Local Search Optimization: PubCon Las Vegas Dec 2007, Day 2

Dec 6, 2007 | 2,091 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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It is not just for bricks and mortar anymore. Many web sites have discovered the power of local targeting. This session will focus on the marketing aspects of local search.


  • Melanie Mitchell


Starting the conference is David Klein, Electron Wrangler & CEO, Purpose Inc. realising how tired and sleepy the audience was David said we could laugh and heckle him. Apparently, he's a chiropractor posing as an SEO strategist.

Anyway, Dave asked his current and possible customers what they would type, if they searched for his business. Most of them said 'San Diego Chiropractic.' With this knowledge, his team built a simple site which had lots and lots of success stories. Dave says he likes his site to be aesthetic too. Apparently, the team made an 80 page cartoon book about chiropractic. As his sole aim was to be No.1 for the said term, 'San Diego chiropractic.'

To be successful, you need lots of links that made sense to your page. For this Dave added a lot of things to his site, like adding a testimonial from the University of California, San Diego; carton linkbaiting at WordCamp, gave firefighters chiropractic help during the recent fires and gave them food. Also, he added a pic he took of his and Matt Cutts. Finally, they added a site for the SEO Poker tournament they have tomorrow night.

How to get links?

  • If you have a hardware store, donate hammers to build homes for the homeless. Take photos and mention it on your site.
  • If you have a florist, donate flowers to the funeral of someone well loved and write about it on your site
  • If you have famous customers, you can take photos and write about them on your site (only after they grant permission)

Next up is Jennifer Black, Vice President, Marketing, Local.com.

How to start?

  • Have lots of listings
  • Ensure all big search engines have your business listed
  • Use off self-service tools that let you verify and update your information within just 5 mins
  • Take advantage of data sources
  • Ensure your listing is error-free and complete
  • This helps in backlinks which further help in being found by local potential customers

Your profile for local search engine should have:-

  • Working hours
  • Service area
  • Payment methods
  • Images
  • Logos and more

These should all be submitted to search engines. If you are willing to use Pay-Per-Call, try paid subscription listings. Jennifer thinks this is a simple and painless way to start. Jennifer states that if you are going to have an 800 number designated to your customer's then be there to answer it.

Jennifer goes on to discuss about PPC, testing different landing creatives and using a good analytics program to track what's going on.

Next comes Joe Laratro, President of Tandem Interactive. Joe starts by walking into the audience asking for participation. Joe starts by showing proof of long tail search. Joe shows some information on his pal's website that says over 270,000+ users came in via different keywords. This is significant as in local search there are many keywords and search phrases that it is hard to target.

Focus on:

  • Specific keywords
  • Geocentric + broad keywords
  • Geocentric + specific keywords

Joe asks the audience to tell him what they do for a living. This way, he can give them ideas. One female says she's a real estate agent in Thousand Oaks, CA. Joe suggests creating testimonials where keywords will be featured. Additionally, you can tweak the testimonials to add more keywords. Joe asks the woman how many pages her site has? She says 40. Nice, however it'd even be better if it had 140.

Joe feels that forms don't work. It's unfeasible to target 50 different states through forms by changing just one word. Content is key. Think geo+writing. You clients may not have them in mind but you should.

Track your success:

  • Review your analytics
  • Find out increases in the number of keyword and search referrals
  • Will traffic find the new pages you've created
  • Ensure Google has indexed your new content
  • Continually add content
  • 5 pages a year means nothing. A page brochure with just 10 pages mean nothing
  • Long tail may be absent in five years. Do it now, don't waste any time.

Last is John Coronella, Internet Marketing Consultant, OnlineMarketer. Apparently he wanted to go last but now everyone has said what he wanted to. Also, he can't find his presentation as all of them are marked PubCon. True.

John feels Local search is interesting as it's a great way to take some big databases and get a lot of keywords from them. Nevertheless, it's risky and tough. If you know how local search sites work, you'll definitely have an edge over the rest.

Local Search is Dead. (What?) Apparently, the tactic of taking geographic terms and increasing your keyword is nothing new. This generates many 'long tail' queries. There's a low barrier to entry. The biggest hurdle to face is not to be 'just another search result within another search result'.

Tips for marketing for local business:

  • Content is key
  • Be a part of Google's Universal Search
  • Continually update your information.

Common Mistake in building sites for local search

Avoid starting with state pages. This usually leads to the city pages. This further ends in 15 million business listings/profile pages. Note that this is bad for your PR. Also, it makes it really easy for your competition to take you down.

Points while optimizing site for Local Search

  • Become part of all the data providers
  • Optimize these listings
  • Rule your own SERPs
  • Make yourself a part of the local listings. Once again, optimize.
  • Give them content for your business
  • Buy/Send them links so that they can rank you
4.thumbnail Local Search Optimization: PubCon Las Vegas Dec 2007, Day 2

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 Dec 2007, Day 2
4.thumbnail Local Search Optimization: PubCon Las Vegas Dec 2007, Day 2