Posts Tagged ‘Local Search’

Google’s Pigeon Local Search Update: Local SEO Tools

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

As part of winning in the Business Listings category of the Ad to Action Awards, Rio SEO‘s Bill Connard, VP of local search solutions, will provide monthly insight into the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

We recently contributed to a blog about Google’s new “Pigeon” algorithm update, a major local algorithm change rolled out July 24 affecting Google Maps and local Google search results. Now that the dust has settled, local SEO practitioners can focus on the strategy and tools to prepare for the next inevitable algorithm shake-up.

Google’s algorithms are constantly in a state of flux even outside of the occasional mass-impact update, which is precisely why we advocate for adherence to local SEO best practices. Today we’re going to introduce you to the key local SEO performance indicators you should be tracking, as well as the tools you’ll need to Pigeon-proof your web presence.

How Do You Know If Your Site Was Affected by Google Pigeon?

Local search marketers should be tracking their rankings on an ongoing basis to determine the impact of any algorithm update. Checking your rankings and reviews through automation enables you to track your own standings, as well as your competitors with greater accuracy.

Smart marketers, including many of our clients, measure monthly and therefore have the ability to pinpoint ranking fluctuations and react quickly. Just as importantly, you need to be able to then measure the effects of any actions you take to see if you’re moving in the right direction.

Be sure to track your rankings across “The Big 3″ (Google, Bing, Yahoo). According to comScore, the three major engines together account for over 96 percent of search queries. Google itself processes 65 percent of that activity. However, if you’re only tracking your rankings on Google, you’re missing out on a substantial portion of potential web traffic.

Local SEO KPIs to Track and Measure The Effects of Algorithm Updates

Beyond measuring your rankings, how can you Pigeon-proof your website? Pay attention to these important local SEO key performance indicators:

  1. Rankings on Local Search
  2. Citation Consistency across the Ecosystem
  3. Traffic from Local Sites
  4. Link Activity Analytics
  5. Local Reviews per Location

What Do These Local SEO KPIs Tell You?

In addition to helping you diagnose issues and pinpoint opportunities, tracking and measuring local SEO KPIs alongside rankings across search engines and local sites gives you a great idea of how your SEO efforts are performing as a whole.

  • If you see an increase in rankings, then you’re excelling in SEO (great reviews, citations, content).
  • If you’re retaining rankings, then you are on-par with best practices.
  • If you see a decline in rankings, then the local efforts and activity that you are focusing on are not on-par with best practices.

Tracking and measuring on an ongoing basis gives you the ability to identify when your site has been affected by an algorithm change. You have historical data. Plus, if you’ve automated the process, it’s quite easy to see exactly when and where your site has been affected.

While it’s ideal to have diverse sources of traffic, the reality is that many businesses rely heavily on search engines to send prospects to their website. You can’t afford to suffer a rankings drop along with the subsequent traffic loss and only then go in search of a solution.

Rio SEO has integrated local ranking analytics, which take the legwork out of ranking reports and enable marketers to react quickly to remedy ranking and traffic declines caused by algorithm updates.

In our next blog, we’ll share insights from some of the nation’s leading retailers on the impact Google’s Pigeon algorithm has had on their rankings. Stay tuned! If you’d like to see Rio SEO’s software in action schedule a free demo with a local SEO specialist at www.rioseo.com.

Local or National, Big or Small – Why You Need a Mobile Campaign Now

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Please join LSA and UpSnap for an exclusive webinar presentation next Thursday, August 28 from 2 pm – 3 pm EST.

eMarketer estimates that spending on mobile advertising will soar 83% to nearly $18 billion this year. Yet this year’s spending growth will raise mobile’s share of the ad market to only 9.8% despite consumers spending a quarter of their media time on mobile devices. The opportunity is clear and during this webinar, UpSnap will provide the strategies and tools you need to quickly launch successful results-driven mobile campaigns.

UpSnap provides highly-targeted, data-driven mobile advertising to attract the ideal audience for brands big and small. Combining first-party proprietary data and real-time analytics, UpSnap goes beyond location to deliver site agnostic and results-driven campaigns that produce qualified, engaged customers. UpSnap tailors each campaign to align with unique business goals, delivering the right customers for more meaningful exposure and better business results.

Spots are limited so reserve your seat today!

Infographic: Consumers Turning to Mobile & Various Combinations of Local Media in Last Mile

Monday, August 18, 2014

Consumers are using vastly different combinations of local media to inform their purchasing decisions and mobile devices are changing the way consumers interact with local information.  According to our latest edition of the “Local Media Tracking Study” conducted by Burke, between 2012 and 2013, computer/laptop usage for searching for local products and services decreased while mobile phone/smartphone and netbook/tablets both increased.

