Moderator: Larry Mersman
Description: It is not just for brick-and-mortars anymore. Many Web sites have discovered the power of local targeting. This session will focus on the marketing aspects of local search.
The first speaker is William Leake...
Most searches have local intent -- eventually. Online search influenced $471 Billion in OFFline sales, while they influenced only 1/3 that in Online purchases. More than 80% of all purchases happen witin 50 miles of the buyers home.
Google does not always show local results even when location is specified in the search string. Creates a new, unique keyword research issue. What does and does not show local search results (the Google map with 10 listings).
Important to register ALL of your addresses (even get clever about where you might get additional addresses). Customize for your largest geo city center. Google tends to like the larger city centers.
Add your info to yellow page type websites too. ie. SuperPages, YellowPages, Local.com, etc. as they act as information aggregators. He also feels customer reviews are important. Figure out where Google is getting the reviews, then ask customers to provide real reviews.
Do not forget video for local. Tag the video for local searches and you will be surprised at the results. Many online profiles also accept videos.
Next up is Joe Laratro...
Joe says local keyword research is critical. Not only do you focus on the obvious state & local phrases, but think about local slang like "tri-city" or "triad" or "Valley". Then combine them with your vertical market or area of specialty. You will most likely have a large list of phrases that you will then need to create content around them.
Geo-centric Content creation ideas: client testimonials, client case studies or stories, blog and work logs, pictures with captions, and local resources & information pages. But do not use form pages (search engines will catch this). Always think GEO when writing your copy and remember to optimize!
Brainstorm to come up with our areas of specialty and then incorporate local keywords. For one of his clients, he hired writers to come up with local content in 30 different locations. They combined with keywords and 1 year later the website had 7X the traffic using 5X the keywords used to find the site.
Even though individually these terms generate small amounts of traffic, it is quality traffic and they all add up to lots of site visitors.
Next up is Justin Sanger...
He truly believes local search is only for brick & mortar companies, not pure web plays. With that said, it is a $1 Trillion dollar market. People will search online for local purchases and will find it without ever hitting the company's website.
Justin notes that both Google and Yahoo have incorporated proximity, user generated content (reviews), content accuracy and a local score into their algorithms.
Searchers now view mobile search as an indespensible utility. There are literally hundreds of ways for a consumer to find a business. Every piece of incremental content is a new opportunity to be found.
To win, you need to have your core business data online with the big aggregators - make sure it is accurate. For the next tier, you must submit your profiles to every place that you can. You need to get references for your site by looking at who Google is pulling reviews from. Seed social media and other site with ratings and reviews. Build links from your local associations, trade partners, etc. These are authority local links.
Last presenter is David Klein...
For your site to be #1 in organic you need content and links. So Mike spent his portion of the session uniting people from similar industries so that they could discuss trading links. There are now groups of peole all around the room swapping business cards and trading links. A great ending to this session.
These session notes were written by Arnie Kuenn from Vertical Measures a link building services and website publicity company. Please excuse any typos or grammar issues, the session notes are written live and meant to be posted as soon as the session is over.