Ahh the good old British Summer. It comes around for one or two days every year, and it’s when we really like to let our hair down.  Sports (Football season starts), unexpected rain ruining our plans and of course, the one thing that you can always guarantee you will experience every year is the smell of the barbecue. Admittedly, I haven’t been invited, nor attended many BBQ’s this year, and that’s quite an upsetting fact, so whilst I’m sat here watching the clouds hoping it doesn’t rain yet again, I got to thinking. Out of all the search marketers I know of, who would I invite to my own perfect BBQ?

Now, for me, when I was asked about this, I already knew exactly who I would invite to my perfect BBQ, to hang out and talk all things SEO with and it has to be without a doubt, the local SEO guru himself, Greg Gifford. There’s a myriad of reasons why I would invite Greg, from his passion surrounding local SEO (one I found infectious and now I adore local SEO) down to his absolutely amazing presentations where it’s impossible to take notes, having Greg at my BBQ would be as knowledgeable as it would be fun. I think he’s also a big fan of bacon and beer too, something else we have in common.

In my humble opinion, local SEO should be the cornerstone of any marketing campaign, if you’re a small, family run business operating in a small village, all the way through to a much larger nationwide business, you can’t underestimate the power of the local community. Even the supermarkets around the UK are always engaging in some form of local campaign.  Take the recent campaign by Sainsburys Bank to promote pet insurance, where they have looked to see if our Great British nation prefers cats or dogs. You can check the results in your local area by giving them your postcode, so you know if you should be proudly showing off your pooch, or sheepishly hiding your purrfect pal (see what I did there?!) Local SEO is important at every level of business, and can have a great impact in how your business is viewed, not only locally, but on a much bigger scale.

To further cement his position as the local SEO guru, Greg Gifford regularly takes part in the Local Search Ranking Factors surveys, which is the Bible equivalent for local SEO’s.  Just to pick his brain over how he feels local search is going to grow over the coming years would be an opportunity in itself. I particularly agree with him on the importance of citations, and that messy citation profiles are probably doing more harm to local businesses than good.

On top of this, there are all the other marketing strategies and ideas that he has lined up, with my favourite being a Brighton talk I attended where Greg talked about beacons.  We can use these to encourage store footfall, website visits and data capture for on going promotional activity. The enthusiasm is infectious, and the ideas are undoubtedly endless. As a result of listening to that presentation, it had me thinking about how we can use emerging technologies such as virtual reality or augmented reality to improve how local customers interact with our businesses.

Having written this now, I’m seriously considering inviting Greg around for a BBQ, I imagine we would get some crazy, kickass ideas from that, as we’re both pretty pumped about local SEO, and I bet we would be able to exchange some great stories about interactions with Google My Business, a source of eternal frustration and entertainment.

Well, that’s enough daydreaming for today, I’ll no doubt be catching Greg at the next Brighton SEO as I’ve taken it as a personal challenge to make notes on his presentations now. I get a little better each time, I swear.



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