Whitespark Local Search Summit 2021
SEPTEMBER 28 – 30, 2021 | VIRTUAL
Whitespark’s 2021 Local Search Summit was a three day event with 30+ talks from the industry’s best and brightest — all designed to help you increase your rankings and conversions from Google’s local results. Take in all of the sessions with our video bundle (*as a bonus you’ll also unlock all 2020 videos).
Level Up Your Local Marketing Skills
With Whitespark’s Local Search Summit, you’ll learn the best local search marketing practices to help drive growth, build stronger customer relationships, and expand your SEO knowledge. Watch the talks you need to transform your business or catch them all! Get full access to all of the recordings and level up those local marketing skills.
Why Invest in the Local Search Summit Video Bundle?
- Learn from over 30 professionals sharing their knowledge and expertise.
- All sessions are designed to provide actionable, real-world local SEO and digital marketing advice.
- Accelerate your local marketing skillset and grow your business.
- Discover the latest tactics and strategies to improve your rankings and conversions from local search.
- Data-backed case studies, research and experiments proven to directly impact the success of local businesses.
You’re Going to Love #WLSS
2021 Speaker Sessions
Watch the entire session of Joel Headley’s presentation, Improving Key SEO Drivers at Scale, to see the quality of the content
Plus 52 More Presentations From the Best in the Industry
Darren Shaw (Whitespark)
2021 Local Search Ranking Factors
What drives local search rankings in 2021? What are the critical areas you should be focusing your marketing efforts on? How much has changed since 2020? Find out in this talk from Darren, he has polled the top local SEO experts and will present the results of the 2021 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey
Rand Fishkin (Sparktoro)
Don’t Just Wait for Customers to Google You. Go Find Them!
Search can be a great channel for many businesses, but it is far from the best or only one available. Should you pour dollars and effort into ranking well for relevant terms? Yes. Are your competitors doing the same thing? Absolutely. Can you always beat them? No. Moreover, in many sectors, a majority of customers don’t Google generic keywords and then decide to buy, but rather, search for a particular business name (or worse, never search at all). To reach them, you’ll need a different set of tactics, one Rand will lay bare in this simple, strategic and tactical presentation.
Nadya Khoja (This Is Nadya)
Visual Hacks to Improve On-page Optimization
There is a lot of speculation on what the best tactics and methods are for scaling your organic traffic, but there is a simple hack that you can use to improve the engagement on your content that is rarely spoken about.
In this talk, Nadya will share those findings, and also discuss the impact it had on multiple ranking factors that often go unnoticed. And here’s a hint, it wasn’t writing “5000 word articles”.
After this session, you’ll be able to:
- Understand why overly long-form writing is not as effective as you might believe
- Apply simple formatting hacks to increase on page engagement, and as a result improve your rankings
- Use visual cues to communicate and inspire your audience to keep coming back
Amanda Jordan (Locomotive Agency)
Awesome and Actionable GMB Audits
Competitor GMB audits should be more than informative, they should be action-packed! During this presentation, Amanda will show you how to identify competitor strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage.
Aleyda Solis (Orainti)
SEO Low hanging Fruit: Identifying SEO Opportunities to Achieve Results Fast
Although SEO is one of the most scalable and cost effective ways to grow your online business sales, it usually takes a lot of time to see initial results, and only after a non-trivial investment… or not! In this session Aleyda will share how to identify low hanging fruit SEO opportunities to achieve results fast without having to wait for months.
Sam Oh (Ahrefs)
Content Marketing with Video: An Untapped Medium for Businesses
Content marketing through video has helped Ahrefs get over 235,000 subscribers and 300,000 monthly views. More importantly, our videos attract thousands of new users every month. But video marketing isn’t just for global brands.
In this session, you’ll learn how to use video content to grow your business and why it’s arguably the most untapped marketing medium (especially for SEOs).
Craig Mount (Nerdy Nuts)
Digital PR for SMB’s: Public Relations < Public Relationships
Learn how to earn local media with the press without hiring a PR firm. In this session, Craig will go over learn how to get your business free media exposure. Drive traffic and sales, without wasting money on a PR firm or advertising.
Crystal Carter (Optix Solutions)
Structured Data Strategies for Local SEO
Super charge your NAP. Double down on your social profile optimizations. Make your local landing pages sing. In this talk, we will cover how structured data offers local SEOs an effective way to boost the visibility of website content and increase the sustainability of SEO as Google implements regular updates to the SERP environment. With a strategic approach to structured data, you can add markup that enhances your existing local SEO efforts.
