Local Search

Chris Warden

Your Guide to Local SEO 2013

"What is Local SEO? Why is it important? What can it do for my business?" This guide will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Analytics and Tracking"

"What is Local SEO? How do register analytics? How do I track my traffic sources? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors.......

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Citations & Linking"

"What is Local SEO? How do use "links" to my advantage? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Rank Factors: Review Sites"

"What is Local SEO? How do "reviews" influence my ranking? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Rank Factors: Places Listing and Social Media"

"What is Local SEO? What factors influence my ranking? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Optimization and Understanding Your Users"

"Optimization?" "Understanding the Habits of Your Users?" Part Two of Chris Warden's series "Local SEO" will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Chris Warden

Local SEO - "Why is it important?"

"What is Local SEO? Why is it important? What can it do for my business?" This series will provide you with steps and knowledge you can use to improve the visibility of your business with local traffic. Get yourself started in this fast-growing field and make yourself more recognizable than your competitors....

Jayson DeMers

5 Ways to Use Census Data to Improve Local SEO

When SEO goes local, there are a few new rules that savvy webmasters need to follow. The good news is that census data is readily available and can provide a lot of information to customize and tweak SEO. Along with big data that's available for a reasonable fee (or free), it's important to use the information that's available to maximize search engine results. Here are 5 easy ways to put census data to work....

Dave Cosper

Google+ Local: Competing for Visibility

Google's shift to Google+ Local has been indicative of a more democratized local algorithm. Further evidence is Google Map Maker being increasingly relied on as the back-end for Google+ Local. Looking ahead, edits/updates/reporting will likely be wholly integrated into Google+ Local dashboard with Map Maker serving as the back-end "mapper-driven" verification tool....

Dave Cosper

Writing Google Places Reviews to Improve Rankings

A business owner recently asked me how to go about building positive reviews in a way that would "optimize" their Google Maps listing. This is about as provocative a topic as it gets in the Local Search community, I know, but it's also an unavoidable subject worth addressing. Search marketers ponder the same "How To" question, if for nothing else to try and understand every aspect of local search ranking factors and translate this to practical advice for SMB's....

Miriam Ellis

Your Local SEO Checklist For 2012!

Be a woman or man with a plan for Local in 2012 with these 10 sensible, empowering tips!...

Dave Cosper

Google Places Reviews: Getting Offline Online

For most business categories, Google uses customer reviews as a critical metric, among other things, to influence how listings rank in Maps -- essentially determining how locally "prominent" the business is. There is also rising importance of Google's own Places reviews as a ranking factor. Coincidentally, as review citations from third party sites have recently become less visibly significant. The challenge is putting in place a practical system that works; turning your offline customer interactions into online evangelism with as little friction as possible. Enter QR Codes....

Miriam Ellis

Google Reviews As Political Battleground

An Alabama deli owner faces an onslaught of online hate reviews. Where should review portals stand on this issue? Where do you stand?...

Miriam Ellis

Google Local Gallops Away From Feudalism, Offers Fixes

It's not a Harlequin romance novel nor even a better class of historical fiction. Google really is running away from the castle with their new Places contact form!...

Mike Moran

Why Zagat might be a smarter purchase for Google than Yelp

By now you've heard the news that Google has purchased Zagat Reviews. For those of you who aren't familiar with Zagat, it has a worldwide set of reviews that travelers have relied on for decades to choose the right restaurant.  Google famously flamed out in its bid to buy Yelp in 2009, and has finally added the restaurant reviews it has craved. Not everyone thinks that Zagat was a worthy relacement for Yelp. One wag was quoted in TechCrunch as saying, "If you were losing to Wikipedia would your next move be to buy Encyclopedia Britannica?"...

Miriam Ellis

Nuking Local Competitors A Dirty, Rotten Trick

Things have just reached a new level of low with the idea of reporting your competitors' businesses as closed....

Miriam Ellis

Local And Social Require Heart - Does Google Qualify?

