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August 1, 2011

Small Business Guide to Using Local SEO to Get New Customers

Small Biz Local Discovery Contest Finalist Badge

This is a submission to the Small Biz Local Discovery Contest and part of our commitment to serve the small business community with quality Digital marketing resources. This article answers the question: “How would you advise a small business owner on how best to use SEO, PPC or Social Media to drive conversions to a local business?” Vote for your favorite contest entry from August 1-10.

Beginning in October 2010, Google began making changes which have allowed small businesses to be more easily found in search results based on geography. This shift in local search visibility, is easily, the greatest change in search geared toward small businesses since the advent of the search engine. Yes, it’s that good!

All it takes is a little bit of elbow grease and knowledge of a few key factors to help a small business with a physical location rank for searches with local intent.

What is local intent? In short, local intent is identified by Google’s understanding of an online search with the intent to purchase offline; this is also defined as “local search”.

Read more of Small Business Guide to Using Local SEO to Get New Customers.




Conversion SEO: 4 Tips to Get Your Cash Register Kachinging

Small Biz Local Discovery Contest Finalist Badge

This is a submission to the Small Biz Local Discovery Contest and part of our commitment to serve the small business community with quality Digital marketing resources. This article answers the question: “How would you advise a small business owner on how best to use SEO, PPC or Social Media to drive conversions to a local business?” Vote for your favorite contest entry from August 1-10.

You’ve done the work and you’ve done it well, and now your site proudly sits at the top of Google for all your keywords. Yet your click-thru rate is low and your bounce rate high. What went wrong? Could it be that you were more focused on rank than you were on customers?

This is not uncommon. Too often we blind ourselves into thinking that all we need to do is get to that #1 spot and everything else will take care of itself.

Well, I hate to disappoint you, but if you build a website without special attention to converting visitors into customers, you might as well stand by and watch your online business wither and die in the scorching heat of competition that exists just a click away. So what can you do? How do you parlay your golden SEO into real gold?

Here are 4 easy tips that are sure to get your cash register kachinging.

Read more of Conversion SEO: 4 Tips to Get Your Cash Register Kachinging.




3 Surefire Ways to Increase Visibility and Bring in Customers to Your Local Business

Small Biz Local Discovery Contest Finalist Badge

This is a submission to the Small Biz Local Discovery Contest and part of our commitment to serve the small business community with quality Digital marketing resources. This article answers the question: “How would you advise a small business owner on how best to use SEO, PPC or Social Media to drive conversions to a local business?” Vote for your favorite contest entry from August 1-10.

The day I turned 15, I was eager to find a job. Feverishly thumbing through the business listings of the Milwaukee Yellow Pages, I cold-called business after business looking for a company that was hiring. I contacted close to 50 local businesses before I was interrupted by my father, who had come up, patted me on the back, and told me that while he admired my eagerness to find a job and start earning money for myself, using the phone book as a medium to achieve my goals would never turn out to be effective because they weren’t looking for me – I was looking for them.

After a number of years spent helping companies of all sizes maximizing search engine visibility, I’ve come to realize that not many customers have the time and eagerness to do what I did over a decade ago. As a small business owner, you can’t sit back and wait for customers to come to you – take proactive approach local search marketing and follow these 3 surefire ways to increase search visibility and generate sales.

Read more of 3 Surefire Ways to Increase Visibility and Bring in Customers to Your Local Business.




July 29, 2011

10 Image Optimization Tips For Local SEO

Exemplar Photos for Local SEO

Once a local business has accomplished setting up their basic foundation for local search optimization, they sometimes dither around wondering what tweaks they can do next to help themselves rank better for local search queries and in map searches. One major area of optimization that many businesses ignore is in optimizing their images. While you may not care about whether your site ranks well under image search, the advent of Blended Search (which Google calls “Universal Search”) has meant that pictures often have the chance to rank on the main search results page. Even before Google, Bing, and Yahoo! had really pushed Blended Search results, well-optimized images were already a major component for helping webpages to rank well in keyword search results. Since this can help in the same way with more specialized local search results, here are a handful of optimization tips to help you get as much advantage as possible from images.

Read more of 10 Image Optimization Tips For Local SEO.




May 19, 2011

Quick Tips: Optimizing a Site for Local Search

Street sign in Richmond

If you’re a regular reader of the Bruce Clay Inc. blog, you have probably seen various posts our wonderful writers put together about local optimization as it relates to Google Places and claiming your profile, asking for reviews in Yelp and managing local directory submissions.

Today, I would like to look at local SEO from a different angle, and provide a few tips to help you optimize your website in order to make it more SEO friendly from local search point of view.

Read more of Quick Tips: Optimizing a Site for Local Search.




March 29, 2011

SEO Factors and Trends Report: Developments in Search

Street Signs

Bruce Clay Australia released its SEO factors and trends report for 2010, highlighting the changes we saw in search this past year, and tips on how to best address them.

For those who haven’t had time to keep up with all the developments in search in 2010 (and let’s face it, what businesses have the time and resources to follow this as closely as those in the industry do?), this is an insightful look into the direction search is headed, and how to stay on the same path.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the highlghts of the report and share some additional insight we’ve compiled here at Bruce Clay headquarters.

Read more of SEO Factors and Trends Report: Developments in Search.




March 8, 2011

SMX West 2011: Location Services: The New Local Search?

SMX West logo

This session dives into how location services like Foursquare, Google Latitude, Gowalla and mobile apps are changing local search. This should be a great preface to the upcoming keynote this afternoon from Foursquare, which we’ll be covering as well, so stay tuned. I love that we are able to give everyone so much local search love. It’s a great topic.

We actually touched on this topic recently in the blog, check out the post “Checking out Location Check-in Services: Why They’re Good for Business.”

I’m doing hand yoga at the moment while I wait for the session to start.

Read more from Location Services: The New Local Search?




February 8, 2011

Quick Tips for Optimizing Your Google Places Page

Google Maps

For brick-and-mortar businesses, optimizing for local search is becoming increasingly important to reinforcing your presence online. Google has been and will continue to place importance on local search.

The best part about claiming your Google Places business listing is that it’s free and gives you a chance to rank on a search engine results page — even if you don’t have a website or your site is not ranking high.

So, with a little time and attention invested, you could be on your way to attracting more clients for your business.

Read more of Quick Tips for Optimizing Your Google Places Page.




January 6, 2011

3 Ways to Boost Your In-House Marketing in 2011: Part 2

store front

In yesterday’s post, I focused on three things in-house marketers can do to boost online marketing efforts this year. The first was, well, really focus on Digital marketing (versus just traditional marketing). Then, I talked about diving into training and continuing education to keep up with all the changes to search engine marketing.

Once you’re committed to focusing on Digital marketing, what are some of the high-level areas that you should be paying attention to? In today’s Part 2, we’ll talk local search, social media and conversion rate optimization.

Read more of 3 Ways to Boost Your In-House Marketing in 2011: Part 2.




December 29, 2010

Social Goes Local: Tips for Local Rankings

Google Rich Snippet Example

In the past couple weeks, I’ve talked about factors that affect local rankings. I first spoke about keyword selection and PPC campaigns for local search. Then, I talked about some of the factors that Google says affects local search rankings. Next, I covered how business listings in important online directories play a role. Now, I’m going to talk about other factors we’ve seen that affect local rankings, and no surprise, social is becoming a key player.

Read more of Social Goes Local: Tips for Local Rankings.




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