The study includes interviews with 8,000 U.S. adults conducted online and by phone. The infographic shows that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices when seeking, discovering or considering local business information.  With that being said, businesses need to develop integrated advertising and marketing strategies that span across devices.

For more commentary on the study, check out our post on Search Engine Land or take a look at the infographic below:

Consumers Increasingly Turn to Mobile & Varied Media Combinations in Last Mile from Local Search Association

Ifbyphone Webinar Highlights: As Search Goes Mobile, Calls Become the New Clicks

Monday, August 18, 2014

During last week’s webinar, Blair Symes and Angelo Tsakonas of Ifbyphone explained how marketers and agencies are using call tracking technology to optimize ROI from paid search. They talked about which PPC ads, search keywords, and landing pages generate calls and sales – and which don’t and talked about how to filter out bad calls and route good ones to the closest store, office, or agent to maximize sales.

In addition, they showed how to significantly improve marketing ROI from search by tracking, scoring, routing and managing calls in the same way as web conversions.  Here are a few takeaways from the webinar:

  • Search is going mobile and calls are the new clicks.
  • 276 million smartphones in the U.S. by 2017.
  • 50% of mobile searches have local intent.
  • 73 billion inbound sales calls expected from mobile search in 2018.
  • Marketers don’t know what sources make the phone ring.
  • Marketing and sales teams can’t control how inbound calls are routed, scored and managed to optimize conversions.
  • One Ifbyphone customer saw a 200% increase in call conversions by using local phone numbers in paid search campaigns.
  • Call tracking helps marketers understand exactly what marketing sources make the phone ring.
  • Around just 19% of inbound calls are actually high quality calls and/or new leads.

Check out the entire presentation below:

For access to all of our past webinars and a look at what’s to come, visit http://bit.ly/LSAwebinars.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: CMOs

Friday, August 15, 2014

Digital technologies have led to many new marketing solutions and analytics tools and are making the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) job much more complex. Still, many are moving fast to invest in these tools in order to better target and measure advertising and marketing efforts.

According to a Korn Ferry study, about 8 in 10 U.S. CMOs expect their companies to increase the use of predictive analytics and big data tools this year.  As a result, today’s CMO needs to be versed on technologies that continue to develop, with new tools popping up regularly.

Here are some stats that give a look into the CMO’s perspective:

  • Within large companies (companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue), 81% now have a chief marketing technologist role, up from 71% just a year ago. (Gartner)
  • The top concern of 34% of CMOs is the creation of sustainable and engaging customer relationships and improving the customer experience. (Korn Ferry)
  • Just 35.7% of CMOs feel that they can prove the short-term impact of marketing spend quantitatively, and 28.6% feel they can prove the long-term impact. (Duke Fuqua School of Business)
  • 1 in 4 CMOs cite a lack of critical technology or tools as their chief barrier to digital integration. (Accenture)
  • Prediction: Innovative CMO and CIO pairs will throw out the rule book when it comes to IT’s support of marketing. (International Data Corporation)

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

SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Luke Edson, VP of National Markets, YP

Friday, August 15, 2014

Today’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! speaker spotlight features Luke Edson, VP of National Markets at YP. Luke drives the development and sales of innovative solutions across YP’s multiple media platforms including search, mobile and display.

Luke Edson, VP of National Markets, YP

Prior to YP, Luke was SVP and GM at Cox Digital Solutions where he managed sales, product, technology, publisher sales, account management and ad operations. In addition, Luke was at AOL for 8 years, most recently in the role of regional sales director, based on New York where he managed a $120M territory that included leading NYC media agencies.

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
I’ll discuss some of the keys to publisher success and monetization in mobile advertising.  We’ll spend time talking about the importance of data and how deriving valuable insights from location based and other data can improve advertiser ROI and increase publisher monetization.  I want to really zero in on location, data, and insights as they are essential elements for hitting a homerun in mobile.

What about your session are you most excited about?
I’m excited about the opportunity to discuss how YP’s consumer properties and mobile platforms give us valuable data from which we can develop actionable insights that drive advertiser ROI.

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
A recent IDC study ranked YP #3 in mobile revenue and we didn’t get there by accident.  I’m going to share how we are finding success and consistently growing mobile revenues – I’m pretty sure those attending the conference will want to hear that story.

What is the best part of working at YP?
Being a part of YP’s transition from a traditional print yellow pages business to full-spectrum digital and mobile media provider.  It’s an exciting time and makes YP a great place to be.

We are just a few days away from SoMoConf so click here to learn more or register now!