Does Google, the tin man of the Internet, with its algo-centric, data-centric mindset really fit into the Local/Social picture?...

Miriam Ellis

Cracks In Google's HotPot And The Ethics Of Beta Local

I would contend that Google stepped out of a beta-friendly world when they stepped into Local and I woke up this morning to news that confirms my feelings on this....

Mike Moran

Local Search isn't always so local

I've been spending a lot of time recently looking at local search, and discussing its importance with dozens of small businesses at the events I speak at. One discussion keeps coming up that I believe is terribly misguided. Small businesses think that their only competition in local search will come from other small businesses. So, as long as they stay ahead of their local competition, they are fine. I don't believe that viewpoint will turn out to be correct in the end....

Miriam Ellis

Drawing Local Lines In The Sand For Clients In 2011

Defining 3 types of Local SEO clients and the most powerful areas in which you can steer them away from spammy practices towards positive actions that benefit whole communities....

Miriam Ellis

New Integrated Google Local A Game Changer

You may not be seeing it in Firefox yet, but fire up your Google Chrome browser, and you'd better be sitting down for this one because the new integrated Google Local results are dizzyingly different and ready to rock the SERPs. My Canuck friends to the North aren't seeing this yet, and the rollout isn't complete in all browsers in the USA, but the implications of this totally new layout, if set in stone, are going to effect every local business on the map....

Mike Moran

Do online reviews matter to your existing customers?

This is an easy question, right? I know I thought so. Sure, small businesses (or any size business) must be vigilant about all posted customer reviews, because they are the first impression that a potential new customer gets of your business. But existing customers? They already know you and they have chosen you. Surely your online reviews don't matter to them. Yeah, well, that is what I thought, too, until a friend of mine related a story that taught me otherwise....

Miriam Ellis

Warning: Beware New Breed Of Extortion In Google Maps

Google should be issuing a mass warning right now, but in lieu of that, I'm going to. If your business is listed in Google Maps or you are simply a Maps user, do yourself a huge favor and read this post. Just when you thought tactics couldn't get any slimier on the dark side of Local, they have....

Sage Lewis

Google Places - Do You Know This Place?

If you aren't familiar with Google Places please watch this video. It's growing and could be significantly affecting your business without your knowing....

Miriam Ellis

Don't Hang Up! Google Really Phoning Local Businesses.

Did you think that phone call from a supposed Google rep was yet another annoying telemarketing pitch? Not so! Google really may be calling you....

Miriam Ellis

The Local Business Owner Who Would Not Be Mollified

I couldn't help him. After 45 seconds of conversation with a local business owner who phoned me out of the blue, his voice literally quivering with rage, I knew my words could bring scant balm to his personal inferno of a Gilead in which the negative review had been left and the whole world, he was sure, was laughing at him......

Miriam Ellis

How To Report A Google Maps Problem

Is your business listed incorrectly in Google Maps? Is your town location being shown inside a lake? Got a problem with Google Maps data? This article will show you what to do to report a Maps error to Google....

Dave Cosper

Google Places Now Allows Custom Links to be Displayed in Profiles

Google has begun to allow custom links to be added to a business's profile in Google Places. Up until now, only a single website link was permitted. Google's initial stance was this single link provided should be the best online representation of that company....

Miriam Ellis

Should Your Hyperlocal Blog Muckrake?

Today, someone like you can tell the truth that you know, with the click of a button. The hyperlocal blog presents a unique opportunity to highlight serious local concerns, but what place does muckraking have in this new world? Is it a good idea or not?...

Miriam Ellis

Eight Little Gripes With Google Maps

Is there a table, a shelf, a corner of your house that starts out bare and clean, but over time, you begin setting this and that on it without much thought? Some mail, old newspapers, a rain hat, a screwdriver, a bracelet, a dog toy...Suddenly you look at this area one day and say,"Hey, that's a whole lot of junk. That's a mess." When it was one little thing or two little things, it was no big deal, but when those little odds and ends start adding up, you wind up with a big, messy pile. That's the way...

