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Yelp Questions and Answers for Businesses

Have you checked out Yelp’s new Questions & Answers feature yet? This feature enables the Yelp community to ask and answer specific questions about a business. Each question is connected to a specific business and the answers to the questions can come from other consumers or the businesses themselves.


#Yelp’s Questions and Answers Feature by @BernieColeman #Business
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This feature differs from reviews in that consumers are able to get crowdsourced feedback about a specific feature, product, or experience related to the business. For example, users can ask anything from whether a restaurant would be a good choice for a birthday dinner to how long it typically takes to explore a local museum.

Since users can vote for the answers they find most helpful (and downvote the ones that don’t add any value!), the community effectively gets to choose which answers are “right” and, therefore, most visible.

With traditional review sites, many customers leave and don’t look back once they’ve shared their opinion (that is, unless a new experience dramatically changes their mind, warranting an update or new review). But Questions & Answers invites the community to continue answering others’ questions to share their experiences and maintain an ongoing connection with the business online. Just as it’s important for businesses to monitor and respond to online reviews, it will be equally as important for them to be proactive and involved in the Yelp Q&A community.

Why Local Business Owners Should Pay Attention

As Yelp Product Manager Brian Boshes pointed out, this feature allows consumers to actively engage in a “potentially limitless way.” We recommend all local businesses take advantage of this limitless opportunity to foster customer relationships, adopt a more active role in addressing customer needs, and learn what consumers want to know about their business. (This will be a great way to find out what Q&As should be added on the company website.)

Major Benefits of Yelp’s Q&As

The many advantages of this aptly-named feature include:

  • Excellent opportunity to build an engaged local community, especially since users can opt-in to receive notifications whenever a question of interest gets answered.
  • Easy way for customers to access reliable information they can trust, especially because top responses are decided by a public voting system.
  • Businesses that respond to questions can clear up any misinformation that might be spread by an incomplete or incorrect answer.
  • Make information more accessible and specific to consumers who are considering becoming customers.

Yelp created a guide to make it easy for business owners to understand the Q&A feature in more detail. It will be important for business owners to make sure they are receiving notices from Yelp at an email address that is being monitored. Just like a negative review, unanswered questions could have a negative impact on the business.

I’ll be watching as this feature evolves and will keep you posted. In the meantime, while we’re talking about reviews, do you have a solid solution in place to monitor social mentions and respond to reviews? Request a demo to learn about our reputation management solution and how we’re helping our partners each and every day.

Reputation Management Solution

Keep coming back each week for more local search news from the #QueenofLocalSEO!

The post The Power of Yelp’s Questions & Answers Feature for Businesses appeared first on Advice Local.

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Google news

Have you seen the Google Chrome warning “Not Secure” on any websites you’ve visited lately? This update displays a warning in the URL of HTTP websites. Google first announced plans for contributing to “a more secure web” back in September, citing user safety and security as a top priority. For those not familiar with the acronym HTTPS, here’s a quick explanation of what it means.


#Google Means Business When It Comes to HTTPS Websites says @Advice_Local #SEO
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What Is HTTPS?

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, while HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure.

Put simply, HTTP and HTTPS are both procedures that allow the transfer of information across the web. As you might assume, HTTPS is the safer, more secure way to communicate data online.

Search engine giant Google has been emailing business owners and webmasters with Google Search Console accounts to notify them of this change – which has a lot of businesses wondering how to prevent potential customers from seeing a disparaging “Not Secure” label on their website.

Keep reading to find out what changes can be made to make a website more secure.

Why Should Local Business Owners Care About HTTPS?

HTTPS provides security for website visitors. Consumers can confidently provide personal information, including credit card details and account passwords, to businesses with HTTPS websites. Their data is protected from hackers so they don’t have to hesitate to login or make a payment.

While many consumers have overlooked the fact that a website uses HTTP in the past, Chrome’s new warning will draw attention to non-secured websites, which will turn away site visitors and potential customers.

