Advice Local's "From Around the Web"

Bernadette ColemanIs Voice Search Just the New Cool Thing to Talk About?

Or, is it a reality that all local businesses and brands need to embrace? How many times a day do you use a smart device to find something or learn something?

Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Cortana – all of these voice-enabled technologies are delivering answers or performing a task on your behalf daily, if you’re like me. This is voice search at its simplest form.

While consumers may not be making all their buying decisions via voice yet, the fact is that they are searching. According to a BrightLocal survey, 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily. This is powerful. Voice search is no longer in its infancy. Local businesses can’t afford to miss out on getting found through digital assistants.

According to the Kleiner Perkins 2018 Internet Trends Report, Amazon’s Echo grew in popularity by more than 30 million users. Amazon Echo Skills have increased to 30,000 and Google Machine Learning word accuracy is at 95%. Remember, voice search and these types of devices barely existed a few years back. They have made tremendous leaps and bounds in their technology and growth.

Amazon Echo Stats for 2018

Amazon and Microsoft are even working together on voice technology. Just this week, they released a preview of Cortana with Alexa integration.

Voice search is so important that we want you – our partners, friends and local business customers – to know we have you covered on the top voice platforms.

Here’s the Roadmap to Getting Found in Voice Search

  1. Strong listings on Google, Apple, Yelp and Bing are a must. We include Apple and Bing in every package we offer. For an additional fee, we can also optimize and manage Google My Business and Yelp listings. With these options, Google Voice, Siri and Cortana are covered.
  2. In order to be found in Samsung’s Bixby interface, we submit local business data to Here and Foursquare. Here and Foursquare are included every package we offer, too.
  3. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about Alexa. Businesses that submit to the data aggregator Localeze are covered in voice search on Alexa.

Voice search is just one of the many reasons it’s important to submit more than just the name, address and phone number (NAP) for local businesses to data sources. An optimized listing includes information about the business, photos, business hours, reviews, links to social media, and more. Each listing should leverage each component and feature available to maximize impact and visibility.

Not sure if the local businesses you represent are getting found online and in voice search? We can help you with that. Run our free online visibility report today and see how they stack up against the competition.

Featured Resources

Making Local Search Trends Simple in 2018

Local Search Trends Made Simple – Infographic

Voice Search and Local SEO for Local Businesses

Voice Search Is Coming Strong: Learn the Basics

From Around the Web

1. Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: Truth or Myth?

Is it true that Google has 200 factors that determine a website’s ranking in their search engine? Find the truth – and 11 more facts about ranking factors– here!

2. New Google Search Console Gets 3 Additional Features

Google is merging the old with the new, adding old features to the newest beta version of the Google Search Console. Brands will soon be able to manage users, add sites and much more!

3. How a Business Can Optimize Its Content Using Data Collection

Grant Simmons talks on #SEMrushchat about running a successful content marketing strategy. The main secret? Data collection and usage. Learn more from the search marketing guru.

4. New Survey Shows Customers Interested in Social Media Discounts

Are businesses taking advantage of social media? They might not be. A survey shows only 18% of marketers prioritize social media deals, missing out on potential customers.

5. Local Relationships More Important to Brands Than National Image

Any business should be thinking first about their local image, customer relationships, services and marketing. Read Robert Blatt’s discussion to learn why.

6. Why Trying to Pass Off Old Content as New Is a Big No-No

Many businesses resort to the old “republish old content” trick, but according to Google’s John Mueller, that’s a no-no. See why he thinks this is a bad habit when it comes to user experience.

This Week’s Featured Articles by the #QueenofLocalSEO

Is Mobile SEO a Real Thing?

Mobile SEO: Does It Really Exist?

Not only does mobile SEO exist, it is also extremely important. With Google moving to a mobile-first focus, mobile SEO is something every business should worry about.

Brands Can Attract More Nearby Customers With These Local Strategies

Brands Can Attract More Nearby Customers With These Local Strategies

Google My Business, authoritative citations and local link building are only a few local presence management strategies that could work wonders for businesses!

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The post Get the Roadmap to Getting Local Businesses Found in Voice Search appeared first on Advice Local.

Making Local Search Trends Simple in 2018

As you know, I’m passionate about local search and making it as simple as possible. I even have an entire content series called “Local Search Made Easy” dedicated to this focus. Today, we are taking it a step further and providing you with an infographic on 2018 local search trends to back it up even more.

2018 Local #Search Trends Made Simple #Infographic by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Don’t worry, for those who like to read, I have a summary, too. But first, here’s the infographic. Ready?

Making Local Search Simple in 2018

 Making Local Search Simple in 2018 Infographic

We’re All About Local Search Made Easy

When it comes to improving local search results placement and optimizing a business’ local presence online, there are five must-haves for getting found online.

1. Accuracy Is Everything

 When people want something in today’s society, they want it now. That means, in order to be found, all local business listings need to be up to par, especially with the fast-paced demands of the average online consumer. Inaccurate listings can seriously set a business back. Every local business must absolutely have a resource for building citations and cleaning up bad data.

