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Google Mobile Friendly Update – What to Do Now?

Get ready for the Google mobile friendly update.

Google recently announced that mobile friendliness will be included within SEO rankings starting April 21. This news comes after a study reported that 2015 mobile searches will surpass traditional desktop searches. Although ad spending on desktop has dropped, mobile SEO spending has skyrocketed by 83%. With a growing number of users surfing the Internet from their mobile devices, Google has realized that it’s essential to provide better mobile user experiences by highlighting mobile-friendly websites.

It’s the first time that Google has ever announced an update before its launch – WHY?

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Quick Strategies for Local and Mobile Optimization

Local and mobile optimization
Are local and mobile optimization things you plan to get around to “someday?” Well, someday is now. Local and mobile optimization are no longer two separate strategies. They go hand in hand and need to be addressed NOW. Otherwise, you could be missing out on business that could literally be led right to your front door.

Read my latest article in The SEMPost to get quick tips on how to get your site optimized for BOTH local and mobile.
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Use Structured Data to Get Found on Local SEO

local-searchThe use of structured data started long before local search engine optimization became a big deal, but using structured data for natural optimization is far less essential than for the local.

For the most part, using structured data for organic SEO is about getting some rich snippets into the search results. For local SEO however it can have a strong impact on your local rankings.

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Have You Gone Local? Maybe It’s Time.

Local Search

The single most-performed browser activity on mobile devices is search. That means people are using their phones for finding things more than they surf the web, skim Facebook peruse their favorite websites, make calls or even text!

Unlike desktop search, when searching from a mobile device, search engines have a general idea of the physical location you are searching from. Using this knowledge, searches that are typically location relevant (such as plumbers, lawyers or doctors, just to name a few) produce a local set of search results, different from, but within, the natural set.

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Final Lap: Winning Web Marketing Reads–May 2014

A Weekly Review of Web Marketing ArticlesIt’s hard to keep up on the latest thought leadership, ideas, trends and news in the web marketing industry, which is why we bring you the Final Lap. Each member of Pole Position Marketing Pit Crew, and the office alter ego, Max Speed, bring you their winning article to help your business.

Topics include SEO, paid search, usability, link building, local search, content marketing, social media and other areas of marketing and business. Plus, you’ll find articles that have earned “honorable mentions” and are also worth a read. Enjoy and feel free to comment with your winning articles. Continue Reading

Final Lap: Good Reads for the Week Ending August 9

A Weekly Review of Web Marketing Articles

Over the summer we did some remodeling around the PPM offices. We’ve got a new office on the second floor and our conference room is now ready for the small-group online marketing workshops we’ll begin hosting next month. They haven’t asked ME to lead a workshop yet. I don’t understand why.

Kevin had been hoping during the remodel we would get new luxurious leather office chairs. I was hoping for the Emperor 1510 LX. It’s only $21,500. I can’t imagine why Stoney wouldn’t approve that!
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Who’s Kicking Your Tail?

When was the last time you ran a search for your own, or your company name on Google? If you’re interested in how you rank amongst your peers, you might find it interesting to check it out. Do you monitor your reputation?

Searching a name as uncommon as Stoney deGeyter, you may not be surprised to find him in all of the top ten results, but each and every one of the top one hundred results are either articles Stoney has written himself or are about him. I stopped checking after page 10.

Search On

When searching for Pole Position Marketing (no quotes), the top 21 are all directly related to the company, with the results still very heavily relevant but starting to get more scattered after that. Continue Reading

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Friday I posted a snapshot of a billboard advertising an auto mall here in Reno (Fallon, actually). I wanted to solicit some comments to see if anybody else saw the same problem with this billboard as I did.

Fallon Auto Mall Billboard

Pretty much every comment noted that the guy with the cigarette was a problem, but only Chris of Westward Strategy explained why.

…they associated the sleazy car dealer with Fallon Auto Mall and not Kietzke or “Big City Motors” as their TV ads say. If I wasn’t a local and hadn’t seen their TV spots I would think that all the guys at Fallon Auto Mall look like him.

He’s dead right. Continue Reading

The Power Of Branding For Small Business, Part Two

People often associate brands with money. And lots of it. Generally, if you try to run a branding campaign such as you see from big companies like Target, you certainly will have to fork over a big chunk of change. But we small business owners don’t have that kind of money. And from my examples in last week’s installment of this column, you might conclude that full-scale SEO or PPC is the only way to brand yourself online. But that’s just not true. As you will see, some SEO will come into play, but cheap and easy SEO will get you started on the path to brand recognition in search results. Continue reading at Search Engine Land…

Local Search Marketing Considerations

Local search is one of the most attentions worthy aspects of SEM today.

63% of US Internet users (or approximately 109 mln people) performed a local search online in July 2006, a 43% increase versus July of 2005. – ZDNet Research

It is amazing to me just how slow the general search marketing community was to embrace what has proven to be a very profitable area of focus.

Successful Local Search Marketing

To be successful at local search marketing you must be familiar with the landscape as it is quite different from the traditional search arena.

Firstly you need to understand that local search marketing is targeting a specific type of audience. This is a consumer who uses the Internet to search for information on where they may purchase locally. They are using the Internet much like the yellow pages. In fact a study by the Yellow Pages Association suggests that as much as 85% of people who use print yellow pages also use online yellow pages. This means that your marketing plan must very specifically target customers who generally research online but purchase in person. If your business has a physical storefront as well as an Internet storefront, you will find that the two points of interaction will compliment one another nicely with your local market.

Creative tracking is essential to local search marketing campaigns as there is often no online purchase action to associate with traffic; your visitors will use your website to research your business and then appear in person to make a purchase. If you can’t differentiate the percentage of in store sales that were generated by your online marketing efforts, then you cannot gauge the efficacy of your campaign.

This scenario obviously does not apply to online-only businesses; however geography should always be taken into consideration when crafting an Internet marketing strategy.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you need to make sure that they see you. For a local search optimization/marketing campaign this means focusing on the top local search destinations. No surprise here; the big three that rule standard web search rule local search as well: Google Local, Yahoo! Local and MSN Local. We’ll start with #3 MSN Local.

MSN Local is very straightforward and offers local search as an integrated option within its main search interface. Local search results are categorized as residential, business or web; with the residential listings usually appearing first by default. Most results are complimented by an aerial map.

Yahoo! Local search is user friendly and feature rich. Yahoo Local also encourages user feedback by allowing searchers to write reviews for individual listings in the local results which can also be sorted according to cumulative review scores. Lastly Yahoo Local allows businesses to add their profile to the local search database directly; a welcome alternative to waiting for a site to be indexed.

Google Local is unique in its emphasis on the visual map that compliments local search results. The search results themselves occupy about 1/4 of the screen, the rest of which is dominated by the detailed and feature rich map.

With the exception of Yahoo’s business registration feature, appearing in local search results can require optimization of your page copy for regional terms and references. I have found however that it is often sufficient to add a physical address in the footer of the optimized web pages. This is especially effective for MSN Local. In addition to on page references, securing high quality inbound links which reference your targeted region in the anchor text will also prove beneficial.

With these specific issues addressed it is important to focus your efforts on appealing to your locally targeted audience; let them know that you are a member of the community and a convenient destination where they can do business. Applying traditional marketing wisdom with this mind will ensure a successful campaign.