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Is Google’s Latest Map Update a Move to Attract Gen Z?

Last week we discussed hyperlocal search and the need for local businesses to consider user-generated content (UGC), as Gen Z seems to value it the most.

Is Google Adapting Maps to Compete With TikTok and Instagram?

Google Maps’ latest update integrates 3D aerial views and provides cycling directions using crowd-sourced data from others. There’s also a social component that will notify designated friends when the user leaves or arrives at a destination.

But will this be enough to help Google Maps get the attention of younger generations? According to an article on Android Central Google needs to make a big move, like bringing video shorts to maps. While we don’t see this happening any time soon, it’s an interesting idea.

With Google itself admitting that around 40% of young people are more likely to use TikTok or Instagram than Google Maps or Google Search for a lunch recommendation, don’t be surprised to see future attempts to capture Gen Z, as the Android Central article suggests.

New Search Quality Rater Guidelines Clarify YMYL

Among the big things happening this week is Google’s release of another update to the search quality rater guidelines.

The guidelines clarified that YMYL (your money, your life) content – topics such as health, finance, news, politics and safety that could directly impact a person’s health and well-being – must have a high page quality rating. In order for these to rank highly in search results, they must exhibit EAT.

As we have discussed before, EAT (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) is a major factor, especially when it comes to YMYL content. And as the update shows, when the content could impact a person’s life negatively, Google’s raters are expected to ensure a high level of EAT.

This is exactly why we push the fact that you should be integrating EAT into your clients’ Google Business Profiles (GBP). EAT is important on the business’ website and throughout the GBP, as well as in other online listings.

As a reminder, you can integrate EAT by:

1. Demonstrating expertise in your industry, products and services.

Businesses can show expertise in a GBP by encouraging reviews and demonstrating their knowledge on the business’ website (that the Google Business Profile is linked to), as well as on other relevant places such as social media sites. Remember to upload videos that highlight skill and proficiency.

2. Showcasing authoritativeness by adding reliable and accurate information to your Google Business Profile.

In brief, a bare-bones profile is no longer enough to provide EAT, so make sure to include services, products and optimized images.

3. Building trustworthiness through open and honest communication.

Every business will get some negative reviews, but you can build trust by responding quickly and resolving issues. You can also ensure that opening hours, services information, specials and offers are up-to-date and accurate.

You can also strengthen EAT by adding questions and answers in the FAQ section of the Google Business Profile. Continue to publish relevant GBP posts, and always ensure the business’ information (such as contact info and attributes) is maintained and kept accurate.

As we have noted many times, proximity, prominence and relevance are the key local search metrics. But when there aren’t enough pages to satisfy all three conditions, prominence is frequently prioritized. Consequently, by focusing on EAT a business can increase its search presence over competitors who do not exhibit the same valuable qualities.


Is Google’s Latest #Maps Update a Move to Attract Gen Z? by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Get Help Increasing EAT – Try Our Google Authority Score

The Google Authority Score is an algorithm created by Advice Local to help agency partners monitor Google Business Profile performance. Marketers and agencies can analyze engagement, mentions and other metrics to reach more customers.

Our dashboard features such as GBP sync help keep your clients’ Google Business Profiles updated. Another feature within the partner dashboard allows you to auto-reject public edits. To learn more about our business listing management and Google Business Profile tools, request a demo today online or by calling (214) 310-1356.

The post Is Google’s Latest Map Update a Move to Attract Gen Z? appeared first on Advice Local.

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Why Businesses Need to Embrace Hyperlocal Search

Last week we looked at the closing down of the Google My Business app. Today we’re focusing on social media platforms and their impact on local search.

Social Media Platforms Are Attracting More Local Searches

Over this past week we’ve been seeing a trend in local marketing – and that is social media and local search. It’s become increasingly clear that platforms like Instagram and TikTok are capturing the attention of younger local consumers. And with consumers faced with more choices than ever, it’s important to stay on top of these changing trends.

