All of us at LocalU are excited about 2014 (our first event is just a couple weeks away in Dallas!), but we're also happy about the wonderful year we had together in 2013 with the formation of LocalU as its own entity and our new website here at LocalU.org.
Throughout the year, we published about five dozen articles here on our blog that covered topics like local search, Google business listings, web analytics, social media, landing page optimization and mobile marketing.
Before we get started on more great blog content in 2014, here's a look back at our top 10 most popular articles from 2013 (measured in terms of pageviews). If you missed any of these along the way, be sure to check them out today!
1.) A Heat Map Click Study For Google’s Local Carousel Results by Mike Ramsey
EXCERPT: In my study both searchers mentioned the amount of reviews as a determining factor for clicking. Both images also have very full pictures of well prepared food. Alinea Restaurant has by far the most reviews and the best overall Zagat score but as a few people mentioned in my study “I am not exactly sure with the score means."
2.) What Kind of Google+ Page Is It? – A Visual Guide to Google+ Local Pages by Mike Blumenthal
EXCERPT: Recently, in some accounts with the new dashboard, Google has started to automatically add the social & video feature without the need for the business to have a personal G+ account. This is significant for businesses large and small that want to manage a social presence for the company but do not wish to have to have a G+ personal account to do so.
EXCERPT: In the end, it doesn’t really matter which path you choose as the data goes to the same place (the canonical Knowledge Graph local record) and travels along the same, speedy data pipeline. The two are now inextricably linked for better or worse. However, I think that I would follow Google’s recommendation and create the listing via the new Google Places for Business Dashboard (places.google.com) for the following reasons....
4.) How Do Consumers Find a B & B? by Mike Blumenthal
EXCERPT: Almost half of all adult Internet users rely on search engines to start their search for a bed and breakfast. Off line word of mouth, travel sites, a B & B’s website and reviews were all important elements in making a final decision as to where to stay.
5.) Rules for Google+Local for Business Listings by Mary Bowling
EXCERPT: I suspect that there are unpublished guidelines, too, that are not visible to us. Some of them eventually make it onto the list we can all see, but in the meantime, we just have to guess at what may or may not be acceptable now or in the future.
EXCERPT: Taken as a whole, this is a great way to measure local search traffic in aggregate. While this is cool information to have, it isn’t necessarily actionable. What I like to do next is segment local traffic by specific source. That makes it easy to identify which local source might need a little love.
7.) A Guide to Google Local Listing Page Identification by Mike Blumenthal
EXCERPT: Google is in the midst of a massive migration of claimed business listings from the old Places Dashboard to the new Places for Business Dashboard. Simultaneously, they are apparently also in the midst of merging the new Places for Business Dashboard interface and functionality with the Google+ Page management interface … confusing on both a branding and functional level.
8.) Designing Business Location Website Pages: Part One – Single Location Business by Aaron Weiche
EXCERPT: Driving, walking or public transit directions to your business is helpful and easy. Consider both directional (from East, from West) by main roads or transportation type as well as directions by landmark. The same directions and helpful hints you’d give over the phone can be extremely valuable content.
9.) Designing Business Location Website Pages, Part 2: Multiple Location Business by Aaron Weiche
EXCERPT: Usability and ease is at the forefront here. You want to get the user to the location page they need as easily as possible. Can you get the user to a specific location page in one click? Can you get them there multiple ways, navigation or through page content? You need to be able to answer YES!
10.) What is Local SEO? by Mary Bowling
EXCERPT: Imagine someone searching for a plumber who will come to their house at 4am to stop a burst pipe from flooding the basement. They will likely search for emergency plumber, 24 hour plumber, or plumbing emergency. The search engine will try to find businesses it can identify not just as plumbers, but as plumbers who are clearly available for emergencies on a 24 hour-a-day basis.
On behalf of everyone at LocalU, I'd like to thank all of our regular readers, our social media fans and followers, and everyone that helped support us in 2013. We wish you a wonderful new year, and hope we get to see you somewhere along the road!
- Matt McGee