Mary: Tony Wright' SEO wishlist for Santa this year includes some things we probably all wish for: a wider and deeper pool of SEO talent, dialing back the effects of biz name spam, more clarity in Google's communications to us and an SEO code of ethics to help weed out some of the worst players in our industry.
Carrie: The crew at LocalU put on a webinar where Joy Hawkins, Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling, David Mihm & Darren Shaw talked about trends from 2018, and looking ahead to local search in 2019. Definitely worth a listen.
Mike: New services like on demand delivery and autonomous vehicles will create new ways to deliver local services and products. It’s still early days but any retailer that isn’t keeping an eye on these partnerships for ideas will be left behind.
Mike: The company most likely to disrupt the many relationships in local is Amazon who will be able to offer everything from a logistics network to smaller retailers than can deliver goods directly from China to their shelves to the ability to save them time and money with cashier-less checkout technology. Most small retailers hate Walmart and are more likely to want to partner with Amazon…
Mike: Google has been rolling out integration of local events into business knowledge panels at a torrid pace of late. Often with poor quality checks and disastrous outcomes. If you run events, come up with a strategy to include them in rich snippets on your website and in the meantime keep an eye on your Knowledge Panel to make sure that Google is getting it right!
Mike: Reserve with Google is expanding across new partners and this announcement opens up the Knowledge Panel scheduling feature to a lot of small salons etc. The list of future partners in this program is large and we should see regular announcements like this.
Mike: The various checks that are required to get into Local Services Ads varies by business category. Tom put this database together to try to help sort through it all. If you are in a business that provides in home services look at Tom’s list to understand what you will need to do to get into the program.
Mike: With the move of Posts to the middle of the search results, there has been a decline in conversions. This move doesn’t impact Posts value as a branding tool but might reduce the ROI of certain activities enough to re-evaluate its benefit to your business. If nothing else it points out the need for tracking to ascertain Post’s value to your business.