2. Manage That Reputation

A handful of bad reviews on Google or Yelp can drive a business into the gutter. Only 13 percent of consumers are willing to use a business with one- or two-star ratings. That’s why local businesses need to monitor their online presence and the reviews customers leave behind. Not only do they need to combat the negative reviews, but they also need to respond to the positive reviews in order to maintain an exemplary online reputation.

3. Optimize and Create What Inspires Others to Take Action

Consumers today are looking for straight-forward, user-friendly websites that are easy to navigate. They also want to see real content that provides them with legitimate information. If the business’ website frequently experiences technical issues, is crowded with unnecessary copy, or is generally difficult to use, then they’re in trouble. In fact, 67 percent of consumers lose trust in a business if they get lost trying to find it. While this stat applies to the real world, you can imagine it has the same impact, if not greater, online.

4. Go With Social

To connect with a vast audience, a strong social media presence is vital. Twitter, Facebook, and other popular platforms provide access to thousands of potential customers and methods to drive traffic to a business’ website. Plus, most social media platforms come with free metrics for tracking reach and popularity, so it’s easy to learn quite a bit about the target audience.

5. Measure With Metrics

It’s impossible to track the success of a business, let alone a website, without keeping frequent records. Reviewing and assessing data is the only way to know how well a business is truly doing, and without records, taking the necessary steps to achieve better results in the future isn’t possible.

Did We Make it Simple Enough?

To help you and your clients make local search easy, we’ve created this detailed infographic that you can share with everyone. Embed the infographic on your blog (see below for the embed code) and share this knowledge with your online community.

At Advice Local, we are always looking for the best ways to better serve our agency, brand and franchise partners. Need help following these five big tips? Not a partner yet? Request a demo to see how we can get you where you need to be.

Share this Image On Your Site

Feel free to use our knowledge to empower yourselves and others, but please do give us credit for the infographic.

The post Making Local Search Trends Simple in 2018 Infographic appeared first on Advice Local.

From The Queen of Local SEO, Bernadette Coleman

Bernadette ColemanGoogle Vs. Facebook… the Web Browser Edition?!

Last week, I asked you the question Is Google Replacing the Website?”  Will I soon be asking the same question about Facebook? Do these two behemoths have a bullseye on one another?

I know I have talked about these giants taking over the web before, but it’s hard to get past the speed at which they are doing it.

Facebook is Considered a Web Browser?!

Did you know that Facebook is considered a major mobile browser in the United States? In some states, they have more than 10 percent of the market share. Don’t worry – Safari and Chrome aren’t going away (at least not anytime soon)!

According to a report from Mixpanel, the average across all U.S. states is as follows: Safari has 58.06 percent of the market share, Chrome has 32.48 percent, Facebook sits at 8.82 percent, and all other browsers have the remaining 0.64 percent. (Wow, Mozilla seems to have been left out in the cold.)

Just this week, Facebook has made some additional major shifts to help local businesses get more exposure on their platform. According to an announcement from the site,“ Over 1.6 billion people around the world are connected to a small business on Facebook.” It seems both users and businesses want an easier way to connect, so Facebook has upgraded some of their features to accomplish this. The mobile look for pages is now going to put a spotlight on recommendations.

Remember at the end of 2017 when they launched Facebook Local? A lot of event stuff was moved out of the original Facebook app and into the Facebook Local app. Well, they’ve slowly been shifting it back in, which I’m guessing is to prepare for the new “Local” section that is available through the main Facebook app.

The Local section is not super easy to find, depending on how many other items you access regularly via the Facebook mobile app. I have to click “See More” to get to it. I’m betting that Facebook will change this soon enough.

Users can make reservations, book appointments, see the most recent offers and more. They have added “Stories on Pages” so users can more easily get to know the people behind the business.

Why Is This Important?

  • Facebook has over 10 percent market share as a browser in some states.
  • Time spent on social media is 135 minutes per day, up from 90 minutes in 2012.
  • Facebook has more than 80 million SMBs on its platform.

Google Is Spicing Things Up, Too

A few weeks ago, I shared some of the new features coming to the Google My Business dashboard. Well, just yesterday, they announced that all countries have the menu and services feature available in the GMB Community forum. It’s available to restaurants and service-based businesses.

To Find the Services Section

  1. Go to the Google My Business dashboard.
  2. Select “Info” on the left.
  3. Scroll down a tiny bit.
  4. You should see “Services” listed underneath the website information.

Within Services, you can add sections with multiple items underneath, a description for each item, and pricing. Be sure to keep keyword optimization (not keyword stuffing) in mind when completing these.

More News on the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Two weeks ago, I shared a few insights on the updates Google just made to their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. This week, I read an article on TheSEMPost that highlighted some additional important insights to consider.

When rating content, raters are directed to look beyond just the expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of the content, but also at reputation of the content. This directs them to find additional information about the author to make sure they are also credible.

Jennifer Slegg says, “Even more important is the fact that Google is telling their quality raters to rate websites lowest when the content creator has a negative reputation or is written by an author that they cannot find any information on whatsoever.”

Websites publishing content in their team members’ names that are not authoritative need to reconsider. As you know, quantity is not the goal – quality is. Taking this even further is E-A-T, and a step beyond that is reputation.

