Question: Here’s my question on Local Search – I have my listings added to Google Local Business search. But I hardly see my listing. How does it really works. Can these be optimised on certain keywords or is it random? Do I only do Google or should I add it to diff local directories also?
Answer: This is an incredibly important question! Many vendors want to do well on Google Local (for free) and need to supplement this with AdWords geotargeting. But it’s confusing…
AdWords geotargeting is pretty straightforward. In your AdWords campaign, go to one of your campaigns. On the far right, click on the ‘edit’ link next to your current geographic targeting. That will then pop up a map / location. You can then set your geotargeting there from the level of country down to the level of a zip or postal code.
How does it work? If the searcher originates in your geotargeted area, then Google will show his ad. For example, if you have an add for ‘Tax Accountant’ and you set your geotargeting for Fremont, CA, if I enter the search terms ‘Tax Accountant’ AND I am in Fremont, CA, then I see your ad. If I enter the search terms ‘Tax Accountant’ AND I am somewhere else (like Chicago), then I do NOT see your ad.
You can also enter the geographics as keywords, so that if I enter the terms ‘Tax Accountant Fremont’ from ANYWHERE in the world, then I will see your ad. So you should really do both. Set your geotargeting and ALSO have a different campaign that has your geographic terms as part of your keywords.
Google Local works differently. It displays FREE ads based on the match of the Google local listing (name of business), description, and reviews based on –
1) The geographic origin of the surfer 2) The geographic terms entered.
If I enter ‘pizza’ and originate in Fremont, I will see Google local listings for pizza in Fremont, CA. If I enter ‘pizza orlando’ I will see Google local listings for Pizza in Orlando FL regardless of where I am located.
Ad Implications. The problem is that your free Google local listing is very constrained: ONLY in your local community. If you want to reach local searchers outside of your local listing, you must use AdWords geotargeting, especially if they do NOT enter the geographic helper words as part of the search. Geotargeting is one of the big advantages of AdWords!
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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