Mary Bowling Searchfest Local Search Presentation


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Mary Bowling's tips and tricks for local search engine optimization

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Mary Bowling Searchfest Local Search Presentation

  1. 1. Optimizing for Local Search Success by Mary Bowling
  2. 2. <ul><li>Cost-effective help you can count on for: </li></ul><ul><li>Web Designers/Developers In-House Marketers </li></ul><ul><li>SEOs and SEMs Businesses Marketing Agencies </li></ul>
  3. 3. We’ll Talk About… <ul><li>Challenges for Local Businesses </li></ul><ul><li>On-Page Optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Optimizing Your Business Listings </li></ul><ul><li>The Impact of Reviews on Local Search </li></ul>
  4. 4. Local Business Challenges: Optimizing for Local Search is different <ul><li>You need to: </li></ul><ul><li>Rank well in Universal Search </li></ul><ul><li>Rank well in the Local 10 Pack </li></ul><ul><li>Rank well in Local Search Engines </li></ul><ul><li>Be in the Internet Yellow Pages </li></ul><ul><li>Be on Local/Social web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Be in vertical directories for your industry and location </li></ul>
  5. 5. Local Business Challenges: To be present wherever potential customers are looking for you Universal Search Secondary Local Search Engines Local 10 pack - Google Local 3 Pack – Yahoo! Major Local Search Engines Local/Social Sites Internet Yellow Pages Local Directories Industry Directories Niche Search Engines
  6. 6. On Page Optimization for both Universal Search and Local Search <ul><li>Build relevance and trust in your location+keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Do all the usual things when optimizing - title, description, h tags, content, good internal linking, etc – but with a geographic slant </li></ul><ul><li>Use hcard format for location info on pages </li></ul>
  7. 7. On Page Optimization for multiple locations <ul><li>Create a separate page for each location </li></ul><ul><li>Use local info on each of these pages </li></ul><ul><li>Link internally to location pages, using the right link text </li></ul><ul><li>Use other terms on the page that will help the Search Engines understand where you are: street intersections, highway exits, what’s nearby, nicknames for neighborhoods, etc. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s Wrong with This Page?
  9. 9. TIP: Give Your Biz a Tagline <ul><li>If your business name doesn’t make it very clear where you are and what you do, then use a tagline to communicate that information to both humans and Search Engine spiders. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Standardization Builds Trust standardize your information across the web <ul><li>Use the same name, address and phone numbers everywhere online and offline </li></ul><ul><li>Go to the sources of business data and standardize there (see Resources ) </li></ul><ul><li>Use a local database directory </li></ul><ul><li>Check out and </li></ul>
  11. 11. Optimize Your Biz Listings to help them rank <ul><li>Use your main keyword phrase and complementary terms in your profile descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Grab the long tail by including: </li></ul><ul><li>Your products and services </li></ul><ul><li>The brands you carry </li></ul><ul><li>The locations you serve </li></ul>
  12. 12. Optimize Your Biz Listings to help them rank <ul><li>Choose – or create – the right categories </li></ul><ul><li>Give your listing attributes </li></ul>
  13. 13. Optimize Your Biz Listings to attract customers <ul><li>Enhance your listings to attract attention, answer questions and build trust </li></ul><ul><li>Use photos, videos, reviews, coupons, experience, certifications, memberships, education, awards, languages spoken, etc, etc, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from your competitors and from those in your niche in other locations </li></ul>
  14. 14. Create Citations what are they? <ul><li>Citations, aka web references, are web pages that cite or mention your business or web site. </li></ul><ul><li>They do not have to contain a link! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Create Citations why you need more citations <ul><li>They’re important in building Google’s trust in the information they have about you </li></ul><ul><li>They can drive targeted traffic to your business </li></ul><ul><li>Citations are easier to get than links </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Impact of Reviews Reviews + Local Search = perfect match. <ul><li>Reviews are exactly what people want! </li></ul><ul><li>“ Online reviews are second only to personal advice from a friend as the driver of purchase decisions; user reviews are more influential than third-party reviews. (&quot;Web users and web community,&quot; Rubicon Consulting, Inc. October 2008)” </li></ul><ul><li>“ 81% of online holiday shoppers read online customer reviews (Nielson Online, December 2008)” </li></ul><ul><li>“ 86% of consumers read online business reviews before making purchasing decisions; 90% of whom say they trust these reviews. ( survey of 600 users, December 2008)” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Trust in Advertising survey of 26,000+ found that Consumer Recommendations are the most credible form of advertising . (&quot;Social Media Marketing: The Right Strategy for Tough Economic Times&quot; Awareness, 2008)” </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics from See more at </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Impact of Reviews Ratings and reviews influence rankings <ul><li>Ratings enter into the algorithm on some sites, like Yahoo!Local </li></ul><ul><li>Highly rated items can rise to the top on some sites and poorly rated ones are rarely seen. </li></ul><ul><li>Users can sort their results by ratings on some sites, creating their own personalized rankings </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Impact of Reviews Ratings can influence personalized rankings
  19. 19. The Impact of Reviews Ratings and reviews influence CTR <ul><li>Who wants to do business with bad businesses? </li></ul><ul><li>Users can sort their results by ratings, so they may never see you </li></ul><ul><li>Highly rated items can rise to the top on some sites and poorly rated ones are rarely seen. </li></ul>
  20. 20. TIP: Ask for Reviews but only from happy customers <ul><li>Have a plan in place </li></ul><ul><li>Use surveys and follow-up emails </li></ul><ul><li>Bribe people to submit reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Send reviews to a variety of web sites </li></ul>
  21. 21. TIP: Get Local Links <ul><li>The right incoming links can help with location trust . </li></ul><ul><li>Look for links from local authority sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for links from sites that rank for what you want to rank for. </li></ul><ul><li>Use existing relationships to get local links. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Resources <ul><li>SES Training in Local Search-Denver </li></ul><ul><li>http:// /#local </li></ul><ul><li>Local Search Engine Marketing Manual </li></ul><ul><li>Optimized! </li></ul><ul><li>Local Search Column at ClickZ </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: (970) 309 7840 </li></ul>
  23. 23. Resources Updated White Paper: SEO for Wordpress Blogs A Non-Techie’s Guide available at Optimized!