It’s Time to Take a Look at HERE’s Location Technology

Google definitely has some competition on the rise in the marketplace, at least when it comes to maps on local business websites. HERE announced they are adding a Freemium solution for the location technology. It’s speculated that this may be in response to Google changing the pricing for developers using their mapping technology on local businesses’ websites. Consumers are accustomed to seeing the Google Map embed on location landing pages. I think this expectation will soon change.

In case you didn’t know it, HERE is one of the GPS mapping solutions available through the Advice Local Data Amplifier Network. This news is good news for us and our local business customers.

Don’t Worry – There’s Help Available

I know all of this is a lot to take in. Don’t worry! The Advice Local team has you covered. Request a demo to learn how we can better help you serve your customers. Our partners are our priority.

Advice Local Partner News

How ‘Bout Some Column Sorts

Partners accessing the Rollup Report can now sort all the column headers by ascending or descending. Now, you can quickly see changes like which location has experienced the highest “Percentage Growth” or the lowest. This change applies to all the column headers. To access the sort function, you just click the header and the “up” or “down” arrow will appear.

Advice Local Technology Update - Ascending / Descending Sort

The Monthly Progress Report is Now Segmented

No more scrolling through a long list of data sources to confirm that a local business is listed with a specific data aggregator! Partners can scroll through the report to see specific segments like Data Aggregators, Directories, GPS Mapping Accelerators and more.

Featured Resources

Facebook Creates Pages Templates

Increase a Business’ Visibility with Facebook’s Page Templates

Social Signals Impact Local Presence

How Social Media Can Play a Role in Local SEO

From Around the Web

1. Google’s Index Coverage Migrates to New, More Accurate System

If a site has pages that cannot be indexed, the Index Coverage report notifies the business. This new update does it more accurately!

2. Apple, Google Key Players in the Future of Augmented Reality

AR is a reality, but it’s still missing an important factor: an AR Cloud. Are Apple and Google on the verge of its creation?

3. Giving Google Maps a Run for Its Money – HERE Brings New Freemium Website Plans

Google’s new payment schedule spurs Here (a German company) to challenge Google on embedded maps on websites. A real alternative for small biz?

4. Ad Budgets Moving to Private Markets After Release of General Data Protection Regulation

To avoid partners who indulge in shady practices with data, advertisers dive into the private market. You decide if higher quality is worth the extra spend.

5. Low Search Volume Keywords: Everything Brands Need to Know

“Low search volume” keywords are those not searched for as much. So how should businesses deal with them? Find out here…

6. Google Medic Update: Teaching the Medical Community How to Fix Their Rankings

Barry Schwartz reveals insights into what he coined the “Google Medic Update” which appeared August 1. Paging all medical professionals!

This Week’s Featured Articles by the #QueenofLocalSEO

Local Business Site Traffic Tips by Bernadette Coleman

How a Local Business Can Expand Its Digital Footprint

How can a local biz boost traffic to its site? Providing testimonials is a great tactic! Get more alternative strategies right here.

Why Facebook Matters for a Business’ Local Presence Management

Why Facebook Matters for a Business’ Local Presence Management

When it comes to managing local presence, Facebook is a powerful tool for businesses. Get 6 facts to help make it work for you.

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The post Facebook Is Considered a Web Browser… Say What?! appeared first on Advice Local.

Advice Local's "From Around the Web"

Bernadette Coleman

Will SERPs Be the Final Destination for Consumer Questions in the Future?

At the end of last year, I asked, “Is the Google My Business Listing Replacing the Local Business Website?” It seems I should have asked, “Is Google Replacing the Website?”

I’m not the only one thinking this. Here’s a conversation between David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal about “Google’s Path to Becoming the Transaction Layer of the Web.”

In November 2017, Rand Fishkin revealed this scary thought in a Whiteboard Friday. He mentioned how local SERPs have been getting so smart that they “remove almost all need for a website.” Back then, Fishkin also said that “Google has made it harder and harder to find the website in both mobile and desktop versions of local searches.” Was that a bad omen or a reality check?

I’m sure you have noticed all the moves Google has been making to keep consumers on SERPs. Businesses that participate in Reserve with Google will allow consumers to check availability via SERPs. With home service ads, they can get quotes. Google’s shopping integrations allow consumers to check inventory at local stores. All of these changes can mean fewer website clicks.

Am I Saying the Website Is Dead?

No way. Websites are providing all the information Google is displaying on SERPs.

Gary Illyes from Google revealed at Google Dance Singapore that SERPs will soon display FAQs, Q&A and how-to content. Users will not need to click through to the website, because if the changes roll out as revealed, almost the entire mobile view will be taken up with the answer.

What Does This Mean for Local Business Websites?

Local businesses should utilize all the tools and features available through Google by optimizing their Google My Business listing, creating content that will populate in answer boxes and featured snippets, and implementing schema. This is the way to continue to get visibility for local businesses and brands in SERPs. While site traffic may decrease in the future, this doesn’t mean there will be less foot traffic into local businesses. At least Google doesn’t have its own version of Amazon yet… Eeek.

Be Ready. Be First. Don’t Wait.

I get it. You may not have a team to back you up. We do. The Advice Local team is here to help our partners. Request a demo to learn how we can help you, too.

