Local Business Search Marketing – Case Study

Local BusinessSince the Internet is international, it has been a great resource for large companies that distribute their products and services nationally or internationally.  But local businesses that serve a small geographic area have been slow to utilize the Internet. For them the Internet seemed too broad and untargetted to be effective, but all that has been changing in the last few years.

Search engines have developed local search options and geo-targeting, yellow page companies have created online versions of themselves, and websites have sprung up that solely provide local business information and reviews.  As these changes took place, people started changing.  People moved from using the phone book to find local business information to using the Internet.  In fact, more people now use the Internet to find local business info than the phone books.  Now local businesses have a great opportunity on the web.

Enter our client…

Real Karate
Real KarateReal Karate is a local Karate dojo in Raytown, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City, MO.  They provide Karate training, self defense classes, and weapons training.  Seeing the potential of the Internet, several years ago they started a website, kenbukan.org, that provides online Karate training videos and information.  They did some search marketing for the Karate video website, but they didn’t do much online for their local dojo other than adding some web pages to the Ken Bu Kan website.  So, they didn’t have much online exposure for the dojo.

The Service:
A little over a month ago we asked the folks at Real Karate if they would like to start marketing their local dojo online.  They gave an enthusiastic, “Yes!”  So, we began the Local Business Search Marketing service.  This included:

  • In-depth Keyword Research for local keywords related to their business
  • Search Engine Optimization of the Karate Dojo web pages.
  • Local Search Optimization of their website
  • Adding optimized contact and map/directions pages to their website
  • Creating listings in Google Maps, Yahoo Local Business, and Live Map Search (MSN)
  • Creating listings in several Internet Yellow Page sites
  • Creating listings in several local search sites
  • Creating listings in several online business directories
  • Working with Real Karate to help them get positive reviews in their listings.

Initial Results:
Real KarateWithin a few weeks we started getting amazing results in the search engines:

  • 934 Top Ten Rankings
  • 668 Top Five Rankings
  • 299 #1 Rankings

That’s only looking at Google, Yahoo, Live (MSN), and Ask.

The Incident:
Things were looking very good for Real Karate.  The website was soaring in the search engines and they had gotten several new listings around the web.  A week ago, however, I ran a search ranking report and their rankings had dropped…well, more like plummeted.  Their rankings had gone from nearly 1000 top ten rankings to less than 500.  500 top ten rankings are still very good, but they had lost half of their top ten rankings.

I investigated what had happened and found the issue.  All of the optimization we had done had been removed.  It was a simple mistake.  While updating one of the non-optimized pages of their website, the client’s software had overwritten not just the page they were updating, but the entire site.

The Fix:
We quickly re-optimized the website and re-submitted the website to the major search engines to encourage the search engines to quickly review the changes.  It’s been less than a week, but Real Karate is already regaining their top ten rankings.  They are back up to 630 top ten rankings having regained over 160 top ten rankings in less than 1 week! I have no doubt that they will continue to move up in the search engines and regain all the top ten rankings and more.

Conclusion:
With the site re-optimized and climbing the search results again, Real Karate is gaining more and more of a presence in the Raytown / Kansas City area.  This is allowing more and more people to find them online and gives them a greater opportunity to reach members of that community who are looking for Karate instruction or self defense training.

With more and more people using the Internet to find local businesses, local search marketing is not only an opportunity, it’s becoming a necessity.

Is your business marketing online?

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

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