David Mihm

David Mihm is Director of Local Strategy at Moz, and the architect of Moz Local—a newly-released software product that distributes U.S. business listings to the primary local data aggregators and important local directories.

Local Marketing

Local Search Complexity = SMB Frustration

In my role as president at GetListed.org, I sometimes receive emails from users asking why one local search engine or another is displaying an old location for their business, or why the search engines still aren’t showing their new website address, or why the phone number listed for their retail location is actually the one […]

Google News

8 Opportunities To Optimize Content Beyond Local Listings

Not to beat a dead horse, but as I said in my last column, I think 2009 was truly a watershed year for local search. Between Google’s introduction of the generic 10-pack, its beta test of local listing ads, dramatic improvements to Bing’s Local Listing Center, and numerous partnerships throughout the industry— all of these […]

Apple

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 […]

Local Marketing

The “Other 20%” Of Local SEO: Advanced Ranking Factors

Last month, I highlighted 10 fundamentals of Local SEO, most of them involving techniques to ensure consistent, accurate business data at the major search engines, and some simple on-site recommendations. I compared those strategies with the football analogy of “blocking and tackling” — basic no-brainers that will lay the foundation for success in local search. In […]

Amazon

Blocking And Tackling: 10 Fundamentals Of Local SEO

We’ve reached the midpoint of fantasy football season, and in our SEMpdx league, my team is hanging on to a playoff slot by a thread.  (Yes, I am “that guy” who roots for the Patriots to get into the red zone and then stall out, just so my fantasy kicker Stephen Gostkowski gets a chance […]

Local Marketing

Be Wary Of Call Tracking Numbers In Local Search

Call-tracking phone numbers are often hailed as a best practice strategy in paid search campaigns thanks to their ability to demonstrate a specific number of conversions or inquiries generated by the campaign. The kind of at-a-glance analytics these numbers offer make it easy for businesses and search agencies to calculate Return On Investment, a desirable […]

Amazon Alexa

Thoughts On Categorization In Local Search

Properly categorizing your business at Google Maps is one of the most important Local Search Ranking Factors, as I mentioned in last month’s column. There’s been a lot of chatter about business categories since then, most notably at the Local Search Summit in San Jose, during August’s Search Marketing Now webinar on Local Search, and […]

Local Marketing

A Closer Look At Local Search Ranking Factors

I am continually amazed by, and thankful for, the efforts of the Local Search Ranking Factors panelists. The survey remains one of the most visited pages on my website (right up there with my blog’s homepage) despite being static for 364 days a year. I receive weekly or even semi-weekly emails or comments thanking me […]

Local Marketing

Local Search Marketing: More Than Just Google

From marketers to Wall Street analysts to the Department of Justice, everyone (even the general public) recognizes that Google is the 800-pound gorilla in the world of search. And particularly with the introduction of the generic 10-pack to Universal results, this fact largely holds true in Local Search as well. Google Maps has pulled even with […]

Amazon

Do-It-Yourself SEO Advice For SMBs

In last week’s Small Is Beautiful column, Hanan Lifshitz posed the question “Do SMBs Still Need the Middleman to Advertise?” It’s an especially timely question, given the recent Borrell report about the number of small businesses who cancel their contracts with online advertising providers within a year. The short version of my reaction to the […]

Social Media Marketing

All Aboard The Twitter Train, SMBs!

Twitter has reached critical mass.  Oprah’s recent announcement that she’d joined Twitter, and her near-instantaneous recruitment of over 1,000,000 followers, has signaled a tipping point—tweeting is no longer a pastime exclusively for the technorati and uber-geeks.  In fact, it seems like elitist spinsters are the only demographic not to embrace it yet at some level […]

Google

Google’s Generic Local 10-Pack: Boon Or Bust For Small Business?

Last month, I moderated a fantastic session at Searchfest ’09 subtitled “Little Is the New Big.” But had our conference taken place on April 10 rather than March 10, even that ambitious tagline wouldn’t have done the panel justice. That’s because two weeks ago, Google decided to start showing 10-packs and other local results (including […]

Amazon

March Madness Strategies For Small Businesses

Some of you may know that around this time every year, I come down with a serious case of NCAA Tournament fever.  During the month of March, when people ask for my phone number, I respond “65-32-16-8-4-2-1.”  Assuming clients are able to get a hold of me somehow, all of my doodles during phone calls […]

PPC

Tips For Optimizing Your Local Business Listings, Courtesy of SMX West

In last month’s column, I highlighted the need for search marketers, search engines, and data providers to reach out to small business owners to increase their awareness of the free opportunities to claim their businesses online.  Well, the two excellent Local Search panels at SMX West, put together by Search Engine Land’s own Greg Sterling, […]

Local Marketing

SMB’s Need More “Local” Outreach

(Business owners, if you’re looking for actionable advice, skip to the end) I spoke at a local Chamber of Commerce here in the Portland area last week, giving a brief presentation on the fundamentals of SEO. Unlike a previous event I’d attended just three months ago in eastern Washington, about 75% of this audience had […]

Content Marketing

Small Businesses, Get Into the Spirit of Giving!

“‘Tis better to give than to receive.”  It’s a favorite refrain this time of year.  Cynics might call it a clever advertising ploy cooked up by retailers to encourage consumer spending, but in general it holds true that making someone else happy makes us feel good. When it comes to the World Wide Web, generosity […]

Local Marketing

A Business Idea For Joe The Plumber: HyperLocal Blogging

The 2008 election is over and so, in all likelihood, are Samuel J. Wurzelbacher’s appearances on cable news shows. Wurzelbacher, better known as Toledo’s own “Joe the Plumber,” gained national celebrity, of course, as the symbolic everyman both presidential candidates hoped to reach with their economic messages. Joe’s 15 minutes of fame are about up […]

Apple

Looking Back At “The Summer Of Local”

At the start of this summer, I wrote “it seems like Local has been rumored to be “the next big thing” in Search as many times as Cubs fans have said ‘this is the year’…2008 finally could be the year where the prediction, at least for Local, comes true.” Well, here we are in October. […]

Local Marketing

Evaluating Google’s Response To Mapspam Reports

Yesterday marked the two-month anniversary for the official “Report Spam on Google Maps” thread on the Google Maps Help Group. I thought it might be useful to review the instances of spam reported thus far, for insights into some of Google Maps’ vulnerabilities and the implications for local business owners.

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