VMP 267: How To Dominate Local SEO With Darren Shaw from Whitespark.ca

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Brandon Breshears
January 16, 2024
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VMP 267: How To Dominate Local SEO With Darren Shaw from Whitespark.ca
January 16, 2024

VMP 267: How To Dominate Local SEO With Darren Shaw from Whitespark.ca

In this episode of the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, Brandon Breshears talks with Darren Shaw, the President and Founder of Whitespark, about local SEO and optimizing Google business listings. They discuss the importance of citations, the necessity of keeping Google business profiles updated, and the impact of reviews on local search rankings. Darren provides insights into Whitespark's tools for tracking and improving local SEO performance and shares a tip on the importance of including keywords in business names for better visibility. The episode is packed with strategies for businesses to enhance their online presence and attract more customers.

In one of my latest episodes, I had an awesome chat with Darren Shaw, the big brain behind Whitespark, and let me tell you, it was a treasure trove of local SEO gold. We dove deep into the nitty-gritty of Google business listings and how they can make or break your visibility in your local community. If you're running a vet practice, you're going to want to hear this because Darren's insights could seriously put you on the map – literally.

So, Darren's been in the local SEO game for over a decade, and Whitespark started out just like any other web development company in Edmonton. But now? They're the go-to for boosting your search rankings. And get this – your Google business profile is like your secret weapon. It's shocking how many businesses don't realize the power of keeping it fresh with updates, photos, and engaging content. It's not just about looking good; it's about drawing in those leads and calls that keep your practice thriving.

But here's the kicker – local SEO isn't a one-and-done deal. It's a long game, and it's all about building a solid online presence that keeps you top of mind and top of search results. And with Google always shaking things up, Darren and I got into what's next for SEO and how to stay ahead. Plus, he dropped a killer pro tip: sprinkle some relevant keywords into your Google business profile name, and watch your local rankings climb. It's these kinds of strategies that can open up a world of growth for your business.

Thanks for tuning in to this deep dive into local SEO with me. If you're ready to up your online game and get those leads rolling in, these strategies are your starting line. And remember, SEO is always on the move, so keep learning, keep tweaking, and keep climbing those rankings. Catch you next time!

Episode Transcript

Brandon (00:00:00) - Welcome to the Veterinary Marketing Podcast, where it's all about how to attract, engage and retain clients to your veterinary practice using digital marketing. My name is Brandon Breshears. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. In today's episode, we have a guest. It is Darren Shaw from Whitespark.ca, and Darren is an expert in local SEO, specifically in Google business listings and how to get more traffic organically. And it is a fantastic episode. One of the reasons that I've wanted to talk to him is I've been looking for somebody. I've been looking for one of the top experts in local business rankings, because I do pay that. I don't have the expertise when it comes to this aspect of the business, and I just see how important it is. So it is a fantastic episode. I think it's one of the most practical and helpful episodes, at least from me. I learned a ton on it and I just really enjoyed the interview and conversation. So it's really practical, really helpful. You're going to love it.

Brandon (00:00:56) - Before we begin, we have two sponsors for today's podcast and here they are. This episode is being sponsored by the International Veterinary Dentistry Institute and VeterinaryDentistry.net. If you're a veterinarian or you have veterans that you work with who struggle with dentistry, or who'd like to be more confident when it comes to dental procedures, then you definitely should go to ivdi.org/vmp that is ivdi.org/vmp to sign up for a free upcoming live training that's going to go far beyond your average dentistry seminar. This is the gateway to the Veterinary Dental Practitioner Program, an intensive master class program that is a comprehensive initiative designed to enrich veterinary associate skills while empowering practice managers practice owners to take their practice to new heights. This live training is going to be conducted by board certified veterinary dentist doctor Brett Beckman. He's been on the podcast twice and is incredibly talented teacher and educator. He's going to dive deep into actual cases. He's going to dissect all the vital components of effective dentistry, case management, and this is going to give you some really direct insight and a clear blueprint to improve your prowess in veterinary dentistry.