P.S. Remember how last week we talked about changes to the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines? It seems to prepare for broad core algorithm updates like the one rolled out on August 1. Google’s Danny Sullivan points his followers to the guidelines for “How to do better with a broad change.”

Advice Local Partner News

Wondering what’s new to our dashboard this week? Here are some tech updates sure to make our partners smile.

Lead Gen at Its Best

We’re excited to share a new feature available through bulk upload. Got a big lead list? You supply the NAP and we provide the baseline – reports, that is. Contact our account management team for specifics.

Dashboard Quirks Got You Down?

We have some new tools in place that enable us to track down quirks in the dashboard and resolve them more easily for our partners. We’re making progress! What about you?

Featured Resources

Why Agencies Need Local Listing Management Partners

On-Page Website Factors for Ranking Locally
On-Page Website Factors for Ranking Locally

From Around the Web

1. Search Personalization Optimization and How Businesses Can Use It to Their Advantage

Google says search results’ personalization is limited to language and location. But browsing history and social media matter, too. Learn how brands can use SPO to their advantage.

2. Digital Marketing Spending Continues Shifting to Support Local Retailers and Resellers

Only 30 percent of multi-location brands’ budgets go to local marketing; but 38 percent of businesses are seeing a clear increase in local budgets. See the full survey.

3. Adults Are Spending Almost 6 Hours Per Day Watching Video

Video content has grown exponentially in the United States, and so has its audience. Should a business’ marketing efforts now include streaming?

4. Brands Protected From ‘Influencer Fraud’ by Marketing Platforms

It’s not all about the number of followers anymore; influencer marketing platforms are now evaluating engagement and other metrics to determine risk of fraud. Find out more.

5. Google’s Latest Algorithm Update Released on August 1

Google’s broad core algorithm was updated on August 1. Google’s Danny Sullivan insists this update won’t affect current SEO best practices. His only advice? Have great content.

6. New Features Are Coming to Google – Here’s How Agencies Should Prepare for Them

AdWords is turning into Google Ads, but the name is not the only thing that changed. The new platform will encompass all of the company’s ad channels. Learn more about it here.

This Week’s Featured Articles by the #QueenofLocalSEO

Local Search Made Easy: Enhancing a Business’ Online Presence with Social Media

Why Social Media Should Matter to Brands More Than It Already Does

When you think of social media, your first thought might be cat videos. But for brands, social media can mean enhancing their online presence. Here’s how to make that happen.

Google news

Google My Business Dashboard Debuts Brand New Features

Local businesses and brands just got some intel from Google My Business. The terms used to find each location can now be found within the “Insights” tab. See what else is new!

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The post Will SERPs Replace the Local Business Website? appeared first on Advice Local.


When you’re running your own agency, you rely on your team on a daily basis. These are the web developers, graphic artists, SEO experts and content creators that keep your agency afloat, and without them, business would be much more challenging.

However, what most agency owners don’t realize is that their tech guys aren’t the only people who can give their company the boost it needs. Agencies often refuse additional services because they want to save money or keep everything in-house. But in reality, refusing the help of third party providers, like a local listing management partner, can actually cost them time and money.

Wondering why agencies need listing management partners? Learn why from @BernieColeman #SEO
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Today I want to talk to you about why agencies, no matter how big or small they may be, can benefit from partnering with a local listing service. It’s not just about the time and the money; it’s about making your agency the best it can be.

What Features Local Listing Services Can Offer

Before I try to convince you that agencies truly need local listing partners, let’s delve into the specific services that a partner can offer an agency. Here are the top three that will give your agency the leg up it deserves.

Dashboard Solutions

Improving organic and local visibility becomes infinitely simpler when agencies have a local listing partner backing them and their clients up. The dashboards many of these local listing management companies have are easy to navigate, include lead generation solutions, and have tools in place to make a single change to a business’ location data that disseminates to the directories, local profiles and data aggregators.

White Label Reporting

Baseline reports and progress reports, as well as updates on ongoing projects, are delivered directly to your client. Although the local listing service is doing the behind-the-scenes work, your clients will see your branding on the reports. This cuts down on the workload while still properly crediting the agency.

Scalable Agency Services

Almost every local listing service will give you basic services, but at Advice Local, you don’t just get access to our knowledge; you also get access to our entire digital products suite and agency services. Our local presence management solution includes optional local-focused services like location landing pages, SEO-driven content creation, pay-per-click advertising and paid social.

Let a Local Listing Management Partner Do the Heavy Lifting

As a local listing management service provider and local presence management technology company, our goal is to tackle the struggles agencies face every single day. Our products and resources are geared toward helping them improve their bottom line.

Increase Revenue by Working Smarter

With our local listing software and array of scalable agency services, we can easily provide agency partners with cost-effective local presence management solutions that won’t break the bank. Not only do our partners save money by working with us – they also substantially improve their annual revenue.

Client Management Made Easy

We will help agency partners achieve digital marketing success in three big ways. First, we monitor their clients’ online visibility to see where they stand in the local ecosystem. Second, we identify clients’ weaknesses and offer tried-and-true solutions to improve local search placement. Third, we continue to monitor and review the clients’ progress, even after their weak points have been addressed.

