Lee Odden

SIS Session: Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis

Aaron Goldman

10:45am: Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis with:
Moderator: Aaron Goldman, VP, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships
Marc Barach, CMO, Ingenio
Mike Margolin, VP, Interactive Marketing Director, RPA
Christopher Knoch, Principle Consultant, Omniture Consulting Group, Omniture, Inc.

Aaron excitedly shows slides/stats from eMarketer supporting that budgets are going to local, “local is here”. 20% of all queries are local based but over half of all queries are for local info but do not include geographic terms in the query (according to SEMPO)

Leveraging Local Search on a National Basis

Local campaigns
Chris describes the importance of having locations of all offices your company operates in as well as having a store locator. Don’t overuse brands and use geo phrases in ads.

Aaron: What are some best practices for online-only retailers?

Chris: If you want to buy geo modified phrases that’s fine, but you better have some call out to things like “free shipping”. Position against some of the benefits from brick and mortar retailers.

What about local targeting?

Mike: The businesses are divided into tiers: national, regional, individual advertiser at the local level. There’s a place for all 3 tiers in both geo modified and non geo modifed phrases. Parse out keyword sets to see what goes to national, what goes to regional.

Chris to Mike: Did you ever run into conflict between the brand and dealers wanting the same keywords?
Mike: The brands offer a variety of tools that are not found on dealer sites, creating distinct keyword sets.

Aaron: The major engines offer local search, how can marketers get away from that to other services for reaching local searchers?

Marc: Brings up Ingenio as a way that marketers are using alternate channels for driving leads. Also mentions internet yellow page provides that sell calls as welll as clicks. There are segments in the local space that are not well served, so it should be a goal for marketers to create services that meet that demand.

Chris: Yellow page listings showing up in organic search is due to Universal search not being flushed out. Going to see more with mobile, advertising with local.

Aaron: What are some interactive examples? Like Saturn tour of dealership through Google Maps.

Chris: Gives example of being able to virtually walk down a street.

Audience: Asks about ads tailored to the searcher that’s local vs the searcher searching locally.

Chris: Advises to use geo phrases that are unique to the area. A “local” will search with different geo names than someone that is searching in general of a geographically specific place. Example: “hotels new york” for someone visiting NYC. “hotels Tribeca” for someone that lives in NYC. It speaks to the person on a more individual level.

Mike: This isn’t easy stuff. It’s smart stuff. Need to provie it out, show ROI. It’s something everyone shopuld be considering.

Aaron: What are some of the tools provided by search engines for local search marketing?

Mike: Tells story of Honda where certified cars were not getting the visibility dealers expected. Microsites were constructed and hosted outside Honda and implemented in concert with Yahoo and Google as co-branded sites using tools the search engines had created.

Chris: Use tools within Google for geo-targeting based on where foot traffic comes from.

Mike: The whole idea of geo segmentation goes further than local brick and mortar businesses and online companies targeting locally. Geo segmentation nationally is absolutely critical.

Marc: Run multiple local campaignsn to account for pricing variances in different markets. Example: Glass replacement in Omaha pricing will be very different than in Chicago.

Chris: Before you step into the local search arena, make sure you understand the local nuances of each market.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Sweet notes Lee. Sphunn here: http://sphinn.com/story/18614 . I hope you don’t mind 🙂

  2. Scott, if you mean Mike’s company site (Rubin Postaer and Associates), it’s http://www.rpa.com/

    He didn’t give the urls of the co-branded Honda Microsites.

  3. Local or geo-targeting is where the biggest impact using SEO, can be made these days. Limit the keywords to the local market for the small businesses and you can have a huge impact on their business. A little good basic SEO goes a long way locally! Avoid the crowd go local!

  4. Avatar Scott Clark says

    (I work in Franchise SEO, so this was a room I wish I’d have been in.)


    “Tells story of Honda where certified cars were not getting the visibility dealers expected. Microsites were constructed and hosted outside Honda and implemented in concert with Yahoo and Google as co-branded sites using tools the search engines had created.”

    [click! this is right down my alley]

    I would love to hear this story in depth, but don’t know who Mike of RPA is. Would you mind posting the actual name of the company?


  5. Avatar Adido Web Design says

    Surprised that no one mentioned about conversion rates on local targeting, we’ve found that local ads can convert very well when compared to the national phrases.

  6. Local Search Marketing will only continue to increase as a result of a heavily saturated national SEO keywords / campaigns previously dominating local results. Call it balance or the law of action reaction.

    It will be interesting to see the full extent of those same national SEO principles being applied on the local level, where the obvious relevance in search engines will provide the opportunity for the little guy (the mom and pop shop or small business) to reclaim a fair stake of market share. The analogy that comes to mind for SEO’s moving in on local online turf is like the equivalent of using a bazooka to swat flies, since most (competitive)local search results are under 10,000 competing pages (mere child’s play for a serious SEO).