Monthly Coffee Chats

Celebrating meal delivery operators with free coffee and expert conversations.


SEO and Google with Ben Lund (January 2024)

Learn how to dominate Google for your local meal delivery business.

Want to join the next episode live? Want free coffee? Sign up here.

Brought to you by

Hosted by: 

Edited and Produced by:

  • Michael Zarick

List of Tools mentioned in the Episode:

Episode transcript

[00:00:08] Will Schreiber: Hey, it's Will, co founder and CEO of Welcome to the second episode of Bottle Coffee Chats. These are live chats where we actually do want to buy you coffee to celebrate you for feeding your community and working so hard to feed people better food. This month, we have Ben Lund on, who is an SEO and Google expert, who teaches us how we can get better at Google, show up higher in rankings, and let people in our community find us way more easily.

You do not have to be a Bottle customer or use our software to benefit from this talk at all. We try to keep it completely neutral and just share tactics of how you can better succeed and show up higher in rankings. Think about ads and everything like that. You also do not need to be a Bottle customer for us to get you coffee.

We just want to celebrate the meal delivery world. And so next month for the February chat, which will be on February 6th, we would love to buy you coffee. Just go to bottle. com slash coffee, send us your email and we'll buy you a 10. A cup of coffee from Starbucks, and you can tune in if you'd like to the next chat.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this conversation. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you.

Thanks everyone for joining.

This is our second coffee chat, our January coffee chat. This month we have Ben Lund who runs Rise marketing. Welcome Ben. I hope everyone I hope we executed the gift cards a little bit better than last month. I hope everyone got their email this morning. With the Starbucks gift card, we already touched on this a little bit, but I'm drinking drip coffee from a coworking space.

Ben what kind of coffee do you have?

[00:01:57] Ben Lund: Yeah I just do standard drip, do some fancy organic coffee, but I can be an early riser. So, at least uh, East Coast, it's 10 o'clock in the morning. I was out the door at like 5. 40 to go to the gym, but I set my coffee. The night before, because that is my motivation where I wake up and actually smell the coffee.

I'm like, Oh yeah, I can do this. I can go to the gym, drink that cup of coffee on my ride. And then I'm good to go.

[00:02:23] Will Schreiber: Yeah. That's what gets me to the office. I like, I dream. I'm like, it's 20 minute walk, but there's coffee.

[00:02:29] Ben Lund: Yes, exactly. You got to have some motivation.

[00:02:31] Will Schreiber: Yeah. Yeah. That's a good strategy. Well, how did you, how, give us a quick background of how you got to the marketing world and.

A little bit about Rise marketing.

[00:02:41] Ben Lund: Yeah, it's it's been a fun, fun ride. I graduated from UMass Amherst their business school in 2004 and then. I loved, I was a marketing major because I just loved those classes and then, the internet was becoming like a pretty big thing and I knew I wanted to do marketing and I knew I want to be somewhere in the internet.

So I stumbled across some awesome opportunities. I worked at like monster. com. Um, It was like 2005 just selling. Job board spaces, but then I got an awesome break. I got to work for Yahoo. This is in the mid 2000s doing all SEM search engine marketing for clients and selling homepage advertisements because people went to Yahoo before they went to Google.

And then, yeah, I was an ad agency for a while. Then I worked at Google and Cambridge because we're in the Boston area for a couple of years. And then. Yeah, I just leaped into entrepreneurship a little bit more than five years ago. I started a Rise marketing group and we're a performance marketing agency specializing in all types of ads, whether it be Google ads, Microsoft, LinkedIn, social, and then we also specialize in search engine optimization.

And yeah, that's what we do. And our website is Rise MKG. com, but that's a little bit about our background. Okay, cool.

[00:04:00] Will Schreiber: But yeah, it framed the discussion a little bit for meal delivery people listening in. We are going to cover mostly Google in the world of a Google business profile, what that means.

low hanging fruit you can do to get more noticed on google and then touch on seo and some seo principles as well and then also talk about briefly google ads we think for beginners, right? Like what are the basics? What's some of the terminology how can we get? Get a little bit better at Google ads.

So that's the quick breakdown of what hopefully Ben we'll be able to get you up to speed on here in this talk. So let's start with the low hanging fruit, even what is a Google business profile.

[00:04:42] Ben Lund: Yeah, so hopefully anyone who's listening that has their own business does have a Google business profile set up, but think of it as like, it's a like Google's social aspect for businesses where you can claim your profile, similar to like claiming a Facebook business page, but this is specifically for Google.

You can upload all your information, description, pictures, get reviews, but the biggest benefit of Google Business Profile, which a lot of people overlook it will be your fastest trajectory to organic ranking on Google. So when you do a search for any type of service, whether it be meal delivery, meal prep, or any other services, you're looking for a handyman locksmith, whatever.

Generally speaking, you do a search and then Google is going to prioritize those listings because it understands that you're doing a local search and then it's going to flag any of these local businesses that it thinks is relevant. So I tell any client that's a business that's looking for local traffic.

Focus on Google business. Number one, that will be your fastest way to get in traffic on Google and truly the easiest. So that is what Google, what the Google profile is all about high level.

