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Old 26th June 2006, 12:51 PM   #1
oberhand
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Default local search question

To get local traffic from the search keywords "phoenix pizza" for example is it more effective to run a typical PPC campaign in Google using these keywords to get local traffic or is it better to use the local PPC campaigns like Yahoo or Google Local? I am not sure what the tradeoffs of one vs. another. Does anyone have extensive experience with local search?

Thanks for your help

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Old 26th June 2006, 01:18 PM   #2
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I can't speak from experience, but from what I've read local search hasn't quite taken off like many would have hoped. I would suspect that the general search may still be the way to go at the moment.

However your best bet is probably to try both and just see which works better and fives you a higher ROI. Would you be able to split the budget you have for this between general and local search? Test and measure then test and measure again. See what works and do more of that and less of what doesn't work.

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Old 26th June 2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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Our experience has been that people seem to treat local search like a phone book ... they look to see who is in the area, however they don't necessarily call from there. Often, we hear that they have done a local search to figure who's around, then do a 'regular' search and see who comes up. If we come up both in local and 'regular', it helps the conversion.

We've not had a conversion directly from local, however.

My 2p.

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Old 26th June 2006, 03:55 PM   #4
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thanks for your post. Where did you hear that typically afte rlocal searches are done, a general one is done too? It seems so counter intuitve. If they are using it like a phone book wouldn't they make a call once they found a listing that looked good? Maybe I am wrong?

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Old 26th June 2006, 08:44 PM   #5
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I like Richard Ball's recent article...
Google Adwords: Local Advertising. That gives some good insight on your question regarding regular vs. local only PPC.

Both G and Y offer free local listing options...
Google Local
Yahoo Local

Yahoo in particular does a good job in populating user-generated content, which can be great if the pizza place has a buzz about it. They both allow you to enter some call-to-action info like hours of operation, payments accepted, specials, etc...

I don't think a lot of people visit the "local" tab directly. Quite often, the top 3 results in both G and Y are local listings though.
Phoenix pizza in Yahoo.
Phoenix pizza in Google.

Paul

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Old 27th June 2006, 05:17 PM   #6
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James one thing you said that's interesting is that when you were find in both the local and regular searches coneversions were better. I would think that alone would be enough to indicate local search is relevant even if your customers aren't contacting you directly through local search.

Thanks for the links Paul.

I may not use local search as a searcher, but I do make sure to include a location in optimizing a site whenever it makes sense to. When searching I'll generally just type in the location when I want to include it in the search.

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Old 30th June 2006, 11:01 AM   #7
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Default Local Search

A recent study by Hitwise showed that for one week in May Google Local was .05% of all search traffic on Google.

As a search technology company, we manage campaigns for small and mid-sized businesses across the US. We place ads through Google.com and Yahoo.com because that is where the traffic is, it simple has not migrated to the local sub sets. Google changed Google Local to Google Maps (local.google.com will just take you to Maps). The map and listings there are free, but there is also a PPC element to it as keyword bidders appear on these results as well.

As for the other comments to this post, we use a good mix of geo-concatenated words with geo-targeted words ("phoenix pizza" vs. "pizza" being geo-targeted to the Phoenix DMA or radius from a physical address). The traffic is less for the word "pizza" but conversions will be higher for the phrase "Phoenix pizza". And the only reason Local Results appears on Google is because you typed in the city name "Phoenix" or you have a Google account and they know you are in the area.

As for conversions being better when you are found on Google.com and in local results... Pew said something like 30-40% of average searchers see a sponsored link as the best result (b/c that is Google brought back first). One of our advertisers is a plastic surgeon. He said that he has gotten lots of business from people that already knew his name but once they saw him on Google they made up their mind he was the best (simply because of ranking). The more visibility you have, the more confidence a consumer will have in your product or service.

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Old 30th June 2006, 11:12 AM   #8
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Default Recent Findings with Google Local

Everyone,

I've been reading your postings and I wanted to let you know what my recent findings have been.

I recently did a case study for a client of mine that sells memory foam mattresses at their retail locations in the East. We were interested in seeing how well Google Local peformed vs. Google for driving in store traffic.

