Google search results are starting to include local results

Google's including local results
Google's including local results

Just heard through the search marketing grapevine that Google is starting to include local results for search queries that they think you’d like to see local results. Try a search for “cars” and half way down you’ll see local results based on where you’re searching.  This is based off the IP of your computer where you’re searching from so if you’re surfing the net from your office and the network has a block of IPs from a provider out of state you will most likely receive results based off of where that IP is located.

So with this in mind it will become more important to make sure your business is listed in Google Local. Click here if you need to get listed in Google Local.

How to work with a search marketing company or consultant

I thought this topic would be relavant to our customers as well as others out there that work with a search marketing company or consultant. I recently spoke to one of our paid search and search engine optimization (SEO) customers today and discovered some interesting data. The orginal intent of the call was to followup on a new 800 number to better track the calls coming through. The customer went on to discuss what keywords are most effective for their paid search and SEO campaigins. This customer surveys all potential customers to find out what search engine they found them on, what keyword was specifically used to find them, and what state they’re calling from. With these 3 pieces of data we were able to make adjustments in real time to their paid search campaign. The SEO campaign does not have this flexibility but when it’s time to renew thier SEO campaign we can add some of these words to their campagin. So make sure to keep your search marketing company up to date on what’s working for you. The more information you can provide, the better the company or consultant will be able to fine tune the search marketing campaign. This could be done through a weekly phone call or a weekly email. If you’re not already tracking this information, start today. It’s your money so you might as well get the best value out of your marketing spend.

Here’s a list of some helpful things you can do yourself to get the most out of your search marketing campaign:

  • Track site traffic through free Google Analytics
  • Use free Google Webmaster Tools (You might need some help from a webmaster to get this initially setup)
  • Track your data on a spread sheet (what search engines you were found on, what words, was it organic or a paid search ad?, etc.)
  • Stay in touch with your search marketing company on a weekly basis
  • Stay current with search marketing trends by reading blogs like ours and one or all of these: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Guide, or SEOMoz (I currently subscribe to these and 6 others through Google Reader which is a nice way to feed all of these sites into one reader.
  • Request your paid search log-ins for Google, Yahoo, and MSN and log-in yourself to see what’s working and what words are being advertised. Some search marketing companies will not give this information out and provide generic reports. At emarketed we give access to your accounts if you request this information. You can login and run all types of reports to find out what’s working and what’s not.

Well that’s it for now. I will post more tips to this post in the future so stay tuned. Please also feel free to comment if you have some ideas that can help.

Google AdWords Editor Update

Google is at it again with another update for the Google AdWords Editor. I look forward to testing this out. First page bid estimates for your keywords is now used in this version while the minimum cost-per-click (CPC) bids are no longer used. The quality score is now displayed for your keywords. You can also now change the language and location for the Keyword Opportunities tool within the Google AdWords Editor. There are some other updates but these are the biggest.

Here’s a quick recap for you newbies out there that aren’t sure what I’m talking about. This tool allows you to manage your Google AdWords account offline through a software interface. If your managing 100 words or less than this tool might not be for you. It’s really geared for larger campaigns and is idea for search marketing companies or consultants that manage multiple accounts. Some of the more tedious work such as updating your ads online can be done fairly quicking with the editor. All you need to do is download the software and install. It will ask you for your user and password and then it will download your AdWords account info so that you can start editing. Your changes are pushed through to your account when you save your data.

New Google Keyword Tool

Google just released another tool to help you find keywords for your pay per click campaign and/or your overall search marketing campaign. First you’ll need to input your website and some of your target keywords and click submit to see the results. See below for a screen shot of the search results that I received when testing this out. I entered in emarketed.com and the following keywords: seo, ppc, web marketing, web design, website video marketing, cms, seo cms, organic cms, search engine optimization

google keyword tool
Google keyword tool

And it gave me 810 suggestions showing me monthly searches, competition level, and search trends. You can click the magnifying glass icon to see the search trends for a specific keyword. A new window will open with Google Insights for Search which provides some very interesting data. You can see how many searches are done wordwide and have it broken down by country, state, and city level. The below screen shot shows what I found when I drilled down on “web design” and then selected United States and California. I was able to see that San Francisco had the most searches for this keyword with Los Angeles coming in 4th. It also displayed “google web design” as a rising search term so this would be a good word for us to optmize. Please disregard this last statement if you’re an SEO and/or web design company. Wink Wink ;)

Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search

Google SEO Starter Guide

Google just released a great SEO starter guilde that I have skimmed through and plan to tackle in the next week. It covers the basics and is coming from the mouth of Google so the information has to be in line with their standards. I think this will be helpful to anyone new to SEO or if you’re trying to do search engine optimization (SEO) yourself. The information here will be helpful across all of the major search engines. I’ll post a blog after I’ve reviewed and give an unbiased review. It’s a 22-page PDF that covers some of the following:

  • Page Titles
  • Meta Tag Descriptions
  • Site Navigation
  • Creating Quality Copy
  • Anchor Text (Links)
  • Heading Tags
  • Image Optimization
  • Robot.txt files

Please post a comment if you get a chance to review this.

Google AdWords Editor

I’d recommend using Google AdWords Editor if you manage over 100 words for your pay per click campaigns. Google is at it again with a new version just released. You can download AdWords Editor 6.5 and load your user ID and password in and be managing your account within minutes, We’ve been using the editor for a few years now and it saves us hours of frustration, tears, and sweat on a weekly basis.

A few of the new features from the latest update:

  • Horizontal scrolling when viewing data
  • Updated calendar so you can view statistics
  • New keyword opportunities tool (my favorite!)

A few of the existing features that have saved us hours of work:

  • Bulk changes/uploads
  • Easily copy or move keywords or ads between ad groups and campaigns
  • Quick navigation
  • It’s Free!

It’s baffeling to me sometimes to think of all the different departments at Google that are just working on one aspect of the great company that provides so much more than just search.

Matt Cutts SEO Tips On Blogging

Well if you’re reading this chances are you’ve heard of Matt Cutts but if you haven’t, he’s a rockstar in the search marketing space. He’s also know as the spam czar at Google. He heads the spam team at Google and speaks often about SEO and “whitehat” techniques. Whitehat is a term in the search marketing space that refers to tactics that are permitted by the search engines and blackhat refers to ways people try and trick the search engines. This video goes into ways you can do SEO through your blog with whitehat techniques. I’d recommend staying on top of Matt Cutts blog.

I’d love to hear some feedback on this video. Please feel free to comment.