Live Coverage of Up Close With Google Maps & Local at SMX West

Feb 10, 2009 • 1:40 pm | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Marketing Expo 2009 West
 

Below is live coverage of the Up Close With Google Maps & Local from SMX West 2009 conference.

This coverage is provided by Barry Schwartz, the editor of the Search Engine Roundtable.

We are using a live blogging tool to provide the real time coverage. We will publish the archive below after the session is completed. In addition, you can interact with us and while we are live blogging, so feel free to ask us questions as we blog.

Up Close With Google Maps & Local(02/10/2009) 
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10:36
Barry Schwartz:  Panelists are taking their seats
10:38
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10:38
Barry Schwartz:  we start in about 7 minutes
10:43
Barry Schwartz:  2 minutes...
10:46
Barry Schwartz:  Greg Sterling asks the audience if this is the most important panel....
10:46
Barry Schwartz:  We got a great panel he said, including a Google rep
10:46
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10:47
Barry Schwartz:  David Mihm from GetListed.org is first up
10:47
Barry Schwartz:  GetListed.org is a neat tool
10:48
Barry Schwartz:  Google's local data comes from (1) Google Local Business Center (2) Third Party Data Providers (3) General Web Crawl
10:48
Barry Schwartz:  It is critical to claim your listing at the Google Local Business Center
10:50
Barry Schwartz:  Why claim, because it adds that trust.
10:51
Barry Schwartz:  He looks at the Web Pages tab that he calls citations and it shows what Google Local knows about your site and he calls this the link of your local listing

10:54
Barry Schwartz:  Sign up with infoUSA, Localeze, Yahoo, Best of the Web, OpenList, CityVoter, InsiderPAges and SuperPages
10:54
Barry Schwartz:  Those are frequently picked up as citations by Google
10:55
Barry Schwartz:  Get involved in local communities online
10:56
Barry Schwartz:  Search for "your city and blog" or other flavors of that, to find local links
10:57
Barry Schwartz:  he shows more examples of local citations... links you get from local places.
10:57
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10:58
Barry Schwartz:  Chris Silver Smith is next up speaking
10:59
Barry Schwartz:  You guys want top ranking for local search... you want in the one box at Google or you want in Google Maps
10:59
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11:00
Barry Schwartz:  top four local ranking factors, proximity to city, reviews and number of reviews, overall SEO health of web site and keyword relevancy
11:00
Barry Schwartz:  typically, the top listings will be closer to the center of the city
11:01
Barry Schwartz:  this is not as obvious as it has been in the past, but it does play into the ranking algo
11:01
Barry Schwartz:  positive reviews and the number of reviews does may make an impact
11:01
Barry Schwartz:  overall SEO health does matter...
11:03
Barry Schwartz:  keyword relevancy does matter, such as the categories you are in, common locality names or neighborhoods, have keywords in site, mjaor metro areas and include name, category in your web site
11:03
Barry Schwartz:  I.e. "Joe's Fixit Shop - Car & Auto Repair - Sallas, Texas"
11:04
Barry Schwartz:  Matt McGee (who is on next panel) taking notes
11:04
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11:05
Barry Schwartz:  Additional elements, include address on your home page, contact us, etc,
11:05
Barry Schwartz:  if you have multiple store locations, maybe make a new page for each location
11:05
Barry Schwartz:  add photos, videos, coupons, etc
11:06
Barry Schwartz:  Common issues with Google MAps include signle address but provide to multiple cities, or multiple physical locations or no physical addres?
11:07
Barry Schwartz:  Single Address but provide services to mulitple locations? You can build web pages for each city or you can get a phone # and address in each city
11:07
Barry Schwartz:  If you have multiple locations, should you do one site?
yes!
11:08
Barry Schwartz:  you dont need a site for each location
11:08
Barry Schwartz:  If you have no physical address but provide local services you can get listed in third party provider or get a post office box
11:09
Barry Schwartz:  Google will show a non pinpoint market when it can't find the location
11:11
Barry Schwartz:  Next up is Steve Espinosa
11:12
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11:12
Barry Schwartz:  He likes to take Yahoo Local listings to help your Google listings
11:12
Barry Schwartz:  go to yahoo local, claim your listing and send an anchor text link to that listing and it gets indexed really fast
11:13
Barry Schwartz:  your yahoo local listing will rank well in google.com
11:13
Barry Schwartz:  The more categories you put your listings in, the better off you are, cause Yahoo will put you on a unique URL (duplicate content issue for Yahoo) for each category
11:14
Barry Schwartz:  Get reviews from your customers on Yahoo, really makes you stand out
11:14
Barry Schwartz:  It increased customer calls by 1.8X, he said
11:14
Barry Schwartz:  Google allowed you to start adding YouTube videos for your local listing
11:15
Barry Schwartz:  You can do this in the local business center at Google
11:16
Barry Schwartz:  With videos adding, they show 3.34X more calls for local listings with videos
11:16
Barry Schwartz:  videos can be attributed to a web reference also
11:17
Barry Schwartz:  Social Media for web references are great
11:17
Barry Schwartz:  Twitter is starting to come up as a web reference...
11:18
Barry Schwartz:  create a twitter account for your small business and talk about a sale or event for your business and these may show up
11:18
Barry Schwartz:  also myspace and other sites
11:18
Barry Schwartz:  If you have your keyword in the local listing, then your web reference will also insert your company name, which is nice, he said
11:19
Barry Schwartz:  They use Google for free phone tracking... Go into AdWords and pretend you are doing an audio campaign and Google will give you a free phone number and it will track all those calls for free...
11:20
Barry Schwartz:  He is now done....
11:22
Barry Schwartz:  Olivier Amar from Compucall is now up
11:22
Barry Schwartz:  tracking is really hard he said
11:22
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11:23
Barry Schwartz:  They first build out landing pages for each local area
11:23
Barry Schwartz:  They believe in the modular concept of building, so switch content in and out quickly
11:24
Barry Schwartz:  They use a lot of dynamic boxes that popup in order to keep people on the page, so they don't leave
11:24
Barry Schwartz:  They rolled this out in adwords, adcenter and ysm
11:25
Barry Schwartz:  They made dynamic pages, geo targeted the campaigns, cookie based the system to track customers and keep them on the same landing page and they added phone numbers to the ads, which boosted conversions and calls by 200%
11:25
Barry Schwartz:  with local search, they ddi this on multiple channels, using static pages and reviews on local sites constantly verified to watch out for competitive sabotage
11:26
Barry Schwartz:  customers encourgaed to follow up on work done with reviews visa coupon incentives on next time service.
11:27
Barry Schwartz:  reviews build trust with local searchers, so get reviews
11:27
Do you do local SEO?
Yes
 ( 100% )
No
 ( 0% )

