Navigating the Latest Changes to Local Service Ads (LSA)

Most of us have experienced constantly changing algorithms and updates to Google products. Local Services Ads (LSA), one of Google’s paid advertising products, was affected by recent changes as of September 2023.

Fewer Results Shown

As explained in a prior blog comparing the differences between Google’s PPC and LSA products, the top three ranked LSAs are displayed at the very top of Google’s search results, and the exact position of your LSA is driven by ranking factors such as proximity to the primary location, quantity, and quality of reviews. So what has changed?

On desktop view:

Previously on desktop, three LSAs were presented in a horizontal layout, but now Google showcases only two LSAs in a vertical format, as shown in the screenshot below.

As a consequence of this change, businesses aiming for top placement in the search results now have only two spots to compete for, rather than three. When you click on “more carpet cleaners”, the top 20 ranked LSA ads are shown.

On mobile view:

In contrast to the desktop view, on the mobile view, three LSAs are still being showcased, as seen in the screenshot below, allowing three top spots to compete for first-page placement.

However, when clicking “show more” only six LSAs additional ads are displayed on the mobile view, rather than 20 on the desktop view. However, more options are seen on the mobile view. Users are given the option to click on “50+ carpet cleaners nearby”.

Rotating Through Contractors

The second noteworthy change is that Google appears to be circulating the top 20 LSAs in the results, instead of solely ranking the two (or three) highest-quality LSAs as before. As a result, businesses that consistently held top positions are now likely experiencing a decrease in their lead volume. Conversely, those businesses that didn’t occupy the top three positions and didn’t receive a steady stream of leads may observe an improvement in their lead volume.

Ranking Matters More Than Ever

So given this change, where do the ranking factors come into play? As mentioned, Google seems to be circulating the top 20 LSAs on desktops. However, if there are more businesses running LSAs in your area, then Google is only circulating the top 20 ranked LSAs. It appears to us that those ranked below 20 don’t have the opportunity for a spot in the top 2 positions at all.

Whether or not our ranking theory applies to mobile view is currently unclear. However, one unmistakable fact is that search results for the same query, occurring simultaneously, differ between desktop and mobile views, especially since three LSAs are showcased rather than just two. This disparity enables mobile users, and therefore mobile advertisers, a wider array of businesses to access leads, broadening their reach and potential.

Business Website, Google Ads, Lead Generation, online marketing

How Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Be Utilized to Help Businesses?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used more frequently across all types of businesses nationwide in a variety of ways. In this blog, we’ll describe how AI can offer numerous benefits to large and small businesses, helping them improve efficiency, reduce costs, enhance customer experiences, and make more informed decisions through a variety of tools. 

Here are a few of the ways in which AI can assist small businesses:

Chatbots: Many websites that offer services or goods have recently started using AI powered chatbots to provide 24/7 customer support, answer basic, frequently asked questions, and handle routine inquiries, saving time and resources. An example is our 99 Calls’ company website, https://99calls. In the bottom right corner of the website, you’ll see this:

In this example, you’re prompted to answer a few questions, to help us determine how best to help.  Other businesses like to manage a live chatbot that serves as an interactive bot that’ll answer the most frequently asked questions. 

Data Analysis: AI powered tools such as Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) can analyze previously collected data to predict future trends, helping businesses make informed decisions about inventory, sales, and marketing strategies. An example of this would be when a retail company implements AI to predict future sales trends based on historical data on sales, customer behavior, pricing, and marketing campaigns. The AI algorithms forecast upcoming sales patterns for specific products and time periods. This helps the company optimize inventory, plan marketing strategies, and make data-driven decisions to increase sales and profitability.

Workflow Automation: Small businesses can use AI to automate repetitive tasks such as data entry, invoicing, sending routine emails, and appointment scheduling, freeing up employees to focus on more strategic work. An example of this is the customer onboarding process. When a business signs a customer up for a service, AI-powered software can be set to automatically generate and send personalized welcome emails or emails laying out the next steps. This automation streamlines the onboarding process, reducing manual administrative tasks, and ensuring a consistent and efficient experience for new clients.

Marketing | Advertising | Search Engine Optimization (SEO): AI tools can help small businesses in marketing and SEO through keyword analysis, performance tracking, and content recommendations. Through tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics, AI can analyze large amounts of data to identify relevant keywords for your industry, recommend content topics based on the keyword, and generate content based on the target keywords. AI can also analyze the existing content to ensure keywords are being used appropriately and effectively for SEO purposes. From Google Search Console, AI can process data to track impressions, clicks, and click-through rates for specific keywords or pages. From Google Analytics, AI can be used to identify patterns and trends to determine which pages are performing well.

