When you combine one of the least used options in the Google My Business with another unused option on your website and then add a dash of Schema, an offer, and a custom map, a heady cocktail follows and you end up with this unique case study!
Let us talk about our wonderful client Jose Mario Hernandez Jr. He is an ardent Chicago Cubs fan, a talented locksmith, and a great human being. Jose is a second-generation locksmith following in the footsteps of his father Pepe.
The good thing with Jose is that he is always interested to experiment. He never says no to an idea, if he thinks that will help him outwit the competition. He shares plenty of SEO information gleaned from his locksmith sources helping us gain locksmith expertise along the way! We hope to continue our association with Jose for years to come.
Sometimes he drives us crazy too sending links from all the sources he can garner! Overall, it’s been wonderful working with him because he also keeps pushing us to try out new things and that is something we at DigitalBull GO enjoy.
SEO is about experimenting and trying out new things. Sometimes they work out, many times they don’t. It did though in this particular case.
That’s one thing with Jose. He is a risk-taker and always pushing us to experiment and do better.
When did we start working for the Client?
“Auto gets the most calls but commercial gets the most money.” – Jose on his locksmith business
We have been working with the client since the end of June for this project. The client has a locksmith store on W 51st St., Chicago, IL 60632 but generates a majority of his revenue by traveling to his customer sites performing car, residential and commercial locksmith services.
We had originally been involved only with getting higher Map rankings. Subsequently, a week after the case study ended, we started working on the Organic SEO side too.
So, our scope of work (at the time of the case study) was limited to optimizing the Google My Business listing and only the GMB Website URL Page, which was the homepage in this instance.
We also moderately updated a few other pages, but did not add a lot of content. So, you still find a lot of areas of the website that need to be improved. We will talk about this at the conclusion of the Case Study in the Way Forward.
We were about 2 months into the project tenure when this case study started.
So, what are the essential differences for us between a Map Pack Ranking project and an Organic SEO project?
In Map Pack, we focus on the GMB, elements of the website that impact the GMB ranking and off-page ranking factors like citations. Only a few pages of the website are ‘treated’ with our SEO medicine.
In any organic SEO, we broaden the scope of work to the entire website and focus on off-page activities like PR, link building, social signals, etc. Organic SEO projects are consequently priced higher. Sometimes they are also predicated on the difficulty factors, the keywords that the client wants to rank, the number of pages on the website, etc.
A subtle difference is whereas the focus in Map Pack ranking is on phone calls, the organic SEO relies more on getting more page/keywords into the top SERPs as a measure of success.
Back to the campaign and our case study.
Why this case and why now?
With suspensions rocking even genuine locksmith GMB listings during the turbulent months of June & July 2019, we were forced to look for less risky techniques in the GMB to increase proximity and relevancy signals.
Towards this, we looked at ‘safe’ options such as Google Posts. Within Google Posts, you can find less-used alternatives like Events and Offers.
When we first broached the client about trying out this original technique that we had come up with, he immediately gave his approval and suggested the Berwyn Car Show as a trial run.
This area (ZIP Code 60402) was close to Omega Locksmith’s 60632 ZIP Code but hadn’t been doing well for him for reasons unknown. This also enabled us to find out if this approach would work with other nearby cities as well.
This was exactly the kind of opportunity we needed. The trial run turned out to be a full-fledged exercise and helped us to establish a presence in Berwyn, Illinois that Omega Locksmith lacked and also successfully validated our technique.
For those who are unaware of how to add an Event to your GMB, check out the explanation below.
Here's a look at our Event Post on the GMB.
After the campaign was completed on 24th August 2019, we searched for information to add to this case study and there wasn’t much on offer. However, this one post in a Google support forum from February 2019 caught our eye.
Hey Community Specialist, this case study covers what you were asking and more!
There’s also an old video from 2014 which gives some idea of the Event Schema, but overall we found slim pickings on the web.
Let’s get more details about the Omega Locksmith website and the Google My Business listing.
Although the client is a successful locksmith, this particular website was not doing well when he started working with us.