[00:05:56] Will Schreiber: Okay. And what are the kind of basic steps for optimizing that Google business profile? Yeah,

[00:06:01] Ben Lund: you just want to give Google as much information as possible. It's one thing to create a profile and then you just put in two sentences of what your business is, and then two pictures.

But Google's not going to prioritize it. If Google sees that you're not prioritizing this piece of real estate, why is Google going to show list you higher up? And it's really, I always think about it is what's best for the user is what Google's North star is. So Google won't show a business if it's not relevant or it's not a truly complete profile because Google ultimately wants users to use their engine and wants to provide an excellent experience.

And so what you should be thinking about is. If you haven't created a profile, definitely create it and for those who have it, review the profile sometime this week and just upload as much as information as possible. Make sure you have a robust description, make sure that your services are checked in terms of industry, your service location.

Reviews are critical because again, Google wants to show users legit businesses and if you don't have any reviews, that's not going to help out. And I'll just Stick on this for a little bit with reviews. Yeah. I know sometimes companies might be a little nervous of asking reviews. Ask for reviews. If, If a customer has had positive experience, they'd be more than happy to give out a review.

And even the way I frame it share how Google business is so helpful for the business. And if you had a positive experience, would you mind taking five minutes to write a review? within the profile, you can copy and paste the link and just send that off. Some businesses and clients of ours will even take it a step further and just say, Hey, for 10 minutes of your time, we'll give you a Starbucks gift card to complete this.

Because when you do searches for any type of business, it's not a coincidence that the ones that rank higher have the most reviews. Now reviews are one thing, and that's One of the more important ones, but a couple other aspects are super helpful for the business listings is not only having the profile built out, but within it.

And I'll actually share my screen real quickly because I just have ours because this is hard to explain. So yeah, I just did a search for Rise marketing group and great. We see 19 five star reviews. Good. Picture of our office building, but then, I have some information about Rise, but this is what's great.

Yeah. An area down here that a lot of people overlook is you can actually post updates on Google now. So think about this is more like anytime you have a blog and then you push that out, you're probably pushing it on social. Also push that out on Google now. Do I think people actually go to your profile and scroll through all your blogs?

I don't. But generally speaking, the more that you use Google's products and features, the more that they're going to benefit you. So anything that Google says that you should consider within your Google business profile, you definitely should do it. And even They, you can now link to other social platforms within the Google business profile.

So just fill it all out and stay active on it. It's not a set it and forget it strategy. And then Google is going to send you performance updates of how much traffic that you're receiving per month. And, I experience it. We experience it at Rise and we see our clients do well where you just get free organic traffic that way.

[00:09:30] Ben Lund: And

[00:09:30] Will Schreiber: That's just you will submit those updates the same way you go to Twitter to post something you would go to your Google business profile. Yep,

[00:09:38] Ben Lund: business profile, it's called posting an update and then you can put a link and then an image and then um, whatever type of like, brief summary that you want to write about it, but doesn't have to be like a blog post.

It could even just be a promotion that you're running for your business for new customers and things like that. But the whole key of, um. being successful on Google is just use it, use that profile, take full advantage of it and be active on it. Google's going to see that and then start to rank you higher and higher up on the search engine results page.


[00:10:11] Will Schreiber: is it? Is it fair? I know there's so much focus on reviews and you touched on it a bit. Is it fair that reviews is the biggest impact way to get boosted? And

[00:10:21] Ben Lund: yeah, I would say so. This is assuming you already have a decent profile built out where. Yeah, talk about all the aspects of your businesses and services and you have pictures.

But yeah, then reviews is definitely number one. And also I'll even go dive in a little bit further. Any positive review is great. If you're looking to promote a certain aspect of the business, You can even ask a client to put a review of that particular part of it. So if it, if you want to rank higher for, let's say food delivery or whatever that might be, you can even just say, Hey, I even wrote a quick blurb.

Would you mind posting this if you enjoyed it? Because then they even include some of those keywords that you're looking to rank for. You don't have to go that crazy, but get the reviews. It works. If you ever get a subpar review just because you can have the best service in the world. And of course, you're just going to find that one customer that was going to post something negative regardless.

I wouldn't fret about it, but I do want to talk about it because this happens with every business. Don't fret about it because sometimes if you see a business that has. Too many five star reviews. It's like, are these even real? So it's very common to, let's say, see a business that's 4. 5, 4. 8. Star reviews and if someone ever did leave a negative or critical comment just respond to it.

Just respond to it. As a real human and then, of course, if it was just like someone who never interacted and did business with you, then you could file a complaint to Google. But I do want to cover that because a lot of people. At least in the past that I've talked to, they're almost afraid of soliciting reviews because like, oh, what if I get a bad review, you're going to get bad reviews.

I'm sure you're going to get great ones. And if someone ever does do a subpar, that's fine. And just respond to it. With your point of view, right?

[00:12:10] Will Schreiber: Yeah, that I was going to follow up and ask how negative of an impact does a negative review have? And even how does that factor into Google's algorithm?

Is it as simple as. I have one one star and one five star and now I have a two and a half rating, or do they weight quality of reviews differently and in a way so that it just encourages you to get more reviews.

[00:12:31] Ben Lund: Yeah, I think they do weight it. And I also think they also look at the reviewer history of, like, are they just bashing every business out there, then they're not going to place a lot of weight on it.