Content Generation: Through Open AI-powered tools, content such as Google and Facebook Ad campaigns, social media posts, blogs, and email marketing, and logo design can be easily created, or at least initiated, saving time and maintaining a consistent online presence to enhance your SEO. 

  • ChatGPT / Bard / Jasper / Caktus AI

These four tools are designed to help with generating human-like content, ChatGPT being the most prevalent, and advanced because of its conversational manner. You can learn more about how it can be in SEO from this blog previously written, https://blog.99calls.com/2023/02/07/how-chatgpt-can-enhance-your-seo/

  • DALL-E

This tool specializes in generating images from textual descriptions. For example, it can be used to create a logo for a business based on a description provided by the user.

Lead Vetting: AI-powered Natural Language Processing (NLP) software, can be used to screen all the qualified leads from various sources, reducing the mundane task of manually screening all the leads.  

E-commerce Optimization: AI-driven recommendation systems can boost e-commerce sales by suggesting relevant products to customers. An example of this would be an online retailer such as Amazon. The AI system analyzes customer browsing and purchase history, as well as real-time data on website traffic and user behavior. Using this information, it generates personalized product recommendations for each visitor, such as suggesting clothing items that complement their recent purchases or browsing history. Additionally, the AI system dynamically adjusts pricing based on factors like demand, competitor pricing, and inventory levels to maximize sales and profits. This AI-driven e-commerce optimization strategy enhances the shopping experience, increases customer engagement, and ultimately boosts sales revenue for the online store.

Human Resources / Recruitment: AI tools such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can help screen and shortlist job applicants, saving time in the hiring process. When job applications are submitted, the AI tool automatically scans and evaluates resumes, identifying candidates whose qualifications closely match the job requirements. It then conducts initial candidate screenings through video interviews, assessing factors like communication skills and cultural fit. This AI-driven recruitment process significantly reduces the time and effort required for initial candidate screening, allowing HR teams to focus on interviewing and selecting the best-fit candidates.

While AI can offer numerous advantages to businesses, it’s important to carefully assess your business’s specific needs and capabilities before implementing AI solutions. Start with small, manageable projects, and gradually expand your AI usage as you become more comfortable with the technology and its impact on your business operations.


How does having a logo for your business impact lead generation and SEO?

Having a logo and branding strategy can have a significant impact on lead generation and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your business. Here are some ways a business logo benefits a business:

Brand Recognition: A well-designed logo and consistent branding help create a lasting, recognizable identity for your business. By consistently displaying your logo across various directories and platforms, potential customers are more likely to remember and recognize your brand, leading to trust. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of customers choosing your business when seeking relevant products or services.

Credibility: A professional logo gives the impression that your business is legitimate, established, and trustworthy. When visitors see your business as reputable, they are more likely to convert into leads or customers.

Competitive Advantage: In a competitive market, a unique logo and a strong brand help you stand out from your competitors. By consistently displaying your logo next to your business name, you differentiate yourself and attract customers who resonate with your offerings.

SEO Benefits: While logos and branding may not have a direct impact on traditional SEO, they indirectly contribute to your SEO efforts. A recognizable logo and branding encourage people to click on your website when it appears in search engine results. Higher click-through rates (CTRs) send positive signals to search engines, indicating that your website is relevant and valuable, potentially improving your organic rankings.

Social Media Engagement: Social media platforms play a crucial role in lead generation, and having a strong visual identity through your logo can significantly boost your social media engagement. Memorable logos are easily shareable and can help increase brand mentions and followers, thereby expanding your reach and generating more leads.

While logos and branding are important, they are not required nor should they be the sole marketing strategy implemented for your business. Creating a logo and branding efforts should be supported by other elements such as a well-designed website, quality content, and a solid marketing strategy, social media postings and lead generation sources. When used in unison, these factors create a comprehensive approach to building a solid reputation and facilitating growth.


Lead Generation for Rural Businesses

Google Guaranteed produces quality leads at low prices in less competitive and rural locations

by Dipa Gandhi

Over the last few years, Local Service Ads (LSA), otherwise known as Google Guaranteed, has gained popularity among service area businesses such as plumbers, house cleaners, carpet cleaners, and others. The service was launched on a trial basis for select industries in select cities in 2015. Since then, the team at 99 Calls has learned the ins and outs of LSA creation and optimization and provides it as a low cost lead service option.

