Stephanie Hobbs


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Stephanie Hobbs's latest articles


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 […]


5 Areas That Demonstrate The Growing Potential Of Local Search

As those of you who read my column know, I believe strongly in the potential of an integrated, multi-platform approach to local search, and the importance of educating small businesses about the various advertising opportunities available to them. Small businesses today often struggle with the idea that local advertising can no longer be executed using […]


Why It’s Time For Local SMBs To Get On Board With Mobile

While attending BIA/Kelsey’s SMB Digital Marketing 2012 Conference in Chicago last month, I was surprised by the results of a recent LCM study, which showed that only 20 percent of local businesses said they have experience with mobile marketing. Small businesses today operate in a time when smartphone adoption is growing rapidly (eMarketer predicts there […]


Will The New Yahoo CEO Focus On Local Businesses?

Will Marissa Mayer’s appointment as Yahoo’s new president and CEO impact your long-term local marketing plan? The answer may very well be yes. As Google Employee No. 20, Mayer played an influential role in Google search and launched 100 well-known features and products during her tenure, ranging from image, book and product search to toolbar, […]


Start Getting Your Business Ready Now For Apple Maps, Google+ Local

The battle to dominate the local search space intensified these past few weeks as Apple and Google both announced new initiatives designed to capitalize on this rapidly growing market. The headlines – Apple introduces new Maps feature and Google Places becomes Google+ Local – sparked great interest: not only in what the moves mean for the industry, […]


Can Local Businesses Jump On The Pinterest Train?

It’s the ‘new’ social network everyone is talking about – and if you’re a local business owner, it could be a strong addition to your online marketing strategy. For the past few years, marketers have stressed the need for local businesses to leverage social networks like Facebook and Twitter to drive engagement with existing and […]


Five Key Learnings From A Local Marketing Success Story

One of our most compelling speakers at the 2012 Local Search Association annual conference was Mary Boysman, VP Brand Marketing and Advertising at Aspen Dental, a fast-growing, multi-market health care provider. Speaking to a crowd of local search leaders from around the world, Boysman described in detail how she and her team developed a comprehensive […]


Now Is The Time To Take Your Local Business Mobile

In today’s device-driven world, plotting your local business’ mobile presence isn’t just a nice add-on, it’s a necessity. Your ability to maximize your business’ visibility, ensure a great customer experience and ultimately drive new sales through smartphones all depend on you understanding the mobile landscape and laying the foundation for success. Here’s a quick guide […]


Latest Google Search Revamp Brings Opportunities For Local Businesses

Recently, Google announced (and Search Engine Land intensely covered) what is being described as the most significant revamp to date of their basic search tool. To sum it up from the start, the changes will likely provide local businesses with the ability to merge aspects of their search optimization and social media strategies into a unified […]


Five Steps To Capturing Mobile Customers In 2012

One of the top local marketing headlines this holiday season is that mobile is playing a much greater role in the average shopping experience. With a fast-growing and appealing consumer base now utilizing mobile devices throughout the purchasing process from pre- to post-sale, local businesses are taking note and investing in mobile marketing at an […]


3 Simple Steps To Get Siri & Her Friends To Talk Up Your Local Business

Like many of you, I’ve eagerly been testing out Siri, the popular new voice-activated “personal assistant” on Apple’s iPhone 4S. Whether testing her functionality to complete basic tasks like setting a calendar appointment or checking the weather – or her responses to some rather ridiculous requests like, “Siri, do you love me?” – I’m quite […]


5 Considerations In Planning Your Small Business 2012 Ad Budget

Last month, I had the opportunity to join nearly 400 leaders from major local search companies for the BIA/Kelsey DMS ‘11 conference in Denver. The annual industry event — which this year included speakers and panelists from the likes of AT&T Interactive, Eniro, Facebook, Local Matters, Microsoft Advertising, Telmetrics, Urbanspoon, Yellow Pages Group and Yellowbook […]


4 Tips For Taking Ownership Of Your Local Business’ Online Presence

David Segal’s story in The New York Times earlier this month about the virtual closing of local businesses on Google Places and the significant and negative impact it has had on some real-world businesses – is the latest warning that losing control of your business’ online presence can have a detrimental effect on your ability to […]


Improving Local Search Marketing With Dynamic Content

A few years ago, the Internet experienced a video revolution. As broadband access expanded and more people began uploading content, video became an expected resource for consumers. Businesses could get more mileage out of television commercials and engage users by linking to video reviews of its products. A year ago, we saw evidence of small […]


U.S. Census Findings Count For Local Search Marketers

Talk of the 2010 U.S. Census is heating up on the web – as local information starts to trickle out – with discussion about what national and local census figures mean for everything from politics to the Superbowl. For local search companies and marketers, the U.S. Census delivers valuable information that helps us understand who […]


