Posts Tagged ‘Local Search Marketing’

SEO and Web Design « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

April 10, 2008

SEO and Web Design « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

Go Local Young Man – Local Search Marketing That Is.

February 18, 2008

The buzz for once is deserved.  Those small businesses who can take advantage of local search engine marketing or put their business in the top local search engines will share a disproportionate amount of the opportunity.  If and this is a big if…they aren’t taken advantage of first.

We work with clients who have encountered what I term, “useless spending” online because they didn’t do their homework first.  The one word that came out of the first local search marketing symposium was “confusion”.  Everyone thinks they know the magic formula.  Everyone thinks that they can influence the market. But how many of them are truly aware of the reality small business owners go through trying to survive.

Sure I believe that only a handful of people come home from work, see the big books on their doorstep and shout, “Yippee!  The new Yellow Pages are here.  Thank goodness now I can find the name and number of a good landscaper, or whomever.”

I think reality is that most people have gotten so spoiled by the ease, comfort and information on the internet that its only natural to turn to Google or Yahoo Local to find a local plumber, landscaper, dentist or perhaps specialty clothing store in the neighborhood.

Even the TV ads are conveying this when they ask the “guru” about search engines and he answers, “we will place your ad in all the top search engines.”  Isn’t that next to admitting that online search engines are the place to really drive business locally?

Reality check, again.  Small business owners do not have deep pockets.  Small business owners need to be wary of those companies soliciting their local search business with promises of being featured in ads, promoted through obscure directories, or the promise to be on page 1 of Google within 24 hours, fine print spelling out that it’s really pay-per-click.  A few hundred bucks can be a big strain on a small business budget and the local search market can be confusing…now is the time to go Local but better to go into after doing some homework or don’t go at all.

Take a look at Google’s keyword tool if you are interested in PPC advertising for search engine marketing.  There are many other tools but this will get you started in the right direction.  For optimization via organic search, Top SEO Marketing has a number of programs customized for small business.

 Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
www.topseomarketing.com
214-288-0853

Search Engine Optimization – The Tortoise and the Hare

February 3, 2008

 Organic Search Marketing company

In search engine marketing there are two distinct schools of thought.   The story about the tortise and the hare has some amazing similarities to search engine marketing.

First the hare:  Instant success!!!  Don’t we all want that?  Your company has paid its dues…you have a great product – you have a great service.   You know that all you need to do is get your message out there.  About eight years ago, I owned a web design company and talking with business owners it was not uncommon to hear them say that they knew they needed a www or a “dot com” but most did not fully appreciate or see the potential only a few years down the road.

Today with search engine marketing the hare quickly decides which avenue is best for his company, saying:

  • Pay Per Click can put me on page 1 of Google tomorrow!!!
  • Pay per click can make my business an overnight success!
  • I will be betting on hundreds of keyword combinations that will ensure my success!
  • I control the budget, and don’t pay until I get a prospect who clicks on my ad! What a deal.  I’ll be moving product by tomorrow night!
  • Pay Per Click is definitely the way I win the race!  Search engine optimization is way behind.

The Tortoise on the other hand, after pondering the pay per click path finally decides to run the optimization path in the race. 

  • Likes the long term results better and feels that it will result in more quality traffic than just a PPC campaign.
  • With Organic Search Marketing there is more control over your marketing spend budget.  You know how much it is going to cost.
  • More users like to click on the “organic” results than sponsored links.
  • While time is money, a good organic optimization company can minimize the downtime while targeting keywords that will rank faster. 
  • Organic search engine rankings will help the Tortoise gain credibility over the hare – as more often than not – the Tortoise will appear in multiple variations of important keyword phrases while the Hare may wind up running out of budget money by the middle of the month.
  • Finding a company like Top SEO Marketing (a shameless plug) makes organic marketing easy because they do all the work.

Which one is right for you?  Are both of them right, if used for multiple purposes?  Absolutely.  One is not better than the other – but sometimes the solution depends on the situation.  If you have a new product launch – pay per click may be the best solution.  If you are building a business and wanting a long term solution in place – working for you every day without costing additional cash – then organic search marketing may be the answer.  You can also research the benefits of local search marketing or geo-targeted “regional search marketing” to find the right combination.

Whatever you decide, thorough investigation will ensure that you don’t make the wrong and costly decision that could cost you the race!

