Local Search

New Tools for Small Business Owners

New Tools for Small Business Owners

Google has created Google My Business, a one-stop shop for small business owners looking to increase their visibility within Google search, Google Maps, and Google+. Users will also be able to access their applications in one place.

In order to avoid the need to make duplicate entries while still providing information across all Google products, users will only need to enter their information one time and it will populate into all of Google’s services. TechCrunch reported that to create ease of use and rival Facebook “owners can post news, events, photos and other updates they want shared with customers.”

Exploring “Google My Business”

Let’s jump right in and take a look at the updates. As soon as you login you will be guided through a tour of the new updates and instructions on how to interact with the platform.

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June 16, 2014 by

About The Author:

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Marketing for Benovate, a Minneapolis based health management company. She is responsible for the digital marketing strategy for the organization which includes search engine optimization, social media, and content marketing. She also provides guidance on communications best practices and on the communications support available for each client’s unique business needs and budget.

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Local Area Code on Google+ Local Page

Local Area Code on Google+ Local Page

Using your local area code phone number as your primary phone number on your Google+ Local page is considered a best practice. The area code of the phone number should match the area code/codes traditionally associated with your city of location. This may seem obvious, but the local search engine results reveal that some businesses take a wrong turn here and publish a toll free number, instead. Alternatively, they might publish a cell phone number or call tracking number with a different area code.

Here is a screenshot of a business which has done this correctly, publishing a 505 area code phone number consistent with the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico:

Google allows you to enter a secondary number (such as a toll free number) when creating your listing. This is especially important for businesses like hotels who receive calls from all over the world and want their guests to be able to make a charge-free phone call to book a room. Just be sure that, when you create your listing, you are putting the local area code number in the primary number field.

 

Source: Moz.com

http://moz.com/blog/top-20-local-search-ranking-factors-an-illustrated-guide#eighteen

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Will They Find Your Business?

Will They Find Your Business?

The internet is a big place, but when people are looking for a local business, search engines and internet yellow pages help them focus on the businesses in a much narrower geographic area. A quick statistic to help put this in perspective: Of the over 10 billion unique searches done each month in the U.S., 40% have local intent. People want to find businesses that are nearby, easy to locate, and open when they need them, and they use local web listings found in destinations like Google, Yahoo, & Bing to find them. With over 15.7 billion local searches performed each year and over 62 million navigation devices, it is essential the information displayed about your business is accurate and up-to-date.

Local business listings help your customers find you and generate leads from new online marketing sources. Local business listings show up in search results, on mobile map results, on mobile searches, and in mobile applications for your stores’ local customers! Many of these mobile searches are done while customers are already out and about, actively searching for your products and services, so it is the optimal time to connect with and engage them!

Now for less than the price of one newspaper or coupon mailer ad, My Web Footprints ensures your business is not only being found on over 100 of the webs most popular sites and the top 5 social communities, but that all your local search listings are complete, accurate, and optimized; allowing customers to find you all across the web.

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Benefits of Using Facebook Places

Benefits of Using Facebook Places

With over 1 billion users, Facebook is perhaps one of the best channels for marketing your products on the internet. Facebook Places, which is a location based application, is a new addition to the Facebook apps list and a potential marketing tool for small businesses. Developed on the lines of check-in apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp, Facebook Places is a new location-based check-in app that can be used by Facebook users through their smartphones. Besides users, small businesses can also turn this app into a marketing tool and use it to their advantage.

Using the Facebook Places tool for internet marketing is highly beneficial for businesses, especially those targeting local markets.

Free word-of-mouth advertising – One of the most effective forms of marketing is word-of-mouth advertising, which is being kept alive through the social networking sites in this digital age. Facebook Places is one such tool for advertising, which businesses can also use to encourage customers to share their experiences and opinions about them. The best part is that all a business has to do is just put in some effort to create the Places page, without having to spend thousands of dollars that would otherwise be required for advertising.

