Even if you are not a local business, you need to read this.
Google has just rolled out a new carousel layout to improve how their local search results are displayed on Apple’s iPad devices. Murray Newlands shares details in this week’s Future of Engagement Video:Video Highlights:
- Small businesses need to focus on getting more local links to move up in this listings
- Use social media monitoring to connect with local bloggers to increase visibility and incoming links
- iPad usage climbing and this change makes it easier for them to find local businesses.
Google is predicting that tablets will surpass PC ownership late next year. Screenwerk’s Greg Sterling feels:
“That’s probably a bit aggressive. But it’s safe to say that there will be over 100 million tablets in the US market by the middle of next year.”
You can see the new layout and more details in Greg’s post about the New iPad Google Local Search Experience – and then keep reading to find out why YOU need to care about local even if you operate nationally or internationally.
Dominant Tablet OS Market Share
It makes sense for Google to care about the Apple user experience. Chetan Sharma Consulting’s 2012 survey of 150 mobile industry insiders believes Apple’s iPad iOS will have 45% of the market, edging out Google’s Android by only 1%. Together these two will control an estimated 86% of the total tablet market.
Businesses are really missing out if they are not using efficient methods to obtain high quality links from the largest sites that can ensure their target audience can find them. With Google making it increasingly difficult to stay on page one to get consistent traffic, I can not emphasize enough how important it is for you to be proactive.
Why You Should Use Social Media Monitoring
Google keeps telling us over and over that they favor big brands. Small businesses are suffering and dying daily because Google took away their traffic on their best converting search phrases. That means YOU have to do something and it needs to be yesterday!
You can use social media monitoring tools to be alerted when someone shares something about you, your industry or your location. You choose what is important to you and the tool creates graphs to make it easy to see important details.
It does not cost anything to find out if social media monitoring is for you.
Just go to Alerti and sign up for a free social media monitoring trial account.
Use bonus code alertivideo to extend the free trial period to a full 90 days -
and then USE IT while it is free to make sure it benefits you.
Easiest Way to Get Free Local Links from Local Directories
Every business that is willing to publish a physical address and phone number should take advantage of how easy it is to get links from major directories including Google Plus Local (formerly Google Places), Yahoo! Local , Superpages, YellowBook, YellowPages, CitySearch, Yelp, Merchant Circle and many others.
Do NOT tune out if you are not a local business. Links from these major sites are
extremely beneficial to you, too. They can move ALL of your search listings up!
The directories intentionally make it difficult to find the page to get free listings and imply that you have to pay to get or stay listed. Their premium listing services will be much easier to find and their sales department may even call and tell you that payment is required. That has not been true in the past so do not believe them until you confirm their policies have indeed changed.
Even if you can find the pages to submit your free listings, they often lose your data and can make you crazy because each one is different. Choosing the correct category is especially challenging. It could take you 40+ hours to find and complete each submission. There is a much better way.
Universal Business Listings can get your business into all the major directories, the databases that feed GPS systems and phones, and onto hundreds of local and niche sites you will never find any other way.
Do NOT put all your eggs in Google’s basket as they have made it VERY clear
that they will be favoring big brands over small businesses. Look for them to
eventually rank the national brands’ local locations at the top and push you
off the first page – or worse – delete you from their index or local results.
If you use UBL, new customers can find you without Google. In this Local Search Case Study I found that for every 100 visitors Google sent Golden Rule Gazebo received 75 visits from sites I never heard of that could not be found in the search engines.
Those 75 sites sending only one or a few customers each kept their business very busy in spite of the economy. There is no other way to reach them.
Do yourself a big favor and get your local directory listings today –
and renew your listings every year so you can be found!
If you don’t want to do this yourself, hire it done. If you want maximum results and can afford it, hire an expert to do the keyword research and copywriting for you. You need to do this and scraping up the $75 is critical to your success. If you can’t even do that, create a listing on Google Plus Local yourself – and be sure to do the claiming process!
