Archive for Local Search Marketing

Google AdWords Express

Small business marketers have a new option for online advertising with Google’s AdWords Express.

AdWords Express works to make Search Engine Marketing as simple as possible for small business owners. With AdWords Express,  you simply set up a monthly budget for your ad, and Google determines what search keywords trigger your ad based on the categories that you select. Just like a regular AdWords account, you’ll only pay for the clicks that your ad actually receives.

If you haven’t already set up a Place Page or Google+ Page, do that first. By creating a Places business listing, you can make sure new customers will be able to find you when searching for the products and services you offer.

When you add AdWords Express, you can advertise your local business on Google and Google Maps (including mobile devices) and attract more visitors to your website, Place Page or Google+ Page. That means that even if you don’t have a website (even though you should) you can still advertise on Google and drive people to your place page.

AdWords Express can be the perfect solution for small businesses who have limited budgets or don’t have the time learn how to set up a classic AdWords campaign.

This table from Google shows some of the main differences between AdWords and AdWords Express:

AdWords Express AdWords

Designed for Local Businesses

Advertising that can be seen globally
Quick and simple setup Greater control and advanced features

Automated daily management

Full reporting and tracking tools
Available for customers that don’t have a website Various display formats possible

Here is a short video overview of AdWords Express

AdWords Express is only available in the US for now. Google plans to roll out AdWords Express to Canada early next year.

Winning The Local Search Game – webinar recording

Earlier this week, I held a webinar about the Duct Tape Marketing approach to Winning The Local Search game. The webinar is just shy of 1 hr in length. There is a slight pause at the beginning, but the slides will display.

Play Video

If you are viewing this via email or RSS reader, you may need to click here to view the Winning The Local Search Game webinar recording.

 

Google’s new user interface

You may have noticed some changes to Google’s search results page recently. The results page now sports a three column layout with the left hand column containing some colorful new icons.

google_icons The tools in the left hand column will help you drill down into your query results. Many of these tools are not new, they are just easier to find now that they are in the left sidebar.

Let’s see how this works. If I search for a pretty generic term like “golf”, I get about 308 million results. BTW, the result count is now under the box where you type in your search phrase.

If what I really wanted to do was search for golf equipment to buy, I an click on the Shopping icon to narrow my results. From there, I can narrow my results by category, price range, brand or store.

Maybe I wanted to read about golf. By clicking on the Books icon, I can view books and magazines about golf. I can also sort books by date if I want to get the latest advice available.

By clicking on the Videos icon, I can narrow down my golf video choices by the duration, quality, how recently they were posted, and source. Yes, the results contain results from sources other than YouTube.

And of course, if I want to go play golf, I can click on the Maps icon to find some local courses. This points out a change that should be of interest to anyone who markets professional services (or any other business) – all searches now appear to bring back local matches. If I search for “attorney”, Google detects that I am in Lenexa, KS and shows me the entries from Google Maps for attorneys in my area. This means that local search is even more important for local businesses. If you are not familiar with Google’s Local Business Center (LBC), you may want to check out this newsletter article about local search.

attorney_wonder_wheel Another great tool that used to be buried but is now easily found is the Wonder Wheel. The wonder wheel shows other keyword phrases that are related to the key words you searched on. This can be a great tool for doing keyword research or when you are searching for new\related topics to post about on your blog.

I know I haven’t covered all of the changes. Which new features are you finding most useful?

Is Your Business Invisible?

Many businesses still don’t have a web site, rendering them virtually invisible to potential customers.

For a couple of years now, I (and other Duct Tape Marketing coaches) have been referencing research from the Kelsey Group that showed 70% of US adults use the internet as an information source when shopping for local goods and services. Now, updated research indicates that number is as high as 90%.

Last year, 1 & 1 Internet conducted a survey of of 1,800 small and medium sized business. That survey revealed that 2 out of 5 of those businesses did not have a website. By the way, of those SMBs that did have a website, 83 percent report that their website was essential to their company’s success.

Let’s summarize, and generalize a bit. Almost all of your potential customers search the internet for local goods and services before they buy. Only a little more than half of local businesses have a chance of showing up in that search. I say a chance because it is important to do the work to make sure your site is showing up in the search results for the way your customers search. It seems to me that those businesses who have a website optimized for local search enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.

Which side of the playground does your business have to line up on – the visible or the invisible?

Register your small business with local search engines

Have an invisible website?

If you have a website but your not showing up in local search results, check out the Local Search Engine Profile