Local Search Talk Series Part 6: Mary Bowling Interview

Next up on our Local Search Talk Series is a gal I had the pleasure to meet up with at the GetListed.org Local University event in Spokane. Her name is Mary Bowling and she is part of the amazing seOverflow team in Colorado. Mary is seriously talented in “things to do” with local, and is currently on the Getlisted speaking circuit covering on page optimization for local search. Enjoy…

How did you initially get involved with internet marketing?

I sold a business and “retired” but that was too boring, so I learned to be a bike and ski tech at a local shop. When I got really good at it, I became bored, so I accepted a job at a local internet marketing company so I could learn something new.

What made you loco for local?

The first internet marketing company I worked at specialized in the hospitality industry – hotels, B&B, Resorts, etc – and it was critical that these types of websites be found for terms associated with their locations. So, I had to figure out how to rank for those terms and grew with Local Search as it evolved.

Do you have someone who has helped you along the way in learning local?

Since I’m based in a small mountain town, most of the help I got came from reading blogs and attending conferences.

How did you end up at seOverflow and what are your current responsibilities?

I met Mike Belasco at an SMX Local Conference in Denver several years ago, we stayed in touch and now work together at his company seOverflow. I do SEO, Local Search and PPCs.

At Local University, you spoke mainly on onsite optimization for local search. What would you say SMB’s should do for organic results? What would you say for local business results?

For SEO, use location terms in their site optimization and get plenty of links.

For Local business results, claim and complete your Local Business Listing and practice “barnacle seo” for links and leads.

What is the hardest listing you have had to deal with in local search?

A plumbing company with numerous locations (some of which have changed over the years) tons of phone numbers, and a history of trying to make Google believe they have shop locations in dozens of places where they do not.

What is your favorite, and least favorite, part about being a local seo consultant?
My favorite part is finding the sources of Local Search problems and teaching others about Local Search.
Least favorite? Dealing with people who want “short cut marketing”, as Will Scott calls it.

What do you do in your free time…if you have any?
Winter: ice skating, skiing, snowboarding
Summer: rafting, mountain biking
All Year: enjoy the world’s largest hot springs pool, which happens to be a short stroll from my house.

Most of the local seo’s are city folk, can you tell us about where you live and why (and where you hid your house keys)?

I live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, which is about 160 miles due west of Denver. They say the Utes left a curse on the Roaring Fork Valley that once you live here, you can never leave. I came here 30 years ago on a temporary job and…

House keys? What house keys?

In your opinion, what do you think is the biggest challenge facing local search?

At the moment, call tracking. I’m hoping Google Voice will be the answer.

Can you give us an idea of what you think 2010-2011 hold in store for Local Search?

After years of being in shadows, Local Search the importance of Local Search is being noticed by businesses and the internet marketing industry. With Google’s stepped up efforts to get local businesses on board, this could finally be the year Local Search takes center stage.

What is the best advice you would give someone that is wanting to learn about local seo?

Read everything you can find about it!

Thanks a ton Mary for taking part in this! I have to say I hope you don’t ever get bored and move on to another industry. But, at the rate things change in local, I doubt that day will ever come.

If you are new to the local search talk series make sure you check out these other great interviews!