So I do believe that they wait. There's some type of a rating scale there, but reviews are excellent. Like, and it's also just like great user experience. Cause if you're looking at several businesses, you're going to be, go to the ones that has the most five star reviews, but then. As I do for Rise, I mean, thankfully we have a really solid and happy client base, but even just to hedge ourselves from even a four star review or a three star review, I always preface the ask of, hey, if you've been really happy with our service, would you mind taking five minutes?

So that way it gives them the out of, if they're not happy for whatever reason, well, let's talk through it. Thankfully that really hasn't happened, but and that's just like another way to go about it. Yeah, I mean, definitely.

[00:13:26] Will Schreiber: I weight number of reviews the most as my own evaluate when I'm searching for a business.

I'm looking for the one with the highest number of reviews, really the most because I'm like, that's the most legit, the most trustworthy, which is interesting. What is the role of Google Maps on the business profile?

[00:13:48] Ben Lund: Yeah, it's so incredibly important because within the business profile, obviously you're going to have your address and Google's going to prioritize that.

But for Google business listings, Google factors in heavily your proximity to the user location. So if you're looking for us. Where let's say you're outside of Massachusetts and you just do some searches for advertising agency. We're not going to come up. But if you're in the Boston area, we're going to come up because that proximity is so important to Google because majority of business type searches are locally based.

And there's a couple of things that you can do. So 1, you're automatically going to have your address populated in there. And then number 2 on the back end side of it, you can list your service areas. And I would be very honest with yourself of. It's. Of your service area. So if you're like, oh, yeah, I guess I could ship to anyone in the state or all these states, but truly the majority of your business comes from within a 20 mile radius, just be honest and just put those individual locations in and that's what's going to help you rank higher on Google.

So outside of the general search engine results page, if someone is searching in maps for your service, you also have an opportunity to appear there. Also if there are. Businesses with multiple locations, even if they're office locations. you can open up several business profiles. Now pros and cons with that pros, then you're going to be visible for local searches in two different areas, which is really good.

Downside of it, that will be splitting up your reviews. So when you ask reviews, like which profile on it. So Is it better to consolidate or to separate and have two different geo targets and just split the reviews. But I have seen that work pretty well for businesses that truly do have two different offices, right?

[00:15:43] Will Schreiber: Yeah. A couple of questions here. You bring up a few things specifically to meal prep businesses. A lot of people. Who run meal delivery on Bottle will ship and do local delivery. And it's interesting. You, it's almost from a Google perspective, you're saying it's better to be hyper local and say, this is our core area so that someone in your local delivery range.

Searches for you, you're definitely going to show up and worry less about winning the SEO for, of course, you can ship to a state to over, but you're probably not going to be winning that Google search anyway. Exactly. So worry less about that service

[00:16:18] Ben Lund: area. Yeah, I would focus just more on where you're getting, use the 80 20 rule where you get in most of your business.

And then this can tee up into a conversation we'll probably have in a little bit of like SEO of your website. What can you do to if you do want to enter a new market? What can you do to do that? And that's a very heavily focused on site content, which we can talk about that in a little bit. But for Google, I would just focus on truly where 80 percent of your business comes from focus on those areas.

And if they really are split up and you have different offices. Great. Create a couple of different profiles, same company, and you can manage them all together. Right.

[00:16:58] Will Schreiber: And this is an interesting question that came in the Q&A and I'd be wondering your opinion, but someone who operates out of a cloud kitchen and just does online pre orders.

So there's not really a business location beyond the rented space. What's the recommendation on what to set the location as a business?

[00:17:18] Ben Lund: Yeah, you can still put in, if there is some type of the space, even you could still put an address or you can hide addresses. And then on the back end, you can just put in your service area and then just put in the towns or zip codes or whatever the opportunities are for Google.

But, you can at least last time I checked you can hide your address and some people do that if it's out of a home and they don't they just don't feel comfortable putting their home address because people if people are confused, like, oh, I'm going to drive and pick up some dinner for tonight. So, yeah, that would be something that I would consider.

So don't look at that as a barrier to entry still create that profile and you should be able to suppress. Suppress the real address, but still put in the service area within Google. Yeah,

[00:18:04] Will Schreiber: makes sense. All right, well, let's jump to SEO and we have a question already of even how do you debate the organic versus ad?

So. Starting with SEO, what are the kind of keys to like the structural keys to being found? Yeah, with SEO on

[00:18:21] Ben Lund: Google? Yeah, definitely. There's so much out there. And if anyone's who's interested in did their research, you can get lost pretty quickly. Just because you can go down crazy rabbit holes, and people are saying conflicting points of view, but really it comes down to 3 different things.

So 1, your website needs to just be have all the SEO fundamentals from a technical perspective. So what does that mean at a high level? You have a good looking website. Because if you don't have a good looking website with good UX, people are just going to bounce right away. And Google is going to pick that up.

It's secure. So HTTPS, if it's not secure, Google is going to ding you a couple for that. And then you just have all the basics. So you have a meta description and what that is for every page. You tell Google what to put on the search engine results page. It's almost like your ad copy, but for SEO, you're using headers throughout your website, which is pretty much goes above different paragraphs.

And it's very much targeted for specific keywords. Use image alt text, which means behind every image on your website, you tell Google what that image is all about. Google is really smart, but if it sees a picture of. a certain type of meal, it won't really totally understand it. So you just want to give some backend signals to what that is.

