This is it — the last session. Where did the time go? Thankfully, casino night awaits us after the conclusion of presentations, so I don’t have to get too melodramatic about goodbyes yet.
This panel features Danny Dover, Senior SEO Manager at AT&T, and Greg Boser, the President of Products and Services at BlueGlass Interactive. They will be discussing the localization of search and its impact on businesses. Loren Baker will moderate.
How does local SEO fit into your overall online marketing strategy?
Local affects absolutely everything. He doesn’t think of local as a vertical because of his perspective as a business owner. These channels are for broadcasting your local message.
Make sure to take the time to plan. What is your local message? What are you trying to say about your company?
Five questions to ask yourself:
- What do you provide for potential customers? (relevancy)
- Identify the actual product/service, do keyword research and use the results on anything that is input through a keyboard.
- Identify what people fear with your product/service, identify what your competitors are not good at and craft your difference into an easy-to-spread message.
- This is everything! What cities do you offer services for? What neighborhoods to you offer services for? If you don’t provide a product, what limitations on location do you have?
- Trust metrics for humans are very different than trust metrics for search algorithms.
- For humans you need reviews to prove you are trustworthy and useful.
How can you use review incentives? Add notes to Wifi cards with review suggestions. Their laptops will be in front of them when they read the mini advertisement. He doesn’t know how it works with the terms of service, though.
Business that say, “Follow us,” makes him wonder, well, why? What’s in it for him? He’s all for promoting social things, but if you’re a small business owner, you have to realize it’s not about just getting fans but about utilizing your fan base.
Other ideas include a raffle for email (that includes suggestions to review) and telling employees to promote the specific review site when customers ask how they can help. Give your teams a heads-up about deals and have them on their game.
Okay, so now that we’ve planned, how do we execute?
Take a nap? Ah, NAP: Business Name, Address and Phone number.
If you can get consistency on these, it’s more than half of your battle.
Manually claim listings on search engines. Entering data manually gives you the ability to update it later and has the added benefit of providing search engines with a trust signal for ranking.
Go to getlisted.org, a free website tool that helps you get listed where you want.
For small business, have a title tag with a city name, neighborhood and zip code. Try to include locality in the h1, as well. Be certain to include your address and phone number on the page and try to have the local area code.
It’s Greg Boser’s turn now, and he’ll be talking about some of the stuff BlueGlass is working on.
If you’re going to do SEO, you have to find out what it takes to be the person who sits above the localized rankings — there are only a couple of people who get that spot.
Google’s focus on geolocation is changing the way search results are returning. For example, when you search for “online dating” in Los Angeles, an LA Times article will show high in the results when you’d expect online dating websites.
It doesn’t show up in national “online dating” searches, but because they keyword tag it with the search terms and it gets crawled with the location connected to it, it ranks in LA. While it only ranks in one city, it’s a large city with a lot of people searching, so it definitely matters.
Keep this in mind when thinking about your own content and how it’s searched. Take advantage of local results.
The way Google treated the LA Times article gives us insight into how much it’s weighing domain and content when tying websites to a location.
You can actually find a significant source where you can get your page to rank if you take the time to explore it.
Many sites are getting more traffic just because of how their data is being collected. You can identify what it is that’s going on and what’s triggering those results.
Spend time in your analytics and look to see if you have multiple entry points for the same key word and see if it relates to city connections.
There’s a strange correlation with behavior and what scope of area you’re allowed to rank in. But these things are opportunities to develop your content in a way that will work with a subdomain structure linked to location.
If you’re struggling with the Panda situation and you have regional content, you can come up with a logical way by state or city to group a tightly focused batch of content all about that city. Go out and see how links are being built about that city and try to put your content back metro-by-metro.
Well, that about wraps up BlueGlass TPA 2011. I’ve loved blogging throughout this amazing conference. Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ve learned as much as I have!