Interview with Local SEO Expert Myles Anderson

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Myles AndersonRecently I had the chance to interview Myles Anderson, local SEO expert and Founder & CEO of BrightLocal has it’s own set of local SEO automation tools including the Google+ Local Wizard, CitationTracker, Local SEO Check-up, and three others, with 2 more tools in the pipeline! Myles is also frequent contributor to Search Engine Land

Thanks so much to Myles Anderson for spending the time to answer all of my questions!

Question: Most local businesses are relatively small. How can a one or two man team make the best use of their time when it comes to local SEO?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Local search marketing is a complex and ever changing beast. There are so many angles and opportunities to be considered that it’s confusing to know what’s important and where to start. This is where a lot of small businesses struggle. They start looking into it and realize that they don’t have the time &/or energy to invest in truly understanding local search marketing so they give up or outsource to a marketing consultant.

I think the important question for a small business owner to ask themselves is: is my time best spent learning about local search or best spent focused on other business critical tasks? If the answer is NO then they should find a reputable consultant or agent and let them manage their marketing.

That said if a small business goes it alone then I would always advise them to focus on where the biggest returns will be. That is Google (now & for the foreseeable future) so they should make sure that they learn as much about Google & Google+ and devise a strategy, which they can follow and implement. The planning phase of any local marketing or local search campaign is the most important. Knowing what you need to do, how to do and in what priority will keep you on right path and avoid the pitfalls and distractions of chasing unknown goals.  There is a mountain of great advice; articles and research to help you get started. If reading doesn’t do it for you then attend a 1 day course and jump start your knowledge – this in money & time well spent.

Question: Can a local business ever hope to out-perform a big brand that has a store in their town? For instance, could a boutique clothing store do better than the Gap with their local SEO?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Yes absolutely. Many independent businesses rank very well in search – particularly in the Google Places/Google+ Local results (these are the results which have a map pin next to them). Larger brands often have an advantage because their reputation and authority (aka Page Rank) is far greater than a local business which gives them a boost in general, organic rankings.

But where small businesses have an advantage is being ‘hyper local’. A big brand with lots of outlets in different places needs to be all things to all people. But a small, local business can put all it’s emphasis on a specific location. Location is such a key factor in local search that being able to concentrate website content, messaging, directory listings, reviews etc on just 1 or 2 locations can be a real advantage.

Google also counter balances the potential dominance of large brands when it comes to search. They tweak their algorithm to ensure that smaller, local businesses have the ability to achieve decent page 1 rankings. These small businesses need to be well optimized of course – the opportunity is theirs for the taking!

Question: What kind of influence do consumers’ reviews have on local search?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Reviews influence local search in influence on 2 levels –

Visibility (aka ‘findability’)reviews are one of the key ranking factors for local search – both quantity of reviews but also the rating – (positive reviews the more reviews a business has with positive star rating & sentiment the more positive

Conversion – consumers use reviews & star ratings to help them select which local business to use. A page of search results gives searchers a shortlist of businesses to choose from, but it doesn’t tell them which businesses are good and which are bad. Reviews tell users more about a business and what other customers think of them. Consumers are more likely to contact a business with lots of positive reviews than a business with no reviews or a negative rating.

So for a business owner, reviews help them to get higher up the search rankings and then to stand out from their competitors when potential customers are selecting which business to use.

We recently published our annual Local Consumer Review Survey 2013. This looks at how local consumers use reviews and how they influence their opinions & actions when selecting which local businesses to use.

Question: Bad reviews might keep some of the foot traffic away, but could they actually have a negative impact on your local SEO performance as well?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Yes they do. Negative ratings will hold back your performance (i.e. ranking) within local search results. This is the case on Google but also important local directories such as Yelp, Citysearch etc.…

Question: Aside from claiming their local listings and business profiles, what kind of local link should a business be on the lookout for?

Answer from Myles Anderson: In the past local search & organic search used to be 2 separate and distinct entities with different algorithms. This is not the case anymore as search engines blend both their results and blend the factors which influence those results.

Links are a huge factor in organic ranking and now play a big part in local ranking. So building good quality, natural links on reputable sites is an important factor in local search. A local business should look to get links from related websites (i.e. related to their industry – vertical sector blogs, publishers, niche directories, trade bodies, partners & clients) & from sites about their locality (e.g. local directories, local newspaper sites, local councils, chamber of commerce type sites and websites for other local businesses).

But just because a business serves a local audience doesn’t mean all their links need to be local. More general link building practices such as blogging for links, guest blogging, press releases etc…will all have a positive impact on their rankings.

Local business owners should also be aware of the growing power of social media. Social signals (e.g. Facebook Likes, tweets, followers) have an increasing impact on actual search rankings.  So business owners need to ramp up their social activity and engage with their customers on Facebook, twitter, Google+ etc…. Consumers love to shop locally these days and will support genuine local businesses. Business owners need to take advantage of this and actively use social networks to connect with local consumers.