It's really all about just the first is making sure your website from a technical perspective is super clean and you make it easy for Google to understand what your website's all about. And then it gets into two different categories content without content. You'll never rank on Google. So if you, let's say come to us and you're like, Oh, why isn't my website ranking and your website's literally just a long landing page, there's really not a lot of content on that.

So you need to have a robust enough content and. Before you just start writing content for the sake of content, think of the type of searches that you want to be present for or even questions people are asking that way you can write content to rank for that. So that's number two, high level. And then number three, which has always been a strong ranking signal for Google, although the weight on this has been diminished over years but still strong, is getting other websites to link to you.

So when Google started as a search engine back in the late 90s, One of their, the key criteria for ranking was, are other websites talking about you and linking to you? Because if other websites are linking to you, that's a voucher of accreditation that, okay, you must, Provide a good product or service. So I'm going to look, use these voices as accreditation and then rank you higher because of that.

That's not the top ranking signal anymore. And Google shared, it's not the top three ranking signals, but it is still, yeah, they published this past summer, but I don't want to discount it too much because it is still really important. So even within Google search console, which is a separate platform, it's free that truly every business should sign up for that tells you how you're ranking on Google.

It'll still indicate what sites are linking to you. So that in of itself shows that Google does still value it, but yeah, think about how other websites can link to you and every business has connections to other businesses. So maybe you're in a networking group, like a business networking group or a chamber of commerce.

A lot of them have directories. They can. Link to you or maybe you got some good PR and maybe ask for a backlink from there or any other referral partners that could be really good just to start to build up some momentum of just getting some backlinks to you helps out by high level. It's really.

Make sure your site is technically sound and a good user experience, because again, if it's a bad user experience and people are just bouncing and leaving right away, Google is going to pick up on that. And then from there, I'll just really prioritize content. And then, of course, as there's linking opportunities that come about, I would definitely take advantage of that, but really focus on content.

And when you say

[00:22:18] Will Schreiber: content, what's something that comes to mind? If you were thinking about if I operated South Fork, which delivered lunches. Each day to a business center, if you were coming in and advising me immediately, what is your mind to like, Oh, this is the kind of content we should be posting

[00:22:34] Ben Lund: to our website.

Yeah, definitely. So I would stress local focus content. So you could even have. Like a location delivery page, which shares all the towns and communities that you service. And it could just be insert town state. And then within that page, talk about all the areas that you deliver and then you could even include maybe different centers that you routinely deliver.

So that way, when people do a search for city plus. Food delivery, that page has a higher opportunity to rank. And if you serve multiple cities or geos, those even could be separate pages that you build out to rank higher on Google. But yeah, that, that could be content. It could even be types of meal delivery that you do.

So maybe it is more corporate. So make sure you have a page that's very much focused on corporate meal delivery. And if it's focused on a city. Or region include that as well. And then talk about all how you focus on corporate, maybe sample clients. If you're focused on residential, you can do that as well.

So it really depends on first and foremost, who you're trying to target, and then think of what they may be searching and then create content for that. So it could be. The examples I just shared was much more landing page based, but you can also just have a blog and the blog could just be general information, the pros and cons of meal deliveries and things like that.

So yeah. One thing I will, and so, and,

[00:24:06] Will Schreiber: And so these are blog posts in your mind. Usually I know the, we deliver to these areas. It's more of a landing page, but structurally just well formatted and written text goes a long way. Or

[00:24:20] Ben Lund: it does. Yeah. And I would say there's a couple of things that I would actually say on this is make sure the content is written to add value.

So anyone can go to chat GPT or Google Bard and just be like, give me a 500 word blog post on this. I haven't seen that type of content rank too well. And Google has. They're writing a little bit of a line here because they are an AI based company so at one side of the mouth, they don't really value it too much.

But on the other end, they are an AI company. So it's interesting to see where this is going to go. But what I've seen is. Generally speaking, AI content is just a regurgitation of existing content. And Google pretty much says, more or less, is that to rank on Google, you have to provide some type of content that provides superior value.

And if you're just using an AI tool to give you the average about what's out there, Expect average results at best. But if you really focus in on real value driven content that may answer questions that your potential customers may ask, then that's really good. So I would say focus on the quality content, make sure maybe.

750 to 900 words at a minimum is great. So it's sufficient enough. If you just have a blog post, that's 1 paragraph or 2 paragraphs. It's not going to rank because there's just not a lot of meat there. Use headers include images. And even videos best

[00:25:53] Will Schreiber: and is this part of because my mind's wondering, it's like, well, how does Google determine really that it's value add versus not?

And is it just that there's a measure of how long people spend on the page? A real human on the page as a measure of, oh, this is valuable or this is not. Yeah,

[00:26:11] Ben Lund: exactly. So no one knows truly how Google does it, but pretty much like what I gathered over the years is. When you produce a new page of content, Google is going to test it out based off of what its algorithm thinks it's going to perform.

And it's going to show it based off of maybe the age of the website, how many other people are linking to the website. And then even the quality of content in terms of other grammatical errors. Does it have a lot of relevant keywords? Does it really think it's going to answer that question? And if so, Google's going to push it out in the search engine results page on specific questions.

