LSM Gives Guest Lecture at Jack C. Massey School of Business

Dr. Kyle Huggins is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey College of Business.  One of the graduate classes Dr. Huggins is teaching this semester, ‘Social Media Marketing” shows students how to promote businesses with social media and content marketing. Throughout the course of the semesters, students explore various marketing topics, including pay-per-click advertising, email and content marketing.

Gabe Wateski, Director of Search Engine Marketing at Local Search Masters and a graduate of the Jack C. Massey College of Business, was invited to give a guest lecture to Dr. Huggins’ class on July 18th, 2016 titled,  “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 101.” Over the course of 60 minutes Gabe explained such concepts as:

Everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy the presentation. As Dr. Huggins noted, “”Gabe did a great job not only demonstrating the intricacies of search engine optimization, but he went as far to instruct the students about how to optimize their own class projects.  That step above and beyond was most appreciated.”

Given the growing need for companies to market themselves online, the discussion provided students with a foundation of search engine optimization knowledge that they can utilize in internships and full-time positions in digital marketing. For more information about Local Search Masters and our internship opportunities, visit

LSM Speaks at Woman’s Club of Nashville

The Nashville Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) held their monthly luncheon on July 29, 2015 at the Woman’s Club of Nashville. The members in attendance were all local businesswomen interested in improving their businesses through digital marketing.

NAWBO asked Matt Job, Chief Marketing Officer of Local Search Masters, to present at this meeting on various aspects of digital marketing. Matt explained the importance of search engine marketing and search engine optimization, while allowing room for questions and discussion among the audience. Some topics he covered were:

  1. Why businesses should consider investing in organic SEO
  2. The importance of SEO optimization for websites to increase their rankings on  important, non-branded search queries
  3. A rundown of Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) and how the format alters across devices and search queries (mobile vs. desktop, organic vs. paid)

The presentation ended with a workshop of which the audience participated in a group activity that asked to recall important points that Matt touched upon previously. The helpful presentation provided these women with a basic foundation of digital marketing skills that they can now use to improve their businesses’ online presence.

We really appreciate NAWBO for inviting LSM to this workshop and for providing a great community for these dedicated businesswomen to expand their businesses. To learn more about the Nashville Chapter of NAWBO, please visit:

About Local Search Masters

Local Search Masters (LSM) is a digital marketing agency located in Nashville, TN that specializes in organic SEO, local search marketing, paid-per-click advertising, social media management, online reputation management, and franchise development marketing for franchise systems, local businesses and large corporations with multiple locations. For additional information about our agency, contact us today!

LSM Named a 2015 Google Partners All Star

Local Search Masters a Google Partner All-Star

For the second time in three years, Local Search Masters, has been named a Google Partners All-Star

As part of the awards package for being an All-Star, LSM has received an all-expenses-paid invitation to Google’s All-Stars Summit at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. The summit will include a tour of the “Googleplex”, one-on-one consultations with a few of Google’s online marketing experts, advanced training and, hopefully, lots of free Google merchandise!

“We’re very excited and proud about the opportunity to get back out to Mountain View and spend time with our Google Agency Partners and other Google personnel” says CEO Trevor Emerson.

LSM is a member of the Google Partners network, a membership earned by passing Google advertising exams, adhering to paid search marketing best practices, and delivering quality results for our clients. Beyond providing us with the opportunity to receive all-expenses-paid travel to fun locations, our partnership with Google provides us access to additional personnel, tools, trainings and special events.

Upon our return from Google HQ, LSM will revisit this post and include additional information about certain things we learned and how they can help businesses generate more business from their web presence.

LSM Speaks at Vanderbilt University

LSM Discusses Search Engine Marketing at Vanderbilt

Cherrie Clark is a professor at Vanderbilt University who works in, and is the director of, the Program of Managerial Studies. One of the classes Professor Clark is teaching this semester is ‘Principles of Marketing,’ an undergraduate course where students learn how to market for non-profits and for businesses. Throughout the course of the semester, students have explored various marketing topics, including pay-per-click-advertising on Google and organic search engine optimization (SEO).

