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Local online marketing tips and measuring success with Google my business. from fitness business pros

Local online marketing success in today’s marketplace requires taking responsibility for meeting the requirements necessary to compete against others seeking the same customers. 

One of the very foundations for success for local businesses begins with your Google my business profile. Later on in this article, you'll find a case study video that demonstrates how to use Google my business data to set a baseline and measure your local online marketing success moving forward.

Gaining new customers from the Internet requires 2 things to happen;

  • being found
  • being chosen

Tip 1 For Local Online Marketing Success

Local Directory Submission Services

This first tip gives your business a boost in being found. Claim and optimize the top 50+ local listings for your business. The smartest way to do this, is to use a Local Directory Submission Service that programmatically submits to all of the top 50 local listings at once.

This makes it easy to guarantee that a single source of information, your Google my business listing for example, is then duplicated in all locations.

Local online marketing

Our local directory submission service is the perfect example.

Doing it yourself Is not a practical choice because it would require the set up, and management of;

  • More than 50, directory services
  • 5 or more data aggregators
  • Connection to more than 80 GPS Mapping accelerators.

Your time is valuable so use the service since getting set up with one only takes about 15 min.

Local online marketing

If you're curious about the state of your online visibility, enter your business name and zip code in this form to get a full report.

Fitness Business Pros

Get Found Online!

Enter a Business Name and Zip Code

Tip 2 for Local Online Marketing Success

Cultivate the best online reputation with a focus on Google reviews

This tip supports the “being chosen” part of the equation. For most of this century, online reviews have been a key deciding factor for consumers, looking to make a choice in a competitive marketplace. Businesses are almost never the only provider in the average market. That’s why taking necessary steps to ask your satisfied customers for online reviews is the key.

make your goal having more reviews of the highest score 

Local online marketing

To be chosen more often than your competitors, you can't skip this step. 

The good news is that It’s not difficult to get there.  Once you do get there, you will need to keep your foot on the gas and don’t allow any competitor the opportunity to overtake you!.

You can use services for this, but I recommend not overthinking it. 

Start by taking the link, from your Google my business portal that allows your customer to go right to the place where they start writing their review in a single click. 

Google My Business Makes it easy to get reviews 

Google my business makes it easier to ask for reviiews.

Add that to your e-mail signature, and any ongoing e-mail communications that you have with your customers, and in no time at all you’re likely to have the best online reputation in the marketplace.

Tip 3 For Local Online Marketing Success

Impress search engines, with lightning fast web hosting

Local online marketing

In 2010 Google confirmed that their search algorithm would start taking speed into account when racking in search results. Here’s a quote from that announcement.

“Like us, our users place a lot of value and speed - that’s why we decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”

That change focused only computer page load speeds. Google followed up In early 2018 and added mobile page speed as a ranking signal in ttheir mobile search results as well.

speed is king for local online marketing success

You get what you pay for in web hosting. That means that budget web hosting is a big mistake if you want search engines to take your website seriously.

I recently rescued a clients website from really bad hosting at Site5, after their site went down and the engineers at the data center we're unresponsive in requests for a recovery support.

I had been advising this client for years that they should move, and this was the event that help them finally make the decision. Less than a day later, the site was live and after expressing extreme gratitude, the senior director from the company said to me, 

”Is it possible that our site is 10 times faster than it used to be?” I said, "yes it was hard not to notice wasn't it!"

Just do it people. Here’s the one I recommend, especially if your website uses WordPress as its content management system.


Full disclosure: We are an affiliate, but not just because they give us a small commission. Most of our client sites are hosted there and all but 1 of ours are, including the one you're on now.

They are the best of the best, with the fastest support in the world.

How to Use Google My Business to Measure Your Success

This is a must watch video, there’s a transcript below if you want to skip around. The case study in this video, does all three things mentioned above, and in less than five months they experienced significant gains in all 7 Measurable categories. Take a look.

The bottom line is that, for local businesses these things always work, no matter what business you’re in.

Below the video and the transcript are 2 more case studies, 1 for a Pilates studio, the other for an Acupuncture practice. 

A Case Study following those 3 tips


One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is developing the ability to
measure results. That's truly the key to managing expectations, your own, your teams as well as your clients expectations.

Now, there's an old saying that you have to know where you started and where
you want to go if you have any hope of measuring your progress between
those two points getting where you want to be. Now for local businesses Google my business insights represent the very front lines of the if, the when and the where people are finding that business when searching for services.

And of course, the point of marketing is o make those numbers go up steadily over time and the only way to know that is to track it. So before doing any marketing at all,  it's really important to create a record of that baseline that represents where the business was before you did anything.


Watch how easy that is to do using Google my business insights.
Step one is to log into your Google my business panel and to do that just make sure you're signed into the Google account you use to manage your Google my business location or locations. Once you do that and you can verify that by hovering over the icon and I see I'm in my business account and now I click on the 9 squares where all the Google apps are all the time. It is 1 stop shopping for anything Google.


