Leveraging Local SEO for More Leads


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View the full recorded webinar at http://bit.ly/16Z0wDn.

In the webinar, "Leveraging Local SEO for More Leads," Amanda Chaney, Account Director at Search Mojo, will go through the steps to take to help you capitalize on those local searchers who could be choosing your competitors over you.

What You Will Learn:
•Why Google+ is a local SEO must for businesses
•What local citations are and why they’re important
•How to ensure your website is properly optimized for local search
•Tools available to help you with local SEO

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  • POLLWhether you are new to SEO completely or are already putting some effort into it, knowing how to do so specifically for local search is a different ball-game altogether. There are a few things you can do that will go a long way in getting found locally, and enable you to grow your leads or sales acquired online or even in-store.According to ReachLocal, 85% of consumers are searching online for local businesses. 92% of those consumers are using search engines, and 25% of small businesses don’t even show up in search results.Another study, performed by Search Engine Journal, states that SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (like direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. Many local businesses have limited resources, so why not use them as efficiently as possible?
  • So what are some of the benefits of SEO, specifically on a local level?By optimizing your site for search, you have the potential to rank higher, and be able to better convince searchers to click on your result rather than your competitors’. This would give you the opportunity to increase awareness, and in turn site traffic, sales and even market share.Before I get started, I do want to bring up Google Analytics. If you aren’t using it, go ahead and get that set up. It’s a free analytics tracking service provided by Google that enables you to track visitor activity on your site. The insights Google Analytics will give you will take you far in learning where your efforts are best spent. Also, everything I’ll go over today won’t really mean much if you can’t track where it’s taking you.
  • First things first, do you know if your site indexed? If you aren’t sure if you’re site is even getting indexed, or you can’t find your site in the search results for some reason, simply perform a site: search in Google. If your site is indeed indexed, the various indexed pages will show up here. You can also use this method to see if a new page has been found and indexed yet by simply typing in the full URL where it resides.Your site has to be found and placed in the Google index in order to have a shot at increasing your rankings. So that’s step one.
  • If you find you aren’t getting indexed, or are concerned about individual pages not getting indexed, first, check for a <noindex, nofollow> meta robots tag. This tag is used to block search engine access to your site, which in this case, is not what you want.Then you’ll want to check your robots.txt file. If you have one, it’s likely found at yoursite.com/robots.txt. Just double check that you haven’t disallowed sections that you want indexed, which essentially instructs crawler bots to ignore them.A good way to stay on top of crawler activity is to set up Google Webmaster Tools accounts with Google and Bing. If you don’t already have your site verified with Webmaster Tools accounts, it’s a pretty simple set up, for Google especially, if you have Google Analytics running on your site, as you can simply link the two to get started.Through those profiles, you can also submit XML Sitemaps, which act similarly to a table of contents, providing the engines with a list of all the URLs contained on that domain or subdomain. It’s a great way to increase the likelihood that more pages will be found and indexed.You can even submit one specific page if you want to force the crawler to come visit and index it pretty much immediately, rather than wait for it to come around again.
  • After you ensure you are getting indexed, you’ll want to do a little keyword research (with tools such as the Google External Keyword Tool) to find out relative search volumes on terms related to your business. You know how you’d describe your business, but this will help you understand how consumers search for you.Once you nail those down, make sure you edit each page for a relevant keyword phrase. You’ll want to work it into the Title tag and meta-description tags especially, since they hold a lot of weight in terms of determining relevancy for results. The title tag is most of the time what you see in blue, and then the description is underneath, making up the search result. You want to concisely provide relevant information for the searcher so they know what to expect if they click through. Then, to ensure relevancy all the way throughout the searcher’s path, be sure to include the keyword in the body copy if you can. Just beware of “keyword-stuffing,” which is frowned upon by the search engines. This is when you unnaturally stuff keywords into your content. Be sure it makes sense for the end user as well as the search engines.One last way regarding content that will help you rank better, is to create a blog. By creating new content often, it’s sort of a way to ping the engines to come back to see what’s new on your site. Freshness can go a long way, and this is one easy way to get it. If you use wordpress, be sure you use the All-In-One SEO pack plugin, which will allow you to easily create title tag and meta description for each post, helping them get ranked quickly.
  • If you have multiple locations, whether you are a large or small business, be sure you create separate, static pages for each of your locations. When consumers look for you locally, you’ll be providing the most relevant results for them, taking them directly to their nearest store page rather than not finding you at all, or finding your overall homepage, where then they have to continue researching where you are located, doing a lot more work than necessary.A good example of someone who does this well is Sports Authority. Most people have a dynamic store finder page, which is great is someone is looking for a location on your site, but if they are searching outside of your site, it doesn’t do much good. This will help in that arena.
  • One great way to improve click-through rates on your results is by making your result stand out, which you can do through the use of rich snippets and schema mark-up. By adding a little code around certain types of content, those results will display differently then your traditional result.Other than the fact that it’s been clicked on and the link is purple, the authorship mark up on our blog allows our posts to really jump off the page, drawing your eye to it, as you can see here.
  • You can learn about all the various types at schema.org, but here are a few examples:Here you can see video mark-up: shows video title, link, description, thumbnail, etc.Authorship mark-up: Shows article title, date posted, description, link and author thumbnail.Recipe mark-up: shows recipe title, rating, reviews, time, description, thumbnail image and even ingredients in some cases.& Event mark-up which shows separate events right on the search results page with the corresponding dates It not only provides searchers with more information about you, but it allows your result to stand out more on the search engine results page, drawing more eyes to you. Studies have shown on average, results with structured mark-up have a 30% higher click-through rate than the same result in the traditional format for retailers online.
  • POLLWhen you want to rank well on Google, you should take advantage of everything Google has to offer, which for local businesses is Google+ Local. Take advantage of the opportunity to keep these pages up to date and bring in reviews. Reviews are everything these days.You’ll want to create a Google+ page for business, and identify your business as “local.” When you choose “local,” Google will bring up local place pages with your name and you just simply choose the one that’s yours. You’ll then get a confirmation postcard in the mail, which will give you the information you need to finalize the linkage between the two.For more information on how to set up a Google+ for Business page, you can check out our infographic atwww.search-mojo.com/infographics/googleplus-business-page.php
  • At some point or another, you’ve probably done a search on Google and seen a block of local results like this one. If you get reviews on your Google+ Local page you will be more likely to show here, and if you link it to your Google + for Business page you will be able to post status updates to that profile. Again, be sure your contact information is consistent and accurate, so searchers can quickly and easily find you.This is a great option to get found in the case that you can’t get your domain ranking on the first page. People tend to gravitate towards this block of results, and as you can see here in this example, even the #1 spot is below the fold, likely going unnoticed.
  • Along with Google+, be sure you create a few other social profiles to help you own your branded results. A lot of today’s recommendations are to help your website rank better so people can find you when doing non-branded searches; this tip is to help you own the results when someone searches for your brand specifically. You’ll want your website to rank, naturally, but then you want the other results to be about you too, and preferably you want to be able to control those, rather than have bad review sites or bad articles show up there. It also works as sort of a preventative online reputation management tactic.Go out and claim your business profiles on various social media profiles, like facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, slideshare, and linkedin. Most of the reactions we get from this recommendation is, “we honestly don’t have the time to manage those profiles.” You are definitely not alone. Even if you can’t consistently post updates, at least go out and claim your profile, and fill out the bio or about us sections. This will also help people find you if they are searching on those social networks. Some networks have tools you can use to schedule posts, or you can link several accounts to post the same thing on other profiles. One local business client we recently worked with was having trouble getting their Twitter profile to rank in the top 100 results. They linked their tweets with their YouTube updates and almost immediately their twitter profile ranked in the top 10 on a search for their brand. A little bit can go a long way in this instance.
  • Citations are essentially “mentions” of your company name and address across the web, and are becoming more and more important in search engine ranking algorithms. You want to be sure you are consistent with how you refer to your address, even down to whether you abbreviate street or spell it out completely. The more consistent these instances of your address are, the better.Some example sites where you can edit or create citations are:The Better business bureauonline yellow pagesYelpHotfroglocal chamber of commerce site.Insider PagesCity searchAngie’s list, etc
  • AMANDAIf you’re ready to get started with local SEO efforts & are interested in an agency partner, reach out to Search Mojo. Call Janet today at 1-800-939-5938 ext. 101
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  • Leveraging Local SEO for More Leads

