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This live event was recorded on January 19th 2023. Thank you to all who attended!

Roadmap to Digital Success

  1. Local Search – Signe @ 7:00 Min
  2. Website SEO – Eric @23:40 Min
  3. Social Media – Matt @36:00 Min
  4. Hashtags/Content/Conclusion – Eric @44:50 Min

1: Local Search

This section is significant for service businesses trying to reach a local audience. We will focus on businesses with a brick-and-mortar shop and how you can rank higher for your services. It is harder to rank locally without a physical location, but we will cover that separately. You’ll need to start by creating profiles or updating profiles in the following geo-directory databases:

  • Google My Business
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Apple
  • Small Databases

In 2023, Google requires at least two database verifications, so they must be consistent across the multiple platforms listed above with the same business name, hours, phone number, etc.

Google My Business

The single most important local search database, GMB, helps you show up on maps when people search for “Services Near Me.” On this one, we want to focus on creating a full 750-character description that is keyword rich. After that, it’s essential to fill out as much as possible for open hours, services, pictures, etc. Keep in mind the keywords that people use to find you as that will be essential to fill out the description and the services.

Side Rant: PLEASE be consistent with your hours and update them on Google when you will have closures. I hate showing up to a restaurant and they happen to be closed on Tuesdays for the month of February with a piece of paper on the door saying the staff is tired.

Since GMB only allows for 750 characters, we will use the “Updates” as a way to increase the keyword count in your profile. When creating updates, we’ll add more descriptions with pictures. Here are some examples of pictures we’ve added to a client’s google page as updates.

insuseal since 2005

Insuseal has been providing insulation services in the Gunnison Valley since 2005 with owner, Greg Blanco behind the wheel. They specialize in large-contract insulation jobs in new construction condominiums and custom homes in Crested Butte.

insuseal gets the job done

Insuseal gets the job done right, time and time again. For 18 years we have been providing quality service to contractors and homeowners in the Gunnison Valley. From blown-in insulation to rockwool, we understand the needs of Gunnison and Crested Butte’s cold temperatures.

The Importance of Reviews

In Google, reviews need to happen at least once a month for your profile to be considered “active.” In the same breath, showing more reviews also gives your profile more strength to rank higher in several key ways. One way is to increase keyword count when clients talk about how much they loved your services. Another way is increasing potential client trust. We can leverage this area, the area in which users start their journey to finding a “service near me” to immediately build trust that other people in the world like your services.

How to get Reviews

Just ask. Many people have asked me “How do you get your client’s customers to write reviews?” and the simple answer is that we just ask. Some clients are set up to automatically ask for reviews after an order is placed, others get an e-mail after it has been submitted from Quickbooks, and others are just manually asked “How did we do?”.

When we ask for reviews, it’s often more personal. We ensure to include a key piece of the project and remind them that Google reviews are really helpful for small businesses. It’s also helpful to grab the link from your Google My Business profile under “Ask For Reviews” and include that in an e-mail or text to make it as easy as possible for your customer to click and write.

“Hi John, I’m so glad we were able to get that project completed by Feb. 5th like we had discussed. I also really like your feedback of changing that header from red to blue as it really captured your brand better. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns as your feedback is greatly appreciated. As we’ve talked about with local SEO, it’s really helpful for a growing agency like ours to get feedback in a public format. Would you mind taking a minute to write a quick something to show other potential clients that we deliver? Here’s a link to our Google reviews: . Thank you again and I look forward to working with you on our next project”.

Responding to Reviews

Here is another opportunity to include keywords in your responses and show Google that you are active on their platform. Try to respond to every review within 24 hours and if you haven’t responded to any reviews up until this point, take the time to respond to at least one review a day to show that you value your client’s feedback.

Changing Location

When you change locations, it’s important to review your major 5 geo-directories and also submit the changes to sub-directories. There are approximately 55 directories online that help distribute your address. is a great place to check to see if all of these 55 directories have your correct address and offer a way to pay to have the new address submitted to all of the directories. These directories pick up your address over time from the big 5, but it’s a quicker way to get the address changed.

2: Website

Your first step in creating a solid web presence is ensuring your website is SEO-friendly. Create a solid foundation with your website by checking off the following points:

  • Hosting
  • Theme
  • Images
  • Keywords
  • Titles and Headings (Keyword Placement)
  • Content


Hosting plays a big role in website uptime as well as loading speed. Google is checking to ensure that your website can serve adequately on mobile, and having fast loading speeds is as essential as ever. Avoid the $5/month hosting provided by GoDaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, etc., because they will be slow and share multiple resources with other companies.

You can do a speed test check on your website to see if it is passing Google’s test:

Look for an error that says “slow server times” to see if your hosting is a problem.


With that same test, we can also determine if your theme is a problem with loading times. You’ll see things like “avoid render-blocking resources.” Most theme creators built Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress themes to be easy to use, but most didn’t consider the loading times associated with these heavy themes.