Brandon (00:02:15) - So if you're ready to elevate your practice and your professional skills, simply go to ivdi.org/vmp. This is going to be the golden opportunity that helps you to make a significant impact in your practice. It's going to help to give your patients and your clients better care. And it's also going to improve the personal professional development that you have in your career. Go to ivdi.org/vmp. This episode is being sponsored by two websites by Brad Haven. We have usedvetequipment and newvetequipment.com for over nine years now. Usedvetequipment.com has been helping vets to buy and sell used equipment. You can save money when you buy. Used everything from cages, kennels, pumps, X-ray equipment, lasers, ultrasounds, dental equipment, surgery equipment, lab equipment from a boxes and tables, tubs and sinks, vet trucks and vet boxes. What do you have to sell at usedvetequipment.com they bring the buyer and seller together. Also, if you're looking for a new veterinary equipment with amazing warranties, check out newvetequipment.com where they show you the price up front.

Brandon (00:03:21) - They have digital X-ray equipment, dental X-ray equipment, ultrasound equipment, LED surgery, lighting, surgery, tables, autoclaves. When you go to newvetequipment.com, you'll clearly see the price on every single item for sale, and you'll also know what the warranty is so that you can buy without regret. All right, so be sure to subscribe in iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play wherever you get your podcast from. And, uh, without further ado, we have the interview with Darren Shaw. And just before we begin real quick here, he mentioned that he has a special referral link that if you use it, you get 10% off. For any of his services that he has, which he outlines near the end. But it is a fantastic interview filled with really great content. Um, I learned so much so I would love to hear your thoughts. Be sure if you're listening on Spotify, just type in what you think if you have any questions. If you like this type of guest, or if you're looking for other types of topics, I would always love to get your feedback.

Brandon (00:04:19) - And without further ado, here is the interview. Thank you so much, Darren for being on the podcast with me. I was just telling you before we started, I'm really excited to have you on because I have not met somebody that has been well. I love your content on LinkedIn. Thank you and have been really engaging with it. You have so much good resources and content there, but can you introduce yourself and kind of give us your backstory on how you got into doing local SEO?

Darren (00:04:43) - Yeah, definitely. Uh, so my name is Darren Shaw. I'm the, uh, president and founder of Whitespark. Whitespark is a company that offers local SEO software and services. And so we have a number of software systems. Um, I also do a lot of content that you've seen. And so I'm always publishing and researching, uh, local SEO, what is making the local search rankings work? How do you do it? How do you get into that local pack? And so I've been studying this for over a decade, and I also publish a huge resource called the Local Search Ranking Factors.

Darren (00:05:15) - And that is a survey of the very top experts in local SEO. And so I surveyed them all and I asked them a ton of questions. And that kind of surfaces all of the insights of like, what are they? What are people seeing that is working to actually drive rankings? And what are the things that don't work? What are the things that are a waste of your time? And so I've got this great resource. And so I've been studying this for since probably 2008. Uh, so I started my company, Whitespark, in 2005, and we were a web development company here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and we built websites for small businesses. And they said, hey, how do we get that business ranking? And then so I started doing SEO and I kind of got obsessed with it. And then in 2010, we launched our first version, our first SaaS software, which was called the Local Citation Finder. And it does this really cool competitive analysis. It'll find all the places that your competitors are listed and all the places that you're listed online, and then show you the intersection.

Darren (00:06:11) - It'll show you like, hey, your top ranked competitors are here, you should be here. So that kind of put us on the map as a local SEO company. And so it's just been growing ever since then. So now we have a team of 42 people. Uh, we have 150,000 customers. We have, uh, customers from all over the world. So it's it's been a great run.

Brandon (00:06:32) - Amazing. Well, so I only focus on paid ads. And so the local SEO seems kind of like magic or wizardry or something, right? I don't know how it works. I just know it's there. Yeah. I'll use the Google Business Profile extensions in my ads. Uh, so can you give a rundown? You mentioned the local search pack. What is I mean, different from traditional SEO to like I would call that onsite SEO versus your Google business profile. Yeah, that you do.

Darren (00:07:03) - So your Google your rankings in the local pack still somewhat depend on the stuff that you would do for traditional SEO, your organic website SEO.

