I’m always on the lookout for something new to learn. Throughout our lives we come across things that hold our interest for a little while, challenge us, help us grow, but seem to vanish into the background. But every once in a while we find that special something that latches on to us and one day we realize it has become a part of who we are.
Local Search is one of those special things for me as it is for a lot of us in this industry. It’s more than just a thing, a fad or something to master and move on. It’s all or nothing. I discovered Local Search in November 2010 and until about a year and a half ago, it was one of only a handful of things in life that I discovered that was more than just another thing to learn and then move on to the next thing. What happened a year and a half ago is I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). And what I quickly started to notice is there are a lot of core principles that Local Search and BJJ share.
Local SEO Requires Discipline and Repetition
As Aristotle put it, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit”. And as Jocko Willink say’s “Discipline equals freedom”. In order to be great at BJJ or Local Search it requires repetition and the discipline to continuously invest your time into learning. What would happen if you decided to not pay attention to the changing world of local search for a month or two? Or even a couple weeks? When you popped your head back in would the whole world seem to have changed on you? I know I would feel like Dorothy after the twister. ”I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”.That’s how fast it moves. BJJ is no different. You take a month off, it is the equivalent of three months off.
What’s With These Analogies Colan?
In 2013, I worked with Phil Rozek to put together a quiz called Studied for Your Google+Local SATs? I wanted to put together a modern version of a quiz and to mix it up and make it a little different and score it using the BJJ belt system. Is this a geeky, and selfish way for me to combine two things that I love for my own amusement? Absolutely. But this will be fun for you too.
Take the quiz below to find out what your local SEO belt color is. The belt colors are based on BJJ belt colors of course. With White Belt being the first belt (beginners belt) and Black Belt being the local SEO expert belt.
Seasonal businesses (like an ice-skating rink only open in winter months) are eligible for a GMB listing as long as they…
Service Area Businesses are allowed to use a virtual office if it’s the only listing they have since they don’t have customers coming to them.
Service Area Businesses don’t need to be staffed during stated hours.
"Papa John’s" offers pizza takeout and delivery but does not offer on-premises dining. It should use the category "Pizza Delivery" and additional category "Pizza Takeout" (instead of the less specific "Delivery Restaurant" or "Takeout Restaurant").
How many GMB categories is it possible to see on a competitor’s listing?
You can post reviews about your former employer but not your current employer.
What is the first thing to do with a Google review you want to have removed?
It’s possible to upload videos inside the GMB dashboard.
The GMB Insights include data from AdWords.
Tracking phone numbers can be used in the GMB Dashboard.
Is it possible to see the address for a listing that is hiding its address?
Approximately what distance needs to be between two listings pin markers on Google Maps in order for them not to filter each other?
Adding a suite number to your listing is a good tactic to prevent your listing from being filtered.
Soft suspensions have a huge impact on a businesses’ ability to rank.
A food truck can have a GMB listing if..
To get an accurate idea of how you rank you should track ranking from a..
Google will sometimes remove/redirect practitioner listings.
Google Posts have a mild impact on ranking.
Which GMB dashboard shows Q&A?
Not happy with how you scored? Want to become a Local SEO Black Belt sooner? Find all the answers and a ton more in the Experts Guide to Local SEO.
The Scoring Legend
- White Belt – You’re a Local SEO White Belt! A white belt has to come to terms with the fact that they can’t learn everything by the time they get to blue belt. There’ll be a lot left to discover, later on, so try to focus on the very basics. You won’t understand much, but don’t let that worry you. Local SEO (and BJJ!) is notoriously difficult during this time and this is reflected in the mental attitude. Just make sure you learn the letters and survive, and you’re on the right mental track.
- Blue Belt – You’re a Local SEO Blue Belt! Despite increased knowledge and understanding, blue belts still make fundamental mistakes. But that’s ok! You are on your way. Keep focusing on discipline and repetition in your learning.
- Purple Belt – You’re a Local SEO Purple Belt! A purple belt is now fully equipped to put together strong Local SEO strategies. Your Local SEO and BJJ mental attitude is one of clarity. As your technical game takes shape, so does your mental one. Congratulations, you are now in the conscious competence phase.
- Brown Belt – You are a Local SEO brown belt. You are so close to earning your Black Belt. Efficiency best describes the brown belt. As far as BJJ mental attitude goes, you have become unconsciously competent. Almost there!
- Black Belt – You are a genuine local SEO expert. You’ve put in the discipline and repetition to understand the fine details that separate the wheat from the chaff. But as they say, once you earn your Black Belt the journey has only just begun.