“Local University” Introduces SEO, SEM, and SMO to Alabama Businesses

January 31st, 2011 by Search Influence Alumni

While many businesses are coming online and taking advantage of an increased web presence, some are beginning to learn how and why they should do the same. Yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, Will Scott, owner of Search Influence, along with Mike Blumenthal, David Mihm, John Shehata, and Aaron Weiche, presented two workshops to the Alabama business community on the importance of a company’s online presence. Businesses were educated on how to utilize each tactic, what to avoid, and why SEO, SEM, and SMO can help them connect with their customers.

Called “Local University,” the focus of the workshops was just that: the benefits of local search. To newcomers, it may seem like an arduous task to try and increase their page rankings into the top ten. However, local search enables small businesses to focus on their geographic location to boost their rankings. Customers are enlisting the services of local businesses more often, and with the proper use of SEO and SEM, businesses can amplify their web presence and connect with local customers–the customers that they need the most.

During Will’s presentation, he discussed social media and how it can enable local businesses to reach out directly to their potential customers. As we all know, Facebook continues to grow, and over 500 million people use it! Currently, the biggest growing demographic is users over the age of 50, so it’s becoming an increasingly important area in which businesses can advertise and target specific customers based on age or location. When businesses use social media websites, they increase brand awareness and promote interaction with their customers. Social media provides an open forum where customers can find new businesses–and businesses can expand their customer base.

Joining Will, among others, was David Mihm, President & CEO of GetListed.org. GetListed is an online resource to assist small businesses in understanding local search, giving them the tools to get started, and teaching them why it’s important how they can utilize it for their benefit. GetListed also refers businesses to SEO, SEM, and SMO professionals who can achieve the results that businesses need.

According to information on GetListed concerning the importance of local search, there are “10 billion unique searches done each month, and that’s just in the United States! Of those searches, 40% of queries have local intent (source: Ian White), 5% use the city and/or state name, 2% use informal terms, like neighborhoods, and 0.5% use zip codes.”

Wow. That’s a lot of local searches! And that presents a huge opportunity for businesses and customers alike. Facts like these prove that local search is an excellent way for businesses to attract new customers in their city, state, or region. Such specificity is coveted when it comes to advertising, and now it’s easier than ever to get it.

When local search and social media tools are used together, businesses are presented with a comprehensive solution to advertising in specific areas and to specific groups of people–thus providing growth for businesses and connecting customers to the local products and services they need. Thanks to Local University, businesses in Alabama now have the knowledge and tools they need to take advantage of these unique opportunities.