For more context, here’s a page that demonstrates what the warning will look like in the URL and how visitors can interact with it: http://http-password.badssl.com/.

At the end of 2015, Google announced they were going to start ranking HTTPS pages by default, which was great for websites that were already secure. They also disclosed that going forward, HTTPS sites would see a slight ranking boost. With all the changes Google has made since then, it would be quite challenging to determine exactly how much of a boost these sites received, if any. But with this recent update to the Chrome Browser, HTTPS now goes far beyond simply getting a boost. HTTPS means trust.

Which Websites Will Be Affected?

For now, this warning only impacts unsecured sites that ask visitors to enter passwords or credit card information. Google’s goal is to make data more secure across the web, starting with sites that transmit sensitive information. However, the warning will eventually appear on all unsecure pages viewed in Chrome. Business owners should switch their sites from using HTTP to HTTPS right away.

Tips and Resources to Keep a Website Secure

Google Developers’ WebFundamentals provides details on how to prevent this warning from appearing on websites. Additionally, Google has a helpful section on their support page that explains how to create a secure site with HTTPS.

It’s important to note that all top-level pages leading to pages that contain credit card fields and password forms must be fully secured to avoid the warning. Also, business owners should be sure to include the HTTPS pages in sitemaps.

There are several resources available for business that want a free HTTPS, including Cloudflare, Let’s Encrypt and SSL For Free. It’s important to consult with a web development provider before implementing any free or paid HTTPS solution, as there are many behind-the-scenes items that will need to be addressed and corrected.

At Advice Local, we are all about giving businesses a boost in Local Search Results. It’s actually our expertise! Request a demo to learn more about our local presence management solution and how we can help TODAY!

Local Presence Management - Request a Demo

The post Google Means Business When It Comes to Non-HTTPS Websites appeared first on Advice Local.

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What is Local Citation

When it comes to marketing a local business online, local citations play an important role in improving SEO and boosting visibility in local search results. This is especially true in mobile search results. Most likely, this isn’t anything you haven’t read about before, but in 2017 this is even more significant.

As search engine algorithms continue to evolve and get smarter, we have to get smarter and more focused on where we build citations for local businesses. We’ll discuss this point more as we get further down in the post.


What a Local Citation Is and Why It Matters by @BernieColeman #AdviceLocal #SEO
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But First, What Is a Local Citation Exactly?

Here’s a simple definition:

A local citation is any mention of a business online that includes the business name, address, and phone number (often referred to as NAP).

Common citation sources include directory sites, data aggregators (i.e. Factual, Acxiom, Localeze, and Infogroup), Chamber of Commerce websites, social media, review sites such a Yelp, plus Google My Business and Bing Places. It’s important to note that a mention of the business on its own website doesn’t count as a citation.

A majority of citations include a link to the business’ website or additional information. Local citations are a valuable component of local SEO optimization regardless of whether they provide the business with a direct link. The benefits of citations go way beyond getting backlinks.

Why Citations Are Important for Local Businesses

Search engines use citations (among many other SEO factors) to gauge a business’ online reputation. So the more quality citations a business has online, the higher the business’ placement will be in local search engine result pages.

The prevailing mindset over the past decade has been that having more citations is always better, but this is no longer valid. In fact, low-quality citations, particularly those that link to your website, can negatively impact Google’s trust in the business. Rather than trying to improve a business’ online reputation through sheer volume, Advice Local focuses on identifying and targeting specific high-quality directories. We only submit local businesses to directories that meet the strictest of qualifications, which we determine based on 23 different metrics, including domain authority.

Another important characteristic of valuable sources is that they distribute their data across other directories and networks, thus acting as a data amplifier for local business citations. At Advice Local, we call this our Data Accelerator Network.

