Local and Social: Maximising Visibility Across the Web #SESlondon

Local and Social: Maximising Visibility Across the Web #SESlondon

24th February 2012


Andrew Girdwood – Local & Mobile

“20% of all desktop searches are local…40% of all mobile searches are local”

That’s a pretty good reason to be considering both mobile and local.

Hints for exploiting local and mobile

  • As people are searching for local activities or things nearby, try to hold them into an activity
  • Advertise your social media community not just your service.
  • The concept of serendipity is missing – embrace it
  • Encourage Google Plus comments

Things to watch out for:

There are strict rules on local advertising. for example, you can put up a FourSquare page from the age of 14. FourSquare is actively encouraging underage people to explore strange new areas which is against advertising standards. Using the example of scavenger hunts that have won awards but are technically not legal, and a ‘booze offer’ in Leith, Andrew showed that you have to think carefully about how you can filter by age.

    • Play it safe
    • Don’t try to confuse anyone
    • Don’t be an old school SEO – think about the social angle
    • Be legal

Here are Andrew’s slides:

Bas van den Beld – Local, social and how to get visible in search

Next up the man himself! This was definitely one of the most entertaining and thought provoking sessions that I attended at SES

“the only difference between us and Jesus Christ is that we have social media tools and can spread our message much faster” – cue a picture of the last supper and the statement that the first person that used social in the best possible way was Jesus, “he had 12 followers – one of them unfollowed him…”

Bas is a historian, and some of the things he says you learn is that you have to view things in a different directions and that history repeats itself. There is no doubt that Jesus got the message across to billions of people all over the world using the most important thing in social which is word of mouth. Social media makes us talk to each other

Making Things Personal

People are using social in the wrong way and just shouting out as much as possible is the wrong strategy – just sending out a message will not work, so if you want to be successful in social and local:

      • Understand how social works
      • Understand that people have a mindset and people want to talk to each other
      • Understand that people want to hear things they like and they want to hear it from people that they trust
      • Make things personal

Connecting local to social?

      • Make local social work – how can you get people interact with you
      • Make local social trigger – getting people to act
      • Make local social global – getting a world audience

How to make Local Social Work

The easy part is to set up a facebook page and try to communicate with your audience. Using the example of the Oven Cafe sharing menus, talking about menus, asking people what they think and using advertising to get attention from people in local areas,

      • Set up a page
      • Interact
      • Find out what people like

How to make Local Social Trigger

Using the example of Foursquare and how it started as a way to have fun, become the mayor but that was pretty much all there was. Foursquare then progressed to ‘check in 5 time to get a free drink’, which according to Bas would never be an effective trigger as you would not check in 5 times just to get a drink, by default you would be doing that anyway because you like the place. Then one day, came a tweet from Danny Sullivan that showed how Foursquare could and should work ie getting users to interact by moving from one place to another. Just as a local hairdresser encouraged Danny Sullivan to consider using the service while he was in another venue, a better use of local social might be to encourage people to move from one bar to the bar next door for a half price drink for one hour only.

How to make Local Social Global

Introducing – a very small Swiss town with about 100 people living there. They were missing out on tourists, needed people to visit the town, decided to make it personal and set up a Facebook page. What they decided to do was to put the picture of the people that liked their Facebook page on a wall in the town. He didn’t think of the consequences – they had too many likes so they had to make the pictures smaller and make more space. Things got worse, and so many people ended up liking the page that everyone in the town ended up posting pictures on walls. In the end, they managed to get over one and half million visitors to their facebook page. People started coming to the town to see the pictures. Local Social went Global.


Local Ranking Factors

      • Search 1.0 – Content & Links
      • Search 2.0 – Reputation – Place Page + reviews
      • Search 3.0 – Social Authority – Fans, followers, likes etc

What’s next?

Google Plus is not there to rival Facebook – it is a way to give you a Google Profile so that they can understand what you are doing. All of your methods of communication, all of your friends, everything you do, everyone you communicate with, on your phone, by text, by email, online, where you are, what you review, what your friends review will affect search and search results. Personalised search is already here, but get ready for social to get really global. Bas prediction is that in a few years, social profiles and social authority will be for sale.

How can we make this work on a local level?

    • Use social networks to gain visibility
    • Work on the social circle
    • Be personal
    • Be creative and stand out
    • Find the locals people trust – the influencers
    • Reward loyalty
    • Get involved
    • Know where your local crowd is
    • Take interest In and Create Local Activities

This post in part made possible by a sponsoring from Majestic SEO who have the largest Link Intelligence database in Search.


Written By
Jackie Hole is an Award Winning Search Marketing consultant specialising in Paid Search, Conversion Improvement and Organic Search / SEO for the USA, Canada and European markets. Starting out in Multimedia & Interface Design, Jackie has over 15 years experience in online marketing and was recently awarded European Search Personality...
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