Google Marketing, SEO & Advertising FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Google Local SEO, Google Ads and Working with Sourceline Media to grow your local business!

Google Local SEO FAQ

Google Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the art and science of getting your local business to rank higher in Google search results, Google mobile results, Google Maps and the Google Local Pack.  

Another benefit of good local SEO is that the strategies and tasks that help you rank higher in Google also help you rank higher in Bing local and other search engines. Proper SEO should also improve your online business presence, reputation and reviews.  This has a major impact on click rates and conversions. 

The common answer is to get your business ranked higher in Google search results.  This is a big part of it. However, the ultimate goal is to get more customers for your business. 

In order to accomplish this goal, there are many important aspects of local SEO that should be considered to generate more business, including:

  • Improving your rankings for search terms with high buyer intent.
  • Focus on getting top 3 rankings for local searches so your business is displayed in the local pack, which gets the majority of search clicks.
  • Developing good SEO copy that is also compelling and increases click through rates.
  • Designing a website that is attractive, fast, mobile-friendly that entices visitors to contact you or visit your business location.
  • Establishes a strong online reputation through a good quantity of reviews and a high cumulative review score.
  • Consistently generating new reviews.
  • Includes best practices to show that you are an active thriving local business.

Google has over 100 search ranking factors.  Each one of these factors plays a role in how you rank in their search engine. Local intent search results display the local pack and those search ranking factors are different than traditional search rankings. Here are some of the key local business ranking factors:

  • Strength and relevancy of your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
  • GMB primary and secondary category.
  • How well optimized is your business website.
  • How often your business is mentioned anywhere online
  • External links that point to your website and the overall value of your business authority.
  • Relevancy and authority of the websites that is linking to your business website.
  • NAP accuracy of information on business listing directory websites. NAP = Name, address, phone number.
  • Quantity of websites that link to your business.
  • Quantity of new links to your business and quantity of mentions of your business (on social media for example).
  • Relevancy of keywords in your business listings.
  • Proximity of your business location. (How close is the user to your business location). 

We spoke with a Google Data Engineer and asked this question. His answer:  Google does not want to rank a company at the top of search results if the company is out of business. It is one of their biggest fears.

Google has no way to really know when a company goes out of business. But they CAN evaluate your online business activity. Google wants to see that you are actively updating profiles, adding content to websites, getting new links, adding information to your Google My Business profile, maintaining accurate business listings,  getting consistent reviews, responding to your reviews and posting on social media.

Also, remember that search rankings change constantly and ranking is competitive. Part of SEO is understanding where you stand and what your competitors are doing.  Then using tactics to respond to changes in rankings that enable to you rank higher for a specific keyword search phrase.

Over time you are continuing to strengthen your local online presence and building a consistently better online profile. One of our clients has over 1,400 reviews, thousands more than any competitor and they will never catch up to them. (Client & location information is removed due to our privacy policy).

 

Yes. Thats true. Google uses an algorithm to rank websites. Its a very complex formula. They do not provide information on the algorithm to the public. They only give out basic guidelines.

However, we have been optimizing websites since 1998 and actually started doing SEO before Google was the top search engine. We own several websites that get millions of visitors each year from Google since 2002. 

Over the years, we've learned a lot about the nuances of Google. We've been working as an expert specialist in Google local marketing for the last 8 years. 

We have attended local SEO conferences, listened to Google representatives and we avid are readers of Google Local SEO content.  There are several excellent sources of research on the Google algorithm that guide us. 

Moz is one of the leading Google search engine experts in the world. They did an extensive study on Google ranking factors in 2018.  While there have been some minor changes since then, the results of this research is still valid today. Visit the research results page below to learn more.

Moz Local Search Ranking Factors

Not every local business is going to get a high return on investment in an SEO service. 

Our clients tend to have the following characteristics:

  • Existing businesses that have a good idea of how much profit they make per new customer (lifetime customer value). And they know that adding new customers from search provides them exponentially more profit than the cost of the service. 
  • Businesses that have plenty of opportunity to get customers from search in their local market.
  • Businesses in competitive industries where getting ranked in the top (local pack) takes significant effort and can lead a large number of new customers. 
  • Businesses that want to rank #1 for highly competitive keyword search phrases. 
  • Ambitious business owners that want to win and crush their competition. 

