If you missed the last Internet Marketing Strategies for 2010 webinar we did on February 4th, we’ve posted it here for you to view. Local Search Engine Optimization is one of the main topics of Search Marketing at the moment. As stats fly in from the search engines, comScore, and other sources, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that many searches performed online or from a mobile device have a local intent.

In fact, according to DM News in 2009, 35% of all local searches do have a local intent. Google made some major moves in 2009 with their universal search results by including maps in non-geographic searches, launching “Place Pages”, and giving local businesses the ability to see data such as impressions, visits, directions viewed, and more. Local SEO is without a doubt becoming more of a necessity then a want, and in some cases can even be a business-killer.

Case in point, I have spending a great deal of my time working with the good folks over at Local Splash where I get to hear a lot of conversations between customer service and customers. I recall a conversation where a new customer signed up who had hired someone else to manage his local listings. He was in hysterics about his loss in ranking and was looking to us to restore it. My first thought was, “calm down dude, it’s just a local maps placement, not organic or paid search”. Well apparently he was #1 organically and he did have AdWords running, yet he was still distressed. As it turned out, he had been earning well over $10,000 per month from calls sourced from his local ad and he had the data to prove it.

The Customer Service rep passed the customer over to one the Local SEO Experts who optimized the customer’s categories, adjusted some of the business data, added attribution to prove that we were the ones making changes, then BAAM! within an hour the customer was right back at the top and a happy camper. I asked the rep who did the calibrations if he could do that for any listing, and the answer I got was “not all listings, but many of them”. Wow, now that’s awesome!

Take a look at the video above and learn how you can make some of those same changes to your business profiles on Google Local Business Center, Yahoo! Local and Bing Local to start getting higher placement in the maps sections of the search engine results.

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