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How To Build Local Internet Traffic - Quick!

small business marketing advertising a small business small business marketing tips

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#1 clandestino

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

How To Build Local Internet Traffic - Quick! - Small Business Marketing Ideas


If you could only do three things as a traffic builder and they had to produce in the next 30 to 90 days, which
three things would you do? Let's see if we can put together a list of small business marketing tips that work!

Note: The ideas should be other than Paid Advertising. Don't include -- PPC, Content Network, Facebook (paid ads), YouTube (paid ads), Banner Ads, Display Ads, Text Links, etc.

The idea is to put together Free ideas that any small business could include in their internet marketing plan. This may include home business internet marketing too.

#2 tam

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Write an article for the local paper and include the web address. I don't know about your local papers but ours have trouble finding any news to put between the adverts and will basically print anything emailed in, particularly if it includes a picture.

Locate some local who is influential online and do something nice for them offline.

Put your location on your website - preferably in the title. I don't care if your business is set in beautiful rolling countryside, if you don't state which bit of countryside!!! I've been trying to hunt down businesses online this week from their company names and the number that don't include their location is astounding!

#3 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

1. Claim your listing on Google Places.

2. Claim your listing on all the major directories that deal with local businesses (yelp, etc.)

3. Put your NAP (name, address, phone) on every page of your website.

Bonus tip: Make sure your NAP is EXACTLY the same everywhere you list it. EXACTLY. Did I say EXACTLY? I mean EXACTLY. If you use 1234 Main St. one place, don't put 1234 Main Street somewhere else. EXACTLY the same everywhere.

#4 EGOL

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:45 PM

EXACTLY the same



everybody got that? :)

#5 clandestino

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:56 AM

EXACTLY the same

everybody got that? :)


Now what exactly do you mean by that? :D

1. Claim your listing on Google Places.

Bonus tip: Make sure your NAP is EXACTLY the same everywhere you list it. EXACTLY. Did I say EXACTLY? I mean EXACTLY. If you use 1234 Main St. one place, don't put 1234 Main Street somewhere else. EXACTLY the same everywhere.


So true. Places is one place (scuze the pun) where you can be in first postions within 20 minutes, depending on competition and strength of your site.

I'm glad you brought up NAP and the importance of "Exactly". I was going to do a thread just on that topic, and probably will at some point.

Let it go out and be said throughout the kingdom that Princess Donna proclaimed not once, not twice, not thrice, not 4 fold but 5 times that NAP must be exact in all locations that it is written. It is written and so it shall be. Violate this rule at your great peril! And, punishment will be meted out by the fair Donna according to her desires. -- Think Shakespeare has anything to worry about? LOL!

That is the number 1 best way to fragment your brand so badly across the internet that it will take years and tons of work before you can undo it. When I write that thread on NAP I'll tell you why. (Donna knows, being an author as she is, that to be a good novelist, you should create suspense and expectation of satisfying a nagging curiosity, and so I have. How am I doing, Donna. Think I'm ready to be published ;) )

Now let's take it one step further. How do I decide what should go in my NAP (name, address, phone)? It makes a difference. Depending on how you set it up, you may have other factors working against you and you may be very, very sorry.

For example, when picking a format for your address, I highly recommend you use the USPS format here --> https://tools.usps.c...t.action?mode=0 This is a USPS lookup for zipcode. When It delivers the zipcode, however, it will also put your address in USPS format. So, if their format is -- 100 EXACTLY RD -- you should use Exactly that. Don't include a period -- RD. -- don't spell it out -- ROAD -- just use -- RD -- just as they have it. This may create a problem with a very small number of the Local Directories, which you can resolve with them by putting in a lot of time and effort, but, if you don't use the USPS format, you'll have an even bigger problem.

You see, Localeze, the largest Data Provider, will only use USPS format. So, if you use ROAD, they will be blasting RD all over the internet. And, their feed goes to Google and Bing and many of the largest data aggregators that will provide it to their customers (some of which are search engines) and on, and on, and on. Now, why is that important?

One word -- Trust. Many of the data providers, aggregators, syndicators, etc. have algorithms that tell them whether they can trust your business data. When multiple versions show up, they may be more inclined to use a trusted source such as Localeze, or maybe they won't include you at all.