    1. 1. Leveraging Local SEO for More LeadsSpeaker:Amanda Chaney, Account Director @SEARCHMOJO SEARCH-MOJO.COMModerator: 800.939.5938Kari Rippetoe, Content Marketing Manager@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    2. 2. ABOUT SEARCH MOJO• Search engine marketing firm founded in 2005 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Pay-Per-Click Advertising Management (PPC) – Social Media Advertising – Online Reputation Management• Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va – Satellite office in Charleston, SC• Featured in the Washington Post, B2B Magazine, MarketingSherpa, Visibility Magazine and many blogs• Speakers at SMX Social, PubCon, BlogHer, and more@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    3. 3. OUR CLIENTS@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    4. 4. LOCAL SEO@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    5. 5. BENEFITS• Searchers have opportunity to click through to your site instead of competition• Opportunities to improve: – Awareness – Site Traffic – Sales – Market Share@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    7. 7. GET MORE OF YOUR SITE INDEXED• Check for <NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW>• Check Robots.txt• Webmaster Tools site verification• Submit XML Sitemap@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    8. 8. STRATEGIC SITE CONTENT EDITS• Search engines look for relevancy to searchers’ queries• Keyword research• Custom title & meta description tags• Body content• Blog for freshness@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    12. 12. GOOGLE+ LOCAL http://bit.ly/GooglePlus4Biz@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    15. 15. LOCAL CITATIONS@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCHMOJO.COM SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    16. 16. INTERESTED IN LOCAL SEO NOW? Want help getting started with local SEO efforts now? CONTACT: Janet Driscoll Miller President, CEO & Sales at: 1-800-939-5938 x101@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    17. 17. UPCOMING WEBINARHarmonizing Branding and Search toAchieve Optimal Results• January 24, 2013• 2:00 p.m. ET• Register today at www.search-mojo.com/branding@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM
    18. 18. CONTACT Amanda Chaney achaney@search-mojo.com 800-939-5938 x105 www.linkedin.com/in/amandadchaney @amandadchaney https://plus.google.com/u/0/116210855406918227983/posts@searchmojo #mojowebinar SEARCH-MOJO.COM