Real World Local Search Marketing Advice

Darren loves to provide audiences with information and knowledge that can be applied to existing local search strategies; whether it’s for a small business owner, in-house marketing team, or enterprise/multi-location corporations, you can expect that his presentation will have strategies you can use in your business. Darren has a knack for taking complex local search marketing topics, clearing out the clutter, and getting down to what’s really important.

“Darren has spoken at SearchLove a number of times and each year delivers to our attendees the very latest insights into Local SEO. He has the ability to digest and present all of his knowledge in such a way that our attendees can immediately take action. He is completely at home on stage and has such an easy-going nature. Darren is most definitely at the top of his game in Local search and is so willing to share all of his knowledge with the community. It is always a pleasure to work with Darren.”

Lynsey Jones (Head of Events – Distilled)

Meet Darren Shaw

Darren founded Whitespark in 2005 as a web design and development company, however, his passion and curiosity for all things local search led to a shift in focus in 2010, and ultimately to what the company is today. These days, Whitespark specializes in local search software and services and is one of the most respected and cited in the industry.

Darren has been working on the web for over 19 years and loves everything about local SEO. He leads research initiatives such as the Local Search Ranking Factors survey and the Local Search Ecosystem. He is a regular contributor to search marketing publications, and speaks at conferences around the globe.

When Darren isn’t speaking at conferences, researching the latest in local search or designing the next best local SEO tool, he is spending time with his wife and daughter in their hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. In his spare time he’s traveling, sporting fancy socks, and drinking too much coffee.


What Attendees Have to Say

Topics That Educate & Inspire

Darren’s mission is to educate audiences on what matters in local search, provide actionable advice, while sharing his good ol’ Canadian charm and humor with the crowd. Here are just a few of the speaking topics that Darren has covered at past conferences .

From Zero to Local Ranking Hero

MozCon 2019 | Seattle, WA

From zero web presence to ranking hyper-locally, Darren will take us along on the 8-month-long journey of a business growing its digital footprint and analyzing what worked (and didn’t) along the way. How well will they rank from a GMB listing alone? What about when citations were added, and later indexed? Did having a keyword in the business name help or harm, and what changes when they earn a few good links? Buckle up for this wild ride as we discover exactly what impact different strategies have on local rankings.

The SaaS Venture

January 2019 – Present

Created and hosted by Darren and Aaron Weiche (of GatherUp), this podcast focuses on the adventures of leading and growing bootstrapped SaaS companies. Darren and Aarron share their experiences, ideas, and everything in between on what it’s like run software companies.

Just some of the topics covered since the launch of the show – The Design ProcessBuilding & Running Remote Teams, and The Hard Things.

Local Search Ranking Factors 2018: Local Today, Key Takeaways, and the Future

Moz – Whiteboard Friday | Seattle, WA

Local SEO has gone through much change this year. In this Whiteboard Friday, Darren Shaw explains what local is like today, dives into the key takeaways from his 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors survey, and offers us an expert’s glimpse into the future.

Local Search Has Changed – Here’s What’s Working in 2018

SearchLove London 2018 | London, UK

Local search has evolved. The usual suspects of citations, reviews, Google My Business, website optimization, and links still drive the algorithm, but with the tightening of proximity and most conversions happening on Google rather than your website, your strategy and tactics need to change. Darren will present the latest results from the 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors survey along with new research data and show you what you need to focus on to succeed in today’s local search landscape.

Succeeding in Local SEO in 2018 (and beyond)

MN Search Summit 2018 | St. Paul, MN

In this session Joy Hawkins and Darren Shaw will take a deep dive into some of the changes that have happened in the last year for local search. They’ll highlight 6 of the most-talked-about changes and tell you what you need to know to stay ahead in your Local SEO strategy. They’ll answer questions such as does this change impact my visibility on Google? Does this new feature Google launched impact my ranking? Does this change impact the strategy you should be using regularly when approaching SEO?

How To Convert Local Searchers Into Customers With Reviews

MozCon 2018 | Seattle, WA

Clicks from local search results to business websites are on the decline. Google has been adding new features to Google My Business and is now providing much of the information right in the search results that consumers need to choose a business.

So how do you set your business apart from the competition? Reviews! More reviews will help your rankings, but more importantly, positive reviews will directly drive more leads and conversions.

Local Search Hacks You Probably Haven’t Seen Before

SeachLove 2018 | San Diego, CA

Local search has seen an explosion of change over the last year. Tactics that used to work like gangbusters are now just table stakes. If you are looking for ways to increase your local search rankings, check out Darren’s tips and tactics that you can implement immediately to give your local campaigns a boost.

Getting to 100% – How to Perfect Your Local Business Listings

LocalU Advanced, 2017 | Santa Monica, CA

There are thousands of local business directories. Which ones will actually impact your local search rankings, and how do you ensure you’ve squeezed the maximum benefit out of your citations? Darren will show you how to identify the most important sites for any given business, and how to enhance and optimize your citation profile so you can move on to other local search strategies and tactics.

2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey Results

MozCon Local – Keynote, 2017 | Seattle, WA

Local marketing experts rank the most important factors that influence Google’s local search algorithm. What’s most important for Local SEO in 2017?
Learn more about the Local Search Ranking Factors.

The New Local Search Ecosystems & Citation Sources That Matter in 2017

MozCon Local, 2017 | Seattle, WA

Which citation sources matter today, and how have the Local Search Ecosystems evolved? Darren will release updated ecosystems for the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, & Brazil, and show you how to identify the best citation sources, giving you clear, research-backed direction on which citation sources you should be focusing on in 2017.

Recent Speaking Events

Western Canadian Dealer Summit

Topic: New Google My Business Features You Need to Use, Before Your Competition Does
When: September 21 – 23, 2019
Where: Banff, AB

Kjiji Autos

Kjiji Autos DealerTalk


Topic: New Google My Business Features You Need to Use, Before Your Competition Does
When: October 2, 2019
Where: Montreal, QC


DrivingSales Executive Summit

Topic: New Google My Business Features You Need to Use, Before Your Competition Does
When: October 6 – 8, 2019
Where: Las Vegas, NV

“If you want to know the latest cutting-edge insights and tactics in Local SEO then look no further then to Darren Shaw. He is a seasoned professional with mounds of industry knowledge backed by years of experience and research and knows how to present in an informative and digestible way. He has been on the MozCon stage multiple times and will be receiving invites in the future thanks to the quality and professionalism he brings both on and off stage.”

Danielle Launders (Community Events Manager – Moz)

Get In Touch With Darren

If you’d like to have Darren speak at your event or discuss the possibility further, fill out the form below. If you’re not into contact forms, you can also send him an email.

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Past Events





  • October – LocalU Advanced: Enterprise Citation Management
  • June – MN Search Summit: Insights and Takeaways & The 2016 Local Search Ranking Factors Study
  • June – SMX Advanced: Local Search Roundtable
  • February – MozCon Local: Citation Investigation!


  • June – LocalU Advanced: End-to-End Citation Discovery and Management & Learning from Your Local Competition
  • June – SMX Advanced: Local Search Roundtable
  • May – Local University: Website Optimization Basics & Reviews and Your Online Reputation
  • May – Private Consult: Presentation for a Group of Law Firms in California
  • March – Local Search Training: 2 days of local search training for an enterprise client
  • February – LocalUp Advanced: Review Acquisition Strategies That Work