Local Businesses Need To Expand & Refine Advertising Approach

With consumers leveraging a broader array of online and offline media when searching for local business information -- and increasingly relying on smartphones and tablets to conduct searches -- local businesses need to expand and refine their advertising approach in order to remain competitive, according to new research released today by the Local Search Association. Broader Array Of Local Media Offerings LSA's annual "Local Media Tracking Study," conducted by Burke, Inc., measured the reach of various local media sources among U.S. adults throughout 2012. The results showed strong consumer [...]


The Best Link Building For Local SEO — None!

Since Google rolled out the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, numerous sites have been impacted or penalized. Often, companies that incur penalties or experience a drop in rankings don't have a clue as to what they've done wrong -- especially small, local businesses. This leads me to a novel proposal: perhaps for local businesses, the best link building is absolutely none at all. I've been approached by many small-to-medium businesses seeking help with various degrees of penalization as a result of these updates over the past year, and some of the commonalities to me are striking -- pri [...]


93% Of Local SEOs Expect To Grow Their Business In 2013

Last week, we published the findings of the BrightLocal Local SEO Industry Survey 2013. The objective of this survey is to gain greater understanding about the health and nature of the local SEO Industry. Through this survey, we aim to find out what life is like "on the ground" for those in the local SEO industry and share those findings publicly to help improve the knowledge and insight within our industry. This is the 2nd wave of the survey. The 1st wave was conducted in 2011 and looked ahead to 2012.  Wave 1 survey results can be viewed here. About The BrightLocal Local SEO Industry [...]


Local SEO Industry Survey Reveals Most Customers Want On-Site SEO & Google+ Optimization Services

local-search-map A local SEO industry survey, managed by SEO software company Brightlocal, revealed that the most in-demand SEO services are on-site SEO and Google+ optimization. Conducted between January 20 and February 20 of this year, the survey evaluated the health and nature of the local SEO industry by focusing on five key areas: agency size and turnover, clients and industries, marketing and sales, services and tasks, and future outlooks. The majority of survey respondents included freelancers, small digital agencies and web designers, with a total of 1,409 respondents. On-site SEO and Google+ opt [...]


7 Takeaways From The Local Search Association Annual Conference

Earlier this month, local search marketing leaders from the U.S., Canada and 12 other countries gathered in Las Vegas for the Local Search Association’s 2013 annual conference, "Search Starts Here." Over several days, attendees engaged in informative discussions about the numerous opportunities and challenges facing our industry, ranging from the growing importance of original digital content to the rise of mobile and social media. In this month’s column, I will highlight my key takeaways from the LSA conference, which are focused on both the strides I believe local marketers should [...]


Conversational Marketing Benefits Local SEO

I began working for a particular type of traditional business industry recently, and I noticed that a great many of the small businesses operating within it were still proceeding as though it were pre-Internet days. They did promotions as though they were a one-way transmission instead of a dialogue. Unfortunately, that's not the only industry where this mindset persists. In order to achieve better sales, attract more potential customers, and, yes, improve your search engine rankings, you need to incorporate "Conversational Marketing" as a primary tactic. The Cluetrain Manifesto came out [...]


Mobile Growth Highlights Importance Of Comprehensive Local Strategy

This week, the Local Search Association is releasing our “Local Mobile Search Study,” which overviews the evolving mobile environment in the U.S. and the growing role of smartphones, tablets and other connected devices in the local search experience. The 2013 study, which features 2012 data compiled from several comScore digital and mobile metrics databases, demonstrates a significant shift in how consumers are accessing the Internet and emphasizes the importance of local businesses embracing mobile platforms as yet another venue to reach consumers. Rise Of Connected Devices Provides [...]


Enhanced Campaigns: Offer Extensions & Location Targeting Explained

google-adwords-local-map-featured Google released more details on its Mobile Ads Blog today about offer extensions and location targeting tools available in the new enhanced campaigns. Location Targeting With Better Reporting One of the main features of enhanced campaigns is that advertisers can target multiple locations within one campaign and adjust bids based on a multiple of the default location bid. The reporting tools now make it easier to see what location targets triggered your ads and where your users were when they saw your ads. This is handy. Say you've set your campaign Location Options to the def [...]


7 Key Takeaways From BIA/Kelsey’s ILM Conference

I just returned from the jam-packed annual BIA/Kelsey ILM West conference in Los Angeles, where there was a lot of excitement about what’s next in local SMB advertising. As we head into 2013, local businesses have some important trends to consider when developing their marketing plans. The ways in which consumers are both searching and finding local businesses are rapidly changing, and local businesses and marketers are quickly adapting to take advantage of new opportunities to drive business in the door. Here are my 7 key takeaways from the event: 1.  Local Business Spending Remains The [...]


Are You Ready For The Coming SMB Marketing Boom?

Without a doubt, 2012 has been an insane year for small business marketing on the Web. Most companies I know providing digital marketing services to SMBs have been up to their eyeballs in work. What's going on? Aren't we in some kind of recession? Apparently not. While attending the BIA/Kelsey SMB Digital Conference in Chicago recently, it became apparent small businesses are busy getting their Digital on. So to prepare you for the coming onslaught of Moms & Pops who desperately need your fine services, dear reader, I thought you might enjoy some of the juicy stats presented at the conf [...]


