What’s Different About Local Search?
Google makes hundreds of updates to its algorithm each year, Search Engine Marketing is as much about staying current as it is adhering to the fundamentals.
What Google is measuring today is not necessarily what it will measure tomorrow, but through systematic testing of tactics, tools, and strategies, great search marketers have shown they can consistently achieve meaningful results.
Currently, there are three types of listings in Google. These include:
1. Google Adwords (or pay-per-click). PPC refers to using an ad network platform in which you pay every time someone clicks the link to your website. The primary advantages of PPC are immediate results and high buying intent (if campaigns are setup properly). With proper optimization you will only pay for the clicks that give you a positive ROI.
Note: Zaragoza Marketing does not currently offer PPC Management Services
2. Google Organic are the listings Google’s algorithm determines to be the best result for that specific keyword. Advantages of organic traffic include higher click-through-rates and lower cost-per-acquisition. Users tend to trust organic results more than PPC ads which means more website traffic from organic in the long-term.
3. Google Places typically takes the best results on local search result pages. These are Google’s results with star-rating business reviews, maps, phone numbers and more. For local businesses Google Places optimization is the biggest opportunities to capture market share and quality leads from Google.
Google Places listings are shown on search queries where Google’s algorithm believes the searcher is looking for a local business. These results, with reviews and phone number on the listed on the search page, often result in a better user experience. Securing top rankings here is called Google Places Optimization.
The factors that affect these rankings change every week. Local optimization best practice is to optimize everything so when Google changes their ranking factors you still beat out the competition. Here is a breakdown of the most important ranking factors for Google Places:
Increases Google Places rankings when the page:
- Page filled out with 100% correct information
- Rich Media Files (photos, KML files, video etc.)
- Keyword Optimization
Decreases In Google Places rankings when the page:
- Officially unclaimed by your business
- Has negative reviews
- 800 phone number instead of a local number
- Multiple place pages with the same business title
- Hiding your address
- Multiple place pages with same phone number (most harmful)
Active and ongoing linkbuilding is the most important part of local optimization. Google sees links from other sites to yours as a “vote” that your site has useful content. So useful, they reason, that another site has referenced you, like books do.
The secret to long-term rankings is to build these links naturally. The key to natural link-building is creating very high quality content (videos, articles, blog posts, photos, software etc.) and promote that content to groups on the internet that push it viral. This approach is different for each and every client because your content will appeal to different audience’s. Every campaign is custom engineered.
With these high-quality and 100% natural inbound links Google will begin to crawl your website more. “Crawl” means when a search engine comes to your site and reads it. More crawling means more authority for your website. More authority means easier and better rankings for your entire website.
Onsite optimization is the practice of changing things about your website itself in order to make it more accessible in the eyes of Google. These things include: site title, image naming, useful and engaging content, site load speed and much more.
Because national campaigns are so competitive, onsite optimization is very important when targeting national keywords. However, local keywords are less competitive, and as a result, focusing on onsite optimization over any of the above mentioned strategies is often wasteful.
Basic onsite optimization can be completed in just a few days, and going beyond that is unnecessary. One of the benefits of local search optimization is that it is generally hands-off for the client. No additional work required.
Reputation management is what increases leads for PPC, national organic and local organic leads all at once. The Big 5 review sites are: Google Maps, Google Reviews, Local.com, Yahoo Local Business Directory, Yelp.com, and CitySearch.com. Boosting your ratings here will increase your conversion rates from Google traffic dramatically. This means more qualified leads.
HOW WE DO ALL THIS COST-EFFECTIVELY
1. We set up alert services for all the review pages. When someone posts a negative review we get it immediately and respond that day.
2. You are provided Feedback Cards to give your customers. They receive a $15/gift card automatically when they provide a review of your site. This gift card is automatically emailed to them and they can either choose Amazon or iTunes Gift Cards.
3. Phone calls to past customers to get natural reviews as well as contacting any negative reviewer and resolving the issue to remove the review.
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