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The Importance of Guest Blogging for Local Search Marketing

Guest blogging can become a powerful tool for your local business if you do it right. While most guest blogging strategies focus on you writing the blogs, you should ideally look at it from various angles. Here is how you can use it for your local search marketing campaign…

Guest Blogging as an SEO Technique
By writing knowledgeable content that relates to your business, you are showing potential customers that you know what you are saying. In today’s world, most people will Google about products and services they want; if they come across your content frequently, you are bound to notice increased demand for your brand.

Guest blogging allows you to place this content on more popular blogs and sites that rank higher in search results. Including keywords commonly used by your local target customer base that link back to your website can ensure that your content is first they find. It is even better if the guest blog is a popular local blog with a high Alexia rating and Domain Authority.

Guest Blogging as a Branding Technique
Including links to your site, brand and relative content about your products in guest blogs will help your own site rank higher in search engines, providing your brand with recognition you aim for. You just need to make sure that your content is relevant, innovative (adding something new rather than blogging about something that has been written about time and time again), and original.

Guest Blogging and Social Media Marketing
Blogging for a popular site with good social media network will provide increased activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and other popular social media channels through sharing and commenting on the content. You can have this hype redirected to your own social media channels by including relevant links in the original blog.

The first key is finding relevant blogs that are popular and establishing connections with those bloggers. Comment on past blogs, network with the blogger (or company), and establish a relationship so that you can work together. Let them write guest blogs for you, and in turn they will let you write for them. When you have links coming in from a number of external sites that are highly ranked, your search rankings will improve enabling more potential customers to find you. It may seem daunting, but it’s not as hard as you might think, especially when considering the immense benefits you’ll get out of it.

Guest Blogging as a Traffic Generation Technique
Having local celebrities write for you is bound to increase traffic to your site. It may cost you a pretty penny, but think about the earnings coming your way through increased local traffic. Look for relevant local celebrities to guest blog, and their influence will give your local search marketing the boost you are aiming for.

Responsive Website Design for Better Mobile SEO

The Internet has turned into the largest medium through which companies can reach consumers. Therefore it is of key importance that your company pays accentuated attention to your website and blog. In addition, due to the growing number of mobile devices, this medium has become even larger. However, many forget that mobile search marketing is slightly different than the search engine optimization (SEO) used for personal computers. Successful local mobile search optimization may be the key to introducing your business to potential customers in your neighborhood.

Mobile SEO has become increasingly important during the past 5 years, mainly due to the introduction and proliferation of smartphones and tablet PCs. Arising differences in size and speed means that having one website for your business isn’t enough anymore. When creating an additional one for mobile devices, certain measures should be taken.

Reszie Images
Images, for example, must be resized correctly due to the small size of the screen they will be displayed on. A high resolution isn’t mandatory either because the screen can’t fully turn it to the user’s advantage; however the shorter loading time will appeal to those browsing your website.

Consolidate Styles and External Files
When redesigning your webpage for mobile SEO, try to simplify content as much as possible. By consolidating styles and external files, you can turn a website that is overly crowded into an organized, easy-to-read webpage, where users can navigate easily. The number of libraries should also be reduced to simplify the layout and make it easier for the users to find the information needed.

A local mobile search may help potential customers find your webpage, ultimately leading to a stronger brand presence and growing revenue. However, if your mobile search marketing isn’t targeted and doesnt cover all bases (i.e. a revamped mobile website), then there is a chance users will simply leave your site with a bad impression. And with the growing prevalence of local mobile search, you cant let this happen or your bottomline will take a big hit.

Local Mobile Search: Learning Mobile Website Design From 4 Great Sites

ESPN
ESPN has really grabbed that proverbial bull by the horns. Whether or not they are featuring bull fighting, not the most animal friendly sport, isn’t the point. What they have done pertaining to their mobile website is nothing short of revolutionary.

According to their innovative head of ESPN Mobile, Michael Bayle, they have focused on their mobile product as the product. Which makes so much sense when you consider that they have identified their mobile website as the resource presenting the largest and fastest of their potential growth opportunities.

Dominos
Dominos will continue to deliver the goods for some time to come, thanks in large part to their correctly discerning the importance of the local mobile search to their continued profitability as a business. They have geared their mobile website to the mobile user in a BIG way.

By recently adding the Android OS to their mobile platform compatibility support,they have captured millions of potential new customers. What is best about their utilization is they have kept it simple, intelligently.

Amazon
Amazon is a web sales leader for a reason. By offering their appsin the iTunes App Store, they have placed themselves in the center of the virtual shopping aisle.

Their price-scanning app that scans bar codes in a store to instantly compare and offer their products to smart phone users, though somewhat like letting the fox into the hen house, is a transcendent marketing tool and one that more companies need to pick up on.

Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land is the exception to that proverbial rule that states that you need a mobile website. They are a business that specializes in web searching. Instead of diversifying with apps for each mobile platform, they have opted to concentrate their resources on what they do best.

The website design lesson that Search Engine Land exemplifies is knowing what not to do. Maybe you can wait until HTML5 debuts for more

Microsoft Surface Tablet: Will It beat the iPad?

