USPS Goes Local

Local search isn’t something that can be ignored. In the past people used the phone book or Yellow Pages to find local businesses and services. In this day and age we know that most people turn to their smart phones and Google searches to find what’s near them. If you do business locally and haven’t submitted your address to Google Places you are falling behind in your marketing needs. Whether you have a brick and mortar store or run your business online, you should be using local search in your marketing and SEO strategies.

If you don’t have a physical address because your company is virtual or run solely online, there are ways you can be listed in Google Local. PO boxes are not allowed but companies such as Mailboxes Plus allow you have to mail box with their address and a suite number. The United States Postal Service has caught on to the competition and the importance for businesses to have local mailing addresses for Google’s search results. USPS now offers street addressing.

USPS is now offering a new service for their post office box clients. If you need a local address, you can use the physical address of the post office location and will be given a unique suite number. This makes it possible for businesses who don’t have store fronts to be listed in local searches. Again, just by submitting the address doesn’t guarantee your ranking. You will still need to properly optimize and have an effective SEO strategy to rank at the top of Google Places.

So, why is this important? Google customizes search results for each users based on location and browsing history. Local companies are favored in search results. Local listings appear at the top of a search result because businesses in a different city from the user show no relevance. Google is frequently updating their search queries to favor relevant searches for the user. Even when you don’t include the zip code or city name during a search for a service or business, local search results usually always appear at the top of your results.

Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.

Get Well Duck and Great Job on Social

My advertising and social media mind has been curious for a few days now about Aflac’s latest television ad campaign. I have to admit, they are doing a great job of getting people to take seeing their TV ad a step further and incorporating social media or client/potential customer involvement.Aflac Duck

Aflac, which is a supplemental insurance agency for individuals and groups, uses a duck as their company mascot/recognizable logo. The Aflac duck has been featured in various commercials and is used in the name of the company logo. Their creative team nailed the marketing slogan and mascot with the phrase, “We’ve got you under our wing.” It’s genius. You may have seen their TV commercial which starts with a doctor giving a press release about the Aflac duck being injured. The premise, to relate this to their offerings of supplemental insurance, is that the duck was in an accident. The doctor goes on to say that Aflac Duck has sustained a laceration to the wing and a fractured beak. The poor little guy will be out of work while in recovery. Luckily, with Aflac’s help they are paying his living expenses.

What the ad does as a way to stay social, is they give a link where you can send the duck a get well card. This gets the TV user away from the commercial and on to the website. Since my curiosity was piqued, I went to the web address, http://www.getwellduck.com, and I was automatically redirected to a Facebook page. I was expecting a website page and not a Facebook fan page. You don’t have to sign up for an app or even like the fan page to send a card. The card creator allows you to choose a background, and image, and you can also include a personal message. This is great social media involvement.

At first I was surprised there wasn’t a website or a landing page from the Aflac website. However, I like that the company isn’t pushing their website traffic on me and they are keeping this social, light, and fun. I think this extra step taken makes the company seem more personal and less corporate. It is important for other businesses to follow their lead. People are more likely to relate to a person, in this case a duck or mascot, than they are a corporate logo.

Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.