Local Search Marketing Tactics

Aug 10, 2005 - 2:59 pm 1 by

Looks like I am following am following Detlev Johnson around, he is modding up this session as well. Oh, just finished that thing with Gary Price at WebmasterRadio.FM, so check it out. I'll be on tomorrow as well on WebmasterRadio.FM.

Justin Sanger from LocalLaunch was up first, he started off with some quick stats about the local markets. He will talk about local search marketing tactics for the small budget. Tactics 1: Cleaning your core business data. Offline derived local content furnishes IPY and local search engines, generated from local regional phone companies and telemarketing forces. The accurate distribution of core business data is critical, that data must be cleaned. Focus on your Acxiom and infoUSA data and clean that data out (see also Yahoo, Google, Superpages and others). Think of this data as your foundation. Tactic 2: Use of Business Profiles with optimized meta content. Local search engines rely on user generated content. This content easily obtained through business data providers nor by crawling the unstructured Web. Opportunities for businesses to distribute business information for free. All major local search providers accept business profiles (meta data as structured content). Business profiles feed pure search and assist users in comparative local buying decisions. A change to boost local business' rank within the local search engines. He showed an exampled of a Yahoo! local result and showed also how Yahoo! pushed the local results into the SERPs. He showed the same thing in Google, but also showed how Google crawled the Yahoo! Local results and it ranked #2 in the Google SERPs. So people will get to those pages, at least now. He shows how the local search engines show the business profiles.

Tactic 3: Riding coattails by studying your SERPs. Optimization beyond your Web sites. Google and Yahoo! SERPs contain the highest volume of targeted local searches. Determining authorities per Geo-Vertical result set. He showed a Google result for "auto repair san jose" top 6 results are local search engine listings, so get your company in those directories (yellow pages).

Tactics 4: Incentivizing and monitoring Reviews and Rating Channels. Businesses must pay attention to the published opinions expressed about their business. USer generated reviews and rating are subjective. Impact a business' reputation, status, and even rank within local search engines. Business profiles (even paid profiles) that are submitted by business owners may contain third-party reviews. He said imagine other people rating your business, you need to pay attention to it.

Tactic 5: Tap your social network: Local behavior patterns, local consumption is often driven by viral patterns. Our circle of friends, family, co workers. Checks and balances on user reviews and ratings are provided by social networks. Create a social network for yourself. InsiderPages.com allows you so filter reviews by these social networks. Judy's Book has a similar technology.

Tactic 6: Strategically utilize internet yellow pages. Verizon communications superpages leads the pack (PPC, PPCall, Distributon network including MSN Yellow Pages). The bells dominate the IPY arena, consolidation to compete with SEs. Category selection should taking into consideration SERPs.

When making determination on where to buy within these yellow pages, look at the SERPs to make that decision. No Web site is required for you to do any of this and its low cost.

Stacy Williams from Prominent Placement was next up. There are three different players in this space, Big Search Engines, Local Only Search and Internet Yellow Pages. There are two opportunities in this space, Editorial (sometimes Free) and Advertising opps. Ways to get into the local search engines. if you add a footer with the complete physical address of your company, helps you get into Local Search engines. She also shows how these local results vertically creep into the main SERPs. On Yahoo you can go to http://listings.local.yahoo.com to add your business profile. Bruce Clay and TrueLocal combined to come out with a "Search Engine Relationship Chart: Local Edition" at bruceclay.com, you can get it. Business databases include; www.amacai.com/form2/add/, www.infousa.com and on the bottom left navigation you can add/change your listing, GeoSign is an other but you can not submit your listing to them - they syndicate, Acxiom. You can also go to the superpages.com site to update your listing there, SwitchBoard click on the contact us and it is there somewhere. http://yp.aol.com/ is an other place you can add your listing. Advertising opportunities; PPC, flat fee, pay per call and so on. localsearchguide.org and kelseygroup.com are local information resources.

Patricia Hursh from SmartSearch Marketing was the last panelist, who will focus on the PPC solutions in Local. She will start with a Google case study and then compare approaches on Google versus Yahoo!. Case Study is for a national ISP company the goal is to reach prospects in regional service areas. Search advertising tactics included a national campaign, national campaign with localized keywords and a local campaign. (1) National; targeting US, keywords were broadband cable, broadband provider, cable internet, etc. the Ad is very national (nothing local about it. (2) National with Localized keywords; targeted to US, keywords were specific, new york broadband, albany internet, etc. and they tried to match the ad copy to the search term ([city/state here] keyword). Local campaign, targeting LA, Laredo TX, Bakersfield CA, and so on, the keywords were broadband cable, broadband provider, cable internet, and so on and the ad copy was very generic but Google placed the city name under the ad, right under the URL. Google will show a local ad over a national ad (if everything else is equal). The results: were more positive in terms of cost per order, for the local campaign. You can reach more people with an IP-targeted campaign than a national campaign with localized keywords. At least in this category the most cost affected way to go is with the local campaign. The IP targeted delivered the best conversion rate and the best cost/conversions. So why do national ads? Its very inexpensive brand building and you will miss some prospects with an IP targeted campaign because the technology is still not perfect. Regional targeting is available to all AdWords accounts, must have a web site, physical address is not required, advertisers can target by state, city, metro, radius of addresses and custom solutions and finally

Google serves ads based on searchers IP Address, search query and other factors. Yahoo Local Sponsored Search: separate product, so you need a separate account. Websites is optional due to hosted located page (examples showed in other presentations). You must have a physical address in the area you are targeting. Currently there is only one way to target, based on radius. Yahoo serves these ads based on search query and not based on IP address of searcher, also they use Yahoo registered member info and if you search with Yahoo local. Which is best for you? If you don't have a site, you must use Yahoo! If you don't have a local address, you need to use Google. If you need to reach an entire state, Google is preferred since Yahoo makes you do it by radius. If you are truly a local business, the locator page is excellent to drive foot traffic or phone calls. But if you are a regional or national company; Google works best. Google and Yahoo are very different.


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