Tag Archives: Local Search

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.

How to Reach Customers Using Mobile Search

Local SEO services has a few different mobile search criteria-including load time and proper rendering of your site in mobile environments. Mobile Searchers are typically more tech-savvy and less patient with website shortcomings, so how can a webmaster or business owner create a mobile web presence that appeals to this new, growing and ready to buy sector of search traffic?

Mobile Search

Responsive Website Design. A responsive website design should render properly in whatever device it appears on. A complete page that renders properly on all devices will help to create high rankings for that website on mobile search, not to mention a positive user experience that will make conversion more likely.

Optimize Local Search. Local search results, like Google + Places, are designed for mobile users, who are usually searching for 3 key components: Location, Hours of Operation, and Reviews. Make sure that your local listings are complete and up to date and that you continue to encourage customers to place reviews on your local sites.

Match Analytics to Site Performance. Website analytics will show you which devices are being used to view your site, and the growth in mobile traffic. Use these numbers as a guide in optimizing your local search. Make sure that you test your site for compatibility with the browsers that your clients are using, and if you see a flat or small increase in mobile traffic, it is almost a sure sign that you are not delivering a positive mobile site user experience, as the amount of mobile searches being done is definitely growing.

Bottom Line: Mobile search is continuing to increase, and the growth in traditional search is flat or decreasing. Make sure that your mobile presence delivers a positive user experience by rendering properly in mobile search environments and providing clear information about locations, specials, hours of operation and a quick profile of your business.

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

Facebook “Nearby” Search Renamed to “Local Search”

InsideFacebook has announced that the name of its mobile app feature “Nearby” has been changed to Facebook “local search.” The name change completes the enhancement of the local search tool from a way to find friends to the addition of local business recommendations. The name change has been made on iOS but remains Nearby on the Facebook mobile site and Android app.

The most recent comScore-15 Miles-Neustar local search study names Facebook as the second most popular mobile app for local search behind Google Maps. Facebook has attained this status despite the fact that they have done little or no promotion of the new search functions and that many users are still confused about how exactly the search functions.

Local Search

Source: comScore

Bottom Line:  Facebook and Google Plus are competing for dominance in the mobile local search market, and the beneficiaries will be local businesses savvy enough to take advantage of the opportunity and feature a mobile site or responsive website design for local mobile searchers. Complete Facebook and Google Maps and Google + profiles are a must have for local business, especially those catering to a younger demographic. Be sure to check your website stats to find out how many potential customers are accessing your business website on mobile devices.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based Web Design Company, Mobile Design and Development and SEO Firm.

30% of Local Search Are Mobile and Facebook Launches an Updated for Nearby app

Local search provider YP (Yellow Pages) has released a report analyzing local search results for 2012. The data analyzed was from a huge volume of queries on its advertising network, its mobile site and apps, and the PC Website.  The report says that the mobile search volume of YP is at 30%. The Yellow Page Network, by definition, is comprised of local search queries. The top search categories and search growth categories are below:

The report also contained the “most clicked” categories of 2012, ranked by number of clicks:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Auto Parts
  3. Building Contractors
  4. Physicians & Surgeons
  5. Legal Services
  6. Auto Repair and Service
  7. Pet & Animal Service
  8. Real Estate
  9. Automobile Sales
  10. Financial Services

In another development in local search, Facebook has become a new player in local search for mobile devices. The company is updating the “Nearby” search feature in its iOS and Android apps

The Nearby app from Facebook used to be a way to track where your friends had checked-in. Now the Nearby app will still show you where your friends have checked-in and it will also show you nearby businesses and other places ranked by various criteria. You’ll be able to search or browse to find local businesses by name or by category. This change is designed to make the Nearby app as a go-to source for local information in selected categories. Local search results will be ranked according to star ratings, check-ins, Likes, recommendations and will be filtered by feedback from members of your network. If there is no feedback from your Facebook network, results will be ranked based on the general Facebook interaction with that business.

Bottom Line:  Local search and mobile search volume are growing, and especially if your business is in the ranked verticals outlined in the report above, extra care must be given in 2013 to promoting your Facebook Network to increase local search exposure on Nearby app and making sure that your site is optimized for local search.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, and SEO Company in Santa Rosa, California.

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