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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!
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!
Neustar Localeze/15miles/comScore has just released its Local Search Study. The 2013 study has a sampling of more than 3,000 U.S. adults that use the internet to search for local businesses and was conducted from December 4-14, 2012.
The number of searchers searching with mobile devices, such as phones, increased 26% from March 2012 (90.1 million) to December 2012 (113.1 million). The use of Tablets increased 19% between April 2012 and December 2012. Desktop Computer searches decreased 6% between November 2011 and November 2012.
The study says there was an 18 percent decrease in local searches from Desktop Computers from 2011 to 2012. The study also shows that the internet is replacing print yellow pages as the primary source of information for local businesses. The study shows that just 19% rely on yellow pages, a number that’s down from 21% in 2012.
To explain the categories in the chart above, Portal Sites include Google.com, Bing.com, and Yahoo.com. IYP Sites are predominately SuperPages.com, Yellowpages.com, and DexKnows.com. Local Search Sites are defined as Google Local/Maps, Bing Local, Citysearch, Yelp, MapQuest and others.
Bottom Line: Most local businesses are seeing only 5-10% of their traffic coming from mobile devices, and tablets are typically around 40-50% of that number. Many base the decision to hold off on creating a mobile website or responsive design based on that small amount of web traffic. The study above shows that the trend is continuing to favor searches on mobile devices, and while the majority of searches are still done on Desktop Computers or Laptops, mobile search must be acknowledged as a growing source of web traffic. Factor a mobile site or responsive design into your budget, if not now, certainly in 2013/2014.
This week, the Local Search Association is releasing our “Local Mobile Search Study,” which overviews the evolving mobile environment in the U.S. and the growing role of smartphones, tablets and other connected devices in the local search experience.
The 2013 study, which features 2012 data compiled from several comScore digital and mobile metrics databases, demonstrates a significant shift in how consumers are accessing the Internet and emphasizes the importance of local businesses embracing mobile platforms as yet another venue to reach consumers.
Meanwhile, the share of Web traffic from non-PC devices, including smartphones and tablets, more than doubled to 15% from 7% over the course of 2012 alone.
In December 2012, nearly one in two (48%) mobile users accessed local content, up from 42% in December 2011. The figure will continue to rise with the greater adoption of smartphones: 77% of smartphone users accessed local content, compared to just 14% of non-smartphone users.
The results of LSA’s “Mobile Landscape Report” offer some important conclusions for the local business owner contemplating next steps in their marketing plan:
The rise of smartphones and other connected devices – and the resulting shifts in how consumers are accessing the Internet – demonstrates the continued diversification of the media landscape. Local businesses should be introducing advertising strategies and mobile and tablet-friendly websites to attract consumers increasingly accessing the Web from their handheld devices.
Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have achieved near-domination of the smartphone and tablet operating system markets. Any mobile campaign, websites, or application must be accessible from both platforms.
Over 60% of smartphone consumers are now accessing local content on their devices; and, while consumers prefer apps to search for local content, use of browsers is also strong. Local businesses should ensure their mobile efforts include both apps and browsers.
Growth of non-PC share of traffic for directories/resources is far outpacing growth in share for total Internet.
The share of smartphone users leveraging IYP apps is small. That said, IYP app users are a very attractive demographic: they’re the right age, more likely to shop on their phone, and more likely to spend more money via their phone.
Bottom Line: Yet, as connected devices are more widely adopted, local businesses must also recognize that the “old” PC platform currently commands a much greater share of Web traffic. Adopting a multi-platform advertising approach, which places value on all potential lead sources, is still crucial. Local businesses must keep one foot in the present while stepping forward to what’s next.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based Internet Marketing and Website Development Firm.
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