In 2019, we published a blog about how businesses can gain more clients through LSA. This blog describes how the Google Guaranteed Ads are shown at the very top of the search results, which helps local businesses stand out, attract more customers, and build trust and credibility.

After creating and managing LSAs for many of our clients through the years, the team has mastered Google LSA. We recently published a case study on 3 of our clients, in 3 different industries showing how LSAs helped their business.

Though LSA’s popularity has grown nationwide, it is not yet available to all regions of the US and has not gained popularity in certain regions.

How LSAs Can Help Rural Businesses

So now let’s see how LSAs can help those service area businesses in rural areas or in areas where LSAs haven’t quite yet gained popularity. Let’s take a look at an example. When you Google search “house cleaning in Tampa FL”, the search results are:

The results display 33 active LSAs, meaning the competition is quite steep and will require a well-optimized LSA with a healthy budget and plenty of reviews, and many months to potentially climb to one of the top 3 positions.

On the other hand, when you Google search “house cleaning in Prattville, AL”, the results are:

Then when you click on “more house cleaners in Prattville” you see there’s only 1 active LSA with the Google Guaranteed badge currently running in the Prattville, AL area, meaning competition for the top 3 positions is extremely low. A cleaning business with a small marketing budget stands an excellent chance here of generating low-cost leads.

If a new house cleaning company were to start an LSA campaign and get it completely verified with the Google Guaranteed badge, that business is guaranteed to show up in the top 3 spots on the 1st page of the search results.

If you own a service area business in a rural area, building a Google Guaranteed campaign now would be a smart way to invest marketing dollars. Your chances of attaining a position in one of the top 3 spots in the search results are excellent. Google Guaranteed can help your service area business stand out, attract more customers, and build trust and credibility. And even more importantly, can provide an excellent ROI on your marketing budget, as leads generated through LSA are often far less expensive than through Google Ads Pay Per Click campaigns.


Do Domain Names and Business Names Affect Rankings?

In what ways do the names of your URL and your business impact website rankings for local search results?

by Dipa Gandhi

There are a lot of factors that can affect how well your website ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). One debated topic in the SEO world is whether or not the domain name is a ranking factor. While many people believe that having a domain name that contains relevant keywords can help improve your SEO, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim. In fact, it’s more likely that your company name is a stronger ranking factor than your domain name.

Top Reasons Why Domain Names Don’t Matter

One reason why domain names may not be a significant ranking factor is that Google’s algorithms have become much more sophisticated over the years. In the early days of SEO, it was common practice to stuff keywords into domain names in order to improve rankings. However, this tactic is likely to result in penalties rather than improved rankings.

Another reason why domain names may not be a major ranking factor is that Google is more interested in providing users with high-quality, content-rich websites rather than keyword-rich domain names. While having a domain name that accurately reflects your business can certainly help establish your brand identity and make it easier for users to find you online, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on your rankings. 

How to Choose a Domain Name

When choosing a domain name, you do want to keep these items in mind:

  1. Keep it short and simple and easy to spell so it’s easy for your customers to remember.
  2. Keep it relevant to your business or your business name.
  3. Choose the right extension, i.e. “.org” is normally used by nonprofit organizations, “.edu” by educational institutions, and “.com” by businesses.

Why Carefully Choosing Your Company Name Matters

On the other hand, using keywords within your business name is a much stronger ranking factor in a couple of different ways.

First, it can help establish relevance to specific search queries. If your business name includes keywords that are commonly searched for in your industry, it tells Google that your website is a relevant result for those search queries. For example, if you run a local plumbing business and your business name is “Sarasota Plumbing Pros,” having the word “plumbing” in your name can help establish relevance to search queries related to plumbing services in Sarasota. This can lead to increased traffic to your website and ultimately, more business.

In addition, having keywords in your business name can help with local SEO and brand identity. Local search results often prioritize businesses that are located near the user, so having your location included in your business name can signal to Google that your business is relevant to local search queries. For example, if your business is located in a specific neighborhood, including that neighborhood in your business name can help you rank better for local search queries that include that neighborhood name. Also, your company name is an important part of your brand identity, and establishing a strong brand is crucial to long-term SEO success. A strong brand can help you earn links from other websites, increase your social media following, and attract more traffic to your site.

