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!

 

 

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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LSMinute – Booking Buttons Available in Google My Business

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


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What Happened?

  • LinkedIn announced a closed beta for testing video ads as Sponsored Content. This comes a few months after they enable native videos in the LinkedIn News Feed. It is expected to roll out to all advertisers by the first half of 2018.

What This Means For You

  • This will be a great tool for B2B businesses whose targeted audience actively uses LinkedIn. For example, franchisors should strongly consider implementing a LinkedIn video advertising strategy if they are looking to expand their franchise development marketing strategy in 2018.
Next Steps
  • B2B businesses should begin planning video advertising campaigns for LinkedIn’s platform sooner rather than later. That way you hit the ground running when the feature officially rolls out.


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What Happened?

What This Means For You
  • This can expedite the booking process of your typical user since they no longer need to visit your website to schedule an appointment. HOWEVER, depending on your platform, you may be subject to a fee every time someone books an appointment. For example, MINDBODY applies a 10 percent marketing network fee to each purchase made through their booking button on Google.
Next Steps
  • If your business uses one of the listed platforms, you should investigate the costs and benefits of implementing a similar ‘Book Now’ button into your Google My Business listing(s) .


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What Happened? 

  • Our web development, digital advertising, and software integration work helped our team win multiple recognitions the past few months, including ‘Best Small PPC Agency’ (agencies with a pay-per-click department of less than 25 people) at the 2017 US Search Awards.
What This Means For You
  • Our achievements wouldn’t be possible without the support of brands we’re fortunate enough to partner with. It’s a pleasure working with you all, and we thank you for your business!

Next Steps
  • We’ll strive to produce even better results for next year’s award season.


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“We enjoy partnering with Local Search Masters. Their team provides exceptional customer service, and their dashboard software makes it easy to understand which customers originated from our website and which originated from digital advertising campaigns. They’re continually working to improve upon their results; their steadfast mentality is most appreciated.”

Chip Miller – CEO – Brain Balance Achievement Centers


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We won gold twice at the 2017 MarCom Awards: once for a ‘Grand Opening’ landing page template and again for a ‘Special Offer’ template. The MarCom Awards has recognized companies’ excellence in marketing and communication for over a decade. For more information about our landing pages, contact us today.

LSMinute – LinkedIn Video Ads – Google Partners Summit 2017

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


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What Happened?

  • Users can record video directly from the LinkedIn app, or select video from their mobile galleries. Audience insights for uploaded videos include companies, locations, and titles of viewers. LinkedIn isn’t currently serving video ads, but they will sooner than later.
What This Means For You
  • It’s easier to upload and share videos on LinkedIn, the highest ranking platform in digital trust, which is important given the rise of fake news. If you’re a franchise development executive, LinkedIn videos are a great way to promote your opportunity to franchisee candidates.
Next Steps
  • Think about some ways that your business can take advantage of this new LinkedIn video feature, your account manager will do the same! We’ll let you know when LinkedIn video ads become available.


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What Happened?

What This Means For You
  • This should reiterate the value of working with an established SEO agency; there are multiple elements to an effective search engine optimization strategy that puts your business ahead of the competition.
Next Steps
  • Remember to keep your account manager abreast of stuff your business participates in (ex: sponsoring an event or local sports team) so they can help you acquire new backlinks (an important SEO ranking factor). Need a refresher on what backlinks are and how to obtain a few  “low hanging fruit” backlink opportunities, watch this video we filmed at Google HQ!


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What Happened? 

  • We earned the opportunity to attend the Google Partners Summit in NYC last month. What made it even better was Google picking up our travel tab because we won the Google Premier Partner Award for ‘Growing Businesses Online!’
What This Means For You
  • We’ll apply learnings from the Summit into our clients’ Google ad campaigns. For example: location extensions, which have been available for search and display campaigns for awhile, are coming to YouTube. That means address/map location, hour, photos, call buttons and other information will soon be available for YouTube ads.

Next Steps
  • Nothing is needed on your end at the moment. Just know we’re working diligently to set your web presence up to succeed in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


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“Prior to using this tool, I was tracking our prospects with a color coded spreadsheet to see where our lead generation was coming from. I absolutely love the dashboard.  It’s very easy to use and the content it generates for you is super helpful in tracking where your dollars should be spent.  Not only can see where your leads are coming from, you can see the money it’s generating for your business!  Your Account Manager can also see this and give you their expert opinion as to what should be the focus of your media spend.” – John Reber, GM, TITLE Boxing Club – Rockville


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Local Search Masters’ SEO and Google Advertising work with a 120+ location franchise brand is a finalist for the ‘Best Local Search Marketing Initiative – SEM’ award at the 2017 Landy Awards (the “Golden Globes” of search engine marketing). Last month, our web development work earned the ‘Small Business Standard of Excellence’ Award at the at the 2017 WebAwards.

