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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Why Google’s Algorithm Update Might Affect Franchise Sales

Does your Franchise Recruitment Website need to be Mobile Friendly?

LSM’s Matthew Job was recently featured in Entrepreneur for his article “Will Google’s Algorithm Update Affect Your Franchise Sales?” The article, which came out April 1st, addresses the upcoming Google algorithm that will expand the importance of mobile-friendly factors in order to determine search engine result page (SERP) rankings. A Google representative stated that this update will have a “significant impact,” meaning franchises without mobile-friendly sites need to consider making adjustments.

Here are 8 key takeaways from the article on what the algorithm update means for franchise sales:

1. The percentage of prospective franchisees using smartphones to research and contact franchise opportunities nearly doubled from 23% to 42%.

Research Franchise Opportunities on a Mobile Device

2. Because more people are using smartphones to research franchise opportunities, franchisors should offer mobile-friendly information websites (sometimes known as ‘franchise recruitment websites’).

3. If franchises don’t have mobile-friendly sites when the algorithm updates go live, their sites’ organic rankings on lucrative, non-branded search queries are likely to drop. Conversely, mobile-friendly franchise information sites might see a rise in their organic rankings. This drop in the rankings will likely lead to a decline in quality traffic to the franchise info site.  

Mobile Friendly Franchise Information Websites

4. Currently, only 17% of franchise information websites are mobile-friendly!

5. If a franchise recruitment website is not mobile-friendly, it may be hindering its ability to generate franchise lead opportunities for the franchisor.

6. To help determine if your franchise info site has helped your franchise generate leads in the past, speak with your current franchisees and see how many viewed your franchise recruitment site , as well as a few of your competitors’ franchise recruitment websites, on a mobile device at some point during their research process.

7. This mobile-friendly test from Google will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design. Check it to see if your site is mobile-friendly.

8. Visit Google’s Webmaster Tools Help website to review ways you can optimize your website for mobile devices.

Summary

More and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the Internet and research buying decisions, big and small. Review the mobile web presence of your franchise and, if you think it’s going to hinder your ability to generate franchise leads, consider making your site(s) mobile-friendly.

 

LSM Speaks at MTSU

Local Search Masters (LSM) Discusses Search Engine Marketing at MTSU

LSM speaking at MTSUDon Roy, Ph.D. is a Professor at Middle Tennessee State University who works in their Department of Management and Marketing as well as their Business School, the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. One of the classes Professor Roy is teaching this semester is ‘Applied Promotional Strategy,’ an undergraduate marketing course where students learn the fundamentals of search engine marketing (SEM) and its role in an organization’s marketing strategy. His students will be participating in the 2015 Google Online Marketing Challenge; a global collegiate competition in which student teams plan and execute a three-week Google AdWords campaign for a business or nonprofit organization.

Earlier this year Professor Roy reached out to LSM about coming out to his class and presenting important information about the search engine marketing industry; discussing topics such as:

  • Why a business should consider investing in SEM
  • Ways a business can advertise online via Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms (Google Search Network, Google Display Network, Google Shopper Network)
  • Best practices for developing efficient Google PPC and retargeting campaigns
  • Changes to the format of Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) on different devices and search queries (mobile vs. desktop, organic results vs. paid results, market-level searches vs. hyper-local searches)
  • Website optimization and local SEM best practices
  • Career opportunities in the search engine marketing industry
  • Why search engine marketing should be offered as a Major and/or Minor at more universities

Professor Roy had originally heard about LSM through the Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business Awards competition; he was involved in researching candidates in 2014 and recommended that we reach the final round (which we did!).

Matt Job, Chief Marketing Officer at LSM, spoke with the class about the world of search engine marketing on February 24th, 2015. Below are the slides of the presentation:

Follow Up Article – Why Search Engine Marketing Should Be Taught at More Universities

Over the course of putting together this presentation for MTSU, LSM researched the topic of careers in search engine marketing. During this research we found a few articles as to why search engine marketing should not be considered as a Major or Minor at universities. It is our opinion that it SHOULD be considered as a Major or Minor Degree at more universities; a degree comprised of classes in such fields as Communication, Economics, Computer Programming, Video Production, Marketing and Psychology. We will put together an article on this topic in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Enhance Your Advertising Strategy with the Updated Google AdWords

Google AdWords

Google continues to expand its AdWords program, this time adding a plethora of options for advertisers with its Enhanced Campaigns feature. The changes are the most extensive in the ten-year history of the platform and users must adjust their strategies to meet the new features before July 22, when all AdWords users will be automatically upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns.

Perhaps the most lauded of these features is the ability to differentiate your targeted advertising spending between desktop computers and mobile devices. Some industries see widely different conversion rates on different devices, so this ability can help you maximize your advertising dollars by ensuring that its being spent in the right places.

However, the most useful of the new changes to users will likely be what Google is titling “Flexible Bid Strategies,” which offer a wide variety of options in customizing your PPC bidding strategies. These strategies are:

Target Search Page Location

This function will automatically try to get your ads onto the front page of search results and/or the top of the page. This strategy can be extremely useful for branded searches and maximizing your hold on the front page of select search terms.

Maximize Clicks

Google describes the function of this feature as, “Automatically sets bids to get you the most clicks, within a target spend amount that you choose.” This is actually an update of a previous Adwords feature, Automatic Bidding, and is ideal when simply getting as many pageviews as possible is your goal. This strategy is also useful if you have a limited budget, and are looking to get clicks and recognition, if not retail conversions.

Target Cost-Per-Aquisition

This function is also an upgrade of an old AdWords function, Conversion Optimizer. As the name implies, Target CPA is a tool that will automatically set bids to get as many conversions as possible to reach a set CPA goal. While similar to Maximize Clicks, this feature is best used if you have a dollar amount you are willing to pay for advertising to convert a new customer.

Enhanced CPC

Another automatic bid adjustment, Enhanced CPC will adjust your bid on the likelihood of generating a click. This almost functions as a more flexible version of Target CPA, as you have control over certain keywords.

Other Features

Another great feature added to AdWords in this update is the beta version of Image Extensions. This plugin will allow advertisers to add visual elements to search results. Since one in six Google searches turn up visual content, this could be an important resource for retailers and other companies in the near future.

Google Enhanced Campaigns

This latest update of Google AdWords increases the flexibility marketers have in selling their companies, and their products, to the public. Today’s advertising world doesn’t allow for a “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing, and the new version of AdWords reflects that.

Jackson on Google+

Mobile Ad Revenue to Reach $11.4 Billion in 2013

The world is on the move, and it doesn’t look like this trend is changing any time soon.  Gartner Research recently came out with a report that projected mobile ad revenues would pass the $11 billion mark this year, and that, my friends, is a lot of cheddar.  If that’s not impressive enough, mobile advertising is expected to continue to increase fairly rapidly over the next few years. Get this: Gartner’s projections for mobile ad revenue for the year 2016 weigh in at over $25 billion. Sometimes I wonder if they’re just making this stuff up.

Mobile advertising used to refer to slapping branded stickers to the sides of these massive cell phones which were approximately the size of full-grown Jack Russell terriers.

 

Luckily, Google just came out with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, which make it even easier to target mobile users these days.  The new advanced campaigns have some incredible tools that let you run specific ads depending on what device a person is using and even where that person is. Coincidentally, I just so happen to know a team of dedicated Internet marketing experts that create and manage stellar advertising campaigns on the Web, so if you’re in the market, let me know.

James on Google+