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Meetup Highlights – How to Dominate Local SERPs with Mike Stewart

Last night Mike Stewart brought it at the #RocksDigital Meetup group. He was presenting on “How to Dominate Local SERPs”.

With a presentation like this, you are never sure if the speaker is going to cover the basics or step it up into geekdom. Mike took the geekdom route. Including slides like this:

We had so many takeaways from last night’s meeting, it was hard to decide the 5 to share here, but I did it anyway.

5 Takeaways on Dominating Local SERPs

1. Going Through Basic Training

Mike started off his presentation by sharing the standard operating procedure.

  • Local Listings (NAP 1st)
  • Content Development
  • Content Ideation/Posts
  • Social Media Amplification
  • Virtue & Honor = Good Reviews

2. Selecting a Listing Management Company

There are several listing management services out there to choose from. You need to understand the pros and cons of each one before make your choice.

Right now, you have to use Yext to claim your Yahoo listing, which means your clients will start getting lots of sales calls from Yext. Prepare them for this in advance. Another point he made is that it is cheaper to go through the Yahoo interface to claim your listing vs. going straight to Yext.

3. Claiming is Better then Submitting

Make sure the listing management solution you select claims existing listings. If you use a company that just submits, you can have duplicate listings created. If you use listing suppression, like with Yext, once you stop using their service, the bad listings will reappear.

4. The Nuts-n-Bolts of Websites

Website code was a bigger discussion than you think it would be during a local SEO presentation. Site load speed is very important because it effects the user experience.

Mike says it is better to use something like Python vs WordPress. He said WordPress does too many calls out when loading the site and pages, which slows down the load time significantly. If you are going to use WordPress, go back to the original developer to get changes made to the theme. This will help keep the code bloat down.

5. Getting Reviews with a Review Tool

Guiding customers through a review process that enables them to easily give reviews is important. Mike said there are several services out there to use, but he recommends Grade.us as the tool he uses. Looking through Grade.us, it seems you build out a landing page that you can easily give to your customer and, through that landing page, guide the customer to the sites you need reviews on the most with the review funnel.

Mike also said to ask customers to include the name of the person that helped them when giving the review. This adds more value to the person reading the review later and also encourages others to include a name when giving their review.

At one point in the evening, the conversation turned to how much data is online about us, especially what Facebook has been gathering about us.


The evening closed out with a discussion on JSON coding and AMP html. When I asked Mike if his company was testing out AMP, he responded “We don’t need it, our sites already load fast. If your website is built right to start, speed isn’t an issue.”

Mike, generously shared his slides with us. You can view them below:

Thanks Mike Stewart of Status26, Inc. for an educational evening and making all of us geeks heads spin!

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