Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Day 3 at LSA|14 Features The Woz, Ad to Action Awards, comScore and More!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

After the Idea Labs and networking on Day 1, and the great sessions planned for Day 2, there is a lot to look forward to on the third and final day of the 2014 Local Search Association Conference. You won’t want to miss all the great speaker and panel sessions planned, as well as the inaugural Ad to Action Awards ceremony. Here are the planned highlights for April 29th:

Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple
“The Woz” is a Silicon Valley icon who knows a thing or two about innovation. He will discuss the intersection of future technologies, his favorite new products and his predictions for mobile and wearable devices. In addition, the Woz will highlight the local marketing opportunities resulting from these new technologies for both national brands and SMBs.  His session alone will be worth to trip to Huntington Beach!

Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman/Co-Founder, comScore
The rapid adoption and use of mobile devices is changing the face of digital marketing. Consider for example that more than 50% of time spent on the Internet now occurs via mobile access. In this presentation, Gian Fulgoni will review the latest statistics showing how consumers are conducting local search today, with a particular focus on the use of mobile devices and the implications for marketers and publishers.

Ad to Action Awards Ceremony
We recently announced the finalists for our first ever Ad to Action Awards. During the awards ceremony, join us for drinks, food and networking as we celebrate innovation in local advertising.  We will be showing a video highlighting each winner and featuring interviews with our judging panel on why they chose each solution.

Other Noteworthy Sessions

  • “Local’s Coming Data Revolution” (Retailigence, Placemeter, Placed)
  • “Emerging Start-Up Tech in the Local Media Space” (Google)
  • “From Traditional Yellow Pages to the Consumers’ Online Arena” (Zap Group Ltd.)
  • “Redefining the Experience of Buying and Selling at the Local Level” (Solfo, Saatchi Art)
  • “Utilizing Local Media Data for Sales and Marketing Efforts” (Burke)
  • “Back to the Future” (Solfo, BuzzBoard, Opus Research)

For more details, see our full agenda page. And if you haven’t already done so, register now for LSA|14!

Day 2 at LSA|14 features speakers from Bing, Google, JiWire, PlaceIQ and more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

You saw the exciting activities, events and Idea Labs set for Day 1 of our 3-day jam-packed event, April 27-29 in SoCal.  Now let’s take a look at some of the highlights for Day 2 of LSA|14:

Main Stage Sessions

  • Kristen Coit, Head of Directories and Web Hosting (Google)
  • The Cross-Screen Opportunity (Mobile Media Summit, Digitaria)
  • Making it Easy for Small Businesses (Bing)
  • Measuring Real World Results from Mobile Ads (xAd, JiWire, PlaceIQ, YP)
  • National Advertiser Perspective (VCA Animal Hospital)
  • How Digital Offers & Couponing Help Customers Find Locations (Street Fight, Retale, Wanderful Media)
  • Global Leadership Panel (YP, Sensis, Zap Group, Trudon Ltd., Radicle Consulting)

For a list of all the sessions and descriptions of each, visit the Agenda Page.

New Member/Partner Member Yacht Cruise (invitation only)
This exclusive networking event will take place on board the Ambassador yacht for a few hours of cruising the coast.  Sponsored by Thrive Analytics and Local Market Launch, this will be a great way to make new connections while taking in the beautiful scenery of Southern California.

Findability: Discovery and the Real Value of Content in Local Search
While enjoying breakfast, hear about the differences between consumers looking for a specific branded product, service or provider versus consumers looking without a product, service or provider in mind. The latter is how the vast majority of searches take place and represents a true growth opportunity in local search online and also the vast majority of the searches taking place. Local Market Launch will explore what content is important, how to produce it, who in or outside the organization should produce it and where it should be distributed to address this market opportunity.

For more details, visit our Agenda Page – and if you haven’t already done so, register now for LSA|14!

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Ratings and Reviews

Friday, March 21, 2014

Following the recent announcement of a partnership with Yahoo, Yelp, the popular ratings and review site, has partnered with local search provider, YP. There is no denying that ratings and reviews are having an impact on the local marketplace and search providers are making big moves to secure a foothold in the review space.

As platforms use reviews as significant drivers of search rankings and improve their ability to filter out fake reviews – 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 of reviews on local businesses.

Here are some compelling stats that show how ratings and reviews are impacting the local advertising space:

  • Online consumer reviews are the third-most trusted form of advertising. (Nielsen)
  • Only half of small business owners think positive online reviews are important. (Yodle)
  • The single most important variable in the ranking of search results on Google’s Local Carousel is the quality and quantity of reviews. (Digital Marketing Works)
  • A one-star rating hike on Yelp can mean a 5-9% rise in restaurant revenue. (Harvard Business School)
  • About 20% of respondents to a Street Fight consumer survey said they would submit a review after a negative experience, and about the same amount said they would submit a review after a positive experience. (Street Fight)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Answers to FAQs about LSA|14 in Huntington Beach

Friday, March 14, 2014

When it comes to local advertising and marketing we are still hearing a lot of confusion around what “local” actually means. Is it simply reaching audiences based on location or is it more than that? Well, we have some thoughts on the topic and will be revealing our perspective and the research that backs it up at the 2014 Local Search Association Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 27-29.

