The Power of Visual Appeal in Local Search

Local Search Listings

Images are more compelling to the average user than any other medium of communication. Though users may visit local search sites and apps with the conscious intent of seeking out text-based information such as phone numbers, hours, and addresses, visual content encountered along the way may have a greater influence than textual information on deciding which businesses to visit…

How to Maintain a Rational Social Marketing Strategy in a Confusing Landscape

Worldwide communication and social media concept art.

Small business owners may find themselves perplexed by the variety of opportunities to engage socially with consumers. Of course, it would be premature to suggest that any SMB needs an Ello marketing strategy. But there’s an advantage to be gained in keeping your marketing strategy attuned to the groups actively pursuing interests relevant to your business…

The Impact of Google’s Local Update Is Still a Developing Story


Google seems to be experimenting with driving more traffic to its local competition, meaning that it’s more important than ever for a business to secure its presence across a broad base of directories. The value proposition of local SEO does not change in a fundamental way, given that Google has long used citation consistency as a prominent local ranking signal…

Unmanaged Local Listings Hurt Consumers and Businesses Alike

Local Search Listings

Google Maps and its competitors have become the most important pathways to brick and mortar businesses outside foot traffic and word of mouth. As one recent case indicates, an accurate Google Maps listing can be a matter of life or death for a local business. The company needs a stronger and more concerted effort to enlist the help of business owners to address this problem…

Why ‘Google My Business’ Helps, But Doesn’t Fix, Local for SMBs

Google My Business

The company’s redesign of its SMB portal replaces both the old Google Places for Business interface and the equivalent within Google+, and consolidates several features into a friendlier interface. The features for the most part are not new, but the update does a good job of tying together the claiming and profile management process with Google+ sharing…

New Listing Services Will Help Local Data Go Digital

Data digital flow

Somewhat unexpectedly, 2014 has seen a profusion of companies entering the listing management arena, many of them veterans of related disciplines. Those of us with long experience in the space are not surprised that others would see the value in helping businesses get found on local search sites and apps. But why the sudden surge of activity?

What’s in a Swarm? Making Sense of Foursquare’s Split


It’s hard to envision now, but it could be that a decoupled discovery and recommendation service will be just what Foursquare needs to scale its dataset beyond entertainment and to encourage users to improve the quality and accuracy of venue information. These developments would turn Foursquare into a viable competitor to data aggregators like Infogroup and possibly to Google Maps itself…

Recent Studies Show Mobile’s Broadening Reach


The reports underline what we might call the inherently local nature of mobile search. Whether you are in a store contemplating a high-ticket purchase or downtown hoping to discover a new restaurant, the phone in your hand is your portal to timely and actionable information as well as marketing incentives that are increasingly likely to gain your attention…