Architect Marketing Course 2012 – Course Outline
Level 1 Part C – Local Marketing

Local Marketing – Google + Local pages and other listing services

Copyright 2012 – Eric Bobrow
All rights reserved – do not reproduce or distribute

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LESSON OUTLINE

INTRODUCTION

Agenda for the Lesson

Local Marketing Overview

Are architects all that different from other businesses?

  • “we like to think we are”
  • it’s not a casual thing – it’s almost like a marriage
  • repeat business is measured over years, not weeks or months
  • a design firm doesn’t need as many clients – quality vs. quantity
  • other than these things… perhaps it really is like other businesses

How do people find a professional service provider such as an architect?

  • Search vs. Networking/Referral
  • Criteria for selection – in part:
    • Location – in their area or serving the area of their project
    • Specialty / Focus
    • “The Fit” – does this firm feel like the right one, based on what I see?
    • Social proof – do others use/like/recommend this firm

Examples of Search Engine Results Pages with Local Listings

  • the traditional “7 pack”
  • variation: blended results
  • local listings are shown only for specific search terms such as “architect”, but not multiple keyword (“longtail”) phrases such as “modern architect”; this is evolving: for example “home designer” shows local listings – this has changed over time
  • the local Map – dots and pins
  • claimed vs. unclaimed listings

The role of Local Listings in determining search rankings

Factors affecting the ranking of local listings themselves

  • proximity to city center (possible reason for a “virtual office”) or actual search query location
  • citations (specialized backlinks)
  • reviews and social signals

Local search pages (variations of Google search mode)

Google + Local – the latest update and expected future developments

Interactions with Social Media

The role of Mobile searches in Architecture

 

The basics of claiming your business listings on Google, Bing and Yahoo

Other local listing directories – www.getlisted.org

The big picture – the local search ecosystem

Administrative areas and the limits of control

 

The Local Marketing Ecosystem and Listing Management

Guest presenter: Ed Wunder

Tour of the back end of a local listing

How to choose Categories and Specialties

Service area

Discussion of the local listing ecosystem

Examples: architect client listings

Challenges related to listings:

  • reviews: Google + account required
  • reviews: durability – sometimes they disappear
  • reviews: what do you do about negative reviews
  • delays in content being posted
  • the evolving world of local search

The role of a professional local listing service provider

What you can do for yourself, what you may want to pay for

 

QUESTIONS re Local Marketing and Directory Listings

 

 

Let us know how you feel! (3 comments so far)

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  1. Doug
    5 years ago

    Eric,
    I’m working on a list of keywords. In my area there are maybe twenty cities clients could come from. If they search for “residential architect” they get results…in their city with Google Plus Local.

    Any ideas for how to use keywords with many cities? That would be to try to get the regular Google results, not Local, I figure. I can’t exactly see stuffing my website with keywords: architect city1, architect city 2, and so on.

    One person told me to have a page for each city. What have you heard works well for multiple cities?

    Thank you! – Doug

    Eric Bobrow Reply:

    Hi Doug –

    You can approach this in a few different ways.

    You can add your target city names in a discreet, tasteful list, which you’ll see in http://www.downerassociates.com (and other websites we have set up) on the home page in a small section titled “Serving Areas”. We have the cities each as an H4 tag (a type of headline attribute) so they are “called out” to Google as important references. This helps with organic search.

    You can also have individual pages which reference those cities. A natural way to do this is to have each project portfolio page have a Title and H1 headline that refers to the type of project and where it is located. For example: “Corte Madera Home Remodel” instead of “Jackson Residence”. Body copy text on the page can also refer to the city or region (e.g. “Marin County”). This way Google can see from your many pages on the website that you are referring prominently to those locations.

    A variation would be to put together one page for each city, for example: “Corte Madera Custom Homes and Remodels” that would feature multiple projects; however this would be less effective from an SEO perspective than multiple pages, each one featuring an individual project.

    These will work for Google organic listings, rather than Google + Local. However, there is a way in your Google + Local listing to specify a region that you offer services within, Ed Wunder demonstrated this a bit in the presentation, showing how there was a polygon boundary encompassing this area based on your input into the administrative area. Review this part of the video and see if you can figure out how to do this for your own listing.

    If you do a combination of these things, you will likely start to rank better in multiple cities in the Local Listings. You’ll also do well when someone searches regionally (e.g. “architect Marin County”).

    I hope this is helpful. I know that many of our course members have similar questions, so I’m glad that you brought this up!

    Eric

    Doug Reply:

    Eric,

    I had heard of some of these things, but you’ve done a great job of listing several strategies and filling in a lot of detail. Thank you for the helpful answer!

    Doug