What is Local SEO & How Will It Bring In More Money?

April 27, 2016


what is local seo

What is Local SEO

Q: Okay, so what is local SEO?

A: Moz defines local SEO as “specialized online marketing that increases visibility for businesses interested in ranking for geographically related keywords. A large component of local SEO is ranking well in the local algorithms. It is also important to rank well in the organic results for local keywords.”

Today, when people want to find a product or service, they pull out their smart phone or hop on their desktop computer and use a search engine (like Google) to locate where they can get it. Examples include lawn service, plumbing, veterinary care, real estate services, swimming pool supplies, hair salons, and tons of others.

Does your local business need help with getting more customers? Are you standing out from your competition so people notice you in the search results?

Traditional ads like newspapers and radio are far less influential today than they were 15 years ago, as people continue dropping their usage of those mediums (most newspapers have lost 40% to 80% of their pre-internet readership).

This means money spent on newspaper or radio advertising is reaching far fewer people today.

Blogging is a critical component to local SEO, so that is why I sat down with Bernadette Coleman (via Skype) to pick her brain on not just what is local seo but also finding out how it works and what an online business owner can do to make it work for their business.

what is local seo

Coleman is the CEO of a local seo business called Advice Interactive Group out of the Dallas Texas area.

AIG is an award winning digital agency that has been featured three times in the annual Inc. list of fastest growing companies.

I met Bernadette through Google Plus a few years ago and have watched her rise to becoming one of the top local seo experts in the U.S. She has a wealth of knowledge to give any entrepreneur or content marketer wanting to make inroads in their local market using the internet.

So enjoy what she has to share via reading the transcript of our talk below or by listening/viewing the YouTube video.

If you have any questions for Bernadette or myself, you can leave them in the comments.

Cheers to higher online sales!

Here’s a crash course in Local SEO with Bernadette Coleman.


Bernadette Coleman Interview Transcript

(For those who like to read.)

Matthew Loomis: Bernadette, you are a successful CEO of Advice Interactive Group, which is an award-winning digital agency listed by Inc. as one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States, I believe, for 3 years straight?

Bernadette Coleman: Yes, very excited about that and proud of it.

Matthew Loomis: Why don’t you share with us that story a little bit about your background, and how you reached this impressive point? What does your business do?

Bernadette Coleman: It’s a very interesting story, at least I think. We started off in 2010 as a digital agency just doing websites for local plumbers and air condition repair companies and I always say I was so excited the day we got our very first client. It was a $750 website for a local plumber, and we were so excited about that.

Matthew Loomis: Oh, cool.

Bernadette Coleman: But back then, it was a lot easier to help clients rank higher in the search engines. It was still fairly new and there wasn’t a lot of competition.

We were able to do an amazing job for our clients and people in the same businesses talked to each other and they shared their success stories.

We started getting quite a bit of referrals from plumbers and air condition repairs and but also different verticals like attorneys and we had moving companies, and those kind of service companies. as the company started to grow, we started to look for some technologies to help us rank higher in the search engines and we knew early on that taking control of your digital presence is going to be important and what I mean by that- just so you have a full understanding – is our clients’ name, address, and phone number, as it appears across the web, is important for search engines to gain trust in that business. one of the first things we did for all of our clients was take control of all the assets out there, anywhere that their name, address, or phone number appeared across the web and we cleaned that up and managed that for them, and low and behold our clients would start ranking very high in the search engines.

We found this technology that helped us manage that, at scale,-so we didn’t have to hire people to do it manually- and we acquired that in 2011.

During this time of the first couple of years our company doubled, and then doubled, and then doubled again, and because of that high growth rate we were able to make the Inc. 500 list three years running. Now we didn’t apply the 4th year because we knew we didn’t have that kind of growth rate. But during that 4th year, we started sharing our tech with other companies that do what we do, and one of the first companies we shared it with was a large companies that- I won’t mention their name because we are a private label in seller’s form- but when we showed them the technology they gave us a 1.4 mil dollar contract 4 days after we presented it to them. We went back to our offices going, “Holy crap, now what do we do?” We had no way of fulfilling on it. But thank goodness we had about a 30-day integration period and in that 30 days we rammed up, we put processes and procedures in place, and low and behold, we now are signing up about 500 hundred to 600 hundred new businesses, small businesses, every day on our platform for us to help them control their digital presence management.

We are an agency. But that’s just a small part of our business. We are also a company that helps other agencies and partners help their clients control their presence across the web.

Does that make sense?