Dave Cosper

Optimizing Your Business Listing for Local Search Supremacy

SMB's have just two meaningful representations in the local search space: a website and a business listing. If there was a Layman's equation for Google's local search algorithm, it would perhaps look something like this: Ranking = Location + Information + Corroboration + Input + X....

Miriam Ellis

The Yelp BBQ And The Crummy Chiropractic Scheme

If you zoom in and out of the local sphere, here's a summary of what I've found to be the most interesting Local developments, of late. We've got a marketer inciting riotous and foolhardy behavior in chiropractors, Yelp continuing to be turned on a slow spit over a growing fire, and two very interesting series of articles running for your Local reading pleasure....

Miriam Ellis

Poor Logic: Letting Your Competitors Hold You Back

Are you running with the pack or setting the pace in your race on the web? An anecdote about being too easily satisfied in a badly neglected industry....

Mike Moran

Why Marketers Don't Need to Care About the iPad

It's hard to look up without reading about the iPad. I am sure that it is a wonderful device. And I know nothing about it that you can't read and see in all the usual places. But if you are wondering what you need to know about it for your business, the answer is probably "nothing." And that is a good thing....

Miriam Ellis

24 Hours With Google's Nexus One

A non-techy perspective on my day one with the Nexus One. Thinking of buying your first smart phone for the benefit of your small business? This article is for you!...

Mike Moran

Does Your Small Business Think Local?

For a long time, small businesses struggled with search marketing, because to succeed, they had to specialize, rather than being all things to all people in a local area. That's still good advice, but changes in how people use search (and in how search engines work) are suddenly making your location every bit as important as your specialty, at least for some businesses....

Jennifer Laycock

Google Local Business Listings are Being Hijacked Again

It's happened before and it will probably happen again. Nearly a year after local search gurus reported on a major hijacking problem with Google Local Business listings, reports are popping up all over again about a fresh crop of hijacked listings.

Jeff Howard

Creating Good Localized Copy, Without Much Hassle

This is short and sweet local SEO tip and one that can be completed at almost zero cost. Over the past few weeks I've been working with a website that interfaces with a lot wedding vendors, service oriented businesses like florist, photographers, reception halls, DJs. All of these businesses compete locally, and most websites have a number of different pages describing the services offered as well as the experience level of the provider. While reviewing hundreds of these websites I've picked up on a common missed SEO opportunity. That is a majority of the website copy does not include localized...

Miriam Ellis

Google Shoves Their Liaisons Off Maps

Google's newest policy change has done more to offend and distance the very people who act as the intro into Google Maps than any other I can recall. Google has decided to stop showing local results for Web Designers, SEOs and advertisers in North America and the UK....

Miriam Ellis

Landmark Local Categories List

Talk about Happy Holidays and the spirit of giving! Mike Blumenthal has just published the very first Complete Google LBC Category List we've ever seen. This is the gift Local SEOs and local-focused business owners have been waiting for and it vastly simplifies the process of picking the right categories for a given business - something you can't afford to make a mistake about!...

Christian Arno

Cultural Customization: Localization and Keywords for International Markets

English may still be the dominant language in terms of content on the Web, but the majority of the world's internet users' first language isn't English. And this disparity creates a rather lucrative opportunity for those seeking to enter new markets: the competition for key search terms is much less on the non-English language internet, therefore it's possible to achieve high search engine rankings far easier than in English....

Jeff Howard

8 Local Search Case Studies

These eight case studies with stats to back them up help reaffirm confidence that local search is a viable option for many types of businesses. Learn how a Horse Stable, Jeweler, Nursery School, Local Bank, Car Wash, Orthodontics, Tanning Salon, and Insurance Company have all used local search to drive leads and grow their business....

Jeff Howard

6 Common Google Maps Problems & the Solutions

Google is paving the way for small business owners to take a proactive approach toward online marketing. For lots of folks seeking better local exposure claiming their business at the Google Local Business Center is their first step into the realm of search marketing. But, it's not always smooth sailing. The maps system has bugs, limitations, and can sometimes misrepresent a business causing a steady decline in leads. Here are 6 common mishaps straight from the Goolge Maps help forum....

