Digital Trends for SMB’s in 2014

Looking back on the past year, the importance of maintaining your business in the digital realm is readily apparent. Gone are the days of thumbing through a phone book, reorganizing your Rolodex, and coupon-clipping apart your local paper. Real-time information, mapping, and customer reviews are ubiquitous in local search. A wealth of information is at the click of a button - at least it’s expected to be -- if you’re a consumer. Consider some of this data. According to a Cisco update, global mobile data traffic grew an overall 81 percent last year. To help put that in perspective, consider that mobile data traffic this year was almost 18 times the size of the entire global internet data traffic in 2000, and more than 500 million new mobile device connections were accounted for in the last year. The growth is exponential. At the end of 2013, a Business Insider... [More]

The Roots of the "Smartphone"

Can you imagine a small screen without touch these days? Just short years ago, touch screens literally didn’t exist. The best mobile device available was like a Palm Treo or some other bogus color screen device with a keyboard. Just 10 years ago we all coveted the Motorola Razr! Again, just short 7 years ago, “smartphones” as we know them today did not exist even as a vision in our brains. [More]

Customer Review Card for Google Places [Template]

Having good quality reviews on your Google+ Local page (i.e., Place page) not only influences your ability to convert prospective customers, but can affect your local search ranking. Most customers won’t know to leave you a Google Places review, so it is important to promote or actively encourage customers to give honest reviews. [More]

10 Customer Review Building Tips for Google+ Local

Customer reviews are a fundamental part of your local marketing efforts and online reputation. If you can get enough good ones, they can go a long ways. A slew of good reviews can boost both your local search ranking as well as click-through rate (CTR), which should ultimately lead to converting more customers. A Local Consumer Review Survey (2012) showed that approximately 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business. But building customer reviews, and doing it ‘the right way’, especially on Google (with all of their flip-flops and recent updates) has been a dizzying process for SMBs.... [More]

Reflecting on EZlocal’s Recent Google Engage Event

In cooperation with Google last week, we hosted our first Engage event, inviting a handful of local business owners to participate at our Oakbrook Terrace office. When word came of free food, G-swag, and Google bigwigs answering questions real-time, the event RSVPs came flooding in. Despite this also being timed with the biggest winter snowstorm of the year, the event carried on uninterrupted. Chicagoans are tough! For those of you that missed out, here is a brief recap of what stuck out in our minds during Google’s 90-minute presentation: Google is focusing in on extending their marketing knowledge to small and mid sized businesses. A bit data heavy at times, all three speakers really opened the information floodgate early. VP of Google’s Americas Marketing, Lisa Gevelber, opened the live presentation with the direction of Google’s marketing efforts, and the effect technology is havi... [More]