Matthew Loomis: Yeah, it does. You’re obviously a little bit of an SEO expert, right?

Bernadette Coleman: A little bit. As it relates to local SEOs especially.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, yeah, I want to get into that a little bit. For new bloggers that are listening or reading this interview, can you give a simple definition of what SEO is?

Bernadette Coleman: Yes, SEO is the optimization of a website that makes it easily “findable” by the search engines by putting certain structure on the site and also off-site to create links that point back to the site so search engines can find it. it’s really about creating an opportunity for the search engines to find your site and then have the search engines believe that your site is relevant enough, based on the content on the site, so that they want to show that content to people when they’re looking for your services. That’s kind of as simple as I can put it so people can [understand].

Matthew Loomis: Is there any way to get around the search engines?

Bernadette Coleman: No. They are the gods. They control the internet as far as it relates to SNBs.

Let’s just look at Google for an example. As you know, billions of searches are done every month on Google, and people today, when they’re looking for a product or service, especially as it relates to a local area, right in your neighborhood, more often than not they’re going to open up a PC, their phone, or their IPad and they’re going to search for what they need and the majority of the time, it’s going to be on Google. Google controls almost 70 percent of all the search.

Matthew Loomis: Is the other 30 percent Bing and yahoo? How does that work? How does that break down?

Bernadette Coleman: No, surprisingly enough, Bing is only about 16 percent. Yahoo is not much more. But there are a lot of traffic today coming from what we call directories and other profile sites like your E-Locals, like your Yellow Pages, your Super Pages. Yelp is very important today for small businesses.

These kind of companies actually control quite a bit of the traffic that comes through a small business site. When people are searching, they may find a yelp listing on Google, but they may get to that business through yelp not directly from Google. It’s very important to make sure that you optimize your site not just for a search in Google, but now, for a search by apps and directories.

Matthew Loomis: Good point.

Bernadette Coleman: More than 50% of searches today are done on a mobile device. It’s just as important to optimize, not just for local, but for mobile. And that’s actually a little different.

Matthew Loomis: For a new “solopreneur” startup that doesn’t really know anything about SEO, what do you recommend they start doing to get an understanding? How can they grasp this?

Bernadette Coleman: That’s a tough one. I’ve been in this business for many, many years and every day it changes. There are a number of wonderful resources out there and eBooks that have been written that talk about the basics for SEO, and I think that understanding the basics is important for a business to know what they need to do on their site.

It’s different today than it was 5 years ago. A lot of social engagement is important. Reviews are important. Good content is important, that people want to link to, and also making sure that you create a user-friendly mobile website for people, not for search engines. That’s the fine line; you want to optimize for the search engine, but you also want the people to find the site very user-friendly. Creating that fine line is also very important so that you know.

Surprisingly enough, the search engines are so smart today that they will know that you created a site for the search engine, not for the people, and you can be penalized.

Matthew Loomis: Wow. And, the robots don’t have credit cards, right?

Bernadette Coleman: They do not. The last thing you want is a penalty on your site. Especially, by Google because it’s very hard to overcome.

Matthew Loomis: You talk about getting educated. You have an eBook called, “Online Marketing for Local Businesses; a Beginner’s Guide”

Bernadette Coleman: Yes, I do.

Matthew Loomis: Can you tell us how people can get a copy?

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, there’s a number of ways. Obviously you can go to advice interactive group and it’s on a resources page there, and you can just fill out some information, I think that it’s either you just fill out your name and email address and they email it to you or it may be a click to you know tweet and they give it to you. I’m not sure. We do it a number of different ways.

But also we have a site called Rocks Digital and Rocks Digital is what we call our local SEO newspaper. There’s a lot of information on their own tactics and things to do for local SEOs, content strategies and social. And you can also pull the book down from there.

Matthew Loomis: Awesome. Okay, let’s go ahead and touch on each of these key areas. The services that you provide; I’d just like to get your take on each one.

Let me mention the first one. Can you just tell us a little bit about it?

Bernadette Coleman: Okay.

Matthew Loomis: Keyword research.

Bernadette Coleman: Yes, very, very important today.

Matthew Loomis: Why is that?

Bernadette Coleman: Well one of the reasons why we like to do keyword research for all of our clients is one, it gives us a good view of what they are and are not ranking for, what the traffic is on certain keywords so we can optimize for the ones that have the most traffic, we can look at what their competitors are ranking for us, so we want to make sure we’re aware of where their competitors are.