Reputation is Everything

Online reviews are more important than ever thanks to changes Google has made in recent months. Negative reviews instantly impact local businesses, which is why we do everything in our power to provide tools and resources to help you manage your clients’ online data, reviews, social sentiment and reputation.

How to Choose a Listing Management Partner

Picking a local listing management partner can be a challenge. There are dozens of companies competing for agency business, so before making any commitments, follow these steps to ensure you’re working with the company that will best benefit your agency.

Customer Support Can Be a Killer

When something goes wrong, who will you be able to contact immediately? How do you report problems or concerns? Interacting with the local listing management service will be a huge part of the process, so it’s vital that you understand how accessible their customer support team will be when they’re needed.

How Do They Distribute Data and How Often?

There are several different ways to collect and distribute data. Understanding which methods your listing management provider uses can be critical. For example, some companies include a business’ data in their pushes to directories and data sources as long as they are paid to do so. When they stop getting paid, most times the data will revert back to what it was before they were hired. In essence, the business is paying to be included.

The critical difference between Advice Local’s local listing management solution and the others is that when service is cancelled with us, a business’ data will stay intact on the various data sources until someone changes it, manually or otherwise. We are paid for the initial submission and then a monthly fee to maintain its accuracy, so no other sources can override the data with incorrect information.

Real-Time Equals Real Results

A real-time digital strategy is one of the best and most important ways to attract local customers. The local presence management partner agencies select needs to be based on their real-time services.

At Advice Local, we understand that things move quickly, so we are continually updating data sources like Google My Business, reports and even our tools and features as expediently as possible. We have formed and continue to form partnerships with data sources and service providers to offer the best and highest quality solutions to our agency partners.

Local Listing Management Empowers Agencies

Are you ready to power your agency, drive revenue and provide real-time results to your clients? Request a demo today to get started!

Local Presence Management Reseller Solution

The post Why Agencies Need Local Listing Management Partners appeared first on Advice Local.

From Around the Web… Building Trust, Google Updates to the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and More

Bernadette ColemanFrom Bernadette Coleman, the #QueenofLocalSEO

Are You Building Trust With Search Engines or Damaging It?

Don’t you just love when you write or discuss something you feel is important, and then industry changes happen that prove your point even more?

Just this week my article, How to Ensure Search Engines and Consumers Trust a Local Business Website, was featured on Search Engine People. And this week in Google News, they updated their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.

The theme of my article is trust. You get that from the title right away. Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) are at the very core of a local business’ and brand’s online presence. While these are Google’s specifics for what quality content should be comprised of, they also translate to how we make decisions about those we buy from, where we eat, and the establishments we frequent. Can you have trust without expertise and authority? I think not.

Google Seems to Agree

Specifically, one of the revisions they made this week defines the parameters for when to rate a page as low. To put it simply, it’s when the page fails to demonstrate trust.

In the new world according to Google, even when a page shows itself to have a beneficial purpose, but doesn’t demonstrate E-A-T, it should be rated as low. If the page demonstrates E-A-T, but the main content (MC) quality is lacking, or it doesn’t have enough on the page, then it also should be marked as low.

While everyone loves a good click-bait headline, they’re a thing of the past – and Google agrees. If the MC quality is good but the titles are exaggerated, the page should be rated as low. Search Engine Journal’s Matt Southern goes into detail in this article about the other changes that were made.

Trust Is Everything

For local businesses and brands to place in the top of search results, search engines and consumers have to trust them. Doing things like publishing poor quality content, building links on low quality sources, lacking or having poor reviews, and having inconsistent data will all impact trust.

So are you building trust? Start with running our free online visibility report to see how the businesses you represent stack up against the competition.

Advice Local Partner News

We’re Making Our Partners Lives Easier

Here’s just a few changes we made to our technology this week to make our partners’ dashboard easier to navigate.

This update to our Rollup Report will save time and clicks. Now when inside the Rollup Report, if the user selects an individual location to view their specific report, a new window will launch displaying the data, versus replacing the current window. We also darkened the text to make it easier on the eyes in the main window.

Wondering just when a specific directory was updated? Wonder no more – we are now displaying the date of the last update for each directory.

Feature Resources

On-Page SEO

How to Place Higher in Search With On-Page SEO

Tips for Local Link Building

Tips for Local Link Building

From Around the Web

1. Ways to Use Social Listening for Brand Awareness, Lead Gen & Beyond

Social listening is about more than identifying brand mentions. Learn how to drive lead gen, connect with micro-influencers and more.

2. More News Content Will Soon Come to Your Google Assistant and Google Home Devices

Google released a new markup for news publishers. The markup allows them to select the most relevant sections to be read aloud by Google Assistant.

3. “People Also Ask” Section on Google More Popular Than Ever

The “People Also Ask” section on Google now accounts for almost half of all the search engine’s queries. Might you need a new SEO strategy?

4. New Digital Marketing Predictions for Local Brands Released

Easier shopping, customized information, consistency, and other things consumers will expect from local brands in 2018. Are businesses ready for them?

