June 11th, 2012
June 11th, 2012
Looks like you may need to start brushing up on your 3D Local SEO skills:
Seriously, between Apple Passbook and the upcoming Apple Maps, Apple/iOS stands to become a major force in local search (as if it weren’t already). Get ready for an onslaught of bullshit Apple Maps Ranking Factors posts like this one coming soon to a SEO blog near you.
BTW, of all the days to come out with a Local Search SEL post on local directories. #yawn
June 11th, 2012
June 8th, 2012
As you probably know, I have been on the lookout for signs that Google was squeezing local directories out of the SERPs. While the launch of Google+ Local is not necessarily the death knell for IYPs getting organic traffic, it certainly is yet another omen, kind of like what happened at Damien’s birthday party (that clown always killed me):
Currently Google+ Local is subordinate to Google’s traditional (as of the past few months at least) Google Maps/Places/Pack results. When you search via Google.com, you only get G+ results if you have “show personal results” on.
Now let’s pretend that Larry makes good on his promise to make Google+ a layer over everything Google does. That could also mean that Google’s standard local search interface starts looking a lot more like Google+ Local than it does now. And as the illustration at the top of this post shows, directories ain’t part of the mix.
Even if Google never fully merges traditional search SERPs and Google+ SERPs, as G+ amasses more data I don’t see how Larry will be able to resist populating the traditional SERPs with more and more of it, and as David pointed out, it’s not like there’s a lot of room there for everyone else now.
June 6th, 2012
For those of you following the drama from this morning, I thought you might enjoy this. It really is a work of SEO art:
June 6th, 2012
This is a test to see how Google indexes posts from my site v. crap sites like TheSamSchwartz.com which copies posts from my RSS feed and provides no attribution back to my site. I have no idea if the Sam Schwartz Company sucks or not, but based on what they do with my content, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. Here’s hoping this post ranks #1 or 2 for their brand
Update: Looks like I fixed it. But Sam still sucks
June 5th, 2012
Greg Sterling moderating
Staas: Jiwire rolling out free wifi in exchange for engaging with the brand’s advertising. Launching with British Airways, Comcast & Hyatt. Oh joy.
Portnoy: Finds stuff around you so you can interact with it on mobile.
Bezancon: 10MM+ opted-in users.
Portnoy: Traditionally local advertising was at the DMA level. We define hyperlocal as targeting within 100 meters of the target.
Bezancon: Hyperlocal is whomever is able to communicate to a user at the right place and right time with something they can act on now.
Staas: $70B of US local ads are national brands marketing at a local level.
Sterling: Enough with the lingo, give me facts!
Bezancon: Out of every 100 offer messages sent to users about half walk into a store and about half of them buy. 25% go into the store the same day they get the offer. 50-70% go in within four days. Our smallest geofence is 1-1.5 miles.
Staas: AmEx used JiWire to target card holders in an airport to remind them of benefits of using card for rentals. Best Buy running banners in mobile apps that lead to finding deals/products in nearby stores.
Portnoy: Electric car company set up kiosks in shopping malls to drive test-drives. ThinkNear targeted people who were in the malls. 5x typical performance of a non-hyperlocal campaign.
Sterling: Awesome! Why isn’t everybody doing this?
Bezancon: Placecast uses opt-in SMS messaging. Not display.
Portnoy: Fundamental challenge of hyperlocal is by definition you are filtering out a lot of inventory.
Staas: The challenge in the industry is education for brands.
Bezancon: The opt-in approach for mobile – the messages you get need to be few and far between and extraordinarily relevant.
Staas: VW campaign at Superbowl. Geofenced around the stadium to get people at the game to watch the commercial they bought. Viewership went way up during the game.
Bezancon: Location will be woven into everything. We ran an ad for Starbucks and depending on the weather, we ran an ad for a cold drink or a hot drink.
Portnoy: Every ad medium has had a catalyst. Search+intent, etc. For mobile, that catalyst is location.
Staas: Digital FSI business is the next big thing. Location will unlock.