And then after we define a good keyword set, it allows us to have a blueprint on the content that we’re going to put on the site because we want to have strong content around the keywords that are relevant to that business, so they receive the right type of traffic to the site, people that are actually interested in what their products or services are. Without that keyword research, we’re just throwing darts at a wall and hoping something sticks, so I would say it’s one of the most important things that an SNB or a blogger or anyone needs to do in order to have the right content on their site, and attract the right traffic.

Matthew Loomis: Absolutely. Before I go on, is there any keyword research tools you recommend right off hand?

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, there’s a few of them out there. Some of the things we use, obviously, Google has a good keyword tool themselves and there’s SpyFu is a good one we use. I also have the Google Keyword. Those are the two main ones right now, but there’s quite a few of them out there.

Matthew Loomis: Yeah, there is. I was just curious which ones you recommend. Alright, well let’s go to competitive analysis. What is that? For a beginner business owner, solopreneur, how can that benefit them?

Bernadette Coleman: Many times, we find with SMBs and small businesses especially in verticals it’s very important for them to get links back to their site from relative industry sites other than theirs. if you’re a plumber, you may want a link from a company that sells plumbing supplies or is a directory that has articles on it about taking care of your home. That kind of stuff. it’s hard to find all those different types of sites out there, but if you do what we call competitive analysis, you’re able to find an especially with your more successful competitors, it’s very easy to find out where their sites are listed and where their back links are coming from and that, again, give you a blueprint of what directories, or sites, or profiles to go to try to get a backlink from. It reduces the guest work and also helps you be where your competitors are so someone is searching for the same keywords that they would rank for then you also show up. It also increases your visibility across the web by having these relative stronger links back to your site. You never don’t want to be where a competitor is unless he’s on just a bad, spammy site. And that’s the other thing that: you got to be careful. Just because they’re there, doesn’t mean you need to be there.

Matthew Loomis: Right, and sometimes it takes somebody on the outside to advise us on that.

Bernadette Coleman: Yes. There is a number of criteria that we look at to make sure the site has strong page ranks, strong domain authority, doesn’t have a lot of ads on it, that they’re picky about the content, that they do not let just anybody post anything. There’s a number of criteria that we look for before we’ll approach a site and ask for a link back or be allowed to post on their site.

Matthew Loomis: I want to talk about content in a second.

Bernadette Coleman: One of my favorite topics.

Matthew Loomis: Yeah, me too. But let’s touch on website architecture. What does that mean exactly?

Bernadette Coleman: Very interestingly, just this past week, Google came out with some new guidelines for your website and content on the site. They updated consistently, but it’s very important to follow the guidelines that are put out by the search engines so you’re not doing anything that’s considered spamming so you’re not penalized. Good site architecture helps you funnel visitors where you want them to go and the interlinking of a site if you do strong architecture helps the search engines find those products or services on your site almost like you’re walking them through the site to get where you want it to go and if they can find the products or services that someone’s searching for easier than not then there’s an opportunity for them to show that result to the person looking for the site. There’s a lot of reasons why website architecture is really important.

Matthew Loomis: We could talk a long time about that.

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah. What was very interesting, I thought, with the new Google guidelines that just came out is they said that every page on your site should have a link to them from somewhere else on your site and even when SAA say how to structure the URL of the linking, how it was written, the backlog but was very interesting. We’ve actually gone around and shared with our development staff these new guidelines that Google came out with so we’re doing it right. They did change a few things. They don’t like tabs anymore. It actually said not to hide content in tabs.

Matthew Loomis: How recently did these come out?

Bernadette Coleman: This week.

Matthew Loomis: Oh wow!

Bernadette Coleman: I’ll send you the link.

Matthew Loomis: Yes, I was just going to ask. Where can we find these guidelines? For those of you listening and watching, I will be posting a link underneath the video that will take you to the guidelines so be looking for that link.

Alright, let’s go ahead in touch on content marketing. Some new bloggers might only know the term blogging. Explain what content marketing is and how a solopreneur or a startup can use?

Bernadette Coleman: A lot of people think that content marketing is just writing a blog.That’s so far from the truth. They recently wrote an article called “101 Content Ideas”. Content ideas can be a blog. It can be a list. It can be a poll. It could be a video. It can be a host of different things. It can be an image. It can be a meme. It can be an infographic. There’s so many different things that content can be. That’s why it’s so fun to create content because you can take one idea or one blog, and turn it into ten different types of content and have 10 different content pieces to publish over the course of a month just by writing 1 blog. That’s kind of how we like to do it here.

