Local Search Ranking Tactics - More Than Just SEO


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This presentation examines what online businesses need to do to ensure they are found locally online everywhere they need to be found. It examines what are some the local search ranking factors, off page as well as on-page requirements, why customer reviews are so important and other ranking tactics for local search. It looks at what you need to do to have the right local mindset and of course, how Google scores your website for local rankings.

The panelists will share what tools, tactics and techniques that they recommend and are successful for online businesses that attendees can exploit without having to spend a lot. This session looks at ways search marketers are tapping into an audience using local search engines, online yellow pages and other local search methods and how hosting companies can help their clients take the first most important step towards being found online.

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  • Unbelievable but true; in fact last year, Kelsey Group, who conducted a YP survey, noted that YP ads increased last year.Now I am not sure about you but I do not know anyone who does not immediately recycle their yellowpages …unless of course they need to use it as a cheap monitor stand.
  • SEO is quickly becoming highly competitive and requires very specialized skill sets which are hard to find and even harder to keep. While it is a must do for any online business, it is becoming more expensive..as is PPC especially for highly competitive industries. Not to mention, PPC is even more technical that SEO if you want to do it right
  • So if you have been focusing on the traditional “ONLINE” strategies, like search engines, directories, banner AD maybe it is time to make a change.
  • At SMX Advanced in July, both Matt Cutts of Google and Bruce Clay reinforced that one of the big trends in the search engines is localization and geo-targeting
  • These facts speak for themselves…while prospective buyers may use the Internet globally, when it comes to buying they purchase offline locally wherever possible.
  • Ya Baby!! This is where you want to be! For many this is the Holy Grail Often local search “The 7 (once known as 10) Pack” (the top results that consists in a map and up to ten business listings) is driven by Google maps, Bing Local, and Yahoo local.Although the 3 major search engines maintain their own business indexes, local search optimization is more complex than optimizing for the top 3.
  • You cannot be in the Google 7 Pack if you are not being found in Google Maps! Period Optimize your maps listing by: Put main keyword phrases in your Local Business profile description. Use long-tail keywords that relate to your products /services, the brands that you carry, the locations you serve, and anything else particular to your businessChoosing/creating the right categories. Start with 1-2 of the pre-established ones before creating/adding new ones relevant to your business.Create citations on local business listing sites. Tip: Look at your competitors, where they are cited & get similar citations.
  • In a nutshell, local SEO is more about optimizing for locations. Your location info needs to “match up” all across the web, it is very important that your backlinks have a strong geographic scent.SO….In bound links that mention the business with full or partial name and/or address.
  • In bound links from web pages with the business name as anchor text
  • Business name in title tags & try to place your full address and number on all/many of your pages (perhaps in the sidebar). .
  • Also its important to have internal,on page links with your business name as the anchor text.
  • Above ALL else, consistency is paramount in local search optimization.If your listings are inaccurate or different across the various search engines, directories, online yellow pages, etc. you will not rank well or even be listed. Many companies have wrong phone numbers, addresses, domains…you name it which kill their listings 
  • Having you business name in your domain or at least partially, is great for local optimization. If at all possible you should try to get all or part of your business name in domain name.
  • Being found for your “RIGHT” business categories in online YellowPages & Directories…which btw, with UBL you can actually list for multiple categories.Select your categories carefully. Too often people select what they think or want rather than what they should have. Above all do not be whimsical…always select the same categories everywhere. 
  • Optimizing your Contact us and About Us pages for your business name and location. Include your business name, phone numbers, address, products, services, categories, etc in your descriptions and keywords and page titles as much as possible
  • This is probably one of the most overlooked and under utilized highly successful aspects of not just local search BUT SEO and general all around online marketing.Back in the late 90s and early 2000s web hosts really focused on making sure that people went to recommended sites and wrote up reviews but with more trendy, glitzy marketing gimmicks this fell by the wayside.WELL its back and its back big time.
  • A recent Neilson Online report noted that 90% of sales were based on peer to peer recommendations & reviews
  • Because of the importance of reviews in local search optimization, you should use your site to build trust.
  • Absolute make sure you link to your map listings so that Google has some indication that that the map listing is relevant to your business and when you link to your map listings…don’t just use the word Directions to Our Office …use correct localized keywords like your name & category ie: Directions to XYZ Hosting’s Austin Data Center & Hosting
  • Devise waysto encourage happy customers to generated positive reviews.
  • Get links from local trust sites, such as the Better Business Bureau and any local chambers of commerce.In essence, you need to build relevance and trust in your location and around your localized keywords.
  • Claim Your Google Business Listing 
  • Same with Yahoo 
  • Don't use tracking phone numbers (because they’ll each be different)
  • Again, need to be consistent with name, address, and phone number
  • Are you not being found in the Ses, directories, etc….are your customers not able to find you or worse find you correctly?
  • Businesses do not even need to have a Website to be found in these listings. Many small businesses are under-represented – especially if they work from home or from cell or VOIP phones.Even large businesses need to manage this process – audits show 20% of listings are inaccurate, leading to loss of business.
  • For those businesses or marketers who do not want to spend over 30 hours of submitting manually --- by using UBL.org which lets you manage all in one place. What this means is that local business have to get their info out to those sites as well as hundreds of other online locations where they need to be found.
  • Local Search Ranking Tactics - More Than Just SEO

