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August 1, 2011

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 Internet 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Internet 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 Internet 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.

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December 21, 2010

Local Rankings: Business Listings and Directories

LocalPack - Local SEO Listing Service

Last week, I showed a video from Google that explained how the search engine serves local search rankings. Those factors are relevance, prominence and distance to a query. But that’s not the half of it. There are many other factors that we believe are affecting the local rankings in a SERP, some of which are prior knowledge and some we’ve formed hypotheses on through recent research.

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December 16, 2010

Google’s Local Search Algorithm and Rankings

Google Tags

Google recently released a video explaining how its local search rankings work. I mean, Google would never really tell you everything, but the video gives some highlights and maybe even clues. But beyond the ranking factors Google talks about, local search has its own algorithm. In this post, we’ll go over some of the factors Google highlights, then next week, I’ll reveal research and dive further into other factors that might affect the rankings and give insight into the local search algorithm.

Read more of Google’s Local Search Algorithm and Rankings

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