Myspace has quickly become the go-to site for many businesses that can not afford websites to create some kind of online presence. The ability to quickly create a profile, gather friends and customize the page by placing your logo on the page has attracted a lot of businesses.
Of course search marketers were quick to try to capitalize on this new found way of marketing, and quickly social media optimization was born. The debates started just as quickly as this new marketing medium started on whether there was any true value for businesses in social media. Local search has proved there is great benefit from social media from a pure rankings stand point.
Recently at SMX West I spoke with fellow Search Engine Land writer David Mihm and I touched on the subject of using social media as way to gather web references quickly. Web references as we all know are the equivalent to links in the Google local search world, so being able to quickly generate quality web references is becoming an essential skill. Really good social media marketers are not just able to create web references but also have a good shot at controlling almost all the content on the page. With MySpace or even Facebook this is easily done.
If you are a company, a golden rule to follow while taking ownership of your Google local listing is to fill in the URL of your listing and point it to the location specific page that is corresponding the Google local listing. Obviously, if you have a single location business you can point it to the home page of your website. After you have taken over the listing just follow these simple steps:
- Point listing URL to corresponding location page
- Link to business Facebook page
- Link to business MySpace page
- Link to business Twitter page
Make sure to include your business address in hCard format in MySpace so that search engine crawlers can easily make out the address. On the other social media sites, clearly display you addresses in the about me sections of the pages. Don’t do an update page, because you want Google to pick up web references from the business pages rather than the individual update page. You should end up with some Web References looking a little like this:
After you have linked your individual location page, you should incorporate past tips and maybe throw an event and post it on Yahoo! Upcoming and make a coupon on Google maps and link to those pages from your social media pages—not from your website, as this will conserve link juice for pages that actually have a potential to rank for brand name searches while still allowing Google to find and connect your web reference pages with your business.
When you have done all the above steps you should have a linking structure that looks something like this:
This is a simple way to quickly and efficiently take advantage of social media for local business that helps not only with brand recognition but actually increases rankings for searches that actually generate business.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.