So, while having a keyword-rich domain name may seem like a good idea for SEO, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on your rankings. Instead, focus on building a strong brand identity, creating high-quality content that provides value to your users, and optimizing your website for user experience. By doing these things, you can improve your rankings and establish a strong online presence that will help you succeed in the long run.

Google Ads

New “Profile Strength” Feature Rolled Out for Google Business Profiles

by Dipa Gandhi

Well, Google’s always keeping us on our toes. Just a couple of days ago, Google fully rolled out its new “Profile Strength” widget on the Google Business Profile (GBP) dashboard.

So What’s This All About?

Notice the green circle in the image above. This full green circle represents a complete profile. When you see a complete green circle, you have nothing to worry about. There is also a visual to indicate that more information is needed on a GBP.

Take a look at the GBP below, it looks like the profile is nearly complete, but after clicking on “Complete Info”, it takes you to another screen which implies the profile is not 100%. What was missing? The Ads credit hasn’t been claimed. Tricky, right?

It appears this may be Google’s way of trying to monetize the Google Business Profiles. Those who are Google Business Profile savvy would know whether or not their profile is as complete as possible without having to advertise with Google Ads.

Let’s take a look at another GBP that is less complete. If your profile strength is red in color and it appears to be 75% complete, this is an indication that there is room for improvement.

The red makes it look like your GBP is lacking, but there are times when the “Complete Info” is clicked and the user is taken to a screen like the one below. Options are given to you can choose to keep the messaging off. It’s not necessary to leave the “accept messages” option on in order to have a more complete profile.

However, if you see any of the images below on your profile, there are opportunities to make it more complete. Just specifying which services your business actually provides, or adding a description, will make your profile more complete and optimized.

Key Takeaways

Once you’ve created your Google Business Profile, you’ll want to make sure you optimize and monitor it on a regular basis. With Google always implementing changes, there may be new features you can include to strengthen your profile, and you’ll also want to be sure your profile isn’t negatively impacted by any of Google’s changes.

If your profile strength is yellow and nearly a complete circle:
then the only hindrance from it being fully complete with the green circle might be that you have not claimed your Google Ads credit, which is perfectly fine. As long as you know you’ve fully optimized your GBP, you are safe to ignore what “Profile Strength” shows.


Effectiveness of Local Service Ads: Three Service Contractor Case Studies

Local Service Ads (LSA), a.k.a. Google Guaranteed, a Google product used for advertising, has gained popularity among service area businesses in the last couple of years. It was initially rolled out in 2018 to certain service industries such as plumbers and house cleaners, in certain regions of the United States. After small business owners experienced the benefits of high-quality, low-cost leads, Google expanded its reach to other areas and other service industries year after year. 

Almost two years ago, 99 Calls started offering LSA services to service contractors. Overall, customers have been pleased with the ROI they’ve seen and have found that Google Guaranteed leads are far less expensive than using Google’s Pay Per Click advertising. Below, we’ll present experiences from three different clients who offer services for three different industries.

Google Guaranteed for Carpet Cleaners

Meet Terrence Green of Spotless Carpet Cleaning Services

Terrence grew up in the floor cleaning industry. His parents and grandparents were flooring specialists and small business owners. He cleaned floors in schools during the summer months and thought using the big buffing machine “was the coolest thing ever”. After working with his family in Detroit he decided to make a move to Arizona, where he opened his own business, Spotless Carpet Cleaning Service

Over the years, Terrence dabbled with running Facebook Ads and handing out flyers, but was not able to generate a sustainable lead volume. He partnered with 99 Calls in July 2021, utilizing organic SEO, and Google PPC services, and was later introduced to LSA by Kevin Brenes, his PPC specialist. 

Of all of these advertising methods, here’s what Terrence had to say about LSA, “Leads from LSA are bigger jobs compared to PPC, but the quality of leads from both the LSA and PPC is far superior compared to Facebook.” When asked how easy or difficult was the LSA setup, “You made it really easy for me” – very easy to get set, not complicated. The background check was very easy….just answer all the questions and it didn’t take long at all.”

Terrence’s LSA has been live since Dec 10, 2022, with carpet cleaning as his primary industry. Below is a chart showing his lead volume and cost per lead in January 2023. Overall, he received 84 exclusive carpet cleaning leads from LSA at a cost per lead of just $25.11 each, which is the same price he pays for organic leads from 99 Calls. He’s thrilled with his ROI.