Question: BrightLocal’s citation tracker tool tracks active, pending, and potential citations. Is there any difference between a link and a citation?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Yes there is. This is how we define a citation:

A ‘citation’ is a listing for your business on another website. Typically a listing includes your business name, postal address & phone number. It is not a link, but it can include a link. And Google needs to know about know about this listing for it to impact your Google+ ranking.

The most important factor with citations is ensuring that your business name, address and phone number (N.A.P.) are exactly the same on each listing. This is important because Google looks at these sites to verify that the N.A.P. details it holds about your business are accurate and correct. The more times Google can confirm that the data they hold about you is correct & that you are a well established local business, the better the impact on your local search rankings.

A crucial step in local search optimization is to identify any incorrect or old listings a business has on the web and then claim & update those listings with correct information. An error, which many businesses and SEOs make, is to focus purely on building new citations to try and drown out the old citations but this simply doesn’t work. Claim & fix existing listings and then build new!

Question: 5-10 years ago it seems like there were a lot more local search sites so if you weren’t at the top in one you could still do well in another, but now it a Google game. How can a local business owner compete in an increasingly competitive (and shrinking) search space?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Google is the dominant online force and drives the majority of clicks and leads for local businesses.  Yahoo & Bing still have a sizeable user base and shouldn’t be entirely dismissed – but you should focus effort on where it will deliver returns – Google!

Actually local businesses have more opportunity for success than non-local. They have the chance to rank on page for both organic results and local results. And they also have the ability to piggy back of the high domain authority of local directories like Yelp & citysearch. By optimizing their profiles on the these sites, building links into their directory profile pages and adding extra content to their profiles they can get their Yelp listing to appear on page 1 also.

On top of this we have map results and mobile. As smart phone adoption hits even greater levels, mobile will become the platform of the future for local search – over 50% of searches on mobile devices are local in nature (vs. 30% on desktop) and by 2015 mobile local search volumes will surpass desktop searches.

Research from BIA Kelsey predicts that there will be 13bn locally orientated searches in 2016.

Wow, that is a huge opportunity, which local business owners can’t ignore. So yes the field is getting narrower but it’s also getting a whole lot longer.

Question: Google+ Local—like it, love it, hate it?

Answer from Myles Anderson: Like it, love it or hate it you absolutely cannot avoid it. I think Google are making some good strides to improving the way that local businesses can manage and enhance their local profiles. The speed of updates is getting faster and their customer support is more helpful and responsive – which is not hard given that it used to be appalling and hugely frustrating.

But even though things are getting better, I believe that Google+ and the new places dashboard it is still too confusing for most local businesses to manage on their own. Which is good news for consultants and agencies!

Question: How can business optimize their website for multiple cities (ex., Boston, Allston, Brighton, etc) without getting too spammy?

Answer from Myles Anderson: It’s pretty simple really. You need to create relevant pages for each location and make sure the content on those pages is relevant to that city without being spammy. By ‘spammy’ I mean not having the same content and just changing the location names.

If the business has an office/premises in each city then make sure the address of that office is displayed clearly on the location-landing page. And when you create a Google+ listing and citations for that location (remember that citations are location specific – they include your address) then point these links to that landing page.

Linking between your homepage and each landing page is important, as in interlinking between location pages.

Question: Would you suggest a business physically pack up and move their office if they wanted to target a new, bigger, and more competitive city with their local SEO? (And yes, I’ve been asked that one before!)

Answer from Myles Anderson: Having an office with a physical location close to the center of the city is an important factor in ranking for searches in that city. Moving office is a little drastic but there are some other options available depending on the type of business you are.

If you take walk in trade then you’re a bit stuck – you can’t create a ‘fictional’ location, without it causing you some obvious problems.

But if you run what’s know as a ‘service area business’ where you serve customers at their homes/workplace then you can do a few of the following

a) Create a virtual office in the city you want to rank for – rent some virtual desk space and then use their address for creating Google+ listings and other citations

b) Adapt your service on your Google+ listing so that it covers the key town/city you want to rank for

Connect with Myles Anderson on Twitter


This non-paid interview is designed to give the Brick Marketing audience insights and different perspectives of SEO, link building, social media and web marketing. Past expert interviews include: Ann Handley, Eric Ward, Mike Moran, Andy Beal, and Jordan Kasteler to name a few.