So I go in there I scroll down and I look for the my business tent.  It may not be in the same location for you. Sometimes it's up here sometimes down here, but wherever it
is, it's gonna look exactly like that. Click on that icon.

And whether you have one location or many locations, the next thing you're going to do is simply put a checkbox in the location you want the insights for. Watch what happens click and the actions menu comes up. I open the actions menu and I choose insights. I'm gonna just leave it at Discovery insight because I want all the information. So I click next. Now it defaults to 7 days, but I want to do a last year to this year comparison. So for this client, I'm gonna go to customize range and I'm 
gonna start in January 1 and go through the 14th. And I click.

Download the report. Now I'm going to go ahead and choose the same period of time from the prior year so I can see the difference for the same, term. So January 1 18 to May the 14th 2018. Change the 8. Oh, yeah, right. I just changed the year. So yes the same term five months ish the year before. I download that report.

So here's my downloads folder and the two files we just downloaded.there's CSV files. Now. I'm gonna really quickly just upload these into Google Drive and convert them to Google Sheets so I can show you what to do with this data in the next step. All right,


So here we are in Google Drive. There's the original CSV files and they've been converted into sheets. So I'm just going to get rid of the CSV files real quick. We don't need those anymore. All right. So now we're gonna do something real special. We've got a spreadsheet that automatically graphs out the percentage of change. So what we're going to do is open up the first term which is January 1 through 5 14 2018, and I'm just going to copy the values. Just the numbers themselves right there and I'm gonna paste them into the 2018 row. Okay, so there's a graphic representation of 2018. I go to the 2019 file and I do the same thing.

Copy and then paste the 2019 numbers and we get our percentages of change. And as we can see this client, I'll just zoom in a little bit, has significant gains in all 10 data points from the Google my business insights.

Here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna download this as a PDF file and I'm gonna have the team very quickly turn that into a case study just check the page breaks and annotate it a little bit so that it's easier to tell at a glance what this data represents for ach of the data points. That's only gonna take a minute. So while we're working on that I'll just pop over here with you and take a couple of minutes to explain what this client actually did to achieve those gains.

Believe it or not, there were only 3 things and all of them any business can do without hiring an agency.

Tip 1

They optimized their local directories to make sure that their business was represented in a uniform and consistent way wherever a prospect could possibly find them.

Tip 2

They upgraded their web hosting because their page speed load times
were way too slow. They went from about three and a half seconds of load time,  meaning, that's how long you wait to see the page. To a second and a quarter or less depending on the time of the day. That's critical to the visitor and Google makes note of that as well because their concern is user experience.

Tip 3

So the third thing that they did was they very quickly worked on building an online
reputation so that they have the best review scores and the highest number of current reviews of any of the competing tree services in their market.

That's it, those three things produce these results now, I do see the case

Study is in my folder. So let's take a look at the data again. Now that you have some context of what they did to achieve them.

Okay. So total searches in Google my business insights represents. The number of times customer found the business by searching in Google search or Google Maps up 16.82% Just a year later.

Direct searches. That's the number of times customers found the listing searching
for the business name or their address in search or Maps. And up 4.82 percent on the heels of their efforts.

Discovery searches. That is the number of times a customer found the listing by
searching by keyword a product a category or a service in Google search. Up 18.41% heels of their effort.

Total views represents the number of times the listing was viewed on Google search or Maps. It's an aggregate of two numbers and that's up 1.55% for the following year.

Search views that is the number of times customers found the listing by searching for the business name in search. And that increase is 0.15%. A small amount of
increase there but still increased nonetheless.

Here's what really matters, the maps views. Local businesses live and die getting into the maps more often. And that's the number of times that this business was viewed in that 3 pack and that increase for the term is 19.68% almost 20% increase on the heels of those efforts that we talked about.

So total actions. It's an aggregate of website visits, directions and calls. Increase for the period is 51.08%. And let's see website actions share of total actions, increase for the period was 43.66% That's how many more times people visited the website
from that Google listing instead of 536 in 2018, for five months it was 770. There's where that experience of the increased hosting really made a difference right there.


Directions, how many people asked for directions from the Google my business listing. It went from 69 to 71. It's only 2.9% increase but when you think about this business, they come to the customer. People don't typically go there. They might go there and get some mulch in the back of the truck. But for the most part a tree service goes to the customer, so there's a gain here, but it's not significant because it doesn't really apply to this kind of business.

Phone call actions. This is the one that makes your mind blow up given the kind of effort that they put in. They went a 118,8% percent increase in the number of calls during the same period a year later 133 calls in 2018 January through April turned into 291 calls the same term the following year.

Additional Case Studies

About the author 

Mark Firehammer

Co-Creator Fitstreams.club, fitness biz consultant at Fitness Business Pros, lover of cats, and he can sing! Just ask Alexa to play songs by him.

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