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Darren Shaw and the Power of Local Search

By Site Strategics
August 10, 2016

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005 and at the time it was strictly a web design shop. Now fast forward to 2016 and the company has evolved beyond web design to “build software and provide services for local SEO.”

With a degree in anthropology, but a love for computer science, Shaw used this passion to create a company that’s a household name in the local search industry.

Throughout the show, we discussed a variety of digital marketing topics and with each topic, it was obvious Shaw is in the right business and doing what he loves.

How Effective is Yext?

In talking with Shaw, the subject of Yext and its validity was brought up. For those that may not be aware, Yext “enables businesses to update location specific information on multiple websites from one place.”

However, several issues have been noted by the industry in regards to Yext, which Shaw and his team have meticulously sifted through. In the end, they’ve provided multiple case studies on the subject matter.

“We did a couple of case studies where we tested what happens when you cancel Yext and then we also tested what happens when you sign up for Yext,” said Shaw.

It’s important to note that listings are not revised with Yext, furthermore, the company simply creates a new listing.  Also, after your subscription ends, then all of your listings are deleted.

Despite these detriments, if you have a large multi-location business with varying hours at each location, then Yext can save you a great deal of time with your listings.

How can I get more reviews?

One of the free tools that Whitespark offers is a review handout generator, which is a great way to get more Google reviews for your business.

“The biggest thing with reviews is just asking for them,” said Shaw who understands the frustrations and risks involved, but understands that customer feedback is the only way to truly learn.

Shaw states that there isn’t any reason why anyone should have to buy reviews if their handout is used.

“If one of ten customers posts a review, you should have an excellent growth rate,” said Shaw. “The important thing is consistency in asking for them.”

Whitespark’s review handout generator can alleviate all of this because it helps to reinforce that “we’re in regular contact with clients and educating them on what we’re doing for them.”

NAPS and the perfect local SEO landing page

During our discussion, Shaw used the acronym “NAPS,” which stands for “Name, Address, and Phone Number” and stressed the need to always use NAPS in any directory listing.

“It’s your businesses footprint out there on the web,” stressed Shaw.

According to Shaw, the perfect local SEO landing page should have a “good chunk of content about services, testimonials, staff bios, an embedded Google map, and city landmarks.”

He also stresses the value of reviews as part of good, overall content.

If you’d like to hear more from Shaw, we encourage you to listen to the entire podcast here.