Archive for February, 2010

Local Search Marketing

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Many online business owners overlook local search marketing. This potentially risks losing share in their largest market. As with all search engine marketing, time, skill and patience is involved; however the rewards justify the commitments. Local search marketing involves the targeting of a specific geographical audience in a sites’ search marketing campaign.

To successfully market a website to a local audience, there are several critical steps every website owner must take:

1. Add your site to map directories:

This is a simple step that can achieve quick results. The most popular is Google Maps. Google Maps simply requires a website owner to fill out a form. Required information includes location, contact information and business hours. Google Maps can also incorporate videos and pictures. You will be required to have a Google account, but both are free anyway. Registering with Google Maps will increase your search engine rankings for local searchers utilizing Google Maps. Website owners should also register with Yahoo! Local and Bing Local. Search marketing is still required here, however, so don’t overlook the search marketing basics of keyword research and regularly enriching the site with quality content targeting your most relevant keywords. If one adds business information to these map directories then the local marketing campaign has more substance attached to it, as, for example, Google Maps, will recognise the fact that the site is registered and will hence take the site into account for certain search terms, for example ‘search marketing Ulverston’.

2. Implement Geo Tags:

Geo tagging allows website owners to add geographical information in the form of metatags, which will help their local search marketing campaign. These tags can be attached to websites, videos, photographs, RSS feeds and more. Most commonly submitted in the form of coordinates, they assist spiders with locating your business on maps. When local searchers enter geocentric keywords, Google will know you are relevant and the searcher will see you. This is becoming more and more popular for optimising local search, as Google maps and other map directories use the same co-ordinates.

3. Google Webmaster Tools:

Google is well known for the many webmaster tools they offer, so it should come as no surprise they can assist you with local search marketing as well. In the settings portion, there is a section called “Geographic target.” Filling this information out will assist search engines with locating your business geographically. Geographic search marketing, in the future, will be a huge industry, as the majority of people will search for plumbers, builders etc using the search engines.

4. Local Directories:

Be sure to take the time to submit your website to any local web directories. This will improve your SERP rankings for local searches and indirectly for the short-tail phrase, minus the location optimised towards. As an added benefit, it will provide you with some backlinks, which will also improve your rankings. Directories like Business.com and Yahoo Local are also essential. The search engines are considering their stance for local search marketing campaigns, as the sheer quantity of competition in the future will be significantly increased.

After these steps are performed, website owners can take things up a notch by employing mainstream search marketing techniques to focus on the local market. Article marketing, keyword research and blogging can all be used to market your business locally. Utilize keywords that include your geographical information in your articles and blogs. Develop your keyword list not only for uniqueness and relevancy, but for geo targeting as well. This will typically mean a little more effort on your part, but can help improve your local rankings. For example, if local search marketing is utilised efficiently for their geographical market, then a company in Cambridge could optimise for ‘Cambridge’, ‘East Anglia’, Cambridgeshire’ and other relevant locations. These places can be placed with the relevant shot and long-tail phrases associated with the business.

Local search marketing is really just a just a subset of search marketing or SEO. Like any field of optimisation, it does take time. If you do not feel you have the skills or time to fully implement an SEO program for local searches, consider outsourcing to an Internet Marketing Company. Local Search is a great and essential piece of any successful Internet Marketing Strategy. The Search Marketing Group can help you with all your local search marketing wants and needs.

Local Businesses need Local Search Marketing Focus

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Most search marketing deals, directly or indirectly, with the vastness of the internet. On the world-wide web, one small site has to work hard to be noticed. Search marketing strategies focus on grabbing as much attention from that vast world as possible, always keeping the target market in mind. Most businesses spend time on boosting their site up various different ladders so that it is visible to the right people at the right time. The ‘right’ people are, in regional businesses strategies, usually the people based locally and hence geographical search marketing is often apt.

While search marketing can benefit all websites, the world-wide approach won’t work for all businesses. A garden centre, for example, is unlikely to want to attract traffic from another county, much less than another country. Local businesses require a local search marketing focus.

The two approaches are very different, but use similar techniques. The main difference lies in the focus of your search marketing campaign. While a broad search marketing strategy will necessarily have its own geographical focus, local search marketing involves different search techniques to general search.

There are search marketing advantages to fostering reviews in the Local Search section, which is featured for many keywords when a user searches in Google Maps. Local businesses likewise can’t afford to ignore broader searches completely, and need to attempt one or two keywords that have a global application. Google Maps is becoming ever popular for searching, especially through hand held devices. This huge, and growing, market shows the necessity of geographical search marketing.

An approach to local search requires just as much work as general search marketing, if not more. With such a specific focus for the search marketing campaign, professional help is even more worthwhile for a local business than for general search marketing. The Search Marketing Group can help any business needing local search marketing advice.

Local search rankings need to be approached on several fronts, just like any ranking. Firstly, your business needs to determine the keywords for which local search applies. This could be for example, ‘golf shop Surrey’. Google has offered more and more local results over the last two years, but there are still many keywords for which local results do not appear. Careful research is necessary to uncover the keywords for which your business can compete. Naturally, the field of competition is smaller, giving you a better chance of success.

After an on-page strategy has been formed, off-page techniques need to be considered. Most businesses should use local reviews in their search marketing strategy, however local businesses have more reason and are more likely to garner natural reviews. The efficiency and success of local search marketing will be greatly increased via the constant analysis of the firms’ reviews.

General search marketing needs to be a part of a local strategy. When plotting out your keywords, take a few broader keywords into account, if only for your home page. While local search is growing, most users still rely on general search for their results. Being aware of the limits of local search is essential if you are to maximise what you get from it. Also be aware that geographical search marketing does still generate fewer hits to the site in comparison to general phrases, but these hits will be more specific and have a greater chance of reaching the desired page

This information was brought to you by the Search Marketing Group. We are found at www.searchmarketinggroup.co.uk.