We rebranded a client and I found more than 12 different versions of his NAP being propagated over the course of a year. I spent a year tracking down duplicate Places pages, and updating incorrect data sources. And get this -- google generated a duplicate Places page (one of many) and the client's Places page was put in a "rejected" status because of duplicate Places pages -- that google created! It took me 2 1/2 months kicking up dust in the help forum before I could get the listing back. During that time, incorrect data was being presented on the Places page and I couldn't update specials as I had no access to the account.

So is NAP important? I would say -- yes, yes, yes, yes and yes (5 x)! ;)

Edited by chuckfinley, 24 January 2013 - 07:13 PM.


#6 clandestino

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:23 AM

Write an article for the local paper and include the web address. I don't know about your local papers but ours have trouble finding any news to put between the adverts and will basically print anything emailed in, particularly if it includes a picture.

Locate some local who is influential online and do something nice for them offline.


Excellent ideas. Newpapers respond very quickly to articles that satisfy two main criteria -- 1) Public Interest and 2) Need to Know.

It's easy to position your business to satisfy these requirements and I've rarely been turned down when I was able to.

1) Public Interest -- For example -- A Home Girl/Boy Does Good story -- everybody loves the underdog pulling it out. I think because it means they can too.

2) Need to Know -- For Example -- Something bad is going to happen to people if they don't have your product. Or, glass half full -- Something good is going to happen to somebody if they have your product. Or -- Something good already did happen to somebody because of your product or Company.

On your second point -- Brian Tacy calls it the law of reciprocity. People feel obligated to recognize a good turn. Or, as Zig Ziglar always said -- if you help enough other people get what they want, you'll end up getting what you want.

Both very smart moves.

I'm saving my Title Tags for more important things, though. NAP can go in the footer and up top on the Local Page.

I would inlcude a Local Telephone Number at the top of each page, but not in the Title Tag. That's assuming you want telephone calls.

Edited by chuckfinley, 24 January 2013 - 03:38 AM.


#7 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

Donna knows, being an author as she is, that to be a good novelist, you should create suspense and expectation of satisfying a nagging curiosity, and so I have. How am I doing, Donna. Think I'm ready to be published?


You started off the suspense well, Chuck, and then like a kid with a secret, you couldn't help but share it. You have much to learn, young Anakin.

But aside from that, great post! ;)

#8 earlpearl

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

It all depends on competition. If there are a lot of competitors Just getting you into Places might not work and frankly some of the data providers, fast as they are won't get you a high Places ranking in 30-90 days. Citygrid is very fast, in my experience and we'll add to your Places visibility and get thrown into the Places Mix faster than other data sources. Also make an edit that is correct in MapMaker.(if it is accepted) That also flows into the Places mix faster also.

If I wanted instant visibility I'd run a groupon or a living social. They have huge email lists in major cities. huge it creates instant visibilty. OTOH, they need lead time to run your deal.

I'd definitely focus on Google Places as Donna suggested, absolutely ensuring that all your NAP data is utterly consistent. (although I'll tell ya, I have trusted sites and they don't have consistent data no matter what I do (but that is a different story).

I'd go the PR route for instant publicity. I'd do an event. I'd go for PR upside down and backwards in a local environment. I'd try and capture the eyes of the biggest local media sites if I was focused on need to get high visibility in a short time frame.

#9 earlpearl

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

Some caveats to the above: As I scanned the title on the opening thread I looked at this as a specific smb as opposed to theory.

In theory I agree with the above with regard to focusing on Google Places to get web visibility. But there are caveats attached to it. For instance within a smaller community with limited competition there is no impediment to getting into Google Places with high visibility. (no competition is best but only 1 or 2 competitors ensures you an instant spot in a 3 pac. ;)

In a larger city competition comes into play. If there are 25 florists in your city....just doing a mediocre job on Google Places won't help much. You probably won't make a 7 pac (the top 7) shown on first page google.com. (If you aren't on the first page its as good as worthless)

Competition is critical. I'd use distribution sources where competition is necessary for spreading NAP info, and I'd enhance it with detail work and/or a tool such as http://whitespark.ca which is a great citation finder among your competitors or different smbs.

Even with all that there could be further caveats with G Places. Suppose you are a specialty business in a metropolitan region and you have strong Google Places data and a web presence of your NAP in many sources...BUT....your location is in the suburbs of that city.

