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 [...]

9 Ways To Start A New Local Business Using Facebook, Twitter, Groupon And Google*

Ever dream of being your own boss? If you've got a good idea and are willing to take the plunge into starting your own business, it's now easier (and cheaper) than ever to get a local business started. Put Up Your Website (<$100/yr) You'll probably want your own domain, so you'll have to shell out $12 or so to a domain seller like GoDaddy and get a shared hosting package for $7/month. After that, there are a number of free website builders you can use such as Weebly. You don't need to be a techy to do any of these things, but it helps if you are not afraid of trying to figure out how t [...]

Does Your Local Mobile Search Strategy Suck?

If you are a small or local business, I bet it does. If you are a big business I bet it does too, but let's stick with the small guys today. Mobile usage is growing and because location is often at the heart of mobile search queries, mobile is important to businesses that rely on local search. But you know that already right? So what are you going to do about it? Last spring, Cindy Krum put together an excellent piece on Mobile SEO. I highly recommend you check it out, but if your eyes glaze over whenever someone starts to talk about transcoding and mobile stylesheets, then forward th [...]

AdWords And Google Voice Hook Up To Form “AdWords Call Metrics”

What if AdWords and Google Voice had a love child? That child would probably be named "AdWords Call Metrics," which is what Google is introducing today. Google is combining the functionality behind Google Voice with AdWords. That equals call tracking for AdWords campaigns. Google's objective in making call tracking available -- offering both local and toll-free (VoIP)  numbers -- is to show advertisers that AdWords is driving more value than they realize. In other words, Google is seeking to expose the additional ROI that AdWords drives in offline actions and activity. (That's where most o [...]

Adchemy Promises Better Search ROI Through Intent-Based Ad Copy And Landing Pages

Billing itself as one of the "best kept secrets in Silicon Valley," Adchemy is a technology provider that promises to help search marketers "dynamically" create more relevant ad copy and landing pages at scale. The company recently released its WordMap application, which is intended for very large campaigns with millions of keywords but where the ad copy and landing pages are more general and thus unable to reflect the variety and nuance of the more specific associated keywords. Adchemy says that it can "dynamically generate tens of thousands of paid-search ads directly related to intent [...]

Call Analytics Bring Sophisticated New Data, Insights to Search Marketing

Many search marketers have experimented with call tracking and measurement as a way to capture online-to-offline consumer activity and determine which ads and campaigns are generating calls. But there has also been debate about whether unique phone numbers required by call tracking harms SEO especially for local advertisers. Some new developments in the field make a compelling argument for call tracking and analytics, at the very least among enterprises or large advertisers trying to generate calls to call centers. Search marketing platform Kenshoo earlier this summer introduced what it cal [...]

Only 10% Of Businesses Would Pay For Foursquare: Survey

Only 10% of businesses that are currently using Foursquare as a free marketing tool are willing to pay for the service; that's one of the interesting survey results presented last week during the "Location Services: The New Local Search?" session at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle. Search marketers Will Scott (of Search Influence) and Mat Siltala (of Dream Systems Media) presented the results of what's believed to be the first survey of Foursquare advertisers -- a survey in May of 127 non-chain businesses across the U.S. Most of the respondents were from the restaurant and retail [...]

Search + Social: Three Search Platforms Incorporate Facebook Ads API

Yesterday there were three press releases from three search platforms, two aimed partly or substantially at the local market, that are incorporating the Facebook Ads API into their platform capabilities: Marin Software, Clickable and Kenshoo. Here are excerpts from the three releases: Marin Software: Marin Search Marketer will provide marketers with the tools necessary to manage large-scale advertising programs through Facebook Ads. By marrying impression, click, and cost data with conversion and revenue data, Marin Search Marketer will provide a complete view of campaign ROI and effec [...]

The Big List: 2010 Marketing Predictions & Resolutions

Here we are, starting the second full week of 2010. Chances are good that you've already made your own marketing resolutions for the new year, or perhaps penned your own set of predictions for what 2010 will mean to online marketers. If so, you're not alone; there's been a lot of thinking about the new year amongst internet marketers. Just like last year, I've been collecting links to as many articles as I could find that offer predictions and resolutions for 2010 to create the following big list. And you're welcome to let me know what I missed down in the comments. SEO Search Engine [...]

Year In Review: Local Search & Maps

While analysts and practitioners have been prognosticating the imminent arrival of local search for the last several years, 2009 was finally the year that proved us right. A number of innovations and developments in mobile search, such as the widespread adoption of the iPhone, the release of Android, and a burgeoning number of location-based apps like Foursquare have certainly helped fuel local search's rise. But local has gained mind share among SEO's, marketers, business owners, and perhaps most importantly, searchers, in its own right as well. Let's take a loo [...]

News Media: Don’t Give Google The NoIndex Finger

Discussing/insulting newspaper business models is all the rage these days. Danny Sullivan has had some choice words for the whole "let's give Google the noindex finger" thing and a few weeks ago Chris Silver Smith offered some SEO advice for local newspapers. Given how on-trend the subject is I thought it might be useful to offer some complementary advice to Chris' recommendations. Certainly all newspaper sites should be figuring out how to rank well for news searches and Chris covers how to do this pretty well. The problem is that ranking for news searches is probably not the best busin [...]

Reports: Bing Gains Among Retailers, At Local Level Too

In this post I'm combining two search trends reports: early Q4 search spending data from SearchIgnite and excerpts from a terrific Q3 local search spending report from WebVisible. Both show gains by Bing. The WebVisible report also shows significant improvements by Yahoo. Based on "41 million clicks on Google, Yahoo! and Bing during Q3-Q4 of 2008 and 2009," SearchIgnite found that Bing is doing well with retailers (and e-commerce consumers): Retailers have spent 47% more on search ads on Bing in Q4 this year than during this same time period in 2008, with Bing now accounting for 8% of all [...]

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should: Why DIY SEM Isn’t The Answer

Everywhere you look today you can find books, television programs, and websites specializing in do-it-yourself. While this may be a great thing for folks who want to refurbish their homes with stylish but affordable interiors, it is not always the best choice for all things. Just because you can re-wire your home doesn’t mean you should! Professional electricians exist for a reason and we should avail ourselves of their expertise. But what, you may ask, does this have to do with online advertising? I’ll tell you. Just because you can go online and create your own ad campaigns with a tool l [...]

SEMPO Says Time To Get Serious About Mobile Search

SEMPO yesterday released a "POV" white paper that seeks to orient search marketers to the growing mobile market, mobile SEO and mobile paid search in particular. It cites the dramatic growth of mobile web usage and anticipated future growth in arguing that search marketers now need to take mobile seriously. Developed by SEMPO's Emerging Technologies Committee, the report asks (and seeks to answer) several key questions: What mobile channels are available to search marketers and which show the most promise? What are the prospects for search, particularly local search, on mobile devices, [...]

A Golden Opportunity For Brands To Join The Local Search Party

The ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program hoopla and Congress’ push to infuse it with more ‘cash’ was a fantastic opportunity for big auto manufacturers advertising like mad on TV to reach local buyers online with local dealership offers. Not surprisingly, after a few quick geo-searches on Google Maps and Yahoo Local among others, the search results for local car dealerships or their parent manufacturers participating in the program were lackluster at best. Here's an example: As local search is continuing to grow and advertisers, search engines and local businesses alike are grabbing a [...]

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