A Local Yokel’s Toolkit: 10+ Tips for Retailers to Tap into Local Search


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An SMX East 2011 (NYC) presenation covering how businesses can get listed in the search engine results pages, maps, and more. Covers both SEO/Natural and Paid Search opportunities. By Jeff Campbell @ Resolution Media.

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  • I’m here to discuss the processes and steps to ensure your physical locations show up for interested searchers in results - both in paid and most importantly, natural search.
  • 1 out of 3 mobile searches are related to location… 77% have contacted a business: 61% call, 59% visit Source: Google/OTX MediaCT Survey Q4 2010
  • Local search results are more complex than ever before. In addition to individual websites, we see Places listings, maps, local paid search ads, Facebook listings, Yelp listings, Citysearch listings, etc. These are all assets that can be used to a business’s advantage on the local front.
  • Goals don’t need to be the same for every retailer. You can do none of these goals, one of these goals or a mix and match to fit your business needs. Maybe you decide that GPS devices don’t make sense for your company and that you only want to focus on Google Places. Or maybe you don’t have access to funds to support a Localeze, Infogroup or Acxiom. Goals will allow you to determine which pieces make the most sense for your business. Goal 1 – Incorrect data means that customers won’t find your stores. This should be your primary goal walking into local search. Then, you can expand on goal 1 to focus on other key ingredients like optimizations and reputation management.
  • Optimizing your store locator is one of the best ways to get ready for local search. Before you go optimize your “other” local assets (e.g. Google Places account), you really should focus on your website first. Are you working towards building inbound links? Relevancy? Can users and search engines easily find your stores? Do you have individual store pages? Static navigation was suggested by the one and only Matt Cutts. Also, DON’T FORGET TO OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE DEVICES!
  • Inbound links to your website is one of the top ranking factors according to ‘Local Search Ranking Factors.’ This is an annual review of local search and its algorithms, with insights with the top experts in the local search space.
  • Plenty of sites allow you to add relevant videos, images, descriptions, so take advantage! Though they don’t always mean that your website will rank higher, it certainly could push an extra customer to try your store versus a competitors!
  • Google Places is probably THE most important local listing to claim. Current updates in Google Places focus more on the reviews and images. You can still as custom data, but its not guaranteed to show up. Target example: What about photos of inside the store? Maybe photos of the store decorated for the holidays? The description also doesn’t really help a potential customer understand what their business is about. The description field is the place to explain what products you carry, services you offer or your unique business value. Also, what about responding to user comments and working towards gaining more reviews.
  • Bing needs an enterprise level local solution
  • Everything is interconnected in the local space (Getlisted.org infographic shows how everything feeds into each other). Accurate data give signals back to the search engines that they use to check against their data. The more the data is correct, the greater chance of showing up and also ranking higher. Additionally, this approach makes sure that those on smaller IYPs and local directories have access to correct store information. There would be nothing worse than someone looking for your store but being unable to find it due to a faulty address.
  • Pay by profile or CPC Check-in offers currently free
  • To bulk claim listings in Facebook, reach out to your Facebook representative (need advertising running currently). Foursquare is super helpful when answering questions, so reach out if you need help bulk uploading. To add tags or categories, you must go into each location individually. Both of these platforms are easy to manage and give you a better view into the check-in world. Also, this has crossover into the mobile realm.
  • Geo-modified and geo-targeted paid search campaigns Search retargeting Paid Social Local Extensions Addresses, phone #s Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), Local Directory Sites and free listings on Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, etc.(100’s of sites) Pay per click, pay per call, directory listings services
  • Products & store hours/directions
  • You might need to pick and choose which sites to focus on as it could become too large to handle. Google and Yelp would be the most important places to start. Start thinking of a ratings/reviews program. How can you increase the number of reviews? How can you reach out to customers with bad experiences that have shared on 3 rd party sites? This is one way to create repeat customers or to build a new customer base.
  • A Local Yokel’s Toolkit: 10+ Tips for Retailers to Tap into Local Search