But then it comes down to user experience. If people are just like confused, I don't get it. And then leave right away. Google's going to pick up on that. And then your rankings are going to go down. Or if they actually really engage with that content, then Google's going to reward you on that. So that's pretty much the consensus of how I've seen it play out is.

Google will estimate how well this is going to do and put it out there. And then ultimately it's going to be the user that determines how well it is. So really, again, focus on writing for a real human because ultimately they are going to be the end judge of it. Even better is if that user not only spends a lot of time on your site, but then said, like, Wow.

This is a really interesting article. I'm going to link to it from my site and that's a huge bunch of accreditation, but again, start off with just quality content. And when you think of a content cadence, how frequently you should post, just do something that's realistic. So you're not just doing a rush job.

That could just be a one, one piece of content per month. That's well done, or maybe some people have more time and it could be one every other week, but just pick a cadence that you believe that you could stick to. Yeah, and go with that.

[00:28:02] Will Schreiber: Got it. And are there any SEO tools or kind of lightweight tools that you recommend?

That business owners should be

[00:28:08] Ben Lund: aware of. Yeah. The one that we use for all of our clients is SEMrush. I'm definitely a huge fan of it. It can give you just your overall assessment of your websites, how many links that you're getting what positions that you're ranking for specific keywords and how that's fluctuating.

But most importantly, why I like it is their keyword research tool is really good. So if you are looking to rank for specific, a specific audience. You can type in specific keywords and it will tell you what types of questions that they're typing in, what's that search volume and how difficult it will be to rank for that given keyword.

So that way you, again you're writing not just blindly, but you're writing target a specific audience. So yeah, SEMrush is a tool that I generally like. There's a lot of great ones out there. Erufs is another good one. I personally don't use it, but I've heard a lot of good things. But it is important to have some data points before you just write a bunch of content.

And you mentioned,

[00:29:12] Will Schreiber: Researching those keywords or coming up with Oh, I want to see how I might rank for meal delivery Atlanta or something like that. How do you find keywords that are even worth ranking for? Like if I were a business, how do I brainstorm those? How do I evaluate this as worth trying to write content to rank for this kind of search?

Yeah, are there any tips around that

[00:29:36] Ben Lund: there is and, let's let's try to just do a live example real quick because it might be valuable.

[00:29:43] Will Schreiber: Yeah, that would be great.

[00:29:44] Ben Lund: Yeah. And if this doesn't work, I will just talk through it. So this is, are you guys seeing my screen SEM rush? Yep. We got you.

Awesome. So we go to keyword magic tool and this is just like how it all began. So you could do a search for meal delivery, start off with that.

And then

there's different types of match types that you can, I would start off with a broad theme like this, like meal delivery and broad matches, pretty much any variation of the seed keyword. So it gives you a good idea of what people are searching. Now, like meal delivery services, this is all U. S. based traffic.

40, 000 people search it on Google every month. But, look at this, It's telling you it's very hard to rank for this just probably because there's a ton of competition out there. So to rank nationwide for that would take a ton of work. But what you can do is just go down and find pockets of what people are searching for.

So like this is a good one. Dairy free meal delivery. Maybe some of your maybe Bottle users focus on dairy free and maybe that's an area that they've been thinking about really opening up. That is one where actually a lot of people are searching for that and the keyword difficulty isn't too hard.

And then obviously you have keto, you have near me. But generally speaking, if I scroll, keep on going down here, we're going to start to see cities pop up. So let's take Atlanta, for example.

And then, so what you're going to see is local based searches. Search volume isn't as strong every month, but the keyword difficulty, they're all possible versus like impossible. So when you go out, if you are locally based. Build out local pages and then you can even see like once you add in other modifiers like keto meal delivery Atlanta, that's it's telling you it's easy to rank for or healthy.

So don't just think of meal delivery, definitely meal delivery plus Atlanta, but this is a type of tool where you can just find out what are people searching, vegetarian, clean, and then that can be a total offshoots of pages that you could. That you can build out to try to capture that traffic. But these insights come from a tool like SEM rush.

Just so that way, again, you have some type of data points before you just start writing a bunch of content. Right. Got

[00:32:05] Will Schreiber: it. Okay. That's cool. Let's pivot over to ads talk really quick and then we'd love your insight into as small businesses where maybe the highest ROI might be, but for ads What is the high level kind of basic ad strategy that a local business should be thinking about for Google

[00:32:25] Ben Lund: ads?

Yeah, so I would, so Google ads, it's let's I'll share my screen one more time.

So cool, meal delivery for me. So all of these sponsored, so Blue Apron, HelloFresh, these are all paid ads. And then down here, This these are organic really quick

[00:32:45] Will Schreiber: too. It's interesting to me that I noticed in the keyword search that pre made meals was a little bit easier of a keyword than meal delivery, according to the list.

And it's interesting blue aprons. Yeah, this new pre made meals. I haven't really seen that before and that's probably some yeah,

[00:33:05] Ben Lund: that could be a little search analysis I'm sure yeah, I'm sure they have a beast of a marketing team behind them And for whatever reason they really liked this copy people.

Yeah, so that really Good call out right there. So within the ad so these are all ads and then down below you get the organic listings which we were just talking about and then of course you have the map and then the Google businesses and not much opportunity where I am. So if anyone's in the Boston area, maybe they should claim some space.

