Posts Tagged ‘Local Search’

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: In-Store Purchases

Friday, July 25, 2014

Despite the growth of e-commerce and online shopping, in-store purchases still reign supreme. For that reason, according to a BIA/Kelsey study, SMBs voted in-person interactions as “excellent” lead sources more than any other lead source, except for calls, which received a comparable amount of votes.

The Internet and other digital technologies have transformed the way consumers make purchases – and that’s not because they can make these purchases online. Instead, these technologies are giving consumers the ability to conduct extensive research that allows them to be more informed about the products or services, price and availability.

Here are some stats that show how in-store purchases are still driving local commerce and the digital technologies that are helping facilitate these transactions:

  • Two-thirds of total local purchases (65.9%) are still being purchased in-person. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Digital currently influences 36% of in-store sales, a figure forecasted to rise to 50% by the end of 2014. (Deloitte)
  • Nearly 80% of local searches on mobile devices turned into purchases, with nearly 90% of those purchases made in a physical store. (comScore/Neustar Localeze/15 Miles)
  • Four out of five Yelp users visit Yelp.com before spending money, and 93% say that visiting Yelp leads to a local purchase. (Nielsen)
  • 21% of Pinterest users, 30% of Facebook users and 17% of Twitter users said that they have bought an item in-store after sharing or “favoriting” an item. (Vision Critical)

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

Free Webinar Highlights Ad to Action Award Winners

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don’t miss part two of our free webinar series this Thursday, July 24 at 2pm EDT featuring our Ad to Action Awards winners. Representatives from three winning companies will give attendees deeper looks into the functionality, benefits, targeting and ROI opportunities associated with their product or solution.

  • Print: Platform Agnostic Dynamic Location Based Media Planning by SMG Local Spectrum
  • Mobile: GeoCookie by Thinknear
  • Deals/Loyalty/Ecommerce: MyTime
  • Vertical Specific: Weather Triggered Demand Generation by SMG Local Spectrum

Register for our free webinar here.

The Ad to Action Awards recognized solutions within eight submission categories that demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local business sales and providing memorable experiences to consumers at the end of their purchasing decision track. We received 60 outstanding solutions that were evaluated by a diverse panel of 14 notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry.

Automated Tools To Help Local Businesses Tackle Online Marketing

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In my Local Search column on Search Engine Land this month, I talk about the growing promise of automated local marketing solutions in providing local businesses and marketers with faster, more reliable and more cost-effective service.

Marketers are increasingly turning to automation to help them better achieve a variety of advertising objectives. According to a new survey, 45% of marketers believe that automation is most important to improving marketing productivity, while 44% believe it is key to increasing sales revenue, and 42% think it is vital to increasing lead generation.

To demonstrate the opportunities ahead in local, I discuss three of our Ad to Action Awards winners and the ways that their offerings are lowering barriers for local businesses and marketers to compete online.

  • Rio SEO’s Local Listing Manager solution is automating online business listing management so that local businesses can update their listings throughout the web from a single dashboard
  • The Search Agency’s AdMax Local product is enabling marketers to offer SMBs automated local SEM campaigns at a price point they can afford
  • Sightly’s TargetView offering is enabling local businesses to create, target and distribute video ads so they can compete with big brands.

Read my full column on Search Engine Land.

SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Shannon Kinney, Founder, Dream Local Digital

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! speaker spotlight features Shannon Kinney, founder and client success officer at Dream Local Digital, a digital marketing agency that has worked with thousands of small businesses across North America. She and her team specialize in offering online marketing assistance such as websites, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, SEM and more.

Shannon Kinney, Founder & Client Success Officer at Dream Local Digital

Shannon has over 15 years of experience in the development of successful Internet products, sales and marketing strategies and has worked on the teams developing successful Internet brands such as cars.com, careerbuilder.com, and over 60 online media properties for newspapers all over the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, she spent over 10 years in media sales and sales management in Maine.

We asked Shannon a few questions about her upcoming SoMoConf session, and here is what she had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
We will review top takeaways from the LMIA report and expand to cover some of the latest case studies on companies leveraging social media to build brand awareness, reach and serve customers, develop relationships and audience.

What about your session are you most excited about?
Sharing some of the great tips and best practices that we leverage every day in our work with online marketing, and making sure that every attendee leaves with ideas they can implement themselves!

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
Social media is one of the most powerful tools to engage your community, promote your content and your advertising products and this session will provide several tips on how to make the most out of your time invested!

What is your favorite social media platform to use?
I personally favor Twitter and Instagram as communication platforms, LinkedIn for business communication, and love Facebook for its broad reach and application. I also spend a lot of time with Pinterest and Snapchat!

Click here to learn more about the SoMoConf event or register now!

YP’s Mobile Properties Attract Users with Spending Power

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

With more than 10 million downloads of its mobile app and approximately 30 million monthly unique visits across its app and mobile websites, YP.com offers advertisers a great way to reach consumers searching for local business information via their mobile devices.