Jeff Howard

When Should I Build a New Website & Invest In SEO

The Holidays are no further than one week away, and on the other side of everyone going bonkers is a new year. Chances are at this juncture new budgets will be set, taxes paid, and 2010 business goals established. If you're on the fence about SEO, or whether or not to build a new website here are objective methods packed into two PDF guides that can assist in the decision making process....

Jeff Howard

The 3 Variables of Google Local Search

Sometimes organic search seems straight forward, type in a keyword and returned is a list of 10 recommended websites. Of course, getting to the top isn't so simple, but the notion that once you arrive at the top, traffic will ensue is a hypothesis hard to deny. Local search results don't play into this scheme. They have variables such as size of the map, and definition of a region's center that combine with trust, a citation, or sometimes what I call "sureness factors" to determine what businesses should be recommended. This post isn't a blueprint for better local rankings, but...

Jeff Howard

Going Down The Long Tail of Local Search

As the growth of local search continues, companies who serve large regions by remote service, warehouses, or otherwise should not feel disadvantaged from an obscure physical address. These companies can naturally optimize across a region by discovering how searches for niche areas occur within a larger region. Because so many searches are now localized a long tail of local phrases are emerging within major metropolitan areas. By drilling down for the names of towns, neighborhoods, municipalities, counties, and zip codes that receive search volume businesses serving larger regions can take the long tail approach to incremental increases in local search...

Miriam Ellis

Google Maps Place Pages Widen Local Horizons

If you've not visited Maps in the last couple of days, you are in for a surprise! Google has just rolled out a whole new user interface which they've dubbed Place Pages. If you're into Local SEO or are running a local business, it's time to check this new UI out!...

Miriam Ellis

Top Dog IYPs And Bad Dog Google LBC

While Internet Yellow Pages fight for top spots in the SERPs, Local Search Marketers continue their love-hate relationship with Google's omnipotent position in the Local world. Andrew Shotland and Matt McGee tell it like it is. If you're into Local, tune into this!...

David Carberry

Papa John's Needs a Better Online Ingredient!

In Papa John's latest press stunt they were in Chicago setting a world record for the world's highest pizza delivery. This is truly a great promotion. They have blended radio appearances, press releases, a well crafted television campaign, @PJsidekicks tweet their upcoming locations, and a great story that is on every Papa John's Box Top. Papa John's is out and about, but they are missing a key online marketing ingredient... LOCAL MARKETING!...

Miriam Ellis

How To Claim Your Google Maps Listing

Sometimes, I get ahead of myself when I'm answering questions and in this case, I forgot for a moment that such a huge number of the business listings that make up Google's local index are still unclaimed. Let's get down to basics with this article. If you've been mystified by the verification process, read on!...

Paul Jahn

Google Maps Listings Now Include a Reporting Dashboard

Google definitely did a cool thing a couple days ago. They now offer a reporting dashboard for your local business listings. It's slick, intuitive and can even help local business owners jump on great opportunities.

Miriam Ellis

Two Bits Of Local Search News

This week in Local Search, Google has made a small change to the pin number process in the Local Business Center which will slightly alter the way SEOs need to manage assisting clients with the all-important verification process. And, just today, Google has added a new favoriting feature to Maps....

Sage Lewis

New Local Results In Google

Google is now looking at IP addresses of searchers and putting in local results even if you didn't put in a geographic modifier....

Miriam Ellis

Google Local Gobbles SERPs

Google's latest move brings Local to the forefront of the search experience, for searchers and marketers alike. This is a game changer....

Miriam Ellis

Cultivating Local Needs For Business Profit

Observation is the key skill you need to succeed with a local-focused business, and with the promotional tools the web provides, there has never been a better time to begin cultivating local needs for the benefit of your community and your business....

Scott Allen

Search Engine Strategies New York - Search on a Dime

Live blogging coverage of the SES NY session: "Search on a Dime".

