A Micro-Interview With Wes Turner: Local SEO, Social Media Ads, And 2021 Predictions

by | Dec 10, 2020 | 🤝 Coffee Shop Marketing

I interviewed Wes Turner, a coffee shop marketing expert, on all things local SEO for cafes, buying social media ads, and predictions for 2021.
Coffee business customer research

Wes Turner, of Turner Digital Solutions, reached out a couple of weeks ago to interview me about search engine  optimization (SEO) and content marketing in the coffee industry. You can see  that interview here.

We had a great chat, so I turned around and interviewed him back!

In this short micro-interview, Wes discusses…

  • A quick SEO win you can have in the next 10 minutes
  • Why Wes doesn’t recommend paid advertising often (I agree with him)
  • 2021 predictions for our industry

Wes, everyone!

What do you find most coffee shop owners misunderstand about local SEO?

I find that a lot of coffee shop owners are intimidated or simply unaware of local SEO. The coffee shops that I’ve worked with who have a local SEO strategy are almost always one of the top shops in the area.

There’s really only three things you need to do to improve your local SEO:

1. Optimize your website with business location keywords and your business address. So, if your shop is in Aspen, Colorado, be sure to include “Aspen” on different web pages and page descriptions. 

2. Optimize your Google My Business. I go into this in more detail in the next question.

3. Reviews, reviews, reviews. Google uses reviews as a gigantic ranking signal for your business’s overall quality and customer experience. To put it simply, if there’s a competitor shop across the street from your shop, and they have double the amount of 5 star GMB reviews than you; I’d bet they rank higher than you on Google, regardless of whose coffee shop is better.

Start thinking of ways to generate more reviews from your customers, and there’s a very good chance that your coffee shop will see growth as a result.

Read: 22 Cliches Coffee Marketers Always Use (+ What To Say Instead)

Tell me about an SEO quick-win a coffee shop operator reading this can have in the next 10 minutes.

A quick SEO win that coffee shop owners can get right now is fully optimizing their Google My Business account. Far too often do I work with businesses that don’t have their GMBs correctly optimized.

There are 3 main GMB categories you want to focus on: category, business location, and service areas.

  • Your main category should be “coffee shop” and you should also add a few additional categories (if they apply) like “coffee roaster”, “coffee wholesaler”, “coffee store”, etc.

  • Your business location should be your full business address.

  • Your service areas should be your main area of business, followed by a handful of close surrounding towns.

Optimizing these three areas correctly will catapult your coffee shop in Google map searches and ultimately help you begin ranking in the local 3 pack where almost 50% of clicks go to.

What about social media ads? Do you think they’re a winning strategy for smaller coffee businesses?

Facebook and Instagram ads offer a massive audience reach; however, I rarely recommend this as a primary strategy to increase business. I would only recommend running paid social ads if you’re selling coffee beans/grounds online via your website.

Paid ads are great at micro-moment transactions, but often general advertising can be ignored or forgotten very quickly. My advice is to focus on your coffee shop digital marketing strategy, specifically local SEO and climbing the ranks in Google search and maps.

Read: 7 Coffee Ecommerce Marketing Strategies That Are 100% Free

How did you get started doing website design and local SEO for coffee shops?

I began building websites in 2016. What started out as a hobby, quickly evolved into a profession and a passion. Today I work at Hershey’s leading search engine optimization initiatives and enhancing user experience on our websites.

In my free time, I work with small businesses in my area (often coffee shop owners) to help improve their coffee shop website design and their overall digital presence.

Any predictions for 2021?

Hopefully, COVID will regress and our lives will return to the way they used to be (fingers crossed). However, I firmly believe many things will linger on in a post-COVID world, one of those being the importance of digital business.

If quarantine has taught business owners anything, it’s the importance of being able to reach your customers online and having a digital community.

Read: Open Idea: Build A Moat With Online Coffee Community Groups

I predict online business will continue to trend upwards in demand. To be successful we must be able to adapt, and I believe this next year will truly present both a challenge and opportunity for coffee shop owners to do so.

A huge thanks to Wes for contributing his insight!

Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden

Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden

Freelance Coffee Marketer

I'm a coffee industry native who works with coffee brands around the world to create and execute captivating marketing strategies.

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