Google Guaranteed for HVAC Contractors

Meet Chris Kirkman of A Plus Air Conditioning and Appliances

Chris started his career working for a large HVAC business. He was constantly pushed to upsell their products and their services, even when they weren’t a great fit. After exhaustion from going from customer to customer just upselling, Chris decided to buy his first air conditioning company in 1996 and is currently the proud owner of A Plus Air Conditioning and Appliances Inc., serving all areas from Broward to Vero Beach FL.

Over the years, Chris tried multiple marketing companies to promote his business online, including organic SEO and Google’s PPC. After many years of disappointment and less than stellar results, he partnered with 99 Calls in September 2021. Along with website hosting, he utilized organic SEO lead generation and was introduced to LSA by Dipa Gandhi, the LSA specialist. 

Of all of the advertising methods he’s tried over the years, here’s what Chris had to say about LSA, “Other Ads seem to be a scam….out of 50 calls only 5 are real…..LSA is real and seems to work. I am very, very happy with 99 Calls Google Guaranteed services so far. Both the lead volume and quantity are very impressive. I don’t see any type of “odd” calls. Strictly air conditioning calls in our area. The only people I would use for any advertising is 99 Calls and Dipa for the LSA part.

Chris is planning to partner with his son to expand his HVAC services even further and plans to use 99 Calls for his advertising in new markets.

Chris’s LSA has been live since Oct 9, 2022, with HVAC as his primary industry. Below is a chart showing his lead volume and cost per lead in January 2023. With a budget of $1140.82, he received 24 exclusive HVAC leads at an average cost of $47.53 each. Google Ads campaigns generate HVAC leads at 2-3 times the price.

Google Guaranteed for House Cleaning Businesses

Meet Ellen Malhue of Red Services and Solutions Company

Ellen immigrated to this country from Brazil with her parents as a teenager. She and her mom started working in the cleaning industry while her father worked in construction. After living in the United States, learning English, and gaining knowledge on starting a business, Ellen and her mom started Red Services and Solutions Company, a house cleaning business serving clients in Fellsmere, FL.  

Ellen promoted her business flyers and taking advantage of online directories such as Bark. She then came to 99 Calls for organic lead generation services. After a couple of months, she decided to try LSA as well. Here’s what Ellen had to say about 99 Calls LSA services for house cleaners, “LSA has been a game changer. The difference between organic and LSA is that LSA clients are ready now. Organic seems like people are shopping around. The cost per lead is a fair price for the type of work generated per call. Plus we have a high closing rate via LSA because those customers are ready to go.”

99 Calls provides LSA setup at a low price and walks customers through a couple of portions that must be completed by them, including the billing and background check sections. Ellen says “It’s a process, but because I’ve been through other hurdles as an immigrant and learning everything there is to learn about moving from one country to another, is was easy, but it’s a process just like any other”.

Ellen’s LSA campaign has been live since Oct 13, 2022, with house cleaning as her primary industry. Below is a chart showing her lead volume and cost per lead in January 2023. Ellen has also signed on for 99 Calls calendar booking service, which allows customers to book appointments directly from her lead site. The appointment calendar integrates with her Google calendar. She generated 46 exclusive house cleaning leads from the LSA campaign, with the average lead cost at $27.56.

Google Guaranteed Works for Local Contractors

LSA Has Rapidly Become a Favored 99 Calls Service

Although the lead volume overall has been lighter via LSA campaigns than through Google Ads PPC campaigns, most contractors are finding that Google Guaranteed leads are of excellent quality and value. Many clients in other industries, including roofing and appliance repair have also had great success with Google’s LSA. The process is fairly simple and mostly turn-key. 99 Calls specialists complete the process for business owners and walk them through the necessary steps. It does take time to complete the verification process, but the payoff is spectacular. If you are interested in taking advantage of high value, low cost leads using LSA services, you can learn more at https://99calls.com/Google-LSA.htm.

digital marketing, SEO, Uncategorized

How to Utilize ChatGPT to Enhance Your SEO

by Dipa Gandhi

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence computer program created to provide instant responses for questions different users input. ChatGPT can even carry out a conversation if the auto-generated response isn’t satisfactory and the user wants a more in-depth response to something. 