Miriam Ellis

Google's K-Pack Rocks Local

Google Maps gets sprinkled with thousands of little red dots - you get tons of new local business choices with the amazing new K-Pack!...

Miriam Ellis

The Latest In Local Search - SMX West And More

With SMX West, the SEMMYs and big news in the mapping world, my friends and colleagues in Local have been busy this past week. Keep apace with the latest in Local Search by taking a gander at these informative and important articles....

Mike Moran

Does cleaning out cookies stop personalization?

Many marketers are asking me about personalized marketing, which you should expect to see more and more of in the next few years. We've already seen behavioral targeting in display ads and personalized search, and we'll see more personalized advertising emerge. But are we marketers just assuming that users will allow all this personalized marketing in? What if they clean their cookies regularly? Will that prevent those users from being exposed to personalized ads?...

David Wallace

New Service For Small Businesses Launches - GetListed.org

Officially launched on January 20th, 2009, GetListed.org is a fantastic new resource for small business owners that will help them learn more about the way their business is listed online. The main goal of GetListed.org is "to help small businesses claim and enhance their listings at major search engines."...

Miriam Ellis

GetListed or Weep!

In a Local climate where failure to claim your business listings can result in competitive hijacking, loss of income and damaging misrepresentation, there is no time to lose in getting listed and getting listed right. Sexton and Mihm have just made this vital task incredibly elegant and oh-so-easy with what I believe is the most noteworthy tool yet created for the Local Search industry....

Miriam Ellis

Why Wikipedia Accuracy Won't Cut It For Google Local

Almost everyone with an interest in Local Search is trying to get a message through to the large minds at Google, in a variety of ways. The message concerns the real-life effects of inaccurate data in Google's One Box, 10-pack and Maps on the public. While a major percentage of Internet users have grown to trust the Google brand and will take Google's local data at face value, few will understand that Google views its own local applications as a wiki, community project. Let me explain why this is seriously problematic....

Miriam Ellis

User Reviews As Local Activism

Discover how clearly written user reviews give you the power to shape your local economy. This article provides specific instructions for styling your reviews powerfully and describes the real-life incentives for doing so....

Miriam Ellis

Google's Local Migraine

Listen up and you'll hear the cries and groans of citizens everywhere as they interact with Google's Local entity and come away bruised and confused. What happens when you release a demi-god product into civilization, with the power to change common people's daily lives in terms of their earnings, their activities and the use of their time, and then you fail to back up that super power with adequate support? The past few weeks on the Local scene give a bird's-eye-view answer to that question....

Jackie Baker

Local Search With Matt McGee - SBM Unleashed

The days of flipping through a big fat yellow book to find a local business are quickly coming to a close. After all, why settle for a simple phone number when an online search can also net you menus, pricing, hours and consumer reviews? In this workshop, Matt walked attendees through the most popular local search engines and will show you the best ways to leverage them to promote your business online....

Manoj Jasra

5 Minutes and 4 Questions with Yodle's CEO

Lots of big news coming from Yodle this past week including a report of a 700% year over year increase in revenue and the addition of some experienced veterans Yodle's leadership. I got a chance to catch up with Yodle CEO, Court Cunningham to get his insight on some of the latest news....

Manoj Jasra

Interview: Peter Hutto of Local.com

This past week I had the chance to catch up with Peter Hutto, Vice President, Business Development and Sales at Local.com to get some insight on his session regarding Local 2.0 at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose....

Miriam Ellis

Why Local Search Is Where It's At

If David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors left you longing for more local fare, Mike Blumenthal takes the cake by Cracking Google's Local Algo. Visit Mike's site for the presentation he just gave at SMX Local, and stay tuned there for a more in-depth report on our findings....

Miriam Ellis

Google Street View - Not Illegal, Maybe Antisocial

As a Local Search practitioner, I'm a big fan of Google Maps and the brilliant technology behind it. I interact with Maps daily and am always excited when they roll out some new tool or application that makes their index of information about local businesses more thorough or useful. But seeing Google Maps' newest offering, Street View, didn't make me feel excited. It made me feel...ticked....

