How To Generate Customer Experience Reviews For SEO Profit – Part I

mobile-review-shutterstock Here's a question for all you search marketers out there: given the option, would you prefer to optimize a site that sells products, or services? Personally, I find product-based websites far easier to optimize than service-based sites due to their generally clearer site architecture, access to photos and videos, and the ability to incentivize content creation through influencer marketing and free samples. But service-based sites have one ace up their sleeve: experience reviews. Experience Reviews I recently bought my first house; thus, I had my first experience working with a real [...]


A Review Handout Alternative: Try P&P To Get More Local Reviews

review handouts vs. review postcards Everyone knows how important reviews are -- they factor in to the local algorithm and they play a huge part in click-throughs and building trust. Good reviews can make you, and bad reviews can break you… so businesses do everything they can to get positive reviews. Since Google doesn't allow on-site reviews, we have to rely on customers to take the time and effort after leaving the location to sit down, log in, and write a review. Small business owners and SEOs the world over know how hard that is to actually do. As Local SEOs started to really specialize in reviews, the review han [...]


Bing Ads Refines Local Targeting Features

Bing Ads Location Targeting Today, Bing Ads released new interface updates and features for location targeting. Radius targeting is now more granular and available in kilometers as well as miles. You can set radius targeting in 1 mile or 1 kilometer increments, up to 500 miles or 800 kilometers. Previously targeting was limited to 5 or 10 miles and then went up in 10 mile increments. Another change is that you can now use location targeting (a city, say) and radius targeting in the same ad group or campaign instead of having to choose one or the other. When selecting and opting-out of geographic locations, t [...]


Google Launches Free AdWords Express App For iOS And Android Devices In The US

Google Launches AdWords Express App Today, Google launched a free app for Android and iOS devices for AdWords Express, the simplified version of Google's search advertising platform designed for small business. The app has all the features of the web version, allowing advertisers to edit ads and set targeting parameters more easily from their mobile devices. Google is also making targeting more flexible. Advertisers can target ads by their own zip code, city, state as well as in other areas around the country, though the extended targeting is available only in English-speaking countries at this time. The app is now [...]


Now Link Google My Business And AdWords, Get Account-Level Location Extensions

Account level adwords local extensions Google is introducing the ability to set up location extensions at the account level by linking your Google My Business account to your AdWords account. No longer will location extensions need to be set up separately for each campaign. Formerly called Google Places for Business, Google My Business, is where businesses can manage location listings to display on Google Maps, Google Search and Google+. Once you've added all of your locations to Google My Business and link to AdWords, you choose "upgraded" (i.e. account-level) location extensions from the Extensions tab to have them show aut [...]


88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations

mobile-review-shutterstock We at BrightLocal have released the findings of our annual Local Consumer Review Survey, which reveals the growing importance of online reviews in the purchasing decision. About Local Consumer Review Survey 2014 This is the 4th year we have conducted this study into consumer usage and attitudes toward online reviews. In May-June, we sent a questionnaire to our local consumer panel and received 2,104 completed survey responses. All respondents are from the USA (90%) and Canada (10%). The purpose of the survey is to understand how online reviews influence the attitudes of consumers towar [...]


Google Beefs Up AdWords Location Extension Reporting And Targeting

google-adwords-local-map-featured Google has rolled out a couple of enhancements for paid search advertisers with brick-and-mortar locations. A new distance report for ads with location extensions show performance broken out by distance from your businesses, ranging from 0.7 miles to over 40 miles. The distance report is located from the Dimensions tab. Separate Settings For Location Extensions Within A Campaign Instead of having every every location extension within a campaign restricted to using the same setting, now location extensions can have different radius settings for targeting and bidding. For example, s [...]


Top 10 Tips For Local Search Success

shutterstock_183277097-options-choices Many local businesses today are overwhelmed by the variety of local marketing choices available. Unlike the old days when a small handful of advertising outlets would cover the majority of your audience, the sheer volume of marketing options has seemingly flattened the reach of each advertising channel. Business owners see all the different ways that consumers are seeking out, discovering and considering local businesses, and they don't know where to start. The key to getting started is building a strong foundation for local search success by checking off the basics. From there, you can [...]


Is Your Local Business Ready For Google’s Neighborhood Algorithm?

East-Side-Costa-Mesa-with-marker While doing some research in Costa Mesa, CA last week, I hit a Google test bucket that specified the East Side Costa Mesa neighborhood as my location in Search Tools: Google has long understood super well-known dense neighborhoods like SoHo, NY. But there's a good reason why neighborhoods, particularly smaller city neighborhoods, have not been used as default locations in Google: it's pretty tricky to define a neighborhood's boundaries. In the local search-data world, neighborhoods are known as "informal space," meaning there are no standard boundaries. So the definition of where a n [...]


10 Takeaways From #LSA14 On The Future Of Local Advertising

Last Mile Advertising Where is the local advertising space headed? How will local marketers succeed in an increasingly fast-changing and competitive marketplace? At the Local Search Association's 2014 annual conference (#LSA14) last month in Huntington Beach, California, hundreds of local advertising leaders gathered to explore what's next in local and the steps that both local providers and advertisers will need to take to succeed. Here are my top 10 takeaways from the conference on the core opportunities and challenges that local marketers and advertisers should be considering. 1. Leverage An Integrated Ap [...]


