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EyeQuest Attends LocalUp 2015, the Leading Edge of Local Search Marketing

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 by in Local SEO, Popular Posts / 0 Comments

Moz LocalUpGoogle, through its 2014 acquisition of artificial intelligence company DeepMind, developed a system that learned to play Atari games better than any human.  They plan to eventually use the same system to think for us by not just offering search results, but also making our decisions for us based upon the information we requested.  Then it can take over for scientists to solve major problems like climate change and disease.

In the meantime, search engines continue to play an increasingly vital role in the success of local businesses and the strategies needed to maximize visibility and presentation on the results pages continues to change.

The entire EyeQuest Digital team recently attended Moz-LocalUp Advanced 2015 conference held in Seattle via purchase of the video bundle.  It was produced as a collaboration of the top minds in local business search engine marketing.    We follow these industry leaders to stay abreast of current trends in Google ranking factors, conversion techniques and online reputation management so our customers can focus on their customers while still remaining the most advanced digital marketers in their business category.

Among the enormous amounts of information to process, several topics emerged as issues to focus on for success in local digital marketing:

  • The now complete arrival of mobile
  • The importance of reviews and developing a system for attainment
  • Strategies to improve local indicators

To capitalize on knowledge of these trends, EyeQuest has added several new actions to many parts of our Internet Marketing Master Plan, the comprehensive template we use as a guide to customize monthly plans for our customers.

Here are notes about the three major issues the conference focused on with a list of action items added to the Master  Plan at the bottom of each section.

Mobile Phones

Controlling a business’ presentation on mobile phones is a lot more involved than simply putting up a website but vital for a business to succeed online.  People use several ways to find a business on their phones:

  • Browsers (“Internet” app, Chrome, Safari, Firefox)
  • Google Maps
  • Google Now – Extreme personalization of results based upon habits and locations
  • Apple Maps
  • Applications – YP.com, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc

People use these avenues interchangeably, and without really knowing the difference.  But the way a company shows up varies with each one and the presentation of a company’s information should be controlled to every extent possible.

Local mobile results are different from desktop mobile search results, they are much more location oriented.   There is also less space on the page, space which is increasingly consumed by paid results.

Since the methods of delivering content are changing so rapidly, creating versions of a property dedicated to each screen size possible is not a realistic goal.  The most reasonable approach is to create a responsive site that transforms (rearranges) its content based upon the device requesting it.

Additions to the Master Internet Marketing Plan

  • Confirm schema markup on mobile pages
  • Use the text “Menu” in the expandable menu instead of the traditional three lines
  • Add page scroll tracking to Google analytics
  • Add “Calls” from Google+ business page to reports

Reviews and Online Reputation

Seattle skyline at sunset, WA, USAReviews are still becoming more and more important for the success of local businesses. They continue to play an ever increasing role in Google’s local search rankings and it has also been well established that people value the information they get in online reviews, even if they don’t know the person or the review is anonymous.

  • For ranking purposes, Google uses reviews for a company not only on the company’s Google+ page, but also those from review sites across the web.
  • Most scaled email review request systems have very low response rates.
  • 78% of people say they would never leave a review.
  • Focusing on review count is not the point, it could come back to bite you.  The focus should be in the process of earning reviews, most importantly with the quality of service.
  • Do not offer incentives for a review – not just against review site policy, it’s against the law.
  • Earning reviews should become part of the company culture, in employees’ minds from the moment a customer initiates contact.
  • Facebook introduced reviews in February 2015, now #2 choice at 21%.

Additions to the Master Internet Marketing Plan

  • Use automated review trackers to track reviews – (reviewtracker.com, reviewpush.com, sweetiq.com, chatmeter.com)
  • Create website page for directing positive responses to review sites.  (getfivestars.com does it automatically with an email platform)
  • Institute reward for employees mentioned in reviews.
  • Create kiosk in store to start the process (get email)
  • To find reviewers on Yelp, have Yelp go through employees personal email lists.
  • Use a Facebook Graph search, people who like my business and use Yelp/Foresqaure/YP, to find people active on review sites.
  • Use a Google search result url as a link to Yelp
  • Thank people who leave you a review
  • Post reviews on other sites to main social sites

Improve Local Indicators with Content

Google is more and more extrapolating local intent during searches that don’t even have a city in the keyword, especially on phones.  Anything you can do to indicate and provide credible evidence that you are the best result for your exact location will help a company’s ranking.

Google can now:

  • Analyze satellite data on an hourly basis
  • Track out how many people click to get directions to your location.
  • Track a visitor via their phone location to determine if they actually showed up at a company’s store.
  • Use someone’s phone’s location to automatically show local search results from that location.
  • Use wi-fi technology to pinpoint where someone is within buildings like malls.

Consequently, anything you can do to confirm your location and what your business does will help your long term performance on search engines.

A business needs to be the authority of their business category in their geographic location.  Website content is one the best ways to accomplish this goal.  A great way to create useful content is to answer long tail searches with content on new pages.  Businesses should structure their site to become the authority of the local market by finding out what Google considers authority information.

More Local Signals

Since the search results contain organized content based upon the users query, locally targeted content is integral to ranking in a certain geography.   Largely regarded as text in the past, local content could and should include many different forms including:

  • Videos
  • Email
  • Ads
  • Products
  • Events
  • Location
  • Images
  • Data

Additions to the Internet Marketing Master Plan

  • Add events and include local schema markup.
  • User Keyword planner to enter a landing page on an authority site to find out what Google thinks the page is about.
  • Use google suggest to find more detailed search terms people have used and develop new website pages for them. You can also use a wildcard sign before and use keywordtool.io/ and ubersuggest.org.  Also look at “related searches” at the bottom of the search results.
  • Find personas in each zip code you are targeting.
  • Create local top ten lists.
  • Convert Local Infographics to text.

Complete Domination

There is a phenomenon where sometimes a company enjoys complete domination on search results for their category across all avenues including organic search, maps listing and Facebook search.   Looking at 25 examples, 5 non-obvious elements were present in most campaigns.

  • Social Activity – on at least one network
  • They tend to trendsetters, exception to the rule – videos, online reservations, community commitment, longevity, active authentic blog, participate in products making the news.
  • Regional or National News Coverage
  • Owner/Founder Involvement – in reviews, stories, social mentions.
  • Authenticity – More professional, modern sites, Calendar of events, photos of clients.

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