I love to watch Rands WhiteBoard Friday videos. In this one he discusses how mobile SEO can help your local business even if it is non-mobile. Listed below is the picture of the Whiteboard Break-Down.
Check out the New Video and see our stats on ranking Local Small Businesses for Search.
If you are a small local business, you might have heard about the strong benefits you can enjoy from local SEO. However, you might not have the marketing budget available for such a service, or feel that you want to give a go yourself, first.
Using the experts is definitely the best way to have the best local SEO results, but there are a number of things you can do yourself if you fall into either of the above descriptions.
If you have more time than money, carry out these actions to make your website a hit in your local area.
It is very easy to get lost in making sure your site is optimised and uses keywords and meta tags effectively, but the first thing to do is to simply concentrate on ensuring that you site is as clean, welcoming, and user-friendly as possible. The design should be slick, and the content clear and concise.
Your attitude to your website should be to have as much content as you need, but no more than is necessary. Remember, you’re a local business, not a Fortune 500 company.
Once you’re site at the right standard, you can start to focus on the local SEO aspects.
Once you’re ready to go you need to start seeking out those online business directories. Google+ Local – formerly Google Places – is your natural starting point, but you should also look at Bing, Yahoo, and other online directories such as Yell.com in order to list your business. Search out local business directories, too.
Include as much information as you can in these listings, including address, contact details, location, and anything else that you might be asked for, such as your industry or target market.
This sounds easy, and it is. However, you should take time and be very thorough, checking all spellings are correct and that all information matches on each directory. If you make a mistake at this stage, you could do yourself serious damage.
You cannot control what your customers say about you, so it is your responsibility to ensure that you are delivering excellent products and services so that any reviews are positive. Google, in particular, will give preference to businesses that have been subject to a number of reviews. Word of mouth is a great way to bring more people to your business. Ensure that everything written is positive; direct your happy customers to Google+ Local to review your business and attract others.
Head across to schema.org and you will find some great tips for making your website even more visible in the eyes of search engines. This is a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and best of all, people looking at your site won’t know you’re doing it unless they have viewed the source code.
Focus on your location, and watch your local search ranking soar!
Keep It Up
Ensure that you maintain a blog and a social media presence so that you are a ‘live’ entity online. Most of what you do will have an impact on your search visibility, so ensure you use your time to best effect and feel the benefits without paying out for a local SEO partner.
This Article is our first guest post here and was brought to you by local SEO specialist Bright Local.
Brightlocal offers 6 local tools currently and provides a service free for 30 days.
Local Mobile Keyword Research Tool
Lets do Some Local Mobile Keyword Research. My go-to Keyword research tool is Google's Adwords Tool. This tool allows you to target specific keywords for mobile devices.
Mobile Auto Complete Feature
For this keyword research, my query is going to be "Bars in Bullhead City AZ" I chose this keyphrase from using my mobile device's Google search widget. Most people use the "Auto Complete" feature as they don't have to type out the whole search query. Researching Short-Tail Keywords are essential I believe in mobile keyword optimization for websites looking to promote their products and services.
What's nice is the Auto-Complete gives you a list of the most popular search terms. Copy these search terms and use them in the Adwords keyword tool to refine your queries.
Notice how I highlighted "In" & "To" you can add these words in your mobile SEO as well, don't forget to add "Near" "Area" and other Geographic Location terms. These words are not necessary to put in the keywords tool however using them in your mobile keyword research and mobile optimization cant hurt.
Refine Local Mobile Keywords
Refine Local Mobile Keywords
After the List of Keywords and Keyphrases has been populated, scroll down to look at the list. Google defaults the list under it's "Ad group ideas (Beta)" tab.
Here you can get ideas to add to your list of targeted mobile keywords. I highlighted "Local sports bar and grill" "Find local bars" "Cocktail bars" and "Pubs" <---last one great for St. Patrick's day, to add on my list. You can further refine your Keyword research by clicking on the blue keywords arrow and selecting "Show more like this" or select"More Like These" to the right of the Main Bold Keywords.
When finished checking the boxes of the keywords you want you can download via button above the list.
Applying Keyword Variation
Applying Keyword Variation
In "SEO" using keyword variation allows your keywords to come up in many queries and if your using Adwords these variations can help your ads show up more often. You can check this out by using the Adwords Traffic Estimator Tool.
