Enclosed are some interesting facts on optimizing for a local business to date for 2005.
Average visits per month: about 14,000 visits
Total search visits to date: about 30,000 visits
Total visits using the business url: about 44,000 visits.
No referrers (per the log analysis: About 84,000 (what a waste...or I need a new log analyzer!)
The site is well optimized for the generic industry phrases as well as for local phrases with the industry terms. Generic industry phrases include lots of first page terms for relevant industry terms on all 3 major engines with some #1 rankings.
For local search terms the site often shows up #1 and less frequently #2 for relevant terms in all 3 major engines.
Looked at the top 300 search terms:
These represented about 18,000 searches
Approximately 11,000 were generic industry terms
Approximately 4,400 were geo based industry terms.
We suspect(project) that geo/industry terms would probably represent 7-9,000 in total (based on monthly analysis- typically somewhat less than industry terms)
Within the top 300 terms 169 different terms were geo related/industry terms. The most often used term showed less than 200 visits. Alternatively the top industry phrase(not geo) had over 4,000 visits.
How much usage of Google, Yahoo, or MSN Local? Less than 200 times total. A pittance!
Yellow page visits? 79.
Of interest: Geo terms tend to convert at roughly 3-4 times what industry terms convert at. They are so much more valuable.
We have significant links that provide excellent traffic and conversions. They are typically industry and regionally oriented.
Would I put lots of money into local directories or vertical directories for my region? Not if the cost was prohibitive or the strong terms only focused on one or 2 search terms.
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Love to hear other actual experiences.
[edited by: Chicago at 11:00 pm (utc) on Dec. 26, 2005]