Most of the time, the server and theme are the least of our client’s problems, and images are the big culprit to slow loading times.


Most of our clients, and previous developers that have worked on our client’s sites, upload an iPhone photo that is 3MB in size. These images are often way too large to load on mobile and crash a user’s phone, leading to a loss of potential clients. The website theme or area you are putting an image into will tell you what the pixel size should be.

Pixel Size vs Downloadable Size

roadmap to success screenshot for pixel size example

We can see in this example from the home page that the size displayed for this image is 570×427.5px . If you are uploading a phone photo, then it will be around 2,000px wide, and therefore, the browser needs to take time to resize that image. We want to upload an image to the website that is the same size that it will be served at. On top of the final pixel size, we also need to look at the resolution or downloadable size.

screenshot of tinypng compressing an image

There’s a free website that automatically compresses an image for you. will take an image (that’s already been properly sized for pixel width and height) and compress it for better mobile viewing. This website does it without compromising the quality of the image and keeps it very sharp.

We can also achieve this pixel and download size with specific outputs from Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Illustrator.


The words used on your website are incredibly important for search engines to comb through and find what the searcher is looking for. If you want people searching to find your company by your company name, you’ll want to have your company name listed in various places around the site. If you want new people to find your site through your services, you’ll need to have those keywords listed in important locations instead of your business name.

When we onboard clients, we use a keyword search tool to see how many people are looking for services in a particular area. For this example, we will use RV Parks.

rv park example 1

We look at the wide search of “RV Parks Colorado” to see that there are 1-10k searches per month with low competition. This means there are not a lot of people using these words on their websites. We then dive deeper by looking at more localized search terms of “Gunnison RV Park”.

If we search “Gunnison RV Park” to see which campgrounds are using this in the title of their website, we find that one company is already utilizing this search term by owning the website URL

tall texan

This is a smart move to own keywords in the domain and the title (we’ll review that in the next section). It’s smart because they can reach further than just brand searches of “Tall Texan RV Park” but into the entire search for people looking to RV in Gunnison.

Titles and Headings

Search engines read pages like this:

  • Title
  • URL
  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Heading 3-6
  • Bold, Italic, Link
  • Paragraph

We want to include your keywords and keyword phrases in these areas to serve up a more organized view for search engines. Think of it like a book with chapters. It’s easier to skim when there are headings, subheadings, and proper titles in the book. As the bots skim your book (website), they want to know the main points.

This page has been structured in a way that makes it easier for you to understand, at a glance, what information is included and headings to allow you to jump to a section you may want to read more about.


Consider content like “landmines” for potential users to step on. The more content you have on your website, the more opportunity your website will show up in searches. You’ll see Google serve up something like “this site mentions sign shop” when the page title doesn’t include “Sign Shop.” You want your basic services, examples of services, and a solid call to action. After you have a 5-page website established, you’ll want to update it regularly.

Updated Content

As you follow through this series, you’ll see content updating is important on your website, local search, and social media. Search engines want to serve fresh information to their searchers, and you can take advantage of that by keeping your site up to date.

Websites should stay on a schedule of once-a-week updates. This can be done by adding a post, an example of a completed project, updated content to an existing page, or a video to an existing page.

3: Social Media

The main goal of local social media marketing is to stay top-of-mind to clients in the area. Clients may not need your services when you are posting, but when the need arises, you’ll be at the top of the list for potential businesses to work with. Like, comment, and post content to your social media channels as often as possible to keep in touch with past and potential clients. When you like and comment on another business or past customer that you follow, you’ll show them that you are interested in what they are posting. Just like in a personal social media page, being engaged in your community helps you show up more often when you do post. There’s no surprise that when scrolling through my feed, Matt Keuhlhorn’s (of posts show up on the day that he posts and sometimes come around again 2 and 3 days later. He has a strong social media presence with liking, commenting, and posting, so when he does post, it can reach a wider audience.

Facebook has made it no secret that they throttle how many posts you see on your page. It’s measured at about 10% of what your friends, that you follow, are actually posting. If you make a post and it’s served to 10 people and nobody interacts with it, only 10 people out of your 300 follows will even see it show up. If 1 person out of the first 10 like or comment, then it goes to another 10 and so on. This makes it even more important to make content that people can and will interact with. Or, you can do what Facebook would like you to do and pay for your ads to be boosted.

Creating Content That Gets Interaction

You post something cool and a follower throws you a “like”. This works well in the arts and photography sector where you are creating “cool” things that people can like and comment on. This also works well with finished million-dollar homes, high-end garage doors, cool car wraps, and creative design. What do you do if you are selling a “boring” service? No offense to dentists here, but we’re not going to get stunning pictures of Crested Butte from inside the office. Some ideas are to focus on the end results. In the case of a dentist, you could post smiling pictures of happy customers with clean, white teeth after visiting or removing braces. If you’re doing business valuations, showing graphs may not be likeable (or legal) content to post, but the end result of employees getting a proper stock share of the business after a valuation may be a great post that people would like.