Optimize your site further by using these keywords in the structured data of your website. Structured data allows search engines to find important information on what your website is about and display it accordingly in the Organic listings. You can find out more about how to add structured data here: Schema
Don't forget to add these mobile keywords in your description, alt image tags, meta tags, internal links, socialize, next to phone number and address.
Geo-Tagging your pictures, videos and website allows search engines to display targeted content based on geographic location. If you have a bar, restaurant or any business that offers products and services, I recommend Geo-Tags to help boost your optimization and lead the pack for organic mobile search. You can add these mobile optimized keywords in the Goe-Tag meta-data. More about how to add Geo-Tags to your website can be found here: Geo-Tag Your Local Business
Any ideas, Suggestions or Resources? please leave them in the comments below.
I love helping Local Businesses find new ways of increasing their bottom line. With Social Media and all the data-mining tools out you can market till your hearts content. I have allot of local businesses that follow me on the various Social Networks and they e-mail as well call me asking many questions from Marketing to SEO.
Since I usually blog about my local market that I live in which is less competitive as its a small area, I would help out a Local follower and their business in a more populated area in a more competitive industry. One of my new Followers on Twitter is Jason Brusewitz @BranchOutShrubs and I immediately took a look at his website: http://www.branchoutshrub.com/
He is in the Shrub Trimming/Landscaping Business and it looks pretty competitive in his local market.
He is on the Right Track Socially, However I do not see any link for Google+ or any +1 button. He has A Google+ Business page located here Branching Out. See my post on Increasing Citations using Social Analytics and Strategies on how to data-mine Google+ and Facebook. Increasing the Citations helps boost your local business rankings in the serps with Social Integration. I also recommend adding Authorship to help increase the CTR's and give more credibility.
I'm going to use a couple of social data-mining tools (Followerwonk & All My Tweets) for the tools too help boost his bottom line by finding personal advocates that will spread the word socially and help his business out in the search rankings.Props out to Anthony Pensabene for showing me these tools in some of his guest articles on various blogs.
Landscaping Woodbury, MN
Lets check out his rankings in Google. I chose "Landscaping Woodbury, MN" as its a more competitive search term and not as targeted as Shrub Trimming.
You can see his business does not rank on the first page for the query at hand.
I suggest Adding Geo-Tags to his website and pictures, also adding Alt-Image descriptions to every picture, I think I found 3 on his home-page that did not have any.
Add a Video to YouTube and link it to home page as well upload it to your Google+ business page.
Now that a little basic SEO is done, we can focus on data-mining to find personal advocates to spread the word and increase his links from social networks and websites to improve his local business ranking in the organic listings.
The first tool we are going to use is Followerwonk, this cool tool lets you analyze twitter Followers. Click on the tab for Analyze Followers and put in his Twitter handle. Next in the drop-down menu select "Analyze Their Followers" and give it a minute to populate all his followers. Since I'm looking for Local Advocates you can click on the Map and Zoom in to his local area and see who is following him.
There is one Follower in St. Paul and two outside of Minneapolis. I click on the 2 and chose Tim Ryan @SeamusPicMcGee and clicked through to twitter.
Tim Ryan Twitter Page
Tim Ryan has a website he can add a link too, He tweets allot and has a good amount of followers.
Tim Ryans All My Tweets
Using AllMyTweets we can see Tim also Mentions @BranchOutShrub.You can search using Ctrl+F.
I would Thank Tim for the Mention and ask him for a citation on Google+. Offer him some services at a discount, and he may just tweet about it again or share on other social networks.
From here you can go back to Followerwonk and analyze his local followers and find ones that have the greatest clout and influence to spread the word.
There is much more data you can dig into by using these tools. I would say a few times a week he should reach out to past clients and potential clients using these social tools to thank and ask them to spread the word. Social links will follow helping boost his rankings in as little 3-6 months possibly sooner.
Use the Map in Followerwonk to target local followers and engage with them on all social platforms. Use AllMyTweets to search the tweets of followers if they have mentioned other services you may provide.
Become the expert, share and re-share on Google + and other social networks, while staying in contact with your followers by engaging in a timely manner.
I hoped this help a little in helping out your Bottom line, this is tested, tried and true!
Sports Bars Lake Havasu City, AZ
I like to dig deep into any kind of Social Analytics to see how I can further market a local clients business or give some insights to a future client. We all know by now Google+ Local has a rating system depending on the reviews (Local Citations) and it helps with the display of Rankings and also helps drive foot traffic.
For this little exercise I'm going to use Google+ Local as I have stated above already. This wonderful platform lets you drill down into niche markets and target potential clients, customers and followers.
