What’s the Relative Impact of Google My Business vs. Websites on Conversion?

Blumenthal to Mihm: The consumer is on a journey and is close to making a decision when they are seeing you on Google. Whether they make it at the Business Profile on Google or at the website, it is imperative that your profile at Google has enough information to confer trust. Otherwise, the end user will just move on to the next profile and never make it to your site.

Local Search Association Crowns the Best Solutions in Local

At its annual conference in Dana Point, CA, this week, the Local Search Association recognized the best solutions in location-based search and advertising with its annual Ad-to-Action awards. Award winners, who competed in a field of over 80 entries and were selected by judges representing companies such as Google, Amazon, and Walmart, included Brandify, PlaceIQ, and Vendasta.

The Inside Story on the GMB App Rebuild

Damian Rollison: Google’s Curtis Galloway, software engineering manager from the Google My Business app team, offered a fascinating peek into that team’s development process this week in a presentation at LSA19 in Dana Point, California. Galloway’s presentation revealed aspects of Google’s user-oriented focus when revising the app as well as its customer-centric orientation.

Local Search Association Announces New President, Bill Dinan

The Local Search Association, which brings together over 300 companies intent on connecting enterprises and small businesses alike with consumers, announced on Wednesday morning Bill Dinan as its new president. The announcement follows the retirement of its previous president Neg Norton, who held the role for 15 years.

Google Websites — To Infinity and Beyond?

“In the developing world, Google has a simplified path to the GMB where if a business first creates a website they can get verified more easily,” Mike Blumenthal notes. “Thus the website becomes the hook into Google’s data funnel. In the US, and most other developed countries, I would speculate that it is typically the other way around”

Understanding How Google Measures Store Visits

Even though ecommerce is growing and brick-and-mortar retail is arguably in the midst of a slow decline, 90% of consumer dollars are still spent in physical stores, and the intent of Google’s store visits data is to help demonstrate the efficacy of multiple online touchpoints that might drive consumers into a store.

What Does It Mean to Practice Local SEO Ethically?

It can be all too easy to give the client the impression that search marketing is too hard from them to really understand — so they should just trust you. But that sets the stage for a relationship that is not based on ethical behavior.

How Location Data Influences Consumer Buying Decisions

According to a new report from YP, 37% of consumers won’t consider local businesses with inconsistent information online, and 32% won’t consider a business with the wrong information listed on its website. Even inconsistent messaging and website content is enough to dissuade multi-channel shoppers.

Why All SMBs Need an Ecommerce Strategy

While online research to offline purchase is the more common path-to-purchase, future-looking SMB retailers will holistically consider an ecommerce strategy as more and more consumers embrace online shopping.

Studies Find More SMBs Want to Manage Their Own Social Media

There is compelling evidence that SMBs’ understanding and aptitude for social media is growing. More importantly, it seems that a significant number of SMBs want and may be ready to take the reins of their social media marketing.

Why So Many Local Search Sites Are Adding Business Services

Strategies around SEO, listings management and SEM have long helped businesses generate clicks, calls and store visits. And while this remains true, search sites have recently begun putting more emphasis on adding tools and services that look to accelerate the purchase process…

Openings and New Hires at the LSA, GoLocalPDX, ElasticBox and UpSnap

Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, moves and new openings at the Local Media Association, PlaceIQ, Colony Logic, Sonata, Happenings Media, Ping4 and more…

How Customer Retention Plays a Key Role in SMB Marketing

Approximately 60% of SMBs spend the majority of their annual marketing budgets on customer retention, because it delivers such a strong return on investment. Within customer retention, email marketing is considered the most effective digital marketing tactic, followed by social media and content marketing…

A New Way to Think About Local: Last Mile Advertising

While advertisers today seek to take advantage of an increasingly fragmented media environment, those focused on local advertising have different challenges and opportunities in that they are in closer proximity to the point of purchase. Even with the tremendous growth of online shopping and e-commerce, two-thirds of all local purchases are still taking place in-person at brick-and-mortar locations…

How Reviews and Ratings are Driving Local Search

Despite the tremendous amount of press we have seen on fake reviews, ongoing interest in reviews by consumers and local search providers make it clear that these services aren’t going away. As platforms give reviews more importance and improve their ability to filter out fake ones — and government officials crack down on dishonest practices — consumer trust and use of reviews can only be expected to grow. This trend will continue to increase the impact they have on local businesses…

Local Search Needs a Standard Business Listing

Search engines are the preferred medium for local search — Moz’s David Mihm estimated that about 7.5 billion searches a month have local intent — and business listing information is the foundation on which these local queries are served. Whether you’re a listing publisher, data aggregator, consumer or local business, a verifiable business listing that complies with a standard will help everyone win in local search…

Street Fight Daily: AT&T Sells Location Data, Square Partners With Apple Retail

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technologyAT&T Will Start Anonymously Selling Your Location Data To Marketers (Business Insider)…. Apple Retail, Square Partner To Sell iPad-based Square Stand (9To5 Mac)… LSA: 10.5 Billion Print + IYP ‘Refences’ in 2012 (Screenwerk)…

SMBs Have Some Major Advantages Over Brands in Social Marketing

Social media is merely a digital extension of local conversations. We talk about the weather, the 4th of July parade, the upcoming festival, local news, et cetera. SMBs need to always be thinking about how they can join/start these conversations in order to build fans, follow leads, offer discounts, improve their reputation and, most importantly, compete with national brands…

When Will The Last Yellow Pages Book be Printed?

With the rise of local search sites, social media, and mobile directories, the physical Yellow Pages books delivered to consumers’ doors — long a staple of local marketing — are quickly becoming obsolete. We asked a few folks from around the industry what date they would envision for the directories’ final print run…