First up – the announcement from Instagram that they’re introducing a new map experience. Users can now search the map, move it around to find popular locations and businesses, and have a more immersive experience. This update certainly increases the discoverability of businesses, with hyperlocal search making it possible to capture consumers’ attention when they are close by. We’ve talked about hyperlocal search and its importance before.

Understand that this change is not something for the future – it’s happening right now. Google confirmed that Instagram and TikTok are the go-to sites for many young people looking to discover local businesses. (It’s also shocking when Google admits something like this, as you can imagine.)

Their visually-rich design is one reason pushing the appeal of these social platforms. We’ve talked previously about the importance of adding many high-quality images to your Google Business Profile (GBP). And as younger generations grow up this need is certainly likely to increase. So if your local business clients want to appeal to these younger people, images across all the channels – social and otherwise – will be very important.

As highlighted by Fast Company, when Gen Z consumers want a place to shop or eat, they are just as likely to browse TikTok and Instagram as Google Search and Maps. Consequently, if you want to reach the most consumers, hyperlocal SEO should not be restricted to Google alone.

Naturally, when it comes to promoting on hyperlocal social media platforms, Nextdoor simply can’t be ignored. One example is the annual Neighborhood Favorites Awards, allowing consumers to vote for local businesses that offer excellent customer service. Based on a community’s social proof, this increased awareness can translate to real-world customer visits. As a reminder, you can create listings on Nextdoor for your clients through our listing management platform with ease. Simply place the order through your partner dashboard and we’ll get the listing created for you.

User-Generated Content Drives the Local Search Experience

There’s one common theme running through the stories highlighted above – user-generated content (UGC).

User-generated content is more than just images, videos and posts. Reviews are another type of UGC, and believe it or not, some companies are actually getting extorted by way of reviews! A story like this exemplifies the importance of reviews for local businesses, showing exactly why they need to be encouraged, monitored and responded to.

So, what can you do since the demand for UGC is on the rise and gaining popularity? First, make it easy for users to create UGC – and monitor the results. Make sure you’re creating content that users want to engage with… especially on the Google Business Profile.

While the younger generations prefer TikTok and Instagram, plenty of people use Google Search and Google Maps to decide where they’re going next. And currently, a GBP remains one of the best uses of time and resources for building a strong local presence.


Why Businesses Need to Embrace Hyperlocal #Search by @BernieColeman #SEO
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How to Improve Business Listings With the Google Authority Score

At Advice Local, we developed the Google Authority Score (GAS) to help you understand how a business’ Google Business Profile is performing in search results. GAS calculates brand mentions, engagement, influence velocity and more. To learn more about GAS and our other tools from Advice Local, request a demo today.

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The GMB App Is Gone – Now Edit GBPs in Search or Maps

Last week we discussed Foursquare and their data syndication delays. This week we’re looking at the news that the Google My Business app has been shut down.

Google Has Retired the Google My Business App

Today we report sad news – the Google My Business App is no longer available. Yes, we all knew it was coming but we hoped it couldn’t be true! However, when a user clicks to open the Google My Business app on their phone, they now get a message directing them to manage their Google Business Profile (GBP) from search results or Google Maps.

image of app is no more

For agencies that manage multiple Google Business Profiles, the Google Business Profile Manager is still available. The difficulty arises for those businesses or local marketers that are managers of only one GBP.

You can do all the same things from search on mobile that you can do from the Business Profile Manager – it just takes a few more clicks. Shown below is an example of how it looks when editing a Google Business Profile in search results on a mobile device.

image example editing from mobile search

With the mobile app going away, another of the biggest changes concerns notifications. Businesses (or those who manage a business’ GBP) need to make sure they have it set so they receive notifications about the business via email.

Plus, if messaging is turned on, make sure you have Google Maps set to give you notifications, so you can know right away if someone messaged a GBP that you manage.

Are Your Clients’ Google Business Profiles Protected From Spammers?

While we are on the subject of managing a Google Business Profile, have you noticed an increase in others trying to assume ownership of your clients’ GBPs? Several of our partners have contacted us regarding this issue.

