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SMX London 2008 – Day 2 Session 4

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
5 November 2008

The final session of the day was entitled "Search 3.0 – Local search and blended results".

Img00998_2Big stat to start you off with – 30 – 40% of all searches have local intent. Heini van Bergen of Tribal Internet Marketing took an over-view look at the emerging dominance of local search, and talked about some of the criteria for getting local search working for you. They broke down in to four main areas:

- On-page factors – phone number, location, keyword-rich URLs and proper contact address. As many of your locational details in your URL as possible!
- Off-page factors – inbound links, keywords in anchor text (again) etc
- Reviews – number of reviews on your site, reviews on third party websites.
- LBL (Local Business Listings) – Google local should be used, get your keywords right, proximity to center of searched location, make sure it’s in the right category.

He also talked about the Don’ts – no using multiple LBLs with different details, don’t list multiple addresses on your website (for the same thing).

Next up was Susan Hallam, who talked about user behaviour and how the local search engines get their data. One of her best slides was a screenshot from Google Insight (for used car birmingham and similar phrases) which nicely illustrated the down-turn in searches due to the credit crunch. She touched on the addition of review data to Google local results, and stressed the importance of getting your users to review your services on the sites which feed these review results. They can’t be on your own site, before you ask! Directories and classifieds sites were also talked about, with the UK version of Craigslist amongst the featured sites you could utilise if right for your business.

Next up, with the task of talking about "everything else" (Fox’s words) was Jon Myers from MediaVest. Myers talked mainly about the localisation options within Google PPC advertising, and some of the issues with that as well as the benefits. He also talked about the telephone numbers that get displayed with your local search results, and suggested getting a specific number to use with these listings so that you can monitor ROI from a front page Google local listing – you’ll be surprised by it’s success. Finally he touched on the use of local search in Mobile searching – local is almost certain to be the distinguishing factor that makes mobile search finally come in to it’s own.

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