The Tail of Search, Do we Really Need it? « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

January 28, 2008

The Tail of Search, Do we Really Need it? « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

Local Search Marketing Advantage

January 26, 2008
Say you are a small business owner who wants their web site to appear in their area of business locally.   You get most of your business from referrals, but it sure would be nice to have some presence within your town.  How do you go about getting your site established in the local search engines?  What do you do in order to take advantage of local search marketing?
First, you will need to examine your website.  Does it have good content or is it just flash or photos?  Content that describes your business, where you do business at (city, zip code, landmark locations – i.e. across from the courthouse on the square) are important.
Ask yourself what most people searching for your services is looking for when they search online.  What would you type into a search box to find a good dentist near where you live?  You’d want to know that they take great care to avoid pain and you’d want to know that they accept your insurance.  You should mention what type of dentistry you specialize in, or if you have a specialty, like children’s dentist.
People also want to know something about you.  So you want to make sure you have a page that talks about the dentist, maybe include a picture.
What people want to know is that other patients of yours had good experiences.   Solicit patient reviews of your services and ask them if they mind if you include it on your website.
The pages you have shouldn’t take a lot of time, we’re talking about 250 – 500 words max per page.  A big item to include as well is a page showing easy to find driving directions and a Google map.  Local search is all about geo-targeting, so be sure to have a page that includes how to find you, where you’re located as well as your physical address prominently displayed on every page.
When you have the opportunity to write in a title tag, make sure you also include your city or town.  Dentist – South Bend Indiana – for an example.
In your description (the part that actually shows up under your URL) make sure you clearly state Dentist Office, South Bend IN that believes in a pain free experience and has the patients to back that up!  Or something that gets people’s attention…it is your 30 second commercial, so make the most of it.
If you follow these fairly easy guidelines submission for local search marketing is also easy.  Google Maps, Yahoo Local and MSN Live are the main locations you want to be listed in.
I don’t want to get cross ways with the internet yellow pages, but my advice is to go with the free listing first and if you feel that a premium listing is justified, you can always add that later.  I would also stay away from smaller directories.  You will end up getting more junk email from them than real customers.
Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Driving Business Results through Search Optimization and Local Search Marketing

Consumers Turn To Search For Local Business Listings

January 9, 2008

According to the newly published report, “Why Search Matters to Local Business” from WebVisible, Inc., the importance and reason why small businesses should pay attention to local search marketing becomes clear.  People who are looking for a local merchant, vendor, service are no turning to search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask.  In fact, according to this report – search engines are the go to place when for consumers trying to locate a local business from which to buy.

Every small business owner who attempts online marketing should first do their homework.  Look up the report and  see what 2,000 Internet Users had to say: “search engines are used by 73% of consumers when seeking local products and services — more than any other media type. ”

What does this do to your advertising dollars spent in more traditional media areas?  It reduces the opportunity to find local business, find consumers who are in the buying cycle. 

You can find a free copy of this report at Web Visible.com .

Local Search Marketing and SuperPages

January 2, 2008

Local Search Marketing and Superpages.com

As part of a Local Search Marketing plan, businesses should submit to Local Search Engines, Yellow page providers and Data Aggregators.  If you’re interested in submitting your business to online Intenet Yellow Page providers to enhance your local presence within their directories as well as with the major search engines local spots, Verizon SuperPages.com is certainly one to consider.  Based solely on their own credentials, a business should certainly take advantage of the free listing within Verizon SuperPages, however you add to that some of the affiliations that will also benefit your business.

Here’s a partial listing are some of Yellow Pages-Superpages alliances and relationships that you may or may not be aware of. 

MSN
Superpages provides online Yellow Pages services to MSN.

Microsoft
Superpages.com is provided MapPoint.net from Microsoft.

Consumer Guide
Consumer Guide provides unbiased reviews for over 500 products to Superpages.

Acxiom
Acxiom is a data aggregator that provides both Yellow and White pages listings to Superpages.

Amacai
Amacai provides content to Superpages.

Mobile Travel Guide
Mobile Travel Guide provides information on restaurants, attractions and lodging to Superpages for the United States and Canada.

eStara
Superpages and eStara work together to bring the power of voice to buyers and sellers.
WhitePages.com
Whitepages.com and SuperPages.com are partners, with Superpages providing data to WhitePages.

Lycos
SuperPages.com is the Yellow Pages for Lycos and navigation portal network.  Superpages provides co-branded Yellow Pages for Lycos sites such as Angelfire, Hotbot, Tripod and WhoWhere.

About.com
Superpages is About.com’s yellow pages provider.

America411.info
Superpages.com is the exclusive Yellow Pages provider for America411.

byYellowpages.com
Superpages.com provides yellow pages services to bybYellowpages.com

Local search marketing encompasses many aspects when trying to provide good presence for a company.  Understanding relationships of some of the providers should assist you in determining who is best to submit to.

Top SEO Marketing provides SEO campaigns at the National, Regional and Local levels.  Part of our service is to keep up with the industry and the relationships within the industry.  Top SEO Marketing provides companies with the most up to date services and best performance regardless of what level campaign is chosen.  For more information please see the Top SEO Marketing Inc. website at www.topseomarketing.com.