Lets start by opening up Google+ Local and Discover some Sports Bars Located in or near Lake Havasu City, AZ. This is football season and competing for those sports enthusiasts that like food & drink will help increase foot traffic and gain some much needed citations.
For the Search Query I used "Sports Bars" and for the location I used "Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Now you can scroll down the list and check out to see how many reviews and what the overall score is for an establishment. I chose the one that came up in the first listing (Mad Dogs) as I have been there many times before at the Bullhead City, AZ location.
Donald Cook's Google+ Reviews
After I clicked on mad dogs, I looked down to check out the reviewers and scroll over to see how many reviews that persona has given to local businesses.
Donald Cook has rated the establishment Excellent and has 83 reviews. If I owned Mad Dogs I would extend a thank-you and maybe a coupon for maybe the next time he stops in, also I would ask him to check-in with FourSquare and let him get a deal on something every so often when he checks in.
Now Donald has many reviews so we are interested in the ones he has written on for "bars". Type that in the query and Google+ drills down deeper to show you exactly what your looking for. Donald has many reviews on bars, 18 to be exact. This is the kind of data (analytics) that Businesses and Local marketers should be looking for and Google+ Local is a great platform for Social Marketing.
Mad Dogs should use this data to increase the number of +1's by asking patrons for reviews if they liked the service and provide a link to their Google+ Local Business page or a QR Code they can scan with their mobile device that will take them right there or to their website. With Social Signals being integrated into the Organic Search results these citations on Google+ and Zagat are increasingly becoming more important especially according to the recent research on Mobile Search that says "64% of mobile restaurant searches convert within the hour".
Mad Dog's Facebook Plugin
On Mad Dogs Bar & Grill Google+ page is a link to the business website. I check to see how the website is socially connected and noticed they have a big plugin for facebook with 345 likes. On the bottom of the page is a twitter and Google+ button.
Facebook is a great place for Local Businesses to connect with their customers and I found one local patron (Sean kerns) that looks like a happy customer.
Mad Dogs can ask him for a citation on Google+ and a Tweet since he already liked the business on Facebook. Sean Kerns has 451 friends and 99 Likes, you can drill down further to engage his friends by sorting through the ones that live in Lake Havasu and friend them, Facebook already lets them know that Sean Kerns likes the business.
Facebook lets you sort through his friends by the city from the drop down list. Immediately you see Mallorie Baker holding a shot Glass and Tricia Rill Jandrew who is a Food & Beverage Manager. This is targeted data that Facebook allows marketers and Local Businesses to use in order to create a bigger fan base and increase foot traffic to brick and mortar establishments. You can use the same techniques on their profiles and search their posts to see if they have also frequented Mad Dogs or any other Sports Bar in Lake Havasu.
Facebook already breaks the ice for you, now its up to you to offer coupons, Drink & Food Specials, deals etc... and hopefully, they will recommend, Like, Tweet, +1 and give a citation as well come in and visit your business increasing the bottom line.
Bing has integrated Social Search with Foursquare and Facebook. This is another reason why businesses need to be socially active, writing posts, making comments, asking for citations etc.....
You can use these Social Networks to mine data for any business. The goal here is to create relationships, Increase Citations and foot or web traffic to your Local Business. The benefit of citations and social signals helps with an increase of organic rankings in local search and helps people find you in social applications for mobile devices.
I recommend adding Google Authorship for Google+ and joining Bing's So.cl Network. The key is to share, Re-share, Comment, Circle, Like and +1 content that is directly correlated with your niche. Become the so called "expert" and you will see your rankings, relationships, citations and business increase across the web as well to your Local Business. Don't forget to sign up on FourSquare, its growing tremendously and allows businesses to offer coupons and discounts with check-Ins. Showcase your businesses products and services on Pinterest, you would be surprised how much traffic this social network is driving to websites and Local Businesses.
There are many Social Networks out there. Here is a list of the ones I joined and try to stay active on, feel free to sign up, add me and more!
Any Comments or Suggestions? If you liked this post please share!
Google Mobile Sites
Google Mobile Sites allow you to build local business sites that are optimized for mobile devices. The Templates you can choose from are:
Name your Local Business Mobile Website. The name cannot be more than 32 characters long as this is going to be part of the URL.
Write a short description and choose from over 50 themes. You can also customize a theme so it matches your main business website.
Change Mobile Logo
The next thing you may want to do is add your logo to the mobile site. Under the More button there will be a drop down menu, scroll down to Manage Site and click on it. You will see this screen.
