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How to Claim a Groupon Merchant Page (Or Not)

October 24th, 2014

Groupon made a big splash a couple of days ago by announcing the launch of Merchant Pages. Merchant Pages is an attempt by Groupon to leverage their daily deal ecosystem and channel local businesses into a local directory type site similar to Yelp. As it relates to the local search space, a new business listing on a brand like Groupon does have the potential to provide value to a businesses online search presence. Also, the listings look pretty nice and have a followed link to the business website.

What A Groupon Merchant Page Looks Like

If you are lucky enough to find your page, navigation is a bit opaque as deals are prioritized over business pages, then there is a link on the right side of the page to claim it. However, you should save yourself the hassle and just click on this link to get started. The first thing you need to do is fill in your business info:

Enter Your Business Info To Claim Your Page

After you submit the form with your business information you are prompted to select between a few businesses their system thinks may be yours.

Select Your Business

Since the location I was testing wasn’t on the list I’m not sure what happens if you find your business. However, if you don’t find your business you are given an option to click through to another page. After you click through a message is displayed telling you that a Groupon representative will be in touch to help you create and claim your page.

Things Go South

The next morning I received a call from a very nice, if highly disinterested, Groupon sales representative. After going through the pitch for various advertising campaigns for ~20 minutes I reiterated that I was just looking to claim my free listing. The representative then told me that he was unable to help with that and he would transfer me to the proper party.

What actually ended up happening was me getting transferred to a call tree with no option remotely related to Merchant Pages. I selected the option for new merchants and explained my situation to the nice representative who picked up my call. She informed me she would transfer me to the proper party and sent me straight back to the call tree I came from.

Again, there were no options that were remotely related to Merchant Pages so I pressed the option for new merchants where I explained my situation to the rep who answered. He placed me on hold for a couple of minutes to investigate. When he returned he informed me that it’s a known issue that there is no proper selection on their call tree and that I wasn’t the only one effected by this. He took down my information and told me I would receive a call back from someone who could help me.

To recap, ~45 minutes later I was only slightly closer to creating or claiming my merchant page then I was the day before.

The Call

Three hours later I received a call from yet another Groupon agent who apologized for all the confusion and hassle around the Merchant Pages product. He let me know that a page didn’t exist for my business, but that he would have one created for me. He took down some information, including the business website, and told me he would email me when it was complete and then follow up with a call to go over some features of the product. I have not yet received either the email or call so I will update this post once that happens.

TL;DR

I would consider this a very rough launch for Groupon and wouldn’t invest anymore time in it right now. The process is not where it needs to be and there is no way that the return will make up for all the time you spend on it. Also, calling on behalf of a client would seem to further complicate this process as I was told they would only call you back on the number they use for the business. A complicated phone verification with significant time spent on up-sells is probably not something that your clients would appreciate. But hey, there is a follow link on the profile so if you’re into directory link building and other forms of masochism maybe this is for you.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Groupon
Posted by Dan Leibson

When Is a 5 Star Review Not A 5 Star Review?

October 23rd, 2014

The answer is when Google My Business is aggregating and averaging out your reviews. In Google My Business math these nine different 5 star reviews average out to a measly 4.9.

Google Math Fail

For a company that has ~2,000 Ph.Ds in it’s employee, has written one of the most sophisticated computer applications in human history and is closing in on releasing a self-driving car you’d think that they would be able accurately represent a review average.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Google
Posted by Dan Leibson

Google Testing Carousel Expansion?

October 21st, 2014

Google has been testing replacements for their local carousel and local pack design for a while now.  So I was a little surprised when I saw this screenshot.

Carousel Test for Moving Companies?

What’s so interesting about this is that a carousel for moving company results would represent an expansion of the carousel user interface, as opposed to all the tests that suggest that Google want’s to move away from that design. Anyone else see any results that would represent an expansion of the local carousel?

H/T to Chris Borrink at IOV Media for the discovery.

→ No CommentsTags: Google
Posted by Dan Leibson

New Google Mobile-Local Results?

October 18th, 2014

Cori Shirk just shared a new Google mobile-local universal one box:

New Google Mobile-Local Result

This appears to be a test bucket as after several minutes of trying I am unable to trigger a similar looking result. For a quick comparison this is what the current mobile one boxes look like:

Current Mobile Local One Box

The new design is much cleaner then the current one, it move the address and phone number information out of the the top of the box, minimizes the map and incorporates a picture. In fact, it more closely resembles the knowledge graph one box on desktop, including using the same picture and map layout:

Desktop Knowledge Graph Local One Box

With the constant push towards the mobilization of local search on desktops, it was only a matter of time before Google started testing new mobile-local results as well.

→ No CommentsTags: Google · Mobile Search
Posted by Dan Leibson

Are You Ignoring Apple Maps Bozo?

October 16th, 2014

Just popped a post up on AppleMapsMarketing.com about the importance of remembering to update business data in Apple Maps.

“Today a retailer client, let’s assume they are called “Bingo’s”, pinged me because they had sold one of their locations, let’s say to “Bozo’s”, and their brand was still appearing on the business’ Yelp profile. So when you searched “bingo pleasanton ca” in Google the Bingo’s Pleasanton Yelp profile showed up as the top result. “

So we fixed the Google problem because that was what the client was concerned about, but it didn’t even occur to them that there was an Apple Maps problem too…

“The moral of the story is that because Apple Maps data does not show up in Google, marketers are likely to forget about it when doing big things like changing brand names, changing addresses, etc. Apple Maps is one of the most used local search services on the planet. Ignore it at your business’ peril.”

Read the whole thing at Changing Business Names? Don’t Forget About Apple Maps!

→ No CommentsTags: Apple Maps
Posted by Andrew Shotland