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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


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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


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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


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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…


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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.


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SES SJ: Local Search Marketing Tactics

I came to this session looking primarily to see what people are doing for local natural optimization. Instead, it was largely about ads, but there was still a lot of good information for anybody that primarily seeks localized business.

Moderator: Greg Sterling, Sterling Market Intelligence

The internet was originally about the global marketplace, but now it’s moving more local. The internet is more about local than anything else.

What’s local? Maps, jobs, cars, real estate, news, products entertainment, yellowpages, travel, etc. About 40% of the top 20 search terms are local. Internet has 84% local reach on online population.

Local ad spending has reached $150 Billion. Currently

Justin Sanger, LocalLaunch!

Newspapers make up almost 50% of local advertising. Consumers are getting more and more savvy for local search and shopping. People are using the internet to compare and contrast various local sources. Looking for things like distance, price, coupons and more. Local search is also very community driven.

Will be seeing a tremendous amount of integration between local and vertical search.

Local advertisers are confused and overwhelmed by the innovation and how to create simplified local search solutions. We need to bring more structured business content online.

Patricia Hursh, SmartSearch Marketing

How to reach local searches with ads: IP targeted search ads, keywords with local qualifiers, using local search engines, local ads on maps.

How do you IP target in the US? Google allows radius of address, city, region, state or even customized area. MSN allows metro areas. Yahoo is based on business physical address but will have targeting by city with the Panama rollout. With yahoo, you don’t even have to have a website as Yahoo has locator pages.

You can run three consecutive Google campaigns. National, national with local keywords and IP local targeted. National is cost effective, ip targeted produces relevant results, local searches catches the rest.

Stacy Williams, Prominent Placement, Inc.

Local search counts for less than 1% of the local search results. To get into the main results you want to optimize for your main terms with localized references.

To get into local map results add physical address to bottom of every page. (text all on one line). You can also submit your business profile directly.

When submitting a business profile, add as much information as possible, be thorough and complete. Go to as many local search providers as possible and create / fix your profile.


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SEM Companies Advertising Themselves Locally… Where Old School Meets New School

The majority of us SEM/SEO companies are on the smaller side. Not only do we need to market our clients, but we obviously also need to market ourselves. A good chunk of our clients are local, so of course in being a legitimate target audience, how do we make known the availability our services? How about an old school method?

Each day when we drive around town, we are exposed to hundreds of other vehicles; and within these vehicles are people with perceived needs for certain services. So we’re trying something old school. My boss is putting our company logo (domain name) along with a very short description of what we do on the tailgate of his truck. I am actually quite excited to see how this idea will turn out; especially since it is quite an interesting convergence of old school meeting new school. Have any of you SEM/SEO companies conducted some “old school” methods of drawing new customers?


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Keyword Selection Tips: Localize Phrases When Necessary

If you are targeting an audience specific to your geographic location, be sure to localize your phrases accordingly. To do this you can place city, county, state or other local references such as city districts or zip codes before or after each phrase.

Localizing your phrases will ensure that you get targeted traffic to your site and eliminate the need to deal with emails and phone calls from searchers who are not in your geographical location, and therefore not your target audience.

This post is part of a continuing series on the topic of:
Optimizing for Maximum Search Engine Performance

Sub-Topic: Research Your Targeted Keywords.


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