LSMinute – LSM Wins Advertising Award From Google

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


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What Happened?

  • We were named WINNER of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards, which recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.
What This Means For You
  • Thought you might like knowing that Google thinks we’re doing an excellent job at marketing of our clients’ businesses on their search engine and display network.
Next Steps
  • We now have a chance to represent the Americas in the Global Premier Partner Awards held in New York City on September 28th. After that, onto the 2017 Facebook Awards!


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What Happened?

  • First, Facebook introduced ways for retailers to push people from Facebook into their physical locations. Now, they’re testing an option for advertisers to target people who visited their real-world locations with ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook’s Audience Network.
What This Means For You
  • In addition to serving ads on Facebook and Instagram to people who’ve physically visited your stores, this new feature helps businesses convert existing customer bases into audiences to target on Facebook. For example, a kids clothing store creates a custom audience of people who visited one of its locations in the past month, and filter that list with other Facebook targeting options like “parents with early school age children” to run campaigns that promote back to school shopping with an exclusive discount code for each audience. Pretty cool stuff!
Next Steps
  • We’ve been one of the Facebook Agency Partners testing the new feature out this summer.  We’ll be sure to connect with our clients about how to best utilize this new feature during monthly strategy sessions with their LSM account manager.


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What Happened? 

  • Earlier this summer, Google released the Google For Jobs initiative. As part of this initiative, they introduced a new feature in Search that will let people search LinkedIn, Monster, Facebook, and more sites all at once.
What This Means For You
  • As an employer, you’ll gain access to several free benefits with Google For Jobs. Any work you’ve done across internet job boards now improves your chances of earning a prominent place in the search results!

Next Steps
  • Ensure your job postings are optimized. A well-optimized job posting will not only increase the chances of your job opportunity being discovered on Google, it will motivate more applicants to contact you about the position!


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Facebook made another case study about our ability to conduct effective Facebook ad campaigns (they even highlighted it in their global newsletter!). In this instance, we created conversion-optimized ads for Current Meditation to encourage people to sign up for their free trial class, resulting in 5X more memberships compared to click-optimized ads.

LSMinute – Facebook Ads Are Becoming More Expensive

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


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What Happened?

  • Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned advertisers that Facebook is quickly running out of ad space. That doesn’t mean there’s no room for ads, this just means you’ll have to pay more for meaningful impressions. This same thing happened with Google in 2009.
What This Means For You
  • For those of you running Facebook ads, you’ll likely need to increase your budget in order maintain current levels of success. For those not running Facebook ads, you should strongly consider them in the future since they make sense for a majority of businesses (as long as you know how to run a campaign well).
Next Steps
  • Expect your account manager to connect with you and discuss Facebook advertising for your respective business in more depth over your next few monthly strategy sessions.


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What Happened?

  • A recent study from eMarketer showed approximately 78% of total digital display ad budget (about $33 billion) is spent on programmatic ads. For those who don’t know what programmatic advertising is: essentially, it’s using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding to automate the decision-making process of media buying.
What This Means For You
  • Consider focusing more of your ad spend in programmatic digital display ads.  For a list of benefits of programmatic advertising, check out this link.
Next Steps
  • If you’re already using LSM to manage your programmatic ad campaigns, terrific. If not, your account manager will be in touch about testing out programmatic ad campaigns in the future (depending on your specific goals of course).


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What Happened? 

What This Means For You
  • If you’re a Director of Marketing, CMO or CEO overseeing your brand’s online marketing strategy, consider attending this annual conference. You’ll network with peers and learn about new marketing tactics/trends that make sense for your business to pilot.
Next Steps
  • Visit this site and check out the conference’s agenda and speakers in more depth. If you plan on attending, let us know and we’ll take you out to dinner!


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Facebook made another case study about our ability to conduct effective ad campaigns. In this example, we worked with Amazing Lash Studio to promote the grand opening of their new location in Eastvale. Our work increased sales by 35%, decreased cost per lead by 10% and resulted in a 4.8X return on ad spend. That makes us feel like dancing!