Matthew Loomis: Do you have a quick example off the top of your head of that?

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, for example, maybe I’ll write a blog on how to do content marketing so then once I write that blog, the next thing I do is I read that blog into a podcast, so now I read it and I’ll have another piece of content. Next thing I do is I might make a slide share of it and put some images in the blog and then I post it on SlideShare. Now I have a link of another piece of content, but it’s the same blog, it’s just I’m just doing it in different ways. Then I may take it and break it down into tweetable little pieces of content and then I’ll tweet a piece of it out at a time in the course of that month with links back to the blog. Now I’m creating social media content links. The list can go on and on.

I may make, if it’s an article that I can, I may make a top 10 out of that article and post “These are the Top 10 Outtakes of this Article”, “The top 5 Outtakes of this Article”, and then post that somewhere else with a link back to the article. There’s so many different things that you can do in order to take one piece of content and turn it into 5 or 6 different contents. The other thing that I think it’s very important today, especially with everybody in a constantly connected mobile world, is that long content pieces are not always preferable. Where before we’d write a blog and might want a 1,000 words in the blog, but if you’re on a cell phone and you don’t want to scroll through a 1,000 words, so you also should have a mobile content strategy where you have shorter bits of content that can be in the form of list or smaller pieces where they’re easier to find exactly what it is that you need. We call them bit size pieces of content that are more geared towards mobile content reading, and surprisingly enough especially with the millennials, more and more people are searching for content and solutions on these mobile devices and they’re looking for quick understandings of solutions so that’s where video, smaller pieces of content and podcasts can actually be very powerful.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, when it comes to word counts on these bite-sized pieces, how many words are you talking about?

Bernadette Coleman: 250, at the most. If you can put it in a list format, it’s better.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, so you’re saying that these long forms. 3,000, 4,000 5,000 word Mega-posts are… You don’t recommend doing very many of those. Is that what you’re saying?

Bernadette Coleman: No. Again, it’s all about making sure that you have a variety of content so I’m not saying don’t do them but if you do them, create smaller bits of content out of them that you can share for mobile users. Always have a call to action if you can in your content. Make sure there’s good interlinking. if you’re writing about servicing a man an air conditioner and you link to the man a site, with content on the site, now you’ve just told Google by putting those two keywords close together in a blog that what you’re writing about is important to the said man’s site so links that go to a that man now may co-link to your blog and help you move up the search engines. When you writing content it’s also about where you place the keywords and the links in your content for SEO.

Matthew Loomis: Since we’re on the topic of links, what’s your take on the no-follow links? When should you use those?

Bernadette Coleman: Google has some pretty strict guidelines on no-follow links, so a lot of the time, especially if we’re doing promotional content, we just have to look to see what those guidelines are and just follow them. That doesn’t mean there’s no benefit from a no-follow link. There’s still benefit. Just make sure you do what the search engines want you to do when it comes to no-follow and you can still get benefit from them.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, you obviously think that social media is an important part of this. You offer the services of social media optimization. What does that mean? What is all of that about?

Bernadette Coleman: Well, there’s a couple of things. Businesses out there need to control their brand and there are many social sites out there where you can post a profile on to enhance you brand. For example, Facebook today is probably one of the second or third largest search engines. A lot of people are looking for products and services there. They have the new location pages. They are very powerful for getting suggestions and referrals from and then just the social mentions coming back to your site and links back to your site also helps with search engine optimizations.

Ignoring social is not good now. It’s very important to have strong social profiles. It’s important to have social profile links coming back to your site, and it’s also important to watch what people are saying about you on your social sites. Another strong ranking factor is reviews and a lot of reviews are posted on the sites. You want to make sure you take care of your reputation. Don’t ignore bad reviews. You want to be proactive. There’s a lot of cool tools out there that will help a small business be proactive and help them get better reviews and help them manage negative reviews, which is very important.

Matthew Loomis: Absolutely. How quickly should someone engage or respond on social media? And is that important?

Bernadette Coleman: Well, it’s important because it shows that you’re concerned with their negative review and that you want to be proactive and help them. Even if you can’t resolve it, it still shows that you’re not ignoring it and trying to do what’s best for the client. We find that being as proactive as possible, as quickly as possible, allows us many times to turn negative reviewers into positive advocates.

Matthew Loomis: Do you think it’s best to address those negative folks openly in front of everyone or should you personally, privately contact them?

