LSMinute – Google+ Shutting Down – Google My Business Upgrades

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!

Google+ Shutting Down.  Google My Business = Future

What Happened?

  • Google is shutting down their failed Google+ network and focusing their attention on Google My Business (GMB). The most recent improvement to GMB is a follow button that appears on a business’ Google My Business listing (see GIF above). This button (in beta at the moment) allows people to ‘follow’ their favorite businesses and see their past/future Google posts.

What This Means For You

  • This is another example of how Google is transforming their Google My Business platform into a “one-stop shop” for users. Think about it….
    • SOCIAL = Google Posts, Google Follow & Google Q&A
    • PROMOTIONS = Google PPC & Display Ads
    • CUSTOMER FEEDBACK = Google Reviews
    • BUSINESS DIRECTORY = Google Local, Google My Business
    • DIRECTIONS = Google Maps

    We expect the ‘follower’ button to become another important component of GMB and, eventually, an SEO ranking factor (GMB accounts for approximately 25% of the local pack rankings).

Next Steps

  • We’re always optimizing our clients’ Google My Business listings with the latest updates (see our TITLE Boxing Club case study). We’ll be in touch with our clients on recommended action plans when this button officially launches to the public.

LSM Recognized at Google Premier Partner Awards

LSM’s work was recognized for the ‘Growing Businesses Online’ award at the 2018 Google Premier Partner Awards in NYC (we were a finalist this year after winning in 2017). Less than 1% of Google’s Partner agencies are recognized at the Premier Partner Awards, and LSM is the ONLY AGENCY IN THE WORLD to be honored for this award in two consecutive years! Cheers!

 

 

Client Testimonial

 

LSM showed us that Facebook’s lead generation campaigns work

Cait Rechel – Multi-Unit Owner – Pure Barre Chicago Co-Op

 

 

 

Win Tickets to Wimbledon 2019!

 

 

Click here to register for Wimbledon’s overseas ticket ballot. Winners receive the chance to purchase two seats at the 2019 tournament. Hurry because the deadline to enter is Dec 12th! Good luck!

 

 

Google Names LSM A Finalist for Advertising Award

LSM was once again named a finalist for the ‘Growing Businesses Online Awardat the 2018 Google Premier Partner Awards. That means Google considers us and our fellow finalists to be high-performing leaders in digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth. Having won this award last year (we won the “Americas” category), we’re thrilled to be finalist for a second year in a row. A big congrats to our fellow finalists!

So, what have we done to get this far? Well, we showed Google a portfolio of how we helped one of our clients, L.A. Bikini, meet and exceed their expectations for online growth. An emerging beauty franchise, L.A. Bikini enlisted us as their full-service digital marketing agency in 2017, giving us oversight over their SEO, UX, Google Advertising and Facebook Advertising efforts. Our goal? Simple: generate more foot traffic to L.A. Bikini’s studios.

Teaching a Franchise to Optimize

To understand how best to strategize for growth, we performed a full audit of L.A. Bikini’s website, local listings, and previous digital campaigns. We came up with a 5-point strategy that included a simple, targeted Google AdWords campaign that would simultaneously benefit their site’s SEO standing and accomplish our two key objectives:

  1. Positioning their brand and unique sugaring services in front of more people online who are searching for hair removal services, or are demographically-accurate candidates for these services.
  2. Providing users with a better onsite experience that makes it easier for visitors to educate themselves on L.A. Bikini’s offering and convert them into new leads (appointments, memberships).

The results? In six months, organic conversions increased by 228% while paid cost per conversion decreased by 62%. Not too shabby.

Check out the video below or view our case study to learn more about our 5-part strategy to improve L.A. Bikini’s SEO standing and get them more leads.

 

 

Top 5 PR Agencies for Franchise Brands

 

Partnering with a Public Relations agency that specializes in franchising offers a new host of benefits for both emerging and well-established franchise brands. When a PR firm has experience with brands similar to yours in size or industry, they possesses a better understanding of what strategies will help you business separate from the competition and accomplish your goals.

Part of LSM’s job is to support the overall success of our clients, which can involve collaboration with their PR firms on certain campaigns and initiatives. After 11 years of experience in the franchise space, we have determined 5 PR firms (in alphabetical order) that we recommend your franchise brand consider hiring:


 

All Points Public Relations

Founded: 2011
Brands: Huddle House, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Kona Ice, Junk King, Pearle Vision, The Joint Chiropractic, Dale Carnegie Sales Training, Etc.
Size: 25 Employees

 

All Points PR, which is approaching its seventh anniversary (August 15th), is a full-service PR company that focuses in the franchise space and develops and executes cost-effective, integrated PR strategies. In addition to offering the traditional PR services, they also have a collection of “creative services” that integrate to form a strategic campaign, inclusive of social media and content marketing. These services include national publicity, franchise development publicity, grassroots PR, grand opening support, existing franchisee support, consumer and franchise development social media, content marketing and media training.

