Find The Weird In Austin How And Why Of Local Search


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Local search & targeting is big. It is getting bigger. It started as a Google experiment, but now more than 25% of searches return a Google Local result. This is expected to grow to more than 50% in 2009.

Whether your venture is a local business, a franchise, or a national company, your customers are increasingly using mapping tools and local business search tools for Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Without using the web-based local tools, you (and your customers) are lost; literally.

In this session, we will do a rapid introduction to local search, in order to get everyone up to speed. Then dive into more advanced topics, talking through options for connecting to your customers using map advertising, microformats, the search engines’ local business directories, and and location aware advertising.

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  • Find The Weird In Austin How And Why Of Local Search

    1. 1. Find the Weird in Austin: The How and Why of Local Search y Cory Barbot: Senior Natural Search Specialist, Apogee Search Ian Strain-Seymour: Director Product Strategy, Apogee Search Strategy
    2. 2. Introductions
    3. 3. Agenda g What is local search & why you care: Definitions, Facts, Figures How to take advantage of local search: Turning Thought Into Action Where is this all leading? g What Next?
    4. 4. WHAT & WHY
    5. 5. Terminology gy Graphic created at
    6. 6. Map Search p
    7. 7. Map Search p
    8. 8. Map Search p
    9. 9. Map Search p
    10. 10. Map Search p
    11. 11. Map Search p
    12. 12. Universal Search
    13. 13. Universal Search
    14. 14. Stretching the Boundaries g
    15. 15. Stretching the Boundaries g
    16. 16. Stretching the Boundaries g
    17. 17. Going Mobile g Mobile ads = web ads + user location
    18. 18. HOW TO
    19. 19. Google Local Business Center g 3/3/09
    20. 20. Google Local Business Center g 3/3/09
    21. 21. Google Local Business Center g 3/3/09
    22. 22. Google Local Business Center g 3/3/09
    23. 23. Additional Options p • In addition to Categories and Hours of Operation f t O ti features, you can also add: l dd – Payment Options – Photos of your product or storefont (limit of 10) • Tip: Host photos on Flickr and geotag images – Videos (limit of 5) • Tip: Host videos on Youtube and optimize – Additi Additional D t il l Details
    24. 24. Listing Validation g 3/3/09
    25. 25. Listing Details g 3/3/09
    26. 26. Tagging gg g Goal is to... Accurately describe content of page C eate unique Create u que tags for each page o eac Keep tags short when possible Include city within tags to improve association and local ranking Title tags – very important to SEO. Inform both search engines and users about the content of your page. It' the i t bit of information to appear in search results. It's th irst fi f ti t i h lt – <title>Keyword City, State | Company Name</title> Meta tags: keywords and description – like title tags, provide information about content of page. Keywords viewed by search engines, description sometimes pulled in search result. <meta name=”description” content=”Located in City, State, Company Name specializes in – Keyword...” /> – <meta name=”keywords” content=”Keyword” /> Header tags – on-page elements provide information about content of page as well. Given extra eade o page e e e ts p o de o at o co te t o e G e e ta weight by search engines <h1>Keyword</h1> – – Vary from H1 to H6, most important to least important Alt text tag – specifies text that will appear to search engines since images cannot be rendered – <img src=”images/Keyword.jpg” alt=”Keyword”> URLs – not a tag, but can be tagged. Use static URLs and include keywords in URL along with dashes, not underscores: /austin-custom-software, not /austin_custom_software
    27. 27. Title Tags g 3/3/09
    28. 28. Meta Tags: Keywords and Description 3/3/09
    29. 29. Header Tags g 3/3/09
    30. 30. Alt Text 3/3/09
    31. 31. URLs 3/3/09
    32. 32. On‐page Optimization pg p • Keywords – important content of each page contains its targeted keywords. keywords – Do not overdo inclusion of keywords, though. Content should be interesting enough to entice users to link to website • Address – make sure each page of your website contains the address of your business – use both regular • HTML and hCards d hC d • Internal Linking – it's inevitable you will use keywords on a page it does not target. Don t target Don't fret! Turn that keyword into a link pointing at the page it does target. 3/3/09
    33. 33. Internal Linking g Red Toys Toys Blue Toys Toys Toys y Red Toys Red Toys Blue Toys Green Toys Green Toys Toys 3/3/09
    34. 34. Microformats • What are microformats? • A web-based approach to semantic markup bb d h k that seeks to re-use existing XHTML and HTML tags to convey metadata and other attributes. • The take the calculation out of meaning. They calc lation o t meaning – In laymens terms, it means: the content contained in this bit of code is without a doubt, my address, is, doubt address my telephone number, my URL... • For Local Search we'll discuss hCards Search, 3/3/09
    35. 35. Microformats hCards (HTML vCard): Microformat for publishing contact details about a person, place, business... person place business Contact information in HTML
    36. 36. Microformats Contact information in hCard microformat: <div class=quot;vcardquot;> <a class=quot;url fnquot; href=quot;http://www.themagiccamp.comquot;></a> <div class=quot;orgquot;>The M i C di l quot; quot; Th Magic Camp</div> /di <div class=quot;adrquot;> <div class=quot;street-addressquot;>7306 Scenic Brook Drive</div> <span class=quot;localityquot;>Austin</span>, <span class=quot;regionquot;>TX</span> <span class=quot;postal-codequot;>78736</span> </div> <div class=quot;telquot;>(512) 288-1596</div> </div> / Hcard Creator: 3/3/09
