Killing Google’s brand one phone call at a time

Is the solicitation of SMBs by automated robocallers a threat to Google’s advertising revenue? How can the search giant protect itself? “Today we have guaranteed free first-page positions available for your business from Google. Press one to connect to operator to get your first-page Google listing.” As a business owner, I receive an average of […]

Are you ready for Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday may be for American Express what Grandparents Day is for Hallmark, but why not take advantage of the millions of marketing dollars spent on promoting SMBs (small and mid-sized businesses) and the resulting retail groundswell on this day ? Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the first Small Business Saturday was held […]

Google Local Pack Is 233 Percent More Important

How will the recent modifications Google made to its Local Map Pack impact your local strategy? With Google’s recent reduction of Local Map Pack positions from seven to three, the importance of getting your listings optimized and into the top three positions has become much more important. Now, there are numerous articles dealing with the […]

Local Marketing – Formula for Success

I am often asked, usually at cocktail parties, “How do you create the optimum allocation for local media?” and “How much should I put towards search, display, directories, promotion, etc.?” Now, of course the answer varies for a number of reasons, including business category, competitor density, local ad cost, etc. But even with these wide […]

Hyper Locals: The Second Biggest Missed Opportunity in Local Marketing

My career in local marketing started in 1985. My first job was with an agency, Wahlstrom & Company, where we specialized in national brands that marketed their local outlets (e.g., branches, dealers, franchises, etc) in the printed Yellow Pages. Luckily, in 1994 I saw the promise of what online could offer local marketers. For the […]

Local Optimizations for the Apple Watch

Yes, I was one of the estimated 1 million people who purchased the Apple Watch on first day that pre-orders became available. Of course my purchase came from the need to study the local aspects/applications of this new wearable device and had nothing to do with the fact that I pretty much purchase anything new that […]

Amazon Goes Local With Home Services

Last week Amazon announced its entry into Home Services with more than 2 million service offerings over 700 professional service categories. The marketplace allows consumers to schedule local service professionals while providing “Happiness Guarantees,” upfront pricing, and verified reviews. Initially the platform provides coverage in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, but look for […]

Is Mobile-Friendly Good Enough?

Recently I had the great pleasure of teaching a four-hour session on local and mobile SEO at SES London. We reviewed tips and techniques for optimizing your mobile presence to improve local listing and traditional SEO positioning. As it turns out the timing could not have been better, as on February 26 Google announced that […]

3 Areas to Master in 2015 for National Brands Marketing Locally

Throughout the late summer and fall of 2014, I spoke or met with a number of national brands that market locally to get a sense of opportunity areas for 2015. Most of the issues that were common to brand advertisers centered on helping their local outlets (branches, dealers, agents, or franchises) to better leverage changes […]

What’s in Your Wallet…err Phone

In the past few months I have been reading up on the mobile payments space and contemplating how it could radically change the local/mobile marketing world. The stakes are high and the list of players looking for a piece of the pie is growing daily. Google, Apple, Square, and PayPal are just a few companies […]

Your Car Now Makes Local – Mobile

The year was 2005 and I was working with a team on the first in-car Yellow Pages to help owners of vehicles with navigation systems find local businesses. Back in ’05 there were numerous technological and scale issues that needed to be addressed. For example, navigation systems or GPS devices were generally DVD or CD-ROM […]

4 Rules to Consider When Battling the Marketing Heavyweight, Wearables

As I sit here pondering the numerous topic choices for this month’s column, I returned to my April 7 article “Local Innovation – What’s the Next Big Thing?”. The three areas of innovation I focused on were: Wearables Multi-touch Attribution Visual Search Well, recent news seems to confirm at least one of my predictions. The […]

Voice Search – and You Thought “Auto Correct” Was Bad

Voice search has been around for a few years now. So I thought we should explore how voice search has iterated over the past couple of years and what it means to marketers targeting local. As background, Apple has “Siri,” Google has “Google Now,” and Microsoft now has “Cortana” as its voice search platform. Siri […]

Google Targets Local With Latest Algorithm Update

Last month we discussed Google’s move to integrate many of its local listing elements into “Google My Business” in my column: Google My Business – A Step Forward or Lipstick on a Pig? One month later, the single-location small business business platform seems to be working well. However, legacy accounts with multiple locations have not all […]

Google My Business – A Step Forward or Lipstick on a Pig?

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced their latest local marketing platform changes to help local business “get on Google”; they call it “Google My Business.” For businesses and brands that have used Google Places or Google+ Pages, you will see your listing(s) have been integrated across Google Search, Maps, and Google+. Note: Since most […]

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