Among other things, the client had installed a mass-optimizer plugin which had created hundreds of keyword stuffed location and ZIP Code pages. You can imagine our consternation when we started to understand the gravity of the problem!
Upon review of the website, we found several issues, but since we are only working on Maps SEO, we decided to focus on the Maps part first, show results before embarking on bigger things.
Chicago is huge and sprawling. As such, it’s difficult to be able to cover large parts of the city with just one Google My Business listing. However, we had no choice but to work with this one GMB and produce results.
Our Proximity Signal Enhancement Strategy
So, our strategy was to look at what towns, suburbs, or outlying areas that were not successfully targeted and where there was not much business coming and see whether we could do something to reverse our client’s fortunes.
We have been looking at this issue because we find a lot of clients asking how they can go and tap into a larger area or larger city when they only have one GMB which is well outside the city or a smaller town beside the bigger city.
We devised this technique while we were reviewing what can be done in this case. Essentially spreading what we call, ‘the sphere of influence’.
When we approached the client and told him about it, he immediately gave his approval. In addition, he suggested this event which we weren’t aware of, the WeatherTech Route 66 Berwyn Car Show.
However, to our dismay, there was less than a month left before the event on 24th August 2019, so we had to get a lot of things done very fast.
Essentially, the bulk of the work was done between 30th July and 14th August 2019 with the harder tasks being the design & build of the web page (the Event Page) and getting the Event Schema completed.
The entire process is depicted in a single image below
|30th July 2019||Discussing and getting approval from Client|
9th August 2019
|Designing and building the Event Page on WordPress|
|10th August 2019||Go live with the Event Page|
|10th August 2019||Client boosted the Event Page on Facebook|
|12th August 2019||Updated the Event on the GMB|
|13th August 2019||Updated a related Offer on GMB|
|14th August 2019||Generated the Event Schema|
|19th August 2019||Updated Event Post #1 on the GMB|
|20th August 2019||Updated Event Post #2 on the GMB|
|24th August 2019||Updated Event Post #3 on the GMB|
|24th August 2019||Day of the Event – Berwyn Car Show|
Tasks incomplete or subsequently added to list:
- Backlinks to Web 2.0
- Web 2.0 links to GMB Posts
- Custom map with directions to event and Omega shop
For generating the event schema, we relied on this excellent post from Anicca and have since added it as part of our internal training.
Time permitting, we would have loved to check out Event Espresso in greater detail but we were racing to get the event page rolling.
Here is an additional option for enhancing this technique from Whitespark.
Finally, do check the guidelines for Events from Google.
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The results from Google Search Console and Google Analytics speak for themselves.
Google Search Console data – 15 days during campaign vs previous 15 days
Google Search Console data – 15 days during the campaign vs 15 days after the campaign
Google Analytics data – 15 days before campaign vs 15 days during the campaign
Google Analytics data – 15 days during the campaign vs 15 days after the campaign
The momentum tapered off but still achieved 12x clicks and 6x more impressions than normal.
An abundance of awesomeness from the client
Event – https://berwynrt66.com
Event Page – https://www.omegalocksmith.com/berwyn-car-show-2019/
GMB Event – https://posts.gle/GegU8
GMB Offer – https://posts.gle/RUohH
GMB Post 1 – https://posts.gle/8Kge7
GMB Post 2 – https://posts.gle/r2GVf
GMB Post 3 – https://posts.gle/yzcvu
Boosted Facebook Post – https://www.facebook.com/OmegaLocksmith/posts/2179934365450700?__tn__=-R
What next? After this project, we have moved onto working on the entire site and trying to fix many issues with the site as such.
These include optimizing the ZIP code pages and city pages, trimming unnecessary and irrelevant pages, and strengthening internal link structure. We also had a scare with an hacking attempt and we have since worked to harden the website.
Again, this is a huge website with a lot of location and ZIP Code pages and we are now focused on a few critical pages and trying to increase the visits to those pages through some of our organic SEO techniques.
Maybe that’s a different case study for later. Thanks for reading!
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