If you would like to be interviewed by the Brick Marketing team please contact Brick Marketing here:

Categorized in:

Like what you've read? Please share this article

Read What Full Service SEO Clients Say About SEO Firm Brick Marketing

"Brick Marketing is levels above all integral part of my team"

“I have formed an invaluable marketing partnership with Brick Marketing. Nick Stamoulis and the rest of the Brick Marketing team are professional, timely, thorough and take time to, not only succeed at the tasks, but also educate myself and my team on the strategies in the process. Since my first encounter working with Brick, I’ve changed organizations and have taken them along with me…they are that good! In my experience in working with many outside agencies who over-promise and under-communicate, I can truly state that Brick Marketing is levels above all others and vested in our relationship. They are not just an SEO consultant, but an integral part of my team. I highly recommend Brick Marketing for any company looking to significantly increase search engine competitiveness and internet presence.​”

– Jodi Murphy, Marketing Director EUXmedia

"We’ve seen unbelievable success & owe much of our online lead generation to Brick Marketing’s efforts"

“I didn’t realize how much we were missing from not having an online presence until I started working with the SEO firm Brick Marketing. The Brick Marketing team took the time to guide us through the SEO process and helped bring our company into the online world. We’ve seen unbelievable success with our new website & owe much of our online lead generation to Brick Marketing’s efforts.”

– George Athanasiadis, CEO, Somerset Industries

"Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation."

“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

– Jeff Nicholson, President Freely Creative, Inc. /

"dependable, professional SEO company"

“Brick Marketing has been a dependable, professional SEO company that has helped us get results. In the last 6 months of using their services, visits to our website have increased by almost 30%. Our dedicated SEO Specialist was pleasant to deal with. Her suggestions for articles and press releases were industry specific. Brick Marketing always answered our phone calls and emails within an hour which made us feel valued as a client. I would recommend Brick Marketing to all businesses to handle their SEO needs.”

– JoAnne Loftus, Archival Designs, Inc.

"traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year"

“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”

– Jeanne Landau, Director of Marketing |

"helped propel us forward organically"

“We implemented all the valuable suggestions and together we definitely saw amazing results over time. Other SEO companies may leave you in the dark but Brick Marketing kept us in the loop during the entire time, educating us about ALL the strategies being used that helped propel us forward organically.”

– Maura Statman, Everyone Loves Buttons Inc. ®

"I would recommend Brick Marketing to anyone looking to enhance their online business"

“I have been very pleased with the responsiveness, diligent work efforts and creative ideas Brick Marketing has shown me since we started our organic SEO optimization campaign. My account executive has provided great support and has written relevant and timely articles for our website blog. Her willingness to go above and beyond to achieve the best possible results is very evident. I would recommend Brick Marketing to anyone looking to enhance their online business profile.”

– John V. Donovan, Director of Leasing & Marketing, Devionshire

"Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased"

“The Brick Marketing team, was critical to ensuring that our new Web site is optimized to drive maximum traffic. Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased thanks to her assistance and advice. In addition, they executed a strategic link building program that helped further increase Web traffic.”

– Lauren LaFronz, Director of Marketing, enChoice, Inc.

"focused on getting you results"

“Brick Marketing is a no nonsense SEO company focused on getting you results. I really appreciate their patience, insight and going the extra mile to help Gold Lasso better understand the intricacies of the SEO discpline and how we can be more successful with our SEO programs. I would recommend Brick Marketing to any of my clients.”

– Elie Ashery, CEO Gold Lasso

"went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues"

“We hired Brick Marketing to manage our SEO, but they ended up also managing our company blog, social media marketing, helped us launch a pay per click advertising campaign, migrated our website to a new domain and so much more! Our SEO Specialist is always quick to respond whenever we had a question and went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues.”

– Mory Creighton, CEO, Pinpoint Laser Systems

"superior knowledge of marketing on the internet"

“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”

– Craig Raubenheimer, President, Roan Solutions, Inc.

"Love working with the team at Brick Marketing!"

“Love working with the team at Brick Marketing! They are always available to answer my questions and assist with any concerns. I am very impressed with their thoroughness and ability to stay organized. Their passion and energy is always shown during conversations on our account.”

– Corey Savage, CEO, Suncoast Identification Solutions, LLC

"cost effective “answer” to creating a viable web presence"

“From the beginning, our new company, AA Global Printing, has provided a superior global service, backed by a solid operations team. What we didn’t have were marketing resources to support the growth of our client base and to build a strong online presence. Fortunately, Brick Marketing has given us a structured website development process/solution and a cost effective “answer” to creating a viable web presence. Moreover, our account rep has been a professional and knowledgeable resource at every turn. Thanks to Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team, AA Global Printing is marketing with all the right tools ranging from SEO, strong content, a weekly blog, and easy site navigation for our visitors.”