 

Fish Consulting

Founded: 2004
Brands: Dunkin’ Brands, Jersey Mike’s, Wendy’s, Massage Heights, The Dwyer Group, FOCUS Brands, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, 1HUDDLE, FASTSIGNS International, etc.
Size: 22 Employees

 

Fish Consulting is a PR agency based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with operations in Washington D.C. and London. It’s been around for about 14 years, so Fish Consulting has plenty of experience. They offer support for clients that ranges from brand building, national and local media relations, franchisee recruitment, and consumer campaigns to crisis communications, cause marketing, internal communications, and print/digital marketing.

Fishman Public Relations

Founded: 1991
Brands: 85+ franchise brands!
Size: 40+ Employees

 

Fishman Public Relations provides strategic PR and content marketing services for franchise brand awareness and franchise lead generation. For over 25 years, their media relations results and content marketing pieces have driven system growth and closed countless franchise deals.

Franchise Elevator

Founded: 2013
Brands: Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning, ZIPS Dry Cleaners, Rising Roll Gourmet Cafe, Dat Dog, Cherry Blow Dry Bar, Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids, Cody’s Original Roadhouse, Woops!, Etc.
Size: 7 Employees

 

The smallest and newest agency on this list, Franchise Elevator offers a more personalized approach than other PR agencies. Their services are designed to help emerging franchise brands build their brands. Franchise Elevator’s parent company is Fishman PR, offering their clients both the ideal experience and the personalization from both agencies. Their services include, among others, franchise lead generation PR, consumer brand awareness PR, crisis communications, grand opening PR, and media training.

 

No Limit

Founded: 2008
Brands: Dairy Queen, Checkers & Rallys, Rent-A-Center, Mosquito Joe, MOOYAH, Buffalo Wings & Rings, Etc.
Size: 35 Employees

 

No Limit is a Chicago-based content marketing agency that specializes in PR, content, digital, marketing, and advertising. They aim to be “the last agency you work with.” They started off in 2008 as a social media and PR agency and have evolved into everything content-based. They also run 1851franchise.com, their franchise trade publication and content marketing platform. They offer tailored services such as strategy & insights, content creation, design & development, and audience development.

LSM Recognized at the Nashville Business Journal’s 2018 Small Business Awards

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Local Search Masters was selected as an honoree for the Nashville Business Journal’s 2018 Small Business Awards, an award recognizing  small businesses making a big impact in the Nashville business community! Honorees undergo a rigorous judging process in which the judges analyze a variety of criteria, including revenue, marketing plans, employee growth, and overall strategy.

“We’re thrilled that our dedication to innovation and client services has earned us this recognition for the sixth time.” said Chris Conlee, LSM’s COO. “We’re privileged to be considered one of the best small businesses in Nashville, and we look forward to seeing our fellow nominees at the awards ceremony!”

The awards will be hosted on July 26 at The Listening Room Café.  We look forward to celebrating this achievement at the awards ceremony.


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LSM Partners With Waze

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Expanding Our Digital Advertising Platform

To increase our clients’ exposure to potential customers, LSM has become a certified Waze partner. Through this partnership, we’ll have access to a Waze account manager who will support the optimization of our advertisements by providing us with strategies and assistance in creating complex campaigns, trainings, and more.

“LSM is ecstatic to be expanding our digital advertising platform capabilities to Waze,” says Leah Harrington, LSM’s Senior Director of Product Services. “It just makes sense in today’s mobile-driven world to be in the palms of our clients’ consumer base.”

About The Waze Platform

Waze’s community-based platform was created as a way of connecting drivers so that they could work together to deliver updates on driving conditions. As a better navigation tool, Waze provides users with accident reports, police traps, and other hazardous conditions.

The Waze app has become increasingly popular as over 80 million active users utilize the navigation app, and recently, Waze began giving businesses the opportunity to advertise on the app. This opportunity puts businesses in front of potential consumers, making those who advertise through Waze likely to gain more customers simply due to the fact that their information is in front of users moment they need it. Waze research shows that 51% of users chose one business over the other because the information provided was useful. With so many consumers valuing quick, helpful information, we believe that our Waze partnership will be another opportunity to increase certain clients’ visibility–especially that of restaurants, beauty franchises, and fitness facilities.

Justin Nabozna, LSM’s Waze representative, says, “Local Search Masters has done great work on Waze, and we’re excited to partner with LSM moving forward!”

