Tag Archives: google maps

Official Google City Partner: Let’s Put Santa Rosa on the Map

This week, Zenergy Works is beyond stoked to announce that we’ve become and Official Google City Partner of Google’s brand new Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map program. The 3/25 launch of the program announced that it will help strengthen the local businesses in over 30,000 communities across the nation, and Santa Rosa is one of those communities. Now there’s an outlet for local businesses to get online help and make sure they’re seen on Search, Maps, and more. Let’s Put Santa Rosa on the Map!

Let's Put Santa Rosa on the Map

As an Official Google City Partner, we’re taking the lead in helping Santa Rosa businesses be seen online. Zenergy Works has always been integral in helping the local community, but now we’re supported with additional tools and resources directly from Google. We’ll be hosting events and workshops designed to help small businesses make the most of Google’s Search and Maps functions, as well as teaching the benefits of showing up in local search. For the holdouts who aren’t yet online, Google is even offering a free website and domain name for one year alongside their partner Startlogic, so everything about getting online just got a whole lot easier.

Online search is a major factor in the way local consumers find new businesses to try, and so many small and local businesses still don’t have a full profile available online. The adjustment is very simple, but the results can be extraordinary. By simply updating your current business hours, address, phone number, and business description, more people will be able to find your business. It really is that easy, but it can be daunting when you’re not sure how to go about it. That’s where we come in. Our goal is to literally help get you on the (digital) map, which in turn will help you succeed. When you succeed, the Santa Rosa community succeeds!

For a brief overview of this great new program, we recommend watching this introductory video. For more information about our planned workshops or help creating your business’ online presence, contact us today and ask about Let’s Put Santa Rosa on the Map!

What’s New for August 30, 2013 – Local Listings, Google Maps, and Facebook Ad Share

Business Directory

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 Profile

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.

She wrote:

“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.

Facebook Ads Revenue

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.

What’s New for July 18, 2013 – Facebook Web Insights, Maps for Android, Desktop Search

Facebook Web Insights Upgrades

Facebook Web Insights has undergone a serious upgrade.  Upgrades include easy adjustment of dates for comparison, ability to review the cost of reaching a target demo, allows you to determine what post types are best, and even tracks Facebook visitors hour by hour over the past 7 days.  Other additions that the Social Media Giant has made: the ability to track post clicks (all clicks, not just comments, likes and shares) and understand the full reach of Facebook posts.  Users are still reporting some issues with data exports that are clunky and difficult, but hold deeper information than can be viewed by just using the UI (User Interface).

Most reviews consider the recent changes to be upgrades that allow Facebook to continue to be considered as a viable social media marketing platform with verifiable results.  More about Facebook Web Insights can be found on the Facebook website.

New Facebook Web Insights

Google Has a New Maps App for Android

Google Maps has released a new app for Android devices, with iPhone and iPad versions soon to follow.   The new app will include more search options and updated navigation, as well as reviews and discount offers.  There is also a new tablet-specific design of the app for Android tablets and iPads.  The new app allows users to find locations without typing by tapping the search box to see cards showing eat, drink and shopping options.

The Google Maps app also comes with a new navigation feature that reports road problems and offers users an alternate route to follow if available. For now, only Android users will have access to the feature offering re-route information, with iOS devices getting it soon.

Google Maps for Android

According to Comscore, Desktop Search is on the Rebound

Desktop search in on the rebound, and was up 12 percent year-over-year in June, 2013  comScore qSearch data.

ComScore estimates that there were 19.2 billion “core” desktop searches last month. That’s down four percent from the 20 billion searches in May. But it’s a 12 percent increase from June of 2012.  June is the fourth straight month that desktop search has seen a double-digit rise year-over-year.

The new data also shows a 28 percent gain in core search on Bing between June 2012 and June 2013, and a 12 percent increase in the same time period for Google.

Bottom Line:  Social Media is becoming easier to track and optimize as analytics catch up to the popularity of the platform.   Desktop search, which many experts had considered to be a shrinking platform, is suddenly back in play — perhaps the novelty of using a smart phone or tablet for everything is being overcome by how easy it is to use a desktop, when available, to search online.  Google and others continue to make getting information on the go with smartphones easier, and have given their own Android phones a marketing advantage over Apple by creating easy to use apps for mobile users.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, a Santa Rosa, California based Website Development, SEO and Online Marketing Firm.

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