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Local SEO Basics

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Mike Belasco's slides from SES Chicago 2009/Local Search Summit on the basics and challenges of local SEO.

Mike Belasco's slides from SES Chicago 2009/Local Search Summit on the basics and challenges of local SEO.

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  • 1. LOCAL SEO
    seOverflow
    presented by Mike Belasco
    @belasco
  • 2. Who Is seOverflow?
    SEO, Link Building, Social Media Marketing and PPCs in Denver, Colorado.
    Specialize in outsourced work for web designers, marketing consultants, advertising agencies, etc. Always looking for good partners.
    The only company with 2 Local Search Ranking Factors participants. We know Local!
  • 3. Today’s Agenda
    What is Local Search?
    Searching For Local Information
    The Challenge of Local Search
    The Algorithms
  • 4. What is Local Search?
  • 5. What Exactly is Local Search?
    Local Search is any search made with the goal of finding something in a specific geographic area.
    This is known as searching with
    local intent.
  • 6. What Exactly is Local Search?
    Local Search = what? + where?
    People are searching online forsome thing in some place.
  • 7. What Exactly is Local Search?
    Local expert, Greg Sterling,
    defines Local Search as:“seeking information online with the intention of making a transaction off line”
  • 8. What Exactly is Local Search?
    Essentially, anything that you would traditionally look for in the print Yellow Pages becomes a Local Searchwhen it is conducted online.
  • 9. Where are the Customers?
    Nearcasting is when a searcher
    is looking for something close to his or her current location.
    Farcasting is when a searcher is looking for something elsewhere, often in a place where he or she hopes to be in the future.
  • 10. Conservative estimate:70%of all searches are made with local intent.For some types of business, nearly ALL searches are made with local intent.
    73% of online activity is related to local content (Google - May, 2007)
    Why is Local Search So Important?
  • 11. Why is Local Search So Important?
    ROBO – Research online, buy offline
    82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP / comScore)
    90% of online commercial searches result in offline bricks and mortar purchases (proprietary research / comScore)
    66% of American use online local search, like Google local search to locate local businesses (TMP / comScore)
    54% of Americans have substituted the internet and local search for phone books (comScore networks)
    43% of search engine users are seeking a local merchant to buy something offline.
    http://www.thelocalone.com/why.htm
  • 12. Where and How People Search for Local Business Information
  • 13. How People Search for Local Info
    The searcher decides how and where to search for local information and what information is important to them.
    A local business needs to be in as many of those places as possible with all the information a prospect may be seeking.
    Resources are limited. Research to determine what’s most important for each niche and each location.
  • 14. In Universal Search
    People search in the regular Search Engines with and without geographic qualifiers
  • 15. In the Big Three Local Search Engines
    People search within the
    local search enginesof the big search brands with and without geographic qualifiers:
    Google Maps,Yahoo!Local, Bing Local
  • 16. In the Internet Yellow Pages
    People search on Superpages, DexKnows,
    Yahoo!Yellow Pages, YellowBook, Switchboard, etc.
  • 17. On Websites Featuring Local Info:
    Local newspapers, Chamber of Commerce, regional tourism site, Better Business Bureau, local business directories, etc.
  • 18. On Social/Local Websites
    Yelp, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List, Topix, CitySearch, InsiderPages, etc.
  • 19. On Social Networking Sites
    LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook,
    MySpace, etc.
  • 20. In Lesser Local Search Engines
    TrueLocal, Localeze, Local.com, etc.
  • 21. Craig’s List
    Online newspapers
    Niche and local shopping sites.
    In Online Classifieds
  • 22. In Vertical Directories
    BedandBreakfast.com, Business.com, GunDogBreeders.com
  • 23. In Vertical Search Engines
    Truveo, Planet-Cars, Hotpads, Google Image Search, etc.
  • 24. Where are the Customers?
