Google Local Listing Management Will Put Local Firms Ahead of the Competition
In May 2012, Google conducted a study with Ipsos OTX Media CT to get a better understanding of how smartphones were being used in the U.S. The study stated that 96% of smartphone users have researched a product or service on their phone. The study also found that 94% of smartphone users looked for local information, and that 90% had called the business, stopped by, downloaded a coupon, or taken another action.
Here is a checklist of how to rank your business on local listings.
Citation Sites. Numerous online directories act as verification sources for business listing data on Google and Yahoo/Bing. When the search engines can match specific business data from a webpage or business directory to the info they have on a business, this confirms the information, and makes the business data more authoritative. It is vital that your business have consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information everywhere that you are listed online.
Complete Your Listing. Although your NAP information is the most important in terms of consistency, many sites allow you to include a large amount of information about your business. You can often add information like a description, store hours, payment types accepted, products, services, images, business category and your logo to a listing. Google Business View for your business also enhance your Google+ local listings by allowing a customer to preview your place of business before visiting.
Local SEO Strategy. Search engines rank the businesses that have the most verifiable information online in their top listings. Their aim is to deliver a good user experience, and to do that, they constantly crawl for other sources of business information on the Web to verify your data. In addition to providing search engines with a way to validate local business data, directories often link back to the business’ website. This natural and verified link can improve your local SEO rankings.
Unique and Current Content. Consumers will find your business first when all of your business data is updated, optimized and properly linked. Creating complete information and unique and useful data to your website visitors will ensure that your local rankings remain strong.
These strategies are followed by our firm in marketing for our local SEO clients and provide a basic, but valuable, roadmap on how to keep your local firm relevant in search results.
Google Maps Mobile App Is Changing: How to Find “My Places”
Google Maps is constantly changing, and if you have not accessed it on your mobile device lately, you are in for some surprises. Your “starred locations” or “my places” in Google Maps Mobile are now accessed differently from before. So many users questioned how to find them that Abby D. from Google offered a helpful hint in the Google Maps Help forums.
“I’d like to share a tip with you on how to access your starred locations in the new Google Maps mobile app. To access your starred locations, go to your profile –> Saved places –> View all. Your profile is the little person icon at the top of Maps, to the right of the search bar.”
The update makes it similar to how you access your starred places in the new Google Maps on desktop by clicking on your profile gear icon.
You may also follow the forum discussion at Google Maps Help.
Study: Facebook to Capture a Higher Share of Online Advertising in 2013, But Google is Still King
Facebook is gaining online advertising market share very quickly according to estimates put out today by researchers at eMarketer. The figures forecast that Facebook’s share of global mobile Internet ad revenues will reach 15.8 percent this year, up from just over 5 percent in 2012. eMarketer expects the overall mobile ad market to grow 89 percent in 2013 to $16.65 billion.
Facebook started injecting ads in its mobile apps last year. Last month, in its Q2 earnings, Facebook reported that mobile ads now make up a staggering 41 percent of its total ad revenue, up from around a third as recently as May of this year.
Google remains the leader for capturing worldwide mobile ad revenues. eMarketer estimates that Google will own 53.17 percent of the market in 2013, up slightly from 2012.
Google remains the undisputed kingpin digital ad publisher in the world. eMarketer estimates it will capture 33 percent of all digital ad dollars globally this year, up from 31.46 percent in 2012. Facebook, buoyed by its growth on mobile, will also increase its share of the total, to 5.41 percent. Meanwhile Yahoo! is expected to lose ground, while Microsoft’s share is predicted remain static.
Bottom Line: Facebook continues to grow because of their adaptation to mobile use and by successfully integrating ads into content to make them less intrusive to Facebook users. Facebook has also improved their tracking tools so that advertisers can see the reaction of Facebook users to their ads. Local listings have become vitally important for local businesses, and the amount of effort required to keep NAP and business information consistent with information on the website and in online directories is well worth it. Again, Social Media and Local SEO are the most cost-effective and achievable online marketing tools for small business.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa California SEO, Social Media, and Website Development Firm.