Streets Ahead | Street Fight - Part 2

Streets Ahead

Calculating the ROI of Local Search Campaigns

4 Comments 18 September 2013 by

How can we calculate just how much return a given business can expect on the investment of time, money, or both into a local search campaign? For many business owners, it’s that type of dollars and cents calculation that will drive them to decide whether or not to move forward with a campaign. Other metrics are important but ultimately secondary to the bottom line...

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Streets Ahead

What Will It Take to Bring All Businesses Online?

3 Comments 29 August 2013 by

Many small businesses are claiming their Google and Bing listings, interacting with reviewers on Yelp, and using social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Inside the local bubble, it might seem as though the importance of these activities has been long established. Surely only a business stuck in the stone age would ignore the statistics we all know and love about searches with local intent, the explosion of mobile, and the critical need to be well represented in Google search results. How, then, are we to take a report showing that 52% of SMBs still don’t have a website?

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Streets Ahead

How Will Jeff Bezos Redefine the Newspaper?

1 Comment 07 August 2013 by

Amazon has always been a virtual marketplace, where the location of the buyer has very little to do with a transaction. Bringing the Bezos vision to bear on a community-oriented portal could mean any number of things, but it certainly means the potential for services that bear some resemblance to traditional journalism but are remediated into a form that takes advantage of digital commerce and social media, while maintaining a sense of local community...

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Streets Ahead

local-search

How Local Search Looks to the Rest of Us

2 Comments 17 July 2013 by

It seems like many recent conversations, webinars, articles, and studies have pointed to the same conclusion: local search as an industry is insufficiently aware of how its products are actually used by consumers and small businesses. Many of the solutions put forward by consumer-facing local publishers and by business-facing services overestimate our appetite for new products and the amount of time and energy we want to spend using online tools...

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Streets Ahead

The Good and Bad of Local Discovery on Our Summer Road Trip

1 Comment 27 June 2013 by

Greetings from a summer road trip in the Pacific Northwest. Amid games of twenty questions and alphabet animals, we have faced the typical needs of the traveler: shelter, food, gas, and fun. Naturally, we've turned to local search, just like the other 31% of leisure travelers (up from 18% in 2010). I've written mainly about local search on the homefront and travel is another kind of use case entirely, one that in many ways has been “solved” by existing services — but has it? In our experience, you often have to be creative to get what you need...

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Streets Ahead

local-search

The Local Search Shadow Economy

1 Comment 04 June 2013 by

We know that there exist a great number of businesses in our local communities that service a variety of needs at their clients’ homes or business locations. Aside from specialized services like Angie’s List and Service Magic, there are few local search outlets that serve potential clients or service providers well in terms of their ability to connect a need with the appropriate provider...

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Streets Ahead

Looking Up: Local Data and the Real World

1 Comment 16 May 2013 by

Google Glass may be overpriced or simply too odd for many consumers, but it still represents a manner of thinking about the interconnectedness of the internet and the world that is an inevitable outcome of current trends. With smartphones as our constant companions, we already spend a vast amount of our time looking down to look things up.

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Streets Ahead

Local Search for Events: The Great Missed Opportunity

9 Comments 24 April 2013 by

My jumping off point for this week’s column is a recent post from Greg Sterling, where he observes that despite all the impressive innovation around local search in recent years, no one has launched a truly useful local events service. I have had this feeling for years and wasn’t sure if it was just me. But if Greg doesn’t know about a local events service that truly works, I think it’s fair to say one doesn’t exist. So pay attention, developers and entrepreneurs: local events need a killer app...

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Streets Ahead

mobile phone user

Managing Local Presence on Mobile Devices: A Developing Challenge

No Comments 03 April 2013 by

The continued strong growth of mobile local search combined with the high value of mobile customers indicates a shift in attention is required on the part of local search publishers, in order to make it easier for businesses to manage their listing content on the devices consumers are turning to in ever increasing numbers.

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Streets Ahead

Overlaying Local: Do We Want Listings in Context?

No Comments 13 March 2013 by

Maponics is working on an initiative that includes overlays of demographics and what they call “lifestyle data” on top of maps. The idea is to create a value-added component to traditional maps that may help to bring primary mapping information into a meaningful context for users...

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