Local University Faculty Educates Austin Business Owners in Local Search Engine Marketing
The Local University faculty rolled into Austin, Texas, yesterday for a full day of local search marketing and website optimization education and enlightenment. Two half-day workshops were presented with a networking mixer following the afternoon workshop.
I attended the afternoon workshop and was taking notes all afternoon. The session started with David Mihm‘s introduction of the Local University faculty and a brief discussion of the terminology used throughout the seminar. Aaron Weiche followed with a description of how search engines work and then he listed some of the myths about search engine optimization. If you’re using keyword meta tags in your website, you may actually be harming your search ranking according to Aaron.
Next up was Mary Bowling talking about website optimization basics. Mary talked about what personalization is and how personalization favors local terms in your website. Personalization can help smart business owners and website developers move up in search results, and Mary provided a clear introduction to the topic.
Matt McGee followed with a discussion of social internet marketing, and he suggested that blogging is the primary social media asset. Of course, if a business owner refuses to blog, this won’t work, but it’s a great way to add quality web content to your site on a continuing basis.
Cecelia Cox of Google next presented on the transition from Google Places to Google+ Local. She was followed by Mike Blumenthal talking about ranking your business in local search results. Mike highlighted the differences between blended search results, organic search results, and pure local results. He suggested testing keywords to find the ones that Google sees as local results. I’ve done this and found that what Google sees as local can vary from one geographic area to another so check your keywords for your market area. Mike also talked about collecting customer reviews.
Ed Reese was up next with a brief introduction to Google Analytics. He demonstrated a neat trick for guessing the keywords used for “not provided” search results, and since those “not provided” results will become more common in the future, that gem was worth the price of admission!
David Mihm returned to the stage to tie the presentations together and to moderate the question and answer session. He provided handy forms for analyzing your search marketing situation and plotting a course of action to improve it.
After the session, many attendees and the Local University faculty adjourned to Scholz’s Garten a few blocks from the Blanton Art Museum. More of my questions were answered there and I had a chance to thank the representatives from SCORE, a sponsor of the workshop.
If you’d like your business to benefit from the information presented at Local University, please call me at 281-343-3284 or send us an email through our contact form. I also attended the Local University Advanced in Seattle earlier this month, and I can guarantee that information will improve your business visibility online.