1 min read

The Evolution of Local Search

By TJ Shroat on Thu,Jan 24, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Topics: FourSquare Location-based Marketing Local SEO Local Business Marketing
3 min read

A Guide to Local SEO

By TJ Shroat on Thu,Sep 13, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Jayson DeMers of Search Engine Journal recently interviewed Sam McRoberts, CEO of Vudu Marketing, about local search engine optimization (SEO). This interview is a solid resource for local SEO and can be used by small business owners as an action plan.

"What types of businesses need Local SEO?"
Local SEO is for any business that gets at least some of its customers/clients locally, and especially for businesses with physical locations that they expect customers to go to.

"How is Local SEO different from National SEO?"
Elements that apply to national SEO also impact local SEO. Most importantly for local SEO, you need to create and claim a local profile on Google, which will show up for localized search results. Citations are also important. A citation is any place online that uses your company name, address, and phone number all on the same page, in the same format as your local listing. Finally, reviews on Google Places is an important local ranking factor.

"How does on-site optimization differ for Local SEO vs. National SEO?"
Make sure your name, address and phone number are used on every page of your site, in the same format as your Google local listing. Use your city and state names in your title tags, meta descriptions, and the content on your site. Use Schema local markup to better help search engines identify and show your location. Include a Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file on your site.

"What are the most important signals that boost local SEO rankings?"
The three biggest factors in local listings appear to be the number of citations, the number of reviews (Google Places listing, other places), and how positive the reviews are overall. Positive reviews seem to trump the other factors.

"What does the location of a business to the city center have to do with anything?"
Google gives a bias towards locations that are closest to the center of the city.

"Can you outline a brief action plan you’d recommend for new company looking to compete for local search results?"
Claim your local listing on Google Places and 100% complete it. Next, spread the information from Google Places across all the other major local platforms, in the same format. Each of these will become a citation. Claim all your social profiles. Continue to build on-site SEO. Finally, get your happy customers to leave positive reviews for you on Google Places.

"Can you recommend some ways a local business can get citations?"
Use a tool like the WhiteSpark local citation finder to locate the best citation sources for your city. Guest blog posting can give you a chance to get citations by including them in your author bio.

"Can you recommend some ways a local business can get reviews?"
Encourage customers or clients to rate their experience with you on your Google Places profile. Include links to your profile in email communications. DO NOT buy reviews.

"Do you recommend small, local companies do local SEO in-house or hire an agency?"
This depends on your budget. An agency may cost more, but might end up paying for itself through speed and accuracy.

"Are there any specific services, websites, or tools that you recommend to help companies with local SEO?"
WhiteSpark local citation finder is a cheap tool for finding citation sources. Something like MySEOTool can track your rankings with localization. Set-up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to track what keywords are driving search impressions and traffic to your site.

"What price range should a typical small business expect to pay for local SEO, (in house or agency)?"
Local SEO via an agency could range from $100/mo for the most basic work all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars per month for a competitive space with hundreds or thousands of locations.

"Is Local SEO an ongoing endeavor, or is it more of a set-and-forget expense?"
There's an ongoing component beyond set-up, as you should be getting new citations, reviews, social mentions and links each and every month.

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Topics: Location-based Marketing Local SEO Local Business Marketing SEO
1 min read

INFOGRAPHIC: How to Get Check-Ins

By TJ Shroat on Fri,Aug 24, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

The number of customers using social location applications on their smartphones, like Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook, is small but growing. From Intuit, here's an infographic on how to encourage your customers to check-in with these applications and drive more traffic to your location.

Offer a Special - Reward loyal customers and attract new ones with a discount for frequent or first-time check-ins.
Encourage Groups - Create a special that unlocks for large party check-ins.
Don't Give it Away - Consider perks other than discounts or freebies.

3 Tips to Get Your Customers to “Check In” [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Topics: Social Business FourSquare Location-based Marketing Social Location Google Local Local Business Marketing Facebook Infographic

INFOGRAPHIC: The State of Daily Deals

By TJ Shroat on Fri,Aug 10, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Daily deal sites brought in $3 billion in revenue in 2011. However, retailers have been less than thrilled with daily deals, as they don't appear to encourage customer loyalty or allow retailers a way to track spend. From Truaxis, here's an infographic that shows the current thinking on daily deal sites.

State of Daily Deals resized 600

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Topics: Location-based Marketing Daily Deals Local Business Marketing Infographic Social Commerce

VIDEO: Using Gamification to Engage with Customers

By Chandler Austin on Tue,Jun 05, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

In this video from Entrepreneur.com, gamification expert Gabe Zichermann talks about how retail businesses can benefit from adding gaming elements to their marketing efforts.

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Topics: Gamification FourSquare Location-based Marketing Local Business Marketing Retail Marketing Video
1 min read

Top Trends in Social Media

By Chandler Austin on Thu,May 10, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

Social media has gone from a fad to a significant element of how businesses market, communicate and publish in less than three years. From Jeff Bulla's keynote presentation at the BE-Wizard web conference, here is his top 10 trends in social media presentation.

10 Trends in Social Media
  1. Social Mobile
  2. Socialization of Search
  3. Location Based Marketing with Social
  4. Social Commerce
  5. Social Gaming
  6. Online Global Magazines and Super Blogs
  7. Global Micro Niche Business
  8. Social Apps
  9. Visual Social Web
  10. Convergence of Social and Traditional Media
Topics: Social Gaming Location-based Marketing Social Media Marketing Social Media Social Commerce Mobile Marketing Social Media Trends

INFOGRAPHIC: Online Marketing for Brick-and-Mortar Success

By Chandler Austin on Wed,May 09, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

The Internet can be a powerful tool for both attracting and retaining clients. From HUA Marketing, here's an infographic about the ways Internet marketing can be utilized to generate offline sales and leads.

OnlineMarketingBrickandMortarSuccess resized 600

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Topics: Location-based Marketing Marketing Strategy Local Business Marketing Social Media Marketing Lead Generation Small Business Trends

INFOGRAPHIC: Daily Deal Dissatisfaction

By Chandler Austin on Fri,Dec 16, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

From BuySellAds, here's an infographic that shows that daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social get mixed reviews from merchants.

Daily Deal Dissatisfaction resized 600

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Topics: Social Customer Location-based Marketing Local Business Marketing Groupon Infographic Social Commerce

INFOGRAPHIC: Online Marketing for Offline Success

By Chandler Austin on Wed,Dec 07, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

From KISSmetrics, here's an infographic that demonstrates how social media drives brick and mortar success.

Online Marketing for Offline Success resized 600

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Topics: Location-based Marketing Marketing Strategy Social Media Marketing Twitter Facebook Groupon Infographic small business marketing

INFOGRAPHIC: Location-Based Social Media

By Chandler Austin on Fri,Sep 30, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

From Visible Technologies, here's an infographic about social media that utilizes smartphone and GPS technology, and how much information users are willing to disclose.

Location Based Social Media resized 600

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Topics: Location-based Marketing Infographic Smartphones


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