Local Marketing Q&A with Expert Blake Denman


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Blake Denman local SEO local searchBlake Denman founded RicketyRoo in FebROOary of 2009. He was working at a large scale local SEO agency and decided to go out on his own.

We met Blake at SMX West in early 2013. His local SEO expertise is vast. Recently we asked Blake to answer a few questions about local marketing, local SEO, and mobile marketing.

He was kind enough to agree and do it.

What are the biggest online marketing problems SMBs face?

There is way to much noise, and not enough action. Small business owners get pummeled with marketing materials and messages every day. From telemarketers “guaranteeing” first page “placement” on major search engines to social media “experts” touting there horns about likes, follows, branded hashtags, etc.

A lot of SMBs know they need visibility on these channels, but they don’t know where to start.

What’s the biggest mistake SMB’s make with online marketing?

Social Media Marketing: A good portion of SMBs try to do social media marketing on there own, thinking that if they put in some time in the beginning then they will reap the benefits. So they’ll create social profiles, and frankly, don’t do much after that. They’ll invite there friends to like/follow the page, and if there are posts/tweets/updates, it’s nothing but promoting there own products and/or services.

Real social media marketing is developing meaningful relationships with your target audience, and actively engaging in the conversation.

Sometime SMBs get too involved with social media, and have a massive social meltdown, as was the case of Amy’s Baking Company Bakery & Bistro:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/this-is-the-most-epic-brand-meltdown-on-facebook-ever – If you have 10-15 minutes, read the entire article. I don’t care how bad your day is, this will brighten it up, unless you’re Amy or Samy.

Search: The most common mistake I see SMBs make is either that they don’t have a website, or the website they do have, doesn’t look very professional and the information is outdated.

According to a Google/IPSOS Survey in 2011, 62% of California small businesses (less than 250 employees) do not have a website. That percentage is staggering, though the survey is almost 2 years old.

SMBs need to understand that a website is the first impression of there business and investing in a good, responsive design, and good marketing strategy is a fantastic way to invest in getting new business from various online channels.

If a SMB would like to do there own local seo, I wrote a post on it earlier this year: http://www.ricketyroo.com/local-seo-blog/how-to-do-local-seo-7-steps-for-better-ranking/

How have the steady Google algorithm changes in the last 18 months, changed what you do?

The Venice update actually gave more prominence to local based search results, which is a service my company provides for SMBs. There have been some major shifts earlier in the year with Google Local becoming Google+ Local. What this has done is shed light on how dedicated Google is, now and in the future, to local search.

There is also a synergy between search and social, and that has been the biggest thing that has been added to our local SEO service. Authorship markup is here to stay, and a SMB that is putting out great content on a consistent basis, should and will benefit.

A few other things that search engines are including in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are rich snippets. Rich snippets, including Schema markup, help search engines identify/tag information on a website. The fact they show up on SERPs is just a bonus!

The industry is constantly changing, and that is one thing I really enjoy about doing what I do. What’s tried and true now may not help at all a year from now.

What is going on with mobile? What should SMBs be doing about mobile right now?

The more accurate question is what isn’t going on with mobile? It’s a juggernaut and the data is clear about that. Here are a few stats about mobile:

– 50% of all local searches are from mobile devices
– By 2014, mobile internet should take over desktop internet usage

The takeaway from this is that consumer behavior is shifting, and shifting fast. The best thing SMBs can do is to make sure the website they have renders well on mobile devices. If you’re curious how your website looks on a mobile device, take out your smartphone and go to your website, then ask yourself these questions: How user friendly is my website? Can I click to call? How easy it to navigate the website? Do I have to pinch and zoom to read the content?

If a SMB is in the market for a new website make sure that the design is Responsive. A responsive website will render well on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

There are standalone companies such as DudaMobile that allow you to create a mobile friendly website for $7/month. Whatever you do, make sure that you do something about it instead of waiting for more proof that mobile is advantageous for any SMB.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

McKay Allen
LogMyCalls is the next generation of call tracking and marketing automation. The award winning product from ContactPoint, LogMyCalls provides lead scoring, conversion rate tracking and close rate mapping. For more information visit LogMyCalls.com and call (866) 811-8880.


  1. Hi McKay

    I think Blake makes a great point about SMBs thinking social media is just a case of setting up a few key sites like Facebook and Twitter and as if by magic their content will go viral and the vsitors will just appear.

    He quite rightly points out its all about engagement and building relationships with your target market. The other key issue and the reason many fail to interact is failing to create linkable assets, unless you give people something of value to visit and link back to you are wasting your time, its no longer enough to just like, retweet or +1 content and expect the world to follow

    I have just published a post on my marketing blog that discusses this very issue, I hope it helps to explain the key requirements


    David Henry


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