But before that, here are answers to some FAQs about LSA|14 that are just teasers to the rich agenda we have planned:

What is the focus of the event?
Simply put, innovation and local. We plan on kicking off the conference by defining “local” and showing you what it looks like today. From there, each session will hit on established practices and innovative ways to drive local consumer actions and ROI. In addition, our Ad to Action Awards will highlight some of the most innovative local ad solutions across eight different categories.

Any big names speaking?
Is Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak big enough for you? But the list of great speakers doesn’t begin and end there. We have about 50 influential speakers booked for LSA|14 from companies like Google, comScore, YP, Bing, xAd, JiWire, Retale, Wanderful Media and many more.

Where is the event?
The Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach, Calif.  Bike along the coast, hit the links, learn to surf or just watch the sun set over the Pacific. It’s a beautiful place with plenty to do.

What kind of networking opportunities are there?
The entire LSA|14 event is extremely conducive to making new connections and catching up with old ones. With five networking events, the Expo Hall and lots of networking breaks during the day, you’ll get plenty of chances to meet decision makers within the local ad space.

Are there any speaking opportunities?
While our agenda is almost complete, we are offering sponsored speaking opportunities that we are calling, “Company Spotlights.” This is a great opportunity for those of you looking to introduce or remind the local space of your organization or new solution. You’ll get five minutes of the crowd’s undivided attention on the main stage which is plenty of time to make a splash!

Click here for more information on the LSA|14 conference.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Location

Friday, March 7, 2014

This week we focus on the foundation for all local searches: location.  From a consumer’s willingness to share his or her current location with companies to searching on a map, location is the foundation of what makes a search local.

Studies show location-based searches make up a significant piece of the entire search pie.  Based on data from a May 2013 comScore study, about 2.7 billion Google search queries in the US carried a local intent.

Here are some compelling stats that show how location impacts the local advertising space:

  • 20% of searches on Google are related to location. (Google)
  • 74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. (Pew)
  • Google Maps is the dominant app used for local-mobile search. (comScore, Neustar/Localeze and 15 Miles)
  • 61% of consumers permit mobile apps to access their “current location” at least some of the time. (YP)
  • 47% of consumers said they are willing to share location to receive relevant offers or discount coupons. (mBlox/Millward Brown)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Websites

Friday, February 28, 2014

This week we focus on the importance of small business websites when it comes to attracting local consumers.  Studies consistently show that many SMBs don’t have a website, and those that do struggle with related activities including SEO, mobile optimization and formatting.

Here are some compelling stats that help put into perspective how websites are critical to any small business’ local strategy:

  • 2 in 3 American and Canadian consumers indicate that a local business having a website affects their opinion of the business and whether or not to use it. (BrightLocal)
  • 45% of US and UK SMBs said they don’t have a website, and in both cases only 6% of respondents with websites said they were mobile-optimized. (hibu)
  • 59% of consumers visit a business’ website when conducting a mobile search. (Google/Nielsen)
  • 40% of SMBs said they are going to increase their budgets for websites by 10-15% within the next 12 months. (Thrive Analytics)
  • More than 90% of SMB websites audited didn’t display a contact email address, and nearly half lacked a phone number on their homepage.  (vSplash)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Yahoo Adds OpenTable to Search Results

Friday, February 28, 2014

In recent weeks, Yahoo has made several major announcements affecting local search including the streamlining of Yahoo local business listings, integration of Yelp reviews in search results, and now, links to OpenTable for local restaurant reservations.

While consumers can already make OpenTable reservations via Google and Bing search engine results, Yahoo has given the online reservation tool significant prominence on its local results pages, as seen below.

Since CEO Marissa Mayer took the helm in 2012, Yahoo has grown to almost 800 million monthly users and over half are mobile users. With its recent updates and integrations, the search engine is on its way to once again becoming a major player in local. As former head of Google’s local business, Mayer has a strong background in the space, so expect even more to come from the company in the next several months.

Mayer is also setting the tone for another trend we are seeing in the local marketing space by investing heavily in acquisition.  Yahoo has acquired over 30 start-ups since Mayer took over.  From search to mobile and from start-ups to major platforms, we’ve seen unprecedented investment in the mobile, and inherently, local space.

It’s an exciting time in the local search space, and we hope you can join us as we analyze and explore the future of local at the 2014 Local Search Association Conference, April 27-29 in Huntington Beach, Calif.  Register today and receive $200 off the registration price.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Mobile

Friday, February 14, 2014

Today we’re excited to launch a new weekly series in which we’ll highlight five compelling pieces of data and research about the fast-changing local advertising and marketing space.