Bernadette Coleman: Both. If you can do it privately, start with that, just by posting your comment saying “we’re sorry that you felt that this service you received wasn’t appropriate for what you wanted” or “Would you please connect with me offline at this number? Let’s see what we can do to resolve it.” If you can get them to do that, that’s better. When you do resolve, you obviously want to ask them to post the resolution and, if it’s a really negative review, ask them take it down if they can. The worst thing you can do is just ignore it and not manage it.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, that’s good to know. Don’t be shy about asking them. Okay, and then video optimization is one of the pillars of content that you can use.

Bernadette Coleman: It’s becoming more and more important.

Matthew Loomis: Yeah, so how can a startup or solopreneur use video optimization?

Bernadette Coleman: There’s many ways that you can and there’s many sites out there you can submit your videos to. I think one of the things that I find online most often when I’m looking at videos online is the fact that people think that just by posting a video they will come. But, it’s not as easy as that. There’s a way you should name your video. There is a way to put content in that video so that you get some relevant links back.

For example, when I go to look at a video on YouTube and I do not see the name, address, and phone number of that business, and I don’t see a link back to their website or back to a relevant page on that site that that video addresses, they just lost out on a good opportunity to drive additional traffic and links back to them. also having the video content typed out so that its transcribed is very important for keywords, and then the next thing we like to when we do post a video is also post a blog on our site about the same content that video is and then embed that video into that blog.

Matthew Loomis: Right, like you mean have a transcript of the video?

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, well, either a transcript or write a blog because the transcript is already up on the site so you don’t want duplicate content. You write a blog about the same service or product, or whatever that is and then as a reference or as a resource, you embed that blog into that blog.

Matthew Loomis: Ok, I got you.

Bernadette Coleman: And then, don’t forget to share it everywhere else. There’s many video sites out there that you can upload that video to.

Matthew Loomis: Which one is the best of the video sites?

Bernadette Coleman: I’m still a big advocate of YouTube. But there are some good ones out there. I think that Vimeo is also another good one. But I think everyone’s familiar with YouTube. Again, YouTube is another big search engine.

Matthew Loomis: Yeah, I think it’s the second largest search engine.

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, so, great videos are “How-to” videos. Everyone searches for “How-tos” and again I’m going to go back to the Millennials. As they’re growing up, their whole life is about “how-to” videos. I have a teenager and she knows so much about stuff that I never learned growing up, like how to put on makeup, how to dress, etc. So she’s grown up learning everything online on YouTube using “how-to” videos. Well, she becomes an adult, she goes out in the world and she needs to learn things, she’s going to default to YouTube.

Matthew Loomis: It’s amazing.

Bernadette Coleman: It’s crazy.

Matthew Loomis: Bloggers who don’t take advantage of that it’s to their own detriment.

Bernadette Coleman: Absolutely.

Matthew Loomis: Cool, well, Bernadette, you are referred to as the Queen of local SEO by industry peers, so let’s talk about local SEO. What if someone wants to use their blog to draw in local customers for example, a coffee shop or a dog grooming business, what are some SEO tactics that can help these online businesses get ranked highly in search engines, so that more local people will come to their service?

Bernadette Coleman: There’s a real magic behind blogging for local. A lot of the tactics is creating content that tell a story about that neighborhood or where you want to rank for. What I always tell people when they’re blogging for local is blog about current events in your neighborhood, blog about festivals or things that are going on at your doctor or local health fairs, blog about local news and doing a little bit of what we call “news jacking”. Then, of course, there’s always local lists., Best local restaurants, best dentists, and I have this little tool that I use, it’s kind of fun but it gives you ideas like, “10 restaurants in Dallas that will help you stay away from the dentist”. We try to make very applicable assets that have local intent, and we post those on the blog. Local lists are very good.

Matthew Loomis: Also, before you go on, no matter what the niche is or the business you can somehow relate to your business to those topics.

Bernadette Coleman: All the time. I’ve never found a business or vertical that I can’t relate to local content. I challenge anyone to give me one that we can’t. And also if you want to write locally and you’re a plumber link to the local city water site, link to some of the other resources locally that will give you some good co-citations. Don’t be afraid to even link to competitors in your space. Write a blog about the “Top 5 influential plumbers” in your neighborhood, or the “Top 10 attorneys that are in personal injury” in the local area and you’ll be surprised how much traffic you’ll get when someone types in “top personal injury attorneys in Dallas” and you just happen to have a blog on your site that lists the top attorneys in Dallas, but, of course, that whole blog is written about your services and why you’re the best.

Matthew Loomis: You just mentioned a tool that you use to get ideas. Is that right?

