November 28th, 2006
Search Engine Guide is putting together a series on how to promote your business locally, by Stacy Williams. This overview gives a good understanding on the market in general, links to the major players, where they receive their data, and other resources.
I’ll keep this post updated as new columns come in, or you can follow along from one of the links above.
This should be a compelling series. In August, I blogged about the local search session given at the San Jose Search Engine Strategies conference. I can tell you first hand that the panel of Stacy (series author), Patricia, Justin, and Greg was fantastic and well-recommended. At some point during everyone’s presentation, I would look around the audience and see wide-eyes and head-nodding, thinking “Yeah, I get that”.
Column 2 of 5 - 11/28/2006
Add a geography footer to every page. It seems very simple, and it is, but it serves a few different purposes.
Column 3 of 5 – 11/29/2006
Overview on creating an accurate business profile that can be sent to local search engines, Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), and other local business portals.
Column 4 of 5 – 11/30/2006
This is a column I’ve been waiting for. Global and local-only search engines allow you to populate your business data for free. These local listings are often ones where consumers are further along in the buying cycle. This is a great avenue that many local businesses simply aren’t aware of (please, do not skip the suggestions in columns 1-3 before you do this).
Column 5 of 5 – 12/01/2006
Add and edit local business information with different business aggregators. IYPs and search engines depend on this data to provide accurate results when showing your business.
November 25th, 2006
MapQuest sure isn’t the first mapping company to offer aerial images. Google and now MSN take it a step further and have their own 3D versions of aerial imagery.
What makes this nice is MapQuest has long been one of the top visited Web sites out there. This brings aerial imagery to the millions of people who do not spend all day online, many of whom don’t even know it exists. Back in 1998 when we were all sifting through irrelevant Alta Vista results from our AOL browsers (admit it), people were also flocking to MapQuest to find maps and driving directions, their core solutions to this day.
It will be interesting to see how they integrate this with their current business solutions for travel clients such as Travelocity or Orbitz.
This screenshot is pretty familiar, it’s a basic shot from Orbitz on hotels available in downtown Minneapolis. It certainly does the job, but detailing out more aerial shots would be slick.
Interestingly enough (or maybe not), the example MapQuest shows in the top image is a famous landmark a good 2000+ miles west of here.
November 23rd, 2006
For those in the search marketing business, most have their favorite forums, blogs, news sources, and Google alerts. I wanted to point out the newer WebProNews Video Blog for a few reasons:
- They’ve done a great job making it personable. It mostly consists of well-known search marketers discussing a wide variety of topics. You see their names and sometimes headshots in numerous articles and blogs, but seeing them via video makes it more compelling.
- They’ve done a nice job putting these together. Video blogs are still fairly new, but you can tell they put thought and professionalism in them.
- There are some expert Minnesota representations.
Many newer videos are from the latest PubCon held earlier this month in Vegas. Overall, interesting pieces include:
Minneapolis’ own Lee Odden from TopRank Online Marketing discussing blogs, how people perceive mainstream and common media, and a good understanding of themes distinguishing editorial from adversarial content.
Matt Cutts from some company called Google talks about the change in people from focusing on Google rankings to different social media services, whether it’s from Digg, Reddit, or any place where the traffic converts well. People are now out-creating each other from different and innovative outlets instead of out-ranking each other on Google.
Heather Lloyd-Martin from Success Works talks about quality content and how it can bring natural links to a site, high ranking scraper sites and their low conversion rates, and how proper SEO and PPC campaigns can give you a lot of real estate in search results.
Podcasting’s “Soccergirl” (soccer is cool) gives a glimpse of her success story, the controversy about showing her boobs (nope, she doesn’t), and how podcasting is a good vehicle for getting a message out to a large amount of people.
There are many more videos, and these can give a good heads-up to those who only focus their search marketing efforts on where their site appears in search engines. There are too many other outlets out there.
November 23rd, 2006
Close to a couple months ago, I mentioned that Minneapolis/St. Paul was bringing back the ABA. The season’s now started and the home opener is this weekend.
