Archive for October, 2010

Place Search On Google

October 28th, 2010

Will Place Search on Google Affect Your SEO Efforts?

Yesterday Google introduced a new type of local search result. Place Search organizes information around local places to help searchers more easily make comparisons. Previously when you did a local search, you would see the local results from Google Places at the top of the page next to a pushpin map. Now the map is in the right column above the AdWords ads and the results are included in or above the regular organic search results, marked with red pins – which helps your listing jump out from the rest.

Place Search results will appear automatically when Google predicts a searcher is looking for local information, i.e., “chinese restaurants new york city”. Google has also made it easy to start a local search – just click on the “Places” icon in the left panel of the search results page. If a local web search doesn’t yield you the results you want, click on places and you just might find what you were looking for.

One very important thing to note, Google does not seem to be consistent with how it is displaying these new results. We did our own test. Some searches yielded one “result” per business, which incorporated a regular result with a Google Places result with links to both the website and the Places listing. This combined result is included in the 10 results per page. The problem with this is you are not being displayed twice, as you may have been in the past. Other searches yielded the old format with a 1 or 2 or 7 pack listing separated from the regular results so that you could appear twice on a page. Not sure how Google is determining what to show and how.

In any event, if you haven’t created a Google Places listing you need to now more than ever! Write On Point is here to help if you need us.

Hyperlocal Marketing For Small Businesses

October 22nd, 2010

Hyperlocal marketing is a fabulous way for small, local businesses to get the word out about their products and services – both online and off – to their communities. This post will focus on how to gain online visibility in your local community.

Hyperlocal marketing – or should we say hyperlocal search – for small businesses

Local search is really gaining traction. More and more people are moving away from browsing through the local phone book and turning toward searching for businesses, services and products online. When they do, can they find you? Here are some Hyperlocal Search tips:

1. Create a local business center listing on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Make it robust with specific information about your services and products, pictures, videos and discount offers – and make sure to use relevant keywords in the appropriate places.
2. Optimize your website with the names of your town and surrounding towns.
3. Incorporate Google Maps in your website – you can even customize Google Maps to show your service routes.
4. Get listed in online directories.
5. Incorporate local events on your site.

Hyperlocal marketing or in this case hyperlocal search is a truly effective way for small businesses to target customers where they live and shop. For those of you who don’t have the experience or know-how to implement these tips, you can always reach out to your SEO consultant for help.