Your Opportunity

We are excited to work with Waze to boost our clients’ brands on this platform. If you think that Waze may be a good option for your franchise, contact us today!


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LSM Wins ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ Award


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Thanks to our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers, Local Search Masters won the ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ award at the 2018 Communicator Awards. We are excited that our Google advertising and user experience work was such a success!

Founded in 1995 as an international awards program, the Communicator Awards recognize businesses who exhibit excellence in marketing and communication. Sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, the Communicator Awards program receives over 6,000 entries from large and small agencies every year. Winners are determined based on their innovation and craft in the field.



LSMAward Trophy


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“We appreciate our partnership with Brain Balance Achievement Centers, and I’m thrilled that our work with their brand is being recognized by such a prestigious panel of judges” says Local Search Masters’ CMO, Matt Job.”

By using content marketing and UX optimization, LSM was able to increase conversions for Brain Balance Achievement Centers by 437% and decrease cost per lead by 370%.

Congratulations to our fellow winners like IBM, Deloitte, and Toyota! We are honored to be recognized alongside such prestigious brands!


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LSMinute – ‘Business Description’ Section Added to Google My Business Listing

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Google announced that business owners can now add a business description to your Google local listings directly within Google My Business. This section will show up to people who visit your Google My Business listing while on a mobile device.

What This Means For You

  • The business description is another place for you to tell potential customers why they should visit your business. Additionally, this new section will factor into Google’s ranking algorithms, so including keyword-rich content on your listing should positively influence your ranking in Google’s local search results.

Next Steps

  • Business owners need to upload a description of their business onto their Google My Business listing. Over the next month, we’ll be working with clients to set up a unique description for their listing(s). If you’d like to complete this business description section yourself, you can visit this link for instructions.


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What Happened?

  • Over the coming months, Google’s algorithm will begin to be based on a mobile-first experience. The rollout of this mobile-first indexing change began in late March.
What This Means For You
  • If your site is not mobile-friendly, then its organic rankings on Google will likely decline on searches that are being performed on a mobile device. Google said it would notify webmasters and site owners about this adjustment via messages in Google Search Console.
Next Steps
  • If your site is not mobile-friendly and a good amount of your traffic is coming from mobile devices, then it’s officially time you revamp your site. If you’d like to tackle this job yourself, then you can click here and see a list of best practices for mobile-first indexing. Need help optimizing your site for mobile devices? Contact us today.


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What Happened? 

  • Yelp announced that business owners have the ability to customize their ads, specifically which photos and reviews are presented in their campaigns.
What This Means For You
  • Taking advantage of this feature will improve your ads’ ability to stand out from competitors and will highlight the best Yelp-related content about your business. You can do it yourself, or you can use Yelp’s “auto-pilot” feature to run ads for you.

Next Steps
  • We’ve begun customizing our clients’ Yelp ad campaigns. If you’re running Yelp ads yourself, log in and determine which reviews and/or images you’d like to highlight in future advertising campaigns. If you’re interested in using LSM to run your Yelp ad campaigns, let us know.


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What Happened? 

  • Waze introduced Waze Local – map-based ads aimed mainly at small businesses. Waze, an app many people use to avoid road traffic, now has 100 million active users spending 11 hours per month on the app.
What This Means For You
  • There’s now a way to advertise your business on the Waze app.

Next Steps
  • Businesses who think their customers use the Waze app should consider advertising on their platform. LSM has already begun testing Waze ads with certain clients, and the initial results have been positive! Your account manager will reach out if they believe advertising on Waze is a viable lead generation tool for your business.


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LSM’s Chief Marketing Officer was asked to fly out to Google HQ in Mountain View and discuss, among other things, how local business owners can easily build backlinks to their microsite, a practice known as “offsite SEO” or “link building.” In a nutshell: more backlinks from credible, local, and/or industry-relevant websites = higher Google rankings.  Watch this 10 minute video and learn how to capture “low hanging fruit” backlinks while going about your day-to-day business development efforts.


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LSMinute – Facebook Improves Business Insight Metrics

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

  • Facebook updated how they will measure organic reach of Facebook Business Pages so that they are more consistent with the way they calculate reach for ads. In a nutshell, they’re now providing us with a more precise way of measuring the organic reach of your posts  vs. the paid reach of your ads and boosted posts.

What This Means For You

  • It will make it easier for businesses and agencies to compare the results generated from your organic Facebook efforts (ex: posting a picture or video on your newsfeed) vs. your paid Facebook efforts (ex: a boosted post or lead-gen campaign), giving everyone a clearer picture on what activities are pushing the brand forward.

