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Announcing Local Internet Marketing Preflight

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This is our announcement for our new local search preparation service we’re launching… Eventually this will be on one of our services pages, but we’re putting together an entire stable of pages for internet marketing, which will take us awhile to completely document. In the meantime, though, here’s some writing describing “Local Internet Marketing Preflight…”

Getting Found is Easier if You Know the Rules of Local Search

By the time they reach out to us, many of our clients are aware of the value of ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. Not as many though understand that – before any of these ongoing activities take place -there are many tasks needing to be done to ensure that your new website is easily findable, especially in local search results. The good news is that – compared to SEO or SEM – prepping your site for local search is not only a bargain but also a step which can quickly yield results. To satisfy this need, we’re proud to offer Splat’s Local Internet Marketing Preflight. (Please, though, don’t refer to this great service by its much-loved internal acronym, LIMP…) Here’s why you need preflight. Organic search results have now gone local. What this means is that, when searches are conducted in any of the major search engines, those engines will attempt to determine whether the search is geographically specific. If it thinks it is, it will interpret your query and deliver – in addition to its standard list of results – a list of local businesses which it thinks match your interests. For instance, most of us have had the experience of searching for local businesses on Google and seeing something like this:

Google-Places-Result

Making sure your site shows up on that magic list of local businesses you see in the screenshot above is what our Local Internet Marketing Preflight service is all about. At its core, what Preflight does is make sure your business is correctly listed and profiled in all the major search engine’s local directories. Additionally, we make sure that your business also has listings in the sites from the directory and social review sites which weight the results of your potential customers’ searches.Here’s how it works.We recognize that each one of our client’s businesses is unique and we tailor our preflight services accordingly. However, all of our Local IM Preflight customers get some combination of the following services:

Creation of local listings within Google, Yahoo! and Bing

The first step in ensuring good local rank is to create and verify listings within each one of the major search engines’ local listing areas (Google Maps, Bing Local and Yahoo! Local.) Besides claiming a listing for your business, we’ll also make sure all relevant listing data (including optional data such as logos, videos, etc.) are uploaded, depending on the nature of your business. Finally, we’ll make sure that all listing information about your business occurs consistently in every search engine and directory listing.

Submission to online directory providers/data aggregators

In order to determine the makeup of local results, the major search engines rely on pulling data from various directories and data aggregators. This portion of our services saves the tedium of figuring out which of these is appropriate for your business and the aggravation of making multiple submissions. (If you did this yourself, it could easily take hours…) Minimally, we’ll list your site with ten of the following directories or aggregators:

  • Localeze
  • infoUSA
  • Yellowpages.com
  • Yellowbook.com
  • Superpages.com
  • Getfave.com
  • Topix.com
  • Best of the Web
  • Business.com
  • Manta
  • Hotfrog.com

Profile creation on relevant social review sites

Much of the weight placed on your local search listing depends on the buzz your business has generated on social review sites. Sites like CitySearch, InsiderPages and Yelp are all referenced in search and play a role in determining results. As part of our preflight services, we’ll create profiles for your business on sites that are relevant. Finally – because a profile alone is useless without reviews — we’ll create links from your existing site which will allow your customers to directly review your business and create buzz.

Installation of analytics and tracking

Because we understand that you need to see results, we’ll take a number of steps that will ensure your site is benefitting from our work. These include:

  • Installing Google analytics at the outset of engagement.Analytics data should be the first step in any internet marketing engagement. We’ll make sure your site has analytics installed and we’ll explain basic concepts of analytics reporting.
  • Bi-monthly reporting.We’ll send you three bi-monthly reports in the first six months after we’ve completed preflight. These reports will summarize local specific traffic information and allow you to see the increase in site traffic our efforts have accomplished.
  • Person to person contact.If we see something amiss or that needs your attention, we’ll call you. Or, likewise, if there’s something you’re wondering about in all the reports we’re sending you, give us a call and drop us an email and we’ll quickly address your concerns.

How much does all this cost? That’s an easy one. $1000 gets your business the whole Local Internet Marketing Preflight shootin’ match. Compared the cost of ongoing SEO or SEM, that’s a bargain your business shouldn’t pass up. If you’re interested in making sure your business is ready for local search, write me…

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