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  1. #1
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    How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    Hi All,

    I don't think this has ever been discussed here and I've been thinking about it a lot lately.....

    I have come to realize that having a strong understanding of Google Places and everything that defines it is one thing. After a certain amount of time, all of the lingo and guidelines become second nature. But, I find that trying to teach it to someone else is a whole new ballgame.

    How do you teach Google Places to new staff members, apprentices....etc? What do you find are the best methods to teach people who are new to the game?

    Do you have training manuals that you keep updated? Do you use video? Or is it one of those things that can only be learned after long hours of first hand observation and practice?
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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  3. #2
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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    I think this is more of a hands on thing that the only way to truly learn is by getting them in the game. I started by making sure they have a good understanding of the guidelines and have feeds to keep up with updates. I tell them every week that they need to spend at least 15 minutes per day skimming through the Google forums and this forum to keep up with changes. That's a minimum requirement. I've also taken screenshots of local dashboards and dummied it up with incorrect stuff to see if they could spot how to fix problems. Pretty simple, all you need is a screengrab program and paint. Little things like making them realize how to set up a SAB, the proper way to list categories, etc.. etc...

    That's how I usually start with training. Gotta teach the basics before you throw them into some more complex stuff. I've been told the quizzes (Google local listing dashboard screenshots) with fake/not-real listings are helpful starting out.

  4. #3
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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    Interesting topic Colan, and one that hasn't been discussed here before.

    Well, I would like to say that the documents from Linda's On-Site Organic Hooks course are good for training, as it's basically a fully comprehensive instruction booklet that we get. So, I've already started to use them in training.

    Other than that, in terms of keeping "up-to-date" with SEO changes (this could be a topic in itself), I'd say it's important to have an RSS feed manager (like Google Reader) with some essential blogs/websites like Search Engine Land, and to watch it like a hawk. We all know that this stuff changes every day, and it's essential to have systems for monitoring the changing environment.

    Finally, I'd like to point out the "classic" Learn SEO Guide, although I realise it's general and doesen't particularly cover Local:

    http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo

    It's still a great holistic look at what SEO is, and this can lead to looking more at Local.
    Nicholas Pratt | Director | Add me on Google+
    SEO Spark



  5. #4
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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    Quote Originally Posted by EsR View Post
    I've also taken screenshots of local dashboards and dummied it up with incorrect stuff to see if they could spot how to fix problems. Pretty simple, all you need is a screengrab program and paint. Little things like making them realize how to set up a SAB, the proper way to list categories, etc.. etc...
    That's a great idea. I agree, conducting these types of activities or "tests" would make a great learning exercise. I might just run with that idea

    I think quizzes in general are a great way to make information "stick" and it also creates great discussion that allows for deeper, more complex concepts to emerge.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    Great topic, Colan. I 100% agree with what Nick and EsR said.

    My two cents:

    To me, just as important as reading and digesting local SEO “news” is to make sure the person (client, employee, etc.) racks up some first-hand experience and isn’t afraid to mess up a few times. It’s like with skiing: if you don’t fall down occasionally, you’re not learning and getting better.

    One thing I’ve found to be exceedingly helpful is to repurpose. For instance, if someone emails me a really good question, I not only file away the question away in a “mail bag,” but I also save my response. I’ll usually draw on that response next time someone asks me the same question or a similar one. Another way I “recycle” is to send people whom I’m training real-life examples of the work I’ve done. I’ll send them local SEO audits I’ve done. If we’ve talked on the phone, a lot of times I’ll jot down notes on what we covered – and of course save those notes. I guess it’s not so much “repurposing” as simply not reinventing the wheel every time you get a question or want to illustrate a point.

  7. #6
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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    I created a 3-page "quiz" for our team and it went over really well. It covered everything from duplicates to category do's and don'ts to service area business guidelines.

    I sent it out to the team, and we went over it on the following weeks meeting. It created some great discussion and was actually one of the best weekly meetings we've had in a while, IMO.

    I was inspired to create the quiz by the comments on this thread as well as Phil's post - Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Google Places Quality Guidelines? | LocalVisibilitySystem.com

    Thanks guys.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    That’s really smart, Colan. Flattered that my quiz was the “inspiration”

    I’d be really interested in seeing what you’ve got (I’m a sucker for quizzes), though I know it’s probably a top-secret in-house memo.

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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    I have no problem sharing it Phil. I wonder if Linda would be interested in adding a "Test Your Google+ Local Knowledge" section, I could add it there for all the members to take.

    Maybe it could be a section of the forum that could be added to all the time with new tests on different subjects. Could be fun, and turn into a great resource on the forum.

    Let's see what Linda thinks
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  10. #9
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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    Linda LOVES it!

    And so generous of you to share Colan. I think it’s a brilliant training tool. And you are so bright, by sharing it we can all contribute and it will maybe enrich it for your own use and is a WIN/WIN for all!

    However a lot of issues go into creating a new forum section. Not just the work but that fact it takes up precious real estate on the home page which pushes other content down. PLUS you can't devote a whole forum section to a topic that only has 1 - 3 posts. So need to build up enough of these to justify it.

    Soooo let's just start with a post. If it takes off and there is lots of play, I'll make it a sticky. If we get to the point where we have 4 - 5 good ones, then I can create a new forum for them.

    How does that sound???
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: How To Train New Local Marketing Staff Members

    Sounds like a good plan. I'll send it to you next week so you can edit/tweak it and then we can make a post out of it.

    How does that sound?
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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