Video: Last Week in Local January 30th
Mike Blumenthal

Join Local U for our fourth public episode of Last Week in Local, a weekly conversation about the articles that attracted our attention during the past week ending January 30th, 2017.

This year we will be publishing our Last Week in Local video directly to the Local U blog. It will be published every Monday and will include discussions about the events in the last week — strategic and tactical — that affect Local SEO & marketing.

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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.

Let us know what you think. Welcome to Last Week in Local!



Mary’s Links

Online Business Directories: How to Use Citations to Build a Successful Local SEO Strategy

Sherry Bonelli of BrightLocal on Citation Strategy – post on Duct Tape Marketing on how to best use directories to help you with Local SEO

Google My Business Photos 3.0 Launches

GMB Photos

We now have the ability to specify what types of photos we are adding to our GMB listings and see the photos others have associated with our business.

Google Maps Labels Today’s Events On The Map

Local Events – Some local events are being highlighted on th Google Map as reported by SearchEngineJournal

5 Ways Lawyers Can Get More Google Reviews » Juris Digital

Reviews for Law Firms – Dillon Brickhouse wrote a helpful post at JurisDigital with tips on how lawyers can get more good reviews.

Google AdWords Benchmarks for YOUR Industry | WordStream

AdWords Benchmarks from Wordstream

Wordstream updated its benchmarks for CTR, cost per click and cost per action for Adwords by industry. For example, their data shows that in the travel industry the average click through rate for search ads  is 2.18%., with an average cost per click of $1.55 and an average cost per action of $60.51. It’s quite valuable information for local advertisers and can help you to see where you stand. One surprise it held for me that ads for dating and personals are clear winners in every aspect. Here’s one of the charts from this study:

How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016

Google Ousts More Spammers – Google reported that it took down 1.7 billion “bad” ads last year for deception, tabloid cloaking, illegal products, malware, instant downloads, etc. and permanently banned 200 publishers for bad content.

Relationship between Local and Organic SEO: a Simple Diagram |

Organic SEO + Local SEO

Phil Rozek gives us a simplified look at why local businesses need both local SEO and organic SEO for sustainable success.

Mike’s Links

Apple Gets Into Position for the Voice Search Revolution

Rankings – comScore, Inc

The big get bigger. Top Apps controlled by Facebook (1,2,8), Google (3,4,5,6,7,11,15), Apple (13,14) with Snapchat, Pandora, Amazon each having one spot

V for Wikipedia

Augmented Reality that leverages Wikipedia geo coded articles and Apple Watch to allow user to instantly see significant historical entities nearby. Very cool for iPhone and Watch users.

Google starts testing Instant Apps in the wild

“Instant Apps is really about re-thinking where apps are going,” Google VP of Engineering for Android Dave Burke told me when the company announced Instant Apps last year. “Web pages are ephemeral. They appear, you use them, and never think about them again.” Installing apps, on the other hand, comes with a lot of friction and users often only want to perform a single action or get a specific piece of information (say pay for parking with an app in a city you don’t often travel to). Ideally, Instant Apps gives you the speed of a light web page with all of the benefits of a native app.

GM’s new SDK for in-car infotainment apps offers access to nearly 400 data points | TechCrunch

If you were somebody like a map provider, for example, you could actually read the suspension data coming off the vehicle and use it to determine where potholes were at in the street, for example,” Wrenbeck said, by way of illustrating how third-parties might employ the available data feeds. “Just one example of some of the unusual ways that you can use data that GM provides uniquely, that other OEMs just don’t provide via their infotainment systems.”

Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight 

Amazon also plans to lease 40 cargo jets and bought branded semi trailers. The company has said that it needs to build out its delivery business to ensure the ability to deliver the growing amount of merchandise its customers order.

The move into ocean freight “is a great example of how Amazon’s expanding its logistical footprint, as well as getting deeper into customers’ supply chains,” said John Haber, chief executive of supply-chain consultancy Spend Management Experts. “This is just another cog in the supply chain that they’re putting under their control, as well as creating new revenue streams.”

According to the documents discovered by Ocean Audit, bills of lading dating back to October list Amazon Logistics as a named party, signaling it has entered into an agreement with another party to provide ocean-freight services. The parties shipping with Amazon primarily appear to be Chinese sellers on its website that use its “Fulfillment by Amazon” service, which allows merchants to store items at Amazon’s warehouses that Amazon then packs and ships when they are sold.

“They’ve made it so easy for these small, medium Chinese suppliers to make it into the supply chain,” adds Mr. Ferreira. Meanwhile, “Amazon is slowly building up a lot of volume.” Its new steps to press ahead with ocean-shipping operations move Amazon into direct competition for business that previously was handled by companies including United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. It brings Amazon a step further in laying the groundwork for its own plans, outlined in a September story in The Wall Street Journal, to one day haul and deliver packages and cargo for others as well as itself.

2017 Alignable SMB Brand Ratings & Reviews

Top 10 Trusted SMB BrandsLeast 10 Trusted SMB Brands
10. LinkedIn10. Angie’s List
9. PayPal9. Groupon
8. Square8. Comcast
7. FedEx7. Thumbtack
6. Instagram6. ShipStation
5. Authorize.net5. Craiglist (for hiring)
4. Mailchimp4. YP
3. Google3. Yext
2. WordPress2.
1. Amazon1. Yelp

Google Rides One-Trick Pony – Bloomberg Gadfly

Google continues to grow because it keeps coming up with new ways to squeeze more advertising dollars from its command of the intricacies of the internet and troves of data on how people spend their digital lives. It has been dialing up the number of ads it sells next to many Google searches on smartphones. Trying to steal a page from Amazon, Google is also becoming more sophisticated in paid product placements in digital catalogs.The number of clicks on ads sold by Google rose 36 percent in the fourth quarter, the best gain in years. Even subtle improvements in Google’s ability to get people to click on digital advertisements really add up for a company that touches nearly everything people do online or on their phones.Even the worst fear — that people would stop searching on smartphones — hasn’t panned out yet. Google has said that more than half of its web searches are on mobile devices. It’s hard to know exactly how individual parts of Google are doing, but RBC Capital Markets estimates ad sales for the company’s core web search operation are growing by a low-to-mid teens percentage each year. On a call with analysts on Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the web search business has “lots of headroom ahead.” And while YouTube isn’t quite living up to its financial potential, that valuable asset plus early efforts to turn Google Maps into a billboard for advertisements will be surefire future sources of revenue growth. That means even if Larry Page’s various experiments in driverless cars, curing the world’s diseases and internet-beaming drones never pan out, Alphabet should still do just fine.

Optimizing Meta Descriptions, H1s and Title Tags: Lessons from Multivariate SEO Testing at Etsy

Optimizing Meta Descriptions, H1s and Title Tags: Lessons from Multivariate SEO Testing at Etsy

They found three surprising results:

  • Shortening our title tags showed improved performance in terms of visits (and other key metrics)
  • Meta descriptions had a statistically significant impact on organic search traffic
  • H1s had a statistically significant impact on organic search traffic

Can 5-Star Reviews Backfire? – GetFiveStars

Sometimes having just 5-star reviews can work against you. That is particularly true if they set unrealistic consumers expectations which lead to dissatisfaction.

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