11:27
Barry Schwartz:  Tracking was their biggest challenge
11:28
Barry Schwartz:  but they worked hard on it and it was critical and keyword tracking helped them decrease CPA by 65%
11:29
Barry Schwartz:  PPC growth has steadidly gorwn along with additional tracking methods in Q4
11:29
Barry Schwartz:  Outcome was...
11:29
Barry Schwartz:  Calls and leads from local consistently outpaced the PPC campaign almost two to one
11:30
Barry Schwartz:  Targeted search queries and matching landing pages led to PPC outpacing local in quoted and closed jobs by 50%
11:30
Barry Schwartz:  Spam by competitiors is a huge issue that requires constant monitoring in local
11:30
Barry Schwartz:  Testing is the only way to improve
11:31
Barry Schwartz:  They just started mobile campaigns last month
11:31
Barry Schwartz:  Canadian market has been great but the American market has been bad, he said.
11:31
Barry Schwartz:  That is it for Olivier
11:32
Barry Schwartz:  Jennifer Chin from Google on Map Hijaking
11:33
Barry Schwartz:  She shows the Santa Clara Convetion Center listing, which is unverified
11:34
Barry Schwartz:  She then shows a verified listing
11:34
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11:34
Barry Schwartz:  you can trust the verified listing more
11:34
Barry Schwartz:  she then shows a spamming listing, "a typical spammy listing"

11:35
Barry Schwartz:  Case Study 1
11:35
Barry Schwartz:  Wynn hotels listing was provided by "community edit" feature
11:35
Barry Schwartz:  but they trust the business own first, before the community editing
11:36
Barry Schwartz:  if you see wrong info about your business, claim it at googlel local business listing or community edit it
11:36
Barry Schwartz:  community edits will show up immediately, but the edit will be reviewed with their "Verification system"

11:37
Barry Schwartz:  Google has improved the verification system and she said, this is "very very rare" now to hijack a listing these days
11:37
Barry Schwartz:  Case 2 - Miami Garage Door Repair
11:38
Barry Schwartz:  Lots of bad listings for this result, she said
11:38
Barry Schwartz:  Hijacking is rare but very scary
11:38
Barry Schwartz:  Most things that look as hijakced are really not hijacked
11:38
Barry Schwartz:  you can report things as spam in the maps help forum http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/maps?hl=en
11:39
Barry Schwartz:  When you mark things to be removed, it is communicated to the community

11:39
Barry Schwartz:  google is working hard to remove these type of listings
11:39
Barry Schwartz:  they need reports from you to make it better
11:40
Barry Schwartz:  there is a new form in the help center to report spam http://maps.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=contact_policy
11:41
Barry Schwartz:  Verification Today at Google LBC:
- Verify
- Use community edits
- Use the help forum when you need help
11:41
Barry Schwartz:  That is it, she is done
11:41
Barry Schwartz:  Now Q&A
11:43
Barry Schwartz:  Why is conversion rate lower on local vs paid search?
11:43
Barry Schwartz:  you can tweak your keywords on paid search to be more targeted but with local, it is more generic, so less qualified searchers
11:44
Barry Schwartz:  my battery is running low, so i need to skip out of the rest of Q&A and power up.
11:45



 

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