Darren (00:07:12) - And so you still have to consider that you've got to make sure you have a really good website that's built out with great content, optimized title tags and, you know, making sure that you're talking about the right things. Um, so that's relevancy. You got to be relevant for what, uh, what the searcher is looking for. And then the other part is authority. So on your website, you got to make sure that some people are linking to your website. Your business has some prominence, Google will rank businesses based on some kind of prominence. And so on the local side, it does still use those signals, but it also uses three other signals. And the other signals are your Google business profile itself. So what have you done on the profile to optimize it? So um, there's a few key areas in there that you can optimize to improve your local search rankings. Um, then there are the um, review signals. So how many reviews are you getting? What is your star rating? What are people saying about you in your views? What is the sentiment? And not only on Google but also across the wider web? Two sites like Yelp and and other sites are actually very important as well.

Darren (00:08:19) - So getting reviews, that's another signal Google looks at. And then the third piece of that puzzle is the, uh, what are called citations. And so a citation is a business listing on one of those business directories Yellow Pages, Merchant Circle, Yelp, those kinds of sites. And so, um, Google. We'll expect to see your business on those sites. If it doesn't, then it's like, is this a real business? I don't know, and so you kind of have to have those citations. You have to have those business listings and they should be well optimized, and they should also be really rich. And so try to make those rich and full and being listed on all the places that Google would expect to find you. And so that's the standard sites. Plus the industry specific sites are really valuable as well. So if you're if you're a veterinary clinic, then you want to make sure that you're listed on any sites that are specific to that industry.

Brandon (00:09:13) - Got it. That that definitely makes sense.

Brandon (00:09:16) - Um, you talked about a lot of things there that I want to kind of dive deeper into. I'm actually really surprised because I don't do SEO, but I'm surprised that all of these other citations are super important, and I don't have any experience in this in the space. But, um, like, Yellow Pages is kind of the running joke in veterinary practices because like ten years ago, people were still running ads on Yellow Pages and they were not running any kind of digital marketing like I have a Yellow Pages ad, but, um, those types of citations do give impact and are important signals. Then that that's I'm just amazed. But that makes sense. They're trying to do research on your business while on a writer. Totally.

Darren (00:09:55) - I'm glad you asked this question, because I want to make sure that I clarify that it's a pretty minor piece of the pie. And so if you look at the the pie chart of what makes up local search rankings, citations is a sliver. It's like 7%. You know, it's like, you know, it has a little bit of an impact, but it's not the thing is going to make or break.

Darren (00:10:12) - It's kind of a foundational factor you want. It's like a does this business exist? Is it a real business. And Google does look at those for that. And so if you don't have them I think it's detrimental. But by building them all out, it's not the thing. It's going to get you to the top of the rankings. It's kind of like this foundational table stakes factor. Everyone should be on those sites. But it's also kind of an easy, once and done thing. You just go out, get those citations, you're listed on all the sites, and you never have to worry about it again. Don't use a service like Yext that you pay monthly or annually just to have your citation sitting there. Just get them done manually. Do it as a one time thing, and mark that off of your to do list, and you can focus on more valuable things like content regularly updating your Google business profile. Uh, continuing to get more reviews, though, that's where you're going to focus, right? But, um, laying the groundwork of citations is a valuable thing, but I don't want to overstate how valuable it is.

Brandon (00:11:12) - Sure. So the the vendor industry in general, uh, you know, people will have their website built by their web developer, and there's a bunch of web development companies in the space, and their web developers say that they do SEO management, but generally that just means that they set up structural SEO once. And then if you want changes, they'll do things for you. Yeah. Um, and then same thing with reputation management. Um, like they'll respond to comments. But that's, that's about it. So you mentioned like business profile updates. What kind of things are you talking about with that?

Darren (00:11:45) - So this is, I think, super ridiculously key. It is such a thing that you see so many businesses failing at. And what they'll do is they created their Google business profile back in 2015, and they haven't looked at it since. It's like you are shooting yourself in the foot so hard. Uh, the local pack is huge in the veterinary industry. It is where the calls are coming from, the leads are coming from.

Darren (00:12:13) - And so I the the way I like to frame it is if imagine your website, what do you think would work better for your business if you just had a white background and it just had your name, address and phone number on it and your hours of operation, would that drive new leads into your business? Absolutely not. So why are you doing that on your Google Business profile? Your Google Business profile is an extremely considered a website. It is almost like your key landing page on the internet. Mike Blumenthal, a local search luminary, coined the term Google is your new home page. They don't even need to go to your website anymore, and especially in certain industries, they don't. They just look at the local search results. And so, so many businesses are just obsessed with making their website amazing. But they're not not giving any attention to their Google business profile. And so you need videos. You need photos. You need a really good description. There's a Q&A section in there. You can put in all your frequently asked questions.