By now everyone should be aware that the iPad is the cat’s meow. So what does that make the new Microsoft Tablet, the doggie’s woof?

The PC world has stood aghast as the iPad has usurped, along with the iPhone, the once proud and seemingly unstoppable dominance of the Wintel conglomeration.

Those wishing to perform some website maintenance on the fly on an iPad or on the new Microsoft Tablet should each be fairly happy because they really are both excellent devices.

When you get down to it, website maintenance can be done effectively on either device. They are both awesome portable computers. It comes down to what is now the age-old choice: do you want chocolate or vanilla, Coke or Pepsi, Apple or Microsoft”

The surprising thing is the late entrance of a legitimate contender in the tablet PC category to the dominance of the iPad. The folks up in Redmond finally decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns to create their very first all Microsoft personal computing product, the Microsoft Surface Tablet.

The Microsoft Tablet has every indication of becoming the darling of the PC industry, despite the chagrin of its many former collaborators in the Wintel camp.

The main difference now, as in times past, is the operating systems. The iPad uses the Apple created iOS5, while in the other corner, the Microsoft Tablet will run in an up to date Windows environment.

It’s all good as they say in California. Apple was once a distant second in almost every computing category. With the business savvy of that Jobs fellow, they have blown away the dull minded PC industry.

By utilizing superior creativity and imagination they have become the one to beat in the field of tablet computing.

Optimize your website maintenance for either.

Why Snippets Are Very Important for Google Local Search

Snippets are becoming increasingly important in the world of local search marketing. Without a doubt, the right Google snippets often mean the difference between customers walking through your door or right on past it to the competition.

Snippets are essential when planning your local search marketing strategy because they are those little pieces of information that appear under the names of webpages in search results that give users an idea of what is on the page and why it’s relevant to their inquiry.

Fetch as Google Bot

If your page is easily understood by Google, it can create detailed snippets for your business that show customers exactly how you can satisfy their needs. The more snippets that are pulled up, the more likely it is that the customer can quickly see what you are offering and will feel confident that you are the right business for them.

All that is needed to create rich snippets is a basic knowledge of HTML. You can use Microdata, Microformats and RDFa to mark up content on websites that Google will both recognize and include in search queries when your page comes up in the search engine results. In fact, it’s not terribly complex and takes only a little while to complete.

Rich snippets also show reviews and the price range for a company’s products and services, emphasizing the importance of encouraging customers to give you positive reviews on Google Local. (It’s important to get reviews on other sites as well.) Because people trust online reviews and use them to help guide their purchasing decisions, being positively rated and having a snippet that is both informative and to-the-point can be the difference between flourishing and stagnant sales. 

Fetch as Google Bot

In today’s world where everyone has a website, setting up and utilizing snippets is a prudent investment of time and resources that will ensure that your business comes to the top of the list. Local search marketing has come to rely upon snippets to drive customers through the right doors each and every time. The few minutes you will spend setting them up will generate new local customers for years to come.

The Impact of Local Mobile Search Reviews on Your Small Business

Hey, it’s a jungle out there; and as a local small business owner you have to take matters into your own hands if you want your business to be found on the web. While many of your competitors are using the usual social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, you want to make an impact in order to stand out from your competition.

A great way to separate your business from your competitors is by leveraging the power of the web through the use of local mobile search. Potential customers are searching for your business right now, and this is why its so important to include local search marketing as part of your businesss overall marketing plan.

It’s important to have content on your website optimized for local and mobile search. Mobile search is not that different from regular searches on Google, Bing or Yahoo, and the biggest differences with searching via is the opportunity to add special promotions that can be delivered to any mobile device.

One important statistic to remember is that almost 50% of all mobile queries are meant for local intent, in other words people in your area are making specific local mobile search queries in order to find business in their local search area.

Today, tech savvy teens and adults are using personal hand held devices as if they were second nature to them. They not only text, they update their status on Twitter and Facebook. They also receive emails on their devices that include offers from businesses including discounts and specials sent all to draw more attention to their businesses, and your local business should be taking advantage of this effective way of targeting your customers.

Ideas for Local Linkbuilding Post-Penguin/Panda Era

If you’re a smaller business that was making full use of website promotion via search results particularly Google then you’ve probably noticed a dip in your search results ever since 2012′s Google Panda and (a few months later) Penguin updates. Although these corrections to Google’s famous search algorithm were meant to curtail widespread abuse of certain SEO tactics, they inevitably affected local search marketing services as well an unfortunate but necessary (in Google’s eyes anyway) instance of collateral damage.

All is not lost, however, and there are several powerful ways to take advantage of local search marketing services, using these techniques.

