Video: Last Week in Local Dec.18, 2017
Mike Blumenthal

Last week in local 12/18/2017

Join Local U for the latest public episode of Last Week in Local, a weekly conversation about the articles that attracted our attention during the past week ending Dec. 4th. This week features Mary Bowling & Mike Blumenthal.

If you have a special topic you would like us to discuss for our other weekly feature, the Deep Dive in Local, or if you would like to be on one or the other of our segments, reach out and send us the topic and your availability. If you are interested in sponsoring this weekly show also please let us know.


Last Week in Local 12/18

Voice assistants used by 46% of Americans, mostly on smartphones | Pew Research Center

Americans to use them is on a smartphone: 42% of U.S. adults use voice assistants in this way. Some 14% of the public has used a voice assistant on a computer or tablet, while 8% say they use them on a stand-alone device such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Market is very fragmented, what an assistant is or should do is not really defined. Each company effectively defines differently.

Looking to mirror success of Stitch Fix, retailers experiment with subscription models – Digiday

And it’s not just multi-brand marketplaces that are seeing the appeal — traditional retailers are testing out subscription-based programs, as well. Ann Taylor, for example, just launched a rental service structured similarly to Rent The Runway‘s. Likewise, Baby Gap started offering an Outfit Box program in October. The boxes, which include six items, are $70, a discount from their $100 value, and parents can take three weeks to decide if they want to keep the garments or ship them back free of charge.

Getting your site ready for mobile-first indexing

As we said, sites that make use of responsive web design and correctly implement dynamic serving (that include all of the desktop content and markup) generally don’t have to do anything. Here are some extra tips that help ensure a site is ready for mobile-first indexing:

Google: Southeast Asia’s internet economy is growing faster than expected – TechCrunch

Google: Southeast Asia’s internet economy is growing faster than expected

The original report forecast Southeast Asia’s internet economy hitting $200 billion per year by 2025, but now it is estimated that it will top that number, reaching $50 billion in 2017 alone.

Ride hailing, travel and commerce lead the charge all via mobile. Essentially local is driving a great deal of the growth —-> Google will likely bring out more, mobile first, MVP type products like Websites for the region.

AdWords advertisers can use phone numbers & addresses for Google Customer Match targeting

As of this month, advertisers can upload phone numbers and mailing addresses for Customer Match retargeting and similar audiences.

Launched in 2015, Customer Match lets marketers upload lists of customers or other proprietary lists —  newsletter subscribers, for example — into Google AdWords to target (or exclude) search and display ads to those users. Until now, Customer Match only supported email list uploads.

As with email data, Google attempts to match phone number and mailing address information with user-

Online Brand Mentions and Google Search Ranking – Gary Ilyes Pubcon 2017 | Stone Temple

Gary Illyes: “But, we definitely start learning based on what mentions you’re getting. And, of course, plain mentions are good, structured mentions are even better.
Eric: “What’s a structured mention?”
Gary: “Structured data.”

Facebook Enables WhatsApp Button for Boosted Posts (for SMBs)

Click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads

Smart way for Facebook to monetize WhatsApp w/out putting ads there ->

The 12 Google My Business Bookings Feature Partners – Sterling Sky Inc

The 12 Google My Business Bookings Feature Partners

They look at pricing, features and markets served for the featured partners and compare the,. And the winners are Appointy, Full Slate, & Wellnessliving

The High Cost of Thinking Your Local Search Visibility Is Free |

What’s the “high cost” of free traffic (the one I named this post after)?  It’s not one specific high price you pay, but rather a long list of missed-opportunity costs.  They’re problems you’ll face, time you’ll waste, or wins you won’t seize.

They’re what happens when you assume “free” rankings and traffic are permanent, or unlimited, or guaranteed, or something you’re entitled to, or always easy to get more of, or always what you need more of.

Darren Shaw on Twitter

I am Darren Shaw, Founder of Whitespark. We have Q&A on our Google listing now. Ask me anything: … Serious and ridiculous questions are both welcome.a

Google My Business Verification Whitelisting Update

Thoughts About Local Knowledge Panels Not Showing for Branded Searches


A revamped SEO Starter Guide

Read this guide: to try to help understand what’s important to Google and what is not. For example it talks about site structure, which a lot of marketers tend to gloss over, and about how to use header tags. It basically gives readers a good blueprint to follow for SEO.

Official: Google’s New SEO Starter Guide – 63 SEO Practices to AVOID in 2018 – Hobo

Shaun Anderson extracted all the don’ts from Google’s new SEO Starter Guide. See all the “avoid this” tips in one place and then some of the things Hoho SEO advises that you do.

Forbes Welcome

Article at Forbes gives us some solid tactics to think about using when we’re facing tough competition. This is a good article to back you up when you’re talking to prospects/clients in tough markets. The tip I’d add is to rank well for the searchers closest to you first and then try to expand logically into the other locations where its most important for you to rank.

Why Building a Brand Is the Most Viable SEO Strategy

Brad Smith at Search Engine Journal does a really good job of explaining Why Building a Brand Is the Most Viable SEO Strategy”. This thought summmarizes what Google’s currently doing in the SERPS:

“Google is trying to answer the query. With content from other people. Without requiring them to click to view the source.”

If you or your customers don’t understand how important brands are and how your marketing needs to shift its focus to local brand building, this is an very useful resource.

The State of Searcher Behavior Revealed Through 23 Remarkable Statistics

According to research at Moz, only about 60% of searches result in a click these days so strong brand presentation is critical. In local the number is likely much less.

SEO Quiz: Take this 99signals Quiz to Test Your SEO Knowledge

For fun….

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