For example, you want to write an approximately 100-word essay on how Covid-19 changed people’s lives. After entering this in ChatGPT, here’s your response:

Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted people’s lives globally. It has resulted in widespread job losses, a decline in the economy, and many businesses closing down. Remote work has become the new norm, and people have had to adapt to digital communication and learning. The pandemic has also changed people’s behavior, with more emphasis on personal hygiene and the importance of wearing masks. Social activities and gatherings have been limited, causing social isolation and loneliness. The pandemic has highlighted the significance of health systems and the importance of global cooperation in managing global health crises. Overall, Covid-19 has reshaped the way people live and interact with each other, leaving a lasting impact on the world.

Amazing right? So how can this be used to enhance your SEO? 

How to use ChatGPT to your advantage

Service / Product Pages

The key to successful SEO is writing compelling content using relevant keywords that answers the user’s search queries. Writing just one page of SEO-friendly content can easily take an hour, so imagine having to write multiple pages. You could spend hours and hours just writing content about your products or services.

For instance, you want to create an SEO-friendly website for a plumber, so popular keywords might include: Plumbing / Plumber, Clogged Drain, Emergency Plumbing Service, Kitchen Plumbing, Bathroom Plumbing, Faucet Repair, Drain Cleaning, and many more. Ideally, you’d want to include a service page on your website for each one of these services. Well instead of spending hours trying to write all of these pages, you can ask ChatGPT, which will, at the least, set up the foundation of the page for you. 

For example, after asking ChatGPT to write me an SEO friendly page on drain cleaning, here’s the response:

Drain Cleaning Services: Unclogging Your Pipes in No Time

Drain clogs are a common issue for homeowners and businesses alike, causing slow drains and water buildup. Fortunately, our drain cleaning services are here to help. With our state-of-the-art technology and years of experience, we can quickly and effectively clear any clogs in your pipes.

Why Choose Our Drain Cleaning Services?

  • Quick and efficient: Our drain cleaning services are designed to get your pipes flowing again as quickly as possible, without causing any damage to your pipes or fixtures.
  • Thorough and complete: We use powerful, yet safe and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to completely remove any clogs and buildup in your pipes, so you don’t have to worry about blockages coming back in the future.
  • Experienced professionals: Our team of experts has years of experience dealing with drain clogs of all kinds, and we have the skills and knowledge needed to tackle even the toughest clogs.

How Our Drain Cleaning Services Work

  1. Inspection: Our first step is to inspect your pipes and determine the cause of the clog.
  2. Cleaning: Depending on the type of clog, we may use a variety of cleaning methods, such as high-pressure water jetting, snaking, or hydro-scrubbing.
  3. Prevention: To help prevent future clogs, we can also provide recommendations for maintaining your pipes and drains, such as regular cleaning and avoiding items that can cause blockages.

If you’re tired of dealing with slow drains and water buildup, contact us today to schedule your drain cleaning services. Our experienced professionals are ready to help get your pipes flowing smoothly again in no time.

In seconds, you have the foundation for an SEO-friendly service page for drain cleaning services. Now it’s a matter of spending a few minutes elaborating on the key points of the page, making it sound a bit more human than AI, and making sure it is SEO friendly.

Blog Pages

In addition to writing pages on products or services, in order for your site to continue to rank well, adding high-quality, unique content periodically should be part of any website update schedule. What better way to accomplish this than blogs. 

Blogs are a great way to incorporate unique, high-quality, compelling content to a website, however, because it is time-consuming, not many businesses include this in their website update schedule. In fact, there are so many benefits to adding a blog to your website periodically. Some of these benefits are:

  • Increased Visibility
  • Easier to gain backlinks
  • Answers users questions 
  • Build authority
  • Additional ranked page 

Using ChatGPT as a foundation for your blog could be a game changer for your business. It would allow you to create more authoritative content which could help your website gain more traffic. 

Using our drain cleaning example, let’s create a blog about clogged drains. The input in ChatGPT is:

Create an SEO-friendly blog about what to do if you’re faced with a clogged drain. 

The result from ChatGPT:

“Dealing with Clogged Drains: What to Do and How to Prevent It”

Clogged drains are a common problem faced by homeowners. A clogged drain can cause a lot of inconveniences and can even lead to water damage if not dealt with promptly. If you’re faced with a clogged drain, don’t worry. Here are some simple steps you can take to unclog your drain and prevent future clogs.