Not only does YP.com attract a strong cross-section of users, but those users trend younger and carry some serious spending power.  The typical YP.com mobile user is between 25-44 years old and makes more than $75,000 annually, according to the latest comScore MobiLens data, although the site has users across all age and income groups.

Source: comScore MobiLens May 2014

Source: comScore MobiLens May 2014

Last year, YP reported $378 million in mobile ad revenue and noted that half of its audience came from mobile devices. Recently, YP CEO David Krantz was quoted as saying, “we were mobile before mobile was cool” – a claim that seems to be validated by the company’s strong mobile performance indicators.

YP is continuing to attract mobile users and driving mobile ad revenue with new mobile offerings, such as its recently released offering, My Book. An alternative to reviews and tips, this new tool allows both mobile and desktop users to create and manage lists of their favorite businesses. With this data, YP is able to provide users with recommendations based on the number of “favorites” each business has.

Krantz has been very public in his comments regarding the importance of YP’s mobile strategy – and rightfully so. Mobile local searches are driving consumer actions and continue to transform the way consumers interact with local business information. In addition, since YP’s mobile properties are attracting users with spending power, they are poised to remain a major local player that offers strong results for advertisers.

LSA Member Innovation in Local: Search Influence

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This week we hear from Search Influence, a national, full-service, online marketing company based in New Orleans. Search Influence serves local and small / medium size businesses with SEO, Online Advertising, Social Media and Social Ads, both directly and as a white-label provider for media companies and resellers.

We caught up with Will Scott, CEO and co-founder of Search Influence, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does Search Influence solve? How?
On some level, we’re like the Yellow Pages of old. We make “phones ring and doors swing” (and email go ding). Regardless of the medium, our job as local marketers and media companies is to connect buyers and sellers.

For our partners in the media, we give them products their advertisers want without the cost of building their own team.

What makes Search Influence innovative?
We devote significant R&D and software development to the challenge of scaling content-based SEO and Social Media. Before most of the industry was talking about “content marketing” we were driving buying traffic by producing hundreds of thousands of pages of copy for online distribution.

Our philosophy is that software should end where human intelligence is needed. At search influence we develop scalable systems powered by experts.

How does Search Influence make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
It’s hard to be a local advertiser today. Between keeping your doors open, your employees happy and your online presence humming there’s barely enough time to sleep and eat.

In a recent BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor, the data showed some local advertisers are active in 7 or more online channels. That could be a full-time job.

We help those advertisers tell their story. On their website, in social media, throughout the local search ecosystem, we provide buyers with the information to confidently select a provider.

What is next in local?
Content is going farther and having more impact on media company revenues. As native advertising has evolved this year from a buzzword to a tangible revenue stream for our partners, we are working with media companies to develop quality native advertising content at scale. We handle everything from telling the advertiser story in text, image and video to finding channels for distribution online and extending their reach in social media.

For more info, check out the presentation below, or you can contact Search Influence at (504) 208-3900 or email them at Info@searchinfluence.com.

About Search Influence & the Importance of Content Marketing for Local Bussinesses from Local Search Association

Google Turns Local Product Searches into Delivery Business

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

To date, Google product searches have delivered fairly relevant local results, but have failed to translate those results into actual purchases.  Now, Google is introducing a new platform to that helps consumers move from product searches to real-life transactions.

The offering, called Google Shopping Express, allows consumers to buy products from several major participating retailers through Google’s interface. In turn, Google will take a single-digit percentage cut of each transaction and then deliver the purchased product from the physical retail store to the consumer on the same or next day. Instead of operating massive warehouses and store inventory – along the lines of Amazon – Google simply acts as a facilitator of local product transactions.

Currently, the service offers products from the likes of Target, Costco, Toys “R” Us and Whole Foods, and is operational in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. A source told Re/code that Google execs have set aside around $500 million to expand the service nationwide. According to Tom Fallows, head of Google Shopping Express, the company is “willing to sustain that investment over time as this gets going.”

While there is the obvious benefit of using Google to help sell local products, it will be interesting to see how they incorporate small retailers in the mix.  At this point, the service looks well suited for retailers that offer specialty, one-of-a-kind goods that aren’t available anywhere else. On the other hand, the local drug store with common brand name products might struggle to compete with the pricing flexibility of national chains like Walgreens.

Once again, it looks like small local retailers face an uphill battle when it comes to competing with the influence of national retailers.  If Google plans to continue this partnership model for Google Shopping Express, we can only assume that the national brands will have priority over small local retailers that offer the same products with less reach.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this new Google offering resonates in the market and what impact it has on local product sales.

Upcoming Webinars to Highlight Ad to Action Award Winners

Monday, July 14, 2014

We are excited to announce that next week we will be holding two webinars featuring all of our Ad to Action Award winners.  Representatives from each winning company will give attendees deeper looks into the functionality, benefits, targeting and ROI benefits associated with their product or solution.

