If you are a reader of our newsletter, or a listener of our podcast, you have likely heard me mention Joy Hawkins’ name. Joy is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to understanding Local SEO. 

Joy asked me to review her guide to Local SEO. She initially invited me to become an affiliate (i.e. make a commission whenever someone purchases based on my recommendation.) However, I love the guide so much that I don’t want to in any way make it look like my recommendation is motivated by finances. As such, this article has not been incentivized by Joy in any way.

What is contained in the guide to local SEO?

This guide really is a handbook for anyone who does local SEO. If you care about your “Google Maps” rankings, you will benefit greatly from the information in this book.

I should mention that the guide is no longer available as a full PDF. Rather, it is an interactive guide, hosted online. That way, Joy and her team can make updates to the content any time...and they do this regularly.

The guide contains some basic information on how to set up a Google My Business listing, how to choose the right categories, etc. If you are concerned though that this book will just be a recap of everything you already know about local SEO, this is unlikely to be the case. In my opinion, the most valuable parts of the guide are step by step instructions on how to actually do things that will help you or your clients get a lot more business online.

The section on dealing with duplicates is extremely valuable. There is also a very detailed section on schema which includes code to use or modify for your own sites. If you’ve wondered whether you should be linking your GMB listings to your home page or to an inner page that describes that service location, the book gives excellent instructions to help you make that decision. Not sure whether you could be using Google posts better? You need to read this book! There is also information to help you avoid the dreaded filter that can cause you to not rank at all in local listings.

If you run Google Ads for clients, there is really good advice on ad issues specific to local SEO. 

Is the guide to Local SEO worth the money?

At the time of writing this, there is an up front fee of $499, followed by a monthly fee of $49 if you would like to continue to have access. Joy and her team update this guide regularly. If something changes in local SEO, you’ll have all of the answers you need in the guide.

If you do any local SEO at all, this guide is, in my opinion, more than worth the cost. Joy and her team are good, honest local SEO practitioners and this online book is packed with helpful advice, tips and examples. 

You can go here to purchase The Expert’s Guide to Local SEO.