After this session, you’ll be able to:
- Understand which combinations of structured data can help you achieve different local SEO goals.
- Apply a layered approach to structured data implementation.
- Access a number of tools to audit structured data opportunities.
David Mihm (Near Media)
Essential & Everywhere: Ecommerce for Local Businesses
Outside of first responders and medical professionals, few cohorts of society have been more dramatically impacted by COVID-19 than local business owners. On top of the incredible difficulty navigating staff and customer safety, disruptions to supply chains, and simply trying to break even, COVID-19 accelerated the convergence of two parallel trends: Google’s corporate ambitions and consumer purchase behavior.
The good news is, ecommerce technology has enabled local businesses to keep up with these trends — it’s just a matter of setting yourself up for success. David will walk you through his step-by-step recommendations to enable and optimize ecommerce for your local business, and get more online and offline purchases in a post-COVID world.
Navah Hopkins (Adzooma)
Winning With Local Service Ads
Local Service Ads have gotten a lot of attention lately (as they should: they allow local businesses to pay per lead instead of per click with built in protections for the consumer and the brand. These ad formats can be upward of 50% cheaper than traditional search, and allow for both phone and form-fill leads, with the added bonus of future-proofed conversion tracking. Yet they also are time intensive to set-up and documentation on their rules of engagement have been shaky at best.
In this data-backed action item-oriented session attendees will learn:
- How to set-up local service ads without falling into the pitfalls that can extend the sign-up process and stunt initial performance.
- Infrastructure strategies to account for the new channel, ensuring that brands can earn business and reviews for their google my business (which is a ranking factor).
- How to make this ad format work with your existing local SEO strategy and paid media campaigns.
Brian Dean (Backlinko)
Accessible (Yet Effective) Content Promotion Strategies
A list of super tactical outreach and content promotional strategies that will turn any non SEO pro into a “promotional Jedi”. Includes lots of actionable tips and real life examples.
Dana DiTomaso (Kick Point)
Redoing Your Website: Avoiding Pitfalls, Chaos, and Setting $$$ on Fire
A website redesign project is often greeted with joy and optimism. You think to yourself: “A brand new website! It’ll be great! We can fix everything that was broken on our old site!” And then reality sets in. How can you navigate this website redesign process and avoid making all the mistakes that turned your previous website into a flaming dumpster?
In this session, you’ll learn about the website discovery process and how it can save your website project from certain disaster (and many sleepless nights).
Nick Pierno (Whitespark)
GMB Listing Review & Website Clinic
Join Whitespark’s expert team as they review 3 GMB Business Profiles & Websites submitted by Local Search Summit Attendees.
The team will provide optimization strategies that these businesses can then implement directly on their Google My Business listings and website so they can improve their local visibility.
Himani Kankaria (Missive Digital)
How to Boost Organic Traffic That Converts Using Featured Snippets
Your purpose behind preparing strategies and implementing SEO is to drive traffic and conversions to a website. But sometimes, despite good results, we face some of the below challenges:
- Rankings are already improved but organic traffic is not improving
- Compared to the organic traffic, goal conversion ratio is quite less
- Organic traffic is not experiencing a drastic hike
Let’s use featured snippets to resolve all of these challenges and bring the right audience to your website that converts.
Duane Brown (Take Some Risk)
How To Pivot Your Facebook Advertising In A Post iOS14.5 World
This talk is about how to thrive with Facebook not providing as much data as they used to. We will look at other options for maintaining strong performance and what brands can do to market to a warm audience before Black Friday.
- How to build a strong sales and lead funnel
- How to allocate your ad spend across channels
- Understand why SKU optimization is the easier way to scale revenue
Allie Margeson (Whitespark)
Leveraging GMB Conversion Features: Messaging & Booking
SEOs often talk about ranking vs. converting factors in Google My Business. While a few elements will influence your rankings, there’s an increasing number of rich features that when optimized, can boost your conversions. In this presentation, Allie explores the history, benefits and challenges of the Messaging and Bookings features in GMB and best practices to help your business get more inquiries, leads and bookings.
Nati Elimelech (Wix)
Automation in SEO: Time Savers for the Busy Search Marketer
With so many checklists, best practices and tasks to perform, SEO can get pretty time-consuming.