The State of Local Programmatic: 100 Local Media Execs Weigh In

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today’s guest post comes from Amber Benson, vice president of marketing at Simpli.fi. Simpli.fi is an advertising technology company that simplifies digital advertising through the use of unstructured data.

There is no denying the gap between publishers that want to take advantage of targeted solutions and fully integrated cross-platform programs, and local advertisers who faithfully hold to their knowledge of their buyers and what’s worked before. What is interesting is just how wide that gap is and how best to bridge it.

Forrester Consulting recently interviewed more than 100 digital publishing executives in 29 designated market areas (DMAs) and found that education is the key to local programmatic success. The study highlighted what is needed for local programmatic to take off in a way that gets targeted messaging to consumers, and better ROI to advertisers and publishers.

The report from Forrester will be profiled in a joint webinar with Simpli.fi titled, “The State of Local Programmatic: 100 Local Media Execs Weigh In” on Thursday, August 14 from 1 – 2 pm ET.  But before that, here are some highlights from the study:

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Simpli.fi, April 2014. 

  • More than half of local publishers (53%) sell full cross-platform integrated solutions.
  • Nearly 70% of publishers use a DMP to create data-driven advertising programs, such as audience extension.
  • Sales and ad ops teams see high minimum campaign spend (47%) as the primary barrier to local advertisers adopting programmatic, closely followed by a lack of perceived or measureable ROI at 42 percent, showing that to local advertisers, ROI is king.
  • Publishers cited sales training (65%) and technology implementation (63%) as challenges faced during the implementation process, highlighting the need for education to keep up with the rapidly evolving space.
  • Interestingly, 31% of publishers questioned about local programmatic challenges cited the need for something new entirely – a specialized analytics staff to keep up with changes as they happen.

Interested in learning more? Register today for the webinar. Attendees will also receive a full copy of the report and some unique insights into how local publishers and advertisers can be successful and raise the ROI on small data, high volume campaigns.

LSA Member Innovation in Local: Ifbyphone

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This week we hear from Ifbyphone, a software provider that enables businesses and agencies to prove and improve marketing ROI by tracking and managing phone leads from any source, including search. For local search specifically, Ifbyphone gives the power to measure PPC ad effectiveness and optimize ROI by not only tracking inbound calls (and the revenue they generate) back to the specific keywords, ads, landing pages, and campaigns that originated them, but also by routing those calls optimally to the right store, office, or sales agent right away.

In addition to the company’s upcoming webinar, we caught up with Ifbyphone’s Demand Generation Manager Blair Symes to learn more:

What local problem(s) does Ifbyphone solve? How?
25% of searches take place on mobile devices today, and that number is expected to surpass PC search by 2015. As search goes mobile, it’s important for marketers and SEM agencies to understand that when smartphone users find a business, they aren’t converting by filling out a web form – they’re calling.

Thanks to click-to-call, Google reports that 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call. 30 billion sales calls were made to businesses in the U.S. last year from mobile search, and that number is expected to reach 75 billion by 2018 (BIA/Kelsey, 2014). Google also reports that half of all mobile searches have local intent.

To compete on search engines like Google and Bing in today’s mobile world, you can’t afford to ignore phone calls in your analytics. Search has become too competitive, and the stakes are too high. It’s why search marketers are now in a race to adopt solutions to measure and control calls the same way they do web conversions.

Keyword-level call tracking solutions like Ifbyphone provide the critical missing piece to your marketing analytics puzzle. While competitors try to outmaneuver you using inaccurate and incomplete SEO and PPC data, you can use call attribution data from Ifbyphone to see what keywords and PPC ad and landing page variations are driving calls, opportunities, and revenue. You can then drive more calls and revenue by optimizing PPC campaigns and bid strategies for the most lucrative keywords, while simultaneously cutting spend on search terms, ads, and landing pages that aren’t driving calls and sales.

What makes Ifbyphone innovative?
While several companies offer call tracking solutions, only Ifbyphone provides keyword-level call tracking plus a full suite of call routing, scoring, and management tools that work once the call comes in to help you optimize ROI from search:

  • Best-in-class reporting available any time: Real-time cloud-based reports gives you detailed insightful on calls you won’t find anywhere else, including call duration, caller’s geography, what web pages they viewed before calling, and more.
  • Integrates with the software you rely on: Include call tracking data in Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, Google AdWords, Salesforce CRM, and bid management tools like Kenshoo, Acquisio, and Marin Software.
  • Filter out bad calls: Send callers to a virtual receptionist first to weed out the ones that aren’t right for sales agents.
  • Score call quality: Use call scoring tools that measure conversation quality for you, record calls to prove value, and more.
  • Route calls optimally: Ifbyphone will automatically route calls based on factors you decide, such as time of day, what PPC campaign drove the call, and caller location. This last piece includes technology called geo-location that uses cell triangulation to route mobile callers to the closest store, office, or agent.
  • Manage call agent activity: Monitor and record call activity for the entire salesforce regardless of agent location, device, or phone system.

