Local Search Marketing

Some vital statistics if you are marketing locally which most of our clients are.

  • -13 million users are online every day In Australia
  • -The internet has become part of their daily lives. (My daughter is two and uses the internet.)
  • -The sheer amount of potential new clients online has grown exponentially in recent years
  • -The internet is the fastest growing marketing channel in history to date.
  • -Over 90% of all internet users utilize search engines when looking for service or products to purchase.
  • -Over 50% of these searches include a location as part of their keyword searches.
  • -It’s easy to get your company name to number 1. It’s much harder to get your keywords to number 1
  • -Search engine traffic is getting more and more targeted towards potential customers.
  • -Most users simply don’t search pager 2, they find what they want on page 1 or try a different search.

2011 has seen a number of significant changes in the world of search engine optimisation (SEO) for local marketers trying to get citations and higher rankings thus posing new challenges for internet marketers in Australia. You need your website to be found locally not necessarily in Cairns if your service only covers say Melbourne. The important thing to remember is that real local search in Australia has a slower uptake than in the USA meaning the time to get started is now!

In Australia and the USA you will note that the number of citations displayed in the ‘Web pages’ tabs on Google seem to vary considerably on the industry you are in. For example sites that are in the tourism and hospitality sector eg restaurants certainly seem to get a bigger number of citations from industry related ‘review’ sites such as my247.com.au. Websites that belong to areas where there are much fewer review websites do not seem to be picking up citations at all.

One way to fix this is to use specific citation sources such as these ones which show up often in Australian searches. You can sign up at the sites below:

  • Hotfrog.com.au – Business directory
  • Truelocal.com.au – Business directory (This powers Yahoo! Local)
  • Whitepages.com.au – Government, business and residential directory
  • Yellowpages.com.au – Business directory– powers Google Maps, Whereis.com and 1234

There are also Map Providers who will supply local listings as points of interest to GPS devices. The big providers in Australia are:

  • * Google Maps, powering iPhones and Android devices.
  • * Whereis.com, which powers a range of devices produced by companies such as Pioneer and Uniden.
  • * Street-directory.com.au. This site also has it’s own business directory

Seeing as you want your site in the top 10 local search results, it’s essential you post your listings here:

  • http://www.truelocal.com.au
  • http://www.aussieweb.com.au
  • http://www.localbusinessguide.com.au
  • http://www.aussielocal.com.au
  • http://www.local.com.au
  • http://www.raveaboutit.com.au
  • http://au.local.yahoo.com
  • http://www.startlocal.com.au

Post Google PANDA update

One the key elements we tell our clients is to ensure that their sites reflect quality and relevance in regards to content. Google has been at the forefront with these changes in 2011 and are simply focused on delivering a targeted and enhanced user experience for searchers (That’s us) and delivering better , faster and closer matched search results than ever before.

One astounding fact is that Google has tested over 12,000 different updates (not just the 2-3 big ones you may have heard of) and are likely to retain approximately 4-5% of these changes. The types of changes I’m referring to include things like changing layout changes to SERPs results, colours, instant page previews and extended site links especially local search results showing up in search results.

RECOMMENDATION: Follow the instructions in this articles and make sure you get those local search listings up or hire an SEO firm to do it for you.

The major recent update called PANDA saw many huge sites suffer a severe loss of rankings for using techniques considered ‘black hat’. Most sites using honest and ethical online marketing campaigns were not affected badly, some not at all.

Some of the elements Google used (beyond traditional things such as Page Rank, quality and number of inbound links, Title tags, H1s etc) to measure rankings included Bounce rates, average amount of time spent on site by a user, social media metrics (facebook etc) and in particular the amount of new fresh content added to a site and how often this is done. You will aso notice that Google has released it’s own social network called Google+ which is why you keep seeing sites with the +1 button. This is to assist them in further driving relevant results and showing consumer endorsement of a product or service.

NOTE: It is essential you update your site with relevant, quality content of all kinds including text, headings, articles, videos and even podcasts where possible. Create a Blog if you haven’t already done so. Use an in-house team content person or hire someone to do this for you but just don’t keep your site static for months and months

So how do How do Australian business websites adapt to all these changes?