Optimize These Most Important Local Directories
Even though UBL will feed photos and even videos, not all of the directories will automatically post them even if they offer you space for them. Each directory is different and UBL has no control over what they do. You are paying them for sending the data – not for ensuring it gets published (unless you pay for upgraded service).
The best method is to submit your listings and when they appear then manually optimize the ones on the largest directories. The last time I researched these were the Top 10 Local Search Directories by Importance.
Believe me, it is well worth $75 to fill out your information once and have it submitted everywhere. They have a new offering for $129 that includes claiming your Google, Yahoo! and Bing listings. That is a great idea, too, as claiming is a hassle. If you do not have them do it, be sure you do it yourself because hijacking good reviews and top placed listings has been a major headache.
It cost one mobile mechanic I know most of his income because he went from keeping three mechanics busy to almost no work at all virtually overnight. It took days before he figured out a competitor had hijacked his great Google reviews and changed the listing to their phone number. Fortunately, he was able to get it back so ALWAYS claim your major listings.
Use High Quality Moderated Directories
Google scares people and they spread FUD that is untrue that turns into widely accepted SEO myths. There are quality directories like DIRJournal and I have confirmed with multiple major SEOs who do testing that these are still very valuable for SEO (and they also bring you real people).
What got penalized are so-called directories that are really link farms. Avoid any that let anyone submit anything because they end up with links to bad neighborhoods and often use automation that gets them slapped.
Focus on using directories that are manually moderated and have related businesses separated by category so that individual pages group similar businesses because those WILL benefit you.
[Disclosure: I write for DIRJournal's blogs and others with the same owner. All listings there are moderated and I create content that drives traffic from many blogs to the relevant pages in the directory so that more people will see the listings there. We are also working on a new strategy for creating high quality, high traffic content. I write about what I know and those I believe deserve recognition. If I don't know about you, I can't write about you - so why not connect with me?]
Inexpensive Way to Maximize Incoming Links on Social Networks
Another excellent way to get incoming links quickly is to use Knowem to claim profiles on social networks. These are links from high PageRank, influential, important sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest – every social network you’ve heard of and many you haven’t.
The more profiles you order through Knowem the more incoming links you can automatically have generated. This will move you up in the search results. It will create many listings for your business and username so you are insulated from bad publicity. That protects your brand. And finally it makes sure you protect your username.
Why You Need to Protect Your Username
You probably know me as GrowMap. I am registered as GrowMap everywhere because that makes it really easy for you to find me no matter where you prefer to hang out. If I am not active there my bio can let you know where you can find me.
It is hard enough for people to remember ONE username. Do you really think they can remember more than one or which one you are on which social network?
Imagine spending years creating your brand – and that IS what you have if you are online whether you consciously build it or not – you have an online reputation. When you get some success there will be people wanting to coast on what you have done.
Most social networks operate on a first claim basis.
If you don’t have your username claimed before someone else does, too bad for you.
They might try to sell it for a high price or they might compete with your business
or just use it to muddy your reputation and confuse your potential connections.
If you have a registered trademarked name you can challenge them on some networks, but that is a major loss of your time and possibly money. If you’re a small independent you probably have no recourse. That is where Knowem comes in.
They have various price points for claiming your profiles starting at $69.95 for the top 25 most popular sites. If you have the time you can go do them all manually and save less than $70, but what is your time worth to you? If it is worth more than that and you can afford it, do yourself another favor and have Knowem claim your username.
The more places they claim it, the more incoming links you receive, the more search engine listings from authority sites you have (to keep any negative links pushed down in the search results and move you up in the search results) and the easier you make it to be found online.
If you are a small business, a blogger or an affiliate marketer, spending these small amounts of money can move all your pages up in the search engines which will increase your income. Consider this the first step to getting serious about making more money and just do it.
I only recommend what I personally feel is the best solution for any challenge. These are my three best tips for you. That is why their banners are always running on GrowMap – to keep reminding you until you take action.