Lets say your topic is Magician and you are located in a suburb of Baltimore., there are a lot of searches and needs for magicians in Baltimore, and there are about 12 of them and you have basically the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd strong magician ranking in Places.

Sometimes Google will generate a Map and a Pac of local magicians that just extends to the borders of the city. Sometimes it will show a larger regional map and include more suburbs and more geography for magicians. In the 2nd example your business shows on Google Places on page 1 google.com In the first example you aren't going to show in the PAC. You have no control on that. Google changes those views, associated with a phrase called "location prominence" (from their patents).

So even with a strong Places presence you could be out of luck depending on where you are located.

That means I like strong Title pages on appropriate pages on the web site that help with your organic rankings for various local business searches in the event competition or a "bad" location relative to searches pushes a firm out of the Google Places rankings.

What Chuck experienced and did is so vital. Duplicate Google Places records mess things up. I've been working w/ a strong business with a lot of messed up records. For instance they are the only smb of their type in a certain suburb. Do a search on the singular version of their major product with that suburban community and of course they have a great G Places presence. But if the search is made with the plural version of the main product the smb doesn't show up in Places...and providers located towns away show up. There is a record for them for that search in G Places but it was 17th. A duplicate record was showing for the search term with plurals. Ughhhhhhhhh!!!

As Tam suggested I've found PR works. It gets that word out about a new business. One other thing I've found that works is to tie your business with another complementary business or charity, wherein a newer business gets PR and/or links riding somewhat on the coattails of the more established business.

In general building a strong Google Places presence is easier these days than attracting links, at least IMHO.

#10 clandestino

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

If I wanted instant visibility I'd run a groupon or a living social. They have huge email lists in major cities. huge it creates instant visibilty. OTOH, they need lead time to run your deal.


I had a florist that put up a Groupon ad and was flooded with responses. For him it was a huge success. You have to have the margins to make it work long-term, though. Between the discount and what you pay Groupon, it can be kind of pricey. Or, am I missing something?

Another point on NAP

It's also important to get NAP updated on all Local Directories and other Local Sources, such as Hyper-Local Blogs, because everybody provides data to somebody. When they sell your info, they continue to propagate it through the system.

You started off the suspense well, Chuck, and then like a kid with a secret, you couldn't help but share it. You have much to learn, young Anakin.


:lol:

I just have never known when to shut up, LOL! But, I never give up -- I'm going to keep honing those author skills. Thank you Obi Wan, let me know when I'm ready. ;)

Edited by chuckfinley, 24 January 2013 - 07:44 PM.


#11 tam

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

I'm saving my Title Tags for more important things, though. NAP can go in the footer and up top on the Local Page.


I disagree :) If you're a local business showing that is a pretty important thing. If I search plumbers and your name comes up as being in the same town then you've just bumped yourself up my possibility list. I'm not saying still your address and phone number in their but 'Dave the Plumber, based in Town Name' is definitely more click worthy than just 'Dave the Plumber', which might not be the Dave I'm looking for!

#12 clandestino

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:09 PM

I disagree :) If you're a local business showing that is a pretty important thing. If I search plumbers and your name comes up as being in the same town then you've just bumped yourself up my possibility list. I'm not saying still your address and phone number in their but 'Dave the Plumber, based in Town Name' is definitely more click worthy than just 'Dave the Plumber', which might not be the Dave I'm looking for!


I would agree that, as long as I can promote the keywords I need to. Organic is a large part of ranking for Local. If I don't rank well for Organic, I likely won't rank well for Local. Also, many keywords don't produce a Local Search result, so I need to maximize exposure for those keywords.

There's nothing wrong with a title tag like this -->

Serving the Olympia Area - Bathtubs and Bath Tub Accessories | Bob’s Big Baths

I would want to get my top 2 keywords in the title tag. I thought you meant putting address in the title tag.

Keep in mind that if the search returns a 3 or 7 pack, google won't show the Title Tag there. The user will click through to the Company's business page and that will be headed up with address and telephone number.

If google doesn't return a Local Search result it's more important, especially since google may not use the Description Tag provided on the webpage. My experience is that google will use the Description Tag most often, though, and location information could be included there. It might be equally important to have location info at the point of the visitor's entry to the webpage.

The other thing to think about is that for Local businesses, searchers are usually using Local keywords. So Bob's Big Bath might want to promote keywords such as "Olymipa Bathtubs" or "Olympia Bathtub Accessories". Based on that, the searcher knows that the search result is likely to be in Olympia and they may not need to see that info in the search result.