    1. 1. Beyond Traditional SEO<br />- Local Search Ranking Tactics<br />Powerful Tips for Ranking Well <br />in Local Search<br />(Curtis) R. Curtis, SVP<br />UniversalBusinessListing.Org<br />CurtisRCurtis<br />
    2. 2. Still Engaging in Traditional Marketing?<br />
    3. 3. Struggling With SEO?<br />PPC Getting Too Costly?<br />
    4. 4. Maybe It’s Time to Make a Change!<br />
    5. 5. Because There’s A New Sheriff in Town<br />
    6. 6. His Name is “Local Search”<br />UniversalBusinessListing.org<br />
    7. 7. Local Listings = Increased Sales<br /><ul><li>43% of search engine users are searching locally to buy offline. (comScore Networks)
    8. 8. 73% of activity online is in one way or another related to local content(Google)
    9. 9. 51% Internet users in the U.S explicitly characterize their behavior as “shop online, purchase offline” (NPD Group)</li></li></ul><li>Google 7-Pack<br />
    10. 10. Optimize your maps listing by:<br /><ul><li>Put main keyword phrases in your Local Business profile description.
    11. 11. Use long-tail keywords that relate to your products /services, the brands that you carry, the locations you serve, and anything else particular to your business
    12. 12. Choosing/creating the right categories. Start with 1-2 of the pre-established ones before creating/adding new ones relevant to your business.
    13. 13. Create citations on local business listing sites. Tip: Look at your competitors, where they are cited & get similar citations. </li></li></ul><li>Google Local – Liquor Stores, Austin<br />
    14. 14. Yahoo Local – Local Attractions, Austin<br />
    15. 15. Bing Local – Pizza, Austin<br />
    16. 16. Local Search Has Its Own Ranking Factors <br />So what does the local search algorithm look for:<br />
    17. 17. Verified Business Listing Information<br />
    18. 18. Domain & Business Name in <br />Titles in All Maps, Especially Google<br />
    19. 19. Inbound Links <br />
    20. 20. Inbound Links <br />
    21. 21. Business Name in Title Tags & Description<br />
    22. 22. Business Name<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Choose Business Name & Domain Carefully<br />
    25. 25. Categories in Online Yellow Pages<br />& Other Online Directories<br />
    26. 26. Optimize About Us & Contact Us Pages<br />
    27. 27. Off-Site Reviews<br />& Citations<br />They Work!!!<br />
    28. 28. Guess Why?<br />Consumers Trust Each Other More <br />Than They Do Advertising!<br /><ul><li>90% of consumers trust peer recommendations
    29. 29. Less than 50% trust advertisements
    30. 30. Social networks and user reviews are only a click away
    31. 31. Natural and social discovery rule, and customer service is the new marketing</li></ul>Duh!!!<br />
    32. 32. More Great Tips<br />Use Your Site to Build Trust<br />
    33. 33. Be Sure to Link From Your Own Website<br />
    34. 34. Get Customers to Generate Positive Reviews<br />
    35. 35. Get Trusted Links<br />
    36. 36. Enhanced Google Local Listings <br />
    37. 37. Enhanced Yahoo Local Listings<br />
    38. 38. Things That Have Absolutely No Value<br />
    39. 39. The Page Rank of the Domain<br />
    40. 40. The Number of Links<br />
    41. 41. The Score of Those Links<br />1<br />X<br />
    42. 42. Things to Avoid<br />
    43. 43.
    44. 44. Do Not Keyword Stuff<br />
    45. 45. Correct Any Inconsistency<br />
    46. 46. Local - It’s Powerful & It’s Growing<br /><ul><li>It’s the first step in promoting a business so as to be found on in the Search Engines, Social Networks, Directories, Online YellowPages and Mobile/GPS Devices.
    47. 47. This is where 75% of searches occur (versus print) and the numbers are growing.</li></li></ul><li>So The Question is…<br />Are You Invisible?<br />
    48. 48. Over 25% of all businesses are inaccurately listed or completely missing onlinewhere they need to be found.<br />
    49. 49. Now there is an easy, effective<br />& affordable way to ensure your business <br />is listed everywhere it needs to be.<br />Universal Business Listing (UBL) helps your business to succeed & grow by ensuring you are listed everywhere accurately <br />…in Search Engines, Social Networks, Yellow Pages Directories, 411 Directory Assistance and Mobile/GPS devices.<br />
    50. 50. UBL’s Distribution<br />Mobile & Internet Search<br />Portable & In-Car Navigation Systems<br />Directory & Information Services<br />Data Aggregators & Distributors<br />
    51. 51. Benefits are :<br /><ul><li>Single place to easily manage business listings everywhere online
    52. 52. Distribution to ALL major search sites as a verified source
    53. 53. Saves enormous time, money, and effort by not having to register in dozens of sites every year
    54. 54. Unlimited access and free updates any time
    55. 55. Data includes photos, logos, web links, product descriptions, brands carried and all critical search data</li></li></ul><li>Powerful Tips for Ranking Well in Local Search<br />For Additional Information:<br />(Curtis) R. Curtis<br />SVP, Strategic Partnerships<br />Partners Site: www.UBL.org<br /><ul><li>Direct: 1 (206) 659-8257
    56. 56. Office: 1 (206) 734-4711
    57. 57. CRCurtis@UBL.org</li>