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"Local Content, Local Search"  - Chris Sherman (SearchEngineLand.com) 2009 AIM Conference
 

"Local Content, Local Search" - Chris Sherman (SearchEngineLand.com) 2009 AIM Conference

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Chris Sherman, Executive Editor of SearchEngineLand.com discusses local search, and the many possibilities it presents for the multifamily industry. ...

Chris Sherman, Executive Editor of SearchEngineLand.com discusses local search, and the many possibilities it presents for the multifamily industry.

At lease 70% of moving searches are within the same metro. Renters look for homes that are near work, school, parks and the freeway. How do we as an industry capture this traffic that is highly relevant and pre-qualified? What are the SEO benefits to targeting local searches? PropertyCentric, RentWiki, ReachLocal, Apartment Home Living and Google Local are just some of the national players creating local content to capture local search.

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    "Local Content, Local Search"  - Chris Sherman (SearchEngineLand.com) 2009 AIM Conference "Local Content, Local Search" - Chris Sherman (SearchEngineLand.com) 2009 AIM Conference Presentation Transcript

    • Local Content, Local Search Chris Sherman, Executive Editor SearchEngineLand.com May 1, 2009
    • Let’s Start With Some Stats
    • Search Is Now Habitual Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
    • Flavors Of Local Search
      • Major search engines maps/local
      • Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) & city guides
      • “ Local/Social” search sites that combine things like business listings, classified ads, reviews & ratings, comments and “community”
      • “ Vertical” or niche sites focusing on specific categories (real estate, service providers (florist, lawyer, plumber), retailers, restaurants, etc)
      • You can easily reach searchers through all of these channels
    • Local Search Is Bigger Than You Think
      • March 2009: 14b total queries at major search engines (comScore)
      • Depending on which stats you believe, 20-40% of all search queries have local intent
      • That’s roughly 300-600 million local search queries per month, and that doesn’t include searches on IYPs, local/map sites, or other local verticals
    • Local Search Is Growing Fast
      • Traffic to “pure” local search/map sites grew 58 percent in 2008, reaching an annual total of 15.7 billion searches
      • By comparison, overall U.S. Web core searches grew at a much smaller rate of 21 percent year-over-year, nearing 137 billion searches by the end of 2008 (comScore, YPA)
    • Why Search Is Important
      • 89% of consumers making in-store purchases have conducted research online (BIG Research)
      • 82% of people using local search sites followed up with an offline action, e.g., in-store visit, phone call (TMP Directional Marketing)
      • 77% searched the Internet for real estate related information during their research process compared to 34 percent for print (Yahoo)
    • Google Search Term Popularity
    • Searcher Behavior Is Growing More Sophisticated
      • Searcher queries are longer - 2 to 4 words
      • More “tail” queries (specific rather than general)
      • Searchers are increasingly using niche, vertical, or “local/social search” sites
      • Surprisingly, Internet Yellow Pages sites are gaining traction as well
    • Types of Local Search
      • Explicit:
        • “ denver apartments”
        • “ colorado housing”
      • Implicit:
        • “ property manager”
        • “ apartment rentals”
      • Search engines can serve up targeted results for either explicit or implicit queries thanks to geotargeting capabilities
    • Natural vs. Paid Listings
    • Search Engine Visibility
      • You can improve your odds of being found in general search results by “optimizing” your content and conducting a link building campaign
      • And if you’re willing to pay, you can also get visibility through search advertising
      • A well-balanced search marketing campaign uses both approaches
    • Local Search Ranking Factors
      • Business name in title tag <title>
      • Similar business name or category keyword in domain name
      • Local address on web pages or contact us page
      • Phone number on web pages or contact us page
      • # of user ratings (also not having negative ratings)
      • Business categorizations in Yellow Pages
      • Business site tied to Google Maps listing
    • Links: The Most Important Ranking Factor
      • Chamber of Commerce
      • Local government & community guides
      • Colleges & Universities (.edu “gold”)
      • Local libraries
      • Local and regional newspapers and online magazines
      • Blogs about the area
      • Targeted vertical directories
    • Even More Targeted: Local/Maps Results
      • Maps are emerging as a key interface for interacting with many types of information
      • All major search engines have local/maps “catalogs” that let searchers search specifically for local information
      • And people aren’t just using them for local search – Google Maps is the #1 travel site (Hitwise)
    • Showing Up On Maps: Business Listings
      • Business listings are yellow-page like company info
      • Be sure to claim your business listing! If you don’t, someone else may, or it may be inaccurate
      • How?
        • Google: www.google.com/local/add
        • MSN: https://llc.local.live.com/ListingCenter.aspx
        • Yahoo: http://listings.local.yahoo.com/
    • Google Business Listings
    • Advertising On Google Maps
      • “ Local business ads” appear directly on Google maps results, associated with a specific address
      • Can be icons or images
      • Great for showing pictures of locations
      • Not yet available on Yahoo or Microsoft (well, kinda)
      • How?
        • http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/ answer.py?hl=en&answer=34033
    • Google Maps Sponsored Listing
    • Where You Want To Be Listed
      • Search engines:
        • Google, Yahoo!, MSN / Live.com, Citysearch, Local.com
      • “ Local-social&quot; search sites:
        • Craigslist, Insider Pages, OpenList, Yelp, Topix
      • IYPs:
        • YellowPages.com, SuperPages, WhitePages, InfoSpace/Idearc, Dex, Yellow Book, Yellow Page City
      • Business data aggregators:
        • infoUSA Express Update, Acxiom
    • Consider Apartment-Specific Sites
      • Rent.com (#7 real estate site – Hitwise)
      • Apartments.com (#15 real estate site – Hitwise)
      • ForRent.com
      • DenverApartments.com
      • StapletonApartments.com
      • Bonus: Link to your listings from your own website, blog, social media sites, etc. for added search engine visibility
    • The Value Of Local Blogs
      • Local blogs can serve two purposes:
        • Valuable source of links pointing to your sites
        • Good word-of-mouth marketing
      • Consider starting your own blog. Local blogs may not be interested in linking to your corporate/sales site, but will link to interesting/compelling content on your blog
    • Other Online Marketing Channels
      • Upload videos of your rentals to YouTube
      • Engage with social media sites (carefully!)
        • Twitter
        • Facebook
        • MySpace
      • Consider mobile advertising
    • Future Trends: Search Engines vs. MLS
    • Already The #2 Real Estate Site
    • Take Aways
      • Search, and specifically local search, is a huge marketing opportunity for the multifamily industry
      • Local search opportunities come in many flavors, and many are extremely cost effective compared with other types of marketing and advertising
      • Be creative in your approach, by exploring lots of different channels and embracing “new media” such as blogs, video and social media sites