Also, the location goal may be resolved through Visual Communications. I usually try to do it that way so I don't need to put an address at the top of the website where I have limited space to deliver a message.

There's lot's of variables. All we can do is make best use of the space available to satisfy concerns that may compete with each other -- bringing traffic to the website, maximizing user engagement and converting them. Every situation is different.

Edited by chuckfinley, 25 January 2013 - 06:21 PM.


#13 earlpearl

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

I'm going to reference PPC as a valuable tool for visibility with some reasons to back it:

First a couple of anecdotal experiences on the phone with users/customers/searchers:

1. I was on the phone with a friend from another part of the country in a long conversation. She referenced a little gossip and then we tried to follow up on this on the web. While doing this I asked her to look up a search phrase on google. I know she never uses it.

I had her clear her location setting (she didn't know it was there--it was her hometown) and replace the town with United States.

Then I had her look up a search phrase that is usually presented organically with local intent. So if you look it up and your near NY you'll get NY locations, Toronto..and you'll get Toronto locations, etc etc.

I asked her to read what was first. She kept referring to the ads. The coloration for the top ads was incredibly light, virtually non recognizable. Then she read the small reference by google "ads related to "keyword phrase" with a link. Then under the ads she recognized the references to related searches.

She had no idea there were ads on the top of the search page. She could scarcely see the coloration difference between the shaded ads on top and the white background.

Smart person. Simply clueless that ads sit on top of the organic results.

There is nothing in popular culture, everyday news, mainstream media, classes or any structured methodology that tells everyday users that ads sit atop the organic results.

2nd anecdote: I took a call for one of our smb's off a person who looked us up on the web. Right into the conversation she said "I liked your reviews". That person hit the Google Places Page links, hit the link to the reviews and took the time to read some (if not all). She may have seen the full site. We were on the phone working on the sale more than me pressing her for questions.

3rd anecdote: I spoke to a person who came to one of our smb's for some subsequent service. She had looked us up previously. We outrank the other rivals (in most cases--we have more credibility but we are priced higher than most competitors). We offer more services.

The person bought the main service from a competitor but was using us for a follow up service. She told us the competitor was closer and that was why she chose them.

Users will hit different links to your site. If you have Organic, Places/Maps and PPC they might hit any of them. If they are in the buying mode or seriously looking at alternatives they could look at many alternatives. Their buying decisions will be all over the board.

Having referenced all that I like to add PPC into the mix for quick responses for a number of reasons and frankly if you can afford it.

All of our smb's run a lot of ppc. It works for all of them. I could go into ROI but the big thing is simply that the cost per click is very minimal compared to the price points for the services and the conversion rates on leads and clicks to leads to sales are far healthier percentages than are the impact of the aggregate costs from PPC. Basically we might be paying $0.80 to an average of about $3.50/click and the price points for sales are roughly in the $300 to into the thousands of dollars ranges.

You can compute ROI all day...but the differences between the cost per click and the differences between selling prices are great enough and we convert enough that it works.


But here is a real key for us with regard to PPC.

We've looked at these smb's and we run regional ppc campaigns for them. We then look at conversion phrases that are relatively high volume.

What we tend to see is that the percentage of PPC clicks to the site (when we are generally first in ppc) are running abt 8-15% of all impressions. Then we get traffic organically. When our organic ranking: Maps/Places Ranking is VERY STRONG...we get this amazingly high percentage of all the impressions in the area. Incredibly high. That normally occurs with Recovery Searches (searches using our name or a very close substitute.)

Fortunately we also have some VERY strong organic visibility for discovery searches (ie pizza Milwaukee not Luigi's Pizza, Milwaukee). So we are fortunate to get a lot of traffic on some key high volume discovery searches.

But from a key business perspective, there are a LOT of searches on PPC. Our aggressive campaigns seem to pick up on average between 8-15% of all the searching in the regions....and that is a lot of visibility. Now the caveat it has to work financially. It really requires the business person//the client to work with the SEO because even if the SEO data is showing very positive data if the business isn't converting the visibility into sales then it doesn't work.

#14 Dr.Marie

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

Great discussion!

