Google Instant has become all the rave. Instead of me talking about what everyone else has already put out there here are a few links from smart people in the internet marketing space that have been around a long time through many changes before.
Rae Hoffman – Dear Mainstream Media – Please Remove Foot From Mouth her Twitter account is @sugarrae
Here is a quick video of Google Instant for you visual video type people like me.
Ok now that you are caught up I can get to what I have noticed especially for local small business owners. Since we own a local internet marketing company and help different niches like local car dealers with automotive marketing and dentists with dental marketing we wanted to take a look at the local searches. Here is a screen shot of what we noticed. (Click image to make bigger)
As you start typing something like Phoenix dentists all you see is pay per click ads and the top of Google maps or as they now refer to that section as Google Places. Another thing that we noticed that I haven’t heard anyone talk about yet is the Sponsored links and text ads on the right hand side in the 4th-6th positions are just as high on the page as the 1st-3rd sponsored links that typically get the most clicks due to how we always look top left when reading or looking at something. The 4th position is actually higher placed and right next to Google Instant results. Could this be an opportunity to get more clicks for less with all things being equal with quality scores, text ads, and landing pages? We aren’t sure yet as we haven’t tested but we do know the search result landscape sure does look like you need to really consider local pay per clicks ads and optimizing your Google Places positions.
I think Google Instant made it even more important to have a local holistic plan as a small business. Small business owners need to think about local SEO to build strategic local links and citations for the maps, local PPC to capture leads more instantly, and an overall local internet marketing plan to go after new business in their area.