Cause zero reviewed two star review, nothing there. So that's

[00:33:40] Will Schreiber: where the Google business profile really comes in very handy. You're pulled into this map view

[00:33:46] Ben Lund: in the Google search. Definitely. And you can see, I mean, some of these, there's like, there's nothing here. So people, at least in the Boston area or South of Boston town called Dedham, not much here, but so ads is are all of these positions right here.

Now, pros and cons with that. The pros with ads is you're going to get traffic pretty much immediately. But but on the flip side, you're paying for the traffic and you pay Google for every click that goes to your website. So before you start embarking out of like, okay, I want to flip the light, get some ads, make sure your site is in a really good spot because you're paying for this traffic.

You want to make sure that it's a positive Google experience. What I would say is compare your site against some of your competitors. And you could even compare it against Blue Apron and HelloFresh. Yes, it's not going to be to that level, but they've made it this far. Maybe there's a couple nuggets that you could take from their landing page experience that you may want to integrate it.

But generally speaking, include all the information that you should. Make it easy to engage as possible. Don't make it where they have to go to all these different pages to interact. So yeah, the pros is immediate traffic, the downside, you will be paying Google for it. So when you do Google ads, how it works is you curate a group of keywords that you want to go after.

So in this case, it could be meal delivery, meal pre made meals. And I'm sure there's other keywords that you can go after. What I would recommend is keep it as specific as possible, at least to start. Because you don't want to and I would use a match type called it's either exact or phrase match, which tells Google of I only want to serve to these keywords or related keywords like this.

If you're at a broad match, which tells Google like, yeah, we, I want to rank for meal delivery. Google can map that out to meal recipes and that type of traffic, because the intent isn't there, probably isn't going to convert very well once they get to your website. So what I say to any client is start off with being as specific as possible.

So meal delivery focus on a collection of keywords with a similar intent, exact or phrase match, and then also your geo target. Again, if most of your business comes locally, focus locally, because otherwise, if you're nationwide, people have options of just Blue Abram or HelloFresh, and then it might be a little bit harder to convert on that, but focus on locally, and you'll probably do better on that because people can see that your local business, it's not made in some factory somewhere and shipped, and you don't know when the meal was actually created, it could have been a week ago, and then shipped, and every food has some shelf life to it.

So I would say it's just be as specific as possible. And you brought up an interesting question or someone did is, should you focus on SEO or Google ads? Both can be great strategies. Google ads, I would say if you have immediate goals of growing, so maybe you raise some money or, and you really want to get this off, Google ads is going to be a great launch point for you.

If you're focused on long term growth. SEO, and oftentimes a lot of our clients end up doing both because SEO takes longer time to earn Google's trust or rank higher long term. It's probably going to be your most efficient track channel because it is free traffic, but free nothing's free because you still have to do work to get traffic.

Earn that traffic. But again, it's, it really depends on your goals. If you're looking for more customers this quarter, next quarter, focus on Google ads, as long as your site's in a good spot. If you want to focus on long term and you're like, you're busy right now, but you want to hire down the road, continue to focus on SEO because that will be your probably most efficient revenue channel.


[00:37:38] Will Schreiber: And is there, what's the kind of industry standard or best way to know that Google ads are working? Or not, like at what level do you or how do you get it set up so that you can measure this amount of ad spend is driving this much business to me and it's actually profitable or not. Yeah, and are there tools that business owner can use to determine that to figure out I should invest more here

[00:38:00] Ben Lund: or not?

Yep. Yeah, definitely. So all the tools that you really need to get started are within Google ads. So within Google ads, you can create conversion events, which is just a little bit of code that you tell Google that this event happened. And if your website set up as just an email form or contact us, and then you maybe.

Take it over the phone or whatever, then that could be a conversion event, or if it's very much transaction based, you can set up conversion events where you can tell Google, yes, transaction happened and how much that transaction amount was, and that will be reported within the Google dashboard. So over time, what you really should see is, oh, I invested 500 last month and I got 1, 000 of sales.

That's really good. And then also I'm sure there's a lifetime value associated, especially with meal delivery where maybe you're okay of even breaking even on that on a month advertising, knowing that each client may be with you for two and a half, three, four months plus. But what's really important is to stress.

And I don't say this just because I'm an agency or I lead an agency is. It is, you do need a good amount of expertise to set up Google ads correctly. If you just lean on self guided tutorials, you really need to study it to set it up correctly. So. You may, unless if you really want to dedicate the time to it, I would consider outsourcing that doesn't have to be to us.

It could even just be someone locally in your town that, that does Google ads or marketing, even if they just set it up for success and set up the measurement and the original campaigns and then let you take it over from there, but just setting up the. Fundamentals are just really important.

[00:39:45] Will Schreiber: Yeah I think that's a great tip. I know, especially getting the right framework in place to help you manage those over time is going to make a big difference for most people. Yeah. We had a question here and I think you've touched on it a little bit, but the question is, should you pay for ads with Google or even Yelp, which we'd love your opinion on?

We don't have to get into it or we're really focused on growing organically.

[00:40:08] Ben Lund: Yeah Google Yelp, I did Yelp ads for a little bit, saw some level of success on it. I would say with anything that you do, as long as you have appropriate measurements set up and some type of mechanism to share how well that platform is doing you're going to be fine.

