Local Search Marketing Tactics

Dec 5, 2006 - 3:38 pm 3 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2006

Mobile & Vertical Track

Local Search Marketing Tactics

This session looks at ways search marketers are tapping into an audience using local search engines, online yellow pages and other local search methods.

Moderator: Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence Speakers: Stacy Williams, Managing Partner, Prominent Placement, Inc. Patricia Hursh, President, SmartSearch Marketing Justin Sanger, President, LocalLaunch!

GS = Greg Sterling SW = Stacy Williams PH = Patricia Hursh JS = Justin Sanger GS starts.

High expectations and mixed reviews so far on local search. Very hyped. Important, complicated fo rmany reasons. SEMPO data. Largest group found it okay, varying degrees of interest. some unimpressed. Marketing Sherpa did study and have similar data. Some found it successful. Some say it works for some and not for others. Not enough traffic volume. Highest interest is local search by marketing agencies, above social search. comScore data shows market share shows Google is tops, Yahoo next, the others fill it out.

Nielsen-WebVisible consumer survey from 8/2006 on local search, attitudes. yellow pages search. 51% used a general service term to search, 49 percent used gen and regional term, 23 perc. use biz name and 19 perc. specific term to search with. These are how people use local searah to find things.


Local search space is highly fragmented. Yellow pages, big search engines, review site, local only yellow pages, business data providers. Some are editorial free and others are ad paid supportive. If you are new, start with free ones. Big engines. Google, for ex. there are main results and local results. Less than 1 percent use main search engines for local searches. Optimize site using geo-targted search terms (like "Atlanta message school") Add physcial address in the footer, in text. (hint - great for usability too!) Submit business profile directly to search engines. There are many fields, so compile it in advance.

Gather this stuff: Basic biz info, desc. of varying lengths like 100 words up to 1000 words. include search terms but don't overdue it. Have ideas for different categories, you won't know options until you see their form. Choose up to 5 in advance. Year established, operating hours, payment methods accepted, (see her website for the full list). Super Pages by Yellow Pages you need a billing address that matches. This is a security measure. Most of these sites have a human review. Review times vary. Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, MSN through localeze.

Local engines - Local.com and TrueLocal. Two best ones. Free and fee paid. Internet Yellow Pages. SuperPages is the "Granddaddy" because they are partnered with everybody. Dex. is another one. www.daplus.us for bus data search. (Directory assistance plus). They can be complicated. You can change your listing, etc. acxiom.com is another one. Localeze is MSN's. Review sites inc. InsiderPages. (She listed a lot of sites. I'll need to follow up with an article. I'm recording this session.)

Pros of local search: Be found by local prospects. Ensure online data is accurate and complete, Build links to your site. Dominate SERPS. Directory listings help you dominate search. Nov27 - Dec 1 at SearchEngineGuide is a series of articles she wrote that also covers this topic.


Local Search Advertising. Options inc. campaigns w/local keywords, geo-targeted camp's, local search engines and ads on maps results. Geo-targeted uses IP for search.

Local keywords. Include location in search query. Match between keyword in account and keyword query in google. You can use many combos, like abbreviations. Keyphrases inc. desc. of location. Works on any PPC ad network. Ads served regardless of searchers location. Effective way to reach movers, travelers, visitors, and anyone coming to your area.

Geotargeted ads - such as "marketing agency". Google will identify your IP and send results from your area. Ad serving relies on tech that detects ip and membership and registration info. If engine can't map IP location is a drawback like a lot of AOL users because they all look they come from one place.

You're competing against national ads, Google views local ads as highly relevant. If running a local search campaign, keep that in mind. You can select regions in Google AdSense. Yahoo Local lets you choose country, state, DMA and zip radius. Local search engines must enter what and where you are searching. Most inc. mapped results. People are looking for driving directions, address, maps, phone numbers, contact info, local search providers, hours of operation, consumer reviews. Local search really helps.

Yahoo! is phasing out local sponsored search. Its based on B&M address. It's for physical stores. Now use Geo-targeted sponsored search accounts. Yahoo local listings have 3 options - basic, enhanced, featured. Free, fee and very much fee. Yahoo will give you fixed price for getting into the local directory. You can control the cost this way. Googlemaps is the local search product. There are coupons you can print and quick to call. Go to google local. Go to local business center and setup an account, via call or mail to setup. Use your adwords account. You can ppc campaign from here.

You can run national with branded keywords, nation w/;ocal and local with IP targeted. Keywords vary on which one you choose. Local Campaign with geo-targeted has second highest conversion rate in the test she showed. Take away is use more than one approach. Local search drive foot traffic and phone calls.


Says Greg is the leader in local search. It's here. Local search is upon us. They've done 12 of these panels. Local search will dominate search in the coming years. We need to move beyond PPC. We're going through radical changes. We need to understand local search behavnior and consumption. What did we get used to? Yellow pages, newspaper classified, word of mouth. Local search has birthed the savvy local consumer. We use LS to compare and contrast. Its changing our consumption patterns. Approx 30% of all queries are LS. 90% of Internet conversions take place offline. 70 % local consumers use the Internet to find products online. The implications are far reaching. Search online to buy offline, locally. Internet mimics our normal behavior. We try to make life easier this way. Marketing dollars follow eyeballs.

The irony is that the targeted beneficiary of new local ad inventory, local advertisers, aren't benefitting proportionally to the hype. How do you do something different? Tactical fragmetnation, online classified, yellow pages, local media sites like news slite, judysbook, social networking, local and vertical search, craigslist, Yelp, Insider Pages, 2006 is the year of social marketing. Each of these is significant. They lead to confusion though. Need to think beyond traditional seo like landing pages. 'There is no single landing page for a business anymore. It's not about a website. It's about business information online. It's a different way of thinking. We must cleanse, enrich and optimize content. Think: Atomization - separate and spread. Managing and dispersing biz info is the local search markeitng tactic of our time. The new local search landscape requires new thinking.

Choose structured business content. Its the common element. 35 percent of net users have created and posted content online. Rich structured content serves users, businesses and search engines. Business profiles assist in comparitive local buyng decisions. Cleanse and distribute optimized business data. Core business dats is what everyone knows about you. Your phone, address. Lets make sure they're right. Cleanse it through Amacai, Acxiom, and InfoUSA. Enhanced business data is user submitted, so be careful about what people say about you. There are user generated content, pro and con, ratings, votes. Google local crawls consolidates it and displays. Social marketing gathers it too and that searched. This has nothing to do with your website.It has everything to do with controlling and enhancing the existing and new data put out about your or your clients business. The keywords people put in your reviews show up in algorithms. Tell five of your friends and customers to give you ratings. You can take advantage of the local search opportuntiy. Study your SERPS. You can use the information to help determine link strategies.

SEO for local is about making sure the information is there and correct. Look at your yellow phone book. Dex.com is a play within region. "You should be in that". Switchboard provides effective SERP distributions.

(He ran over his time. Had tons more to go. His goal was to get us thinking beyond traditional SEO thinking. Organic is still strong, esp.for mobile search.)


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