration once we get outside of that zone.

Fast forward to today, April 21st and we’re average rank 15.2, but now we’ve gone up to 11 high-ranking grid points. I saw some good traction there. Still, you can kind of see working in our geographic area and starting to spread kind of out from the middle because that’s great. A lot of good exposure there.

Let’s see this other term. We’re tracking three of them with this tool. SEO Minnesota, when we started back on March 4th, average rank was 17.8, high-ranking grid points, three of them. There you can see again, very much related to where we’re at and our penetration doesn’t get too far beyond that. Fast forward to today, not much change, 17.7 and four high-ranking grid points. A little bit more traction here kind of between that five and 10 spots. Not really something we’re too concerned with. Obviously, you got to be in the top three to really get any action, but some good things happen in there.

Digital marketing, the last one, we started off March 4th, again, about 45 days ago. Horrible, absolutely horrible. We weren’t ranking at all. What are we 20th, was the best spot we had. No high-ranking grid points, average rank 21 plus fast forward to today and actually got worse. We went down one spot actually showing 21 plus. So this one for digital marketing, we definitely have to do some work there. That’s going to be a tough one. Hopefully in future weeks, if we can show some progress here, as we do some more heavy lifting, that will be interesting to see. So the big traction we had off these three, the local search. The biggest gain was for this SEO.

So as far as what we did, let’s kind of break down with you the things that we’ve done so far. On March 7th, just a few days after our recording the podcast, we got to work and we just did a couple of basic things. We optimized the GMB description working in some of these keywords. We had a fairly optimized description before, but we just kind of slanted it more towards the keywords we’re looking to accomplish here, and we added a couple more categories to our business listing. Maybe advertising agency and a couple others if I remember correctly, but I think we went from three categories to six or something like that. That was on March 7th.

And then we didn’t do anything for a few weeks. On March 24th, we went in and because we added some business categories, we’re able to expand on our business services. So we added a couple more services in there, not optimizing or putting any descriptions, just literally just adding the services, and these are services that were offered up by Google. Once we add a business category, there’s kind of some default services you can add. We just went in and added those ones that they recommended and that’s all we did there.

And then April 7th, we went back in. So that was, what, about two weeks or so later, we went back in and then we optimized or added, I should say, details and descriptions to a few of the services on there. We’ve still got, I think if we did four of them, we might have eight or nine services to go back and do still. Those are remaining open. And when we do those, you just kind of expand on. Let’s just say, if it was SEO services as one of the services, you just write a description talking about SEO services, things in related, just kind of an optimized paragraph to expand on the title of that service.

April 15th, we started building some local citations. We’ve talked in previous episodes about what that means. I’m not going to break that down too much, but that’s something that we’ve really never done, offer our brand here. So that’s about a week old as we’re recording this year. So I don’t think we’ve seen too much traction from that yet, that’d be pretty quick. April 20th, which is yesterday, we had just published the GMB website. Again, in a previous episode, we talked about that. We’ll link to that one here in the show notes as well, about leveraging your Google My Business website. That’s something we had never turned on. We turned that on and we’ll see what kind of impact that has.

We also yesterday added the attributes under the info area of your Google My Business, the attribute of online appointments available because most of our work is done virtual. We did not leverage any of the COVID-related ones like wear masks, temperature checks, things like that. We could just to try and get that stuff to kind of pop in there, but really doesn’t apply. So we’re just trying to be kind of practical and straightforward here on this test and leveraging things that only makes sense.

And then this morning, April 21st, we put out the first Google My Business offer posts on our InTrycks Google My Business listing. Again, there’s an episode we talked about how to leverage that offer post and what to do with it. That’ll talk more about the details that we did there. So those things have kind of been in progress and see not a ton of stuff, right? We’re not even doing Google posts yet, weekly Google posts we talk about. We’re going to start doing that next week. So really just some extremely basic optimizations.

Well, I did skip over one thing. Here on April 15th, in addition to starting the business, the local citations for the business, we actually did add the keyword to the InTrycks website. Let’s pull it up here. We changed the H1 to be Minnesota Local SEO Services and Digital Marketing. I forget exactly what it said before that, but we did. This is the first thing that we did not on the GMB, but in an effort to draw some relevancy and context to trigger better rankings on the GMB. Otherwise, we haven’t done anything else to our website yet, and we’ll make notations and talk about that as we go forward, because we will be doing some things on the website to help both the website and the Google My Business listing show up.

That’s kind of the quick summary of it. Again, nothing hardcore, no crazy tactics, no Google stacks. There’s really nothing other than what I just outlined that’s been responsible for anything, and we’ve seen some modest gains in the exposure. We did intend for full transparency to put a little bit more effort into this, but quite frankly, just haven’t had the resources to do it. We’ve been busy with client work and some other things that kind of distracted us, for lack of a better word.
Not doing anything else with this. So I’m pretty pleased with the results so far. Again, these tactics we’re implementing are all tactics that we cover through other episodes of the podcast. We’ll link them all into this episode just to kind of tie it all together for you. It just goes to show really you just got to start doing the basic block and tackle to your Google My Business listing and you can start to see some rankings, right? Even in a competitive space, which was kind of our point of this test for something like SEO, because we’re going up against other people who should be applying SEO to their GMBs.

So if we can make some traction doing some basic stuff here over the course of about 45 days, you can definitely make the traction on your own business’s website in your own market, because I’m thinking that you’re probably going to have a slightly less competitive market than we are given the niche that we’re in here. So that’s it for this episode.

Let me get to the five-star review. We’ve got a great review here from Erin Downs off of Facebook. Erin says, “Great podcast for small business owners.” Perfectly sums it up. That’s actually exactly what we’re looking for, Erin, is again, take this and these actionable tips, these things that you can do as a business owner or a marketing director, if you will, whatever your position is at your company and apply them to your business to grow. Not a lot of crazy secrets or things like that here. Just following the blueprints, doing things intentional, doing things on purpose to optimize your site. Hopefully it’s helping you all out there.

If you’d love to leave us a review, we’d love to read that review and give you a quick shout out on the show. You can go to, bottom left corner, click on Review all the portals, wherever you want to leave one are there. We would absolutely love to hear from you. And like I said, we’ll read them on the show. That’s it for this episode. Catch you guys next time. Take care.

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