SES Chicago: Local Search Marketing Strategies

Filed in Conferences/Educ., Local Search by Matt McGee on December 5, 2006 2 Comments

SES ChicagoMy notes from the Tuesday, 1:15 pm session on “Local Search Marketing Strategies.”

Greg Sterling, Moderator

* local search very important, but very complicated
* SEMPO research 12/05 — 55% tried local search and say “works great” or “works okay”
* Marketing Sherpa data — marketers/agencies more interested in local search among all “emerging search” categories (vertical search, social search, etc.)
* Nielsen study — searchers looking for local service
— 51% did not use geo-modifier, just used service category (“dentist”)
— 49% used category and location
— 23% used specific business name (“Dr. Bob’s Dental”)
— 19% used specific term (“root canal”)
(survey takers could choose more than one option)

Stacy Williams, Prominent Placement

* local search market highly fragmented
* searchers use main search engine, not the local version (less than 1% use the local engine)
* so, optimize for main results – address on every page
* also, submit business profile for local engines/sites

Submitting Business Profile – be prepared with:
– basic business info.
– write descriptions of varying lengths (1k words, 500 words, 400 words, 250 words, etc.)
– have ideas for different categories you should be in
– have an email address you can access for submission
– need credit card with same billing address as business (for Superpages only)

– track everything you do
– even if profile is correct, find something to change – some will then give you access to a “more info” page
– review times range from 5-60 days

(gives URLs for submitting to Google Local, Yahoo Local, MSN)

Local Engines: and — free or $40 per month — free or $5 per month

Internet Yellow Pages
(gives URLs for various submissions)
– getting listed in Superpages is big!!

can’t go to INFOUSA.COM to submit anymore
instead go to, find your business, look for add/change listing link

Review Sites
(gives URLs for InsiderPages, JudysBook, and Yelp)

Why Bother?
– be found by local prospects
– ensure online data is accurate
– ” ” is complete
– build links to site
– dominate SERPs

Patricia Hursh, SmartSearch Marketing

* will focus on advertising options, not organic; geo-targeting of ads

Local Ad Options
1) campaigns with local keywords (“chicago ISP”)
— include various ways to describe location
— ads served regardless of searcher’s location
— effective way to reach movers, travelers, people looking for someone else
2) geo-targeted campaigns
— ad serving relies on detecting searcher’s location
— based on IP of searcher
— based on membership/registration info. of searcher
— local ads not shown if engine can’t tell location of searcher
— local ads compete against all ads, but are seen as highly relevant (i.e., Quality Score)
3) local search engines
— searchers asked to enter WHAT and WHERE
— most include maps
— people are often searching for:
— driving directions
— phone #s & contact info
— local service providers
— operational info (business hours, etc.)
— Yahoo is phasing out Local Sponsored Search in favor of “Local Listings” (Local Basic, Local Enhanced, Local Featured)
— Google Map ads
— ensure business is in Google Local (do submission process)
— use AdWords to make “Local Business Ad”

Three ad campaign strategies
– national for brand visibility
– geo-targeted for local searchers
– national with local keyword for total coverage

Justin Sanger, LocalLaunch

* talking about local search for years; now, it’s here; “it’s going to dominate search over the next decade”
* local search dominated by PPC today; it’s where majority of small biz find opportunity

Local Search Behavior
– all of our behavior is local
– used to use yellow pages, newspaper classifieds, word of mouth
– consumers are smarter now — can use search to compare based on price, based on location, based on payment options, etc.
– approx. 30% of all queries are explicitly or implicitly local
– 70% of consumers using web to find local products/services
– 90% of internet conversions take place offline

Innovation and Local Search tactics are elusive
– constant innovation in local search

Tactical Fragmentation
– IYP, local shopping, destination local/vertical search, online classifieds, local media sites, social networking, pure local search engines

Landing Pages of Local Search
– there is no single business landing page
– local search optimization requires new thinking
— think beyond your web site
— think about business content online in various forms, places
— “managing and dispersing business information is the local search marketing tactic of our time”

Structured Business Content
– the content that feeds all disparate local search utilities
– 35% of US internet users have created content online
– rich, structured content serves:
— users; business profiles assist in buying decisions
— businesses; opportunity to manage and monitor distribution of core business data
— search utilities

Cleanse and Distribute Your Business Data
– core business data
— accuracy of this data is critical to local search optimization
— cleanse it through Amacai, Acxiom, and InfoUSA
– enhanced business data
—, Y! Local, Superpages, etc.
– structured data leads to unstructured data, i.e. – user reviews
– be proactive with reviews; get customers and friends to give you ratings
– study your SERPs
— search algorithms are biased toward local business aggregators (i.e., CitySearch, Superpages, etc.) — don’t compete with these trusted organizations, ride their coattails
– utilize IYP strategically

[tags]seschicago06, ses, local search[/tags]

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