5. HTTPS and Why It Matters for SEO Purposes

Secure sites have been a top priority for Google over the past few years. If brands don’t yet have a SSL certificate for their websites, this is why they should consider it.

6. Repurpose Your Content in a Clever Way

Publishing a piece of content on a medium doesn’t have to be the end for it! Learn four simple ways you can repurpose your content.

This Week’s Featured Articles by the #QueenofLocalSEO

Local Search Made Easy: Websites that Work

Local Search Made Easy: Websites That Work

What makes a website successful? It’s a mix of organization, user experience, content optimization, and other key factors. Find out more!

How to Ensure Search Engines and Consumers Trust a Local Business’ Website

How to Ensure Search Engines and Consumers Trust a Local Business’ Website

Brands can build trust for their websites the right way. By using these simple tips, they can help search engines and customers feel safe while navigating them.

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The post Building Trust, Google Updates to the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and More appeared first on Advice Local.

The Only Constant Is Change – These Digital Changes Will Impact Enterprise Brands & SMBs Alike

Are you one of those digital marketers hoping “the more things change, the more they stay the same?” I really hope not, because the reality is that the more things change, the more other things will change too! You can safely say this applies to pretty much everything.

Today I want to focus on how changes made by Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and many others are impacting brands and local businesses both online and offline.

The Only Constant Is Change – Digital Changes Impacting #Brands & SMBs by @BernieColeman
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Let’s Start with Google

Awhile back I asked if there’s a two-headed monster taking over the web. Yes, in reference to Google and Facebook. These behemoths continually change things up, both claiming it’s for the good of the consumer or user. But is that really the case?

While Google is certainly adding some new features to their products, making it easier for local businesses to get more visibility in search, they’re also making it harder for smaller businesses that are not as tech-savvy.

Perhaps these SMBs have an old, outdated website that’s slow to load or not mobile-responsive. Did you know Google just quietly rolled the speed update out to everyone? That’s right – now in mobile search all website placement is determined based on speed.

While it’s only impacting the slowest sites on the internet, how many websites is that? Google’s original announcement said it will “only affect a small percentage of queries.” But soon we’ll all be seeing just how many that really is. For the slow sites, website traffic will start dying on the vine.

What About Apple

Personally, I’m excited to see that Apple is taking local a lot more seriously! Will they start making it easier for brands to control their data? Time will tell. And as you know by now – I love to help brands and businesses take control of their data.

While we’ve been submitting to Apple Maps for our agency, brand and SMB partners, with Apple rebuilding their map product, we’re crossing our fingers, hoping there will be all sorts of new integrations, feature sets, and perks to help brands and local businesses get more exposure.

Apple is always “mum’s the word” about too many details, but this article in Tech Crunch shares a few specifics. It seems Apple is extremely concerned about privacy and accuracy of data – apparently that’s one reason they haven’t made maps more of a priority in the past. And actually, much like Google, they now have Apple vans on the streets collecting data for the Apple Maps product. Hmmm.

Seriously, Social Media Too

While I’m not going to talk about all the social media platforms individually, social networks seem to be in a pattern of constant change as well. Have you been watching Facebook Page reach continue to decline? Well, you can thank Mark Zuckerberg. But can you blame Facebook for wanting to get more advertising dollars? We can’t really blame them, but it sure makes us want to curse them! More and more brands and businesses (even with the biggest of pages) are having to put money towards their page to get reach.

Video is taking center stage. Have you logged into LinkedIn lately? LinkedIn Video Creators are a thing now, with Goldie Chan being at the top of the heap. LinkedIn even recruited her to create the first-ever LinkedIn Video Marketing for Personal and Brand Pages training. (BTW… Goldie was a presenter at Rocks Digital 2018. You can access the live blog here, if you missed her talk. Yes, everyone loved her!)

IGTV – err, say what? Well, that’s Instagram TV. Like Facebook Watch, users can now subscribe to a channel to follow their favorite creators’ videos on IGTV. Who is willing to admit that YouTube started all this years ago?

Can These Changes Really Impact a Local Business or Brand?

Looking at these changes individually you may think, “this doesn’t impact me or the businesses I represent.” But you need to look at the whole picture – and analyze how each change triggers other events – or a lack of events in some cases.

  • The mobile speed update means fewer consumers seeing the businesses you represent in search locally (and nationally). This impacts website traffic, click-through, and conversions. Brick-and-mortar foot traffic could experience a decline too, with fewer new consumers walking through the door.
  • The Apple Maps facelift means fewer consumers getting lost in route to the businesses they’re trying to find. Maybe one of them is your Trust will increase. Do you know that 67% of consumers lose trust in a brand when they get lost en route?
  • So how will Facebook, LinkedIn and even IGTV impact local businesses and brands? In one word, visibility. However, lack of visibility will equal lack of engagement. Lack of engagement means a greater decline in reach, decreased brand awareness, and fewer consumers talking about the businesses you represent. Can all of this mean less sales, less new customers, and less foot traffic? Well, yes.

What Action Can You Take?

Start with being in-the-know. You’re doing the right thing by reading this right now! I suggest subscribing to our weekly email, blogs featured in the email and follow what industry experts are talking about. Seek out the information that impacts your business and the businesses you represent.

