At Prospect Genius, many of our clients are family-owned, brick-and-mortar businesses. They are extremely talented and knowledgeable in their respective trades and industries, but since they don’t specialize in online marketing, they aren’t always familiar with best practices and sound SEO strategies. Instead, it’s our job to stay abreast of all the latest developments in the online advertising world and remain as knowledgeable as possible about the evolution of local SEO. That’s why they hire us, after all.
In our most recent attempt to stay up to date with new local advertising strategies, we decided to attend a Google-sponsored event known as Local University. The conference was put together by a brain trust of the savviest SEO experts in the industry, focusing on an array of topics that centered on improving Google Maps rankings and local search results for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We knew that this would be an educational and invaluable experience, so we sharpened our pencils, opened our notebooks, and got to work.
Why a Conference?
As anyone in the SEO field knows, the world of local online advertising is constantly changing. This is especially true for Google+ Local, which is predicated on the physical location, relevance, and proximity of search results. Effective SEO on a local level is an art form and a science all at once. As Google takes strides to weed out lazy, dishonest web marketers through update after update to their search algorithm and filters, the process gets just a little more complicated for the rest of us.
While we consistently read industry blogs, interact with other SEO professionals, and conduct our own independent A/B testing in order to keep up with Google’s changes, information straight from the horse’s mouth cannot be undervalued. That’s why we ultimately decided to attend this conference: it would be the best way to receive the most forward-thinking information directly from the brightest minds in the field.
What Did We Take Away?
The expert speakers and panelists who presented were extremely knowledgeable, and we were able to glean a great deal of insight from them. While not all of the content was applicable to Prospect Genius, there were some important highlights:
- Strategies to help draw real reviews for local listings
- Proven tactics for improving local search rankings
- Paid advertising options for local businesses
- Ways Google is fighting spam in local business directories
- Solutions to common problems encountered by businesses with multiple locations
- Effective marketing tools beyond the scope of Google and Google+ Local
How Can It Be Applied?
Our production team is currently in the process of reviewing this flood of new information and brainstorming innovative, practical applications for it. We’re looking forward to:
- Expanding our SEO practices into more paid advertising
- Revamping our press release syndication strategy
- Changing how we leverage local business directories (e.g. Yelp, Superpages, etc.)
- Continuing to implement updates and best practices for Google Maps