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PubCon: Local and Mobile Search Marketing

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The quest for geographically relevant search marketing has been the labor of many a SEO. This afternoon, a PubCon panel discussed upcoming innovations in local and mobile search, and WebProNews was on the scene.

Yahoo Representative Warren Kay talked about the company’s geo-targeting features that launched today.

Geo-targeting works based on the keyword searched and the IP address of the searcher, allowing advertisers to target by region or by city and state.

Companies like Flickr are currently making use of geo-targeting features.

Kay also referenced Yahoo Universal Location Manager, which allows Yahoo to increase listing relevancy thru user-defined areas on Yahoo properties, such as movies.yahoo.com and maps.yahoo.com.

Mobile marketing is also a strong company focus, as Kay notes that there are over 240 million mobile subscribers in the United States. One in five of those subscribers take advantage of advanced services, making them ripe for mobile advertising.

With Yahoo’s mobile platform, users can browse or perform a search; and ads are delivered via WAP technology.

Yahoo’s mobile advertising mantra says it all: Customize. Connect. Impact. Reach.

Doug Perlson from Seevast (formerly Kanoodle) was next on tap in this afternoon’s session.

Perlson believes that context is not the only way to target consumers, noting figures that tout $3.4 billion worth of local marking in 2005 – a figure that is expect to grow to $13 billion by 2010.

According to Perlson, advertisers have enormous opportunities when it comes to local, regional, and national marketing campaigns.

Search sites are best suited to gear ads toward search terms as well as geo-target the user by zip code. Contextual sites, however, should use sponsored links to target local content and users, while implementing a measure of geo-targeting as well.

When it comes to direct navigation, domain names, targeted redirects, domain parking, are all URL functions that can be used to inform users of your location. Consequently, it is important to know where your listings are running in case they are targeting areas that are not beneficial to your local business.

Perlson concludes his presentation by highlighting opportunites on the horizon for advertisers looking to focus local marketing efforts:

•   Mobile
•   Pay-per-call
•   ISP
•   GPS

Jake Baillie from TrueLocal.com discusses keyword targeting in terms of local search marketing.

According to Baillie, the best way to exploit local search is keyword expansion, which includes targeted keywords associated to cities, states, and zip codes. Less utilized, put potentially effective methods of geo-targeted keyword expansion also include neighborhoods, area codes, counties, airport codes, and general metropolitan areas.

Other important points that Baillie touched on include:

Word Expansion

•   Product Names
•   Brand Names
•   SKUs
•   Slang/well known industry terms
•   Government terms

People pitfalls (collaquilisms)

•  Differing regional names for products (pop vs. soda)
•   Differing names for localities from the user’s perspective (downtown Chicago aka “The Loop”)

Types of businesses that flourish by advertising locally

•   Service based industries
•   Golf courses
•   Grocery stores
•   Gas stations

Steven Stern of Go2.com rounded out the panel, outlining the key elements of mobile and local search:

Trends

•   Increased consumer usage is largest among those 35 and older
•   58% of mobile users use their phones for non-voice functions
•   20-25 percent use mobile phones to browse mobile content
•   63% uses phone to find local information

Barriers to overcome

•   Carriers are still creating ad revenue models
•   Carriers are protective of their customers, and consequently are hesitant to allow advertisers into their networks
•   No uniformity of phone types
•   Carriers are on different networks
•   Small screens
•   Poor content sends users away

Stay tuned as WebProNews offers continuing coverage of PubCon throughout the week.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

PubCon: Local and Mobile Search Marketing
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