Darren (00:13:13) - There's a Google Post section, and you can add regular updates about what's happening in your business. You can add specials, you can add sales. Um, there's an offer section in the Google Post. You can create a Google post called an offer, and that actually gets this huge banner on your thing with like, we have this thing running right now and it gets amazing visibility. So imagine this I am searching for a clinic. I'm looking through the results. It's like basic boring. Basic boring. Boring. Boring. I hit this, this result and it is rich. It has all of this great content. How these great videos has a little introductory video sold. That is what you need to be doing. And not only that, this actually is driving your rankings too, because what ends up happening is when someone lands on that really rich profile, they spend a lot more time on that profile. They're clicking around, they're looking at things. And what does that send to Google? It sends the signal that this is a profile people like, let's put that one a little higher in the results, because that's Google's goal to give people what they want, to make sure that they're happy with their search results.

Darren (00:14:19) - And another huge goal of Google is to keep people on Google. They don't want you to go to the website, they want you to stay on Google. And so it's a huge opportunity from both a conversion perspective and a ranking perspective, to really invest in ongoing updates and completely filling out your Google profile and managing it almost as often or even more often as you would your own website.

Brandon (00:14:42) - Definitely. And as you were talking about that, I'm on site. I was actually pulling data from one of my clients accounts that they spend a tremendous amount on ads like between 50 and 70,000 a month on on ads, which is a lot for the beta industry. They have multiple locations in a bunch of markets, but they looking at a breakdown of their their traffic from calls, which is the primary method that they are going to be booking appointments. I'd say it's 90 to 95% of appointments are booked with calls and a little bit of online booking. It's not, I think, uh, kind of up to date with other industries, but there are 47% of total calls were from Google My business, 32 from Google Ads, we had nine from Google Organic and then five from direct, and then 2.5 from other organic sources.

Brandon (00:15:31) - Um, so like it's, uh, wild. And they actually do invest a lot in content, like they create really great content and are constantly posting on their blog. But that's just not translating to new clients. It's definitely translating into traffic.

Darren (00:15:45) - But I'm not putting anything on the Google business profile.

Brandon (00:15:48) - Yeah, well their, their business Google I mean their business profile is I mean, if you compare it to the cost of traffic though, right? 32% is from Google Ads and we spent I think 40,000 last month. So even I mean, the relative value of those calls are probably even higher because it, um.

Brandon (00:16:07) - Because they're.

Darren (00:16:07) - Free. You didn't have to spend to get those clicks in the calls. Right? So when you take the time to invest and not only that, they're permanent. If you're investing in ads, absolutely. Ads are great. That can drive revenue for your business. They drive leads. You should do them. But investing in local pays dividends forever because, you know, once you put that work in and you get those placements, you don't have to keep paying for every call, every click.

Darren (00:16:30) - It just it's just there. And so investing in it just makes all the sense.

Brandon (00:16:35) - Absolutely. Um, I don't know. Do you have I find that my Canadian friends don't get updates as often. Um, but do you have Google search labs in Canada that you can test out or. No, I don't have.

Darren (00:16:47) - SGE, no. So if you're talking about the search generative experience and Google barge stuff, all the AI stuff, um, I have played with it, uh, with, with proxy in through, uh, us, but I don't have it on my own.

Brandon (00:17:00) - I have it, I've been testing it like crazy because they're going to be rolling that out sometime second or third quarter to this year. And, um, apparently the placements that are going to be available for ads are performance max. But I was looking up most of the transactional type phrases. So things like vet near me that open today in the SE. It is all local pack as well, um with different descriptions on.

Brandon (00:17:25) - It's a pretty interesting experience, but I think that, um. That's definitely good to know because with the updates and rollouts and major changes, your Google Pack is probably going to be more important than ever. Uh, it'll be interesting to see like, what kind of appointment? Um, facilitating tools they have, which would be pretty cool. But um, what is your opinion on, on those changes that are coming? Do you think that's going to have a big impact in, in anything related to, um, you know, local and I'm sure it's going to change a lot of things. But what is your opinion on on all that coming out?

