Local Search Liz HamiltonMaia Internet Consulting created for The Unjob FairMay 1, 2010
Defining Local Search? Local search is any search made with the goal of finding something within a geo-graphic location. This is known as searching with Local Intent. Searching for something (what) in some place (where). Seeking information online with the intention of making a transaction offline – Greg Sterling. Essentially, anything you would normally look in the phone book for, you now search for online.
Why is Local Search so Important? It is estimated that 30%-40% of all searches are made with local intent. Online search influenced $471 billion worth of offline sales last year vs. only $136 billion in e-commerce sales (e-Marketer, 2008) Yellow page users are moving to online searches Mobile network providers such as T-Mobile, Verizon etc agree that Local Search results are logical results for mobile devices.
What to do with your Old Yellow Page Books
So where are people finding Local Businesses?
Google Local is now Google Places
Google Places Google believes this searcher is looking for local referrals and shows the map. The map shows the most relevant search results with map markers and text links to each of the listings. Google displays 7 listings in the results. Information
Link to more details in the Google Directory.
Local results area
Yahoo Local Released in May 2007 Now offering the ability to search by menu items Speculation that it will expand this search to brands. Info:
Physical business address
Description of Business Offering
Bing local search Formerly Live Search, Windows Search & MSN Search. Slogan “Bing & Decide” Local Info
Links to company website
So where does Local Info come from? From local business centers From business information aggregators
Also from …. Your Website Trade Associations Better Business Bureau Local Chamber of Commerce Local Business Directory Local City Guides Local Newspapers Industry Specific Vertical Directories Locally focused powerhouses such as CitySearch
Making sure your site is local search friendly Add your address, phone, and zip code to every page of your website, without exception. Have your webmaster use standard hcard & vcard formatting on your site – this is simply standardized code to search engines what the content is about for example: <div class="street-address">P.O. Box 1336</div>
Location of office Issues I have a home office and don’t want people to know my address. P.O. Boxes Mail Box Etc Another business address I want to show in another location. I have more than one location
Top 5 Factors that Likely influence Local Listing placement The survey says… LBL address in the City of search. Citations from Major Data Providers. Association of proper LBL categories. Claiming your listing. Product/Service keywords in LBL title. http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml
Top 5 Negative Factors The survey says… Use of (800) number in LBL. Multiple addresses on the contact page. Negative Customer Ratings. Exclusive use of 800 number on contact page. Multiple LBL with same business name.
Ok, great how do I get listed? 1. Go to http://maps.google.com/
Search for your Business 2. Search for your business name, phone, or address – are you listed?
Yes, I am listed! 3a. Click on Edit to ‘Claim your listing’
No, I am not listed 3b. Click on Put your business on Google Maps
When you ARE listed you will be taken to the Add, Edit or Suspend Listing area
Complete your Listing
Submit & Verify
Information to have on Hand Standard information such as business name, address, phone number, email address and web address. A short description of your business – 200 characters max. Categories your business falls under, such as Web Design, Internet Marketing. Hours of operation & types of payments accepted. 10 images 5 videos Coupons Any special information you want to convey such as Parking available? Specialty Products?
Your Listing Page
Additional Features - Videos Video Create a great short video to promote your business, upload to YouTube and add to your listing. You can convey a lot of information in a 30 second video. Think about create ways to make your video interesting. Add the video to your own site too!
Additional Features - Adding a coupon Create your first coupon in the Coupons tab at the Local Business Center login area
Enter the Coupon Details
Come from a variety of places
Are important to help you come up in the 10 pack
Are a fact of life for a business that is online
Negative & Positive reviews make the listing more credible
Ask for reviews, put the link to the reviews page on your site, on your business card or in your email signatures
Other Local Search Directories
In conclusion If you have a land line phone number - your business is probably listed so claim your listing If you are not listed, then create your listing Suspend any duplicate listings and enhance the one that is left. Local search is becoming more relevant in the search engine results Make sure your own site is Local Search Friendly Keep your local listing data clean, contact aggregators that might have the wrong information
Resources Slides in pdf format are online at www.maiainternetconsulting.com/363/local-search-cfu-unjob-fair CFU Upcoming Classes – www.maiainternetconsulting.com/353/cfu-classes-for-2010/ A Crash Course in Local Search Growing Your Business on Google with Pay Per Click Market Online – it’s easy, effective and affordable Everything You Wanted to Know About Blogging For Business Twitter Free Google Tools Sign up for classes online at https://www.colofreeu-registrar.com/
Thank you for your time! Liz HamiltonMaia Internet Consulting1871 Folsom Street,Boulder, CO 80302 303.815.9860 Liz@MaiaInternetConsulting.com www.MaiaInternetConsulting.com