Join us to learn more about these innovative offerings:

Part 1: Tuesday, July 22 at 2pm EDT

  • Business Listings: Local Listing Manager™ by Rio SEO
  • Implementation: AdMax® Local by The Search Agency
  • Video: TargetView by Sightly
  • Social Media: Likes for Lives by Search Influence

Part 2: Thursday, July 24 at 2pm EDT

  • Print: Platform Agnostic Dynamic Location Based Media Planning by SMG Local Spectrum
  • Mobile: GeoCookie by Thinknear
  • Deals/Loyalty/Ecommerce: MyTime
  • Vertical Specific: Weather Triggered Demand Generation by SMG Local Spectrum

The Ad to Action Awards recognized solutions within eight submission categories that demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local business sales and providing memorable experiences to consumers at the end of their purchasing decision track. We received 60 outstanding solutions that were evaluated by a diverse panel of 14 notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry.

We hope you’ll join us!

About $450M of Digital Co-Op Ad Dollars Are Left Unused

Friday, July 11, 2014

During this week’s webinar, Marianna Tishchenko, business development at PaperG, walked through digital co-op advertising for publishers and agencies and shared some recent industry trends.  She shared some data to show why digital co-op presents a huge opportunity for local advertisers and discussed what’s keeping all the offline co-op spending from going digital.

In addition to getting a sneak peak into PaperG’s solutions that help facilitate digital co-op advertising, here are some other takeaways from the webinar:

  • Online co-op marketing is worth $1.7 billion today with $450 million left unused due to lack of participation. (Borrell Associates)
  • There are 4500+ co-op programs available in the U.S. for digital, print, radio, mobile, SEM, billboards and many other forms of advertising.
  • The obvious benefit of co-op advertising is that it gives local dealers “free money” from manufacturers which makes advertising more cost-effective.
  • With U.S. digital ad spend expected to grow to $61.35 billion by 2017, co-op will grow with it.

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.

The Local Listing Management Hat-trick: Optimized Data, Listing Syndication and Roll-Up Reporting

Thursday, July 10, 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).

Last month, I praised major data aggregators for their contributions to the accelerated evolution of local search. Capitalizing on their overall benefits requires a three-prong approach.

One of those prongs, roll-up reporting, is often the missing link for top brands trying to better understand how their optimized, syndicated local data is performing in organic search across the key search engines, niche directories, mobile apps, in-car GPS devices, and review sites.  Reporting is the last of three key components that make up the local listing management hat-trick:

    1. Cleansing and optimization of brand data.
    2. Syndication and distribution of that optimized data to the entire local search ecosystem.
    3. Roll-up reporting of data correctness and changes to listings.

Despite the tedious analysis of massive amounts of granular data, most marketers are still without proper insight into what is or is not working with local SEO.  Automated reporting and adherence to best practices addresses these issues, especially when managing hundreds or even thousands of locations.

Cleansing Inaccurate Business Listings Address Poor User Experiences and Dissatisfaction

Ensuring local business information accuracy is a must, as incorrect information can prevent consumers doing a search, from finding your business or worse, going to a competitor.

Regularly reporting your presence across major search engines and the local search ecosystem ensures accuracy and delivering on user expectations. Features like citation tracking and monitoring provide brand insight into what is being displayed and where. Any inaccuracies can then be tackled individually or in bulk.

Syndication/Distribution of Optimized Data = Control and Valuable Backlinks

Once companies have cleansed their local data of incorrect business listing information, they’re ready to syndicate their location information to:

  • Google+ Local;
  • Yahoo Local;
  • Bing Maps; and
  • Top data aggregators (Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze and Factual).

Syndicating or submitting clean, consistent local business information to the top aggregators is key to driving measurable ROI around targeted products and services in hyper-local markets. Data aggregators give brands ultimate control over their listings and add search engine validation, while building more backlinks and completeness of profiles and ultimately increasing search rankings. Marketers who automate this process are best positioned to drive brand campaigns and strategies through their local listings.

To get a quick start, read this local SEO guide to listing syndication.

Roll-Up Reporting Means Powerful Search Ranking Intelligence

In any online campaign, marketers need effective tools to track, measure and report on all activity and results. Top brands are quickly adopting local reporting solutions to gain a 30,000-foot view and track local successes across the major search engines, data aggregators, and niche directories by location.

The following items should be tracked to measure local SEO success and ROI:

  • Ranking on search engines
  • Local search rankings
  • Citation consistency across the ecosystem
  • Traffic from all engines, directories, and niche sites
  • Link activity analytics, driving directories, coupons, click-to-call, etc.
  • Number of reviews per location on Google+, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.
  • Average review ratings on Google+, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.

Both organic and local search rankings should be tracked to give marketers a complete view of their search performance down to specific locations and the ability to monitor search rankings for targeted keywords as well as competitors – over time. Knowledge is power; having this level of intelligence and hyper-local insight at your disposal makes each and every business and marketing decision that much more informed. For more insight on local search reporting, join our live webinar Tuesday, July 15, or after that date go to www.rioseo.com to view a recording.