Use Products As Pawns To Win The Local SEO Chess Game

chess-pawn-game-600 In the competition to rank highest in local search results, you must employ a number of tactics in coordination. It's not unlike playing a chess game. However, many businesses have yet to bring all their chess pieces into play on the board. There are many types of products which consumers typically seek out in local brick-and-mortar stores. If you operate such a store, you're fortunate if your business category shares the product name, since Google's and Bing's local search results tend to bias a lot toward business category names. But, in many cases stores carry a great many different p [...]


How To Build A Local Brand Through Online Marketing

brand-branding-shutterstock The terms Brand and Brand Marketing are usually associated with large businesses. Having a brand is seen as something significant -- something that only businesses with big ideas and even bigger wallets can afford to invest in and create. But that's not true. Businesses of all sizes can be Brands. A brand can't be built in a day, but over time, any business can achieve brand status in their own niche and/or location. Local marketing is typically focused on lead generation with performance measured by website traffic, inbound calls, appointments and customers walk-ins. But in the ques [...]


420 Dilemma? Marijuana Emerges In Local Search

marijuana-map-600 Today marks the first time that April 20th -- known amongst pot smokers as "420" and frequently celebrated with smoking parties -- is a legally observable event in the United States (in some places, at least, since the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of the drug for adults). So, what does this mean for local businesses and marketers? In 2010, I conducted a limited audit to see if 420 party locations, as well as marijuana dispensaries, appeared in Google Maps. I found little more than a user-generated map back then -- but fast-forward to 2014, and we be [...]


Which Is The Most “Generous” Search Engine To Local Businesses?

local-search-featured Earlier this month, one of our customers asked an interesting question in a training workshop. They wanted to know which search engine displayed the most local results for different types of search terms. Google gets the lion's share of focus in the SEO world, particularly in Local. They also have the most developed local search product (vs. Bing and Yahoo), but does this mean that they present more local results to searchers? We discussed our own assumptions on this matter and did some digging online but couldn't find any research that compared the display of results on Google vs. Bing vs. [...]


10 Local Marketing Myths Hamstringing Your Business

Local Online Marketing Myths - Local SEO Myths As an internet marketer, I frequently encounter local business owners (and large chain store companies with many local outlets) that haven't had time to really understand online marketing. Many of them have latched onto some myth that's completely false -- and which can keep their businesses from soaring as high as they otherwise might. It's not surprising that local business operators can lack knowledge about online marketing, or that they can get exposed to misapprehensions about how local marketing should be conducted. Google's CEO has been quoted as saying that the world is now generati [...]


Why Duplicate Business Listings Are Like The Walking Dead

zombies-danger-risk-600 In the Local SEO biz, we spend a lot of time fixing duplicate business listings. Duplicate records of your business appearing throughout the Local Search ecosystem can cause a variety of issues like messing with your Google Local rankings, causing you to lose business, and may even make you feel like you're experiencing a zombie apocalypse. The problem is no matter what we do, dupes often come back from the dead to haunt us. Why is that? TL;DR Warning: Time to eat your local data vegetables. [caption id="attachment_184636" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image Courtesy of the Ansel Sho [...]


5 Uncommon PPC Strategies For the Local Business’ Toolkit

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 9.21.38 AM Any search on PPC strategies will yield a tremendous amount of resources that are focused on generalized positive and negative PPC strategies for local businesses, e.g., keyword management, bid management, negative keywords, landing page optimization. What is often not as readily available is information on uncommon and highly effective PPC tactics that squarely benefit local search marketers by giving them a competitive advantage in bringing in leads. The following tactics should be a part of the local business marketer's toolkit and will return enormous rewards. Tactic 1: Attributio [...]


6 Local Tips For Small Business SEO Success

SEL - Billys Bakery Graphic We all know that a key component of any small business' marketing strategy is to effectively position its brand in search engine results. But is it possible to dominate search results with content you control -- or at least content you've influenced? The answer is yes. There are simple and effective ways to boost visibility for your business in search results, while simultaneously improving related marketing efforts in social media, ratings and reviews, and media outreach. Take a look at my six tips for local SEO success, along with action items for each in order to successfully implemen [...]


For SMBs, The Time Is Now To Embrace Search Advertising

paid-search-ppc-featured As a recently as a few years ago, the owner of a small or local business could legitimately ask, "Why should I buy search ads?" After all, he or she first faced the hassle of setting up an ad campaign in a relatively foreign platform -- then, assuming they got ads served, maybe people clicked. But at the cost, what benefit was the advertiser really receiving? If you are not an online business, how do you translate a click into something an SMB can understand -- and place value on? It was simply impossible to know. And who can blame them? According to our research, proving ROI is the top nee [...]


Use Google Keyword Research To Target The Long Tail In Local Search

seokeywordresearchpic There's something of a void where local business marketing is concerned. Local marketers understand they need to target keyword queries in SEO and PPC campaigns, but they assume they know what people search for, and they miss out on valuable referrals because of it. Here's a brief guide on local keyword research to close the gap. Companies tend to get somewhat myopic about understanding how consumers try to discover their type of business. It's natural to find out how some people find your business and then focus your efforts on building and reinforcing that successful vector -- even to the [...]


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