Talking with the Creator of GMB Master Academy, Jordan Pearce
Hey everyone! It’s Chaz Edwards, coming to you with another edition of GMB Face-off. GMB Face-off is where we take a good look at all the top GMB training courses on the market. Today, I have the pleasure of being joined by Jordan Pearce.
CHAZ: Jordan, for anybody that doesn’t know you, can you go ahead and introduce yourself for them?
JORDAN: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve been doing Local SEO for a little over 11 years now. I actually started back when I was selling yellow page advertising. I was working with a couple of large locksmith companies and auto-glass companies, and eventually what happened was, a lot of the listings that they were getting, actually ended up being found on Google Maps.
So that’s what really got me into it. We launched into finding out how great (Google) Maps was, and we really learned to find ways to optimize the listing. It was back in the old days, everything was fresh, and we had to do everything by hand.
So, that kind of launched me into building different sorts of businesses, and from that, a lot of client work. So, that’s what really got me started.
So I think, automatically, it puts you on another level. So that’s really cool that you started in the locksmith industry as well. And I know your story! You did things on a massive scale, it seems like.
Huge scale. And I even started a store back in 2015. I had a huge network of listings… Like five thousand listings that got shut down within a couple of days.
I tried to make everything like ‘real’: I started a locksmith shop, bands, uniforms, everything. Google saw my history of doing all those spammy things and they said, “You know what? We’re not gonna let Jordan Pearce have any business online.” So they completely shut me down.
So, I spent a lot of money on trademarks and all that, and at the end of the day, they kinda put me in a position where I almost didn’t really want to do Google Maps anymore. And it kinda put me in a bad space for about a year.
And then finally, I had a friend of mine say, “Hey, I got a garage door business. I need someone doing some marketing. Can you help me out?” And that really got me back into it, 110%. At that point it was, everything was about helping support small businesses.
That’s awesome. I don’t want to go off-track too far but, it’s a big bone with me what Google did with the locksmith industry.
And I’d blame a lot of it on Baldino… The business owner that didn’t know how to compete online and his way to compete was to file a lawsuit against Google.
Yeah. For like, 10 million dollars or something.
And it was ridiculous. Instead of just taking your skill set to the next level, or finding an SEO that can help you and help your local business grow on Maps, he took a route that really hurt a lot of small locksmith shops.
It did. Even if the business had been around for many years, he really took it a level that actually hurt businesses more than it helped him.
Yeah. Definitely. It’s a shame. But let’s get back on track. That’s a big bone of mine because I come from a small business background just like you, and it was painful, we went through it as well. Anyway, what led you to create GMB Master Academy?
So, it was really taking that drive that I had before the locksmith business shut down, to really help small businesses. At that point, it was becoming a way for me to be able to give back.
With the academy, it originally came out of some of the other large SEO guys who came to me and said, “Hey, why don’t you take your experience and get a course out?’
I was pretty hesitant. I kinda like being the ‘in the basement’ type of guy. But they kinda talked me into it and I said, “You know what? I’ll spend a couple of months making some videos and I’ll kinda get some feedback on how it goes,” and sure enough it became a really good course. We officially launched on April 26th and had about 85 students that signed up initially. And now we’ve grown to over 160 students.
That’s awesome. In your opinion, do you think the course is more designed for beginners? Or more advanced professionals in the SEO field?
So, I would say we geared it towards really anybody who wants to learn how to rank on Google Maps. I would say probably the first three modules are really for anybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner or if you’ve been in SEO for a while. Then once you get into the other modules and other bonuses, that’s when it really gets into the more advanced stuff.
Ok, awesome. Who do you think it’s gonna benefit the most from taking GMB Master Academy?
Again, it’s really for anybody! It’s for anybody that really wants to learn how to rank on Maps, you know, people that have been questioning why certain things are happening on Maps and want to learn more about it.
I’ve seen full comprehension as something that I bring to the table with my experiences; being able to look at certain things in SEO, and look at why these things are happening.
I think the most important thing for me to teach you is this: I can teach you how to do something, but if you aren’t understanding why it’s happening, then you’re in trouble. So yeah, I think that’s something I definitely bring to the table.
That’s awesome. Now, I was fortunate enough to take a look inside of GMB Master Academy. It looks like there are over 55 videos in there right now. How often do you update or add new content to your course?
So, we actually added about 2 new videos last month and I’m actually gonna be adding about another 5 in the next couple of weeks.
So, one thing that I found is that a lot of students have a lot of the same questions about subjects that aren’t covered in the course; so that’s the point when I’ll make another video that goes little bit more in-depth into that specific subject, sometimes I just cover exactly what they’re asking.
Other times I’ll realize that there’s a couple of things that I actually forgot to put in the course! Like I’ll suddenly remember and think; “Oh my gosh! I need to make sure I add this in there,” so that’s another time when I’ll go in and add a couple of videos.
Or maybe there’s an update that just happened and people are kinda wondering what’s going on, I’ll kinda make an informational video for that, or maybe we’ll actually host a webinar that talks about the update and talks about some things to look forward with Maps.
Awesome. So, what do you think about the recent update that just happened? We’re halfway through August now, but right at the beginning of August—the end of July—there seems like there was a refresh of the local algorithm. And from what I saw, it had a definite impact.
It’s interesting, I didn’t see a lot of things happen in the organic traffic, I saw most of the impact happen in the maps. And I think a lot of that has to do with what Google’s doing with their new Local Ads program, so I think that has a huge effect.
I did see quite a few updates in Maps over the last six weeks. One thing that you do want to pay attention to with Maps, is that they are always updating. They do small updates and tweaks about every two weeks. But in this recent update, I saw some pretty interesting things even with my personal listings and my client listings.
Awesome. Do you think GMB Master Academy provides the student with a complete ranking road map for local SEO?
So, a couple of videos that we recently added in there really help with that. So, originally the course was mainly just for Google Maps, but now we’ve incorporated a little bit more on organic traffic. What we’re finding is that with some recent Google updates, there is some correlation with some specific things that you can add to your site, that will help you give you a push for your Maps listings.
So, that’s one thing that I’m always looking to do: Finding new things that are happening in Google, finding those correlations with local organic traffic, and finding those correlations with your maps.
The nice thing about this too is that we present the course step-by-step in the order that you should be optimizing your listings. So, first starting with your GMB profile, then moving into your branding and things like that. We do it in order, in a way that makes sense, but also in a way helps you in all aspects of local traffic.
Awesome. Well Jordan, it was great having you on here. I really appreciate the time that you took to answer our questions and actually get to talk to you face to face. I know we had chatted before in the past.
For anybody watching that wants to take a look at GMB Master Academy, do you have a sales page or URL that they can go visit…
We’ve got a couple of things on there, some general information, a quick overview of what’s in the course, etc. One thing that’s really nice too is we do have a private Facebook group, and we do have a private Skype group as well.
So you do get a lot of support from our alumni students. A couple of them are actually on the ‘New Classes Skype group’ so they are actually able to answer some questions that new people might have. So you are able to learn from pupils that have already been through the course, which is pretty neat.
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