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Ashley Zeckman

Is Your Local Optimization Landing You New Customers or Leaving Them Lukewarm? – #SESNY

By Ashley Zeckman     Local SEO, Mobile, Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies

google places optimizationThis afternoon I attended the panel presentation titled ” Local Myth Busters – Local Optimization Facts Proven or Debunked” which featured four very knowledgable panelists who provided a great mix of instruction and high level tactics.  This session was very focused on Google Places and finding a way to stand out from your competition.

If you are responsible for local marketing or would like to begin implementing a local/mobile marketing strategy these are some tips you don’t want to miss.  Below I have included what I considered to be highlights from the presentations.

Traditional SEO & Citations: Andrew Beckman (@Andrew_Beckman)

When implementing traditional SEO you’re on the hunt for backlinks.  When deploying a local search strategy you want to populate your “place” data among different channels in a cohesive way.  Citations (or mentions of your business) are key for ranking algorithms from search engines like Google.  How can you determine the value of a particular citation?

  • Page rank of the sub domain citation
  • Content and keyword density on the page
  • Back links to the page
  • Frequency of crawl on the sub URL where citation exists

Traditional SEO tactics are becoming a more important signal for local universal results.  When deploying a local strategy its important that you properly optimize the following:

  1. URL structure
  2. Title tags
  3. Internal citation contact info)
  4. Targeted phrases in content
  5. Back links with anchor text
  6. Deep linking to location pages

Categories, Ratings and Reviews, Microdata: Benu Aggarwal (@MilestoneMktg)

Consistency is key when optimizing local pages and listings across the Internet.  According to Benu the 7 most important fields to optimize include:

  1. Site URL
  2. Categories
  3. Business details
  4. Reviews on third party sites
  5. Ratings on Google Places
  6. Photos and videos
  7. Events and coupons

User generated content in the form of reviews can have a very positive or negative effect on a company place page.  Don’t think that reviews have a significant impact?  Reviews can affect your content in the following ways:

  • Encourages user interaction
  • Supplies fresh content to search engines
  • Reviews signal trust to search engines
  • Enables users to recommend your business on any channel

Optimizing Images & Videos: Steve Yeich (@localsplash)

Steve provided a great series of tactics and instructions for easily optimizing your images and videos on the Internet.  By optimizing your photos before uploading to Google Places you will improve your local SEO efforts.

Photo Optimization Tips

  • Add all 10 photos allowed on Google Places
  • Update these photos periodically
  • Save your photo with a file name that includes your business name and a keyword

Google Coupons

Implementing Google Coupons will translate into specials for your company appearing in search results.  Along with improved SEO there are other benefits to implementing a Google Coupon strategy such as:

  • Creating more complete business information
  • Helps your business stand out in SERP
  • Facilitates more precise tracking of ROI

Mobile vs. deskptop ranking factors: Jeff Cambbell (@CJeffCampbell)

Optimizing your business for local search can be a lot of work all in its own.  On top of that you also have to consider the fact that many of your customers are using a mobile device to find your information.  There are some attributes specific to mobile search which include:

  • Users must be in close proximity to the location in order to effectively interact
  • The completeness of your Google Places page is essential (especially for those using Google Maps on the iPhone)

According to Campbell there are very strong correlations between rankings in Google smartphone search results.  By properly optimizing your place page you will encourage more repeat visits.

Key Takaways

  1. Optimize your place profile
  2. Find out relevant unique categories
  3. Optimize content on your website social network links
  4. Facilitate your customer in leaving revewis on your site and third party sites
  5. Optimize and maximize your use of photos and videos for Google Places
  6. Consider the device your customers are using

What do you think?  Have you fully maximized the use of  your Google Places page as part of a local strategy?  What have you found has worked really well, and what hasn’t?  Be sure to follow us for information during the conference: @toprank, @leeodden, @azeckman, @bslarsonmn.


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