Posts in Local Search
Two Big Changes In Local Search

screen_shot_2016-04-20_at_1.24.52_pm Google makes 2 ad updates that will affect local search marketers:

Ads in Local Finder results

The addition of the ads (more than one ad can display) in the Local Finder results means retailers and service providers that aren’t featured in the local three-pack have a new way of getting to the top of the results if users click through to see more listings. (It also means another haven for organic listings has been infiltrated with advertising.)

The ads in the Local Finder rely on AdWords location extensions just like Google Maps, which started featuring ads that used location extensions when Google updated Maps in 2013. Unlike the results in Maps, however, advertisers featured in Local Finder results do not get a pin on the map results.

Google Maps is no longer considered a Search Partner

Google has also announced changes to how ads display in Google Maps. Soon, Google will only show ads that include location extensions in Maps; regular text ads will not be featured. The other big change is that Google Maps is no longer considered part of Search Partners. Google has alerted advertisers, and Maps has been removed from the list of Google sites included in Search Partners in the AdWords help pages.

This change in Maps’ status means:

1. Advertisers that use location extensions but had opted out of Search Partners will now be able to have their ads shown in Maps and may see an increase in impressions and clicks as their ads start showing there.

2. Advertisers that don’t use location extensions but were opted into Search Partners could see a drop in impressions and clicks with ads no longer showing in Maps.

These changes signal some interesting new pay-to-play opportunities to brick & mortar advertisers looking to connect with local traffic.

World Series of E-Commerce: Part II

The MLB playoffs are in full swing now, with a no-hitter and the retirement of a legend highlighting the first round. A couple of weeks ago I began a post comparing our online marketing services to a baseball lineup. You can read the post for a full rundown of the first five spots in our lineup, but I’ll list them here again.

  1. Google Analytics
  2. SEO (site review)
  3. Content Writing
  4. Google AdWords
  5. Social Media

And, without further ado, the back half of our E-Commerce Starting Lineup:

6.  Local Search Marketing

  • In the major leagues, there is no room for a weak spot in your lineup. So at #6, we roll out a local search marketing plan, revolving around Google Places, Maps, and Earth, along with the newly released Facebook Places. With a strong organic and paid search outlook as well as social media integration, you might think your site has enough to sustain sales. The rules of the game are always changing though, and local search’s market share is growing faster than any of the aforementioned areas.

7.  Affiliate Marketing

  • Affiliate Marketing is a specialist hitter, not strong enough to be placed higher in the order, yet valuable enough to make the starting nine. To extend the analogy further, we might call this our Designated Hitter. Just as the DH only exists in the American League (not the National), affiliate marketing is almost exclusively the domain of e-commerce sites (and rarely useful in service-based sites). Still, it makes the cut because of its role as a power hitter, a true driver of sales (RBIs).

Bobby Cox

8.  Web Design/Development

  • Web design and development are good back-end services that clean up some of the work of the heavy hitters and lead in to our #9 hitter. If your site isn’t converting as well as you’d like, a few design tweaks can give it a boost. We are well-versed in web usability best practices and have advised many clients on ways to improve their site’s conversion rate.

9.  A/B and Multivariate Testing

  • Our last batter, and perhaps most effective, is multivariate testing. Once everything else is in place (top-level marketing goals, organic search strategy, paid search strategy, social media, local/mobile engagement of users) it is time to test and check everything to ensure that the marketing achieves optimal results. In baseball, the #9 hitter is not the most powerful; indeed he may often lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance a previous batter. This is the type of marginal improvement we see in Multivariate Testing. Whether it be a landing page, a homepage design, or an AdWords ad, testing and tweaking is a process of constant improvement.

Google Apps (pitching staff)

  • 2010 is the year of the pitcher in baseball and every team needs a good pitching staff to keep up. You don’t rely on your pitchers to score runs, but you need them to win games. Google Apps fills this role in a business. After all, you need email, a calendar, and data storage, and Google Apps is all of that and more (documents, chat, video, sites, etc.). Other platforms like MS Exchange are clunky, unreliable, and not easily scalable. Google Apps gives your business the data security you need combined with the collaborative tools that make everything else in day-to-day operations run more smoothly.

Of course, this is just one way to structure our services and we've seen a variety of different lineups among our clients. But we know e-marketing can be overwhelming to some, and we think this will be a welcome template to those who want to get into online marketing but don't exactly know where to start. Now we'll start thinking about our football post...

Putting RiverRocks & Chattanooga on the Map

RiverRocks Chattanooga is in RiverRocks Eventsfull swing this week with events happening all over Chattanooga and our surrounding area. RiverRocks, a fun and family-centered outdoor festival, celebrates the region’s natural resources, encourages an active and healthy lifestyle, and promotes environmental stewardship in Chattanooga. Events like mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, trail running, and rowing have been happening throughout this past week and will continue until the closing events on October 10th. Delegator is a proud partner of this worthy organization, and we’ve enjoyed working closely with RiverRocks over the past several months to see the first annual festival come to fruition.  When RiverRocks approached Delegator to help them create Google maps for their event sites, we were more than happy to help:

RiverRocks Custom Google Map

After all, Delegator is here to help other businesses get things done,  so they can focus on their core mission.  The terrain maps, like the one above, are featured on the RiverRocks site and are a helpful tool to participants of this week’s events.