Every week we bring you a brief 15 minute video and the links of the best articles in Local Search. OK. It's not always 15 minutes but we are never off by more than 10 minutes or so.
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Mary: Martha van Berkel gives us a very practical article about implementing schema markup on large, multi-location business websites. It will help you avoid issues with maintenance and scalability issues so that you can get it right the first time.
Mary: Claire Carlile explains why Google posts are worth investing in for almost every type of local business.
Mary: "Google My Business has told one local SEO via Twitter direct message that the team is delayed 2-3 weeks." It is pitiful that Google's going crazy with suspensions knowing it can't deal with the customer service issues involved.
Mike: A great summary of the issues confronting Google Maps highlighted in the Wall Street Journal.
I fear that Google will do what it can to reduce the noise and then go back to standard operating procedures.
Mike: In this convo with David Mihm we look at Google’s historical and current passive aggressive behavior when they hit these bumps.
It is unlikely that Google will change without government intervention.
Mike: Annual survey of social use by Americans. Instagram, the only social network which is growing & Snapchat remain especially popular among those ages 18 to 24.
While Youtube & Facebook growth has stopped the majority of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram users visit these sites daily
Mike: We are on the cusp of all new types of advertising. And apparently using interacivet 3d lipstick ads can be very “sticky”,
Mike: Facebook and eBay have been warned by the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to do more to tackle the sale of fake reviews on their platforms.
What no Google warning?
Mike: GatherUp (my company for full disclosure) has put together a comprehensive summary of all (ok nearly all) statistics about reviews and how they affect the consumer journey.
Mike: Google’s US web search engine received 150+ Billion searches. Google solved almost half of those searches without any click and only 45% of those were sent on the rest of the web. They sent 7.2% of all search clicks to paid results.
Expect this trend of answering questions to increase along with the % going to paid results. Welcome to the era of pay to play.
Mike: Google has long provided direct answers about a business phone number or address. They have now expanded the types of direct answers AND are wrapping them in a mini-knowledge panel surrounded by reviews.
Who would have anticipated that a recovery query for a phone number could cause you to lose your customers.
Mike: Adding additional GMB categories won’t hurt the rankings for your main category/keywords as long as they are relevant to your business. In fact, the opposite seems to be true and it can be beneficial to your overall visibility.
Mike: Whether or not a coincidence of timing with the Wall Street Journal articles or not, Google added a number of interesting features to the Business Profile for every business. These include a short URL to be used to gain followers or reviews (plus other transactions), the ability to add a Logo (Holy smoke, Batman!) and to control their cover photo amongst other things. Google will also be rolling out a “Local Favorites” program to "help people easily find and engage with these businesses” and they are "also creating digital and physical badges of honors”.
In an effort to more fully compete with Facebook and to engage SMBs in the low hanging fruit on their way to advertising, expect to see more and more features like these.
Carrie: Pulling GMB insights and other data into a Google Data Studio report. Although insights data is a bit wiffy, it's still data that your clients are likely looking at, and it behooves you to explain it in your reporting.
How to upload Google's FREE Google My Business review video as a GMB post - Part 1 - Local Search Forum
Carrie: Andy Simpson shares a technique at Local Search Forums for adding your Marketing Kit video to your GMB Posts.
Carrie: Joy Hawkins reporting a bug in the KP Q&A wherein a business can't answer a question - it shows up as the personal profile of the person answering, not the business profile.
Carrie: Rosie Murphy wrote a great piece about all the new features business owners can take advantage of in GMB - including the new Marketing Toolkit. She also talks about the new "Welcome Offers" to incentivize the "Follow" button, as well as the new photo features that are giving business owners more control over their photos.
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