I’m officially amazed at how important both Facebook and local search are becoming. I shouldn’t really be amazed because all of who do SEO have been watching this train barreling down the track for some time.
I have found, however, that most anything I read in the SEO world doesn’t become fact in my head until it affects websites that I’m optimizing for the search engines.
First Search Results on Facebook
Example, for the first time, I have a client whose initial visibility on the web is on Facebook. Given that his e-commerce site is tiny (five pages and a slowly growing blog), it’s difficult to get visibility because there isn’t much content there to optimize. But if you Google his product name, his Facebook page appears number three on the SERP (search engine results page).
Need I say it: Facebook is important. Social is important.
Google Places, Bing Local Listings
The other example was optimizing my site for local search. Many searchers today include place in their searches (e.g., “copywriter SEO seattle”). It’s much easier to compete in local search because there’s not as much competition generally (depending on the industry) as there is globally.
We always push Google Places and Bing Local listings on our clients. We want them to sign up and optimize those listings. They matter. They get you local visibility and that means traffic, either over the phone, on foot, or to your website.
If you don’t already have listings in Google Places and Bing Local Listings, do it now. Make it as complete as you can. It’s free, it’s easy, and it will help you get seen on the web.