We tracked results by using a coupon with a special coupon code to differentiate between Google and Google Local.

Interestingly, we had higher click thorugh rate on Google Local (obviously less impressions than Google.com), but surprisingly we had zero coupons show up in the store! We were shocked by it really.

Then I read some stats from Hitwise that show that the most common searches in Google Local are for name brands, such as Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. So it appears to me that it could be that folks use Google Local AFTER they have determined what store to buy from, then go to Local to use the maps feature to find the closest one.

Hope that helps a little for everyone!

Janet Driscoll Miller

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Old 2nd July 2006, 05:18 AM   #9
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Smile Try Traditional Google w/ Geo-Targeting

Hi Search Mojo,

In my experience working exclusively with Local SEM clients, I've had little to no success with Yahoo Local and Google Local. I get very few leads per month from both of these services on a very hot service my clients offer, less than 5% if that. I've even tried SuperPages local and we haven't been as impressed with it as we have been with Google geo-targeted to 30 miles around the address. This option seems to provide us with 70% of our traffic from Google (in this case we run landing pages only - so no organic). I've tried the Yahoo Sponsored Match and Google Targeted with location specific key terms, I've even expanded it to 10,000 + exact keywords of city + service combinations, but in our experience, verticals serviced, and geographic area (Well Publicized Top 10 DMA) the highest performing keywords in Google targeted has been from [pizza] only terms rather than "phoenix pizza" terms. They are also a hell of a lot cheaper, with a CPC of $3.51 for [pizza] compared to $15 for [phoenix pizza]. Itís a safe bet to add them, but don't count on too much traffic coming from these terms. In Yahoo, you should only be focusing on "phoenix pizza" -- just hope for understanding editorial reviewers, as many of my location specific terms were kicked out I had to resort to Yahoo Local which in our case has been a poor performer and the cost for keywords have been grossly expensive, in a Sponsored Match campaign relating to [phoenix pizza] we are paying about $0.11 to 3.72 a keyword max for 1-3 positions. In Yahoo Local, we are paying about $7-20 for most of our keywords. Granted, we have been getting the RIGHT kind of geo-targeted visitors, but in our case, itís a smarter move to shift that spending into Google geotargeted account for more visitors at a fraction of the price of Yahoo. You should also look into MSN. Aside from Google, MSN has been our top earner. They also have great geotargeting (and demographic tools) which helps tremendously given our vertical, and only delivers cheap, highly targeted leads with little competition. And just like Google, our [pizza] only terms deliver the highest number of conversions compared to [phoenix pizza]. I'm looking forward to seeing what Yahoo has in the future, but for now, it makes little sense for our plan.

I hope this answered your question.

Ben

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Old 2nd July 2006, 05:25 AM   #10
HybridSEM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Search Mojo
Everyone,

I've been reading your postings and I wanted to let you know what my recent findings have been.

I recently did a case study for a client of mine that sells memory foam mattresses at their retail locations in the East. We were interested in seeing how well Google Local peformed vs. Google for driving in store traffic.

We tracked results by using a coupon with a special coupon code to differentiate between Google and Google Local.

Interestingly, we had higher click thorugh rate on Google Local (obviously less impressions than Google.com), but surprisingly we had zero coupons show up in the store! We were shocked by it really.

Then I read some stats from Hitwise that show that the most common searches in Google Local are for name brands, such as Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. So it appears to me that it could be that folks use Google Local AFTER they have determined what store to buy from, then go to Local to use the maps feature to find the closest one.

Hope that helps a little for everyone!

Janet Driscoll Miller
I think it has to do with the way we are used to searching for things in the phonebooks. Looking for name brand companies we've learned about through brand awareness, advertising, word of mouth, etc. Just like you described, when I'm looking for a local service provider I search main google first, and then when I want to double check or get directions I search Google Local.

So you had confirmation of coupon print outs but nobody redeemed them? That sounds wierd to me too, working both retail (in a past life) and marketing management, I'd have to wonder if the employees got too lazy or didn't know how to enter in the coupon from the internet. In my experience, non web saavy associates would rather not accept or enter in the coupons from the web from lack of trust for these coupons, lack of a heads up from management, or pure laziness. You may want to check on that.

Ben

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