So even let's say you spend 500 in Yelp, but you set up appropriate conversion tracking and you can see how many calls that you got. Even if you only got one or two calls, you didn't really fail because you got, you got those data points, but if you didn't set up appropriate measurement. You're really no better off of if it worked or not.

But yeah, I would try it out. Try all platforms. Also know whenever you launch a platform, generally speaking, it gets better and better every month because you get more signals and data points of the copy that works well, the landing page that works well. The keywords that work well. And then with SEO, I mean, ideal world, every business should probably do both.

But again, it really comes down to your goals. If you're looking for customers this quarter and next quarter, focus on Google ads. If you're a focus on, Hey, I want to really blow up business. Later on in the year, SEO is going to be really good because it's a harder ship to turn, but it's like a snowball and you get incremental gains month over month and then you consistently do that.

Give yourself 12 months. I know that's a lot of time, but then you're going to start to see some really sizable traffic come through and requests. And when you pick up the phone or you get that email. You can ask and they'll just say, Oh, we Googled you. So an ideal world, I would do both, but it really depends on what your goals are.

[00:41:43] Will Schreiber: I think that's great advice and on Yelp specifically I, I, last time Yelp came up on our coffee chat, there were a lot of frustrated business owners, never engage with them. Do you ever think about, okay, back to the Google review slash Yelp review question. If I'm asking a customer for review, would you ever ask them to leave a review on Yelp versus Google?

Do you typically see like. Returns on playing the Yelp game to rank high on Yelp versus ranking high on Google, or is that a question that doesn't usually come up?

[00:42:17] Ben Lund: It doesn't come up a lot for our our clients. But for whatever reason, Yelp just like brings the worst out of everyone. I don't know why.

Yeah. The businesses I talk to, people are like, Oh yeah, our Yelp reviews are awful, but Google, they're fine. Like, I don't understand. Oh, interesting. I don't know. Sometimes I hear that. But yeah, I would just say just focus on where your customers are chat with them, like if they are, if they really are finding you on Yelp, or they're doing these searches.

Then, yeah, give Yelp some love. It doesn't have to be as robust as Google. I believe probably you're going to have more success on Google just because that's like the entry point to the internet. But just chat with your customers. Ask if they use Yelp. And if you get a couple signals that, yes, they do, and that would be a good spot for you, create a Yelp profile, build it out.

You can copy and paste what you put on Google. Get, let's say, five reviews just to, so you have something there. And then go. And then if you start to get a customer or two, then Yelp does have an advertising product that you can consider adding a little fuel to that. But again, think about or ask your clients like what platforms that they use and again, give them a gift card or whatever it is for their time and just do a little survey.

Just again, so you have some data points before you embark on a new strategy. Right.

[00:43:38] Will Schreiber: I think my hot take on Yelp, and it's interesting in the negative review, maybe I'm skeptical, but it feels like They make you pay to remove negative reviews sort of thing of, Oh, you've got these negative reviews, upgrade your product.

We can help you filter those out and reply to them. I've anyway it's I like your advice to follow where your customers are. And it feels like most customers are on Google. So, so really focused there.

[00:44:05] Ben Lund: then also there's other search engines out there, maybe people like Bing and Bing's actually making some headlines because of ChatGPT.

Microsoft has business profiles that you can fill out as well. Again, do just do a copy and paste job. I'd say focus on Google. Assuming that's where a majority of your customers start their customer journey and then for any of these other listings and directories, build it out, do a copy and paste job.

Don't burden yourself with putting too much effort into it. But again, it all hinges on where your customers are.

[00:44:38] Will Schreiber: Right? And question in the chat was how many people on Bottle have an additional website? If so, what percent for people? We see about 90 percent of Bottle merchants maintain a separate website.

And for today, obviously we really recommend that for everything Ben has said today around SEO, building a blog, posting content. And there are great tools out there that we feel like would do a much better job than we can of making sure that you rank for certain keywords are able to publish content on a blog, have an about me page, and then redirect a Bottle for the actual customer ordering experience.

Now we are working on website features that will help you post content and have links and stuff like that. But even as we roll those out, we will recommend people maintain a website. So that they can win on the points that Ben has laid out here today, to show up and search and whatnot

ben, I think great question for you. Follow up to that question of maintaining a separate website. Are there any website builders or CMS companies in particular that you recommend or think that yeah, great usability and

[00:45:52] Ben Lund: yeah, I feel like most are pretty good.

I feel like we're out of the realm of I don't know, just like platforms that just were not good for SEO, WordPress is pretty standard. We're generally any website that we build. We are WordPress first, but it doesn't mean that's the way to go. I mean, Wix has done a lot of good stuff over the years and made themselves much more SEO friendly.

What I would say is go with, just go with a platform that's. Pretty popular. And you can look at what your competitors are doing. The one thing I would flag against is maybe going total custom and maybe hiring someone just to do a total custom site, not on a platform, because what happens is then when you need to make updates, it's a total custom build that you have to do.

So I don't know, I'm a big fan of WordPress. Generally it's done pretty well with SEO, but there's a lot of other. Good platforms out there just do your research and just pick 1 of the top 3 and you should be in a really good spot.

[00:46:52] Will Schreiber: Yeah, and the main ones being you want to set your metadata.

