Wow, this was an excellent session – and I took down so much great information it took me a while to sort it out! That’s why this post came out of sequence with the others…
Steve Espinosa, eLocal Listing – Steve had some great tips about citations and linking to your Google Local or Yahoo Local listings from your web site, using your business title in the anchor text. Make sure to include your keywords in the title of your business description, but it must be consistent across all listings. They use Google TV to drive traffic…
Video: Interesting study found that if a search results page includes an organic result and a video result, someone is 3.3x more likely to click on your listing. Use video to help your rankings. Create a short video for your business, create a landing page on your website, and link there to your video on YouTube (using correct anchor text.) This will create a citation for your business.
Citations: Web citations have a direct impact on ranking in local listings. Find out where Google pulls business information from in your vertical, and make sure you have business listings there.
Michael Jensen, SoloSEO – Online Reviews. Great presentation here, online reviews help your small business stand out visually in the results. Eyes draw to where the reviews are. But the ratings better be good! Need 5 reviews in Google to before they will show the stars.
Getting reviews is hard. He’s got a lot of good suggestions here. I wrote an article about how to implement a simple process for getting your best customers to review your business here – How to Use Online Reviews to Get New Customers. And Michael has a lot to add here. Try coupons, discounts, upgrades, gifts. Make links easy to follow. Make a review page easy to find on your site. He’s got a very cool service called http://www.leavefeedback.org that I plan to check out. It allows you to create a coupon with a code, and sends them to an online review site for you.
Which review sites? Check out this diagram in his blog post: Sources of Local Business Reviews.
He also suggests – find out what people talk about in reviews for your type of business? Be exceptional in those areas to ensure you get great reviews. And make sure to track your reviews, the traffic and sources from them.
Gib Olander, Localeze – he had a lot of great insights, his primary point was to make sure your business information is consistent across all your listings. It’s up to you to take control of your listings and ensure this. There is no central source of business information, all the listings today are cobbled together from many sources. Great advice about digging deep for your keywords, go deeper than just the categories. Avoid 800#s on your listings, avoid PO boxes.
Will Scott, Search Influence – The basics matter: Keyword Selection, Content, Links (repeat cycle!)
Use domain names to your advantage. You will still want to show up high for organic results, because in many searches the local 10-box does not appear – the search doesn’t always get taken down to the local level. Will provided lots of great real world examples of local search rankings and tips.
He also had a bunch of great suggestions on where to get links in his presentation (e.g. Yahoo directory, DMOZ, Best of The Web, and many smaller ones.)
That rundown was kind of terse; there was a ton of great information I hope this captures some of the highlights for you!!
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