local search marketing | BlitzLocal

Dennis Yu is an expert at internet marketing, so when a friend asked if he would rank his new business on Google, Dennis had it ranked in 15 minutes! I once knew a business man that spent 3 years trying and still could not rank his business page on Google. Meanwhile, Dennis Yu achieved a quality search ranking for his friend’s business, faster than an episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants.
Ranking well for the proper keywords will generate targeted, high quality leads for any business. Customers who shop or price check online are constantly using Google search, and the businesses that rank well on Google meet potential clients who found them because of their search engine rankings. Dennis’ friend recently started a racquet stringing business out of his home in Boulder, Colorado. Knowing his customers often found racquet stringing services online, he asked Dennis if he would help him climb up the Google search results for keywords like “Tennis”, “Boulder”, and ”Racquet“, knowing his customers would likely use these search terms if they were looking to get a tennis racquet strung in Boulder. Often times competition for search results is fierce, making it a very competitive field. Take the term “Remote Control Car” for example. Searching even this three word term, causes Google to display 15 million results. Obviously, the results listed first will receive the most views from prospective customers; but how do you get your business to the top of the ladder?
Dennis started by explaining that clickable links online, termed “back links”, are essentially connecting web traffic together from one site to the next. For example, any link in this article, which takes you to another page, is a back link. Receiving high quality, “back links,” from reputable sites, is one of the major components Google uses when ordering search results, particularly when a search query returns millions of results. Essentially, the amount of back links and how well they fit the target search (among other things) determines who gets to be at the top of the search. This creates multiple dimensions to the importance of back links to your site. It is important to have back links because, not only do they account for a great source of direct traffic to your website, they piggyback off other sites’ traffic and funnel it through a direct link to yours, and play a vital role in how Google ranks sites in keyword searches.
The impact of a back link is determined by the rank of the page your site is linking with. This clout, or credibility of a website, is kept in a system of scoring called “Google Page Rank.” You can easily download a page rank application, which tells you the page rank of any page you are surfing, or linking to, displayed in the bottom right hand corner of your browser, after downloading this free tool from quirk.biz.com. The page rank scale goes from 1 to 10, but it is important to note that the page rank scale is also aggregate. An aggregate in this context, means that sites which rank even 1 level higher than others are ten times stronger than sites ranked even one level lower; exponentially rising and falling in the Google pecking order. In order to zoom past all the other search results on Google, it is important to score well on Google for back links, because Google takes into account the quality and amount of back links to your pages, ranking pages with more, higher quality back links, ahead of sites which are not as well-linked to the rest of the internet.
Although ranking a small business page requires more than simply 1 or 2 back links, even from a page rank 5 site or above, a single “PR5″ back link is usually enough to rank well on certain Google keywords. Particularly if your intended Google keyword queries return less than 2 or 3 million results, and the keyword results your seeking are not in heated competition with other websites. In more sought-after search fields, one must acquire more back links that are ranked higher; ideally with matching keywords and topics, to impact competitive search results the most. A good way to obtain back links on reputable sites is to guest-post material on other sites, for example a friend’s blog, but that is just one suggestion for anyone getting started tackling any major keyword searches.
To rank his friend’s tennis racquet business, Dennis started by quickly writing a short article on his PR5 blog, laced with keywords for Next Day Racquets, that he later hoped to rank for in Google search. He identified ”Boulder, Tennis and Racquets,” as the keywords that would work best, because the company is a start-up business in Boulder, Colorado that sells tennis racquets, and Dennis realized that it was feasible to rank even higher than his friend’s business rivals for these keywords. He again determined, “Boulder, Tennis ,Racquets,” was the ideal search term for his friend’s business by discovering that the term received an acceptable amount of highly targeted web traffic, while additionally targeted prospective local customers. Keyword research played a vital role in this process, whereby any search query with less than 2 million search results would be relatively “low hanging fruit,” that with a few steps could be overtaken on search results.
The material that ranks number 1 on Google, on average, receives 4 times the amount of organic traffic that the content ranking number 2 receives. So the importance of being ranked high, for any business, is tremendous. After determining the desired keywords, Dennis wrote a highly targeted article about,”Boulder, Tennis and Racquets,” on his PR5 blog. Dennis also went ahead and created a social media outlet, (his specialty), via a Facebook.com fan page, for his friend’s business (which it would use as a sales page for the time being). He then went on to link his blog to a new article post about Next Day Racquets, while intermingling another link into Next Day Racquet’s Facebook fan page. After linking the PR5 blog with Next Day Racquets Facebook fan page, he went ahead with a simple little trick that quickly allows Google to index the newly posted material. WordPress blogs are already great at pinging the search ladders, informing Google instantly about the emergence of new content, but a great way to get indexed even faster is to use the Google plus 1 system. By pushing plus “+1″on the newly formed content on his blog, Dennis actually got Google to instantly crawl the post and in turn got the post instantaneously indexed on the search ladder, with no wait or time-delay!
The result? Next Day Racquets ranked number 1 for the keywords, “Boulder, Tennis, Racquets,” in 15 minutes! By simply writing a high quality, keyword articulated article, on a reputable site (his own blog), then linking it to his friends business fan page and then “+1″-ing the results, Dennis instantaneously brought the Google indexing spiders running to the site and had it ranked number 1 on the search engine keywords just as fast. Dennis achieved what most business owners never do; he ranked Next Day Racquets in the top 5 of Google search for important keywords and search terms. Not only that, he did it quicker than I could have ordered a Domino’s pizza. After a few weeks the listing did fall from ranking very 1st on the ladder, down to number 4 on the search results. Even so, Dennis Yu was able to get his friend more Google recognition in 15 minutes than home businesses ever get at all! Not only that, he didn’t use any unethical business or black hat S.E.O. and instead properly mounted Next Day Racquets on the search ladder, for the long run. Dennis Yu is truly a professional. Check out more on his blog www.Dennis-Yu.com. I hope this article helps people maximize their search engine opportunities; it sure helped me!