Marketing your site on the web is going to become a much more competitive area in 2012 so businesses must develop plans that maximise their web presence in order to get a good return on their marketing dollars. A detailed plan should be developed for your online marketing that includes a blend of search engine optimization (SEO), social media channels like FaceBook and Google+, creation of new and different conversion pages that laser focus customers straight to the page they want and of course a strong link building plan in order to make more sales and create a strong brand and a regular, loyal buying customer group. More than ever before businesses need to think about how they can do a better job delivering what their customers are looking for.

PageOneRankings.com.au use local SEO techniques in all of our packages which enables local businesses access to much higher qualified leads and helps grow their client base through increased Google rankings. You can achieve Page One Rankings in a matter of just a few months and start competing with the big brand names that compete against you with big budgets.

We recently had a niche antique dealer who specializes in selling beautiful vintage lamps primarily locally. Type ‘Antique Lamps’. He’s still there at number 1 almost a year later and can tell you how well local marketing works after selling several highly priced and hard to find antique lamps a few months after working with us. Way above and beyond he got his ROI.

How we can help

  • -Our Sydney SEO Company Creates and Increases your Google listings
  • -Our SEO experts Research your business primarily from Google’s outlook
  • -In-house Australia SEO experts research Your Keywords and analyze online your competition
  • -Our search firm Assemble and upload all necessary data for Google listings
  • -We Optimize your Business listing using tested techniques, and applying our skills to your local business
  • -Our top SEO Experts work to get your business on Highly Authoritative websites in your niche.
  • -We do basic SEO optimization on your website if necessary or create a document for your webmaster
  • -We guarantee Page One Rankings

Optimizing Your Site On page

On page SEO factors affect your sites rankings. Pure and simple. One of the most fundamental areas webmasters need to understand is how to ensure the on -site factors of a website are properly done when creating a new website or adding fresh content to an already existing site. On page SEO primarily means making sure your website’s code, using your most valuable keywords, creating fresh cont regularly, making it a more attractive destination and specifically ensuring your site is identifiable to Google and the other local search engines’ web crawling robots so it will rank your site higher in the SERPs. (Search Engine Results Pages)

Below we have identified the key techniques your webmaster needs to implement if you want your site on page one or position 1 in rankings for your keywords. Whilst no one really knows how the algorithms Google (for example) uses it’s important you don’t overlook any of these methods. They are all easy for your webmaster to implement, so just make sure they are all there. Your webmaster will understand all of these techniques. Often though they just concentrate on the site development and code structure so the SEO elements get left behind. We have seen this on about 75% of the sites we optimize for.

Keyword On Site SEO Elements are the doorway to your web site and are a huge piece of the SEO puzzle. After you have researched your top keywords eg ‘SEO firm Australia’ or English College Sydney’ you need to make sure you know effectively how to utilize y our keywords.

Important places for keywords: Keywords Must Be In Your Title Tags – A title tag located at the very top of your website’s page (look up at the very top 1st line of this page to see examples. These keywords show up in Google’s results. They are also the assist in identifying the page which you are looking at.

You will want to place your most relevant, highest searched and lowest competition keywords into your title tags as Google does consider this one of the most important factors when they index and place a ranking on your website page. In other words do the keywords in your Title tags match what’s actually on the page and give the user (you and I) the right content to match our keyword search.

Keywords In Heading Tags (H1 + H2): Using the right headline tags additionally lets Google know what is most important on your website, and judge content relevancy. Most people read pages top left sections first so your most important message combined with your most important keyword needs to be located be here preferably using the H1 tag. Your secondary most important keywords need to be placed in your H2 tags (Headline number 2).