Matt Job, Chief Marketing Officer of LSM, was asked to visit Professor Clark’s class on April 7th, 2015, to present important information about the world of search engine marketing discussing topics such as:

1. The breakdown of Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) and how the format changes across devices and search queries (mobile vs. desktop, organic vs. paid, national vs. local)

2. Why businesses should consider investing in organic SEO

3. Why certain businesses should consider advertising via Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms (Google Search Network, Google Display Network, Google Shopper Network)

4. Best practices for SEO optimizing a website to increase its positioning on important, non-branded search queries

5. How to develop efficient Google PPC and remarketing campaigns to optimize cost-per-conversion rates

Matt delved into the specifics of SEM and SEO, stressing the importance of both and providing examples while also creating a dialogue for students to ask several questions and express interest. Given the growing importance of companies needing to market themselves online, the discussion provided students with a foundation of digital marketing knowledge that they can utilize in internship and full-time positions

For more information about Local Search Masters you can visit

Why Google’s Algorithm Update Might Affect Franchise Sales

Does your Franchise Recruitment Website need to be Mobile Friendly?

LSM’s Matthew Job was recently featured in Entrepreneur for his article “Will Google’s Algorithm Update Affect Your Franchise Sales?” The article, which came out April 1st, addresses the upcoming Google algorithm that will expand the importance of mobile-friendly factors in order to determine search engine result page (SERP) rankings. A Google representative stated that this update will have a “significant impact,” meaning franchises without mobile-friendly sites need to consider making adjustments.

Here are 8 key takeaways from the article on what the algorithm update means for franchise sales:

1. The percentage of prospective franchisees using smartphones to research and contact franchise opportunities nearly doubled from 23% to 42%.

2. Because more people are using smartphones to research franchise opportunities, franchisors should offer mobile-friendly information websites (sometimes known as ‘franchise recruitment websites’).

3. If franchises don’t have mobile-friendly sites when the algorithm updates go live, their sites’ organic rankings on lucrative, non-branded search queries are likely to drop. Conversely, mobile-friendly franchise information sites might see a rise in their organic rankings. This drop in the rankings will likely lead to a decline in quality traffic to the franchise info site.

4. Currently, only 17% of franchise information websites are mobile-friendly!

5. If a franchise recruitment website is not mobile-friendly, it may be hindering its ability to generate franchise lead opportunities for the franchisor.

6. To help determine if your franchise info site has helped your franchise generate leads in the past, speak with your current franchisees and see how many viewed your franchise recruitment site , as well as a few of your competitors’ franchise recruitment websites, on a mobile device at some point during their research process.

7. This mobile-friendly test from Google will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. Check it to see if your site is mobile-friendly.

8. Visit Google’s Webmaster Tools Help website to review ways you can optimize your website for mobile devices.


More and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the Internet and research buying decisions, big and small. Review the mobile web presence of your franchise and, if you think it’s going to hinder your ability to generate franchise leads, consider making your site(s) mobile-friendly.


LSM Speaks at MTSU

Local Search Masters (LSM) Discusses Search Engine Marketing at MTSU

Don Roy, Ph.D. is a Professor at Middle Tennessee State University who works in their Department of Management and Marketing as well as their Business School, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. One of the classes Professor Roy is teaching this semester is ‘Applied Promotional Strategy,’ an undergraduate marketing course where students learn the fundamentals of search engine marketing (SEM) and its role in an organization’s marketing strategy. His students will be participating in the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge; a global collegiate competition in which student teams plan and execute a three-week Google AdWords campaign for a business or nonprofit organization.