-William Larsen, BlitzLocal Analyst
Save money, sharpen your AdWords skills and learn from experts by signing up today for the first-ever AdWords Advantage Online Summit, a three-week online event beginning Tuesday (March 9).
The summit’s 14 sessions are led by top industry experts, including Bryan Eisenberg, Co-Founder Future Now Inc., Frederick Vallaeys, product evangelist for Google, and Dennis Yu, CEO and co-founder of BlitzLocal.
As a bonus, BlitzLocal is offering free pay-per-click campaign templates for a few industry verticals for those who attend “AdWords for Local: Sort Heads from Tails, Find Free Clicks and Calls,” which Yu is leading on March 16.
Yu will cover a number of topics including:
how to build effective campaigns for businesses that have a local customer base
why mobile ads are a hidden gem for lead gen on smartphones and non-smart phones alike.
how to manage the difference between “Chicago restaurants” and “restaurants” searched from Chicago: find out how much traffic can you expect from geo-targeted search versus geo-multiplied keywords.
For more information and to save $200 by registering today, please follow the link here.
On September 24, 2009, Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzLocal and a recognized thought-leader in the fast-moving world of Pay Per Click marketing, will be speaking at the PPC Summit in Los Angeles, California (Sept 23-24, 2009) on Local and International PPC Opportunities.
Dennis will provide the same workshop at the PPC Summit in Chicago, Illinois (Nov 4-5, 2009).
Dennis’s Workshop will focus on answering the following important questions:
Local search is attracting a great deal of press for its ability to provide targeted leads for smaller businesses, but is it right for you?
What local opportunities are out there?
Where should you focus your money and attention?
If you can see the world locally, can you also see it globally?
Do you see international opportunities for your business in this global search marketing economy?
The workshop will delve into opportunities that will drive your business forward, both near and far.
This week SEMPO held a webcast that focused on The Economics of Local Search Advertising. The primary subject matter of the event was a new research report from Borrell Associates that examines the “challenges and opportunities around the $5.3 billion local search advertising industry.” Gordon Borrell led the webcast and gave his personal insights on his firm’s findings.
Below, I’ve included important PowerPoint slides along with some observations from the webcast.
Key Findings:
Interactive media advertising cannot and will not grow forever.
A regular problem with small business is that they don’t want to spend much, have high demands and unfortunately are not very good about paying their bills.
There is currently massive churn in Local Search Advertising. Based off of Borrell’s findings the average situations is that if a Local Search Firm sold 12,000 accounts in a given year they would likely finish the year with 247 total active accounts! Key factors of the high churn rate include: Local Search is oversold. On top of that not enough of the client’s money is going to buying PPC. Finally, dealing with small businesses is proportionately far too time-consuming—they need a lot of hand holding, even on small buys. (See Slide 14)
Typically, the lower the spend the less money is spent on actual keywords buys—a lot of the money goes towards commissions and overhead. (Slide 15)
Firms that use Search Engine Marketing Management Software see lower churn rate. Sophisticated software helps make management of PPC much easier and more consistent. (Slide 16)
There is a direct correlation between the amount spent on ad buys and the amount of churn—the more money spent on ad buys the lower the churn, the more spent on commissions and overhead the higher the churn. (Slide 17)
Studies have shown that actually increasing percentage of spend on ad buys not only delivers better results for the client, but it also delivers higher profits over time for the Local Search Marketing Firm.
Most small advertisers have the nagging feeling that half the advertising they are doing is working and half of it is not, the only trouble is that they’re not sure which half is the one that is working (Borell calls that the John Wannamaker Syndrome). That means that they are vulnerable to being persuaded either towards or away from different types of advertising. At the end of the day, Local Advertising is based off of trust; if you can convince them to trust you they will buy, but your service damn well better perform.
Many local advertisers have not yet tried Local Search Marketing, however many of them are constantly getting contacted by local search advertisers (some times as much as once per week!). That means that perhaps Local Search Advertising Businesses have NOT yet found the right pitch. There is an opportunity for search businesses if they can find a simple pitch that hits the right nerve.
Local Search Advertisers need to understand the sorts of questions their small business clients will have—they’ll want to know how much money will be spent on what, they will want guaranteed results and they will want a monthly report that they can understand (not just a Google Analytics report with a different logo).
A lot of PPC people out there don’t know what they’re doing, so the caveat here is that increasing ad buy spend may not get performance as high as it needs to be. Spending more money inefficiently won’t get you any further. You have to have both—high percentage of overall money going to ad buys and talented people managing the campaigns. Also, talent may not be enough; they need to use sophisticated tools.
This means that the perfect situation is one where you have a high percentage of client spend dedicated to ad buys (60% minimum, and 65% is better!), along with experienced and talented analysts managing these accounts with the help of sophisticated Search Engine Marketing Management Software.
A regular question Borrell gets, given the tremendous amount of churn he talks about, is:
How many times will small businesses fail the first time around, but retry local search at a later date?
His answer: The fact is that there is currently no strongly conclusive data here, but based off of some recent research the belief is that many of them will come back. One of the reasons is that not all churn is due to people being unsatisfied—some people only pursue seasonable campaigns; others have like to run tests and then evaluate the results over a period of time before deciding whether to re-engage.
One last thought from Borrell: Local Advertising is Sold, not Bought—SMBs need to be pursued, and the right pitch along with a tight system that produces results will win them and keep them happy.
Remember: BlitzLocal devotes 70% of the client’s spend towards Ad Buys and we have talented PPC professionals running the campaigns! Use BlitzLocal for a competitive advantage!

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