This seems to happen more often to the businesses that are not regularly updating and monitoring their GBP. You must ensure that the email address you use to manage your clients’ GBPs is being monitored.

In the past, agencies would create a placeholder Gmail account to admin their clients’ GBPs, but they would not regularly read the emails received at the account.

However, did you know that if someone requests ownership of a Google Business Profile and the request isn’t rejected within three days by someone that manages the listing, ownership can be granted to the user requesting ownership? When that transpires, they can actually remove the real owner and managers! This tactic is used against Google Business Profiles all the time.

Picture this… it’s Friday 9 a.m., and a spammer requests ownership of your client’s GBP. Monday 9 a.m. is three days away. Scary thought, right? Over that weekend you could lose ownership of your client’s Google Business Profile.

This example also shows exactly why a business should have multiple managers of a GBP. What if the owner was to be out of town with no access to email for the three days? Eeek!

A GBP that goes unmanaged can have havoc wreaked upon it – here’s an example of a Google Business Profile that students got renamed because it wasn’t being monitored. From competitors getting a GBP removed completely to spammers taking it over, no business can afford to let their Google Business Profile go unmanaged.


The #GMB App Is Gone – Now Edit GBPs in Search or #Maps by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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Try Advice Local’s Listing Management Tools Today

Advice Local’s business listing management tool helps digital marketers and agencies increase local presence for their clients. Our dashboard solution provides local listing services, offers features like GBP Sync, the Google Authority Score, automated client reporting and much more. Request a demo today to find out about all the services our agency partners love. Call (214) 310-1356 for now.

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Foursquare’s Update Is Causing Delays in Business Data Syndication

Last week we looked at why voice search optimization needs to be prioritized. Today we’re talking about an important update involving Foursquare.

Foursquare Syndication Delays – What It Means for Local Businesses

You may know that Factual joined forces with data aggregator Foursquare in early 2020. At Advice Local, we had already included both Factual and Foursquare within our business listing management solution prior to their merger. In fact, today we still include submitting to Foursquare for free.

However, the Factual/Foursquare merger has caused delays in publishing the business listing data we are submitting on Foursquare City Guide. As you can see in this announcement on Foursquare’s Developers, they are making some significant changes to their Listing Syndicator Program.

As stated in Foursquare’s announcement:

“This change may impact the way listing syndicators send data to Foursquare and temporarily change where that data is available.

“During the development of the new data pipeline, there will be a delay in listing syndicator data being delivered to Foursquare’s consumer apps, Foursquare City Guide and Swarm. The data is still being updated and shared with our Places data partners, companies like Twitter, Uber and Airbnb, but those changes won’t be instantly visible in City Guide and Swarm until development is complete. The work is currently scheduled to be completed in Q3 2022, but that timeline is subject to change.”

At Advice Local, we will continue to share business data with Foursquare so that it can be distributed to their Places data partners, and also made available when they resume publishing on Foursquare City Guide.

In the meantime, if you need to get a business added on Foursquare manually, here is the link to get started. We’ll be working on a detailed how-to guide to share with you in the coming weeks.

Why Do Data Aggregators Matter for Your Clients?

We’ve been harnessing the power of data aggregators like Foursquare for years within our dashboard solution. Have you been taking advantage of data aggregators to promote a local business? If not, you’ve been missing out.

Here Are Just Some of the Reasons Why Data Aggregators Are Important

  • Trust – Inaccurate data will almost certainly lose customers due to frustration and an overall lack of trust.
  • Discoverability – Data aggregators syndicate business data to directories, social platforms and mapping apps, ensuring a business can be found.
  • Optimization – Create accurate and optimized listings and use a centralized platform to distribute them far and wide.
  • Speed – Creating manual listings is a slow process offering no real benefits when compared to the power of a data aggregator.

