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Michel van Luijtelaar, of, on the evolution of local search and SEO

Michel Van Luijtelaar is co-founder at, a Netherlands-based company providing SEO tools and services for local businesses in Europe seeking to perform better in search and otherwise increase their online visibility.

These tools and services integrate with Google My Business, providing additional functionality and ease-of-use; for example, provides sentiment analysis, A/B testing, local keyword research, dashboards, bulk uploading, and other highly useful features, especially for businesses managing multiple physical locations.

I was eager to catch up with Michel to discuss how his GMB software solution works, chat about hyperlocal analytics in an international context, and explore local marketing challenges – both in Europe and in the U.S. We cover numerous topics in our talk, including:

  • The importance of sentiment analysis for large organizations, which can reveal potential issues with local management or culture, as well as stocking issues.
  • The challenges of managing a retail footprint in a multichannel context, including the need to keep Google My Business listings up-to-date with accurate information.
  • The importance of integrating Google Merchant Center with local inventory feeds to improve local discovery and push competitors down in search results.
  • Why retail organizations often struggle with ownership and budgeting for local marketing efforts.
  • The degree to which digital transformation is progressing evenly among large, medium, and small retailers.
  • How marketers might go about prioritizing chatbot visibility in voice-based search, given that it’s becoming increasingly important for local search.
  • The importance of rich creatives (including high-quality photos), positive reviews, and effective local landing pages for local businesses.
  • The potential for syndicated content and digital PR to improve the odds of being chosen by LLMs for inclusion in results.
  • The degree to which Google may use translations of reviews in other languages to analyze sentiment about products or services, regardless of the original language.


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