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. [...]

Recent Trends Should Guide How Businesses Grow Local Search Strategies

When it comes to online and mobile advertising, many local businesses are still getting their feet wet. Even for those who have dove head-first into opportunities online or via mobile, the rules and solutions are changing so fast, it’s often difficult to keep your head above water and stay ahead of the competition. As we head into fall, let’s catch up on the latest trends and developments in local search space – and what you should consider as you start to build out your business’s advertising strategy for 2012. Take Charge Of Social Media Social media is playing a significant rol [...]

Local Search: Mostly A Small City & Southern Activity, Report Says

local-search-featured Do Internet users in the southern US do more local searches than the rest of the country? Are searchers in smaller cities more likely to conduct local searches than those in New York City, Chicago and the San Francisco area? The answer to those questions is "yes," at least according to recent data compiled by the online ad network Chitika. The company drew its local search queries from a sample of more than 10 million searches that brought traffic to its network of sites in the US between July 4th and July 11th. The results, at least to me, are quite surprising: Smaller cities like Cha [...]

MapQuest Launches Local Business Listings Center

Local SEOs have another tool to add to the "citation belt," as it were: MapQuest has announced its own Local Business Center, a place where local businesses can add and/or manage their listing(s) on MapQuest. As the video below shows, the MapQuest LBC functions very much like Google's and Bing's and offers many of the same basic features such as photo uploads, videos, categories and so forth. MapQuest is also offering two premium listing levels at $99 and $399 per year -- the latter of which includes distribution of business information to other sites like Yelp, Yahoo Local, SuperPages and [...]

Yellow Pages Industry Association Changes Name To Focus On “Local Search”

After months of deliberation the Yellow Pages Association has changed its name and brand identity to the "Local Search Association." The name change reflects the transformation of yellow pages organizations from publishers of primarily print directories to multi-platform providers of leads, calls and clicks to local businesses. The organization is also reaching out to new constituencies that surround the yellow pages and local search industries. New members of the expanded trade association include CityGrid, MerchEngines, Kudzu, Telnic Limited, Kenshoo, Thrive Analytics, deCarta, dotMobi, [...]

SEMPO: Google Dominates But Social Now Widely Used For PPC

Yesterday SEMPO and Econsultancy released the 2011 "State of Search Marketing Report" featuring attitudes and spending behaviors of 920 survey respondents (agencies, advertisers) from more than 60 countries. The full report is over 130 pages. The report came out on the same day that the IAB released its full-year 2010 online ad revenue figures. Interestingly, there's a $4 billion dollar discrepancy between the IAB paid-search figures ($12 billion) and the SEMPO estimate ($16.6 billion) for 2010. The SEMPO estimate is for "North America" while the IAB numbers are US only. The IAB estimated t [...]

Marchex Acquires 800-Free-411 Owner Jingle Networks

Marchex announced this morning that it was buying Jingle Networks, operator of free directory assistance service 800-Free-411, for $62 million in cash and stock. Founded in 2004, Jingle Networks also has a pay-per-call mobile ad network. Jingle's 800-Free-411 competed with GOOG-411, which was closed down last year, and Microsoft's Bing-411, which is still operating. However Jingle was the leader in the "free directory assistance" segment. At one point I called free-DA "local-mobile search for the rest of us." That was before the dramatic growth of smartphones, which have continued to ero [...]

Big Trends (Hint: Mobile) Emerging In Online Advertising’s Next Frontiers

One of the most competitive and interesting sports in reporting on what's happening in the online world is the ongoing game of predicting the future. Just as we're seeing regime change in North Africa and the Middle East, it looks as if we're experiencing another tectonic shift in the universe of online ads. I spent the past couple of days at Borrell Associates Local Online Advertising Conference in New York City. This event was primarily focused on strategies and tactics that executives from traditional media companies should be looking at to survive and thrive in the increasingly competi [...]

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