Keywords In The Actual Page Copy: Undoubtedly one of the best places for your keywords to be used is in the body contenbt of the actual page. You do not want to use the same keywords dozens of times per page as this is called keyword stuffing and could end up getting your page or site penalized. The rule of thumb is to use you main keyword/s 2-3 times per page and just make your copy natural not ‘made for search engines’

Using Your Keyword/s In Your Domain Name: We know for a fact this works wonders. Our firm and many of our clients have reached position 1 (not just page 1) with really great URLs with the keyword in them. Take a look at ‘www.StudyinAustraia.com’ which is not only a highly searched term it is also the exact and most important keywords overseas students use when first looking around for study destinations. Bingo! It’s been number 1 -3 for over 8 years and still going strong.

There is some dissention about this but frankly we know it works as we have tested it almost 500 times on 500 URLs (yes 500) and also looked at the time taken to get to page one and position one with URLs using the URL as the keyword. You must do your research first but once done and the other factors mentioned here are in place your task becomes a whole lot easier. As your website grows you can utilize SEO friendly subdomains with your keywords in them.

How long before your rankings start increasing (often significantly) for keywords that are relevant to your local business clients?

For starters If you’re an Australian business, you aren’t worried too much, if at all, about ranking in other countries search results.

Again as a rule of thumb it takes between a few weeks and few months maximum to achieve a first page ranking for local keyword phrases. This does not apply to tough keywords like jobs, real estate, banks, credit cards, hotels etc as you are up against 900 pound gorillas all seeking that top spot. Having said that we do rank highly for very tough keywords like jobs. Ie We have a site that is in the top 5 searches for just the keyword ‘Jobs’ and many other similar tough, singular keywords but it does take more time and requires a much greater effort with quality link building.

So Google Local SEO is a 3-Stage process

Stage 1) IDENTIFY YOUR LOCAL MARKET AND DO YOUR KEYWORD RESEARCH

Stage 2) ENSURE YOUR PAGE GETS TO PAGE ONE IN THE SERPS

Stage 3) KEEP YOUR BUSINESS ON THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE AND OTHER SEARCH ENGINES

If you don’t maintain rankings on the first page of the search engines your competitors will eventually take your rankings position over and they will start to drop fairly quickly. You need to ensure you have a constant maintenance plan in place much like your car or house for example.

Some other key pointers are: If you want to get top rankings in Australia, make sure you optimise for Australians. If you’re optimising internationally make sure you use the same methods and logical approach outlined above so you will still be targeting the local customers in that country or countries. Most search engine optimisation guidelines similar wherever you are located but there are certain differences between Australian SEO efforts and international SEO.

Australian firms must be appealing to Australian customers. The search engine algorithms analyze a huge number of elements when they determine how to supply relevant results to net surfers search queries and location plays an important piece of this puzzle. It doesn’t really matter where your site is hosted as long as you are letting Google and the other big engines that your website is about providing services and products to Australians.

Local Search and Long-Tail keyword searches: Most people do not enter broad and non specific keywords when they are looking to make an online purchase. Instead, more often than not, they use a variety of search engine strings that are related to the local area they are located in. Search engines also take into account the surfers recent online searches in order to provide an experience that is relevant and productive. Again don’t try and fool the engines as they are simply trying to provide a better service to their users and faster.

For much higher local search engine rankings in Australia ensure you are listed on Google Places which assists local businesses rankings that appeal to their immediate local area even down to suburbs ie ‘Bondi Plumber’. This tool of Google’s is terrific local businesses such as take aways, local hotels, restaurants, local service companies, gyms, clothing stores, doctors in fact most all businesses. There are usually one or several local business directories you should get listed in with your companies services and website address. When doing this use what are called ’long tail’ keyword search terms.

Ensure you utilize some keyword research by looking for similar businesses to yours and go that little bit extra to assist your efforts. A good example of a local search term would be ‘Bondi Beach Hotels’ or Gold Coast Scuba Diving Centre’. Sometimes there just are not enough hours In your work day to do all of these tasks which is where search engine companies come in. The good ones understand all these techniques and ensure you ask them for examples of their successes before engaging them to help with your search engine optimisation strategies. Ie Use an Aussie search company as most overseas companies won’t know the Gold Coast or possibly even Bondi Beach or which city it is in.