Todd Mintz

Local SEO Hero: An Interview With David Mihm

David Mihm is one of the top experts in the ever-growing specialty of Local Search Optimization and he focuses his consultancy on helping small business clients generate online revenue in their respective marketplaces. His Mihmorandum blog is a "mandatory add" to the feedreader of anybody remotely interested in the Local SEO niche....

Paul Jahn

Local Search Interview with Hanan Lifshitz, CEO of Palore

It was just over a year ago when I chatted with Hanan Lifshitz of Palore for the first time. We've spoken a number of times since then, and he and the Palore team have done some great things in providing local business data. I'm very happy that Hanan has agreed to do an online interview.

Sage Lewis

Mihm, Matt, Money and Reviews

Local search walks away with two categories this week with continued praise for David Mihm's "Local Search Ranking Factors" article, and Local.com increases communication on its site by adding user reviews and ratings. USA Today featured Google's Matt Cutts as he shares five tips on how to help your website succeed in the search engines. And, the SEMPO survey says. . . the SEM industry exceeded its projected $11.5 billion spending with and actual spending of $12.2 billion in 2007!...

Sage Lewis

The Definitive Local Search Rankings Document

David Mihm steals top honors this week with his article "Local Search Rankings Factors." Sage refers to the post as the definitive local search document, thus far. David picks the brains of the top 20 local search experts to help determine what the most important factors are for local search. He created a scale of negative five to positive five that he uses to rank topics on how important they are to impacting your rankings. With a total of 47 different criteria listed, David not only tells you how the experts ranked them, but he also tells you how much...

Jennifer Laycock

Simple Advice, Better Local Search

Sometimes it's the really simple advice that can have the most impact on how you do business. That's the basis of Tim's advice over at Convert Offline this week. Tim harkens back to his Yellow Pages days and offers up some great suggestions on building a better local search presence. Now some people might find it odd to learn SEO lessons from something as old school as the Yellow Pages, but Tim offers up some good advice on improving your site.

Scott Buresh

Local Search Engine Optimization - Revisited

Roughly a year ago, local search engine optimization was all the rage - the new frontier in search engine marketing. For a while, it seemed that everyone was interested in the local search angle - even multi-national companies. However, for many companies selling products or services to the entire United States, or even globally, it seemed like a non-starter.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Content Is Key To Attracting Customers

Today we begin the first installment of a weekly site clinic column, where small businesses are invited to submit their websites for review. Can't beat a little free advice, right? I'll be looking at the design, copy, usability, SEO, marketing, and any technical issues that may prevent websites from drawing loyal, active visitors and meeting goals. Each week, I'll give the top five issues the website owner/manager can address to significantly improve performance. ...

David Wallace

SBM Unleashed: Local Search Workshop

The days of flipping through a big fat yellow book to find a local business are quickly coming to a close. After all, why settle for a simple phone number when an online search can also net you menus, pricing, hours and consumer reviews? In this workshop, Matt McGee, SEO Manager at Marchex will walk attendees through the most popular local search engines and will show you the best ways to leverage them to promote your business online....

Jennifer Laycock

Missed the Early Bird Price on Unleashed? No Worries!

No doubt some of you looked at your calendars last week and realized you'd missed the $850 early bird price for our upcoming Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston. Don't sweat it, we've got you covered. We've spent the last six months building the perfect conference for you. We know how busy you are. Do you think we'd let you miss out on this great show just because you forget to set an alert on your calendar?

Sage Lewis

Video: A Pallet of Soda, 54 rolls of Toilet Paper, & Sam's Club SEO

Scott Buresh receives top honors this week with his article "Sam's Club Wants to Be Your Search Engine Optimization Company-Should You Let It?". He explains that Sam's Club is partnering with a company called Innuity to provide small businesses with access to a dashboard that submits their sites to local search engines, all for only $25! Scott's concern is that customers will feel they are getting the whole SEO package when really it's just a small piece of it, but he does acknowledge the possibility of the affiliation increasing validity for the SEO world....