    Consider where most of a business’ potential customers are located and what the company should rank for when working on a Local Search strategy.
    Then, fish where the fish are.
  • 25. Fish Where the Fish Are
    Research to determine the right places to get listed for each niche and location.
    Resources are limited-prioritize submissions.
    Track results.
    Devote more attention to what’s working.
    Rinse and repeat.
  • 26. Where you fish may depend on the geographic location.
    Yelp – Northern California
    City Search, Superpages – Denver
    Kudzu - Atlanta
    Fish Where the Fish Are
  • 27. Where you fish may depend on the type of business
    Trip Advisor - hotels, limos, tours
    Zagat’s - Restaurants
    Service Magic - Contractors
    Superlawyers - Attorneys
    Fish Where the Fish Are
  • 28. Fish Where the Fish Are
    Where you fish may depend on the type of customer
    Online yellow pages for seniors
    CraigsList for bargain hunters
    Topix for news hounds
    LinkedIn for B2B
  • 29. Barnacle SEO
    Get in front of more customers more often using Barnacle SEO.
    “Barnacle SEO: attaching oneself to a large fixed object and waiting for the customers to float by in the current.”
    Will Scott http://www.localsearchnews.net/local-search-engine-optimization-for-the-sams-club-crowd-with-barnacle-seo/
  • 30. Barnacle SEO
    Use Barnacle SEO to turn competitors into partners.
    Examples:
    Merchant Circle
    Yahoo!Local
    Yelp
    Insider Pages
    Superpages
  • 31. Barnacle SEO
    Use Barnacle SEO on those sites to help you own more real estate in the SERPs.
    They may already rank for what you want to rank for.
    They are trusted sites for Local citations.
  • 32. Barnacle SEO
    Point links at your pages on these sites to boost them up in the SERPs.
    This is especially effective with long tail terms.
    Research and prioritize for each niche and/or location
  • 33. Barnacle SEO
    Where to Attach Yourself:
    Internet Yellow Pages
    Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
    Local/ regional online newspapers and magazines
    Local business directories
    Chamber of Commerce
    • Trade associations
    • 34. Vertical directories
    • 35. Local city guides
    • 36. Locally focused powerhouses, like Kudzu, CraigsList, etc.
    • 37. Better Business Bureau
  • The Challenge of Local Search
  • 38. What’s Different?
    Universal Search is all about relevance to a search query:
    What we say a page is about (page titles, etc.)
    What the Search Engines see that the page is about (content, internal linking)
    What others on the web say the page is about (links, link text)
  • 39. What’s Different?
    Local Search is all about Local business information relevance to a search query:
    Location makes you more or less relevant
    Factual information – what and where
    Customer opinions
    Trust in information and opinions
  • 40. The Challenge of Local Search
    Rank well in Universal Search
    Rank well in the Local 3, 7 & 8 Packs
    Rank well in the Local Search Engines
    Be on Social Networking Sites
    Be in the Internet Yellow Pages
    Be on Local/Social web sites
    Be in vertical directories and search engines for your industry and location.
  • 41. The Challenge of Local Search
  • 42. Own the SERPs!
  • 43. The Algorithms
  • 44. The Algorithms are Different
    There are 3 distinct Google algorithms:
    Universal Search
    Google Maps
    The Google 7 Pack
  • 45. The Algorithms are Different
    Google Universal vs Maps
  • 46. The Algorithms are Different
    Google 7 Pack vs Universal
  • 47. The Algorithms are Different
    Google 7 Pack vs Maps
  • 48. The Algorithms are Different
    The 7 Pack algorithm is mostly based on the Maps algorithm, but also has a layer of the Universal algorithm on top of it.
  • 49. The Algorithms are Different
    The Maps and 7 Pack algorithms give true local businesses a distinct advantage over directory type sites, like IYP’s and Yelp, which they do not enjoy in Universal search.
  • 50. The Algorithms are Different
    The Maps and 7 Pack algorithms are not that great for
    Home based businesses
    Business that aren’t in the city they want to rank for, including service businesses that travel to the customer.
  • 51. Mike Belasco
    @belasco
    mike@seoverflow.com
    www.seoverflow.com
    www.linkedin.com/in/miketheinternetguy
    www.facebook.com/seoverflow
    Thank You!