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2005 search results for a local business/site

local search

5:53 pm on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 12, 2004
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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.

<edit: removed url>

Love to hear other actual experiences.


[edited by: Chicago at 11:00 pm (utc) on Dec. 26, 2005]

11:04 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 21, 2002
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Nice to see you EarlPearl.

With your sound experience regarding local search optimization and analytics, I look forward to the dialogue that I believe you can help trigger in the WebmasterWorld LS Forum.

6:39 pm on Dec 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would love to see what the business owner is doing w/their sites, how are site visitors actually searching on a local basis, what the SEO's/SEM's advertsing agencies are doing.

So much press about the SE's developing local advanced search options, so many different vehicles to try and capture the local advertiser, etc. But are any of these currently working...and if not...what is working.

I've reviewed this w/ a site owner of a number of local businesses. What works for him and what works for me:

Optimize for local for regular search w/geo names
Local or theme oriented links.


1:53 am on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 12, 2004
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I did a quick little follow up on this for December conversions. Dec. is our slowest month.

The business services a metro region that covers 2 states and a major city.

Per the logs, conversions from search terms included 27 searches for local geo terms and a variation on our service. These represented 25 different terms. Some are slightly different but it represents full state spellings, initials, a service "+" the geo area, two town names.

10 conversions came from national phrases and 6 came from promotional phraseology/service.

Addtionally local google and yellow pages each contributed a conversion.

The majority of conversions come from different sources (primarily people going directly to the web site.)

Still what I've found most challenging is covering a vast array of prhases and variations; ranking well for as many as possible, and optimizing across the board to capture as much local business as possible.

happy new year!