Your Brand in a Digital World

In the pre-internet world, marketers said there were three things that were important; location, location, and location. It was important to be where your prospects could find you. In small towns, it might have been the square, or on a busy corner, as we moved to the suburbs it became the mall. Successful businesses often worked to assure their buildings and signage projected an image. The kind of image that people would like, remember and want to return to. And of course no one expected to b...
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Where do you Stack up in local Results?

A lot has changed in the way Google displays businesses in the past few years. The changes have come in slowly, so you may not have noticed, but Google Ads that only appeared on the right side of the page have now crept above the left column, pushing organic results down. Businesses that were near bottom on the first page may now be on the second page (or worse). Google is also displaying a "local stack", kind of a phonebook listing at the top of the page for searches it considers local (like...
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Local Businesses Need a Google+ Local Page

As a part of your marketing strategy you need to have a Google local page. Google Local (formerly Google Places) is the web equivalent of the phone book. When Google translates a search as local in nature, these listings appear near the top of the search results. Local Listings are now part of Google Plus, enabling people to comment and vote on your business through their Google+ profiles. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to sign up for a personal Google+ account to create your...
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Local Ranking factors

The Basics: Immediately Actionable Items There are two different ways to look at the top local ranking factors: what matters and what you should work on. Several of the key factors to ranking are well are out of the typical company's grasp, but here is a list of 10 recommended factors that you can work on today. The actionable factors are: Your physical address matching/listing the city where you're located. Manually verifying your ownership of the company's Google Places page. Hav...
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Google Places becomes Google Plus Local

---- Update Start ---- Google has clearly changed their strategy for the better with Google Plus Local. In this case, Google is looking to keep things authentic, so you'll need to start by setting up a 'real' Google Plus account. Then create a Google Page for your business and then click the "verify" link in the bottom right to have a post card mailed to you with a verification code. In my case, Google actually called to check on me. I could tell the agent was using Google street view to c...
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Dealing with bad reviews in Google Places

Everyone has a bad day, tempers often flair and it is easy to strike out when your facing your opponent through a computer screen. The bad news is that a review whipped out in anger can live on the Internet for a long time. Highland Hardware had an unhappy customer and despite their best efforts to resolve the issue the customer was still unhappy. However when the customer struck out at them publicly, its owner and founder Chris Bagby took action and sending this letter to his customer base: ...
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The Phonebook is Dead

Increasingly people are going on-line, not only for phone number and addresses, but for reviews and recommendations. Website’s not only give you the opportunity to list the standard phonebook info like you’re address, when you’re open and years in business, but also detailed information and photos about your products and services. You can explain who you are and why someone should do business with you. You can post videos not only about your company, but about the work you have performed and of ...
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Building National Campaigns for Local Business

I attended an Advanced AdWords seminar last week and am revisiting the topic of Building National Ads for Local Needs . This seminar was sponsored by Google and lead by Brad Geddes of BG theory . While most of the Advanced Class was more a refresher than anything new, it has prompted me to make a change in my national campaign strategy for local business. In addition to the negative terms I use (listed in the original article), I now also use exclude cities, regions and metro areas in the cam...
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