You want to make sure that the content on the page is there and that it's easy to post.

[00:47:00] Ben Lund: Yeah, definitely. And a lot of them, they all have SEO built in those components. And also there's a lot of great resources online. Like if you're of a WordPress site, how do I update my description on WordPress? I'm sure you're going to see like 30 videos on just how to do that.


[00:47:17] Will Schreiber: All right. With a few minutes left, I'd be curious to predictions. Prediction section. Obviously, a lot is changing and has been changing around user generated content being posted to TikTok and Instagram. People really trying to build a following there do followings or content on TikTok and Instagram impact your Google or SEO ranking at all?

And as a follow up to that, where do you see SEO and kind of Google searches going? In the next five to 10 years with chatbots and how other people might be. Finding businesses.

[00:47:53] Ben Lund: Yeah, great question. So SEO is definitely changing as always been changing. I mean, I feel like Google makes probably at least 4 to 5 big updates every year.

And then in between, they pretty much make updates almost daily. But a lot of those aren't publicized because they're just minor tweaks. Having engagement on channels outside of Google, I believe absolutely helps out. I know, I believe that Google can see all of those signals. So again, Google is moving a little bit away from just like a hard link from let's say Bottle to Rise.

And of course it's going to still add value to it. But if Google sees that we have a YouTube channel or we're active on LinkedIn and Facebook and people are liking it. Google's going to pick up on that. And that shows signals that we are providing some type of service or content of value. So I would say it's an indirect signal, but I do believe it is helpful.

Future of it of SEO. I can't say I came up with all these thoughts, but it's pretty much, I'm putting together other thoughts that I've read from prominent SEO folks and put it in my own perspective. But one of the things Rand Fishkin, who's been a huge SEO guy, he founded Moz years ago.

What he said is that any type of brand mention of your company, even if it's on a hard link, is going to help out your SEO. And that's a stance that he had years ago, where it's moving less from a hard link. So really, that just puts it in context that anytime your business is mentioned, whether it's on social, whether it's other websites mentioned to you, or Press release or things like that.

That's going to help you out just because it's just building up your brand equity and authority. Also, where the industry is going, there's just going to be a ton of new content that's pushed out, like, in masses, like, in absolute masses. I know, I'm sure Google saw this coming for a long time because they are an AI based company and investing heavily in AI.

So what Google's responsibility is making sure that the quality of content does not suffer because anyone can just now put together. Mediocre content, but at massive scale. So I think what's going to happen is Google's probably going to rely more and more of users signals and data going to rank well, because everyone can have the, anyone can put together a ton of content now, but I think it goes to our prior conversations is if they are really engaging with the content then you're probably going to rank better because now everyone is on a, the same playing field where they, anyone can just write a 500 out.

500 word blog post but make it really engaging and answering their questions, maybe embedding some video or things like that. So I do believe that Google is going to rely more and more on user based signals on a website when determining ranking versus keyword stuffing and hard backlinks and things like that.


[00:50:47] Will Schreiber: I think that's a fascinating thing. I think I agree with that prediction of I, I've been stuck wondering if you can generate these articles on chat GPT and put them on your site, how is Google going to parse the noise? But that makes a lot of sense of they'll use user signals of you're sharing this page, you're bookmarking it, you're on it a long time, probably signals like that to know what's good content and what isn't.

[00:51:11] Ben Lund: And I don't want to, I don't want to condone AI. I think AI is. Great. There's a lot of awesome capabilities out of it. And even if you don't use it for verbatim copy and paste content, which I would try to avoid against, you can still use it for great research. So Hey, what are the top searches for meal delivery, meal prep, do all the list of types of keywords that people are searching out or.

Or common questions that can then build content for, let's say, an FAQ page that you may have. Or even work on like promotional copy of this is my business. How do I consolidate this into one line? And that's not going to be the final answer, but it's going to help you. So I don't want to just like say, Oh, AI is the worst.

No, I think there are use cases, but even at Rise as an agency, , our most recent point of view is it's a great tool, but it's not a replacement for humans sharing a message,

[00:52:10] Will Schreiber: at least at this point. Right, right. That makes sense. All right, well, I will end the chat with the open call to anyone who wants a website audit.

or tips a basic kind of I think you have a product like that, Ben, of a website teardown. Yeah, definitely.

[00:52:30] Ben Lund: Oh, go ahead. Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah. I would say if anyone wants to chat on any aspect of marketing, whether it be SEO, website design, development, or ads. Yeah. Visit us. Yeah, you can send out our website and Yeah.

Happy to schedule a consult to see how we might be able to support. That's

[00:52:47] Will Schreiber: perfect. Yeah. And obviously get in touch with any of us team at Bottle myself or whatever, and we'll put you right in touch with Ben. Ben, thank you so much for, there was a lot here that I learned. Really appreciate you taking the time to spend with spend with us and teach a little bit

[00:53:03] Ben Lund: about Google.

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much. Well, pleasure to be here.

[00:53:07] Will Schreiber: Yeah, absolutely. Hope everyone has an awesome rest of January. Hope it's been a great start to the year for everyone. Hope everyone enjoys their coffee today. Awesome.

[00:53:16] Ben Lund: Take care. All

[00:53:17] Will Schreiber: right. See ya.