Darren (00:18:01) - Um, so what we're seeing now is some slight variation. But typically, like if you take the top ten businesses in the existing local results, compared with the top businesses that are being returned in the SGD results, the roughly the same. And so the signals that you are sending to Google, um, the strategies, the tactics that you use right now to rank in a local results, it's exactly what you want to do to continue ranking in the results.

Darren (00:18:26) - There isn't like a new way to do things so that you get into the the AI results. It's it's the same. Google is obviously using the same data source that they use to rank businesses in the Google Maps and local results that they do in SGD. And so there is no real strategy change right now. There are lots of questions about like, why are these results slightly different? Because there might be a few things that Google is doing, but for the most part, focusing on, um, on the things that you would already be doing, uh, work for that as well. I think there's a little bit more emphasis on the organic signal. So working on your website, uh, can help you get a little bit of an edge in the search results, making sure you have a really great website and building up authority. And a lot of people will make a great website. But then a question that Google asks is, does anybody care? And that the answer to that question is links.

Darren (00:19:23) - Is anyone linking to your website? So that's and that's one of the hardest things to do in SEO is getting people to link to your website. So there's a few ways you can do it. You can sponsor, uh, little organizations around your your city, get them to link to, you know, you know, the Little League sports team or the homeless shelters or those kinds of places. Those sponsorship links are really powerful and valuable. So and you can get those without too much effort. You just contact them and, and pay them 500 bucks to support their thing and get a link from their sponsorship page back to your website. That's one of the best ways you can do guest posting. So if you spend some time, you know, in the veterinary space, you could write an article for another site and then that would have a bio link back to you. That's another great way to get links. Another one is like any cross business thing that you're doing. So if if your clinic is buying pet food from the local pet shop thing that they, they make their own organic pet food kind of thing, then that's where, hey, we sell that here.

Darren (00:20:25) - And so you and you tell them, hey, can you have a link from your website to ours? Those are the kinds of like you can think about, like what do you have in your business where you collaborate with other businesses. And those can often turn into link opportunities too.

Brandon (00:20:35) - But that's that's really good. That's um, so a lot of practices don't do those types of collaborations, but they it's a huge opportunity because, I mean, people are constantly looking for comment on like news articles from veterinarians because they need good sources for things. So especially local news, I think that's one of the biggest opportunities. And then I do know people that do local news spots and even radio spots, but they don't have a link strategy for their.

Darren (00:21:00) - They don't think about it. Yeah. They're just like, oh I'm just doing this anyways. But it's like, are we trying to make sure that that also turns into a link to our website, which will help our visibility on Google, which as you just mentioned in your stats there, it drives a ton of those calls.

Brandon (00:21:13) - Definitely that that makes sense, I think in the veterinary industry is probably I'm trying to think of what other industries would be similar, but a lot of times people are building content and making content for like a keyword, I'd say more so than anything, and it ends up just being really boring and nobody either reads it or shares it. So yeah. Um, yeah, I would say.

Darren (00:21:33) - Make content for questions and not keywords. So what are the people asking about identify what are those key questions. And you create content around that. That's the content that will actually get some traction. And then make sure that that content isn't just giving the answer, but also thinking about funneling them into call us. We want to help. We want to help you with this situation. We specialize in that, you know, guinea pig toenail clippings, you know, whatever, whatever the content is, you can you can, uh, make sure that you're funneling people. You're not just putting the content up there.

Darren (00:22:08) - And then people look at it and then they're gone. Make sure that you're also, uh, you know, driving them to that call.

Brandon (00:22:14) - Got it. Um, you mentioned Yelp and other review networks in the past. Yep. Um, the veterinary industry at large hates the Yelp because.

Darren (00:22:24) - There's every industry.

Brandon (00:22:25) - Everyone thinks that's good to know. That's wonderful. So despite. It being actual extortion to get your reviews to show? Yeah. How much do you think you should be doing a mix of review platforms? Right. Like with most of the the people that I know that have a review strategy in place and it's not not many. Um, but they'll go typically just to Google reviews. Um, so what is your opinion on that?

Brandon (00:22:52) - Yeah, I would.

