“Google has been on a tear this past month in the DIY realm,” notes Mike Blumenthal in his bi-monthly conversation with David Mihm. “Three major product rollouts in a 30-day span; Websites, Posts and now SMS messaging. And Google only needs uptake on one of them to get a chance to sell Adwords Express.”
“At the very least you have to recognize your day-to-day experiences both discovering and interacting with small businesses are wildly different from customers in rural markets,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly chat.
If you are involved in any form of SEO, you know how daunting it can be to keep up with Google algorithm updates. From the Mobile First Index to the Owl update to Google Fred, the tide is always shifting. It is important to step back a moment and take a look at what Google is trying to do.
“In local, most businesses do not have a transaction so Google wants to control the action,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “If they can sell an ad, great, and if not then they take credit for a click or a call, driving directions or response to a CTA (and gather the data of those activities).”
For many years, Physical Address in City of Search was the most important ranking factor, but it has now been overtaken by Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance). As such, the canonical local search use case has become a mobile user searching for a business nearby his or her current location.
“It’s incredible to me that given all of Google’s focus on new local products that they are still getting some of the basics wrong,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “People who rely on Google more and more to find local businesses need to know that the fundamental metric of the business quality, reviews, is fair and well policed.”
“I think some local managers in corporations are getting pushback as to why their local traffic is falling, and if it is why should they maintain local pages? What is hard to explain is that those pages DO feed Google,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “But these locations need to be not just well structured, but easily found and crawled by Google, not hidden behind some opaque code.”
Google is vague on a lot of things, but every now and then we get a glimpse into what the search giant values and deems important — as we do in the recently updated Quality Rater Guidelines.
When the location marketing experts discuss best practices, they often focus on industries like retail. But the healthcare industry can teach us a lot about location marketing. Partly because healthcare faces constant turmoil, healthcare is a source of constant reinvention.
“Last time we identified our essential digital bundle for small businesses,” says David Mihm to Mike Blumenthal. “This week I thought we might tackle how agencies and media companies might go about building and selling that bundle — and why there seem to be so few who are actually doing it.”
A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… SEO’s Path Forward in the Age of Google Assistant, Home, and Amazon Echo… 67% of Marketers Can’t Measure Mobile ROI… Among Marketers, IoT Is Seen as Critical Emerging Technology…
Some new data has given us some “big time insight” into how Google is using authoritative local sites to inform local search rankings, says David Mihm. Mike Blumenthal agrees, saying that the prominence of local review pages and appears to be “transferring prominence directly to the local entity in a way that is totally independent of links.”
If you’re concerned about attracting customers through SEO content, you likely have mixed feelings about the recent enhancements made by Google to improve user experience. But here are three ways that Rich Answers can actually improve the quality of your web traffic.
The reduction of local search real estate represents a huge challenge to marketers, who must work even harder to ensure their clients’ listings can compete in a shrinking field. It also suggests that a strategy combining organic and paid efforts is becoming ever more important.
Data amplifiers distribute and publish your data to a broader audience than you could ever do on your own — what I call the “network effect.” Your brand becomes more visible because your business data becomes more open and accessible to the influencers who are in a position to help customers find your business.
If SEO is about websites and marketing is about brand awareness, location management is about brick-and-mortar businesses and removing friction along the customer journey from online search to offline purchase. Ignore it at your peril.
Microsoft recently announced that Bing turned its first profit since being launched in 2009. The company continues to extend its reach, grow its share of the search market, and add features that make it a stronger commerce tool. The question businesses should be asking is not whether Bing will catch up to Google, but whether they view Bing as a critical publisher to improve the reach of their location data.
This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local digital marketing footprint of two of the country’s largest pharmacy chains: CVS and Walgreens. The contest was close on several counts, but Walgreens emerged as the winner, edging CVS in five of the six categories evaluated.
Content marketing is on the rise: 69 percent of B2C marketers are creating more content now than they did a year ago, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Using blogs, videos, infographics, and other content to attract the interest of customers can be an effective option for small or local businesses. But time and resource constraints mean local businesses need to approach content marketing in a smart and strategic way.