On Friday, a few of the Zipline team members, clients, and friends attended the Get Listed local search engine optimization conference held at Northern Quest Casino. This is the second year of this annual conference and the first event where a full-day format has been used. Get Listed is a great conference, that we are excited to be a part of. In fact, we were so impressed by the event last year, that we decided to become sponsors for the 2011 conference here in Spokane.
Since space was limited and many of you were unable to attend, we thought it would be helpful if we summarized some of the main points here to help you get started with your local SEO efforts. The presenters this year included: Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling, Matt McGee, David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, Ed Reese, and Aaron Weiche. They talked about many relevant website marketing topics ranging from local SEO to social media. Below we have included some of the most useful information and tools outlined during the conference.
We were encouraged, that the main themes of this conference were directly inline with the strategies we have been promoting to our clients for the past few years. We devote a great deal of time to education and research, to ensure we are providing the best services possible to our customers. Take a look at the following takeaways from the Get Listed event and make sure that your business is making positive advances in each of these areas:
Claim your Google Local Listing – If you haven’t already claimed your listing, this is a must. All you need to do to claim your listing is go to http://google.com/maps and search for your business by name and city. If you find it listed, click on the listing and go to the top right of the listing where it says: “Business Owner?” and click the link. This will direct you through to an area where you can claim your listing and update the information about your business Google has on record. If it is not listed, you can add it by going to: http://places.google.com/business.
These listings are being used in many different areas from mobile phones searches to online applications to regular Google searches and it is imperative that you have good relevant information on file with Google if you want to be found on these location based searches. (Also, Bing and Yahoo have similar services so you should claim and update your listing with them as well, links provided below.)
Monitor What is Being Said About You Online – Customers can review you online in a number of different locations regardless of whether you signed up to allow it or not. It is important to start monitoring these locations and your company name so that you can quickly address any negative reviews or information that is put online about your organization. Many have heard that statistically, an unsatisfied customer will tell 10 friends about their dissatisfaction with your business. Now, with the Internet and online reviews one bad online review left unanswered could reach thousands of potential customers. An easy way to monitor your company is to sign up for Google Alerts for your business name. Google Alerts will then send you an email whenever your company is mentioned online. (http://www.google.com/alerts)
Build Links to Your Website – Whenever you can, try to get customers, vendors, clients, or associations to link to your website. If there is a news article about you, request a link. These links serve as votes for your organization and will really help your SEO efforts. Don’t let opportunities to obtain links pass you by.
Social is Increasingly Important to SEO – More and more, social activity is influencing SEO. Social media is beginning to function as a word of mouth referral system for the search engines and customers. You want to make sure you are represented on the various social media outlets. You should also work to begin to build positive momentum in the social arena. Even if you aren’t quite ready to attack with a full fledge social media marketing campaign, it is still very important to claim your social profiles and make sure to secure your brand name before someone else does.
Pay Attention to the Traffic You Already Have – Getting more traffic doesn’t do you any good unless you are converting the users you already have visiting your website. Install Google Analytics into your website if you haven’t already. If you are a Zipline Interactive customer, you should already have Google Analytics installed, if not, we will do it for you for free. This simple tool provides a wealth of information about your customers, what they are looking for, and how they are browsing your site. Often, simple analysis of your users online activity can help you determine how to make positive changes to your website that will increase your bottom line.
One of the most helpful things provided at this conference was a list of tools that you, the business owner, can use to help monitor your activity online and improve your online search engine rankings.
– Google Analytics