LSMinute – Instagram Rolls Out “Stories” Ads to All Businesses

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


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What Happened?

  • Businesses now have the ability to advertise in Instagram’s Stories section. If you don’t know what Instagram Stories are, you can learn more about them here. Basically, they’re photos or videos you can post that will disappear after 24 hours; you’ll see Stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed.
What This Means For You
  • More than 150 million Instagrammers watch and create Stories daily, and now your business has that chance to get in front of these folks on a regular basis with full-screen ads, meaning nothing can distract viewers from your sponsored content.
Next Steps
  • Read this article on why you should use Instagram Stories for your business. It should inspire you to allocate some precious marketing dollars toward a test campaign or two… or two hundred.
  • Let your account manager know if you’re interested in running ads on Instagram Stories and they’ll help you set them up.


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What Happened?

  • Facebook has rolled out Messenger Day which, in short, does most everything that someone can do on Snapchat. If it’s essentially a copy of Snapchat’s feature, then why is it an advantage for Facebook? The answer: Facebook’s massive user base (79% of internet users in the US have a Facebook account).
What This Means For You
  • Nothing just yet, but soon enough they’ll open up Messenger Day to businesses, which will provide you with the opportunity to post a “day” from Messenger into your Facebook Business page for all your fans to see.
Next Steps
  • Start thinking about what kinds of temporary, visual content (photos & short videos) your business can create and share via your Facebook Business Page. Your account manager will be thinking about this as well!


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What Happened? 

What This Means For You
  • Your “view” on social media trends, demographics and buyer habits is likely out-of-date, which could mean your idea of a quality social marketing campaign is stale too.
Next Steps
  • Read through these 47 social media statistics and then ask yourself “am I taking full advantage of social media marketing for my business?” Then, share your thoughts with your account manager, who already has an opinion on this matter.


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For the fifth time in six years, Local Search Masters was recognized by the Business Journal’s Best in Business Awards in the 26-100 employee category. Winners were selected by a panel of judges who looked at a variety of criteria such as profitability, community involvement, and workplace environment. We’d rather be six for six, but we’re okay with our .833 “batting average” that’ll earn us a spot on the All-Star team every season!

LSMinute – Digital Drives Trillions in Offline Retail Spending

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


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What Happened?

  • According to Forrester, $1.26 trillion of local retail sales were affected in some way by digital media in 2016. By 2021, Forrester’s expects that mobile devices alone will influence $1.4 trillion in local sales. Sweet sassy molassy!
What This Means For You
  • It’s likely that your digital marketing endeavors are providing a better ROI than you think, it’s just challenging to track the true ROI generated from your digital marketing campaigns.
Next Steps
  • You know what makes true ROI lead tracking less challenging? Using Local Search Masters’ new, proprietary lead attribution technology that allows you to understand the specific ROI of different advertising campaigns, factoring in lifetime customer value through CRM integrations. Contact your account manager to learn more.


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What Happened?

  • According to Search Engine Land, online ads are performing better now than they were last year. Overall click volume rose 15 percent and impressions rose 19 percent. Also, mobile devices continue to become the dominant source of impressions, clicks, and conversions.
What This Means For You
Next Steps
  • Your account manager will continue providing recommendations on where and when you should allocate your online ad budget, so be sure and attend your monthly strategy sessions!


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What Happened? 

  • You can now log into your LSM dashboard and view the results generated from your Google My Business profile such as website clicks, phone calls, direction requests, map views, branded queries and non-branded queries.
What This Means For You
  • Some people never actually go to your website, they contact your business directly through your Google My Business listing. This has made it challenging for businesses to quantify the amount of business generated from their web presence. Access to this data helps resolve this issue.
  • It’ll help you understand the ROI generated from traditional marketing efforts. For example, you run a TV or radio ad over a two week period: you can see how that ad impacted the number of times people searched for your business over that two-three week period, and use that information to better determine the success of that ad.
Next Steps
  • Feel free to log into your dashboard and check it out for yourself. Otherwise, expect your account manager to discuss the results generated from your Google My Business listing during your next strategy session!


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Facebook decided to make a case study about our work with Heartland Dental, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical services to 740+ dental offices in the US. We increased their online leads by 460 percent and decreased cost per lead by 56 percent. Facebook liked our work so much that we’ll be featured again in Q2!