Most business owners who target potential customers using local search engine optimisation tend to find they have a better opportunity of increasing their search engine rankings when they focus on localalised keywords plus they also tend to have a higher conversion rate for their clicks as they are giving users exactly what they are looking for.

Just by optimising your website for your local area or suburb actually lowers your competitor’s chances of ranking higher than you. Many businesses tend to go for more broader keywords ie ‘Pizza Sydney’ or ‘Pizza Eastern suburbs where they should be trying to get high positions for phrases that hundreds of countless other firms (often nationally) are also trying to rank for ie IT services’ where it should be’ IT services Bondi Beach’. By using very broad short or single keywords you decrease your opportunities of strong competition by focusing on local, highly targeted and searched for keyword terms.

NOTE: Using local SEO also assists increase your new business for people using mobile for search as many browsers automatically search for local businesses searching whilst on the move. A great strategy for hotels, restaurants and other services.

Ensure your phone number with relevant prefixes and location is prominently displayed. This strategy will increase your phone calls. just remember a business that is located within a suburb several suburbs can optimise its site for the suburbs it operates in, local seo services are now essential to websites seeking new customers online.

Citations: What are they and why they matter? A citation is a short, description from a specific information source used to give credit to the original writer. To begin with local search in Australia is evolving slower than it is in the USA. As you may know or have seen, Google local search has now incorporated Yellow Pages and it has created a lot of duplicate listings.

In Australia the number of citations displayed in the “Web pages” tab of Google seems to vary depending on the industry searched for. For instance, sites that are related to the travel and hospitality arena seem to get a large number of citations from related “review” websites (such as www.menulog.com.au, igougo.com, my247.com.au). Websites that belong to sections in which surfer reviews are not common tend not to show citations.

These sites often show up as citations in Australia:

  • Whitepages.com.au – Government, business and residential directory (sign up)
  • Yellowpages.com.au – Business directory (sign up) – powers Google Maps, Whereis.com and 1234
  • Hotfrog.com.au – Business directory (sign up)
  • Truelocal.com.au – Business directory (sign up) – powers Yahoo! Local

Map Providers : The Google places listing or local SEO (google maps) operate very well when it comes to ranking your business within a tightly defined geographical area.

  • Google Maps
  • Whereis.com
  • Street-directory.com.au

Our recommendations: In terms of the position within the 10 local search results. There are several sites that can make a big difference to your rankings. Most of these currently are:

  • http://www.aussieweb.com.au
  • http://www.localbusinessguide.com.au
  • http://www.aussielocal.com.au
  • http://www.local.com.au
  • http://www.raveaboutit.com.au
  • http://au.local.yahoo.com
  • http://www.truelocal.com.au
  • http://www.startlocal.com.au

In summary

  • Focus on really relevant keywords using site analysis and key word analysis
  • Write fresh relevant content using content writing experts if needed then optimize the content
  • Combine both On-Site and Off-Site optimisation together with a strong Link Building strategy
  • Create monthly ranking reports and analysis reports so you know your efforts are working

If you are a local business, people in a 5-10 km radius should be directed to your website and local search engine optimisation methods help ensure that your site is what those people see listed as being highly relevant to their search. By looking at your competitors you’ll also be sure that you can appeal to that person over the other top 5 Google searches.

Most business owners just don’t have the time to learn how to optimise their websites and put these strategies to work. If this is you let our SEO experts who come from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide help your Australian business website achieve the best Google rankings.

About our SEO services

  • You should only engage SEO firms with credibility and critically, proof. We offer both.
  • Not on the 1st page of the search engines? You are losing 80% of your potential searchers.
  • Work with a team that engages the top media research company to analyse our own sites.
  • You need 1st page and position 1 results. We'll help you get there.
  • We use the same team and methods as we do on our own large network of sites.
  • We specialize in SEO, link building and local search marketing.
  • We have over 1000 online marketing campaigns deployed over the last 10 years.
  • We have a solid reputation with Testimonials and an excellent international portfolio.
  • We additionally offer international outsourcing services via OutsourcingTo.uS.
  • Our rates are very affordable as we have an offshore team in Manila.
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