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 […]

PCs, Tablets, and Mobile Phones Each Play a Different Role in Local Search

According to the seventh annual 15miles/Neustar Localeze Local Search Usage Study conducted by comScore, the device that a consumer utilizes can often signal which usage mode that consumer is in when conducting a local search. Understanding this relationship can help marketers better align their content and messaging to leverage the specific purchase stage the customer is […]

Local Misdirection – Would You Give a Customer a Wrong Address?

The logical answer is of course “no.” However, in practice many large brands do this continually by allowing bad and incomplete data on their locations to exist on the numerous local search sites. A core reason this continues to happen is often due to structural issues within the brand’s marketing organization. It is not unusual […]

Local Innovation – What’s the Next Big Thing?

Chapter one of local was centered on business listings’ identity and ensuring that consumers seeking businesses could simply find them. Interestingly, this behavior is very similar to the early days of portal-based Internet search, where consumers used resources to “find” information, pricing, availability, etc. of items that they already knew about. This is fundamentally the […]

When Is a 4-Star Rating Better Than a 5-Star Rating?

The answer? “Almost always.” The reason is simple; consumers do not expect a business to be perfect. In fact, oftentimes consumers are skeptical of a business with one or two 5-star ratings versus a second merchant that has a well-developed amount of reviews (more than five) with varying scores. The key the consumer is looking […]

Facebook “Can’t Buy Me Love” – Now “Likes” on the Other Hand…

Three years ago in my article “SMB Social Analysis – Can Money Buy You Friends?,” I conducted a designed experiment to test the effectiveness of paying to expand a local businesses’ social community. I plopped down $197 for a promised 1,000 new Likes, which were supposed to materialize in 30 days. Well, let’s just say […]

Local Marketing Checklist

It has been a few years since I put together a recommended Integrated Local Marketing Checklist. In fact, the last one I published was SMB Must-Haves 2011. Ironically, many of the same issues are still important to both SMBs and national brands seeking to market locally. However, the way with which I look at integration […]

Dear Santa: A Google Wishlist for Local Marketers

Dear Santa, Now I know it’s not even Thanksgiving and you’re really busy trying to fix, to give the U.S. population an early Christmas gift. However, I would like you to consider this national advertisers’ short list of wishes for Local Search in the coming year. It’s about time Google unified platforms and invested […]

Will Recent Google Updates Help or Hurt Your Holiday Marketing Plans?

Having your local and mobile plans optimized this holiday season takes on even greater importance with a few of the shifts that Google has introduced into the search landscape. Enhanced Campaigns On July 22nd, Google rolled Enhanced Campaigns into their Adwords product. This may be greatly over simplifying, but basically, enhanced campaigns allowed Google to […]

Counting Offline Conversions from Online Advertising, Made Easy

Sorry, you have just fallen prey to “Article Link Bait”; there is no easy way at counting online advertising’s impact on offline conversions. Simply put, it’s hard work. Why is Getting Attribution So Important? I am always astounded when I talk to an e-business manager/director and they state, “We do not care how many sales […]

The Future of Local

With SES San Francisco right around the corner (September 10 to 13), I started thinking about the panel I will be speaking on, “The Future of Local Search: 5 Layers of Local.” All too often we get caught up reacting to the latest changes Google, Yahoo, and Bing throw at marketers as we race to […]

Where Will Google’s Local Carousel Go to Next?

In the past month, Google introduced a new way to present what has commonly been referred to as the “Local Pack” or “7 Pack” of local search results. This new presentation is called the Google Carousel. The carousel creates a row of images at the very top of local search results, making a very visually […]

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