Thursday, January 7, 2010

Local Search Trends & Ideas

We have seen a lot of changes over the last year. Yet, inspite of all the changes in SM, mobile, banner, pay for click, Search Engines are still the most popular and widely used online channel for gather information, conducting research and finding a business or company to buy from.

When starting from scratch create your (local) search engine marketing with Google in mind as the majority of searches are made from there. Luckily many of the same techniques that you will be using can also be applied to Yahoo and Bing.

To establishing a local search engine presence there are three proven methods to establish your local SE presence. While it is advantageous to work on all three there are of course pros and cons to each method including cost and speed to achieve good results.

First is of course Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To appear in one of the top 3 pages of a natural or organic search result is the ultimate in any SEO marketing attack. As much as this is the gold medal of achievements, especially if your key works or stings are very competitive it is also is the one area that (usually) takes the longest to achieve gold star results. However, you can speed this process up by targeting specific search terms with geographic modifiers. For example if you are a Running Shoe Store in Palatine Illinois you might want to use “Palatine Running Shoes” or “Chicago Running Shoes” as a keyword string rather than just “Running Shoes”

Second is using Google for setting up a Local Business Listing, which by the way is free. These listings have several benefits with in the Search world. First would be local business terms which Google shows a visitor a set of local business listings with in a map of that location embedded in the search result page. In the spring of 2009 Google started showing these listings on generic searches based on the location of the searcher without the use of geographic modifiers and just start their search with the product/service description.

Your listing also appears on the Google Maps website. This appearance on the Google Maps opp on popular mobile devices such as iPhone has been a big development for local businesses with the same listing on the Google Maps website on the phone with complete address, hone number and directions from the searcher’s current location.

The downside is that to be on the local business listing your page must be optimized to appear on the first page.

Larson Notes & Satyr: To make the most or an online SEO marketing attack my suggestions would be to start with a free local business listing. Then start a pay-for-click, this will guarantee immediate local presence for your business. Once you have those two components in place, you can begin a SEO campaign. If done right you can slowing diminish your pay-for-click campaign as your organic searches rise up in the listings. Then again, if you are getting a good ROI off of your clicks, keep it as part as your long term campaign and add another area of the overall puzzle.

It’s a game of chess; learn the rules and the moves and you can win, even against the “big boys”.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

P.P.S. An American Company, marketing American Companies! Call or email to get an appointment to pick my brain (a $125.00 value) for 30 minutes.

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