Scott Buresh

Sam's Club Wants to Be Your Search Engine Optimization Company - Should You Let It?

If the buzz is to be believed, Sam's Club is now a search engine optimization company that is targeting the local search market aggressively. The fact is, this isn't something new; it's just recently come to the forefront. Sam's Club has partnered with a company called Innuity to offer a program that is primarily targeted at small businesses looking to get noticed in the local search results....

Jennifer Laycock

As Google Maps Grows, is Your Business Being Left Behind?

Matt McGee offers up a post over at Small Business SEM that makes it pretty clear Google Maps is on the way up in terms of usage. Despite my love of Yelp for local reviews, I find myself turning to Google Maps more and more often for brick and mortar business info. It's the integrated option on my iPhone and the simple navigation on the web version of the site let's me find specific types of stores near certain locations.

Miriam Ellis

34 Google Local Maps Sources For Hospitality Industry Reviews

Today, I sat down and looked at approximately 1000 reviews listed in Google Maps for hospitality industry businesses. The following is the list of sources I found Google currently pulling this data from, in addition to their own Google Reviews source.

Sage Lewis

Video: Making It Personal, Ask if Google Cares

This week's "In the News" video talks about advancements that companies like Southwest airlines and Ask.com are making to enhance personal touches for their uses; Southwest is adding internet access on some of their planes, and Ask is now offering customized skins on their search tools. Also, Google expands its local search results, making more options available to users but SEO harder for other sites.

Paul Jahn

Back to the Local Search Engines: Google Maps and Yahoo Local

Since Google's been showing up to ten local results within their natural listings lately, it seems like a good idea to get back to the local search engines. They're now more visible than ever and are not going away. The search engines don't say (nor should they) how to get top local listings, and here are some basic steps and ideas to benefit from Google Maps and Yahoo Local listings.

Paul Jahn

Google Local (Maps) Listings... and Listings... and More Listings

Thanks to Clint from ThinkSEM for pointing this out to me - Google is showing (at least today) up to ten local listings within their natural results. I'll use the standard "pizza" local search query, but this applies across many industries.

Sage Lewis

Video: Ask Listens and Wikia Launches

Sage uncovers the pros and cons of Ask's new voice activated mobile device for driving directions and Wikia's new search engine launch. With ease of usability is a concern for both releases, Sage extols the virtues of a free Internet design "Best Practices" report found on Matt Bailey's accessibility website.

Sage Lewis

Video: Flipping the 80/20 Business Rule

The business landscape is changing and the longtail-esque small business is gaining power.

Patrick Schaber

AdWords Local PlusBox A Great Addition

The announcement of the new Local PlusBox by Google Adwords which places geographical information in the top paid search location changes the PPC strategy for those using more local targeting. The new expandable feature allows advertisers to bid to the top spot in an effort to have the opportunity to display such valuable information as a map, address, driving instructions, and phone number, in addition to the location name that appears beneath the last line of ad.

Sage Lewis

Video: Sage Lewis Tells Us What's In the News - Monday, November 12

Radiohead moves should open your eyes to possible changes in other industries. Verizon debuts Web 2.0 marketing campaign. AOL acquires Quigo for $300 million. Google at your gas pump. Tapping into social networks.

Paul Jahn

Entering a Zvents Event

A couple nights ago I posted a random question on Facebook and noticed that Paul O'Brien from Zvents joined the "Local Search Central" group. I haven't had a chance to use Zvents yet, but then thought of a quick trip coming up.

Patrick Schaber

A Universal Search Success Story

I'll admit that as a marketing manager I'm typically slow to allocate budget and time towards a new marketing trend until I start seeing concrete examples of that new trend providing some ROI? Well, an example fell right into our lap and I'm sold. We're now starting to see examples of how video and images in Universal Search can pay off....