This inaugural week we focus on mobile, where we’re seeing growing consumer usage and engagement when it comes to local activity and actions.

Here are just a few of the compelling stats that help put into perspective how consumers today are navigating local via their mobile devices:

  • The most popular post-click activity of 2013 was click-to-call. (xAd)
  • 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, while 17% take place on-the-go. (Google)
  • 81% of smartphone users rely on their mobile device for local shopping information. (Local Search Association/comScore)
  • 92% of consumers searching on mobile devices prefer browser search compatibility over mobile app availability. (DAC Group/Kantar)
  • $12 billion is the current value of U.S. online mobile sales to SMBs. (hibu)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Yahoo Partners with Yelp, Adjusts Display of Local Search Results

Monday, February 10, 2014

UPDATE: Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer announced a new partnership with Yelp on Friday of last week at an employee meeting.  Yelp’s listings and reviews of local businesses will be incorporated into results on Yahoo’s search engine.

In addition, early last week, Yahoo announced that they have added a “noticeably larger map,” business photos and vertical specific business information to their local search results.  According to their announcement, “this is another step towards a faster, more beautiful search experience.”  Much like Google’s local search results, the update adds more emphasis on business photos.



The similarity to Google search results is no surprise considering Marissa Mayer’s long held position as head of Google’s local products before becoming the CEO at Yahoo.

The improved look and feel is directly related to the time Yahoo has spent on improving their business data and information around the world.  The search giant has partnered with many local business data providers and this work is starting to pay off. For instance, just last year Yahoo partnered with Solocal Group (formerly PagesJaunes) to improve their local search results for French users.

The emphasis on local results across search engines continues to be ratings and reviews, but with more rich data sources, these engines can make searching locally a much more enjoyable experience.

LSA’s Inaugural “Think Tank” Event in NYC Brings Together Industry Leaders

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Earlier this month, the Local Search Association held our first-ever “Think Tank” event in New York City. The gathering, which was the first in what will be an ongoing series in major U.S. media markets, is part of our new effort to bring together local advertising leaders on a more frequent basis to discuss new ideas and trends in our industry, as well as foster deeper relationships between partners and competitors alike.

Our communications manager, Joe Morsello, and I were pleased to host executives from notable companies including Google, YP, Yelp, xAd, UBL, Kenshoo, LocalVox Media, MPayMe, MRY and IAB for an informal reception and dinner at The Lion restaurant in the city’s Greenwich Village. 

The evening, which began with brief introductions, was followed by discussions by attendees about current and future opportunities in our industry. 

While our conversations spanned numerous topics, below are several insights that grabbed our attention:

  • While location is the start of local advertising, there are countless other considerations to explore. The group discussed how the next phase of targeting will use data that shows consumer behavior and preference.
  • Word of mouth continues to be critical in local. Word of mouth is still one of the strongest influences for consumers on where to spend money locally. Local SMBs need help determining how to increase word of mouth with their marketing programs.
  • Display ads – like TV commercials – lead to consumer actions outside of clicks alone. Display ads lead to online searches, phone calls, and store visits, among other actions. The challenge we all face is how to successfully measure those actions.
  • Mobile usage isn’t confined to people on-the-go. In fact, a large share of mobile usage takes place within the home.
  • Consumers are hungry for a more “3D” local experience. Alice Hazen, National Client Partner at Yelp, noted that consumers want local search tools to “give me what I want (that I didn’t know I wanted), right at the moment I need it.” Consumers want – and expect – that local tools will anticipate their next moves and purchases.
  • Local involvement is key for larger retailors. Alice discussed that on Yelp, national/multi-location advertisers are more successful when store managers get involved and individually represent the company.
  • Most ads currently provide only one experience, when there is an opportunity to provide many more. Peter Minnium, Head of Digital Brand Initiatives at IAB, said that while our industry is good at targeting ads by audience and demographic, we miss a lot of other local cues. He noted that even though our industry has access to a growing amount of data, we haven’t seemed to figure out how to use all of it to our advantage.
  • Last Mile is everything that happens between targeting by location and consumer action. Peter discussed how local advertising today requires more context and data at each stage of the path to purchase in order to be successful.
  • Local businesses want face-to-face interactions with local advertising providers. Chris Travers, President and Co-Founder, UBL noted that when SMBs find out they can’t meet a sales person in person, they are immediately turned off.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our first “Think Tank” event. The feedback we received from the group was extremely positive. Many who attended enjoyed the opportunity to network and discuss relevant industry issues in an intimate local setting. 

We’re already in the planning stages of our next event – this time in the Windy City of Chicago! – and looking at how to incorporate ways to improve the sessions so that they are as useful and productive as possible.

We’ll keep you updated on future “Think Tank” events, so stay tuned!