If you run a small business that doesn't have a lot of profit per customer or you don't have a marketing budget, then  educate yourself on search engine optimization and consistently work on your local SEO campaigns.  You can read a lot of information on our website and find a lot of great advice by following SEO websites and social media channels. 

One of our clients that track their leads and revenue have produced more than $1 million in the last year from customers that came from Google and other search engines. For most local companies, SEO is the lowest cost, highest ROI form of marketing they can utilize. 

Google Ads FAQ

Google Ads is an online advertising platform provided by Google. Traditionally known as a PPC (Pay Per Click) platform, you bid on search terms relevant to the audience you are targeting. 

In recent years, Google has shifted their platform to utilize their artificial intelligence to help target searchers that are more likely to convert. When set up properly, you have an enormous advantage of using their data to find the right buyer persona.  Essentially, they are giving you access to data that would cost billions of dollars to build yourself.  

By nature, a bid based platform is competitive, so the cost of the ads depends on the value of the search term and what other companies are bidding.  

Optimizing Google Ads these days is quite a bit different than even a few years ago.  New strategies allow you to take advantage of their AI, increase conversions and lower the cost to acquire a customer.

The platform has a lot of different options for running advertisements that include:

  • Search Ads (bidding on keyword searches)
  • Image Display Ads 
  • Video Display Ads
  • YouTube Pre-roll
  • Product Shopping Ads
  • Performance Max (mix)

There are also a number of variations of each of these ad types that include:

  • Dynamic search 
  • Responsive search 
  • Branded 
  • Non-branded 
  • App promotion 
  • Product shopping
  • Showcase shopping
  • Smart shopping
  • Contextual display
  • Topic display
  • Google network search
  • Google network display
  • Managed placement
  • Remarketing
  • Similar audience
  • Google local
  • Google Maps
  • Call Only

Furthermore, there are a number of tools that allow you to create audiences and optimize ads based on user behavior including devices and demographics.

Yes. Google has added a lot of great features that help local businesses grow customers. The following ads tend to be the highest ROI for local companies:

  • Search Ads
  • Google Maps Ads
  • Google Local Ads (Google Guaranteed)
  • Display Ads (Topic/interest)
  • Call Only Ads 
  • Shopping Ads

There are also a number of conversion types that can be used to capture customers that include:

  • Website forms
  • Website phone calls
  • Website email
  • Website chat or messaging
  • Google Lead forms
  • Calls from Ads
  • Call only ads
  • Messages
  • Direction Requests
  • eCommerce

Google has a special ad platform that is a completely different platform than the standard Google Ads platform. Its often known as "Google Guaranteed."  Google Local Service Ads are a Pay Per Lead platform. 

To qualify, you have to apply and Google will screen your company to verify you meet requirements. Google requires that you have operated for a certain period of time and that you have the proper licensing and insurance.  They also perform a background check on your business.

If you are accepted then you will receive a "Google Guaranteed" badge and these ads will normally be at the very top of the search listings in the local area when users search for local services. The ads also display your star rating so this helps provide additional trust to the user.

The big advantage is that you only pay for leads. That means you only pay when someone calls the number or sends you a message requesting service.  You can choose your budget and you will know the cost of the lead ahead of time. The cost depends on service type.  Also when a job is complete, the user is asked to leave a review so these ads help to improve review generation. 

Most business types are for home based services, though there are a few local service ads that cater to businesses.  Here is a current list as of 2022, but they continue to ad service types over time. 

  • Acupuncture
  • Animal Rescue
  • Appliance Repair
  • Beauty School
  • Carpentry
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Child Care
  • Countertop Services
  • Dance Instruction
  • Driving Instruction
  • Electrical - Electricians
  • Fencing
  • Financial Planning
  • First Aid Training
  • Flooring Services
  • General Contracting
  • Garage Door Services
  • Handyman
  • Home Inspection
  • Home Security Services
  • Home Theater Services
  • House Cleaning
  • HVAC
  • Junk Removal Provider
  • Landscaping
  • Language Instruction
  • Law - Attorneys
  • Lawn Care 
  • Locksmiths
  • Massage
  • Mover
  • Personal Training
  • Pest Control
  • Pet Adoption
  • Pet Boarding
  • Pet Grooming
  • Pet Training
  • Plumbing
  • Pool Cleaning
  • Preschool
  • Real Estate
  • Roofing
  • Sewage System Services
  • Siding
  • Snow Removal
  • Tax Services
  • Tree Services
  • Tutoring
  • Veterinary
  • Water Damage Services
  • Weight Loss
  • Window Cleaning
  • Window Services
  • Yoga

There are a few hidden services within these categories. For example, the General Contractors category opens up a number if different specific construction services.  In the house cleaning category you can also get leads for office cleaning services.  Window services can be used by glass companies and auto glass companies. 

