Oh October! The leaves are changing, fall is almost here and another SMX East is coming to a close. There were a couple of awesome local SEO panels, including a presentation from the affable Founder, Proprietor and CEO of Local SEO Guide: Andrew Shotland. Andrew presented data across directory and SMB sites to provide some insight into Google’s recent Pigeon update. He gave a little preview of the talk in his Search Engine Land column earlier in the week.
October 2nd, 2014
September 30th, 2014
Today Waze introduced the ability to add “Places” to their mobile application. For any of you who aren’t familiar, Waze is a mobile traffic/mapping application that was acquired by Google in the not-too-distant past. Googl-owned local applications are always on my radar, so here is a quick walk-through on how to list a business on Waze using the Android version of the application on a Nexus 5.
1) Download Waze
The newest version of Waze, which has the ability to add a place, is is only available in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Sorry Windows Phone and Blackberry users, but it’s probably time to upgrade to a real smartphone
2) Report a Place
Once you are inside the Waze application there is an icon on the bottom right that looks like a Google map pin. This is the “Report” menu where you can add a business. After you tap, it opens up a screen that has an icon for adding a place. It’s the center icon in the screenshot below, and conveniently labeled “Place.” Tap it.
3) Take a Picture of the Storefront
Now this is where things start to become a PITA. The next step is to take a picture of the storefront of the business. That’s right, you have to take a picture of the front of the building in order to add it to Waze. On my first attempt to add a business I tried to take a picture of the Google Street View of a client’s storefront that I had opened on my desktop. Unfortunately, for reasons that will become abundantly clear in the next step that was a total failure. Anyway, I drove over to Umami Burger to complete this step.
After you take a photo you get the pop-up message in the screenshot above (Editor’s Note: Can we please retire “awesome sauce”?) and the camera icon turns into the double “arrow.” Tap on the arrow to get taken to the next step.
4) Claim Your Business
So this is where things really break down in terms of being able to add clients’ businesses. When you advance after taking a picture you are taken to a screen that lets you enter business info. However, it pulls info from their database and only lets you enter specific info.
So the first thing you see in the screenshot above is that Waze has marked Umami Burger as a residential place. I tried to tap on everything to be able to edit this option, but could not. Maybe it’s a bug. Maybe it’s the Android version of the app. Whatever the cause, it doesn’t make this feature particularly useful for a user or business owner. To top it off, Umami Burger is located in a very popular strip mall. Anyway, you can either tap on “This is a residential place” or use the search bar to find your business. Since a search didn’t return Umami burger, I clicked on the “residential place” tab.
5) Add a Street Number & Properly Locate the Map Pin
The next, and thankfully final, step is one where you have to enter a street number and properly locate the pin.
Since it determined that Umami Burger was a residential address, I wasn’t given the ability to add a business name, but according to this promotional video you should be able to add that information if Waze can properly determine the location is a place of business.
You might have noticed the green checkmark next to “Bristol St Costa Mesa” above. This was auto-populated by the phones GPS and is something I could not change (despite much furious tapping.) Because of this, there is no way to add a business if your aren’t currently at its location. So much for adding client locations. Anyway, after you enter the street address, tap to verify the location and then tap “done”.
You can add/edit places using Waze’s web editor, but whether this is the same as adding it via the mobile application is not clear at this point. You are still limited to editing based around a radius of places you’ve driven. For instance I am a level 1 editor and can edit 1 mile around roads I have driven. H/t to HurricaneK8 over at Linda’s forums.
September 29th, 2014
SearchEngineland just published my preview of the data I’ll be sharing at SMX East later this week in the Deconstructing Pigeon Panel. The post Real Client Data On How Google’s Pigeon Update Affected Real Estate SEO, shows what we saw across 24 local real estate agent websites immediately after Pigeon and in the month that followed.
Here’s a shot of the aggregated Google impressions for these sites from the GWT Search Queries report:
At SMX East I’ll also be sharing data on a couple of other verticals as well as on 20 local directory sites, which were supposed to be the big beneficiaries of the reduction of local packs in the SERPs.
I’ll post the slides of my SMX presentation at the time of the panel so those who can’t make it to NYC can check it out.
September 23rd, 2014
This week I was on Rich Brooks‘ “The Marketing Agents” podcast to discuss all things local search. I thought it was a great discussion so if you enjoy listening to me in your headphones, check it out:
If you prefer iTunes, you can listen to it at http://www.themarketingagents.com/itunes
Or at Stitcher Radio perhaps? http://www.themarketingagents.com/stitcher
September 22nd, 2014
There is apparently a new bug that is impacting the reporting of listing/profile views in the GMB Insights dash. According to GMB, this client’s views flatlined for 9/19 & 9/20:
If I were a business owner this GMB Insights graph would freak me out. However, thanks to campaign tagging we can see that Google Analytics is telling a different story:
What’s interesting is that this may not be a bug, but rather be a discrepancy in how GMB Insights reports page views. If they don’t include seeing a listing in a SERP as a view then it would be possible to click through to the website without ever recording a “view.” If you are seeing this drop and have your own theory we would love to hear from you in the comments! Special thanks to Matt Storms for sending us down this rabbit hole!