Rebecca Ratliff
Vice President Local Search
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Dallas, Texas
214/605-0997

Local Search Marketing and Google Maps

December 22, 2007

Every wonder who gets picked for the first three listing when you’re doing a Google Maps Search.  Google of course has a proprietary algorithm just for Google Maps.  There’s no way to know for sure exactly how Google does it, but here are a few suggestions that will help.

1.  Put your business listing in the Google Local Business Center, this is an absolute must!

2.  List your business with the data aggregators such as, Axiom, Amacia and InfoUSA.

3.  If your site has not been optimized for search engine optimization, this will benefit your organic results as well as Google maps

4.  Using Google AdWords may or may not impact your ranking in Google maps, the jury is still out on this one.

5.  If you are a Chamber Member ask for a link to your business.

6.  Place a listing in the online Yellow Pages.

7.  Reviews are becoming more and more valuable, not just for providing inputs to those searching, but Google pulls reviews from various sites.  One of which is Yelp.  If you want to ask customers to review your business they can do so through sites like Yelp, but Google now offers the ability to do reviews in Google maps as well.

8.  Google occasionally pulls from local Vertical directories.  If there are high quality vertical directories in your area including your business there may help.

However, there is another option, use a Local Search Marketing company to manage the entire process for you.  Even if you do the above items, which will certainly help, the Local Landscape online is constantly changing.  Of course here’s my shameless plug, Top SEO Marketing can manage an entire campaign for you that includes, On-page optimization, submission to the major Local Search Engines, submission to online Yellow page providers and submitting your business to data aggregators. 

Local Search and Info USA

December 18, 2007

Keeping up with recent changes in how to best complete submissions to IYP sites requires constant research to keep up with.  It seems that on a frequent basis someone is partnering with another company, buying another company or sites are dropping out all together.
 
If you’re playing in the local search arena and submitting to various IYP sites, there’s a recent change worth noting.  If you’ve been submitting to YP.com using the form on the following page, https://signup.yp.com/  for a basic listing, they let you submit the listing, but the submission will never become live.   They now receive all of their company listings through InfoUSA.  InfoUSA is one of the primary data aggregators that feed various IYP sites.
 
Since InfoUSA feeds many IYP sites and other local search engines such as Yahoo! Local and Google Local, adding your business to InfoUSA is a must.
 
To add your business listing there are two methods:
 
1. Online Method
 
 Set up an account using the main site at http://infousa.com/
 Complete the on-line form and your done
 The listing will take from 30 – 60 days to become live
 
or
 
2.   Send an e-mail to InfoUSA at contentfeedback@infousa.com and include the following:
 
 Name of Business
 Address
 Phone
 800 number
 Website URL
 Contact Name and Title
 Primary line of Business
 Industry Classification
 
 If the business is already listed and this is an update, include the businesslisting as it exists currently and then  what  inforamtion has changed. The benefit of sending an e-mail is that the listing will become live faster than the  online method above.

Local Search Marketing New Years Predictions

December 18, 2007

Local Search Engine Marketing company

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The following are my predictions for the local search market in 2008:

  • The marriage of GPS navigation systems and local search will become very hot in 2008
  • Users will continue to avoid drill down sites like Yellow Pages and most directories, preferring the ease of use search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo.
  • The local search marketing industry will still be defining itself and still present the appearance of confusion to most small business owners in 2008.
  • The first businesses in to local search marketing (natural rankings) will reap a disproportionate amount of business over their competition in 2008.
  • Local chamber of commerce memberships, better business bureaus, and the next type of “good housekeeping seal of approval” will rule the local search market as potential customers try to figure out which business are truly good versus those businesses that have proved they are good at technology, and not necessarily what they appear to be selling to consumers.
  • Rip Off Reports will also play a major role in search engines attempts to recognize what local businesses should be given top ranking (and thus providing a service) and which local businesses they would be better to stay away from who have proven less than satisfactory.

Well those are just a few of my predictions.  I’ll review these quarterly to see how well I do.  After seven plus years in the search engine optimization field – I am looking forward to the development of the local search marketplace.  Too often I’ve spoken to small business owners who wanted us to manage their SEO efforts, but did not have the budget or the need for our all inclusive search engine marketing campaigns.  Local search marketing provides us with a way to help small business, by placing them where there will be a high concentration of quality traffic looking for their products and services and also help them avoid, what I call “useless spending” where someone calls them up and over promises them placement with PPC ads that do not generate more business, but do generate more bills.

 Happy new year to you all….and to all a goodnight.

 Jessica Faltot
President/CEO
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Dallas, Texas
214/288-0853