Another tip for interaction is to create some Q and A. Reach out to followers to ask them what other services in your niche they would be interested in having available to them or what services you can improve upon. Some of the answers may not be what you want to hear, but use that to focus your offerings better. Listen to feedback when asking past clients and followers their opinions. Treat it like you would a friend group.

If you are feeling “writer’s block” for content creation, take a look at what others are posting that are getting good interaction rates. They may not be targeted to your audience, but it may give some ideas. Look at competitors that are in your same vertical, but in a larger city. Follow some Instagram marketing gurus and start generating some ideas.

Be consistent in the same way that you would be with a friend group. Show up, interact, and post your own content.

How to use Hashtags

Pinterest was popular for a time by creating “pin boards”. It was about putting together ideas for shopping, home design, and wedding planning into one location. From there, people could make decisions from what they were viewing in front of them. Hashtags work in the same way that “pin boards” did, but anyone can post into them. A hashtag is created for the purpose of organizing a particular topic. If I’m looking to redecorate my house, then I’ll start to follow home design hashtags. This a great opportunity to get in front of high-value potential customers that are seeking to make their next purchase.

Use local hashtags like #gunnisoncolorado to get in front of locals that want to stay up to date on town happenings as well as people looking to visit the town.

Following and commenting in hashtag groups is an important function of ranking your own posts. If you are more active in a community with comments that people find helpful, then when you post, your posts are more likely to be seen by more of the followers in that hashtag group. Again, we need to think about the 10% that Facebook employs with their algorithm. The more people who like and comment in the beginning, the more people will end up seeing it.

screenshot gcb

Hashtags in Tourism Towns

Let’s take a journey of someone from Denver planning their next mountain town getaway. The front range is booming with people and they love to get up into the mountains to escape their city life. If I’m planning a trip, i’m going to start to follow hashtags like #mountainvacation. I then may see Visitgcb posting some beautiful photos of the mountains a quite little town like Crested Butte and start following those hashtags too. I’ll also be following other towns I’d like to visit like Aspen or Breckenridge. What changes my decision from Aspen to Crested Butte? A restaurant, a little shop, top-rated mountain biking, or extreme skiing? The tourism association is responsible for this factor, but we can help amplify their voice by creating more posts that draw the eye to the area. Events like the wildflower festival, the Coburn 5K, the Growler, Alley Loop, and Live Music can really draw a crowd. As a small business that relies on tourism, you can get into these same hashtags so when a visitor does get to Gunnison or CB, you’ll have already shown up on their feed. In the case of Camp 4 Coffee, they could post beautiful roasts with mountain views. That way, when a visitor shows up they’ll recognize the location immediately and be more partial to stopping there over competitors.

Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube

Each social media giant is fighting for the attention of users. They promote content creators in order to get their users to be more engaged. What platform is best for your business? Depending on the demographics of your target client, one platform may be more effective than others. Facebook is more popular in the 40+, Instagram in the 30+, Tiktok in the 20+, and YouTube for information. Each platform has discovered that they can keep the attention of their audience with short video format. Instagram has Reels (also shared on Facebook), TikTok is short content, and YouTube now has Shorts. These giants predict that this is the way that users will consume content the best today and into the future. It’s important for your small business to stay up on these trends. Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube all have the option to post in a geographic location making it easier to show up in front of users in your area. Take advantage of the “lack of inventory” in short-form content and start creating some of your own.

Mix up the content that you post on platforms to get in front of more users. Do a post one day, a story another, and a short video the next.

4: Content Is King

As Bill Gates predicted, “Content is King”. Are you making content for users that is worthy of their time? Are you just trying to sell or are you trying to better someone’s life with the information that you provide? Not every piece of content that you create needs to win the Pulitzer prize, so don’t let that stand in your way. Sometimes you can add value to someones day just by posting something you do that you’ve done a thousand times, but the consumer has never seen before. People love to watch time-lapses of walls being painted, homes coming together, or a nifty trick to use in their garage.

When deciding what content to come up with on your website, social media, etc. we always start with your FAQs. What questions to be people ask often and how can you answer that for the next potential customer? In this particular event, I’ve combined my top questions with answers and turned it into a marketable event. This event was shared by the Chamber of Commerce newsletter, Icelab newsletter, Region 10 newsletter, the newspaper, and featured on Facebook. I’m trying to add value by sharing knowledge that would be helpful to business owners.

We can then take this content and share it in small bites across social, google updates, website blog posts, and short-form video.

Can you provide value beyond your normal services? Are you willing to share “behind the scenes” footage of your day-to-day activites?

Stop the Scroll

This phrase is thrown around a lot in the marketing industry. We want to create content that grabs a user’s attention. We want them to watch our video for more than 2 seconds without swiping onto the next video. For this part, we need to think like our target client.

Thank you for Joining!

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Need Help?

If any of this makes your head spin or you want to get started on digital marketing, but don’t have the time, please contact Clear Skies to get started.