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Five Steps to Improved Local Search ROI

April 9, 2012  
"Local search is one of the fastest growing categories of online advertising, expected to increase as much as 10% per year through 2015," writes Jon Schepke in an article at MarketingProfs. And with good reason.

Consider the ROI of a local search campaign that Schepke's company implemented for an international hotelier: "$84 in bookings for each marketing dollar invested—3-5 times greater than the ROI from either pay-per-click ads or traditional directory advertising," he reports.

Here are five steps for getting similar results with a local campaign:

Get your SEO in order. Optimize your website with special care given to terms that combine your industry and location—for instance, "Chicago life insurance agent" or "car rental in San Francisco."

Claim and optimize all your local profiles. Erroneous details in various profiles were costing one of Schepke's clients—a family restaurant—significant tourist dollars: Google called it a grocery store; Yelp had it listed as an Italian restaurant; and Bing had an incorrect street address.

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  • by Joan Schuman Mon Apr 9, 2012 via web

    google local shopping is not taking any new listings in the U.S. Can y ou provide information on this?

  • by Christian Gulliksen Mon Apr 9, 2012 via web

    An interesting development, Joan. (For other readers, Ms Schuman is referencing this notice at the Google Merchant Center: "We are not taking any additional partners at this time. We will make an announcement here as soon as we reopen this program.") I've contacted Google to ask why they closed the program to new US accounts, and will follow up when they reply.

  • by Joan Schuman Tue Apr 10, 2012 via web

    I too had written Google and no response. It's 2+ weeks now and counting.

  • by Christian Gulliksen Wed Apr 11, 2012 via web

    The reason Google isn't taking any new Local Shopping partners is that the program is still in beta. They plan to broaden participation, but there isn't a firm date on when this will happen, so they recommend keeping a close eye on announcements.

  • by Carrie Morgan Thu Apr 12, 2012 via web

    Another key point: don't forget to do your key word research (via the Google Keyword Popularity Tool) before investing time optimizing.

    Plug in terms you people are searching locally, verify they are correct or replace with the right ones, then optimize your heart out!

    Never guess - always invest a little time verifying your assumptions. Implementing SEO is a wasted effort if you are optimizing for the wrong terms (long tail strategies aside, of course).

    (Not sure if your website is optimized for search? Learn how with my free eBook "The 5-Minute Website Evaluation." Download at

  • by SocialAmigo Sun Apr 29, 2012 via web

    Reach out to the micro and niche bloggers in your region - start dialogues - build a blog of your own that deals with local issues that you care about.

    For example, luxury homebuilders would typically focus on real estate and building, but blogs about secondary education, kids sports, and local politics may drive more traffic than simply focusing on a narrow, message-saturated social stream.

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