Local Search Marketing Tactics

Mar 2, 2006 - 9:39 am 2 by

Justin Sanger from LocalLaunch is up first and he tells the audience how lucky we are to have such good panelists here. He is right these people do know there stuff. Often times local search is grouped in to broad spectrums, and we shouldn’t do that. He says he will share some perspective in the space. He next puts up a huge jumbled list of many different topics in local search. He says that one day local search will have a place in each session at this conference, but for now its too fragmented.

Local search is not a new audience and there are number of people here he says that have been doing local search for sometime. Search engines are infatuated with user intent such as “really” understanding what the searcher wants. 20% of all search has a local intent. To progress search there much be segment ~ splinter and adapt (Yahoo Local and Google Local). He says that local requires different algorithms into order to display local results. Such things are proximity, addresses, and so on are required to make it work. He says a lot of these qualities of local search have caused the search engines and other companies to map the world with vans (Amazon), planes (MSN), and satellites (Google).

Our progress in local search has painted many into a corner. Somewhere between innovation and advertisers opportunity. How does one get a local business to understand and participate in the new world of pure local search? How do the new Local Search providers monetize local search answers? He says people don’t want ads on there mobile phones. Search engines are in a corner as Yahoo and Google are having a hard time figuring out how to monetize there pages. I will add you can take a look at Google Local for Mobile Phones for an example. There are currently no ads in this free type of service. How will they monetize it? Justin says the Yellowpages and so on are competing with Yahoo and Google local search properties.

So who are the local internet advertisers? Typically small and medium sized enterprises with over 10 million SME’s in the US. SME’s spend 22 billion on local advertising annually. 46% of their advertising budgets on Yellowpages / 70% are service based. Only spend about 5-6K on average per year. They are very busy and confused about how to take advantage of this opportunity. Where do I start and how do I begin?

He next lists the various properties out there. There is quite a few from the pure local search providers, yellowpages, mapping, traditional local search marketing, social networking, classified and shopping sites. He says that if there is a release of mapping technology, there are 10 released at the same time, its crazy, ridiculous, and interesting space. You can do a ton of things with mapping, from finding you hotel, buying your rental car, and so on. More and more of this will go on and the search engines will try to find ways to capitalize on this continually through each stage of the mapping use. Yahoo is finding ways to get in the buying path.

When we look at users and advertising, eyeballs are critical. There are trends in local that keep going up and up making it a very interesting space. He says there is a new consumer being born, they use the internet these days and they go to the internet to find things. The market opportunity is tremendous. The global online local search marketing is set to grow from the 3.4 billion in 2005 to nearly 13 billion by 2010. So who is mobilizing in the space? Google and Yahoo are doing a poor job of selling to small business. The statistics show that search advertising is not cutting it. What is required here is a consolidator. Self-provisioning of local search advertising is way ahead of its time. SME local search sales is actually a big man’s game. Controlling margins and dealing with SME’s is difficult and costly. A lot of this is Yellowpages and newspapers backyard, and they will use local foot soldiers. Many however are running scared because they believe they might loose there traditional products. The enablers in the space are those that provide agnostic local search marketing platform and fulfillment teams. He company is one of them.

What is being sold in local search? There is a lot of bundles being sold which leverage publisher assets with other distributed ads, pay per clicks, call tracking, IVP’s/directories, pay per call, web sites, fixed-placement buys, business profile solutions, data distributions, Local SEO.

In his opinion the aggregators will hold the key to Local Search contact. Local search business content will come from rich content byword standard contact information. There is content that is not easily obtained by crawling the unstructured web. Looking for “Food” for pure unstructured local search. Content for qualitative, comparative, and buying decisions is needed.

Great presentation and session. Justin is one of my favorite speakers at SES, pure good information and clear speaking.



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