    1. 1. A LOCAL YOKEL’S TOOLKIT: 10+ TIPS FOR RETAILERS TO TAP INTO LOCAL SEARCH <ul><li>Jeff Campbell – Co-Founder & Head of Retail </li></ul><ul><li>Resolution Media </li></ul><ul><li>September, 2011 </li></ul>CJeffCampbell
    2. 2. WHY LOCAL? 1 out of 5 searches are related to location… 2.8 billion local queries per month restaurants in San Francisco Chicago dry cleaners best sushi in Los Angeles directions to geneva commons mall dentists 20654 Tampa appliances stores home improvement stores wellington fl Starbucks near 314 W. Superior, Chicago IL Macy’s in bullhead city, az 28115 home depot shaker heights cvs on woodland blvd Beechwood to cleveland airport directions paint NYC Sightseeing in D.C. Walmart olive branch MS Mexican restaurants 60067 Wegmans haymarket va Source: http://www.screenwerk.com/2010/04/20/google-20-of-searches-related-to-location/
    3. 3. ONLINE MARKETING DRIVES LOCAL SALES Test Search + content Control None The 2% sales lift was impressive and successful in proving that our online advertising drives in-store sales. Online is quick, flexible and targeted advertising that must be within your advertising mix. -Jeff Haddox, Direct Marketing Analyst, Pier 1 Imports “ ” v
    4. 4. COMPLEX LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS Google Places Pages Maps Local Paid Search Ads
    7. 7. <ul><li>Make sure your store locator is search-engine and user friendly by utilizing static navigation </li></ul>STORE LOCATOR OPTIMIZATION Source: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/give-each-store-a-url/ Tip #2
    8. 8. <ul><li>Build inbound links to boost local rankings </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to use: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Syndication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press Releases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul></ul>INBOUND LINKS TO YOUR WEBSITE Tip #3 Source: http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml; SEOmoz Toolbar Link Data
    10. 10. <ul><li>Many local platforms allow for contact information, images, videos, custom categories and more , so take advantage of these opportunities to attract potential new customers </li></ul>COLLECT ASSETS FOR COMPREHENSIVE LISTINGS
    11. 11. GOOGLE PLACES <ul><li>Places has been a big focus for Google, recently pushing for an emphasis on reviews and images </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget about helpful descriptions, store hours, payments accepted, etc. </li></ul></ul>Tip #4
    12. 12. <ul><li>Verify listings on Yahoo! for brand control and local optimizations </li></ul><ul><li>Bing recently created their Business Portal, which is geared towards SMBs, for local listing claims </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For now, there is no way to claim listings in Bing at the bulk/enterprise level </li></ul></ul>YAHOO! & BING Tip #5
    13. 13. <ul><li>Quantity and consistency is key to citation building </li></ul><ul><li>Also, consider platforms like allLocal , which provide easy optimization across all three providers </li></ul>BUILD CITATIONS VIA DATA PROVIDERS Tip #6
    14. 14. <ul><li>Yelp was deemed the most important citation source and review engine by local experts </li></ul><ul><li>Claim listings individually or take part in their advertising program for enterprise level verification </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About this business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Store photos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coupons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review monitoring </li></ul></ul>YELP Tip #7 Source: http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml
    15. 15. <ul><li>While providers like Infogroup feed information to GPS devices, it’s preferable to directly upload store addresses </li></ul><ul><li>NAVTEQ and TomTom both provide free uploading tools </li></ul>GPS Tip #8
    16. 16. <ul><li>Foursquare provides bulk edit functionality , allowing you to add a link to your website and Twitter, a description and standardized venue name </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook places can be claimed or created with included information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone Number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul></ul>SOCIAL-LOCAL PLATFORMS Tip #9
    17. 17. BOOST TRAFFIC
    18. 18. ADVERTISE STORE DETAILS! <ul><li>Geo-modified/Geo-targeted (+SRT & Social!) </li></ul><ul><li>Local Extensions </li></ul><ul><li>IYP </li></ul><ul><li>Directory listing services </li></ul>
    19. 19. … AND AVAILABILITY
    20. 20. <ul><li>Mobile site visitors are less expensive and seem more likely to visit – but less likely to purchase online </li></ul>MOBILE VS. DESKTOP SEARCH
    21. 21. CLOSING THE LOOP
    22. 22. WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS MANAGED Tactic Sample Key Performance Indicators Local Extension Impressions, Clicks, & Calls IYPs Clicks & Calls Listing Maintenance & Social Impressions & Actions by Location
    23. 23. <ul><li>Develop plan with goals to increase positive reviews and to actively reach out to those with poor experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Platforms such as Acxiom and allLocal provide easier access to local reviews </li></ul>REPUTATION MANAGEMENT Tip #10
    24. 24. <ul><li>Jeff Campbell </li></ul><ul><li>Co-Founder & Head of Retail </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>THANKS! CJeffCampbell