Under header you will see an option for "change logo" click on that to upload a logo or to enter a website address for your logo.
Mobile Site Layout Editor
You can use the New Site layout editor to customize your
Monetize Your Local Business Mobile Website with Adsence.
If your Mobile Website is lucky to have enough visitors you can monetize it with Mobile Adsence. Google automatically has Responsive Ads that displays relevant links and are not intrusive to mobile users, however links are large enough to click with your fingers.
Having Mobile Ads that go with your mobile design and that are responsive like your mobile site makes it better for the User as they fit with your content, and add more options for the user.
Mobile Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Now we need to add Analytics and Webmaster Tools to your mobile site to measure where your visitors are coming from, what devices are being used to search with, and Mobile Search Query Terms used to find your Local Mobile Business Website.
Webmaster Tools allow you to optimize your website using various settings, and allows you to fix any error's search engines may find when they crawl your mobile site.
Webmaster Tools-Fetch as Google
In Webmaster Tools you can have your Mobile Business Website indexed faster by Dashboard-Health-Fetch as Google. Click the button next to fetch and select "Mobile: Smartphone" from the drop down menu.
Leaving the URL field blank will fetch the homepage of your mobile site, This mobile website was fetched on 10/15/12 4:16 PM. Tomorrow I update this post with a screenshot of the Page to see how fast it was indexed.
Mobile Social Sharing
Social Sharing. Right now Google allows you to add the +1 Button to your website. Social Sharing and Click Metrics are going to be playing a big role in Search Engine rankings,and I believe this to be true as Social Integration with Citations and Authorship is already being displayed in the organic listings
You can add the +1 button by click on: Edit Page-Insert-+1Button
Edit Mobile Content
Edit the rest of your content using the Mobile Content Editor. You can add in Links, change Font, Colors and Google gadgets
Google gadgets can be added from the drop down menu under Insert. To edit your gadget like a call to action click on the gadget then click on the sprocket icon. Call to actions are very important and provides more information like click to call and Maps.
Everything is lined up in the middle of your Mobile site, this makes it easy to display on mobile devices, Takes less time to load. You can see the Mobile Business Website here: Bullhead City & Las Vegas Website Design.
This website already is a responsive website for mobile devices, I just wanted to give Google's Mobile sites a try and have it act as a hub-page to analyze and optimize it to see where I can place it in the rankings. There are allot more options available to choose from using the different site designs depending on your niche. I just have to link it to 'Google+', 'Google+ Local' and other sites for further of-page optimization I used a Geo-Tagged Picture and will maybe add a Video to it as well.
Any suggestion, Questions or strategies used? let me know in the comments below.
Kaywa QR Code Generator
I like QR codes and love them for marketing purposes. There are many QR code generators out there however I like Kaywa's QR Code Generator for the following reasons, they give you four options to generate QR codes for:
I thought of a few ideas for QR Codes and I listed them below with pictures and descriptions, I used this website as examples for the material just to show you some ideas for your local business. If you don't know what QR Codes are here is a description from Wikipedia: QR Codes.
QR Code for Business Cards
QR codes for Business cards, what do you think? here is a sample business card I made up with Microsoft Office and included a QR code on it. If you have more services you want to display on front of your business card I would put it on the back right in the middle making it easy to scan for your mobile device.
I like the idea of having QR codes on business cards for the reason is that usually your business card is given or taken on the go and anyone wanting to learn more about you or your business has the opportunity to learn more about you and your services on their own time.
QR Codes for Products and Services
Qr codes for product information. You see these all over in magazines and other print publications, as you an see here I made up one for a digital product.
There is so much more information that can be learned for potential or existing customers by adding QR codes to Flyers, Menus, handouts, magazines, newspapers etc..
QR codes can link to Digital Downloads on your website as well Apps in Google Play, Amazon, Apple, Slideshare and more.
I think a good practice in adding QR codes for a product or service that links to a call of action like Buy now, or to capture a lead. Did you know that according to a recent survey 64% of Mobile Searches for the restaurant business converts within the hour! Optimizing your website for Local Business should include QR codes to maps so your customers can find your business resulting in more foot traffic to your brick & mortar.
QR codes for Socialization
QR codes for Socialization. I think this is one of the most important pieces of advertising material you can have that you present to your customers. Google and Bing are including Social Signals from other websites as well as their own and displaying them in the organic search results.
