Last year, Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide  published the IYP (Internet Yellow Pages) SEO Rankings Report which soon became the authoritative source of figuring out which US IYP, 3rd party data provider or niche vertical directory trumps organic SERPs and is best at SEO. Net Magellan followed up with another detailed study and which reported IYP rankings across 274 US cities. I was really inspired by these reports and wanted to create a comprehensive and similar piece for Canadian IYPs and major data providers. I contacted Dev Basu, my fellow Canadian Local SEO buddy but our busy schedules never met and the study was delayed. I guess now that we work at the same company, finding time became a lot easier :)

Here are the key features and the framework of how the study was carried out:

  • Generic Canadian IYPs and citation sources we used based on their overall authority, web presence and traffic volume.
  • Top 11 Yellow Pages headings were chosen based on the Yellow Pages Association’s 2005-2009 YPA Local Media Tracking Study.
  • 100 largest Canadian cities by population were chosen based on the  Canada 2001 and 2006 census.
  • Keyword searches were performed on Google Canada English search engine.
  • Keyword searches were performed in the following format: <Heading>+<City> (eg: Car Dealers Toronto).
  • The final results are based on the visibility of the selected IYPs and how often they ranked in the top 10 organic search results.
  • The keyword rankings were processed through a software rank checker, which ultimately means that the data is close to 100% but may have errors due to time-outs or no results being returned.

To read the complete report along with the final results, head over to the Powered by Search blog.

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Local Search Ranking Factors 2010 Contributor

by Shagun Vatsa on June 11, 2010

This year, I had the unique opportunity to participate in the industry leading Local Search Ranking Factors study carried out by David Mihm. It was an enriching experience and I’m also pleased to announce that Powered by Search is now the 1st Canadian company to have more than 1 panelists take part in this survey (myself and Dev Basu).

Local SEO is evolving constantly and valuable studies like these really help in understanding the intricacies involved with optimizing for local search.  There was a large number of contributors this year and the results were very telling about how Local SEO has changed since last year.

Some of the most positive ranking factors include:

  1. Importance of Claiming Place Page
  2. Business Address in City of Search
  3. Associating Place Page with Proper Categories
  4. Volume of Citations from Major Data Providers + IYP Portals
  5. General Importance of Off-Page

Head over to David Mihm’s complete version of the study to learn about what factors are most helpful and most harmful in optimizing for local search.

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SES Toronto 2010 Recap on Powered by Search Blog

by Shagun Vatsa on June 11, 2010

Attending the SES Toronto Conference for the 2nd year in a row was absolutely a great experience. I had a fantastic time learning about new tips and tricks, networking with new industry experts and chatting with some old friends. I also blogged about some of the sessions on the Powered by Search blog, so if you’re interested in reading about what was discussed at the conference, head over the PBS blog for an information packed recap :)

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Marketers and Advertisers Have New Metrics, Stats to Measure Campaign Success and ROI

PPC management software provider Acquisio today announced at SES Toronto a full integration between the Acquisio SEARCH ad management platform and Google Analytics, the world’s most popular web analytics solution. The Google Analytics Connector, built into Acquisio SEARCH, lets marketers view, analyze and report on all of their valuable Google Analytics data within the Acquisio SEARCH platform. The full integration is the first of its kind between Google Analytics and an ad management software platform. Acquisio will be providing demos of the new functionality throughout the SES Toronto conference at booth# 18.

Acquisio SEARCH’s Google Analytics Connector makes use of the Google API to pull metrics information from Google Analytics into Acquisio SEARCH, where it can be combined with other information to create a variety of metrics that marketers have previously been unable to measure without tedious and error-prone calculations. Because of the deep integration, advertisers can now measure campaign effectiveness and ROI based on an additional 150 metrics. Metrics that Acquisio SEARCH automatically calculates include:

• Cost per transaction
• Cost per visit
• Cost per page view
• Pageviews per click
• Revenue per click
• Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
• Cost per Goal (1 to 20)

The Google Analytics Connector seamlessly incorporates every valuable metric from an advertiser’s Google Analytics profile and maps it to the appropriate keywords and ads in associated PPC campaigns. Additionally, Acquisio SEARCH now features a large selection of calculated columns designed to provide the deep analysis that marketers demand. Marketers can add single or multiple Google Analytics profiles to their Acquisio SEARCH accounts, and Acquisio SEARCH will automatically encode the URLs of any new keywords you add to your Google Analytics campaigns through the Acquisio SEARCH platform.