#Foursquare’s Update Is Causing Delays in Data Syndication by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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Get Help From Advice Local’s Listing Management Tool Today

At Advice Local, we have developed a listing management solution for digital agencies and marketers. We work with data aggregators and other sources so that your clients can be found on directories, mapping apps and voice search platforms that matter the most. If you would like to try our solution for yourself, request a demo today. Call (214) 310-1356 to learn more.

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Why Every Local Business Needs a Voice Search Strategy

Last week we looked at recession-proof local marketing strategies during a difficult economic period. This week we’ll examine the topic of voice search.

Voice Search Is as Important as Ever for Marketers and Agencies

We kicked off 2022 with a discussion of why voice search optimization is so important for the coming year. And now that half the year is already past, it’s a great time to revisit this topic.

Have you noticed that voice search isn’t the big talking point it once was? While it may not be a frequent trending topic among digital marketers, today it’s actually more significant than ever.

Data published by Marketing Charts from Comscore indicates that 48% of U.S. internet users own at least one smart speaker device. When you compare this number to the 37% ownership rate in August 2020 and the 28% in August 2019, its rapid growth is abundantly clear.

Of course, you probably don’t need any data to know that voice search is everywhere now. From voice assistants and navigation apps to smart TVs and streaming services, voice recognition and voice-activated products are ever-present fixtures in our homes.

Getting Found on Voice Search Platforms

While the technology may have caught on, many local businesses have been a bit slow in taking advantage of the growing opportunities. Here at Advice Local, we actually developed the first-of-its-kind Voice Search Readiness Test to help local marketers and agencies identify whether a brand is “ready” for voice assistants. The tool uses a unique algorithm to identify voice search presence on the directories and data sources that voice assistants trust.

The Comscore data also highlighted that smart speaker ownership reached 151.7 million in December 2021. Therefore, if a business cannot be found in a voice search on voice assistants, a lot of traffic will be finding its way to a competitor instead.

This is also worth noting – voice search readiness and “a voice app” are two distinct things. The voice search readiness tool determines if a listing can be found on the data sources that voice assistants (such as the Google Assistant) trust. A voice app is an application that’s created for a business and submitted to app stores.

It works like this – a consumer will ask a question through their preferred voice assistant (again, like the Google Assistant). The answer provided to the voice assistant may come from the voice app itself, or even from content taken from the business’ website.

The Advice Local Voice App lets local marketers and agencies create a voice experience by answering questions customers are asking. You can offer your local business clients sophisticated voice app content directly from your partner dashboard – with no coding necessary.

Voice Search Optimization Steps

So, what additional steps can you take to ensure a local business is the go-to listing for relevant search queries?

  • Use natural, conversational language that replicates how real people speak.
  • Identify common questions to target with a rich snippet.
  • Build a list of voice search long-tail keywords and create content on the theme.
  • Ensure mobile loading times are fast.
  • Add schema markup to product, service, location and other pages.
  • Create a comprehensive Google Business Profile listing.

With some minor adjustments to an existing website, you can access the untapped potential of voice search. And with voice assistants still growing in popularity, building a foundation now will almost certainly pay off in the future.


Why Every Local #Business Needs a #Voice Search Strategy by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Access the Advice Local Partner Dashboard

If you’re ready to take voice search to the next level, why not try the Advice Local partner dashboard? Business listing management, voice search readiness and voice app creation technology are just a few of the services we offer. Request a demo now by calling (214) 310-1356.

The post Why Every Local Business Needs a Voice Search Strategy appeared first on Advice Local.

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Recession-Proof Local Marketing Strategies for Businesses

Last week we talked about the growing number of local search queries and what that means for local businesses. This week we’re focusing on some key local marketing strategies for agencies in the current economic climate.

Recession-Proofing Your Local Marketing Clients as Much as Possible

It seems everyone is talking about recession, especially in the last few weeks. Just today we quickly found multiple articles on SEO sites discussing this topic. As an agency and local marketer, recession will almost certainly impact your business.

You will have clients who cancel services, put services on hold, or reduce the monthly budget. These clients are planning for a decline in business and want to ensure they have enough bucks in the bank to get them through the downturn.