Earlier this year Professor Roy reached out to LSM about coming out to his class and presenting important information about the search engine marketing industry; discussing topics such as:

  • Why a business should consider investing in SEM
  • Ways a business can advertise online via Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms (Google Search Network, Google Display Network, Google Shopper Network)
  • Best practices for developing efficient Google PPC and retargeting campaigns
  • Changes to the format of Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) on different devices and search queries (mobile vs. desktop, organic results vs. paid results, market-level searches vs. hyper-local searches)
  • Website optimization and local SEM best practices
  • Career opportunities in the search engine marketing industry
  • Why search engine marketing should be offered as a Major and/or Minor at more universities

Professor Roy had originally heard about LSM through the Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business Awards competition; he was involved in researching candidates in 2014 and recommended that we reach the final round (which we did!).

Follow Up Article – Why Search Engine Marketing Should Be Taught at More Universities

Over the course of putting together this presentation for MTSU, LSM researched the topic of careers in search engine marketing. During this research we found a few articles as to why search engine marketing should not be considered as a Major or Minor at universities. It is our opinion that it SHOULD be considered as a Major or Minor Degree at more universities; a degree comprised of classes in such fields as Communication, Economics, Computer Programming, Video Production, Marketing and Psychology. We will put together an article on this topic in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Breakfast with Google, Google AdWords Solutions

On December 9th Local Search Masters co-hosted an exclusive Google breakfast. Attended by clients, local partners and media contacts, the event focused on how to use Google’s latest products and services to grow your business. The presentation, conducted by Google Partners Agency Development Manager, Vanessa Conceicao, focused on dynamic phone tracking, remarketing (also known as retargeting) and YouTube TrueView.

There was a lot to takeaway from the breakfast. Below are the top 11 most important takeaways:

  1. Potential customers across all industries are likely to utilize Google AdWord’s “click-to-call” mobile ad function.
  1. Over 90% of all smartphone users use their phones to look up information about local businesses, and 52% of those same users will call a business as a result of their mobile search.
  1. Google AdWords call forwarding function allows for a business to dynamically track calls placed directly from the “click-to-call” ad extension, as well as gather information such as the consumer’s area code, the call date, start and end time of the call and the call’s duration (a minimum duration is used to track conversion). A different forwarding number is used for each ad, so businesses can also track which of their ads are generating the most phone calls.
  1. If a business lacks a mobile site, but still wishes to engage with smartphone users, Google display ads can be created showing only the telephone number and appearing without a link to the business’ website.
  1. There are three situations in which a business can count calls as conversions: 1) calls from the “click-to-call” ad extension, 2) calls from the landing page once an ad is clicked and 3) clicks on a phone number on the website. In all 3 instances, Google AdWord’s dynamic tracking will count these as conversion if the minimum call duration is met.
  1. The easiest way for a business to increase return-on-investment is to target consumers who have already visited their site, but left without converting (applies to 96% of consumers). Remarketing can be done by adding these consumers to a list that will display to them ads with customized text (such as Free Shipping). This gives business a second chance to reach out to users who are already interested and who are 3x more likely to convert than someone who has never been to the site, thus resulting in a higher ROI.
  1. Dynamic remarketing is taking consumer targeting to the next step by tailoring ads based off of exactly what the consumer was viewing on the website. Through Google AdWords, businesses can easily create beautiful, high-performing customized ads, ads that will increase click-thru-rates and decrease cost-per-conversion rates.
  1. Google AdWords doesn’t only to apply to display ads and search ads; businesses can also build dynamic video ads to be displayed on YouTube in only about 20 minutes. These ads, called TrueView video ads, can be displayed before a video (in-stream), on the page where a user is watching a video (in-display) or on a search results page (in-search).
  1. The Google Display Network, through which the TrueView ads are shown, reaches 89% of the population. However, businesses can target and reach specific audiences based off of things such as different interests, certain topics, publishers or specified keywords.
  1. TrueView ads can be highly engaging and specific – the type of ads that will result in a higher ROI. Additionally, the ads are “pay-per-view” which means businesses are only charged when a user watches the whole length of the ad.
  1. A business’ marketing agency can be their best friend, as long as they trust their agency and engage in open, honest lines of communication on a regular basis. An agency wants their clients to succeed, but this can only be done with a successful onboarding experience. During the onboarding stage, a business should tell their agency all of their goals (immediate and long-term), any ad campaigns already running and the money made per conversion for each product/service offered. This will allow for your agency to tailor the business’ marketing plan to maximize ROI.