Jennifer Laycock

Boost Your Local Search Presence

With small brick and mortar businesses starting to see the value in shifting some of their massive yellow page budgets over to online marketing, local search has become a hot topic. Unfortunately, many small businesses find themselves confused in terms of how to target those local visitors when they move their searches online. Ironically, this often leads them right back to the yellow pages...the online yellow pages. While there's something to be said for maintaining a presence there, it's important that these businesses learn how to better target the growing usage of the local search tools on popular search engines.

Paul Jahn

A Look at the New Yahoo Local

It was just earlier this week when Yahoo came out with blended search, similar to what Google and Ask have recently done. Now they've gone a step further by updating Yahoo Local. Yahoo can arguably be considered the better local engine already, although this looks like another step in the right direction....

Jennifer Laycock

Can Yelp Help Your Small Business?

Chance are high that you've never heard of Yelp, so you probably have no idea what it says about you. This is a mistake. More than 1.8 million users turn to it for information each month. It also ranks incredibly well on Google for a wide range of local search phrases. That's why I'll ask you again, what does Yelp say about you?...

Paul Jahn

Marketing for the iPhone?

We probably all had our iPhone media fill by now. We saw the TV stations covering the long lines for the launch and the endless buzz on whether it’s a revolutionary product or an over-hyped gadget. I’m one of many that bought into the iMarketing and now own one (justified by my way-outdated other cell)....

Paul Jahn

Fake User Reviews Can Really Hurt Your Brand

I came across a local search result yesterday that makes the Internet cry. It's not because of the Web site that I found. The site itself is rather nice and gives me a feeling of trust. It's actually the multiple local submissions and the obvious fake user reviews that make me run away....

Paul Jahn

Searching in Seattle - Citysearch Style

This time, I'm searching for information. Citysearch has a newer facelift so it's time to put them to the test. It's been awhile since I've visited friends in Seattle and am planning to go there sometime this year, preferably during Bumbershoot....

Paul Jahn

Local Search: Which Hat Shall I Wear?

Actually, this isn't between white or black hat search marketing. It's between SEM and flat-out marketing. When it comes to local search, it winds up I'll set aside my SEM hat and trade it in for that regular ol' marketing hat....

Stacy Williams

Promote Your Business Locally (5 of 5)

Even if your business sells products and services nationally (or globally), you should still reach customers in your own backyard. Today, we wrap up our week-long series about local search marketing by providing instructions for submitting your site at no cost - to business data aggregators and Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs)....

Stacy Williams

Promote Your Business Locally (4 of 5)

People search online for local businesses by going to a variety of sites regular search engines, local-only search engines, review sites, Internet Yellow Pages, and more. Today and tomorrow, we ll wrap up our week-long series by giving you specific information about how to ensure your company is listed in all the major players....

Stacy Williams

Promote Your Business Locally (3 of 5)

We re right smack in the middle of a series about ensuring your site can be found in local search engines, Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) and other locally-oriented resource sites.  Today, we ll focus on off-site factors specifically, submitting your business profile to all the key sites out there.  (Did we mention it s free?)  The first step is to compile all the information you ll need for your almighty business profile....

Stacy Williams

Promote Your Business Locally (2 of 5)

In part one of this series we talked about why it's important for every business to be visible in local search engines and Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs). Today, let's talk about one easy way to ensure that every search engine is crystal clear about your geographic location....

Stacy Williams

Promote Your Business Locally (1 of 5)

It's important that every company promote itself in its own local area. Even if your business sells products and services nationally (or globally), you should still reach customers in your own backyard. Local search expert Greg Sterling comments on a recent WebVisible study that reported 70% of consumers had used the Internet to search for a local service business in the past 90 days. So how do you ensure that your website is found for all these local searchers? Our five-part series will give you the tactical steps you need every day this week....

Jennifer Laycock

The Problems with Local Search

Nate Elliot, an associate editor for Jupiter Research, has some interesting commentary on local search over at ClickZ today....

Jennifer Laycock

Local Search vs. Yellow Pages

As the search industry experiences an explosion in interest for local search, the yellow pages look to stay in the game....