Learn how to save hours of time in just a few minutes during this session with Nati. He’ll share some of the ways that you can use automation to fast track your SEO process so you can focus on the more important things like growing your business.
Ayat Shukairy (Invesp CRO)
10 Tips for WINNING CRO Experiments
Everyone claims to know CRO because heck everyone can change a button color?! Right? WRONG!
CRO is not about changing a page layout or a color of CTA – it requires research, data to reach true innovation and improvements.
Can anyone learn to do it? Yes!
In this session, Ayat will go through the top 10 tips on how to conduct a SUCCESSFUL CRO program and launch winning experiments as a result.
Joel Headley (Patient Pop)
Improving Key SEO Drivers at Scale
Google My Business, reviews, website technology, content, local profiles, and links are key SEO drivers. We’ll explore influencing these key drivers at a platform level to positively impact the performance of thousands of sites at scale.
Aaron Weiche (Leadferno)
Removing Friction to Gain Results
If you want more conversions, sales and a better customer experience you need to remove friction for your prospects and customers. Learn the simple mistakes many businesses make and uncover the next-level approaches to streamline your path to purchase.
Dev Basu (Powered By Search)
The 9 Systems Every Agency Needs to Grow and Scale
Do you know what bottlenecks are holding your agency back from growing right now?
In this session you’ll learn the 9 revenue accelerators you should tap into to to uncover the hidden potential for growing and scaling your agency to its first million dollars or next million dollars.
You’ll know exactly how to:
- Attract right-fit leads and transform your agency from obscurity to dominance.
- Convert conversations into clients transforming from a loose sales process to one that is locked-in.
- Deliver WOW results for clients including how to transform your delivery from friction to flow.
Areej AbuAli (Women in Tech SEO)
Rejoice Ojiaku (B-Digital UK)
Shani Gwin (pipikwan pêhtâkwan)
Diversity and Inclusion in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a creative industry that requires diversity in thinking.
Join Rejoice Ojiaku, Shani Gwin, and Areej AbuAlias they discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in digital marketing. In this talk they share their experiences and ideas for how you can create a more diverse and inclusive work environment.
Greg Sterling (Uberall)
Does Local Listings Management Still Matter?
Local citations/business listings consistency used to be the consensus number #1 local search ranking factor a few years ago. Cut to today: many local SEOs dismiss listings management as unnecessary — even wasteful. While GMB has gained importance at the expense of other factors, listings management is still an important local marketing tool. Greg Sterling, Uberall VP of Market Insights, will unpack findings from a large study more than 100,000 locations in the US and Europe, showing that listings management can still positively impact local search visibility and engagement.
Lily Ray (Amsive Digital)
Creative Strategies for Local Businesses to Convey Expertise, Authority, and Trust
E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) is not only important for major brands, it is also crucial for local businesses. However, the tactics used to convey E-A-T throughout the local SEO landscape can be unique from those employed by bigger brands. Learn creative tactics your business can use to improve its perceived E-A-T, which not only helps with SEO performance, but can improve conversions and the overall reputation of your business.
Diana Richardson (Semrush)
Finding Your Tribe: Social Media Marketing & Community Building for Small or Niche Businesses
You don’t have to be a big brand to be successful on social media. With the algorithms as smart as they are, you can find an engaged audience on social media and build a strong community just by showing up. You’ll learn how to find and build a social community as well as pro tips around smart social media marketing tactics.
Joel Klettke (Business Casual Copywriting)
The Total Idiot’s Guide to High-Converting Copy
Writing is hard. Selling is harder. But to compete and win, you need to do both.
Can you really go from clueless to confident copywriter in just five days?
In this talk, Joel breaks down some of the most common mistakes local businesses are making in their websites and landing pages, shows you how to avoid (or fix) them, and leaves you with a process for creating better copy that anyone can implement in a week.
Kevin Kapezi (Growthack Digital)
Kevin takes a look at how some brands have shifted their core business within e-commerce and what we can learn from their online retail strategies. Getting Started in E-Commerce: Key Lessons from Brands that Pivot
Joy Hawkins (Sterling Sky)
Make Your Images Worth A Thousand Words
In this presentation, Joy will share the results of several tests Sterling Sky has done on images to show what strategies work and which outdated tactics Local SEOs should ditch from their playbook. She’ll touch on how to get images to show up in the search results, how and when images impact ranking, if geo-tagging images is worth it, and what types of images SEOs should be focusing on.