Recommended Citation Sources for Local Businesses

Here’s a sampling of citation sources that pass all our criteria and we submit to through our local presence management solution:

Advice Local’s Data Accelerator Network

How to Get Cited

It’s pretty simple to get cited, especially on directory sites. Many are free and will let the local business simply answer a few questions, verify they have permission, and upload a logo. As mentioned earlier, this doesn’t mean the business should want to be listed on every site possible. The process of optimizing a business listing on these sites requires time, attention and understanding.

For example, ensuring the business citation is 100% accurate is extremely important. And once a business is listed on a directory, ensuring the listing remains accurate and maintains a consistent NAP can be tedious. Oftentimes, businesses are listed on directories without even being aware of it. Having duplicate citations confuses customers, impacts trust among search engines, such as Google, and hurts the business more than it helps. Bad data is a real problem for local businesses. Here’s more about how bad data happens and how to fix it.

There are several companies that offer local listing management services, such as we do at Advice Local. When choosing a local listing management company to partner with, it’s important to closely evaluate their business practices, the methods they use to submit listings and the places to which they submit. Yext, for example, submits to some low-quality directories. They also use a technique that can create duplicate listings and override existing optimized listings with ones that are not optimized. When the business cancels Yext’s services, some of the new listings disappear and existing ones revert back to featuring bad data. You don’t have to take our word for it – check out this study conducted by Whitespark.

By now, you can see there’s a lot more to local citations than just getting listed! We didn’t even cover earned links, which refer to citations created naturally through mentions on the web, producing high-quality content that others want to link to and guest blogging.

Are you ready to take action? I recommend you start with generating an online visibility report. This will show you how many listings a business has online currently, highlight bad data issues and recommend a few next steps.

Free Online Visibility Report

Keep coming back for more local search news from the #QueenofLocalSEO!

The post Local Presence Management in 2017: What a Local Citation Is and Why It Matters appeared first on Advice Local.

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Humans are visual creatures, so it’s no surprise that images are more attention-grabbing than text alone. Not only are consumers more drawn to visually-pleasing content, but they’re also more likely to remember it later.

There are many types of visual content – photographs, videos, infographics, and GIFs. Sharing a variety of visuals is an easy way to create interest and drive engagement, which translates into in-store profits.

Today I’m going to focus in on sharing relevant visuals on social media, but all of these ideas can be implemented for usage in blog posts, email campaigns, downloads and print pieces. The end goal of these strategies is to connect with the community online and offline to attract new customers and showcase products and services.


I’m reading up on using visuals to market a local #business! Thanks @Advice_Local
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Why and How to Use More Visuals to Market Products and Services

Images Leave a Lasting Impression

Converting blog content or product features into a compelling graphic like the example below creates a much better social experience.

5-local-search-strategies

Featured on the Advice Local Facebook Page with the caption “Having trouble figuring out #SEO? We have the basics covered with 5 must haves for #localsuccess. #AdviceLocal #DigitalMarketing http://bit.ly/2jWurJd,” this image served two purposes for us. It allowed us to both:

  1. Generate traffic to the blog post on the Advice Local website
  2. Increase our Facebook reach to 3X what a link-share normally receives

Generally, when people hear information, they can only recall 10% of it three days later. But if that same information is presented alongside relevant visuals, people will retain 65% of it – that’s a 55% improvement and a stronger lasting impression. It’s been reported that including an image in a Facebook post results in 2.3X more engagement on average.

Increase Engagement, Conversations and Conversions

Businesses that are looking to score more likes, shares, comments, and retweets can liven up their social feeds with GIFs. This is a clever way to attract more eyeballs to a social media post while featuring a product.

In this example, we tied in Betty White’s 95th birthday (which was trending on social media) with the usage of a GIF and a link to drive traffic to our Advice Mobile landing page.

betty-white-advice-mobile.jpg

Research shows that sharing visuals on Twitter can get a business 150% more retweets and 313% more engagement than tweets without visuals.

Build a Stronger Local “Mobile” Presence

Done right, building visual influence strengthens the local presence of a business, converts more fans into brand advocates, and drives more foot traffic into the business.

