My full article is posted on SearchEngineGuide. Here are the cliff notes:
Google's local search algorithm, in Layman's terms, looks something like this:
Ranking = Location + Information + Corroboration + Input + X
Understanding the variables in this equation are a critical part of getting found online. Businesses have just two meaningful representations in the local search space: a website and a business listing. The latter of the two is worth discussing in detail.
Let's take a look at the anatomy of a local search results page and see where local business listings fit in. For this example I did a Google search for "cleaners boston ma"...
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Government & PoliticsSmall Business Incentives Face a Hard Road in CongressPresident Obama’s incentives for small business to create jobs appear to be foundering at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Those proposals — tax credits for hiring and investment and initiatives to spur lending to small firms — all face strong resistance, and not all of it comes from the Senate. Each chamber has embraced separate elements of the administration’s agenda, and, for the moment, none of those elements overlap.Government & PoliticsU.S. Salary-Increase Budgets Hit 25-Year LowChanges to salary structures... [Read Full Article]
Tips from Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The Small Business tips today will be about your first step in online marketing: making sure you can be found.
Keywords are words that people would use to find you in search engines. Use keywords on your site: saturation between 3-5%.
Your page titles carry the most weight on your website. Try using 1 keyword and average around 6 total words.
Headings are also extremely influential in your SEO. Order of importance: <h1> <h2> <h3>. Don’t over populate within each.
List your company name, address and phone number on every page. Try to use the universal format.
Daily Overview: Using the right words in the right place: the foundation to online marketing. SEO Top 10 Tips: http://bit.ly/JbGAx [Read Full Article]
Any small business owner knows that picking the right location - possibly in a busy mall or highly-trafficked downtown corner -- results in more customer visits and opportunities to make sales. The same rule has also proven to hold true for the Web. The rush for online real estate back in 2000 was similar to the Texas Gold Rush for domain names and created a totally new industry of "squatters". These squatters continue today to make hundreds of thousands, if not millions on the sales of "dot-com" names they've bought up cheaply and held on to waiting for the right buyer.Now, with the advent of social media, businesses big and small are rushing to claim their spot within an array of new Web 2.0 sites that are attracting millions of people daily. What's clear, is that social media sites are here to stay and just like the days of the "dot-com" Gold Rush, valuable domains within them are becoming... [Read Full Article]
If you run a small business, there is a good chance that you have something important to say to your buyers. Whether it's about your products or services, best practices, or even shopping tips, there are opportunities on the Web to not only help your customers make better buying decisions but also for you to earn additional credibility that could directly lead to future sales.
Online content, in all of its various forms, is causing marketing and PR to come together in ways that don't really exist offline. Unfortunately, many small and independent business owners have the misconception that online content such as blogs and news releases are only useful tools for large companies and Web-based firms. The roughly 10% of small brick and mortar shops that do venture online to promote themselves are perhaps on the right path. When your buyer is searching on the Web for something, content is the same regardless of how its dressed u... [Read Full Article]