Darren (00:22:53) - Say that's probably the best route focus on Google. Um, I would say for every five Google reviews you could try to get some one somewhere else. But I actually would never suggest that anyone requests a review on Yelp. You wouldn't email a customer client patient and say, can you please leave me a review on Yelp? Because if you did, it would get filtered because that person's not active on Yelp.

Darren (00:23:17) - It's only like the active Yelp person, let leave Yelp aside. You don't want to actually try to get reviews on Yelp. It's not worth it. But you may want to run a search for your competitors to see even their business name and then look and see where are they getting their reviews. You can see it just in the organic results. And so that might surface some sites for you. Or like I should invest in reviews on there because there's actually a really great opportunity with some of these extra sites. Let's let's pull Yellow pages.com out. And so if you start sending every fifth customer to Yellow pages.com to leave your review, a lot of your competition is not thinking about doing that. They're only focused on Google. And so when you do that when is that ends up happening is you get a trickle of reviews and you don't need very many. Let's say you had 4 or.

Darren (00:24:02) - 5.

Darren (00:24:04) - Yellow pages sorts its results by number of reviews. And so now you've actually reached the top of Yellow Pages.

Darren (00:24:12) - And so it doesn't get a lot of traffic. But some people do look at it. And so now you're at the top of Yellow Page. You didn't even have to call your business Triple-A Veterinary Services. You're you're actually at the top because you got those reviews, and now you're actually getting a link from a page that probably ranks on page one of Google for veterinary clinics, your city. And so that's the key. You actually those reviews on the on the secondary sites, one, they're giving Google fresh content and they actually help you with some a little bit of direct traffic. And they help your SEO because now you're getting a link from a key site that's actually specific to your search term. So there's great value in it. And so I would look for the other sites in your industry that you or your competitors have some reviews on. It might be better Business Bureau Yellow Pages. Facebook's an obvious one right. And so driving a few of your review requests to those other sites is really helpful.

Brandon (00:25:09) - Okay.

Brandon (00:25:09) - Cool. Wonderful. So, um, I've seen all of these really cool tools that you have at Whitespark, which is your company. Yep. Um, can you tell us about the types of tools that you have and kind of what they do? I've seen that cool map that shows like your local ranking, like detailed down. I don't know how that works. I've seen that.

Brandon (00:25:27) - Sure.

Brandon (00:25:28) - Yeah. So what is what does all that stuff do?

Darren (00:25:30) - So yeah, we have a number of products. And I would say everybody should start with the local rank tracker. And that is and the reason for that is if you are going to do any work in SEO, local SEO, you should measure the impact of that work. It's it's so frustrating to me that people do all this stuff without having any idea if it had any impact. And so you set up a local rank tracking and you can say, these are the keywords I care about, and this is where I want to track them from.

Darren (00:25:55) - I'm on track from in zip, this zip code, the zip code next to me, the one south North. You kind of want to track from different areas of the city, because you're rankings will vary significantly from zip code to zip code. So this also gives you a sense of how well you rank in a wider area. Right? Are we are we getting any search traffic from the south side of the city because we're located west? You would know that if you had proper rank tracking set up. So set that up. And then when you have the rank tracking set up, then you can actually say, okay, we're going to really work on our review strategy. We're going to, you know, implement a system, get a bunch of reviews coming in. What's the impact of that? Well, because you did the rank track, you'd be like, wow, ever since we did the review strategy, now we can see our rankings are up, you know, 25%. That's wonderful. You can actually see even specific keywords and where you're where your rankings are going.

Darren (00:26:44) - So you really need the visibility. So start with the local rank tracker. We have that product I'm very biased but I think it's the best local rank tracker on the market. Uh, we also have a listing service where our team will go out and build you those citations we talked about at the beginning of the podcast, where, you know, you can get this on Yellow Pages and Yelp and all the sites, right? So we have a service that'll just do that for you because it's a slog. Nobody really wants to go and submit their business to 100 directory. It's kind of annoying. And so you can hire our team to do it. We also have a reputation platform. So this is a platform that will request reviews. You can connect it with your point of sale system, uh, integrate with whatever you're doing in every patient will or every client will get an email automatically whenever someone new comes in. The email gets sent out and you can also do text messaging on it, which is really powerful way to drive more reviews.