Bezancon: 3 years from now 100% of mobile ads will be opt-in
Portnoy: We’ll be talking about “location” not “mobile” as screens/devices won’t matter
June 5th, 2012
Webster: There are 50 start-ups trying to make loyalty punchcards obsolete.
Valentine: Typical LevelUp merchant does about $1MM in sales, mostly restaurant customers. 60-70% of business comes from repeat customers. Difference between daily deals and loyalty is loyalty builds a lasting marriage with a customer vs. a one-night stand.
Davis: We are no longer selling loyalty as a stand-alone item. We are helping them improve the value of their credit card programs with analytics, loyalty, etc.
Webster: Our main value prop is you can use your existing credit card.
Davis: Acquiring merchants and consumers is difficult. The key we’ve found is to provide value to merchants before they get a consumer into their loyalty program by providing “Google Analytics for credit cards”. Paying via smartphone has to be better than paying with your credit card. It’s not better yet. Square seems to be in the right direction. You can’t justify the cost of a local salesforce unless you can provide enough value to the merchant out of the gate. By replacing the traditional credit card system out of the gate that 70% of customers use, we can provide enough value up front to justify the cost of a local salesforce.
Valentine: We use a mobile strategy/QR Codes. 2,000 merchant customers. LevelUp users spend 7% more when they use our service.
Davis: We are limited by the capabilities of the credit card network so we have to wait until the credit card co runs a batch process before we can get the data – no real-time…yet.
Valentine: When tech companies get involved with payment platforms it’s going to squeeze margins of incumbents.
Webster/Valentine: This stuff is the death of incomplete punchcards.
Davis: The merchant needs Google Analytics for Main Street with loyalty built on top.
Valentine: If you can tell a merchant the demo & behavior of their customers, it’s very exciting for the brick and mortar merchant to help them understand their customers more than ever before.
Davis: Swipely using feet on the street, telesales and 3rd party sales channels. Gross margin from customers should pay back your sales cost in one year or less.
Valentine: Merchant & their employee participation is key. They do referral promotions. LevelUp willing to pay $5-$8 per new user in promtions.
My takeaway – once the merchant signs up they are locked in #prettygenius
June 5th, 2012
He tells a story about his kid pretending to open a restaurant and makes a sign with lots of stars reading “best restaurant of all” to try to get customers. Note to Nitin, your kid has already figured out how to spam reviews…
Local commerce begins online: 97% of consumer research local products and services online before buying.
A Consumer’s Journey:
Mobile is the key to unlocking frictionless local commerce.
Google+ Local experience on mobile is “seamless”
This week is Google Offers’ one-year anniversary. Went live in Portland in June 2011. Launched their app in October 2011. May 2012 Google Offers and Google Maps for Android integrated.
Self service Google Offer interface allows merchants to quickly create an offer and distribute via Google for specific time periods. The idea is to drive business during slow periods. (This has been the holy grail/72 virgins of local for ages) Provides analytics re how many impressions, redemptions, etc. Different than daily deals.
Google Offers With Rewards = loyalty offers. Consumer registers credit card and whenever you go to a merchant you swipe your credit card and GOOG tracks repeat visits and allows merchants to reward customers based on # of visits.
Google Offers Marketplace: Partners with daily deals companies to distribute via Google’s audience. (Is this the evolution of The Deal Map?). Customer sees offer, redeems and prints – everything gets passed on to daily deal provider and merchants. Gilt City and Zozi are two examples of deal partners.
The offers with best merchant quality outperform offers with better discounts.
- Google Maps
- Google AdWords Express
- Google Offers (Pre-Paid Offers, Coupons, Loyalty)
- Google Wallet
June 5th, 2012
The old guard forgot something really important: understanding consumers.
Laura saw a Foursquare sticker on the window of a coffee shop in Boulder. Foursquare has hundreds of thousands of businesses using their platform, displaying their stickers, but no salesforce. Local consumers went to Foursquare and merchants followed.
Laura is going over the conference agenda. Most interesting: a session with a Cyborg Anthropologist.
Ok not much to report there. Onto Nitin Mangtani of Google Offers.