Working with Sourceline Media - A Google Partner Agency

The best way to get started is to fill out the form on any page. You will gain access to a Google Local Business & SEO audit .Our goal is to get  you more customers from Google so its important to know where you stand in search results You can also let us know a bit about your business and if you are interested in specific services.  We also need to understand the status of your local marketing and competitors. 

Would you hire a plumber to run your water lines and install a kitchen sink, but then hire a totally different plumber to install a bathroom sink?

One of the major components of Google marketing is understanding the data. This includes rankings, buyer intent search terms and competitive analysis. We also have to set up conversions and perform conversion optimization.

Much of the same work goes into building a successful Google Ads campaign, so if you are using two agencies you are paying for two companies to do the same things.

Another enormous benefit is that we can use data analysis from SEO to help improve Google Ads campaigns and vice versa. This is one of the concepts of the Google Ladder.

Learn more about the Google Ladder.

Google Partners are certified by Google.  

A Google Partner badge shows that a company has multiple employees that continuously meet Google’s performance standards. This includes minimum performance scores for ad campaigns and demonstrated growth of both clients. Google requires at least $10,000 in ad spend over the previous quarter and consistent growth of ad budgets. You also have to pass all Google Ads certification exams. 

Google displays our current partner status on their website to validate our Partner certification.

View the Sourceline Media Google Partner Page

 

Along with the Google Partner certification, we have other qualifications that include:

  • 22 years of experience in digital marketing
  • Certified Digital Marketing Professional
  • Digital Marketer Certified in Data Analytics, Content Marketing, Custom Value Optimization, Email Marketing, Optimization Testing, Search Marketing and Social Community Management. 
  • Certifications, training and experience in additional Google products such as Google Workspace.
  • Extensive experience and training in Google marketing tools such as Google Optimize and Google Tag Manager.
  • Google Analytics experts and Databox Premier Partner
  • 20+ years of experience running Google AdSense for publisher websites
  • HubSpot CRM expert

Many of our local business clients are in our premier partner program. We essentially serve as the marketing arm of your business. We have a limited number of businesses that we work with and minimum qualifications that include:

  • Minimum Google Ad spend of $2000 per month.
  • WordPress website. We only work with companies that use WordPress due the tools we use for conversion optimization. 
  • Must provide us with access required to measure conversions and value of conversions. 
  • Businesses in high growth stage

Though its not a requirement, its strategically advantageous to be Google Workspace company.  This service is also ideal for multi-location businesses. 

We provide the following services for our premium partners:

  • Google Ads management
  • Google Local SEO
  • Google Workspace support
  • Google product integration
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Conversion optimization
  • Website performance optimization
  • Landing page design
  • Marketing consulting
  • Marketing automation
  • HubSpot consulting
  • Active Campaign consulting

Most local companies in this program generate $1 million to $30 million in revenue.  At this stage, it usually cost prohibitive to hire a full time marketing professional. By working with our agency, you have the advantage of working with more than one person. Its difficult for one individual to have well rounded experience in all facets of local business marketing. Our team included multiple people with specialized expertise. 

Contact us using the form below to inquire about working with our company. 

Get Instant Access to Your FREE Google Local Business Report

Fill out the form to get immediate access on the next page. You'll be able to enter your business name and our software will find your Google listing and run the report.

Check your rankings in Google and Bing for local, maps and website search.

Find out where you and your competitors rank on high value keywords. 

Shows status of your Google My Business profile.

Grades your website for on-page search engine optimization. 

Discover your business authority score and link strength.

Learn which directories list your company with an evaluation of accuracy.

Get a snapshot of your online reputation and reviews.