Claire Carlile (Claire Carlile Marketing)
The Quick Guide to Justifications in GMB
What ARE local ‘justifications’? Where can I see them? What do they do? Do I want them for my business?
In this quickfire guide Claire will answer these questions and talk you through how you can identify opportunities to score a justification that’ll help you stand out from your competitors and earn those clicks.
Noah Learner (Two Octobers)
Google Search Console API + Google Data Studio: Big Data + Laser Focused Context for the Win
Join Noah to learn about the GSC API Revolution. You’ll learn how Google Search Console Data from the API combined with Google Data Studio will transform the way you do SEO and your ability to compete with much larger competitors.
He’ll talk about how to build massive data sets for all sizes of organizations. And more importantly how to create context with Google Data Studio to win in local search.
Susan Staupe (Juris Digital)
Serious Client Retention: How to Keep Your Digital Clients for 10+ Years
Retaining SEO clients can be hard. How do you continue to maintain the relationship, stay motivated and come up with unique strategies and tactics month over month and year over year? People run out of things to do for a client. In this presentation, Susan will walk you through tangible ways to stay motivated and show you how CG Marketing Group has been able to retain clients for over a decade.
Rachel Anderson (Local SEO Guide)
How to Not Suck at Enterprise Local SEO
You suck at enterprise local SEO. No, not you, you are INCREDIBLE – but most people do. It blends together elements of technical SEO, content and links creation, and data management. It isn’t well understood and communicated about by the teams at Google. And all that data gets really messy and unmanageable. So it’s no surprise that most enterprise brands with a local presence suck at local SEO. But it is possible to crush local SEO for enterprise brands. I’ll guide you through 10 (increasingly difficult) ways to turn your enterprise brand’s local SEO from a failure to a huge success.
Dani Owens (Pigzilla)
Google Review Basics and Best Practices
Are you a newly opened local business or just starting out as a business owner and not familiar with the ins and outs of Google Reviews? Then this presentation is for you. Dani will explain beginner basics when it comes Google reviews and share some simple common best practices to help get you thinking about starting a review strategy for your SMB.
Jason Brown (The Transparency Company) &
Ben Fisher (Steady Demand )
How to Combat GMB Spam
Spam is taking over Google My Business in the form of fake listings, keyword stuffed business names, and bogus reviews. Spam impacts local businesses all of the world, which is why it’s important to understand how you, as a local marketer, consultant, or business owner, can help take a stance and make a change for good.
Join Ben Fisher, Jason Brown, and Darren Shaw as they explore GMB listing spam and what you can do about it.
Greg Gifford (SearchLab Digital)
Ruby Rhod’s Guide to Local Search Reporting (What to track, how to track it, and why)
Let’s face it – most SEO reports suck. Not only do they track the wrong metrics, they overload clients with too much information. In this session, Greg will show you how to make super green reports that clients will understand and be excited about – and happy, excited clients stay clients for a longer period of time. Greg will explain which metrics matter (and why some popular ones are pointless), then show you how to lay out your reports and add simple elements so the data tells a better story. No matter which reporting platform you use, this session will help you take your reports to the next level so your clients won’t say “bzzzzz”.
- 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors – Darren Shaw
- Review Attributes – The Biggest Change to Reviews in a Decade – Mike Blumenthal
- Mapping Your Way to Success – Ranking in Google’s Other Search Engine – Joy Hawkins
- Meh, Links – Gyi Tsakalakis
- Attribution Wizardry – Winning at GMB with UTM Codes – Claire Carlile
- Scoring Your Local Brand – Mary Bowling
- 10 Tips for Local Business Schema Markup – Martha van Berkel
- Lessons Learned Scaling an Agency Over 10 Years – Mike Ramsey
- Automation for People Who Do SEO: How to Go From Zero to Hero – Andrew Shotland
- Selling Your Services: Let’s Turn It Up to 11 – Jeff Sauer
- Google My Business Feature Adoption & Trends – Study of 800,000 Listings – Allie Margeson
- End Your Marketing Reliance on Facebook & Google’s Duopoly – Rand Fishkin
- Email: Your Marketing Lifeline During COVID-19 (and Beyond) – David Mihm