Businesses that have a branded mobile app can use these same visuals to send out rich push notifications to their customers. Not all mobile apps allow for sending out this type of notifications, but we have you covered. Rich push notifications is one of the many features Advice Mobile incorporates. Learn more here today!

Are You Ready to Turn Followers Into Customers?

A well-crafted local marketing strategy is most valuable when tied to a specific goal or campaign. For instance, be sure to encourage followers on social media to call or visit by a certain date to benefit from an exclusive offer, take email subscribers to a landing page, and include the business phone number and a landing page URL on print pieces.


Why and How to Integrate Visuals Into Local #Business #Marketing by @LissaDuty #SocialMedia
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I’d love to hear about your own experiences and how you’re integrating visuals into your local business strategy! Comment below.

The post Why Local Businesses Need to Integrate More Visuals Into Their Marketing appeared first on Advice Local.

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RankBrain has been around for awhile now. Has it helped or hurt your clients’ rankings? This machine-learning algorithm known as RankBrain was developed by Google to monitor websites and serve results based on user intent vs. just the keywords searched.

For those not familiar with RankBrain, the short description is:

A constantly evolving artificial intelligence (AI) that analyzes search queries to learn more about how and why people carry out certain searches. RankBrain helps Google deliver more accurate search results based on user intent.

Google is known for being rather tight-lipped when it comes to the inner workings of its search algorithms, so we were all quite pleased when they did confirm the use of this AI algorithm.


I’m learning about how #Google’s #RankBrain affects local #search results. Thanks @Advice_Local!
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How Can RankBrain Impact Local Search Results?

Although RankBrain is only believed to be responsible for around 15-20% of search results, this figure will likely continue to increase as it learns and improves itself. According to Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, RankBrain is among the top three most important ranking factors, along with links and content, so we definitely need to be thinking about this AL when creating content.

RankBrain makes it harder for marketers to abuse black-hat SEO tactics, such as keyword stuffing, spam, and link farming. This is great news for businesses that play by Google’s rules. The secret to keeping RankBrain happy is keeping customers happy.

What Local Businesses Need to Know

Google is a huge fan of  E-A-T content – and so are searchers. E-A-T content is that which has a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. These characteristics help Google determine a website’s quality and whether a searcher would find it helpful and informative.

Searchers like this type of content because it gives them reliable information that they can read, learn from and understand whenever they experience a micro-moment. It answers their questions, solves their problems, and saves them time because they don’t have to funnel through ten irrelevant articles to find the one they want. Have you ran a search lately? It seems to me that I’m seeing less spam and more real results.

How Local Businesses Should Be Writing Content for Their Websites

Write for Humans First

That’s right. One of the keys to writing for RankBrain is to write for real-life, keeping customers in mind. Google is moving away from keyword-focused search results towards results based on user intent. Local businesses should adopt this same mindset and publish natural-sounding content that addresses their target audience’s questions.

Use Keywords Sparingly

Keyword research and on-page optimization are still an important area of local SEO, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. But instead of writing short, keyword-focused articles that offer little value to readers, businesses should publish insightful content that goes into detail on a given subject. When writing content for a page, don’t focus on a single keyword, but integrate one main keyword phrase along with several related search terms.

Think Local and Targeted

We all prefer websites that are useful and highly relevant, so be sure to consider the needs of local customers when producing new content. The more specific and localized the content and keywords, the more likely the content will reach its intended audience and make a positive impact on potential customers.

Start focusing on what’s best for the local business’ target audience and business goals – and make sure they align with Google’s best practices to be rewarded with improved visibility in search results!

Armed with this knowledge, are you going to start doing anything differently?

lpm-demo-banner

Keep coming back each week for your local search news from the #QueenofLocalSEO!

The post Can Local Businesses Really Rank with RankBrain? appeared first on Advice Local.