  1. Boil water: Boiling water is one of the simplest ways to unclog a drain. Pour boiling water down the drain slowly, wait a few minutes, and then run cold water to see if the clog has been cleared.
  2. Use a plunger: A plunger can be an effective tool for unclogging drains. Make sure there is enough water in the sink or bathtub to cover the plunger’s cup. Place the plunger over the drain and pump it up and down several times.
  3. Use baking soda and vinegar: Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for an hour. Then, flush the drain with boiling water.
  4. Use a drain snake: A drain snake is a long, flexible rod that can be used to remove blockages from the drain. Insert the snake into the drain, twisting it until you feel resistance. Continue to twist the snake until the blockage is cleared.
  5. Call a plumber: If none of the above methods work, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They have the tools and expertise to safely and effectively unclog your drain.

Prevention is the best cure for clogged drains. To prevent clogs from happening, you can:

  1. Avoid flushing anything down the drain other than water, human waste, and toilet paper.
  2. Use a drain strainer to catch hair and food particles before they reach the drain.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain regularly to keep it clear.
  4. Avoid pouring grease down the drain. Let it cool and solidify, then dispose of it in the trash.

In conclusion, clogged drains can be a real hassle, but they don’t have to be. Follow these simple steps to unclog your drain and keep it flowing freely. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber.

Imagine the traffic your website would generate if you published blogs like this every month. 

Unfortunately, even with all these great advantages of ChatGPT, there are some disadvantages.

Disadvantages of ChatGPT

Though ChatGPT is a fantastic tool to use as a foundational start for your writing, it can’t be used to replace your “human” content writers. 

Here are some flaws we’ve noticed in the ChatGPT-generated content:

Not readily accessible

If you’ve tried to get onto the system, you have likely encountered this error message: “ChatGPT is at capacity right now”. It’s often at capacity, but there is a paid version if you want more consistent access.

Lack of “human-like” characteristics in the writing

Each writer has their own style of writing, with their own tone and their own voice. By using ChatGPT, not only is the writing lacking someone’s “tone” and “voice”, it’s also losing the way the message is conveyed.

Not always trust-worthy

If your writing has a lot of facts within it, you might want to fact-check all the information ChatGPT generates. It might not always be “spot on”, and sometimes seems to fill in knowledge gaps with inaccurate information.

Limited information

ChatGPT only has knowledge on information from the year 2021 and before, not after.

Duplicate content

Anyone working in the SEO space knows duplicate content doesn’t rank. Unfortunately, because ChatGPT is AI-generated content, there’s always a possibility of duplicate content, unless you modify the content enough to make it your own.


ChatGPT is a fantastic tool to use as a foundation and supplement for your writing, but in no way can it, or should it, replace your “human” content writers, who are skilled in creating SEO-friendly, unique content. The advantages and disadvantages should be kept in mind when using the tool so that it can be used properly and efficiently.

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Business Website, digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, SEO, Uncategorized

Solving the Problem of Duplicate Google Business Profiles Being Created by Google

By Dipa Gandhi and Diane Lovine

Problem Discovered

Late in 2021, the team at 99 Calls noticed duplicate Google Business Profiles (GBPs) had been created for many of our clients’ service area businesses. After some investigation and confirmation with our clients, it was apparent the duplicate profiles were generated by Google. In many cases, even though we had already built a GBP representing the customer as a service area business Google was auto-generating a secondary and often incomplete listing. 

99 Calls primarily works with service area businesses; those that travel to their customers to perform a service, rather than from a brick-and-mortar building where customers go to receive a service. Google’s own established guidelines specifically state that businesses that service their clients at their residential or business location should not display their street address on the GBP. 

It was determined that Google was using information from the Contact Us pages of the lead generation websites to auto-generate duplicate listings. These listings kept the addresses visible and promoted the Contact Us pages of the sites as the landing pages on the GBPs. This resulted in dozens and dozens of our customers having 2 GBPs; one with their address hidden as is in compliance with Google’s best practices and with the home page of the lead site used as the landing page, and the other with the address visible and showing an actual pin location that promoted the Contact Us page of the website as the landing page.

Below is an example of a customer who ended up with two GBPs, one that was successfully created and managed by the team at 99 Calls and the other that was auto-generated by Google:

Duplicate Auto-Generated GBP:

Original GBP Managed by 99 Calls:

Google’s Business Profile Guidelines

As per Google’s guidelines, businesses such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors, and other trades should keep their addresses hidden on their GBP, allowing them to be represented as service area businesses. This prevents Google Maps from having an actual pinpointed location and instead displays the service area served by the business. The duplicate listings that were being generated by Google were out of compliance with their own guidelines.