You’ll have other clients who keep pushing forward – and they will most likely push your agency even more. They’ll want to ensure that every penny they spend on local marketing pays off for them – and there’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, they should always do this whether the economy is booming or in decline.

So what can you do to keep all your clients happy during this time?

Ensuring the Local Marketing Budget Is Allocated Correctly

1. Google Business Profile

With the Google Business Profile (GBP) making up 36% of the 2021 Local Ranking Factors survey, you cannot afford to ignore this.

Make sure you go beyond the basics with high-quality images, updated product information and special offers, along with completing the questions and answers section of the GBP. And don’t forget to stay relevant with frequent GBP Posts that show up in the knowledge panel.

BTW…. they just added a new LGBTQ+ attribute to the GBP. Now is a great time to audit your clients’ GBPs to see what other attributes you can add.

2. Location Pages for Local Businesses

Location pages, Local Business Schema and reviews are important for a business’ visibility in the local pack and organic search.

Audit your clients and make sure they include name, address and phone number (NAP) data, a map, key products and services, location information – and a clear call to action. Remember, proximity, relevance and prominence are the factors determining where the business appears in search results.

3. Local Business Listings

Because bad data can undo all your hard work, make sure you have consistent NAP data across all listings. So, what’s the easiest way to do this? To make sure the business gets the most bang for the buck, use a business listing management solution that reaches a lot of directories. At Advice Local, we distribute business information to directories that are also data amplifiers. Our listing management solution includes the most important directories, data aggregators, mapping apps and more.

This is quite crucial, for when credible sources distribute the data, countless other platforms trust that the information is accurate. In turn, additional directories grab the data and use it on their own platforms. This is the nature of amplification. It means that a small amount of upfront work can really pay off for your local business clients.

4. Don’t Forget Hyperlocal Sites Like Nextdoor

Reading this article on Streetfight written about the recession got us thinking about hyperlocal, and how leveraging sites like Nextdoor, Judy’s Book and BubbleLife can help a business reach a new audience.

You may recall that during the peak times of COVID everyone was all about shopping local. While this momentum has diminished a bit it will most likely see new life once again, depending on how deep this recession cuts.

Incidentally, at Advice Local we can help you with Nextdoor, Judy’s Book and BubbleLife.

5. Tracking Results Is Imperative

It’s important to make sure your clients know the exact value you bring to the table, from ensuring the business’ website has Google Analytics in place, to setting up goals and reporting with tools available in your partner dashboard, such as the Progress Report.

If you only provide one component of their marketing, ensure you use UTMs. These small snippets of code let you pinpoint traffic sources so you can precisely detail the results your efforts are achieving. Don’t let your results get lumped in with the efforts of other marketing companies working for the client.

If you don’t have direct access to their Google Analytics, get it. If you don’t know how to navigate and understand Google Analytics, get someone who does know – or get some training.

Surviving the Economic Slowdown

A recession will naturally bring about challenges for businesses, agencies and local marketers alike. But just as some will struggle in changing economic circumstances, others will thrive. As always, work with clients to deliver the best results, on time and within budget. A recession isn’t a signal to panic, but an indicator to make adjustments – and find ways to deliver more with the tools at your disposal.


Recession-Proof #LocalMarketing Strategies for Businesses by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local
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Increase Productivity With Our Local Presence Management Tools

Making the most of available resources is key during an economic downturn. At Advice Local, we have been helping local marketers and agencies streamline their marketing operations for years. Why not try our business listings management solution, GBP Sync, Google Authority Score and our other powerful tools for yourself – request a demo now. Call (214) 310-1356 to learn more now.

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local keywords location continues to dominate

Last week we discussed expanding a business’ local search visibility beyond Google. Well, with the announcement that businesses with a Professional Account on Twitter now have a location spotlight feature, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Location Spotlight for Professionals on Twitter

When a business switches to a Professional Account, it can build its presence and authenticity on Twitter. The information a business can feature includes the following.