Bernadette Coleman: This is kind of just a little internal tool that we built. It’s almost like a random thing where it picks a number and then a word like “best”, “most”, “happiness” and then an industry, and then a city, and then a current event or like restaurants or whatever. We actually can scramble it and come up with some pretty cool titles for local content and then we can rewrite the blog from there.

Matthew Loomis: Is that available for everybody?

Bernadette Coleman: No, actually, it’s just something that I use internally that we made. But it’s very easy to do. You just have to think outside the box a little bit on different titles. Titles are very important. Again, I going back to that always engaged, mobile person. When they’re looking for something to read, if your title doesn’t grab their attention they’re not going to click on it. “The top 10 “, “most important”, those kind of keywords, “ten tools you can use” these kind of things are what people are looking for today on their mobile devices.

Matthew Loomis: I have a blog post ideas generator on my website.

Bernadette Coleman: Well, there you go! I may use it.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, I’ll send you a link. I kind of want to get off topic for a little bit. You and your husband advocate for Brain Injury Awareness and I wanted to give you a moment to share that, what that’s all about.

Bernadette Coleman: I’d love to.

Back in 2011, my son, who was 26 living in Florida at the time, was in a car accident. He was ejected from the car, landed about 40 feet away, and he landed on his head. He basically was barely alive by the time I got him into the hospital. Thank goodness we had a very progressive doctor in the emergency room who immediately removed about half of his skull to let the brain swell up. He was in intensive care and in the hospital for almost a year, learning how to eat again, walk again, breathe on his own again, and it was a very, very dark time and scary time.

One of the things that came out of this is while we were going through this very dark time, people started reaching out to us on social media telling us stories like “well, our son was in a car accident five years ago, but he’s getting married next month” or ” our daughter was in car accident (or fell from a building or whatever) and she’s going back to school”. These little tidbits and words of wisdom came to us via social media through our Facebook page where we talked about Mike kind of got us through those hard times and kind of made us think, “Well, look, if they can do, he can do it”.

We really pushed and pushed, and went they told us, about three days into his accident, that we should probably consider just letting him go, a lot of those stories that we heard of on social media kind of made us really stop and think, “no”. Later, a year after his recovery, we actually launched a site called Trymunity.

Trymunity is a community of people trying to overcome life’s unexpected, which could be a brain injury.

What people don’t know is a brain injury happens every 16 seconds here in America. It’s more prevalent than all the cancers put together. There’s more brain injuries every year. But it’s called the silent disease because it could happen from a shaken baby to someone falling off their bike to an elderly person having a stroke to car accidents, and so many different things. Football injuries can cause traumatic brain injuries. But we’re happy to say that this site now has over 20,000 people on it actively. All of them have been touched by traumatic brain injury. They share their story with each other. It’s a major online support system for some of them. My son, now, is recovered fairly enough to actually move into his own apartment just this year, for the first time since his accident 5 years ago. He’s able to take care of himself. He has trouble walking still, and trouble with his left side and his short-term memory isn’t very good. He may forget if he had lunch today. But, other than that, he’s doing well and we support and help anyone we can when it comes to others that have suffered the terrible, terrible disease.

Matthew Loomis: Wow. Well, I wanted to make sure you got the word out on that.

Bernadette Coleman: I appreciate that. I really do. Go to Trymunity. Check it out. Almost everybody knows somebody with a traumatic brain injury today.

Matthew Loomis: Absolutely. Great, and so going back to this. I have one last question. Basically, when it comes to the future of online marketing, blogging, content marketing, and SEO, what are some trends coming down the pike that you see that maybe new people are not aware of that are coming? I was wondering if you could share anything.

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, I can. As a matter of fact, I just happened to speak about this at BIA/KELSEY last month, and we were talking about the trends and local search, and what’s coming. There’s so many exciting things coming our way. Mobile, of course, you have to be there. Programmatic is very exciting. We can tell someone talked about buying a car three weeks ago and still target them today with appropriate ads during their sells funnel.

Matthew Loomis: Is that what programmatic is?

Bernadette Coleman: Problematic marketing is looking at the big data out there, and understanding what a person’s interests are based on where they searched, what websites they’ve gone to, what ads they’ve looked at, what they’ve clicked on, even to the point of what emails that they’ve sent, and what apps they’re using. It pulls all this data in and it knows probably what you need before you even know you need it. I’ll give you an example. Based on what my interests are, if I go to a website I may be served different ads or different content than you, but it’s the same website. They know what my interests are based on the data that they have been able to pull in and shift through programmatically and display to me good ads, better ads, relevant more to me and where I’m located. That makes me very excited.