Local Search Masters, a member of the Google Partner’s Network, is a digital marketing agency headquartered in Nashville, TN that specializes in organic SEO, local search marketing, paid search advertising, social media and online reputation management for franchises, local businesses and large corporations. For additional information about our business, or using the Internet to make a meaningful impact on your business’s bottom line, you can contact us today!

SEO Moneyball: How to Utilize Google Trends

In SEO, doing your keyword research is of utmost importance. You can optimize a page all you want, but if no one searches for your keywords then all that work is useless. The Google Keyword Planner is the most detailed tool to do this research, but the application with the most options may be Google Trends.

The main function of Google Trends is to show a chart of search volume for a particular keyword so you can find how popular it is and when it was most popular. Below, the search volume for “Jackson Martin” since 2004:

As you can see, my popularity peaked in the summer of 2009, which was just before my senior year in high school. Man, that’s depressing.

This function is parlayed into a bunch of other applications within Google Trends that are useful for a number of different facets of your company.

Search Groups

Google Trends can show you search volume since 2004 for any term or group of terms. You enter this by putting a + in between terms and compare different search groups. For Instance, below is the chart comparing the group “Atlanta Braves+Chipper Jones” to “Nashville Predators+Pekka Rinne” and “Tennessee Titans+Chris Johnson”.

How to use this data

Because Google Trends doesn’t give you the actual number of searches on a term (Keyword Planner does), it is best used to look at relative data. For instance, we can utilize the charts to see what times of the year certain keywords are most popular. This is a chart showing all searches for “Atlanta Braves” since 2004.

As you can see, searches for “Atlanta Braves” peak each year in April, when the season begins. As the Braves begin their slow, inevitable decline before suffering a crushing defeat in the playoffs, the search volume tails off as well.

This search function allows for a number of options to limit what you want to see. You can look at charts for web searches, product searches, image searches, news searches, and YouTube searches.

This can be particularly valuable to ecommerce fields, especially the product search functionality. Knowing what times of the year people look to buy certain products can be a big boon to your marketing research.


Another useful application within Google Trends is the ability to see where searches are coming from. We can look at these numbers for “Atlanta Braves” by country (Again, these numbers are for all searches since 2004):

We can then ENHANCE, and look at the just United States, by state:

Clearly, the Southeast is far more interested in the Braves than the rest of the country, but what about within the state of Georgia?

Woah, that’s almost all coming from the metro Atlanta area.

Now, this exercise served to show us that people in the city of Atlanta are more interested in the Atlanta Braves than anyone else (duh), but if you apply these methods to relevant search terms to your company, a lot of valuable marketing data can be obtained especially for local SEO and geo-targeted PPC.

Hot Searches

Google shows you what the most searched terms are in a handy chart here. There are a couple of uses for this, but the most relevant one is newsjacking. By finding out what is truly trending in the online world, your social media or content teams can jump on a popular topic to drive engagement, pageviews and interactions.

When jumping on a trending topic, be smart. Don’t try and capitalize on a tragedy and please don’t ever do what Urban Outfitters did during Hurricane Sandy:

Top Charts

You can use the Top Charts function to find content ideas related to your company. This tool lets you see the top searches in all major categories, like Actors, Animals, Sports, etc.

This is a way to newsjack, but it is more useful for content than social media because these terms are based on a longer-term search volume.


While the Google Keyword planner is incredibly detailed, it doesn’t offer as many options as Google Trends. Use Trends to see when and where to advertise as well as what’s popular so that you can leverage this information to drive better engagement with your audience. Spend a few minutes playing around on the site, and I promise, even if you don’t come away with any groundbreaking insights, you’ll at least have a lot of fun. I know I did.

Jackson on Google+


For more SEO Moneyball check out these posts!

SEO Moneyball Series

SEO Moneyball: Google Makes AdWords Extensions Even More Important

SEO Moneyball: Why It Pays to Rank on Google