As you already know, working in search marketing, change happens at light speed (byte speed for the punster) and continuing education and training is critical.
When it came time to redefine our local seo procedure for all the recent changes, I wanted to create it with all known information available. Good luck, right?
Since, I am an avid reader of Understanding Google Maps, I decided to take a chance and see if its author, Mike Blumenthal, would be interested in providing training.
As it turned out he was and so we negotiated a price. Which went something like him telling me his rate is $300/hour and me saying ok.
The training was done as a series of 5 1-hour conference calls with Mike sharing his screen. The first 4 calls were done in a classic instructor-student format and the fifth call was Q & A.
Mike asked us questions to make sure the manner in which he presented the information was suitable for everyone in the ‘class’. He did a nice job with this and was quite patient, our student body consisted of a small business owner, advanced local seos, and a yellow pages rep. In the end, the information was presented at a level suitable for the advanced search marketer, which was appropriate.
The topics were organized in a way that made sense. First, he covered Theory and data sources. The second session was competitive analysis, and setting client expectations. The third session covered best practices for ranking in Google Maps. The fourth session covered what to do when there is a problem with a listing, a client moves or a ranking disappears or drops. The last session, as I said was Q & A, for which we prepared dozens of complex questions. He answered each one casually, often bringing up examples online. (I was thinking about posting the questions we asked in a sort of ‘Are you smarter than Mike Blumenthal about Google Maps? format but you wouldn’t want to play that game for keeps).
Mike has an astounding knowledge of Google Maps and it seems like he genuinely enjoys talking about the subject. That combination creates an interesting and comfortable learning environment.
In the end, I would have to say, I won the negotiation. Seriously though, I felt fortunate that I was able to provide my team with such good training and I would recommend Mike’s training to anyone who wanted to learn more about local search.