Darren (00:27:35) - And then the system can automatically cycle through your review, uh, sites yourself. So you can actually say, I want to do, you know, five Google and then one, uh, yellow pages, five Google, then one Facebook. And so you can actually set it up that way, um, where you're sending the requests out. Plus, it's an amazing platform for monitoring all your reviews, coming in, responding to reviews. We have an AI smart reply which will read the review, generate a response for you, and then you just have to quickly kind of review it, make sure that sounds good, and hit submit. And so you can respond directly within the site, which is super valuable. Great reporting. So monitoring and acquiring more reviews through this little platform is really great. So we have Reputation Builder which is for that. Um, and then we also have our newest software which is. It's the best. It's it's mind blowing to me. Google. There's this problem with Google Business Profiles where Google is changing your info all the time.

Darren (00:28:31) - Um, they don't even tell you. They'll just go and be like, oh, we're going to change your primary category. We're going to change your services. We're going to change, uh, you know, a whole bunch of things about your business. Google's changing stuff on your profiles, pretty regular, adding attributes and weird things. So our software monitors your Google business profile and will tell you anytime something has changed. And then it's just like you get an email and it's one button to just be like, oh, well, yeah, that's actually accurate. Thanks, Google for adding that. But most cases it's like, what are you doing Google? And you hit the reject button and it just pushes it right back. So cool. This software for monitoring and keeping your Google business profile up to date is super valuable. Um, it's got a nice interface for services. It's also great for multi-location businesses where you can push updates to multiple locations at once. And that software is only $1 a month, which is kind of ridiculous.

Darren (00:29:21) - So it's kind of a no brainer for any business to at least get that one. But I like to rank Tracker two. You should get that. And then we also have a citation software that I mentioned earlier. But anyways, everything you need for local SEO, that's actually our tagline on our on our homepage. Everything you need for local SEO.

Brandon (00:29:35) - Very cool. Well, that's that whitespark.ca. Uh, so whitespark.ca to go and check that out.

Brandon (00:29:42) - Thank you.

Brandon (00:29:43) - Well, is there anything like last minute that's your biggest pet peeve? That's just like you have to mention it. Or do we already talk about it? Or what do you think is the best little nugget that you can give people before we go and wrap things?

Darren (00:29:55) - Yeah, I'm going to give people a tip. So this is a ridiculous thing at Google that keywords in your Google business profile, business name have more impact on your rankings than almost anything else. It is a way outsized impact. It's almost feels like a bug at Google.

Darren (00:30:13) - So let's say your business name right now is. Happy pets vet. Maybe it's just happy pets. If that is your name, happy pets, you are missing out. If you rebrand your business to Happy Pets San Diego Veterinary Clinic, you hit the jackpot. Your rankings will quadruple overnight. And I'm not joking. It's actually a 24 hour impact from adding those keywords to your business name on Google to ranking the next day. It is unbelievable. And so it is against Google's guidelines to put in a different name. That's not actually your business name. So to do it properly, you actually have to go and go to the business registry, rename your business, change your signage, change your your business cards, your logos, your letterhead. It's it's a process, but it is the process with the highest payoff in local SEO that you can ever imagine. And so it is something to consider. And I wouldn't just change your name to San Diego Veterinary Clinic, I would change it to Happy Pets. Do you still want a brand? You still want to be identifiable, but getting those keywords in your business name, nothing can impact your local rankings more.

Darren (00:31:27) - More than that, it is the most powerful thing you can do. And if you did that, you will. You'll send me an email and you'd be like, oh my God, Darren, I listen to this podcast and I might. I'm opening six new clinics next week because I've got so much business coming in.

Brandon (00:31:41) - That's amazing. So keep it a brand, not just vetnearme.com. Right. Exactly.

Brandon (00:31:47) - Yeah. Okay.

Brandon (00:31:47) - Very cool. Well, thank you so much for your time. That was amazing and super helpful. I really appreciate it. And, uh, maybe we'll have you on again here. Uh, to kind of talk about updates and things, but I really appreciate your time and anytime.

Darren (00:32:01) - It was a pleasure. Thanks a lot for having me. Love chatting about this stuff.

Brandon (00:32:04) - All right. Thanks.

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Brandon Breshears
Digital Marketer & Podcaster
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