    37. 37. Citation/Link Building Strategies Citations Explained • Incoming Links • Major Local Search Data Centers j • Local Search Sites • Local Business Directories Local Business Directories • • Google Analytics • 3/3/09
    38. 38. Citations Explained • In local search, a citation is a mention of your business  name and address on a website, even if it isn't a link d dd bi if i i ' li k • Search engines do not only look at incoming links to help  determine local search rankings, but also citations • Citations help search engines validate information they  p g y have about a business • Improving the number of citations to your business'  Improving the number of citations to your business website consists of submitting your site to a variety  websites 3/3/09
    39. 39. Incoming Links • Acquiring incoming links with keywords as anchor text is  a major component of any search engine optimization  j f h i ii i campaign • Acquiring links with the your target location included in  the anchor text is especially important for local search  engine optimization • Submit website to industry related directories – often  y allow you to choose your anchor text • In case you wanted to know In case you wanted to know... – – 3/3/09
    40. 40. Major Local Search Data Centers • A number of websites act as data centers, providing  secondary local search websites with information about  d ll h bi i hi f i b your website – After Google Local Business Center, submit info to centers • Universal Business Listing  – For $30/year, will submit your business information to infoUSA  and a number of other locally focused websites • InfoUSA • Localeze • Acxiom – not able to submit online, search web on their  own acquiring data  own acquiring data 3/3/09
    41. 41. Local Search Sites • On one level, function as directories in that they help  categorize businesses by their metadata ibi b hi d • Much more interactive than directories, social media  directories: Send listing to a friend, social bookmarking,  send to phone, write reviews, create a profile, acquire  friends • Provide incoming links and citations g • Examples: Yelp, Yellowbot,, TrueLocal, HotFrog  3/3/09
    42. 42. Local Business Directories • Finding local business directories is as easy as searching  for “[your city] directory” f “[ i ] di ” • These directories are highly associated with a city/region  and crawled often by the search engines • Better Business Bureau functions as a high value, highly  g ,gy localized business directory • Provide incoming links and citations Provide incoming links and citations • Examples: Better Business Bureau,,  A ti 3/3/09
    43. 43. • Provides users with an overview of their local search  presence in all three search engines plus Best of the Web i ll h h i l fh b • Not a magic bullet, but does help save time when initially  setting up local search optimization efforts  3/3/09
    44. 44. Google Analytics • • Not usually thought of as a link building tool  • Helps a business track conversations that have already  p y taken place or are on‐going • Example – Noticed a fair amount of traffic referred to client's website  from in Google Analytics.  from bbc co uk in Google Analytics – Searched “client's URL” site:”” on Google  – On the forums located within the site someone had mentioned On the forums located within the site, someone had mentioned  the client's UK website 3/3/09
    46. 46. Local Business Ads “70% of US households now use the Internet as an 70% of US households now use the Internet as an  information source when shopping locally for  products and services. products and services.” ‐ Google
    47. 47. Local Business Ads… …are Google’s PPC ad format to promote specific business  locations …use traditional keyword bidding structure …are cost effective (PPC) …promote both online and offline conversion
    48. 48. Targeting g g •G Google Maps/Map Text l M /M T t – Traditional keyword targeting – Relevant, location‐specific queries (IP not considered) Relevant, location specific queries (IP not considered) – Ex – Any user searching “Austin TX breakfast tacos” • Google Search/Networks Textual ads only T ld l – Geographical targeting (IP considered), Customizable Radius – Triggered by user with IP near business listing gg y g – Ex – An Austin user searching “breakfast tacos” – • Google Content –Eh Enhanced and textual ads, contextual targeting d dt t l d t t lt ti – Includes sites with Google Maps API + Google Content Network • Google Mobile
    49. 49. Text aka Bruce Wayne aka Bruce Wayne
    50. 50. I’m BATMAN! I’m BATMAN!
    51. 51. Exposures p
    52. 52. Informative Descriptive Title • Textual Ad/Description of Location or Service l d/ f • Phone Number • Display URL l • Specific Address • Exact Visual Location il i • Interactive Geo‐Targeting • Fully Customizable Map Marker ll C i bl k • Enticing Visual • Direct Site Link Di Si Li k •
    53. 53. Campaign Checklist pg • LBL (Local Business Listing) • Keyword List/Ad Copy – Current campaign – Separate campaign for easy tracking <20k, 125x125 pixel picture of location 20k, 125x125 pixel picture of location • Google standard map icon or upload your own • Landing Page/URL L di P /URL • Tracking Codes •
    54. 54. RE:  Uploads p Google’s Interface Adv:  All angles/visuals, immediate LBL approval Adwords Editor Adv:  Bulk upload, some LBL difficulties Use both Use both Editor for bulk uploads Google interface for campaign refinement Google interface for campaign refinement
    55. 55. WHERE NEXT?
    56. 56. Future of Local Search Increased targeting based on viewers location • Increased targeting based on behavior & likes/dislikes • Increased targeting based on friends’ behavior g g • Google Latitude • – Location of individuals (like mobile) Location of individuals (like mobile) – Friend networks = expanded notion of likes
    57. 57. Q & A