1. Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Keys to Local Search
Success in 2014
2. Download this Slide Deck
3. This presentation is about how to
stand out from the crowd and
perform in competitive local niches,
not about how to do the basics of
4. I.E. If you’re trying to get listed in this block:
Check out a resource like this one.
5. But if you’re trying to have a dominant local listing
presence like this, forge on!
6. Local businesses must be doing
something unique, memorable, &
marketing-worthy to stand out in
competitive online results.
7. Unique: San Diego’s Cucina Urbana lets you buy wine at retail,
then charges corkage, rather than the usual markup
8. SEO Benefits? The quantity of
mentions, links, articles, and
coverage of Urbana’s unique
wine pricing almost certainly
helps their rankings (and their
Yelp, Urbanspoon, Zagat, etc.
9. Marketing-Worthy: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival realized
that without young theatre-goers, they would eventually be out of
business, and thus launched low-priced tickets for patrons
between the ages of 19–35 years old.
10. Business Benefits?
attendance nationally has
fallen, OSF is breaking
their own records every
year, achieving 85-95% of
seat capacity filled (in a
season that runs from
11. Creative: In 2011, this bookstore in New Jersey pre-wrapped
books, hid the titles, and relied on the clever descriptions and
surprising concept to sell the product.
12. Results: The marketing concept spread like wildfire (some articles
online suggest it began first in libraries). Today, hundreds of
bookstores use it.
13. The Wallingford Beast?
Using an old newspaper
article as inspiration, the
crew from Seattle’s
concocted an entire
series of videos, a
website, and a tourist
attraction inside their
14. Margins on $0.50 Tchotchkes Suck. To survive, McPhee had to
become a remarkable, unique destination for Seattle’s residents
and its visitors. Flexing that marketing muscle over and over
again has led to online success, too.
15. Remarkability is what creates the
potential for virality and inspires the act
of sharing. Those who do/will not create
share-worthy local businesses will likely
find their niche dominated by someone
16. Breaking up your web presence will
seriously get in the way of the
rankings you’ve earned & deserve.
17. Main website
Where I schedule
Where I find discounts
18. Lack of consistency costs: Each of
those pages was used as the primary
site on different listing sources (for a
while, Google even had Bang’s
Schedulicity page as the primary map
result for their brand)
19. Their main site has everything you might need
in a single place, and they’ve never used any
other web addresses.
20. Ranking #1, even without the
reviews or references their
21. Don’t do this. You cannot
control the user
experience, nor can you
guarantee you’ll always
have that address.
22. Ditto here – splitting up the
main site from the blog can
cost citations, visits, and
23. Saving potential customers a
single click or a few seconds can
mean the difference between a sale
and losing out to the competition.
24. Our brains are rewiring
themselves.. As generations
who grew up with technology
expectations for instant
gratification from the web &
apps will continue to
25. Let’s try an experiment:
I’m visiting Northern
Queensland and check
out local attractions on my
Tripadvisor app. This
crocodile one looks
26. But are they open today?!
Tripadvisor usually has an
“hours” field, but I guess
it’s not here so I’ll have to
visit their site. Maybe they
have a really complex
schedule or something.
27. Oh great, a non-
responsive website. Let
me just pinch and zoom
around and accidentally
click the wrong menu item
until I click the right one
and… man, if they only
had the hours on the
28. 8:30am-5pm every day of
the year?! Why didn’t
Tripadvisor have that
information?! Ugh. Three
clicks and almost 200
seconds down the drain!
29. Actually, I was wrong
about Tripadvisor. They
don’t have an hours field,
but they do allow
businesses to put hours
into their description/info
field. This is a very useful
hack for all sorts of FAQs
you might get.
30. Compare & Contrast: This
is my optometrist’s mobile
site. It’s not much to look
at, but it does get me
every piece of info I need
31. Many Platforms Let
Consumers Save Time.
Filling out Foursquare’s
hours, location, menu,
etc. can all save an extra
32. Many Platforms Let
Consumers Save Time.
Enabling apps like Yelp to
directly hook into a
reservation system can
yield more bookings.
33. A Basic Checklist:
Are the 5-10 most common questions asked in-store, over
the phone or in search queries answered (or at least
obviously linked-to) on the site’s homepage?
Is there a process to regularly review information online (on
your site and on any portals) for accuracy?
Are the sites that rank in searches for your business name
as complete with information as possible?
Does the mobile version of your site load quickly and
display properly on iOS, Android & Windows Mobile?
Have you enabled features that may save consumers
clicks/time on popular apps & listing sites?
34. Ignoring non-Google players in the
local ecosystem can be fatal to
your long-term success.
35. Even if you think your
customers only use Google..
Watch out. Local listings are
often playing second-fiddle to
content sites, local
aggregators, and roundups.
36. Barnacle SEO: The process
of optimizing your listings,
site, business, and
marketing to appear in
OTHER sites that rank well
may be a huge win.
Excellent piece by David
37. Side Benefits: Outreach to
content sites, inclusion in
listing sites, and the process
of jumping through the
hoops to get these mentions
yield links & citations that
Link & address citation!
38. Creativity and willingness to invest
in web/inbound marketing are
becoming less the exception, and
more the rule.
39. Some marketing ideas are
40. But, hey, at least they’re
41. Critical Mistake: Many local businesses assume
that if the message/marketing doesn’t reach their
target customer, it’s not worthy of investment.
Reality: Reaching influencers (press, media,
bloggers, online reviewers, social accounts, etc)
may actually have a stronger impact that trickles
down through increased
42. How does domination
like this happen?
43. Not only is Canlis the first
brand on Google, they’re
also at the top of most of the
other lists in the SERPs
44. It almost seems unfair
that brands can have
this level of influence in
45. But there’s a pattern to
all of these businesses
46. They invest an overwhelming amount of
time and energy into marketing efforts –
most of which fail.
47. Memorable: Pittsburgh defense attorney Daniel Muessig launched
his independent practice with a video that received national media
48. Web Results? Despite Daniel’s
tragic lack of investment in any
web marketing (no website, no
local SEO efforts), searching for
any keywords around his video
brings it up, often above the local
49. “I’m trying to run a business here. I
don’t have time to figure out the web or
try crazy marketing stuff. I need to
focus on my customers and my bottom
-The 99% of local businesses that don’t dominate their niche
50. “Remarkability lies in the edges. The
biggest, fastest, slowest, richest,
easiest, most difficult. It doesn't always
matter which edge, more that you're at
(or beyond) the edge.”
- Seth Godin
51. 5 Keys to Local Search Success in 2014
Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz | @randfish | email@example.com