Matthew Loomis: Two of the biggest boys on the block, Facebook and Google, are obviously using that technology. Is this something that’s going to be accessible to the smaller businesses?

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah. There’s a couple of startup companies that have come to fruition and we use a couple of them.

One is Genius Monkey, and if you go to their website they have a very cute little video on there that explains very simply what programmatic marketing is and how to use it.

The other one is Up Stop .They actually have an opportunity and a program where a small business can use the programmatic marketing for as little as, I think, $500 a month, a budget as small as that. It’s pretty cool stuff.

I think that artificial intelligence is going to play a big part in the future, of course, the internet of things, and VR too. That’s becoming very popular.

As a matter of fact, this year, we send out Christmas presents to a number of our clients and what we did was we bought Google cardboard glasses and created our own VR “Happy Holidays” video and sent them out to everybody. We got lots of good responses from that. When I was at a conference just recently, someone was giving out VR glasses also with a message. I think you’re going to see that coming, maybe not so soon, but it’s down the pipe line.

Beacon technology is a business. For example, if you go into a restaurant, they may have Beacon technology so they know if you walk in to serve you maybe an ad because they know that last time you were there you had lasagna. They may show you an ad that says “Hey. Welcome back! By the way, here’s 20% off that lasagna you like”.

Matthew Loomis: Wow.

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Facebook actually gives away a free beacon to small businesses.

Matthew Loomis: Oh.

Bernadette Coleman: You could go to Facebook, apply to get one of their beacon pieces of technology, and you could just plug it into your computer. It’s very simple to do. And then you can actually create ads so that when people walk in your store, and they happen to have Facebook on their phone, that Facebook knows that they’re in your store and can serve them appropriate ads based on what you’re selling.

Matthew Loomis: Interesting.

Bernadette Coleman: Yeah.

Matthew Loomis: Anybody that applies can get this from Facebook?

Bernadette Coleman: Not anybody. You have to apply, you have to be a small business, and you have to have a Facebook account. Those are a couple things, but it’s not that difficult to do. We’ve had a few sent out to our clients and they love them. If they use it, it’s very interesting. I think it’s going to become more mainstream over the next couple of years. This is the way that the industry’s going. It’s all about engagement, it’s all about instant gratification, and it’s all about finding what you want right now when you need it. It’s also about the vendor knowing what I need, so I don’t have to ask for it. I love it when I walk past a store and I get an ad on my phone that says, “Hey, by the way, we have this for sell this month” and they know I frequent that store. Google cards are going to be amazing, and their search engine too. It’s a lot of cool stuff coming down the pipe.

Matthew Loomis: Definitely. Wow, exciting. Bernadette, thank you so much for talking with us today about SEO, getting ranked, and getting your website found out there.

Bernadette Coleman: I will send you the link for the new changes and a link for our eBook. I’d love to talk anytime you want.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, we’ll keep you mind. We’ll see when we can connect again. Thank you Bernadette.

Interview Notes for What is Local SEO

Google’s New Webmaster Guidelines

Free eBook Online Marketing for Local Businesses; a Beginner’s Guide [Email opt-in required. That’s it!]

Interviewer Bio:

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter


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  1. Rebekah Lee Mays says:    •   4 years

    Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for the transcript of this interview. I usually prefer reading to watching videos 🙂

    I’m also definitely bookmarking this one for later reference. I have a friend who has started his own SEO business, and we’ve spoken about the possibility of me writing for him from time to time as his business grows and he attracts more clients. It’s good to know there are so many resources out there for getting started in the industry!


  2. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

    Hi Rebekah,

    Good luck with the freelance writing business!
    Once you get a chance to digest this interview, let me know if you have any questions for Bernadette or any thoughts.


  3. Florence says:    •   4 years

    Matthew and Rebekah,
    Interesting article, and I read it all the way through rather than listening to the video. There were several abbreviations used in the transcript that weren’t clear like “SNB, SMB, SAA.” I have no idea what these mean, which might have added to my understanding of the material. Otherwise, good info. Will take a while to digest.


    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi Florence,

      Hello and welcome back! How are you? Did you mean to say “Matthew and Bernadette”?

      That is a great point about the acronyms. I’ll see if Bernadette can drop by and help us out with that. I should have asked her to define those terms in the interview.

      I’m really glad you find this info helpful.