7 Tips For Crafting Local Business Updates In Facebook

facebook-local-featured Do you spit out status updates on Facebook for your local business without much thought? Carefully engineering your status updates can result in more effective targeting, better engagement with your audience, and improved EdgeRank to help more of your followers actually see your status updates. These tips should be considered to be "spice", rather than the meat in cooking up your Facebook contents. Use these tips with some restraint and balance or you could create fatigue for your followers, resulting in reduction of your audience engagement rather than growth of it. Increasing engagemen [...]


Helping Or Hurting: The Debate Over Google+ Local

google-plus-local-featured It’s been two months now since Google replaced Google Places with Google+ Local. The reactions thus far have been mixed: SEOs hailed it as a revelation for small businesses, while consumers were left scratching their heads over the new Zagat system. Google+ Local has the potential to be everything this column is about: the intersection of search (indexed local search listings) and social (integrated Google+ business pages). It’s a major update from the number-one player in the local search game: 97% of consumers say they research local businesses before making a decision, and Google [...]


How Social Signals Could Potentially Influence Local Search Results

For a local business, localized search results are lifeblood to them. Focusing on a local SEO strategy can often have a bigger impact on their business model than focusing on the full organic results. A lot of smaller local businesses aren’t blessed with an extremely large marketing budget and could have potentially resorted to tactics that caught them up in the Penguin filter. There are ways to take advantage of the local space without spending an extraordinary amount of money, while leveraging your social community at the same time. When Google+ integrated local places in May and sta [...]


Study: 72% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations

The findings of this year’s Local Consumer Review Survey (2012) show a positive shift in consumer trust and appreciation of online reviews. Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business. About The Local Consumer Review Survey 2012 This online survey was conducted between 15th January – 1st March 2012. A set of 18 questions were put to a survey panel of 4,500 local consumers located in US, Canada and UK. We received 2,862 responden [...]


Report: National Marketers Love Local, Fail At Basic Tactics

local-search-seo-featured GMS Local, an initiative from GroupM focused on local search and local digital strategies, recently conducted a survey of national marketing executives (mostly in the retail sector) about their localization strategies and tactics. The survey was fielded in September and November 2011. What the agency found was considerable enthusiasm for local-digital marketing. Yet there was also a surprising lack of sophistication in many of their tactics. GMS Local found that most of the respondents spent more on local vs. national advertising and more generally on digital than traditional media marketin [...]


Mobile: The Ghost Of Future Local SMB Marketing

"If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with 'Local Online Marketing" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!" - Ebenezer Scrooge Tis the season to contemplate the future of the local Web marketing for small businesses (SMBs) my friends. For all of you tight-fisted hands at the grindstone, 2012 is loaded with opportunity. But are you going to be a Marley, the walking dead bogged down by the chains of your past, or a reborn Scrooge, dancing in the streets in your pajamas? "There is never enough time to [...]


Paid Search Drives $6 In Local Sales For Every $1 In Online Sales — Study

Screen shot 2011-12-10 at 6.50.09 AM Annual US retail spending is roughly $4 trillion according to the US Commerce Department. And while e-commerce is growing very rapidly, it remains less than 5 percent of total retail sales. Historically, most search marketers have focused almost exclusively on e-commerce sales. But a new study finds that the real impact of paid search is offline. Six-to-One Impact in Offline Stores Based on two years of research conducted by retail marketing firm RevTrax, the study discovered that "for every $1 of e-commerce revenue generated from paid search, marketers can expect to see approximately anothe [...]


Euclid Offers “Google Analytics For The Real World”

Screen shot 2011-11-04 at 7.05.33 AM Yesterday Euclid Elements, a relatively new firm founded by some of the people behind the product that became Google Analytics, announced a $5.8 million first round of funding. The company is seeking to enable retailers and business owners with physical locations to measure things like foot traffic by time of day, average customer time in store, loyalty and lift of online promotions, as well as the effectiveness of window displays and other metrics. Conceptually none of this is entirely new. There are a range of "analog" companies and methods that measure retail foot traffic. However Euclid [...]


How To Canonicalize URLs As Backlinks In Local Search & Online Business Directories

If you read my previous Link Week entry, Why Canonicalization Matters From A Linking Perspective, you know that canonicalization - the process of selecting and using one specific URL for each page on your website for indexing in search - is vitally important for consolidating potential link juice. This is because search engines index URLs to get content, so when multiple versions of URLs point to the same content, that content’s Page Rank is diluted across those URLs. Today, I want to advance that concept a bit more. Let’s look at how the external world of the Web views your business. I [...]


Infographic: Local Search Evolved

Infographic Local Search Evolved Local search is big business and big opportunity. How big? The folks at MDG Advertising have produced a "Local Search Evolved" infographic with statistics and info about the subject that you might find interesting: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: Infographic: Local Search Evolved. [...]


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