Here's another idea that might work for some businesses. Get really involved in a niche related forum that allows signatures. The goal of the forum involvement is not to mention your business or website at all, but rather to contribute and help out and offer your expertise. People who need a professional in that niche visit forums to get answers to their questions. When they see you helping out they may want to check out your signature link and hire you.

#15 earlpearl

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

Dr. Marie:

Great comment. Have you used that? I would think that is a great resource for a vet.

#16 Dr.Marie

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

Earl, I have had some decent success in the past, but haven't been using this tactic for my veterinary site recently. When I first started out posting in veterinary forums I was spamming them without knowing it. I would share about my posts and actively try to get people to my site. This ticked off a lot of people and I was kicked out of a few forums. You have to be very careful not to obviously self promote. Plus, if you link to yourself in your signature you have to make sure that this is ok with the forum rules.

I had great success using this tactic though for my non-veterinary related sites. As I mentioned in another thread I have been fascinated with Google penalties lately and have learned a lot and done some consulting for site owners. I put a link in my signature on a couple of SEO forums and get a steady flow of traffic from these sources. I went from having a brand new website about Google penalties with zero business to suddenly making a full income in a matter of weeks just from the traffic I got from forums.

#17 earlpearl

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:06 PM

A: Good for you with regard to recent success.

Also you basically gave us two great lessons: What to do and what not to do.

#18 tam

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

I guess I sort of do that, although I own the main forum I post on, but I do use a couple of others. I follow the same rules we expect of posters but I do have a link to my site in my sig.

We get a lot of businesses try out the site but most only do a couple of posts before drifting off. It's quite involved to become a recognised community member so I would guess it has to be the right mix of business and forum to be worth the time commitment. Although it's excellent for other things to eg keeping an eye on what issues your customer base are interested in.

#19 Dr.Marie

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Good points Tam. I should add that when I successfully did this I was already an established member of the forum. It may not work as quickly if you have just joined one.

#20 clandestino

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Great discussion!

Here's another idea that might work for some businesses. Get really involved in a niche related forum that allows signatures. The goal of the forum involvement is not to mention your business or website at all, but rather to contribute and help out and offer your expertise. People who need a professional in that niche visit forums to get answers to their questions. When they see you helping out they may want to check out your signature link and hire you.


Absolutely excellent idea -- just basic networking which is at the core of all local business marketing.

And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record (but it's so important) --

Brian Tracy calls it the law of reciprocity. People feel obligated to return a favor. Or, as Zig Ziglar always said -- if you help enough other people get what they want, you'll end up getting what you want.

I'd say it's the biggest lesson a small business owner can learn. Your success will increase exponentially when your paradigm changes from -- 1) what can I get from my customers, to 2) how can I make my customers successful.

#2 creates value and value is what business profits are based on. Also, so many businesses use #1 that using #2 will differentiate you in the marketplace and allow you to bill more, retain customers longer, and receive more referrals.

#21 tam

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

I can't remember where I read it but it really stuck in my head and builds well on that - not being afraid to apply helping out to your competitors either. I just reviewed the closest competition to my book on my blog and I said it was brilliant - because it is. I could have just picked out the bad bits and said mine was much better but then it's about #1 instead of #2, and how could my readers trust what I said in future if I did that? I gave away the free review copy to my readers (added bonus for them) and got an unexpected blog link/tweet from the publisher to my post. Good things all around :)

You can apply that in other ways too, make friends with your competitors and get referrals when they can't help or refer people to them. Maybe that's something that's getting less common now with more big chain stores, but it's great when somewhere doesn't have what you want but knows just which shop you can get it in - makes you feel good about the shop even if you couldn't buy what you wanted there.

#22 earlpearl

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

Things that work and don't work


I looked at one of our sites and found something that no longer works. The site is several years old. The home page had a footer which referenced the business service and every town, zIp code, county, and geographical term in a radius plus most of the geography of a particular state. The region has medium sized cities but is primarily suburban and rural.

We knew this was spammy when we did this but decided it wasn't killer spammy and decided to try it. It used to work. It worked one year ago. Its not working now.

I tested this for both traffic on the organic side and for visibility. Its not working anymore. It was originally done to cover the long tail with search phrases for town names or zip codes and the service or a variation of the service. Not only did it drive traffic but the site would show up with a snippet under the home page link for the service and town or zip.

Not anymore.

