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 Mat 1st, 2017. This week we have articles from Joy Hawkins, Joel Headley and Mike Blumenthal.
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.
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 outand 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!
Our weekly discussions are also now available as a podcast as well.
Joel Headley’s Articles
Introducing structured menus in the Google My Business API
Google is looking for more ways to engage users and they have found that menus is one of those ways. Unfortunately this is not done using Schema and is currently only available if you have access to the API either directly or through someone like Yext.
Local reviews in your language–wherever you are
Reviews in Google Maps and Search will now be automatically translated to your device’s default language which should make it easier for foreign travelers to understand exactly what is being said.
How to best understand Google is probably best done by reading the Alphabet earnings with a founder’s letter from Larry (focus on cloud and AI for Google).
Amazon Profits Jump on Cloud and Online Retail Sales
AWS and how their cloud business is destroying the competition.
Remember where you parked with Google Maps
AI can sometimes fail its promise. This feature shows that.
Google “feature” of finding your parking spot (no AI)
Google Earth’s New Voyager Tool Aims to Feed Our Wanderlust
This new platform for tourist attractions might provide another content platform that can ultimately be integrated into the Knowledge Panel and local search.
Desktop and Mobile Ad Revenue Surpasses TV for the First Time
Mobile advertising accounted for roughly 51%, or about $36.6 billion, of all digital ad revenue reported in 2016. Of that, 47%, or $17.2 billion, came from mobile search, according to the report.
Overall, desktop search fell for the first time in 2016 to $17.8 billion, down 13% year-over-year. The IAB doesn’t break down digital ad revenue from individual companies, but according to eMarketer, Google is poised to control nearly 78% of the global search ad market by 2017, or about $28.5 billion in revenue. Banner ads captured the second most in mobile ad spend with 38%, followed by video (11%).
Benedict Evans: Internet passes TV to become largest segment, Google passes all print revenue, Facebook passes magazines & radio.
Most Internet Users Prefer Search Engines to Find Local Products – eMarketer
Search continues to grow with 87% of users reporting that they used search in the past month to look for local products or services. Social networks & reviews, while still trailing the business website and offline referrals, showed growth as well. Newspapers & daily deals were flat while print, to no one’s surprise decline. The eye opener? IYPs are also showing a decline.
According to a March 2017 survey of US internet users conducted by Burke for the Local Search Association (LSA), eight out of 10 respondents said a search engine was their top choice among a collection of digital and nondigital sources to look up information for local businesses last year. Search engines only fell short when respondents were asked about their favored source when ready to make a purchase. At this point in the purchase journey, 27% cited company websites vs. 24% for search engines.
News for sure but not hard to understand given Yelp’s headwinds; they are starting to work with resellers for selling their ad products
What is the value of a ‘Like?’
The Harvard Business Review carried out a set of controlled experiments (23 to be exact) to look at the possible impact of Likes on transactions or behaviors by a user, or people within the user’s social circle. Their findings? The mere act of Liking a brand does not affect a consumer’s behavior or lead to increased purchase volume. Furthermore, among the 18,000 people included in the study, the endorsement of a brand did not produce significant influence on a friend or family member’s likelihood to purchase.
Case Study: Key Performance Indicators in Local Digital Marketing – GetFiveStars
What KPI’s make sernse in Local? Here is one case study that look at them in a bricks and mortar retail environment.
Case Study: In Local Attribution Word of Mouth Dominates – GetFiveStars
Tracking those KPI’s and following up with a new customer survey can really help a business understand exactly which expenditures are worthwhile.
Best Searches Now Default to +4 Star Listings in the Local Pack & Increased Granularity
How Do Online Reviews Impact Click-Through Rates & Trust? New Research
Some interesting research from Brightlocal that shows (among other things) that going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25% more clicks from Google Local Pack
10 Ways to Drastically Improve Local Business Adwords Campaigns
A great summary of how using Adwords can be optimized and fine tuned for local ad performance.
Did Google lose another town? It appears so. Although the fix may now be in, it took a fair bit of pain and publicity to get to this point for this town in Vermont.
Facebook pixels get upgrade to track actions & page data
The engine behind Facebook’s tracking and targeting just got an upgrade. The Facebook pixel helps track conversions, optimize ad spends and retarget users. An upgrade to the pixel was just rolled out that will now capture more information, including actions and page structure and data.
The biggest area that marketers should pay attention to is the ability to track actions based on site use. These actions include clicks like an “add to cart,” “click to call” or “purchase.” This should help advertisers gather more data on their site without having to implement custom events. The page metadata that will now be passed along includes Opengraph or Schema.org data included on the page.
Joy Hawkin’s Articles
Be a mad scientist to be more successful in local SEO
Surveys are useful and statistical analysis is as well, but any SEO should continue to test (and in my opinion do so within a theoretical framework) to better understand how ranking works.
Google: 15% of Searches Every Day Are Still New
This number has stayed fairly constant over the years but its still surprising. It demonstrates how long the long tail really is.
Is Ripoff Report subverting Google take-downs?
Thought you had that bogus Ripoff report removed? Hah! Think again.
When Breaking Google’s Guidelines Is Almost Necessary with GMB
Naming guidelines remain just guidelines as many businesses realize that its the quickest way to success on Google Local search.