Target local audience – Being a social networking site, Facebook allows businesses to reach out to the global audience or their local audience through location based advertising, depending on the regions they provide services in. Facebook Places, however, is a great tool for small businesses that target customers in a specific location.

Get more customers – When customers use Facebook Places to check-in and tell their friends about their where they are , a number of other Facebook users are also informed about it through the customers’ status updates. In addition to updating the details of their location, Facebook users can also tag their friends who are with them at the specified location. This in turn will lead to more number of people knowing about your business, resulting in more number of potential customers for you.

Boost sales – More number of customers means more sales for your business just by digital word-of –mouth advertising. Also, when you advertise about the special offers and discounts, more number of people would check-in and visit your restaurant or store to get the benefits, which also increases your sales greatly.

Facebook Places technology still needs to catch up with the advanced technology of Foursquare and Gowalla. However, small business owners should stick to using this tool for internet marketing and tap as much potential as they can on Facebook, which is used by millions of users across the world.

Now for less than the price of one newspaper or coupon mailer ad, My Web Footprints ensures your business is not only being found on over 100 of the webs most popular sites and the top 5 social communities, but that all your local search listings are complete, accurate, and optimized; allowing customers to find you all across the web.

 

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73% Lose Trust in Brands Due to Inaccurate Local Business Listings

73% Lose Trust in Brands Due to Inaccurate Local Business Listings

When an online local listing for a business is incorrect, who’s to blame? The business owner? The search engine? The competition?

Regardless of fault, the majority of people (73 percent) say they lose trust in the local business when it happens. And 67 percent say the same if they get lost due to faulty location information. This, according to recent survey data released by Placeable.

 

Losing Trust in the Brand

“It is vital that multi-location businesses preserve customer trust by ensuring absolute accuracy in their online location information. Anything less makes the business vulnerable to a constant, ongoing erosion of its brand,” Placeable said in its report. “Brands that fail to ensure the accuracy of search engine location data run the risk of not only missing out on new customers, but jeopardizing their relationships with existing customers as well.”

Even when the business listing is incorrect in directories like Yelp, nearly a third of consumers say they blame the brand.

 

Who Consumers Blame for Incorrect Information

 

Having an accurate listing is especially vital given research findings that show 71 percent of survey respondents look up and confirm the location of a local business before going to it for the first time.

 

When Customers Visit a Business for the First Time

 

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April 8, 2014 by Jessica Lee

About The Author:  Jessica Lee is a marketer specializing in web content strategy and B2B/B2C writing. Since 2005, Jessica has been in the business of content and communications, with the past several years focused on the web marketing space.

Prior to launching her consulting business, bizbuzzcontent, Jessica was responsible for content strategy, development and marketing for Bruce Clay Inc. – a global SEO firm, where she served small businesses and Fortune 500 clients. Jessica’s background also includes positions in traditional marketing, communications, broadcasting and publishing.

 

 

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Google Maps Upgrade Creates Duplicate Listing Issues

Google Maps Upgrade Creates Duplicate Listing Issues

Google has been automatically upgrading Google Place listings from the old system to the new Google Places dashboard. With this upgrade, there may be conflicts that prevents the upgrade from completing. The latest conflict is that there are duplicate listing issues and Google needs you to step in, fix the issue and then complete the upgrade process.

Google has recently began sending out notices of the duplicate place listings conflict via email to those impacted by this issue. The email reads:

We’d like to inform you that Google Places no longer accommodates more than one authorized owner per business location. Your account contains one or more listings that have been identified as duplicates of other listings and as a result, some of the information you provide will not be shown to Google users anymore…

Jade Wang from Google posted a detailed how to fix this issue in the Google Business Help forums where she summed up the issues two-fold:

(1) Your account and another account that you don’t control became verified for the same business using the old Places dashboard.

(2) You may have verified the page multiple times using accounts you control.

Each has their own method of resolving, which Google has either emailed the business owner or you can read them below in more detail.

Read more here…

 

Mar 6, 2014 at 9:16am ET by

About The Author: is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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