  • Business location – Followers can select a small map to view the location in their default map app.
  • Opening hours – Businesses can list their opening days and times.
  • Contact information – Businesses can add contact information, including phone calls, text messages, Twitter direct messages or email.

These features can make a Twitter business profile look more professional, and make it easier to direct users to your business with as few steps as possible. It’s also worth paying attention to updates like this as they may signal a push towards added functionality for business accounts.

Since Twitter just removed the nofollow off their links, it may be good timing to update your local business clients’ Twitter accounts. In addition, it’s worth considering setting up a tool like dlvr.it to auto-publish new posts published on your clients’ sites via RSS.

Local Queries Accounting for Big Proportion of Keywords

Over at Near Media, Greg Sterling had a number of useful updates for digital marketers. Starting with an analysis of the top 1,000 keywords, a substantial 34% were found to be local queries. This means that around one-third of desktop search queries have local intent, while the number for mobile is higher.

Of these local searches, some used the “near me” search query, while others were focused on brand names with physical locations. This is further proof (if it’s even needed) that consumers are seeking out geographically-relevant businesses that can meet their immediate needs.

We have previously discussed the key ranking factors for the local pack – proximity, relevance and prominence – and it is clear that a large slice of keywords used by searchers are prioritizing proximity to their location.

Another of these factors – prominence – relates to positive brand experience. Greg Sterling pointed to an example of a positive customer experience involving Chewy.com. A customer wanted to return unopened dog food after her dog died. Chewy refunded the customer, suggested the food be donated to an animal shelter – and sent her flowers.

This is an example of providing exceptional customer service and being rewarded for it through improved reputational value and added exposure. Of course, you need not go as far as Chewy did with every customer. But consistent positive experiences will lead to great reviews, all of which will help satisfy Google’s local ranking factors.

Identifying Google Business Profile Strength

Meanwhile, Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Roundtable discussed a new feature being tested by Google. The “profile strength” widget indicates the quality of a Google Business Profile (GBP) and whether more information needs to be added. We tried multiple different searches for some of the GBPs we have access to and could not replicate these results in desktop search.

As you may know, Advice Local created the Google Authority Score (GAS) to help determine the overall authority of a GBP. The tool includes metrics for brand influence, engagement visibility, reputation health and much more. With Google’s profile strength feature not yet available for most accounts, GAS is still your best bet for analyzing a GBP’s authority.

Bing Seems to Be Testing a New Local Pack Design

It seems Bing is testing a new minimalistic local pack design, with local listings opening on the right-hand side of the page. Khushal Bherwani posted a short video of the test on Twitter.


Local Keywords & Location Continues to Dominate by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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Try Our Local Presence Management Tools Today

At Advice Local, we help agency partners and local marketers deliver superior service to their clients. With the Google Authority Score tool, GBP Sync, listing management solutions and much more, helping clients achieve better search visibility has never been easier. To try it for yourself, request a demo today. Call (214) 310-1356 for help.

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Expand Search Horizons Beyond Google for Local Visibility

Last week we examined the importance of mapping apps and navigation solutions for local businesses. Today we’ll talk about creating a local client optimization strategy that isn’t restricted to Google.

Reach More Consumers by Improving Visibility on Multiple Search Engines

Damian Rollison over on Street Fight published an article this week that looks at Google’s local search dominance. Within the piece, he builds a case for the eventual erosion of this dominance – and almost puts out a challenge to startups to shift how local is done. Well, this got us thinking about the other search engines.

As Damian points out, there are other search engines for consumers to pick from. Some of these are used for very specific types of searches, and others exist because users want a private experience, or simply an option other than Google.

This brings us to today’s topic and question: Are you optimizing your clients for local on other search engines?

Bing has a 7.61% global search market share and DuckDuckGo has 0.63%. But as Damian points out, younger age groups often gravitate towards alternative platforms and market share can dissolve. And don’t forget the power of innovation – this is well-illustrated in the social media world by the rise of TikTok.

