Google+ Local Listings Unveils Layout Update

We awoke today to an updated local listings layout from Google Upon first reaching a local page, the layout looks pretty similar, with the exception of a new panel at the top of the page featuring an image and business NAP (name, address, phone number) info. But if you scroll up, you’ll get a large […]

Ratings and Reviews – Your Largest Local Opportunity, Missed

Whether you’re in the market for a new car, a lawyer, a good meal, or a new pair of shoes, you may ask a friend or, if you’re like most people, you’ll head online to do some research. Ninety-three percent of all buyers, online or in-store, use search engines these days, according to comScore. But […]

Local Promotions – Connecting Online/Mobile Search to Offline Conversion

Who doesn’t like a good deal? Recently we have reviewed tactics to help your business or brand stick out in a truly crowded market. Let’s face it: few media types stack competitors side-by-side like search and local search. Therefore you need tactics to leverage any potential difference that gets you the click, call, and sale. […]

A Letter to Google’s Local Team: Can You Give a Brand a Break?

Dear Google Local Team: I have been kicking around the local search business for over 20 years now, 17 of them on the digital side. Each month I meet with brands and help them navigate the options for promoting themselves and their retailers via local and mobile online options. In speaking with national brands, there […]

Google Makes an “Excellent” Move by Abandoning 30 Point Scale

A few months back, Google decided to use its acquisition of Zagat data to incorporate a 30 point rating system into its Google+ Local listings. The problem, as a wise man pointed out, was that a 30 point scale isn’t really all that meaningful to most consumers. After all, what’s the real difference between a […]

If a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words, a Good Story’s Worth a Million Pictures

What is your story? I’m always on the lookout for tips and techniques that help improve my clients’ digital effectiveness. Because my firm specializes in “local,” we work tirelessly to uncover tactics and techniques to improve the position of local listings; better and more efficient bidding models for localized PPC media, and any approach to […]

Google Algorithm Changes Benefit Directory Sites at the Expense of Local Businesses

Back in May, as part of a number of designed experiments related to local search, we observed a big shift in the Google search results for a number of local service and retail queries. I documented some of the observations in May’s column: “Was the Penguin Update in Fact the Honey Badger Update?“ I hypothesized […]

Google Local Search A Giant Step Backward

Back in May we observed a big shift in the Google search results for a host of local service and retail queries. I documented some of the observations in my local search expert (designed experiment on links) column on Clickz entitled “Was the Penguin Update in Fact the Honey Badger Update?”. In effect Google’s Penguin […]

Google Ratings and Reviews – A Perfect 30?

Well I guess Google felt like it needed to leverage its purchase of Zagat last year by changing the way it captures and displays ratings and reviews. Basically Google has adopted a new 30-point rating scale for all businesses, not just restaurants, which have been Zagat’s sweet spot. Gone is the standard “5 Star” rating […]

Tablet – Big Mobile or Small Desktop Device?

The explosion of tablets provides an opportunity for marketers to target a whole new segment of users. According to a new study conducted by Online Publishers Association (OPA) and Frank N. Magid Associates, tablet adoption has reached 31 percent and is projected to be 47 percent by 2013. Today that represents a user base of […]

Was the Penguin Update in Fact the Honey Badger Update?

The industry is abuzz once again with the now commonplace Google algorithm changes. If my inbox is any indication, carpetbaggers (shady opportunists) claiming to return web page ranking to sites that were penalized in the recent algorithm shifts are flooding the market. While I could spend hours discussing how having high-quality fresh content, “real” natural […]

Finders Are Now Seekers: How Local Has Changed the Game

Over the past five years we have seen dramatic shifts in how consumers select businesses in the local marketplace. For example, as recently as 2007 the printed Yellow Pages was still the number one source of information used by consumers to select businesses. Your Sunday paper contained five pounds of coupons and promotions to sort […]

Optimizing Your Local Listing on Apple’s Siri

In Q4 2011, Apple sold 37 million iPhones to retake the coveted title of the number one smartphone, according to IDC-Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. Much of these record sales can be attributed to Apple’s iPhone 4S, with its unique voice searching capability, Siri. In October, I penned “Will Apple’s Siri Change the Voice of Local […]

Google To Report Impression Share for Ad Groups

Earlier this week, Google announced via the AdWords blog, that impression share metrics will soon be available to advertisers at an ad group level. (Previously, impression share was a metric that could only be viewed at a campaign level.) The impression share level metrics available will be overall impression share (percentage of time ads in […]

Mobile Website or Please Read the Fine Print?

I could spend the entire space of this month’s column laying out why advertisers should embrace mobile as a tactic in a full funnel marketing plan. I could pepper you with statistics like: Mobile phones are now the main source of Internet access for one-quarter of smartphone users (Pew Internet & American Life Project) The […]