Google though has layered the geo perspective over the combinations of words from the content. We were showing for nearby towns and zips and were showing with snippets referencing those appropriate words. Stretch the search for further away town and we had no organic presence. We did have a Places/Maps presence, though.

Another thing that doesn't work to try and capture long tail traffic with a lot of different town names is to create duplicate content for every nearby town with the only difference being the name of the town or zip. Even with title tags referencing the town, that seems to put you low on the serps totem pole. I've seen a few of those.

Original content with your service and different town names and then a combination title tag that has town names and service does work. The content has to be original. We've done that on different sites. We try and add specifically compelling content that adds substance and meaning to the content that is original. That does drive real leads.

On those we use some data to get this out. We take our locational data from analytics, from ppc and from our internal data bases and create the content for the locations that drive the most traffic, visits, contacts and sales. We start with the biggest communities and work down the list.

One thing that supplants these relics from older google algo's that didn't overlay geo information and give it prominence over simple content are citations, that chuck referenced above.

Among the citation sources that have endless content with town names and a service business are a lot created by local.com and by citygrid.com. They have made arrangements with different local media sources such as newspapers.

So you might see something like washingtonpost.local.com with a directory/ citation source ///made for ppc content source. Those types of sites get a lot of visible serps for combinations of smb products and services and various town names. Local.com and citygrid generate a lot of that stuff with different media sources. They work as citation sources and they do show up in serps and they do add traffic, in our experience.

Hey they are spammy crap...but google gives them rankings and credibility for these long tail phrases.

#23 clandestino

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

Things that work and don't work


I looked at one of our sites and found something that no longer works. The site is several years old. The home page had a footer which referenced the business service and every town, zIp code, county, and geographical term in a radius plus most of the geography of a particular state. The region has medium sized cities but is primarily suburban and rural.


Hi earlpearl,

Great comment! I will be studying this very closely.

Two Questions --
  • How did Yahoo! and Bing respond?
  • Do you think having NAP in the footer is important to establish your brand in the Local space? What I mean by that is it may increase trust for google +, Bing Local, the many Local Directories, etc. so you don't end up with duplicate pages, pages with wrong NAP, etc.

My theory is that the NAP you put on your site is more important than NAP from a 3rd party source. By establishing it clearly and often on your site, there is a lesser chance of your brand getting fragmented out there on the Local internet. It's a factor that can't be tied to a specific search result but affects ranking overall -- the Local version of building "Authority" for Organic ranking.


Edited by chuckfinley, 26 January 2013 - 08:24 PM.


#24 earlpearl

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

Chuck:

 

Thoughtful points and questions.  I went back and looked at Y and B.  I hadn't.  The main reason is that their traffic pales in comparison to google.   When I did check I did some long tail searches more recently which included language with business service/zip code.   LOL when I looked that one up in bing, there was a snippet with a partial list of zips.

 

ooops snagged.  spammy...but working.   Still the G traffic is infinitely larger than the Y anb B traffic.   We'll get more long tail off of google.   that smb has a ppc campaign on B and Y besides organic.    still traffic is tiny for Y and B combined.

 

So long as traffic and user choices are the way they are, I'd rather be on the right side of google than using something that works in Bing (and Y).  We are getting rid of the spammy town and zip names.  We are keeping the regional descriptions b/c it is still working.

 

Which NAP is more important, on the site or from 3rd parties?   Good question and point.

 

A while back in the places forum there was an issue wherein google requested an official license to operate from some smb trying to claim the listing.  The G mod in places said it was very very rare.  

 

Regardless Google is looking for TRUST....as you so aptly put it above.   Trust from various sources;  your website, from the claiming process, from 3rd parties, from mapmaker.

 

Websites spam stuff.   They could spam NAP info.  smb's have worked to "relocate" via different methodologies to get into the center of a centroid for the biggest metro part of a region.   It was "suggested" smb's move to get into the middle of the centroid for a city by a respected local commentator.  I think he was half kidding.

 

So google might test the NAP info on a site for believability.   OTOH I have seen dupes and problems occurring from misinformation about NAP on websites.  Usually those are big institutional websites:  hospitals, schools, institutions with various locations, etc.   Those things cause problems for Places.  On that basis there may be a high degree of places algo belief in what comes out of an smb site.

 

Which is most important?   I can't say for certain but I think you nailed it above by using the word "trust" and I would follow that up with consistency.

 

at least that is my $0.02  :D 
 





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