– Adam Gould – Cofounder, AA Global Printing

"Brick Marketing has gotten me results"

“I have been working with Brick Marketing for over 4 years now. Brick Marketing sends me the reports every month, but I don’t need to read them. I already know what he does is extremely effective because of all the web requests I get, phone calls from customers when they see their page come up on the first page of Google! I have worked with many other companies that made promises they could not keep. Brick Marketing has gotten me results and that is why I continue to work with them. I don’t have to micro-manage anything they do. I know that they always do what they say they are going to do. If you are looking for an SEO company, I would say, look no further as you have found the one that will do the job right! In addition to doing an excellent job, Nick Stamoulis is a pleasure to work with.”

– Alan Cline, 1-800-PLUMBING

"highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients"

“After working with many other SEO firms and not being satisfied I finally was introduced to the Brick Marketing President and Founder, Nick Stamoulis. Nick Stamoulis has educated me about SEO and has provided me with a well rounded SEO package, not only does he offer top quality services he also educates his clients and spends the time to explain everything and their SEO pricing is competitive. I will highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients. Brick Marketing is an A+ for SEO services.”

– Mike Cardella, Integrated Computer Services

"Brick Marketing is "solid" when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice"

“I had been impressed for a long time with the content that Brick Marketing was sharing in their informative blog posts and articles. I chatted with Nick Stamoulis a couple times and decided that he was the expert I wanted to work with. I have worked with Brick Marketing for about six months and they have helped us resolve several SEO related issues pertaining to our website. Our account rep is always just an email away with answers to any questions I have and suggestions for how we can improve what we’re doing. Brick Marketing is “solid” when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice. I definitely recommend them if you want to feel more secure about how your website is performing in searches and have the confidence that everything being done to improve your rank is white hat and legit.”

– Paul Rarick,

"When I think of Brick Marketing I think Thank You!!!"

“When I think of Brick Marketing I think Thank You!!! We had previously used another SEO firm and although I think they were doing their job, it never felt right. But we didn’t quite know why. I did a lot of research and was drawn to Brick Marketing because of their customer feedback, white hat philosophy and TRANSPARENCY. Once we started working with Nick I realized that what didn’t feel right about our previous SEO company was that everything was veiled in mystery. We never knew what they were doing, why or when.

Nick walked us through the process in detail, answered all of our questions and educated us on what SEO really is and how it works. Not only that, but he and Katherine provided us with a schedule of actionable items that we could follow along with. At no point were we in the dark.

After our excellent success with SEO (regular on first page for important search terms) we enlisted Brick’s help in creating and running some Adwords campaigns for us as well. The results have been tremendous! Tim helped us launch a new service and we quickly went from perhaps 1-2 organic search leads a week to 5-8 PER DAY.

Brick has become the trusted and efficient digital marketing department our company needed to get to the next plateau. From SEO, to article writing, to social media and Adwords campaigns they literally do it all for us. And honestly, Brick marketing keeps us on track for our marketing goals, not the other way around. We could not be more pleased with the job Brick is doing for us.”

– Adam Reed, Foundation Support Specialists

"Brick Marketing helped us meet our goals"

“We turned to Brick Marketing to assist in driving traffic to our website and we weren’t disappointed. The flexible approach of the SEO firm Brick Marketing helped us meet our goals, drive traffic to our website, and increase the number of calls we received regarding our services. Thank you!”

– Ken Burt, Marketing Manager Affiliated Physicians

"Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business"

“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”

– Ellen Parlee, Parlee Farms

"our goal for better presence on the internet has been achieved!"

“I had worked with at least three other SEO companies before I was introduced to Brick Marketing. But when I met Nick Stamoulis at Brick Marketing, I knew that I was working with an honest and reputable company that would guide me through the world of SEO. In the six months since working with Brick Marketing, our goal for better presence on the internet has been achieved!”

– Peter Feinmann, Feinmann, Inc.

"I couldn’t give a stronger recommendation; they are simply great!"

“When we came to Brick Marketing initially, we had a small subset of challenges we didn’t have the bandwidth to tackle in house. Our idea was simply to send out the work and be done with it. A one-shot deal. What we found mid way into the first project, was that Nick Stamoulis and Brick Marketing had a depth of understanding and approach to solving our Search Engine Marketing problems that we had not considered; solutions that dramatically improved our search engine ranking position on terms and improved the overall size of our index listing (by more than 25% in the first two months). In short order we expanded our horizons and enlisted his talents to take on refining and improving ROI on our rather expensive Pay Per Click campaigns, as well as having him consult on microsite projects and blogs. Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing helped us understand what works and why, and helping us maintain our dominant position in the SERPs, despite the markets constant resetting and ever-changing drama. I could not have gotten through this year without Brick Marketing’s assistance and advice. I couldn’t give a stronger recommendation; they are simply great!”

– Connie Childrey, DataDirect Technologies

Contact Us about brick marketing Industries We Serve Case Studies

Need Assistance? Please Contact Us Below: