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  • Writer's pictureRachel S

Local Marketing Mixup Newsletter - March 22, 2023

Your Weekly Update Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2023

Why am I not ranking?

“Why am I not ranking?” is the top question business owners ask when considering signing up for Google Business Profile marketing services. There’s usually a very straightforward answer to this - they haven’t spent any time getting their profile optimized for the types of clients they want to attract. We thought it would be fun this week to compare two completely random businesses online and explain why one is ranking #1, and the other is not.

I'm craving a GREAT meatball sub for lunch (no, really...I’m actually going to order from the winning business when I'm done writing this). So, let’s do what 90% of everyone does in this situation and go to Google to see who is #1 for “best meatball sub Santa Monica” (our HQ is in Santa Monica, California). Below are the results:

Right off the bat, you can see why Google shows these three options for a search that includes the keyword “best”. They all have tons of 5-star reviews and highlight the ones that mention their meatball sandwich. Google even shows that North Italia highlights their meatball sub on their menu. I will order from one of these restaurants, but now let’s go to the bottom of the 1st page of Google Maps results to see what we find lurking down there:

The above are the bottom three restaurants shown by Google on the 1st page of Google Maps. Like the top 3 options, they also have many 5-star reviews, but you can see Google lacks confidence in their ability to provide me (the user) the great meatball sub I seek. The reviews Google is showing do not mention "meatball" anywhere, but rather other reviews that say “best”, “sub”, and “sandwich”. Close... but not what I'm looking for. Moreover, the images on these bottom profiles are clearly not of meatball subs, whereas the first two ranked restaurant choices Google showed had pictures of a sandwich that could be a meatball sub, as well as a picture of actual meatballs. Let’s compare Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (the top choice) vs. Bud’s Deli (the last option on the 1st page). Bay Cities:

  • Image of a sandwich that looks like it could be a meatball sub

  • Over a 4.5 rating on Google with thousands of reviews

  • A review that says “meatball sandwich is awesome”

  • They have completely filled out their Google Business Profile

Bud’s Deli

  • Image of a sandwich, but not one that shows me the correct type of bread for a meatball sub

  • Under a 4.5 rating with just 61 reviews

  • They did not add a website URL, Q&As, menu items, or business hours to their GBP

  • No images of a meatball sub are on their profile

I then wondered… why did Bud’s Deli even show up at all for this search result since as far as Google knows, this business does not sell meatball subs. That’s when I found a review from 3 years ago saying the following:

The Meaty Takeaways (pun obviously intended)

Many things go into a search ranking, but in this case, because I searched for the keyword “best”, Google is strongly prioritizing the businesses with 5-star reviews mentioning meatball sub. Had I not typed “best”, the first three results would have been different (I checked, and they were).

Takeaway #1: If you want to rank for keywords that include the word “best” you need your customers to leave you glowing reviews about different products and services. You need a wide array of reviews to cover all your essential products and services. If someone hasn't left a review saying a product/service was amazing, you're probably not going to rank at the top in a "best" search for that product/service.

Takeaway #2: You need to let Google know what you offer. If that reviewer didn’t leave a review for a meatball sub three years ago, Google would not have known they sell meatball subs, and Bud’s Deli would not have had a chance to win my business.

But I want only the best today, so I’ve ordered from Bay Cities, and it will be here in 47 minutes.

If you liked the format of this newsletter, please let us know, and we’ll work it in from time to time. Ok, now on to some other juicy (non-meatball-related) info!

Did you know we offer both marketing services & marketing software?

  • Google Business Profile management services

  • Listings management software

  • Reviews management software

  • Reputation management software

  • The best part? Everything can be 100% white-labeled

Check out our guide on every possible ranking strategy for Google Business Profiles!

The early access list is filling up FAST for the upcoming releases of our Google Business Profile Ai Tool! If you haven’t joined the waitlist yet, you can do that below. We’ll start inviting beta users in the next 10 days.

Google Updates You Should Know About

Google updates their algos regularly, and we check and then digest them for you. Here are the latest ones local marketers should know about:

You can find details on all algo updates here.


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