5 Tips To Get Your Local Business Online In 2011

For large companies, websites have long been a staple of the marketing mix, but even today, many small businesses struggle to establish a web presence. Lack of resources or knowledge about web development can often keep a small business offline. But for small, local businesses, a website can serve as digital storefront, providing a platform […]


Businesses Must Get Proactive About Managing Their Online Reputation

What’s the value of reputation to the success of your local business? In short: it’s priceless. Reputation is, essentially, what others say about you. And for years, reputation was mostly shaped and influenced by word of mouth and through advertising in yellow pages, broadcast and print media, and direct mail. That traditional model, however, has […]


Key Takeaways From BIA/Kelsey’s DMS ’10 Conference

I just returned from BIA/Kelsey’s Directional Media Strategies 2010 Conference in Dallas, where for three days top players in the local search community discussed the future of generating leads for small and medium-sized businesses. While we all recognize that the emergence of digital and mobile opportunities is changing the fundamentals of how we market locally, […]


Why Multi-Platform Advertising Is Key In Local Business Search

In today’s digital world, local search campaigns succeed when they create integration and leverage audiences across technologies. That’s why a multi-platform approach makes the most sense for local business advertising—it realizes the benefits and opportunities available across all forms of media, whether they’re in print, online or on mobile. Sensis, an Australian Yellow Pages provider, […]


The New Local: Location Based, Social Centric & Behaviorally Targeted

We’re just weeks into 2010, and already a host of major tech, online, and mobile companies have made some exciting announcements about their latest plans for local search. In mid-January, Google’s Mobile division announced that it is upgrading its search engine on Android-powered devices and the iPhone to present results reflective of the current or […]


Local-Social Search: A Powerful Marketing Channel For Small Businesses

The courtship of social networking and local search will result in a marriage that diversifies the mix of sales tools and empowers circles of families, friends, co-workers and organizations to share experiences and opinions in the local search space. For a number of years, consumers have had a collective, powerful online voice through ratings and […]


Microhoo Changes Local Search Landscape For Small Biz

Finally, after a lengthy gestation period, Microhoo is official! In late July, Microsoft and Yahoo inked a 10-year deal that — if approved — combines the companies’ forces in an internet search alliance to make a concentrated run at Google, recognized by many as the key player in local search. The deal, which seems to […]

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Yellow Reflects on Chrome

Is the much ballyhooed Google Chrome — the new open source browser — as shiny for advertisers as it is for those testing the Microsoft beta version and commenting via online posts? Those of us in local search are sitting on the edge of our seats to find out for sure, since Google is considered […]


Next Great Thing: Bing Draws On IYP Connection

Everyone seems to be chiming in with their reviews of Microsoft’s new search engine — oops, I mean “decision engine”. Can it compete with Yahoo? Will it become a verb like Google? Why’d they name it after the Chandler character on “Friends?” I don’t know if Bing will grow legs or if it’ll get lost […]


Tapping Twitter To Talk To Your Customers

How many good conversations have you had where one person spends the entire time talking? That’s not a conversation, of course. That’s someone simply spouting off. A conversation requires dialogue, people taking turns talking and listening. The online world is no different, and we’ve reached a point where true online conversations occur all the time. […]


Local Searches Set to Flip to Mobile Phone

Given the continuing growth in the smartphone market, mobile phones are poised to become the first source people turn to when searching for local business information. Until widespread adoption of smartphones occurs, though, there will be a gap that smart businesses will seek to fill. There were some especially telling findings in comScore’s presentation, “New […]


Our Relationship To The Bottom Line

The search business is a roll-up-your-sleeves type of business. We’re continually honing the way we deliver the search experience of today while preparing for how that experience will change tomorrow. With our eyes on the road ahead, and our minds grappling with what lies around the corner, there isn’t much time to look in the […]


Lessons in Longevity From The Original Search Engine

When you’re in an industry that is based on answering consumer needs, as all local search brands are, you’re hardwired to remain relevant. After all, the granddaddy of local search, the printed Yellow Pages, is 125 years young this year, born out of necessity in 1883 when a Wyoming business directory publisher ran out of […]


Local Mobile Search Takes Center Stage As Next-Generation Format Of Yellow Pages: Industry Panel Weighs In

The importance of valuable mobile content and services is undeniable—just observe the sea of people talking, text messaging, and searching on mobile devices in nearly every personal and business setting these days. What remains to be seen, however, is which local mobile services and companies will rise to the top with the most relevant offerings […]


Welcome To The Local Search Jungle

Welcome to the jungle. As the first column from the Yellow Pages Association and the Local Search Guide, it is very exciting to join the Locals Only forum with some of the most notable local search contributors in the industry. Representing more than 150 Yellow Pages publishers, we are looking forward to sharing the internet […]

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