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Mobile Experience eBook

The rise of mobile is not exactly what you’d call a dry, abstract subject. With so many of us living the mobile experience every day we clearly know it as a vital and exciting subject. We observe mobile use by family, co-workers, fellow shoppers and people in general getting from their point A to point B, with an on-average “connection to the web time” of about 3 hours daily. (Nomophobia? Maybe.)

As a business owner, digital marketer, SEO pro or affiliated professional you might have a pretty good handle on the miracle of mobile, but we’re still at the beginning of this monster trend. As with anything that is widely available and rapidly changing, there is always more to know.

Yes, you’re working hard to maximize the payoff from mobile. I get that because it is my mission as well, and to that end I present my newest eBook, “Making the Most of the Mobile Experience”.


Announcing @Advice_Local’s #eBook: Making the Most of the #Mobile Experience
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Go Mobile or Go Home

That’s right, I said “go mobile or go home.” Even big fans of mobile may not fully grasp this truth: if you don’t have a plan to reach out to consumers via mobile today, then you do not have a marketing plan. That’s not a criticism, just the sharp edge of truth cutting through any confusion.

The Proof is in the Mobile Stats

To begin, the time spent on smartphones has surpassed the time spent watching television. Is this “always on” shift true for you, too?

  • 85 percent of sites now meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness (and how about yours?)
  • 39 percent of consumers make purchases from within apps
  • Consumers spend 90% of their smartphone screen-time in mobile apps
  • Mobile is massive: the value of mobile-influenced purchases in 2015 alone totals around $1 trillion – yes, trillion with a “t”

But wait… there’s more than just eye-opening statistics, you will find analysis and recommended best practices to strengthen your brand in this eBook. I will reveal the hidden pieces of the mobile space to help you improve customer experience and garner more sales.

Be Where Mobile and Micro-Moments Merge

Mobile helps businesses and brands meet their customers and customers-to-be when they reach out during their busy day. This place is found in the confluence of mobile and human activity, in the brief, purpose-filled “I-want-to” times that Google defines as Micro-Moments. Because mobile is about meeting needs, this focus creates a win-win for all parties involved.


I’m going #mobile. Find out why in @BernieColeman’s #ebook #business
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It’s easy to download “Making the Most of the Mobile Experience”. Click, read and start taking the necessary steps to put more focus on mobile marketing.

Want more awesome resources? Find them here.

The post Making the Most of the Mobile Experience [eBook] appeared first on Advice Local.

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Mobile Experience eBook

The rise of mobile is not exactly what you’d call a dry, abstract subject. With so many of us living the mobile experience every day we clearly know it as a vital and exciting subject. We observe mobile use by family, co-workers, fellow shoppers and people in general getting from their point A to point B, with an on-average “connection to the web time” of about 3 hours daily. (Nomophobia? Maybe.)

As a business owner, digital marketer, SEO pro or affiliated professional you might have a pretty good handle on the miracle of mobile, but we’re still at the beginning of this monster trend. As with anything that is widely available and rapidly changing, there is always more to know.

Yes, you’re working hard to maximize the payoff from mobile. I get that because it is my mission as well, and to that end I present my newest eBook, “Making the Most of the Mobile Experience”.


Announcing @Advice_Local’s #eBook: Making the Most of the #Mobile Experience
Click To Tweet


Go Mobile or Go Home

That’s right, I said “go mobile or go home.” Even big fans of mobile may not fully grasp this truth: if you don’t have a plan to reach out to consumers via mobile today, then you do not have a marketing plan. That’s not a criticism, just the sharp edge of truth cutting through any confusion.

The Proof is in the Mobile Stats

To begin, the time spent on smartphones has surpassed the time spent watching television. Is this “always on” shift true for you, too?

  • 85 percent of sites now meet Google’s criteria for mobile-friendliness (and how about yours?)
  • 39 percent of consumers make purchases from within apps
  • Consumers spend 90% of their smartphone screen-time in mobile apps
  • Mobile is massive: the value of mobile-influenced purchases in 2015 alone totals around $1 trillion – yes, trillion with a “t”

But wait… there’s more than just eye-opening statistics, you will find analysis and recommended best practices to strengthen your brand in this eBook. I will reveal the hidden pieces of the mobile space to help you improve customer experience and garner more sales.

