Industry News

Local Businesses Need To Expand & Refine Advertising Approach (July 2, 2013)

Search Engine Land: “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. 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 usage of a variety of online and offline media for finding local business information, including new sources such as Daily Deals and Ratings & Review Sites.”

8 Keys To A Successful Local Business Website (May 28, 2013)

Search Engine Land: “A company website is the core of most local businesses’ online presence. In fact, more than half of all SMB online marketing service dollars are spent on the Web presence category, including Web design and hosting, according to a Borrell Associates study released late last year. Yet, despite its central role, the vast majority of SMBs continue to struggle in developing a site that can be easily found in search and that provides the information, engagement and trust that consumers are looking for . . .1. Make Contact Information Visible & Consistent . . . 2. Get The Conversation Going With Live Chat & Contact Forms . . .3. Design An Appealing, Easy-To-Use Interface . . . 4. Use Defining & Searchable Keywords On The Front & Backend . . . 5. Activate Your Page With Regularly Updated Content . . . 6. Feature Your Social Media Channels To Spark Engagement . . . 7. Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly . . . 8. Track results!”

5 Mobile Marketing ‘Musts’ for SMBs (May 22, 2013)

Street Fight: “As more consumers look to their smartphones to engage with business locally, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to lay out a concise mobile marketing strategy. In a Street Fight webinar Tuesday sponsored by YP, Asif Khan of the Location-based Marketing Association, and YP’s David Williams discussed the trends that make mobile a must for SMBs, and highlighted a handful of first steps that local businesses can take to keep up with their smartphone-wielding customers. ‘As we talk to SMBs, mobile is both a top of area of interest and an acute point of concern for business owners,’ said Williams . . . 1) Show up . . . 2) Accuracy is paramount . . . 3) listings first, mobile sites second . . . 4) Optimize the other channels, too . . . 5) Think about your target audience.”

Study: National Brands Miss 86% of Local Feedback (April 2, 2013)

Street Fight: “Ever tweet a complaint about the endless line at your local Walgreen’s? Don’t expect a quick fix because there’s a good chance it went unheard. That’s because national brands miss 86% of the local consumer feedback published through social networks, according to a new study by VenueLabs, which provides local analytics for large companies. The numbers reflect the marked growth in consumer interaction with national brands at a local level, and the increasing opportunity for hyperlocal companies to build services to help enterprise access the opportunity. The study (which should be taken with a grain of salt give the company’s place in the market) showed that big brands like Best Buy, Qdoba, BP, and KMart are missing upwards of 90% of the feedback published by consumers. These comments typically do not include an explicit mention of the company’s name but have an implicit reference to the brand’s location through an attached check-in or geo-tagged post.”

Google Upgrades Its Google Places Dashboard With Google+ Local Integration (April 2, 2013)

Search Engine Land: “Google has begun a staged upgrade of its Google Places Dashboard — the backend tool that allows local businesses to manage their business information that appears in Google’s search results. A new dashboard that looks much more like the current Google (and Google+) aesthetic, and also offers some new functionality, will be available ‘over the coming weeks.’ It’s the latest step in Google’s (very) slow process of updating its business listings management from Google Places to Google+ Local. The consumer side of that switch happened last May, when Google’s local search results and listings became Google+ Local. But local business owners have been dealing with a messy combination of Google+ and Google Places when managing their business data.

Mobile Growth Highlights Importance Of Comprehensive Local Strategy (April 1, 2013)

Search Engine Land (LSA Article): “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. Before exploring the latest trends in local mobile engagement specifically, it’s valuable to recognize the rapid growth of mobile and other connected devices and their impact on how consumers are accessing the Internet.”

20+ Signals That Make Your Business Easier To Find In Local Search Engines (February 18, 2013)

Search Engine Land: “While we usually talk about how to rank well in Google, there are plenty of non-Google local search engines such as Yelp,, CityGrid, etc. that have a significant amount of highly-qualified consumer search traffic. Each of these sites has its own proprietary search algorithms. It may make sense to study the algorithms of the biggest; but, in general, there are a number of standard basic ways to provide data about your business that can influence how you rank in any local search engine. Relevancy Signals are signals that tend to be directly related to the phrases input into a search interface. These may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised (or not) how many businesses get these wrong: Business Name . . . Business Category . . . Business Description & Keywords . . . Business Services . . . Association with a National or Regional Chain.”

Evolution Of Display Ad Strategies For Mobile Monetization (February 14, 2013)

Marketing Land: “There was a time when the worlds of search and display advertising were completely separate, given the emphasis on click-driven search ads versus branding-focused display ads. Then mobile happened — consumers shifted from desktops to smartphones and tablets as their primary “action” devices for researching and making purchases, which brought a whole new set of preferences, timing and behaviors. Not to mention a huge change in how mobile consumers now interact with ads. The result: search and display advertising are now overlapping, leaving marketers trying to make sense of converging mobile ad platforms and what that means for driving targeted, qualified leads with limited screen real estate. Mobile display has been predicted to grow rapidly, but it must evolve and learn from the search world’s success. Together, the two can expand together to ultimately drive a boost in overall mobile ad spending and monetization.”

Local Search Optimization – Best Practices (February 7, 2013) “According to Google, one third of all searchers today have local intent and they are finding businesses that are optimized for local search. What is local intent you ask? Well it’s as simple as someone looking for a deli sandwich in Yountville or a vet in Sonoma. Furthermore, 50% of smartphone users actually visit those businesses after searching for the information. So guess what, customers are most engaged and likely to make a purchase from your business when they are looking to act.

An SMB guide to dominating local search in 2013 (February 7, 2013)

PPC Associates: “Local Search is a kind of Holy Grail for small businesses with local brick-and-mortar locations. You should have a business website, of course, but even if you don’t, you can’t ignore the internet completely, since it’s how more and more people are finding what they need. This post will explain why you need to optimize your Local Search campaign and the simple steps that can get you more traffic — both online and in your store.

Misconceptions SMBs Have About Mobile Advertising (February 5, 2013)

Street Fight: “Even as small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly warming to digital marketing, questions and misinformation persist about how mobile campaigns reach local consumers and influence their behavior. Studies may show people on the go engaging with mobile ads and converting into customers at high rates, but many local business owners still carry a certain skepticism about mobile as the latest ‘next big thing.’ We asked a few folks who work in the mobile sphere to give us a taste of the kind of concerns about mobile ads that they’re hearing in the field from SMBs. Here are five misconceptions — and the clarifications . . . 1. Their online presence can’t translate into mobile . . . 2. Mobile campaigns are too complicated and expensive . . . 3. Mobile and desktop behavior is the same . . . 4. They need highly targeted mobile ads . . . 5. They think mobile is just for offers and are missing other ways to use it.”