Correct GBP: Service Area Shown:

Incorrect GBP: Address Shown with Pin:

How 99 Calls Fixed Duplicate GBPs

Having 2 GBP listings with the same business name, address, phone number, and website can impact SEO efforts, hinder lead volume results, risk a suspension of the live active GBP we manage, and cause confusion for people searching. 

Since 95% of our clients are service area businesses and do not have a brick-and-mortar location, we submitted suggested edits regarding the duplicate GBPs to Google. Specifically, we suggested that the businesses no longer existed at the locations indicated. We waited 30 days, and then if the duplicate listing had not been removed, we contacted Google Support for additional help, explaining the situation and asking them to remove the duplicate or merge it with the original GBP that we manage. 

Effectiveness of Removing Google-Generated Duplicate Listings

In some cases, the duplicate listings had been removed within 30 days of the suggested edits. More often, the duplicate listings were still showing and our team contacted Google support for further action. Within 60 days, almost all reported duplicates had either been removed or merged by Google, leaving just 1 GBP for the business.

Google Removed the Wrong Business Profile!

However, a new problematic issue was noted. In many cases, Google was merging the 2 GBPs but keeping the (incorrect, auto-generated) duplicate GBP. After the merge, what was shown was a GBP with the reviews still intact, but with the address visible and the landing page that people are being directed to as the Contact Us page, rather than the homepage of the website. Also, the business category is often slightly different than what it was prior and the business hours were removed. Unfortunately, this means we had to go to the GBP dashboard and correct the problems on the profiles. Luckily, once these edits were completed and the listing was back in order, the problem was resolved for our customers.

How to Prevent Google From Creating a Duplicate GBP

The team at 99 Calls recognized that Google was using the information contained on the Contact Us page of our lead generation websites to build these second (duplicate) listings. By removing the Contact Us pages from the sites altogether and utilizing an About Us page only, we have been able to avoid further issues with these duplicates being generated. 

Business Website, digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, online marketing costs, SEM, SEO

Why Aren’t My Clients’ Reviews Posting on Google Business Profile?

by Dipa Gandhi

Have you had your clients tell you they left a review on your business’s Google Business Profile (GBP) but when you look it’s not showing up or publishing? Many business owners and GBP managers are asking this same question daily.

We all know the importance of getting people to write and post great quality, positive reviews on your business’s GBP. You should continually encourage your happy customers to review your business. It’s understandably frustrating when you’ve provided an excellent service and a happy customer tells you they gave you a positive review, but it doesn’t show.

This blog will help explain why Google decides to publish some reviews and not others. For a refresher on the importance of Google reviews, refer to Part 1 of Google reviews blog series, https://blog.99calls.com/2022/04/01/importance-of-reviews-on-google-profile/). Here is a quick recap: Reviews on your GBP not only make your business stand out more, but also helps your GBP rank higher, add to a positive consumer experience, gain trust, and increase conversions. So when you have clients tell you they’re leaving or trying to leave a review for your business but it’s not showing up, it can be very concerning, and trust me, the SEO team at 99 Calls has also experienced this, so we can relate to your situation.

Google has strict algorithms in place to vet all the reviews. The purpose of this is to show search users true and factual reviews and block fake reviews. Unfortunately, sometimes good, legitimate reviews can accidentally get weeded out with the bad ones.

Some common reasons your clients’ reviews may not be showing up are:

  • Your business offers Wi-Fi that customers connect to and you’ve logged into your Google My Business account from this Wi-Fi.
  • The review contains a URL or phone number that is considered to be a form of solicitation or advertising.
  • The review contains a word Google doesn’t like, such as profanity, racial terms, hateful content, or offensive content.
  • You hired an SEO company to post reviews for you.
  • You have an onsite review station (iPad, computer etc.) at your location.
  • The user who left the review is located nowhere near you or has never physically visited your location.
  • Offering a reward or discount to a customer for leaving a positive review.

For more information from Google on restricted or prohibited content in reviews, refer to this link, https://support.google.com/contributionpolicy/answer/7400114#zippy=.

The next time your clients ask you why their reviews aren’t showing up even though they’re leaving them, check with them to make sure none of the above requirements are being violated. It is possible they are not following Google’s review policies.