As John C. Maxwell said “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Be the first to leverage the change, so you can grow.

While I have covered several recent changes today, remember the Advice Local team is here to help… we specialize in local SEO, local listing management, web development, content creation and much more.

We know multi-location brands and local business marketing. Whether you represent one business or 1,000, we have a partner solution that is perfect for you. Request a demo to learn more today.

Download the Citation Audit Guide Today

The post The Only Constant Is Change – These Digital Changes Will Impact Enterprise Brands & SMBs Alike appeared first on Advice Local.

Website Mistakes that Are Driving Local Customers Away

Getting prospects to a website is one of the first and most important components of a digital marketing strategy. Keeping visitors on the website and engaged for extended periods is the next fundamental. Visitors who leave quickly will adversely impact the bounce rate, while also proving unlikely to purchase any products.

Local business owners need their websites, pages and posts to look good, but they must be focused on the conversion for sales, email subscriptions, and advertising clicks.

#Website Mistakes that Are Driving Local #Business Customers Away by @BernieColeman #AdviceLocal
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Happy Site Visitors Mean More Traffic and Increased Sales

There’s a number of methods that prove reliable for keeping visitors engaged and clicking through a website. When implemented, the following will lead to significant improvements in engagement on any local business website.

1. Keep It Fresh

Websites that feel stagnant turn away customers every day. Old is out. Remove any dated content, and those offers and images that have expired. Instead keep the homepage current, with hot items easy to find. Feature promos and push them through to the buy.

2. Consumers Like It Easy

Complex navigation won’t be required on the majority of sites, so aim to keep it simple and clear. If the focus is on blog content, organize articles into relevant categories; consider having a section for the most popular posts. Bigger sites might need a more comprehensive structure, but you can avoid most problems by mapping out the structure in the development phase.

3. Above the Fold Is Everything

If a visitor lands on your site and sees large header graphics and advertisements, there’s a good chance they won’t scroll down the page. Prominent ads might generate some short-term income, but it’s not a good strategy for long-term growth. Visitors will usually be arriving from the search engines or a social media post, so ensure the content they’re anticipating is immediately accessible.

4. Too Much Clutter Is a Killer

White space is not immediately obvious to most visitors, but it is sure noticeable by its absence! A lack of white space on a page creates clutter, causing confusion and a negative impression. A bad first impression for a visitor usually results in a quick click back to search results. In most cases, the design process just involves leaving gaps between the content sections on a page, making navigation far simpler.

5. Take the Site Visitor on a Journey

Internal linking makes it easy for visitors to find relevant content as they browse the page. Most articles will have a mention of a niche-related keyword, so use this reference to link to the most relevant article or supporting product page. Sites like Wikipedia use this method to great effect, with many readers spending a lot of time looking into various related articles.

Plus, adding related posts within an article, both at the end and in the sidebar, will keep your visitors clicking around. If the subject is closely related, there’s a good chance it will draw interest – and keep visitors reading and clicking across multiple pages.

6. The Proof Really Is in the Pudding

A website should offer proof to quickly convince visitors it is popular and legitimate. Do this with prominent social media buttons, and go a step further with a comment section. An active conversation creates a vibrancy that’s difficult to manufacture. Adding responses from the author shows they are interested in their visitors.

7. Yes, There’s a Need for Speed

Speed is a critical factor for keeping visitors engaged. Pages that freeze or slow down lead to incredible frustration, with new visitors unlikely to return. To counteract common problems, find quality hosting, host large files on a secondary service, compress large images, and run a speed test to find any coding problems. Google rewards sites that are fast, mobile and optimized! Take advantage of this opportunity.

Ready for Implementation to Overcome these Website Mistakes?

Implementing these methods can add up to a substantial improvement in visitor dwell time. If visitors stay engaged it will grow the brand, gain more subscribers, and make more sales. There are no certainties with web design, so be prepared to test alternatives. Many of the problems experienced on other sites will apply to your own. Keep these in mind when implementing.

Focus on providing a good user experience – put visitors first at all stages, and listen to opinions instead of fixating on any particular design.

Need Some Help with Local Presence Management?

Focusing on website visitors will reward the business’ website with engagement and sales. But you’ve got to get them to that website first! This is exactly where local SEO, directory listing optimization, and paid advertising is key. Request a demo today and learn how Advice Local can help.

White-Labeled Local Presence Management Solution

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What’s Google Got for You? Another Google I/O is in the Books

With Google I/O wrapping up a few weeks ago, you can bet all the marketers will be scurrying to plan for all the new cool things coming soon. Today, I wanted to share just a few of the items Google revealed about Google Maps.

Google Maps will be getting some sweet new features. As Tech Crunch stated in their article, “Google Maps is obviously best known for helping people get where they want to go….” I think we can all agree with this.

What’s #Google Got for You? Another Google I/O is in the Books by @BernieColeman
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This is 100% the reason an optimized, accurate Google My Business listing is so important. The data in the listing is what appears in maps and impacts getting placement within the local 3-pack on desktop and mobile search. If the business doesn’t have a listing already created, start with this walk through.