      Have a great weekend,


    2. Bernadette Coleman says:    •   4 years

      Florence, I wanted to drop in here quickly and translate a few of those acronyms. The reference to SNB was actually SMB and that is small-to-medium-size business.

      Regarding the SAA reference, that seemed to be a typo. What I said was saying in that portion of the audio was “they even went as far to say”. I hope this clears things up for you.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the interview.

  4. Julian Wang says:    •   4 years

    Do you think local Seo can be done from different country. Example I am in Canada but I want to promote website in USA. Is it possible ??, I am asking because google searches are now more local based, If I try to find local websites in USA, Google show only popular search results around the world Whether you search on .com extension.

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi Julian,

      Great question. I’ll see if Bernadette can answer this. She’s the local seo expert. 🙂
      I’m sure there’s a way for you to do local seo. Better let her take it from here.



    2. Bernadette Coleman says:    •   4 years

      Julian, I have a global team and they provide local SEO services for U.S. based clients. Once you overcome the browser barriers, you should be able to serve your U.S. clients.

      1. Julian Wang says:    •   4 years

        Thanks Matthew 🙂

        Bernadette, Thanks for answering me.. Do you think Google’s Incognito Window is a better option to check your keyword’s actual position in google searches.

        Most of I use Google.com/ncr (no country redirection) in Google’s Incognito window to find accurate results, But I’m not sure are they are organic result or just based on local searches.

        There is one more problem with google searches, Google keep record of I.P address with Mac Address. Google have all the data that you browse from your computer, so we can’t make google fool by using VPN services.

        Google snatch our all data from android to windows and from Google Drive to Chromecast. Nothing is left hidden from the eye of Google. Sorry I started talking off the topic 😀

        I just wanted to know, is there any way to find accurate search results for a particular country.


  5. Philip Verghese Ariel says:    •   4 years

    Hey Matt,
    Woh This is amazing!
    Yet another wonderful personality!
    Local SEO, really new subject to me!
    Good to know a bit more about it,
    as well as the Queen of local SEO Berbadette!
    Thanks Bern for sharing your personal experiences, the car accident of your son and the beginning of a wonderful site called “Trymunity.” amazing indeed! Now helping out peer groups! Keep it up!
    Thanks Bern for sharing all those valuable tips on local SEO
    Hey, Matt you did a wonderful job by adding those Skype voices on the letter format! LOL
    Thanks for sharing
    Keep sharign
    Have great day for both of you
    ~ Philip

    1. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

      Hi Philip,

      I love that you love this interview! 🙂 Local SEO is still new to me as well. It’s similar to general seo but has some differences. Glad we were able to ask Bernadette for help!

      Yes, I wanted to make sure Bernadette had time to share about Trymunity too. That’s a worthy cause, indeed.

      Hey, not sure what you are referring to on the “adding those Skype voices on the letter format.”



      1. Philip Verghese Ariel says:    •   4 years

        Hi Matt,
        Good to hear from you again!
        Hey, I mean or i was referring the concluding part of your intro. As you said in the intro that, “…….. I sat down with Bernadette Coleman (via Skype) to pick her brain on not just what is local seo but also finding out how it works and what an online business owner can do to make it work for their business.”
        So i said it: “adding those Skype voices on the letter format.” LOL

  6. Adrienne says:    •   4 years

    Hey Matthew,

    What an interesting interview with Bernadette and she’s not only here in Texas but in the Dallas area.

    SEO, although SO many people are still to this day confused by it, it’s something that can’t be ignored. I mean if you’re not being found in the search engines then you have to solely rely on referral traffic. That’s just extremely hard to do unless you’re a pretty big name who gets a ton of traffic to their site on a regular basis.

    As you know I’ve ventured into this area as well and although I don’t do what Bernadette does I do something similar. Google can be very confusing at times but over the years I’ve learned a lot more about how they actually work which is why I find this so interesting. They’re definitely not going anywhere any time soon and it’s in our best interest to stay on their good side.

    Great interview and I’ll have to look over her report, I’m always in my learning mode.

    Hope you’re enjoying your weekend and great interview.


  7. Matthew Loomis says:    •   4 years Author

    Hi Adrienne,

    Yeah, I don’t know exactly what your new business is all about, it just sounds similar to local seo, so I thought you might find this interesting. Glad you did. 🙂

    That is true Adrienne, seo, local or otherwise, cannot be ignored because most people aren’t celebrities and need to spend time on seo to get organic traffic and build trust with Google. It’s really that simple.

    I am wrapping up the weekend and it has been good. Happy you enjoyed this interview!