Be Where Mobile and Micro-Moments Merge

Mobile helps businesses and brands meet their customers and customers-to-be when they reach out during their busy day. This place is found in the confluence of mobile and human activity, in the brief, purpose-filled “I-want-to” times that Google defines as Micro-Moments. Because mobile is about meeting needs, this focus creates a win-win for all parties involved.


I’m going #mobile. Find out why in @BernieColeman’s #ebook #business
Click To Tweet


It’s easy to download “Making the Most of the Mobile Experience”. Click, read and start taking the necessary steps to put more focus on mobile marketing.

Want more awesome resources? Find them here.

The post Announcing Our New eBook: Making the Most of the Mobile Experience appeared first on Advice Local.

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App Store Customer Reviews

In a move that benefits developers, businesses, and consumers alike, Apple will soon allow app developers to respond to customer reviews on the App Store. This welcome update (available in iOS 10.3) will make it possible for app creators and owners to publicly reply to user reviews, which are visible to anyone considering downloading the app.

App creators will be able to chime in to address unfair reviews, clear up misunderstandings about how the app works, and offer insights to help consumers see why the app is worth the download. Plus, participating in a two-way conversation shows customers that the developer or business owner cares about the app and is receptive to user feedback, which could encourage more reviews and< more downloads.

This Change is Great for Our Advice Mobile Partners

This change is going to be great for our Advice Mobile partners. It empowers our customers to better serve their clients with review management in Apple’s App Store. It’s been an available feature on Google Play since 2012.

Advice Mobile App FeaturesFor those of you not familiar with Advice Mobile, our partners can create branded mobile apps on-the-fly and demo them for their customers, while at their location, on the phone or even during a webinar. Once an app is created, if the customer wishes to purchase the app, it can then immediately be submitted to the App Store and Google Play.

We’ll be here to provide the education necessary on how to respond, plus best practices for review management.

Mobile Apps Built for Local Businesses

Considering that 90% of all mobile screen time is spent in apps, this update is something business owners cannot afford to ignore. Giving app publishers the power to reply to app reviews will help businesses create a stronger brand image on the App Store, get more downloads, and connect with new customers.

If the businesses you represent need a branded mobile app for their customers, Advice Mobile can change that within just a few minutes. Use our simple and powerful technology to create a custom app right now – no coding required!


#Apple #App Store Update Turns Reviews into Two-Way Conversations by @GetPlacedLocal #AdviceLocal
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Want to know more about becoming a partner? Request a demo TODAY!

The post Apple App Store Update Turns Customer Reviews into Two-Way Conversations appeared first on Advice Local.

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Google news

It seems Google is testing a new layout for mobile search results again. This time placing product ads for local inventory at the top of the page. Yes, this means sponsored products are being displayed above the local 3-pack.

The ads are almost mistakable for the local pack, since the products appear next to a map and are not clearly labeled as sponsored content. Mike Blumenthal originally spotted this and captured our attention (along with many others in the local search space). As he noted in this article, the test ads are part of Google’s new Shopping campaigns, which allow businesses to promote local inventory.

Interestingly, the results don’t appear to be linked to a specific geographic area. For instance, we ran a test search from our office here in McKinney and received the same sponsored product results as Blumenthal. However, since Google is just starting to test this ad-pack layout, we could expect to see more targeted ads in this local pack format if and when the update is officially integrated into mobile search in the future.


#Google Is Playing with #Mobile Search Results Again. Get the Story from @Advice_Local!
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Local Product Ads Would Take Up Valuable Mobile Real-Estate

In our own mobile search results, we found that the test ads for inventory take up the entire screen above the fold. This forces smartphone users to scroll down to see the local 3-pack and even further to see organic results.

