Archive for the ‘Local SEO’ Category

Articles about Local Search Engine Optimization – Local SEO involves methods and elements for ranking in local search results such as within Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, Bing Maps, as well as within some Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) sites.

“Downtown” Searches In Google Maps

Monday, August 30th, 2010

For a couple of years now, Google Maps has decreased the influence of proximity upon rankings. However, what if your search query includes the keyword, “downtown”?

Downtowns and rankings in Google Maps

If the query includes “downtown”, such as in the phrase ”downtown coffee shops seattle”, or “downtown hotels, nashville, tn”, then proximity appears to be given a whole lot more importance. (more…)

Local SEO 101: Domain Naming

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Domain naming is closely related to branding. If you have some flexibility — that is, if you don’t have a website or your website hasn’t been operating for very long — you might want to engineer your domain name to give you maximum Local SEO value. Choosing Domain Names for Local Businesses & Local SEO(If you’ve already been operating on a brandname for quite some time, you might still consider these tips for a separate domain name for your blog.)

The right domain name can give you a marginal edge above the competition when people are searching for your products and services.

Back when I wrote “Extreme Local Search Optimization Tactics“, I suggested renaming a business to include local search keywords so that your company could more closely match with the queries that most consumers would type into search engines when seeking your type of business. While those “extreme” tips were intended to be so over-the-top as to be a joke, the concept of having an optimal name is not.

For instance, a business named “Acme” isn’t going to match searches for “auto repair” as closely as a business named “Acme Auto Repair”. Descriptively-named businesses have the added benefit of always advertising/informing consumers as to exactly what they provide, each time their names are displayed, so there’s likely some significant overall advantage to descriptive names beyond search optimization.

Renaming businesses has been done for local search optimization, although Google has become sensitive to it being done non-officially, and formally/legally changing a business name or getting a DBA may be more trouble/expense than it is worth. (more…)

Is it “Game Over” for Internet Yellow Pages SEO?

Monday, July 19th, 2010

In my article on Search Engine Land today, I outline how the recent local SERP testing being conducted by Google has the potential to not only reduce organic traffic to Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) and online directories, but could also freeze out many well-marketed small-to-medium businesses.

So, is it “game over” for IYPs? Should they throw in the towel and move their promotional dollars to other, greener pastures?

IYP SEO - Game Over?

My answer to that is a confident “no!”, and not merely because I do SEO consulting. (more…)

Thoughts On Local Search Ranking Factors

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

David Mihm’s once again posted his fantastic yearly survey of local search ranking factors for 2010, scored by surveying a lot of us who do online local marketing professionally. What’s particularly cool about the survey is that he also posts a calculation indicating how much we’re in agreement along with how positive/negative we consider any given factor.

The Local Search Ranking Factors

It may be mildly confusing for newbies who want to know what they should do in order to improve local business listing rankings within Google, and I’d say that small differences the weighting of the various scores are nearly immaterial. (more…)

Speaking At Upcoming DFW SEM Meeting

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

I’m looking forward to speaking at the upcoming DFW SEM Association meeting on May 19th, dubbed “Location, Location, Location, all about Local Search” along with David Mihm of GetListed.org and Brian Combs of ionadas.

Dallas - Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association

I’ve met both Brian and David on the search marketing convention circuit, and consider them to be colleagues and great experts on local search engine marketing subjects. I had a chance to look over the topics all three of us will be covering in our panel presentation, (more…)

Local SEO 101: Increase the Odds of a Plus-Box Map

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

You’ve likely seen Plus-Boxes in Google search results. They are little boxes which sometimes appear below a search result listing, and when clicked they expand the listing, allowing more info to be displayed, such as a small map or a stock chart.

Google Plus-Box Treatment, Coit Tower, San Francisco

For many webmasters, the question of whether a Map Plus-Box appears for a page about a location, such as for local businesses, appears to be decided very arbitrarily. Some pages with local addresses on them have the Plus-Box treatment occur, while others do not.

There are a few ways to increase the chances that Google will be able to successfully interpret the location information appearing on a webpage, so that they can pinpoint it on a map. (more…)

Local SEO 101: Step One, Claim Your Listing In Google Maps

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

I posted an ultra-basic Local SEO tip over at SEM Clubhouse today, “How To Rank Well In Google Maps – One Easy Tip“. This one is so basic that it nearly goes without saying!

Google Local Business Center

However, I think many people may not have realized that CLAIMING your business actually is a major ranking signal for Google Maps, and automatically gives a listing a leg up over many unclaimed listings in the same category/area combination. Google employees have actually publicly verified that this is a ranking factor! There are very few instances where they’ll say that some factor is influential on rankings, so this is not to be ignored.

Stay tuned for more “Local SEO 101″ tutorials.

Introducing Local SEO 101

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I’m contemplating doing a series of posts on here of “Local SEO 101” tips. Each post would outline a specific tactic for ranking in local search results, including local searches under blended/Universal Search as well as with Google Maps and other local search engines.

Main St. Diagram

Local Search Ranking Factors include a lot of pieces including citations from internet yellow pages, newspapers, vertical directories, community guides, business review sites, and more.

(more…)

Google Maps Labs “What’s Around Here?” Feature May Reveal Ranking Factors

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Be sure to check out my new post over at SEM Clubhouse on how Google Maps Labs’ new “What’s Around Here?” feature may reveal PlaceRank secrets.

Enabling What's Around Here in Google Maps Labs

“What’s Around Here?” is a wildcard feature that allows people to view the most-popular businesses and places for a particular mapped area.

Listing out the most-popular places for any given area, without having a keyword relevance or business category factoring in as well, may allow one further insight into the relative weighting of the ranking factors that influence priority within Google Maps listings.