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Podcast Episode #50 – How Small Businesses Get Found in Local Search Results
Google has gone and done it. We thought we understood how search engines work. Build a website, create good content, get found by search engines. But the game has changed. For small, local businesses, your search engine visibility is now determined by something called “local search,” those special search engine results when people go looking for a business in a certain geographic area. There are different rules to local search, and you need to know what they are. In this episode of Power to the Small Business, we discuss how small businesses get found in local search results, and what you can do about it.
Mike Ramsey, of Nifty Marketing, Burley, Idaho
Length: 34 minutes
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LOCAL SEARCH: THE GAME IS CHANGING
What is local search? Mike Ramsey separated it into four categories:
- Internet Yellow Pages – Sites that have a lot of local small business information like Yelp, SuperPages, City Search, Urban Spoon
- Geo-focused organic search results, such as those when you type in a term in a search engine like “plumber in Dallas.”
- Geo-focused pay per click – Paid advertising on Google, Yahoo, Bing that appear on the right had of the search results.
- Local listing results – Those with a map, 1-10 local business listings with a “balloon” indicating the local business on the map, and the business’ basic information.
Selected quotes from Mike Ramsey on the show:
ON BEING FOUND IN LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS
“If you’re not in the (Google) 7-pack as a local business, your visibility just drops so much….As a small business owner, you really do want to make sure you’re visible on those seven listings”
ON INFLUENCING YOUR POSITION IN THE GOOGLE LOCAL 7-PACK
“You’ve got to make sure that your name, address and phone number for your business is exactly the same and matched everywhere on the web.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR WEBSITE IN LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS
“A website becomes much more of a selling factor than a ranking factor in local search. But it’s not as important as having your information…all across the web.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF REVIEWS IN DETERMINING SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS
“Google, as well as gathering business information data, they gather reviews from all across the web….Companies that have reviews, especially those that have large amounts of reviews, it helps rankings.”
ON THE INFLUENCE OF BLOGS AND WEBSITE CONTENT IN LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS
“I don’t see that being a huge factor into your actual Google Local Business listing. It’s going to help you with the organic rankings…But for the local business center, sites that have a blog, sites that don’t have a blog, that won’t determine your 7-pack ranking.”