How does Ifbyphone make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
Ifbyphone enables advertisers to truly understand how your search marketing generates calls and revenue, either for your own business or for your clients. That data can be used to prove your value to execs or clients and to improve PPC performance to generate better ROI. For consumers, instead of waiting on hold, Ifbyphone’s call scoring technology can provide them with helpful automated phone menus for things like business hours, store locations, or account information right away. It can also route their calls directly to their closest store right away, so they don’t waste time with annoying transfers.

What is next in local?
Calls are what’s now and what’s next. For local search and e-commerce, calls are everything, thanks to smartphones and the rise in mobile search volumes. Search marketers and SEM agencies need to provide callers with a first-class call experience, and that requires tools to handle what happens once calls come in, and that integrate call tracking data with the other marketing applications you rely on to analyze and improve performance. Ifbyphone is the only call tracking provider that has them.

To learn more about Ifbyphone register for the company’s upcoming webinar, visit the Ifbyphone website or email them at contact@ifbyphone.com

SourceTrak™ Call Tracking Software From Ifbyphone from Ifbyphone on Vimeo.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Daily Deals & Digital Coupons

Friday, August 8, 2014

While the daily deal craze has somewhat settled down over the last few years, there are still strong supporters of this marketing tactic.  And with the proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices, digital coupons are becoming more widespread and offer conveniences that paper coupons can’t.

Some marketers find that daily deal websites are ideal for introducing new products, brands or businesses to the market. People tend to be more willing to try something new if there is a deal attached to it, rather than pay full price for something they aren’t sure about.

All in all, people like discounts and here are some stats on how daily deals and online coupons are functioning in the marketplace:

  • 53% of SMBs said daily deals are the most effective technology tool in attracting new customers. (Constant Contact)
  • 80% of marketers have no plans to use daily deal sites, such as Groupon or LivingSocial, in the near future. (Social Media Examiner)
  • More than 70% of digital coupon users will use a mobile device to redeem a discount in 2014. (eMarketer)
  • When asked about unplanned purchases, 21% stated they bought from daily deal websites and 28% claimed they buy products they had never bought before from daily deal websites. (Ryan Partnership)
  • 68% strongly believe that digital coupons have a positive impact on a retailer’s brand. (RetailMeNot)

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

Shift to Video Continues with New Yelp and Facebook Updates

Friday, August 8, 2014

Video continues to take a central role online for consumers and publishers.  A 2014 Cisco study predicts that by 2018, 79% of all Internet traffic will be video – and Yelp and Facebook are working to accelerate that growth.

Yelp recently introduced a new feature allowing users to post 3-12 second videos related to local businesses in order to better capture ambiance, lighting, noise and other features that are hard to capture with photos.  Currently, the feature is only accessible on the Yelp app for iPhone users but is expected to be available for Android soon. 

Image Source: Business Insider

Bringing the sights, sounds and motion from a local businesses to the digital world is going to be extremely helpful for a wide range of verticals. According to a study by Animoto, 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching videos explaining a product or service.  In addition, Yelp users post around 23,000 photos each day, and that kind of activity should help the review site generate video content at a similarly rapid pace.

While Yelp does provide some tips and examples of what a good video looks like, the downside to the feature is that there doesn’t seem to be much the company can do in regards to video quality.  On the other hand, poor quality videos should be less a reflection of the business and more so of the uploader.

Facebook is also putting some effort into growing the influence and overall presence of videos on the social network.  In March this year, Facebook introduced a new video ad unit that is 15 seconds long and runs inside a user’s news feed. The ads automatically play without sound and when clicked, they expand to fill the screen with sound.

With Facebook’s often cited 1.5 million small and medium-sized business advertisers, the introduction of these ads may seem like a big win for Facebook and SMBs alike, but it hasn’t happened yet.  The ads are still in preliminary stages and according to a story on Re/code, Facebook is running tests and working to get users ready for the full roll out of these ads by showing more autoplay videos in the news feed.

“We have to get the consumer experience right, and autoplay is obviously a big deal,” Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small businesses, told Re/code.

The time table isn’t clear, but much of the testing of the new ad format is taking place with the help and ad dollars of big brands.  The cost for these ads are well outside the typical SMB ad budget, with Mashable saying in February that ads start at $600,000.

The continuing shift towards video content for consumers and publishers alike is changing the complexion of the digital world. And this shift is only being accelerated as big names like Yelp and Facebook invest in video solutions and products.