As Google stated “About a year ago, when we started to talk to users, one of the things we asked them was: how can we really help you? What else do you want Google Maps to do? And one of the overwhelming answers that we got back was just really a lot of requests around helping users explore an area, help me decide where to go.”

We all know consumers turn to their mobile devices in their “I-want to go, buy, do moments” so it only makes sense they would want maps to help them discover more things to do.

Upgrades Coming to Google Maps

1. Coming this summer, Google Maps will have a “For You” feed. This feed will include articles and local news analyzed by an algorithm to display what’s new.

2. Maps will also feature lists created based on an algorithm that shows where the trendmakers are hanging out.

3. You’ll also find ”Your Match” which will calculate a percentage for restaurants the user may want to visit based on their star rating searches.

4. It seems Google is upgrading their lists feature to make it easy for the user to chat with friends and significant others about places they would to visit and things they would like to do.

Here’s the section of the video Google I/O where these features are discussed:

Get the Google My Business Listing in Shape

While these changes don’t directly impact the Google My Business listing, you can certainly bet listings that lack optimization, business descriptions, images and all that is available will get less visibility. This article highlights how to take a business listing beyond the basics.

The big push toward optimizing for micro-moments in 2015 has brought us to where we are today. Consumers are going to continue to demand more from search results as technology improves. To place, the businesses you represent will need to give it to them.

Advice Local is here to help you meet these growing consumer needs. Request a demo to learn more today.

Consumer Micro-Moments and Businesses

The post What’s Google Got for You? Another Google I/O Is in the Books appeared first on Advice Local.

A Bite-Size Perspective on the KPCB Internet Trends 2018 Report

Are you taking full advantage of internet trends when marketing the local businesses you represent? The simple fact is that if you’re not, you are losing out in a big way.

As you may know, the last three years at Advice we have dissected the KPCB Internet Trends Report presented by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) at the Code Conference. After we dig through the report, we share with you the most important trends that will help you to better market products and services.

A Bite-Size Perspective on the KPCB #Internet Trends 2018 Report by @BernieColeman #Mobile #SEO
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While the Advice Local team works diligently behind the scenes to analyze the 294-page report – released just this week – please review the KPCB Internet Trends Infographics produced by us in years prior. It’s important to know the history, as that’s a strong predictor of what’s coming.

KPCB Internet Trends Report by Year

The Internet Trends 2018 Review

It will take a bit for my team to comb through the 2018 report. While you’re waiting, I want to draw your attention to a few of the trends Mary Meeker revealed.

  • Internet users are slowing. Growth is up 7 percent versus previous year growth of 12 percent.
  • Global internet users are 3.6B, surpassing half the world’s population. A point to consider is that when an industry reaches market penetration, growth is harder to find.
  • Internet usage is up 4 percent year-over-year, based on U.S. data. People are asking KPCB how much is too much? Their view? “It depends how the time is being spent.”
  • Devices are getting better, faster and cheaper. Access is rising dramatically, which impacts usage.
  • Voice has reached technology liftoff. Google Machine Learning word accuracy is at 95 percent.
  • Voice products have reached liftoff too. The Amazon Echo install base is estimated to have reached 30 million plus.

Personalization is Expected

Personalization has made big leaps in the last few years. As Mary points out, “Data improves engagement and experiences, which drives growth and scrutiny. This personal collective data provides better experience for consumers. “

Here’s a few examples of the data she’s referring to:

  • 2B Facebooks
  • 200M Pinterests
  • 170M Spotifys
  • 125M Netflixes

As pointed out in the Google Partners Connect webinar, “Consumers are curious, demanding, and impatient.” People are putting their data into these types of products to make their experiences better.

Consumers “want” in the micro-moment, and they want it to be exactly right for them. They don’t want to wait, and they don’t want to muddle through a bunch of options to find what they seek. This is why personalization is so important.

There’s also a lot of collective data impacting real-time product development.

A few examples are:

  • 100M+ Waze Drivers – Real-Time Navigation
  • 20% UberPOOL Share – Real-Time Transportation
  • 100M+ Snap Map – Real-Time Social Stories
  • 17M Nextdoor Recommendations – Often Real-Time Local News

Privacy Will Continue to Be an Ever-Growing Issue

Another big point Mary made is that all of this data impacts privacy and creates a real concern, as it should. It’s very important to understand the unintended consequences of these products.

Facebook’s recent data breach is the perfect example. As Mark Zuckerberg said recently, “We didn’t focus enough on preventing abuse and thinking through how people could use these tools to do harm as well.” While GDPR is one way to ensure more privacy, there’s plenty of potential unintended consequences here as well.

As Mary said, “It is crucial to manage for unintended consequences, it’s irresponsible to stop innovation and progress.”

While today I would like to dissect the entire 2018 KPCB Internet Trends Report for you, that’s impossible. You can review it directly at this link. In the meantime, here’s the 33-minute video of the presentation at the Code Conference – it’s well worth watching. If you prefer to read the transcript of the video instead of watching it, that’s available too. Here’s the link.

While You Are Waiting…

If any of these stats, trends or points struck a chord with you, request a demo to learn how the Advice Local team can help you better serve your local clients – starting today.

Local Business Listing Solution

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