One of the simplest ways to decide if Local SEO is right for your business is to figure out if people are performing searches for your products or services online If you find they are not, other forms of advertising such as radio ads, TV commercials or print publications may be better for you. If you are a local business that provides familiar services (ie lawyer, plumber, restaurant, etc) to your region, then you’ll defiantly want to keep reading.
Archive for the ‘Local Search Optimization’ Category
The majority of local businesses we work with think it’s incredibly difficult to promote their website online. That’s why they come to us. They get uncomfortable thinking about taking on the task of building links, ranking in search engines, and ultimately driving traffic to their websites. Most local companies also have limited marketing budgets, making the task even more difficult. But promoting your online presence is often easier than most think. Many of the tasks can be completed by you, the local business person and better still, the majority of them are free. The big secret is, many businesses don’t even need that much work to get their site to page one. Using the following resources, local businesses can get a great start on the local search optimization process and the best part is, they can do it all themselves.
Why are local directories important?
Customer review sites are quickly becoming an important part of the research and decision making process when buyers decide to purchase a product or service. It’s not enough to just appear in these vertical directories, but companies need be maintaining complete, optimized profiles that rank well on these web properties as well.
The Local Search Results Page See’s Dramatic Changes with Places Search!
Wow, Google completely changed the local search game yet again. This should really come as no surprise to those who follow Google closely. My earlier blog post spoke about the importance of not putting all your eggs into one basket when it comes to Google places. So many businesses have been neglecting to optimize their natural organic rankings, instead placing a total emphasis on only optimizing their Google Places listing. In the local search world we call this “mapism”. This is going to come as a complete shock to many who have been benefiting from first page exposure do to their local listing, as well as a those those who relied on Pay per Click for first page traffic.
This full scale change by Google effectively puts an end to “mapism”. Those local businesses who only optimized to get into the 7 pack have to change tactics. Now, the local and general search algorithms have been combined (now called Places Search or Places Mode ) to generate listings based on results from both.
Lately, local search seems to have become all consumed with the Google Places Local Business Directory. The reason being, Google lists their Places results at the top of the page ahead of the traditional organic search listings. This has created a dynamic shift in the way Internet marketers and local business owners use the Internet for community based customer acquisition. Many local businesses have come to find themselves struggling in a stagnate economy, and know they have to look beyond the phonebook for new customers.
Google Places is such an attractive marketing channel because of its absence of cost and the tremendous potential ROI the platform can offer local business. Within the past few years, Google has been working extremely hard to identify “search intent”. This is the process of understanding the meaning (or “intent”) behind a keyword search as well as the search engine users motivation for performing the search. So in other words, if a New York based searcher enters the keyword phrase “dentists”, Google understands that they are not looking for a dental practitioners based out of L.A. , and serves their results accordingly. So instead competing for search engine positions on a national scale, these local business owners are now vying for position amongst only their regional competition. This has leveled the playing for businesses that before felt it was impossible to compete on such a national scale.
Search engines like Google really do not care whether your website has been deliberately over optimized, or if you’ve simply inadvertently over stepped the boundary of proper common sense optimization. The result will likely be the same, with a deduction of points from your algorithm score and as a result lowering your page ranks. There‘s even a chance of even being banned from the search listings. Figuring out the process of what’s appropriate and what’s not acceptable is part of the SEO process. It’s vital to adhere to those methods as closely as possible and in order to avoid problems in the SERPs.
Google maps took a step backward a few days ago in an effort to self promote Google Places. When someone searches Google Maps for a business location, the Maps search engine provides a list of local businesses residing in the area (fig. A). These listings previously contained a url that linked directly to the listings website.
Many local businesses have a hard time when it comes to Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. These companies often have a website, but don’t rank well in the search results because their site becomes lost within the search engine “Sandbox”, with little hope of finding its way out. Small businesses that are looking to drive more traffic to their website, have a tremendous opportunity to advance their listings and get first page results utilizing the Google Maps Platform. Google Maps (also known as Google Places), provide small business owners the ability to get their company noticed online, through Geo-targeted Search.