Take a look at these screenshots taken on an iPhone to see what I’m talking about:

sponsored-ads-mobile-search

The above results appeared at the top of the search page with an option to view more products nearby. Note that this is well above the businesses displayed in the local pack and these two results are the same as Blumenthal reported seeing in his search results.

The following ad appeared below the two product placements:

mobile-search-ad

This is the local pack as seen in mobile results – that is, once I scrolled down a fair bit.

Google-local-pack -mobile

While it’s important to remember that Google is always tweaking its algorithms and changing how local businesses appear in search results, this particular change raises concerns about whether organic results will become less visible to mobile users.

Consistent NAP is More Important than Ever for Local Businesses

As Google continues to roll out changes that prioritize mobile and local search above all else, it’s more crucial than ever for local businesses to maintain consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) data. Inaccurate citations and business listings are not only bad for SEO and the business’ ranking in search results, but also send mixed messages to potential customers who do manage to find the business online.


Consistent NAP is a priority to rank in #mobile search says @BernieColeman.
Click To Tweet


To check that the businesses you represent are displaying consistent NAP data online, I invite you to run a free visibility report today. If you are an agency or multi-location brand or business and would like to learn more about how our local presence management solution can help fix inaccurate listings, request a demo!

Until next time, keep coming back for your local search news from the #QueenofLocalSEO!

The post Google Shakes Things Up: Testing Product Ads in Mobile Search Results appeared first on Advice Local.

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Google news

It seems Google is testing a new layout for mobile search results again. This time placing product ads for local inventory at the top of the page. Yes, this means sponsored products are being displayed above the local 3-pack.

The ads are almost mistakable for the local pack, since the products appear next to a map and are not clearly labeled as sponsored content. Mike Blumenthal originally spotted this and captured our attention (along with many others in the local search space). As he noted in this article, the test ads are part of Google’s new Shopping campaigns, which allow businesses to promote local inventory.

Interestingly, the results don’t appear to be linked to a specific geographic area. For instance, we ran a test search from our office here in McKinney and received the same sponsored product results as Blumenthal. However, since Google is just starting to test this ad-pack layout, we could expect to see more targeted ads in this local pack format if and when the update is officially integrated into mobile search in the future.


#Google Is Playing with #Mobile Search Results Again. Get the Story from @Advice_Local!
Click To Tweet


Local Product Ads Would Take Up Valuable Mobile Real-Estate

In our own mobile search results, we found that the test ads for inventory take up the entire screen above the fold. This forces smartphone users to scroll down to see the local 3-pack and even further to see organic results.

Take a look at these screenshots taken on an iPhone to see what I’m talking about:

sponsored-ads-mobile-search

The above results appeared at the top of the search page with an option to view more products nearby. Note that this is well above the businesses displayed in the local pack and these two results are the same as Blumenthal reported seeing in his search results.

The following ad appeared below the two product placements:

mobile-search-ad

This is the local pack as seen in mobile results – that is, once I scrolled down a fair bit.

Google-local-pack -mobile

While it’s important to remember that Google is always tweaking its algorithms and changing how local businesses appear in search results, this particular change raises concerns about whether organic results will become less visible to mobile users.

Consistent NAP is More Important than Ever for Local Businesses

As Google continues to roll out changes that prioritize mobile and local search above all else, it’s more crucial than ever for local businesses to maintain consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) data. Inaccurate citations and business listings are not only bad for SEO and the business’ ranking in search results, but also send mixed messages to potential customers who do manage to find the business online.


Consistent NAP is a priority to rank in #mobile search says @BernieColeman.
Click To Tweet


To check that the businesses you represent are displaying consistent NAP data online, I invite you to run a free visibility report today. If you are an agency or multi-location brand or business and would like to learn more about how our local presence management solution can help fix inaccurate listings, request a demo!

Until next time, keep coming back for your local search news from the #QueenofLocalSEO!

The post Google Likes to Shake Things Up: They Are Now Testing Product Ads in Mobile Search appeared first on Advice Local.