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Interviewing Crystal Horton

Date: 26/04/2021

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edition where we interview brilliant women in our industry and share their stories with the world! Anyone is welcome to share their story by simply filling this form, we encourage women from all walks of life in our industry to do so.


Crystal Horton
, Google My Business Product Expert at Accelerate Marketing.
Based in Denver, Crystal gets businesses more phone calls by utilizing strategies that help SMBs and franchise businesses improve their local search visibility and reputation. She delivers service that really moves the needle and ranges from local search visibility to generating online reviews through client education on how to gather and act on customer feedback. Crystal takes pride in empowering her clients to manage their online reputation and embrace feedback to improve their customer service.

We asked her everything from how she first got into SEO to what empowers her to be the brilliant woman she is 💪🏽

How did you get into SEO?

In a very weird roundabout way. Ha! :)

Four years ago I was interviewing my now business partner, Ryan Steinolfson, about Chatbots as a co-host for my friend's live “Entrepreneurs That Soar” show. I had no idea what a Chatbot was let alone SEO. After the interview, I sent a message thanking Ryan for sharing his knowledge with us. That message turned into a 2 hour Messenger Audio Chat that turned into an interview for the Account Manager position he was looking to fill. Unexpectedly, and overnight I became an Account Manager and began my journey of discovering what local SEO actually meant.

What is your favourite SEO task?

Any and everything that has to do with Google My Business. This tool has changed the direction of a business and it's an absolute honor to watch it happen over and over again.

  1. Adding photos daily is my “secret weapon” because it keeps the page active.

  2. Working with company teams and teaching them how to ask for Google reviews is another favorite.

  3. Getting a page suspension lifted is also something I totally classify as fun. -ha!

What is your go-to tool or resource that you can't live without?

All things BrightLocal. Whether it's the local SEO tools, the local search rank checker, the SEO & GMB audits, their reports, reputation manager, blog articles, new research discoveries, and/or webinars. I love it all. The rank tracking report keeps track of all keywords I want to monitor. It also keeps our client engaged because the report is easy to understand and read.

I love the GMB report because it can go as far back as 18 months and show the graphs of what took place over time. We love showing these graphs because it really shows our client the work that we’ve done.

Citations are always a big question with our clients so when we share the report Brightlocal has they get to see the big picture of what work has been done, what we are working on and what the plan moving forward is.

I also love the Reputation Manager. The feedback funnel in Reputation Manager helps us understand the performance of review generation campaigns and pass on each customer’s feedback. From there, our clients are able to respond quickly to reviews on Google and Facebook via a client-friendly dashboard. Over an eight-month period, we helped a property management client generate 187 new reviews, which in turn increased organic traffic by 18% and generated $81,720 in additional annual revenue. You can read all about our case study on Brightlocal website here.

What is something you learned in SEO that made you have an 'AHA' moment?

That the majority of the time a business is not "toast" when a Google My Business page gets suspended. In my second month as an account manager, I got a GMB page suspended. It was a 75 year Family owned Piano Store business. All their phone calls came from GMB. When I received the frantic call that all phone calls have stopped and they can’t find themselves on Google. I knew I was toast.

I Googled every question I could and every article I read talked about “once you get a page suspended there’s no coming back from that.” Then I discovered the GMB forum and poured my heart out into a post pleading for help. Within 48 hours the page was back and the phone calls started rolling in again. Woo hoo!

I am so grateful to the GMB community and product experts for volunteering their time to help others. There are so many good people in the SEO community that are willing to provide some tips and strategies for what to do. Thank you to each and every one of you!

What is your proudest industry achievement?

Over an eight-month period, I helped a property management client generate 187 new reviews, which in turn increased organic traffic by 18% and generated $81,720 in additional annual revenue.

I empowered a Yoga Studio Owner to overcome obstacles and push forward with their 13 year small business by getting reviews and showing up on Google more which turned into new class sign ups.

Over a 2 month period, I helped a real estate agent with our review culture training bring in 50 Google Reviews and increase their phone calls and website visits which increased their conversion rate.

And lastly, on October 23, 2020 at 8:05 am I became a Silver Google My Business Product Expert. Woo hoo!

What advice would you give women who are starting out in SEO?

Curiosity will take you places. Ask any and all questions that come to mind, out loud.

Give a shout out to a woman in the industry who inspires you and tell us why

There are so many women that inspire me: Nikki Van Reenen, Joy Hawkins, Carrie Hill, Krystal Taing, Stephanie Newton, Rosie Murphy, Areej AbuAli, Jackie Chu, Lily Ray, Aleyda Solis, Claire Carlile, Cindy Krum, Britney Muller

... just to name a few, but there are so many more women.

I also want to give a shout out to my 14-year-old daughter, Brie Horton. She just recently received an award for digital marketing through the Future Business Leaders of America organization.

Finally, what empowers you to be the brilliant woman you are?

Collaborating with others and a good power stance works for me :)


Thanks Crystal for a truly insightful interview, you can check out Crystal's website and connect with her on Twitter.

To view more interviews with brilliant women, check out our Interviews page. If you've enjoyed reading this interview, then we'd love for

to share your story with the world! Simply fill this form here, we welcome brilliant SEOs from all walks of life! 🙌🏽