How to Optimize for Alternative Search Engines

When we search Probate Attorney McKinney, TX on Bing we get Bing’s equivalent of the local pack. This means that to optimize for Bing, you need to optimize your client’s Bing Places listing.

image Bing search results

When we search DuckDuckGo.com for the same thing, we get map results that are populated by Apple Maps.

duckduckgo example image

The question is, are you really optimizing the client for the search engine – or for the solution that powers their results?

With our business listing management solution you can achieve both. Our solution allows you to optimize your clients’ data in your Advice Local partner dashboard, then have it distributed to the most important sites – including Bing, Apple Maps, Yelp and much more.

Our Google Business Profile Sync feature lets you enter all the business’ information in our dashboard and sync it to the business’ Google Business Profile (GBP). You can even optimize the business’ Bing Places listing by syncing that with the business’ GBP.

Improving Local SEO Beyond Google

So once again, are you optimizing your clients for the search engine or for the solution that powers their results?! As you can see, you can accomplish both by using Advice Local’s partner dashboard.

With an over-reliance on Google being as perilous as ever, it’s important to diversify your clients’ visibility. There are many instances where businesses were displaced after a Google algorithm update. We also shared a real-world example of a GBP that was adversely impacted by bad data. However, insulating your clients from the worst of these problems is still possible with a diversified approach to search marketing.


Expand #Search Horizons Beyond Google for Local Visibility by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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Try Advice Local’s Business Listings Management Solution for Yourself

We’ve given you a brief insight into our business listing management solution and how GBP Sync can help your clients’ businesses. Well, now it’s time to try it for yourself. Enjoy a range of local presence management tools from a single dashboard. Request a demo today by calling (214) 310-1356.

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5 Mapping Apps & Navigation Solutions You Can’t Ignore

Last week we discussed the appearance of justifications in the Google Maps mobile interface. This week we’re going to discuss mapping app solutions for local businesses.

Reaching Consumers With Mapping Apps and In-Dash Navigation

Every now and again, we head back to the basics and explore the core elements of a business’ local visibility. As you may recall, we talked with you earlier in the year about why local businesses need mapping app solutions, and today we’re digging into this a bit more.

A local business trying to make the best use of its time and resources should go where its target audience is looking for it. And with the growth of mobile search and customers researching businesses on the move, this means one thing – mapping apps, in-dash navigation and GPS devices.

According to Google, 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. Consumers typically have a buying intent when they conduct local searches. So for businesses, this means that being visible and removing friction in the buying process delivers higher probability of a purchase being made. In practice, this comes from ensuring your clients are listed with accurate data on the online resources that consumers are searching – and yes, this includes mapping solutions.

mapping users by downloads 2021

What Mapping Apps & Solutions Do Local Businesses Need to Be Listed With?

1. Apple Maps

As the default mapping app for iPhone users, Apple Maps is used by millions worldwide. But far beyond the iPhone, Apple Maps extends into Apple’s entire ecosystem. CarPlay lets users control their phone using the car’s infotainment system. Naturally, Apple Maps constantly improves their solution and is currently prioritizing getting real-time data to alert users while using their mapping app, adding routes for biking, etc.

2. Waze

With an active community and crowdsourced information, Waze offers more than a typical navigation solution. Waze users can use the location search option to find local businesses to visit, figure out the best routes and discover the busiest times of day. Consumers need to trust that the business information they get will be accurate, and Waze has become a go-to solution for reliable updates. As Waze is trusted by more than 140+ million users, a business simply cannot afford not to be found there.

3. Google Maps

As the most downloaded map and navigation app in the United States, Google Maps must be a priority for a local business. We have discussed Google Maps extensively, and it continues to develop as a highly sophisticated mapping solution with the ability to increase visibility through the local finder, add trust with reviews – and gain targeted traffic through an ever-growing feature list. And as we discussed last week, a business with an optimized Google Business Profile can increase their odds of showing up in a Google Maps search through justifications (this applies especially for long-tail keywords searches).