  1. Doing Something Socially Good in Your Community: Google search loves websites that are geared towards community and human readers, instead of heavily optimized content written purely for their spiders (robots that read code and text). Community involvement will raise your profile with people directly, as well.
  2. Join Your Local Business Community: This is an extension of the above. It gives you a chance to become known as an expert on your topic, and fellow members with whom you interact can spread the word about your services, which will have to be strong in order to stick. Remember: its about being at the top of your local niche, not the entire industry altogether.
  3. Make a Video: This is a tried and true method; people in general would rather watch well-made videos than read anyway. The medium allows for shorter presentations, without sacrificing content, and can be published across many different platforms i.e. blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
  4. Local Business Listings: So many people have migrated to the online forum that listings today are considerably less expensive with many free options despite drawing numerous visitors. It can be a valuable addition to an overall marketing plan, if you do it right. Optimize your listings for keywords you’re targeting; put all of your contact info on your listings; add photos of your business and geo-tag them; and pay attention to and respond to reviews, both positive and negative.
  5. Avoid Keyword Stuffing on Blogs: Few things harm a website with greater regularity post-Penguin than keyword stuffing; it just doesn’t allow a page to be read naturally, and search engines will penalize you for it.

Online Business Directories: A Good Source of Free Advertising?

When it comes to using local business advertising, online business directories provide an excellent source of free advertising. As you have probably noticed, there is an increase in local searches. Today major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are initiating and accelerating this trend by providing specific pages featuring only local search results placed above the organic listings. In addition, search engines also have an algorithm exclusively for local results. All this spells opportunity for a business to get a continual stream of free traffic.

How To Set Up Local Search Engine Optimization
The best way to get started with local business advertising is to find companies that offer local search marketing services. They will create customized campaigns for you that will use a variety of techniques to increase search ranking and visibility.

Here, for example, are some local search engine optimization strategies:

  • Careful keyword research
  • Website analysis
  • On- page and off-page keyword optimization
  • Local search citation
  • Local search prospecting and submission
  • Promotions
  • Getting involved in communities

Google Places
Google Places is a free platform for you to place your local business listing. By adding a profile with photos and videos to your profile, you can show visitors your special promotions and live updates. You can also respond to reviews from here.

This platform will allow you to discover many ways to improve your business because it will allow you to understand what keywords your customers are using and where they’re coming from. This knowledge will enable you to provide them with exactly what they’re looking for when they visit your business. As a result, you will find it easier to sell your products and services because it’ll closely match customers wants and needs and expectations.

Local Business Advertising
Local Internet marketing has replaced traditional business advertising. It is where customers are looking for information about businesses just like yours. Moreover, you have many opportunities for free or low-cost advertising because of the low cost of Internet marketing compared to print, radio and television advertising.

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Optimize Images on Your Website for Local Search

Many businesses forget how many searches are specific to localities, and therefore neglect local search SEO in their marketing plan. Even the businesses that use local search marketing services often neglect to optimize their website images for their local business listing. Truth is, if businesses want a successful local Internet marketing campaign, image optimization must be an integral facet of their strategy.

Include Keywords in Your Image File Names
The first step to optimizing your images for local search SEO is to include your keywords and, if possible, locations – cities, states, provinces, etc. – when you name the image files. Search engines see file names and take them into account when ranking, so you should pay attention to them when naming.

Tag Images on Your Website
Another easy way to enhance your local business listing is to tag the images on your website with a geographic location; just another step in making your images local-focused.

Optimize ALT Tags and Title Tags
Another way to vamp up the power of your images in your local Internet marketing plan is to add keywords (and long-tail keywords including location) to your images’ ALT tags and title parameters. The process is quick and should not be neglected.

Add Your Images to Flickr, Picassa and Other Image Sites
Sites like Flickr and Picassa are popular image-hosting sites; use them to increase your local traffic by adding your images and link back to your website.

Add Images to Your Google Places Page
Google Places listings are now appearing in regular search results, and many people turn to them when looking for businesses in their area. Harness the SEO power of Google Places by adding local-optimized images to your listing. Google Places allows 10 images – use them all.

Add Images to Your Blog Posts
If you have a blog – and you should – be sure to add images to every blog post. And, of course, each image should be optimized for local searches in the ways laid out above.

Tablets are Shaping Local Search Marketing Behavior

Smartphones and tablets are at the forefront of technology, yet these devices are still easily accessible to a majority of the public. The most recent Localeze/15miles Fifth Annual comScore Local Search Usage Study shows that not only are tablets and mobile devices important for business and daily tasks, but local mobile search is rising.

The most frequent mobile device and tablet users are the people who are also the most likely to make a local search. About 64% of tablet users are now indicating that they make local searches on a weekly basis. About 61% of those surveyed used a smartphone to make these same searches. Local search SEO techniques are now in high demand for local companies to work more efficiently with this group of the Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) revolution.

Apps geared toward local searches and local businesses are a major component of this trend. It makes it much easier for users to get the information they need and also find the best deals when deciding what to purchase.

Local search marketing is also important for smaller businesses that want to make a quick sale. The study found that up to 86% of tablet users making a local search will turn that search into a purchase. These purchases are fueled by daily deals such as Groupon and Living Social, even though many daily deal offers are declining in popularity. When businesses are able to supply tablet and smartphone users with local mobile search options for on-the-go information, it helps to shape their customers buying behavior.