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]

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]

How to Improve Your Google+ Local Search Rankings

I stumbled on a pretty cool platform called SnapGuide for sharing How-To guides the other day. It's a fairly new site, and it's especially nice for mobile viewing -- although for now, they only have an iOS version. It looks like a great tool for small businesses owners and marketers to share tips in their area of expertise. The guides look great browsing via mobile. This could also be a nice tool for sales reps introducing decks on the fly. Here is a how-to guide I put together covering some of the important things you can do to boost your Google+ Local search rankings. Enjoy. [More]

Leveraging AuthorRank for Local SEO?

Search Engine Journal recently reported on a new metric Google is using known as AuthorRank -- a ranking signal that is definitely primed to become a big part of SEO in 2013. Basically, this means Google will be (officially) weighing in social signals (i.e., social shares, +1’s, tweets, and likes) and the influence of the people creating these signals. This includes comments left on social sites and the influence of the people leaving the comments along with the relevancy and quality of inbound links that point to the content. The end of Fiverr? Hah. Well, probably not, but this should prompt some ramped up Google+ use. This is all following the rollout of new Google programs like Top Contributors, Trusted Reviewers, and [More]

Google’s Epic Patent Row with Vringo

A jury of nine is perhaps only hours away from reaching a verdict in what is a landmark case in intellectual property. It involves search giant Google and nascent challenger Vringo (VRNG) in a high-stakes battle over search technology at the core of AdWords and AdSense, the bread and butter advertising products accounting for an estimated 97% of Google’s revenue. Recent media buzz has generated a wide group of onlookers, from owners of technology patents to students of law to industry watchers, all anxiously awaiting the outcome. How paid ads perform in search has been hugely important to Google’s revenue stream, so any challenge to this technology gets a lot of attention. Vringo, a once little-known... [More]

Google AdWords: New View Offer Button

A new AdWords feature has appeared in the results today.  A coupon offer and a typical HTML button that reads "View Offer" We have not seen anything inside of AdWords under extenstions or anywhere to include this yet.  It may be a small private test market.  It is possible that the information is being pulled from Google Places, but seems unlikely.  This search did not have any local intent, but with Google, you never know what information they are working off of. Take a look: Offers are still the new hotness, with everyone riding the Groupon wave. Google is no exception. [More]

Google Places Adds “Needs Action” Alerts

A few minutes ago one of our senior account managers, Jordan, noticed a new feature in Google Places. A new alerts bar at the top of the page shows which profiles need action. Also, the profiles that need action (such as a PIN verification) are pushed to the top.     Further down the page he also noticed a new link that goes to a profile's analytics directly from the Google Places dashboard.  Mighty convenient Google, thanks!   [More]

Google Gets Local-er

Google has, once again, stepped up their localization features.  When searching a local area under the map, displayed are some hyperlocal search refinements, see "Naperville, IL."  The first two suggestions we get are very generic and relevant anywhere: Hotels and Restaurants.  The rest are unique to Naperville.  The Naper Settlement, Ribfest and the Riverwalk are three cornerstones to Naperville life.  Checkout some others: [More]

Google Allows Custom Links to be Displayed in Google Places Profiles

In the last few days Google has begun to allow custom links to be added to business profiles in Google Places. Up until now, only one website link was allowed to be added to Google Places profiles. One of the biggest rules was the website given in the Google Places profile was to be the best online representation of that company. This will now allow a business to promote other pages such as their Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn page and any other profile page the business owner wants to promote. After you click “More Details” the links display like this: [More]