4. In-Dash Navigation Solutions

Recognizing the importance of in-dash navigation, car manufacturers have created innovative solutions for drivers. However, this approach means local businesses need to ensure they are listed for every brand. Without a distribution system like the Advice Local dashboard, reaching every manufacturer will be difficult. This is exactly why we include the most popular in-dash navigation solutions with our business listings management solution.

5. GPS Devices

While many people have made the switch to using a smartphone for navigation, GPS devices are still popular. Brands like TomTom and Garmin are trusted, and consumers expect up-to-date data for local businesses. Of course, any bad data out there will damage the user experience and reflect badly on a business. This means the ability to syndicate accurate information is crucial when distributing to GPS platforms – and we’ve got you covered here too.


5 #Mapping Apps & #Navigation Solutions You Can’t Ignore by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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Mapping Apps & Navigation Solutions Are a Breeze With Advice Local

At Advice Local, we provide directory listings, mapping apps and data aggregator services for agencies and local marketers. Ensure your clients can be found on the platforms that count using the Advice Local partner dashboard. To try it for yourself, request a demo today. Call (214) 310-1356 for help.

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Justifications Are Appearing in Google Maps, Images & More

Last week we discussed important research regarding “near me” search queries. Today we’ve got a Google update, along with some digital marketing insights you may have missed.

Google Maps Sees Justifications Rolled Out for Local Businesses

We’re starting with justifications this week. Over on Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz reported on the addition of justifications to the Google Maps mobile interface and app.

A quick reminder – justifications are snippets of text included within a business listing to justify why that business is showing for a particular keyword.

To make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for, Google overlays review snippets, mentions, menu items and other elements onto the local pack listings. And now they’ve expanded the feature, as it seems many are seeing these overlays in Google Maps.

We did some testing ourselves and can validate that we’re seeing this in maps as well. While what was reported on Search Engine Roundtable was referred to as service justifications, we are seeing review justifications and “their website mentions” justifications also.

As you can see above, a search for “personal injury lawyer mckinney” returns a number of businesses with review snippets. Similarly, the term “probate litigation attorney mckinney” includes website mentions for related attorney services. Ultimately, the inclusion of these justifications creates a richer experience – one that can lead a searcher toward their preferred service.

If you’re not familiar with justifications or mentions, we’ve covered it before in several different posts:

Surfacing in the local pack or Google Maps for justifications comes down to providing comprehensive and accurate business data that satisfies Google – and the needs of searchers.

Optimizing both a Google Business Profile (GBP) and the business’ website is fundamental to the process. An optimized website and GBP work together to improve a business’ appearance in the local pack, Google Maps and organic search.

Are You Adding Images to Google Business Profiles?

Speaking of optimizing your clients’ GBPs, Claire Carlile shared some valuable tips on taking advantage of Google’s visual search push, including encouraging user-generated content (UGC).

You’ve probably noticed that we have been strong advocates of adding images to your clients’ Google Business Profiles for a while now.

Images are one type of user-generated content that can be extremely helpful in improving the visibility of a GBP.

gbp-photo-view-examples

Shown above are two examples of how adding photos on a GBP can bring a lot more views for your local business clients in comparison to other similar businesses.

It’s worth noting that both of these businesses are doctor’s offices. It can be difficult to locate quality images appropriate for a GBP for this type of business. But this Advice Local partner got creative about getting relevant images designed to add on the GBP – and it has been paying off with lots of views.

In fact, Google itself recommends adding photos to a GBP for better interaction with customers.

According to Google, businesses that add photos to a GBP get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks to a business’ website when compared to profiles without photos. Simply put, with Google continuously improving its visual analysis tools, including images is a smart move right now (and it will continue to be).


Justifications Are Appearing in #Google #Maps, Images & More by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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Local Business Marketing Made Easy With Advice Local

Next time you need help with business listings management, Google Business Profile claiming or data aggregator submissions, look no further than Advice Local. Request a demo today to see why our agency and local marketing partners choose us by calling (214) 310-1356.

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