Continue to Part II: Google Local Marketing»
IntroductionLocal search engine marketing works much in the same way that normal search engine marketing does, only on a smaller, more focused scale. Most of the same requirements are needed, such as optimizing a site for the search engines, analyzing the potential customers and demographics, and choosing keywords. Local search engine marketing is a way for ecommerce sites, or regular websites can target traffic in their geographic area, without getting (and paying for) irrelevant hits to the site. This type of internet marketing is best for those companies who only do business is a small area. For example, a local restaurant who makes deliveries would not need to attract traffic from other far away cities or states. Local search engine marketing is achieved by programming search engines to look for IP addresses within the desired market.
CostsThe costs for embarking on a local search engine marketing campaign will depend mainly on two things: the cost of keywords, and whether to enlist the services of a professional search engine optimization (SEO) company. Professional SEO companies can be hired to manage the entirety of the online ad campaign for differing fees, or can be retained for segments of the process, such as consulting, site maintenance, and analysis. In house marketing costs are of course the cheapest, meaning that you simply pay one of the search engines, such as Google, in their 'pay per click' programs. For a small business with average keyword prices, a company can figure to spend a few hundred dollars per month. Employing an SEO firm to run the campaign can run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars to set up, and then smaller maintenance costs.
TimeframeOnline search engine marketing is the fastest way to see results. Once you've signed up and programmed your campaign, your ads can start showing up anywhere from a day to a couple of days, and the traffic should soon follow. A local search engine marketing campaign should run for several weeks
Action PlanBefore embarking on a local search engine marketing campaign, some time should be spent studying the various big engines, as well as the smaller, local ones. Money should be allotted for advertising, and budgets should be stuck to firmly. The major search engines all have local search features built in, and even if your business doesn't have a website, some sites will allow you to set up a basic one page site quickly and for free. In addition to looking at the Googles and Yahoos of the world, finding all the local search engines that serve only your state or city is recommended. Oftentimes, these smaller companies offer more tailor-made features to better serve the local communities. Craigslist is an example of a great local search site that it worldwide, but because of its great group of users, serves most communities extremely well.
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