Google is using Zagat, Bing is using Foursquare and Facebook for Social search integration. Social Signals are Citations(Reviews) Click Metrics(How Many Clicks) and Shares (Re-tweets, Re-pins) plus others like "Authorship".
Including QR codes on your menus linked to Zagat, Google+ or Foursquare gives your customer the opportunity to check out more offers, coupons, discounts and even leave a review which counts towards higher rankings in the Organic results for local search.
Foursquare now offers discounts for certain check-ins to local businesses. You can add a QR code to your flyer, menu etc.. for your customers to check-in and receive a discount or something free and maybe they will upload a tip and picture praising your local business and the exceptional service they received.
Do you have more ideas for QR codes? Please leave a comment with your ideas or current tactics for marketing with QR codes.
"By Shawn Lippert"
Back in April Google started showing results with Geo-Tags in local search. With the integration of Social Signals and Google+ Local, Geo-Tags have become more so important in ranking your business and products. If you have the Google Authorship Markup enabled from your site linked to Google+ this will greatly increase the visibility and click-through rates in Organic Rankings.
Adding Geo-Tags to your HTML code of your web-page is easy with a Geo-Tag Generator. Add these Tags in the header section between the head and body. These tags are also known as Meta-Tags, search engines read this Metadata to tell what your site is about and Geo-Tags tell them where the web-page is located.
Geo-Tag Source Code
The easiest way to generate the Geo-Tag code is to put in the address of your Local Business and press search. All the information will be automatically generated so you can copy and paste the source code into your HTML.
Check the Dublin Core Box and put in a description as some Geo-Databases use this in their search results. Adding in a description is very useful as it gives specific keywords for you local business and products or services, with mobile search this becomes more valuable for short and long-tail keywords as most people click on the auto-complete feature offered.
The last step is to Validate your Geo-Tags with the Geo-Tag Validator and this will tell you if everything is intsalled and working OK. The end result you want to see is something like this towards the bottom:
"Conclusion: All geo-tag items are complete and valid!
The page contains valid 'ICBM' and 'DC.title' tags as well!"
Any recommendations will be displayed as well with any other data. It is important that these Geo-Tags are implemented properly as Bing uses them in Search results and Google uses them in Google Maps to find your local business
Bullhead City & Las Vegas Website Design
Now that you have your website Geo-Tagged, lets focus on Geo-Tagging your images. Most businesses have a Logo, this of course increases your brand awareness. If you have images for your products and services this will work to. The goal here of course is to increase the rankings of your business, products and services images above your competitors. Geo-Tagging these images will have a positive impact in the SERP's for your organic rankings.
Add photos using Picasa <---instructions and Geo-Tag them. Next you can export them to a place on your Hard Drive them upload them to your Google+ Local account or Local Business page and all the data with the Geo-Tags will be exported with the photo in the EXIF metadata. As you can see here one of the photos are showing up for my local business listing on Google Maps.
You can do this with many photo's and upload an unlimited amount through picasa and they all will be Geo-Tagged in your Google+ Photo Albums. To see them in action just click on the photo you want then click on Photo details and click on the map. don't forget to add a description (your Business Keywords) of the photos as well for each one after you view it in the album.
I hope this helps you in Ranking your local business higher in the SERP's
"By Shawn Lippert"
Structured micro-data is a way for search engine to make sense of content in your HTML. Google, Bing and other search engines created a structured data standard called schema.org.
Schema Micro-Data tells Search Engines what a particular product is about and this info is usually shown in the SERP's as a Rich Snippet. This kind of Snippet is chock full of information and can increase the visibility of your Local Business Products and Services.
So how do you use Schema and add it to each individual page? Raven Tools have made it easy for us by creating a tool that lets you list your products, Services, reviews etc.
This very cool tool is called the Schema Creator. Copy and paste is all there is to it! First step is to figure out which schema you want to use and select it as you can see in the picture to the right. After you have selected your Schema it will take you to a form to fill out and this is where it gets fun!
Schema Creator Form
Select from the Drop-Down List Local Business and fill out the rest of the form. When you get to City, State and Region you would want to put your Local Business address. Now if you want to cover multiple service areas you can add an additional state in the region area as I have done here.
Next you can see a preview of how the structured data looks. Underneath the preview you can copy and paste into your HTML document (Page) in the header.
To see how the data looks in search results head on over to Google's Rich Snippet Testing Tool for Local Search and this will show you if it is working or not.
Local Business Website Design, SEO and Internet Marketing Blog
By "Shawn Lippert"