To see how they’re doing and how to buy tickets, check out the Minnesota Ripknees site.
November 22nd, 2006
The St. Paul Pioneer Press (twincities.com) writes a great article regarding their new ally with Yahoo and HotJobs. If you get a “subscription required” message, you can check out this general press release from ERE Media, Inc. Over 150 newspapers are joining the party.
What surprised me at first is that they currently have a relationship with CareerBuilder.com, which is a larger entity than HotJobs. This quote helps explain it though:
“Right now we’ve got great audience numbers (online), but we’re not necessarily able to turn that into revenue,” said Par Ridder, publisher of the Pioneer Press. The deal with Yahoo aims to help turn that around at TwinCities.com, the newspaper’s Web site.
Hopefully newspapers are starting to realize that search engines such as Yahoo and Google can be a strategic business alliance, and not just a competitor. Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) have long figured this out. Why not newspapers? Another quote from the article I like:
“The world is changing very rapidly and we think we need a partner,” said Dean Singleton, chief executive of Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc., the new owner of the Pioneer Press. “Doing it alone will just take too long.”
I would love for this to be a start of creating a full informational and easier local advertising portal. This might be a reach, but some newspapers have figured this out a long time ago (ironically, the Sacramento Bee uses careerbuilder).
Everyday, I check out either the online Pioneer Press or Star Tribune for local news, weather, and sports. Why? Because they are by far the most trusted informational sources out there. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything via their respective Web sites though. Hopefully, that will someday change.
November 21st, 2006
About a week late, but Quigo has reached a deal with the New York Daily News to provide their AdSonar private-label pay-per-click contextual advertising solutions. This adds to their platform of over 250 local and regional online newspapers and media sites, plus their recent partnership with Twin Cities-based Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
The one thing I love about Quigo’s advertising is it lets local advertisers utilize pay-per-click campaigns in trusted online newspapers, where faithful users visit everyday to look for local news, weather, and sports. The cost is more than reasonable. You can choose which sections of your local online news ads appear in from business, sports, real estate sections, and more.
The one thing I do not love is a great local ad could be in the middle of global spammy “lose weight” or “Lasik” ads as shown in a newspaper’s Lifestyle section here:
It’s safe to assume these ads bring in mass revenue. Whether a well-written and compelling local ad should be included is up in the air. It could either stand out as the “one” relevant ad, or simply blend in with the rest. You be the judge.
November 21st, 2006
In a new Advertising Age article, Frazier Miller from the Yahoo Local team explains some similarities between their Local search and social networking.
“If you rewind the clock a few years ago, we spend all our time thinking about local merchants and users trying to find info on a local basis, like you had in the newspaper and Yellow Pages models. These were a monologue as opposed to a dialogue.”
This was before social networking really became big. A successful local listing a good couple years ago was to actually have your business information listed correctly in the respective results.
“There’s more effective ways for users and merchants to have a dialogue. For users, we’ve had things like ratings and reviews. We just hit the 2 million number in terms of ratings and reviews.”
Add the 2005 acquisition of Flickr, plus tools like receiving emails when users post a rating or review for your business, you have a local interactive experience.
I’ve mentioned this before, but Matt McGee from Small Business SEM has a couple good writeups on Flickr.
November 7th, 2006
Google is going print, and they’re launching a program to test run-of-press advertisements in over 50 major newspapers. The idea is to fill oveflow house ads with ones from over 100 select Google advertisers.
It’s too early to tell how it will pan out, but I do like the fact that newspapers themselves control the ads. If they don’t like any of them, they won’t get the ROP. Advertisers will use the AdWords platform and have the ability to upload their artwork directly.
Among the newspapers participating are select ones from Gannett, the Tribune Company, and the Washington Post and New York Times Companies.
News from just five hours ago is that the McClatchy Co. will be joining the party (subscription required), and I was excited to see this as they run the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. Unfortunately, the Strib is not one of the six participating McClatchy papers.
Business Week article
New York Times article
Greg Sterling writes about this on his Screenwerk Blog.