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Local Link Building – Blake Denman
- How to Deal With a Google My Business Suspension – Ben Fisher
- Building Local Community Karma – Communication & Content Tips for Building Your Online & Offline Tribe – Carrie Hill
- The Quick-but-Thorough SEO Site Audit – Nick Pierno
- Truth vs Fantasy: Reality Checking You Local SEO in Mobile – Cindy Krum
- Can Hotels Still Win in Local Search? – Tim Capper
- 10 Bootstrap Ways to Grab More of Your Service Area in Local Search – Phil Rozek
- Identifying Technical Issues on Location Pages at Scale Without Going Crazy – Rachel Anderson
- Building Relevance in Local Search – Joel Headley
- Citation Management in 2020 – How to Do It Right – Nyagoslav Zhekov
- The Fire Saga Guide to Google Posts and Q&A – Greg Gifford
- 3 Hard Truth For Reputation Management – Aaron Weiche
- SEO Exploration: Google Features To Stand Out From The (Local) Pack – Brodie Clark
- How Local Services Ads Impact Local Search – Tom Waddington
- How to Build a Partnership Joint Venture Empire Through LinkedIn – Matthew Hunt
- Vibranium and Other Elements of Landing Pages That Actually Convert – Amanda Jordan
- Level Up Your Analytics – Dana DiTomaso
- Why Spam Fighting Needs to Be Part of Your Local SEO Strategy – Jason Brown
- 9 Tips to Scale Your Local Strategy While Navigating Unpredictable Times – Krystal Taing
- 10 Creative Link Building Strategies – Casey Meraz
- Building the Content Machine – Mike King
What Attendees Had to Say
I attended 31 of the 35 sessions at #WLSS 🎓 Such a powerful collection of speakers. Time to check my notes for new learnings. Thank you all, especially @DarrenShaw_ @whitespark @JoelKlettke @Backlinko @himani_kankaria @GregGifford @NadyaKhoja @mblumenthal pic.twitter.com/6DUTHGymQU— 🤠 Randy Milanovic (@kayak360) October 1, 2021
Excellent v-conference on Local SEO. Your guests brought the heat with advanced level content. My favs are @keyserholiday Finding GMB Spam @danaditomaso Tag Manager Expertise @rachelleighrva Tech SEO for Local and @marthavanberkel Nesting Schemas. Thank you @whitespark #WLSS— Steve Huskey (@WizardOfGoogle) September 17, 2020
I have to say that #WLSS has to be one of the very best virtual events I have had the pleasure of watching.— Mark Preston (@MarkPreston1969) September 17, 2020
Fantastic job @DarrenShaw_ and the @whitespark team.
Very close to openly applauding in my home office while listening to @headley 's presentation for #WLSS. Justifying my fixation on justifications for a year+. 🙌🏼— Jenna Kobryn 🥞 (@jennakobryn) September 16, 2020
I've been talking about this event all day 😂 To clients to colleagues. Well done to the team at @whitespark 🥳 for pulling together such a great mix of speakers and topics. #wlss https://t.co/l73E0KWBUe— Crystal Carter (@CrystalontheWeb) October 4, 2021
So many great takeaways from #WLSS on Local Search. Glad we've been at the forefront of many ranking and visibility factors. #localsearch— See Deep Local (@SeeDeepLocal) September 30, 2021
With respect to expectations, @whitespark's Local Search Summit (#WLSS) has:— Gyi Tsakalakis (@gyitsakalakis) September 17, 2020
Seriously @DarrenShaw_ definitely the BEST virtual conference I’ve ever been to and one of the best conferences In general. Great job putting this together. Lots of actionable takeaways. Lots of thought provoking stuff too! Now take 2 weeks off. #WLSS— Darcy (@darcyburk) September 17, 2020
Gotta be honest and say that I haven't wanted to take part in conferences because of a bad experience with an organiser a while back. Taking part in @whitespark's event and the way @DarrenShaw_ and team interacted with speakers definitely changed my perspective. Very impressed!— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) September 18, 2020
Local Search Summit Video Bundle
one time payment
* Access to recording from 2021 and 2020 Local Search Summit
* 53 sessions from the best speakers in SEO
* Everything you need to know to master local SEO
How long will I get access to the videos?
When you purchase our Local Search Summit Video Bundle you get lifetime access to all of the 2021 and 2020 content through your Whitespark Account.
I purchased a VIP pass to the 2021 and/or 2020 event and don't have the videos in my Whitespark Account?!
We can fix that for you. Please email our Support team (or use Live Chat, or Call – whatever your preference is) and provide them with the email address you used to purchase your VIP Pass, as well as the email address registered to your Whitespark Account.
If you have your Whitespark Account registered under a different email, that is why you do not have Video Access.