LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION : PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2

Nov 13, 2008 | 1,594 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Gone are the days, when optimization was done while targeting all the market segments. It is the era of local search optimization, where SEO processes are more flexible and you have the power of optimizing website as per geographical locations. Many websites have discovered the power of local targeting. The local search optimization session on day 2 highlighted all the marketing aspects of local search.

Moderator:

  • Larry Mersman

Speakers:

  • David Klein, Electron Wrangler & SEO, Purpose Inc
  • Joe Laratro, President, Tandem Interactive
  • William Leake, CEO, Apogee Search
  • Justin Sanger, Founder & President,LocalLaunch!

First speaker of the session was William Leake, who believes that most of the searches are based on local target. Where online search has influenced $471 billion in offline sales, it has on the other hand influenced only 1/3 in online purchases. It is true that more than 80% of the purchases happen within 50 miles of the customer’s home.

It is not essential that Google will show local results even after the location is specified in the search string. This leads to the creation of a unique keyword research issue, which might not show local search results.

In this case, what is essential is getting all your addresses registered. Websites owners must customize for their largest geo city centre, as Google has special liking for such centers. All the information about your business must be added to yellow page type websites like yellow pages, super pages, local.com and more, as these sites act as information aggregators.

Customer reviews also play crucial role in increasing local search visibility. You should figure out from where Google is getting all the reviews and then ask your customers to provide real reviews. Tagging a video for local searches will give you surprisingly increased results. There are many online profiles, which also accept videos. Search for them.

Next to speak was Joe Laratro. According to him local keyword research is critical. Do not only focus on obvious state and local phrases, but include some local slang like “tri-city”, “Triad” or “valley”. Combine them with your vertical market or the specialty area. You will receive large list of phrases and will need to create content around them.

Some of the valuable Geo-centric content creation ideas include client testimonials, blog and work logs, pictures with caption, client case studies and stories, local resources and information pages. Do not ever prefer using form pages, which are easily caught by search engines. While writing a copy, you should primarily focus on GEO and do remember to optimize it.

For optimizing the content, come out with areas of specialty and incorporate local keywords. Once Joe Laratro hired writers and asked them to come up with local content in 30 different locations. They combined all the keywords in their content and it was 1 year later, the website received 7x more traffic than the last year.

Although, the local terms generate small amount of traffic, but it is all quality traffic that results in adding up lots of site visitors.

Next up was Justin Sanger, who truly believes that local search is only meant for brick and mortar companies and not for pure web players. It is $1 Trillion dollar market and people will do online search for local purchase without even clicking the company’s website.

Google and Yahoo have now incorporated proximity, content accuracy, user generated content and a local score in their search algorithms. Most of the searchers now take mobile search as a major service. There are numerous ways for a consumer to find a business as every piece of content is a new opportunity to be found.

To be a winner at local search, you must have your core business data online with big aggregators. After this, you should submit your profiles to every possible place. Get references for your website by looking at Google and finding out who is pulling maximum reviews. All the social media and other sites must be linked with ratings and reviews. Also build links with your local associations, trade partners and other authorized local links.

Last speaker of the session David Klein said that if you want your website to be #1 in organic search, it must have a highly optimized content and some of the best links.

LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION : PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION : PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2
4.thumbnail LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION : PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2