“For marketers who have struggled and spent hours creating workarounds to get Google Analytics’ detailed statistics into your existing pay-per-click reports, the Google Analytics Connector will be a lifesaver,” said Marc Poirier, Chief Marketing Officer of Acquisio. “Acquisio SEARCH customers can now access and work with Google Analytics data without ever needing to leave our platform. Having all of this deep information in one place gives marketers a huge competitive advantage, and also means a sizable time savings when it comes to campaign management and reporting.”

COMPANY HAS MULTIFACETED PRESENCE AT SES TORONTO

On Thursday, June 10 from 5:10 until 5:30 PM, Acquisio’s Director of Canadian Sales Mark Lajoie will unveil the “5 Secret PPC Metrics You Don’t Want to Miss” in the SES Theater, located in the exhibit hall. During this quick presentation, Lajoie will highlight 5 of the brand new metrics that Acquisio SEARCH is able to provide as a result of its Google Analytics integration. “It’s worth grabbing your drink and then bringing it over to the theater for this presentation,” says Poirier. “I can practically guarantee you’ll be impressed with what you see.”

Additionally, Acquisio’s Internet Marketing Manager Noran El-Shinnawy will be speaking on “Meaningful SEM Metrics” from 11:45 AM until 12:45 PM on June 11, and will also be providing best practices information and practical advice during the “Search Ads and Landing Pages Clinic,” taking place from 1:45 until 2:45 PM on the same day.

About SES

Incisive Media’s SES is a leading global conference and training series focused on search engine marketing. Other Incisive resources for interactive marketers include ClickZ for digital marketing news, information, commentary, advice, opinion and research and Search Engine Watch which provides news and information about search, analysis of the search engine industry and tools for improving search marketing effectiveness.

Incisive Media is a leading global provider of specialized business news and information, in print, in person and online. The company’s principal markets include financial services, legal services, commercial real estate, marketing services and risk management. Incisive Media’s market-leading brands include Accountancy Age, Computing, Investment Week, Legal Week, Post, Risk, and Search Engine Strategies. For more information, visit www.incisivemedia.com.

About Acquisio

Acquisio is the world’s leading developer of performance marketing solutions for agencies. Its flagship product, Acquisio SEARCH, helps marketers manage, optimize and automate all their paid search activities across all search engines. The platform also automates the production of slick and engaging client-ready reports, saving agencies significant amounts of time on their reporting activities each month. Other solutions include Acquisio Managed Services.

With more than $450MM in ad spend under its management, Acquisio SEARCH is the ad management solution preferred by advertising and marketing agencies. Acquisio’s suite of solutions empowers over 300 interactive agencies around the world—including Bruce Clay, Yellow Pages Group, SEO Inc., Aim Clear, Page Zero, Find Me Faster, Leverage Marketing, and TravelClick—providing them with increased productivity, efficiency and ROI.

The company is based in Montreal, Quebec with a satellite office in Seattle, Washington. For more information, visit www.acquisio.com.

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Local SEO Fail

May 18, 2010

I was doing some niche local SEO research when I came across an example of how an unoptimized local listing contributes to inaccurate search results.
Searching for “Toronto Lawyer” brings up the local 7-pack with Timothy’s World Coffee ranking towards the end at #5. To make matters worse, when you go on their place page, you’ll [...]

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I’m Now a Member of Powered by Search Inc.

March 24, 2010

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve now joined our very own Toronto SEO Expert, Dev Basu and his team at Powered by Search Inc. as an SEO Account Manager. I’m very excited about this new opportunity and I’m looking forward to being a part of a nimble and talented team.
Powered by Search is a full [...]

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Local Search Simplified Now Featured in TopRank’s BIGLIST of Online Marketing Blogs

January 13, 2010

Hello everyone and I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year. 2009 was an important year for me as I took a step ahead from micro-blogging and formally launched Local Search Simplified. With just 6 months of blogging, I received positive feedback from fellow industry friends and readers – Thank you all [...]

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Local Search Interview With David Mihm

November 3, 2009

In light of the new changes that Google has introduced to its local platform, I thought it would be a great idea to get feedback from some of the local SEO gurus on what they think the ramifications are of these enhancements. These interviews will detail their views opinions about the local sphere and also [...]

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Google’s Recent Changes to its Local Algorithm

September 29, 2009

Google has recently rolled out a series of changes to its local algorithm which have the local SEO community on their toes and have caused many business owners to voice their concerns through frustrated and angry threads on the Google Maps Help Forum. These recent algorithmic updates include:

Category customization & spamming penalties
Google One Box gains [...]

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Canadian Guide to Local Citations – Updated

July 20, 2009

This concept was initially started by our very own Toronto Local SEO expert, Dev Basu. David Mihm recently added to this list and I aim to contribute further and make the list of Canadian Local Citation Sources more complete. I cannot stress how important it is for SMB’s and SME’s to undertand and respond to [...]

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