Next Steps

  • We look forward to reviewing Facebook’s revisions, analyzing the impact they have on your organic and paid reach metrics, and sharing our recommendations as we move forward.


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What Happened?

  • Google Chrome, the browser used to view about 58% of web pages, installed ad blockers that removed ads on approximately 42% of websites. Its goal is to rid the internet of websites “stuffed to the gills” with invasive ads, such as ads covering more than 30% of your phone screen or autoplay videos with sound.
What This Means For You
  • This is great news for the typical web user;  it’ll force websites to reduce the number of annoying ads it allows on their sites so that they can pass Google’s ad standards, including sites such as the LA Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune. As a result, websites will load faster, and your phone’s battery will last longer! Expect Google to continue its fight toward removing invasive ads from the web.
Next Steps
  • No ads managed by LSM are affected by these changes. Our ads are have always been in-line with Google’s standards. However, if you’re also running invasive ads with another agency, reach out to them to see if any of your existing campaigns will be affected by these adjustments.


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What Happened? 

  • For the first time since 2014, search outpaced social in the percentage of overall traffic it delivered in 2017. In part, this is due to last year’s Facebook’s algorithm changes, which reduced the amount of spammy, clickbait headlines appearing in users’ news feeds.
What This Means For You
  • This reinforces the importance of having an SEO strategy in place for your business. People trust Google’s algorithm to provide them with the best answers to their queries, and the higher your content appears in the search results, the better chance you have of earning their click.

Next Steps
  • LSM will continue implementing our award-winning SEO services to optimize our clients’ websites and position them in front of people needing their products and services.


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As usual, LSM was on the road quite a bit during the last few months of the year. We attended client conventions, educational conferences, and a few award ceremonies. When we were actually in town, we took some time to give back to our local community. Watch this short video for a recap on LSM’s Q4 happenings.


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LSM was recognized by Nashville’s ‘Best in Business Awards’ for the sixth consecutive year! Hosted by the Nashville Business Journal, the awards use a panel of local judges to select which companies deserve the recognition based on profitability, employee engagement, and community involvement.


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LSMinute – Google My Business Video Uploads Now Available to Business Owners

Take a minute to learn about what’s new in digital marketing!


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What Happened?

What This Means For You

  • Videos can now appear on a business’s listing in Google Maps or the local web search results. It’s undetermined if these videos have any SEO-related impact, but listings containing videos will likely experience more engagement than those without videos.
Next Steps
  • We’re speaking with our clients to determine what video files to upload onto their Google My Business listings over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we strongly suggest that  your brand consider developing more 30-second video content for pre-roll, programmatic, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads (franchise development-related videos for LinkedIn).


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What Happened?

  • Facebook adjusted their algorithm that determines what content to show on an individual’s newsfeed late last year. Long story short, business owners must “boost” their organic posts on Facebook, otherwise few people will see them.
What This Means For You
  • Businesses need to “boost” their posts in order for them to be seen by the right audience. Because “boosting” posts costs money, businesses should focus on posting and boosting high-quality content that your audience actually cares about.
Next Steps
  • Our team prepared for this change last year and has plans in place that we’re excited to share with our clients during our coming strategy sessions!


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What Happened? 

  • Google confirmed that a change was made to the way Google displays snippets in search results, growing the space from 160 characters to about 230 characters. A snippet is the description of a page displayed below the blue URL in an organic search result (LSM’s description snippet is highlighted in red above).
What This Means For You
  • Having an optimized meta description for each key page on your website will increase your chances of having an optimized snippet, and an optimized snippet will increase your site’s ability to attract more clicks from Google’s organic search results.

Next Steps
  • We’ve been going through our clients’ meta descriptions to ensure that they’re optimized for this snippet update. Other businesses should perform a few Google searches on their own business to see what their new snippets look like.


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Google published a case study on our advertising and user experience work for Brain Balance Achievement Centers. We increased conversions by 437% and decreased cost-per-lead by 370%. The fact that Google wanted to create a formal case study on our digital advertising services was an LSM dream come true, and it is a testament to the LSMers working day and night to provide clients with excellent results. We’ll continue striving to achieve similar results for all our clients in 2018 and beyond!


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Google Publishes Case Study About LSM’s Advertising


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Last August, we were named the winner of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards! The award recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.

A perk of winning the award is Google publishing a formal case study about the services performed and results provided. Check it out below and read how LSM increased Brain Balance Achievement Centers’ PPC conversion rate by 437 percent!




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Watch this video and learn how LSM’s work drove a 225 percent increase in website traffic and a 381 percent return on investment for Brain Balance Achievement Centers.




Contact us today and learn how we’ll provide your brand with exceptional results.