More threads by Carl Potts

Jun 1, 2016
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Hi, My local SEO is not as strong as I'd like it to be and I much prefer reading books to surfing the web the one book I found was an amazon cheapo book(?2or 3, $4 ish) which was rather limited, basically a glorified blog post, any authritative suggestions would be much appreciated, a Local SEo Bible as it were would be perfect

There are a ton of good resources (Moz, Bright Local, Whitespark, Phil Rozek, Mike Bluementhal, and of course this forum). Your best bet is to narrow down what you need to work on, then search out from there. Do you need a primer in everything SEO? Do you need to understand GMB in particular? Citations and the local ecosystem?

There's really not a good "book" to cover everything, especially since it's going to be obsolete by tomorrow considering the way Google changes :p Your best bet is to pay attention to the forum, ask questions, seek out relevant scenarios (google forums), and test on your own.

So where do you want to start?
Hi Carl,

I agree with Eric. I think Local changes to quickly to be able to write a book about it that would be relevant for more than a year, at most.

I would say that this forum is your best starting point. And from there, digest as much material from the leading experts as you possibly can.

Do you work on clients directly? For me, I learned most of what I know about Local from doing the actual work on businesses for several years. Hands on experience trumps all, IMO.
Another idea is to take on pro-bono work from friends and family who have a local business. Great way to learn!
Check out the questions on the GMB help forum and subscribe to get daily or weekly email updates. You're going to see the same questions, but different use cases which will give you a good understanding how to diagnose and help. You're also going to see a lot of the same smart people from this forum helping others there.

Really the best way is to get involved and ask questions if you have specific issues. Most people around here are very patient, and are here to help. Start a new thread with a problem you're having, and a bunch of awesome Local SEO pros will jump in and help you find a solution!
I agree with Colan on learning by getting your hands dirty. A lot of local is problem solving so the more you know how to solve, the better you become. It's hard to find out what problems you should learn how to solve without experiencing them for yourself. I'm a big proponent of learning by doing.
Hi Carl,

I'm seconding (thirding?) Colan's advice to make sure you're able to apply what you're learning. One thing I saw that stuck with me years ago from one of the info marketing spaces (might have been a guy teaching sales? Internet Marketing? I can't remember) but basically, for every hour you spend learning and reading, spend two in the field applying what you're working on. A second piece, if you're not actually going to apply something in the near future, it's not time to learn it yet. Learning something for 'when I need it' in this industry is a good way to accumulate outdated knowledge that goes obsolete before you've ever even done it.

I'll also second Colan's advice to start getting active in the official GMB community. I started doing that late last year, and it's been a huge boost to my knowledge and abilities, I'd highly recommend it. That and this forum has been the bulk of how I've beefed up my skillset in the last six months, the community here is awesome.

One book I would say to pick up though is this one. It's short and entertaining, and doesn't necessarily hit best practices, but it gives some insight into what happens under the hood in a way I hadn't seen before. Really interesting, well worth a few hours of your time.

Last piece... the most important things you can learn in my view, is industry dependent. Best practices are important, but figuring out what's already working in your industry and keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry is huge. What kinds of backlinks make a big difference? Which citations are most important? What categories should you use on the GMB page? Which keywords are your 'money' keywords? What kind of copy/approach is going to convert? No book will teach you that stuff, but you can figure out how to answer some of those questions for yourself in these two awesome articles by Casey. Here's one, here's the other.

Ahref has a free trial, I like their backlink analysis tools. Places scout has a free trial too, and they're the only tool I've found so far that has the ability to pull together data on who's ranking where for what keywords... they're good for getting a bird's eye view. Those are my favorite paid research tools at the moment.
I'm directly applying what I learn to my own site,I'm not yet good enough to offer it as a service beyond the basics, thank you everyone it looks like this is the knowledgeable SEO Community I've been searching(no pun intended) for


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