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An infographic On the History of Google Places

Fellow Local Search Marketer David Mihm put together an infographic showing the history of Google Places changes over the last few years.

If nothing else, this graph shows the importance of diligence when creating a Google Places listing. It’s not something that you can just set up and forget about – it requires maintenance.

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Get a Better Google Places Rank with Local AdsUpNow

More than 3 billion searches for local goods or services take place every month. That’s a huge number, and it’s only getting bigger.

We’ve talked on this blog before about Google Places optimization and some of the ways to get your business listing higher in Google. One of the things we mentioned was using business directories to get what are called “citations.”

Citations are mentions of your business name on the Internet. So why is it important to have so many citations? Well search engines think it’s important, that’s why.

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Retargeting: The Ultimate Lift For Website Traffic

We’ve talked about retargeting before, but for those of you who don’t know what it is, how it works, or how it fits in to your digital marketing strategy, here’s the short version: A user visits your website, a tracking cookie gets placed in their browser, your ads appear to them over the next month as they browse the web, and they are more likely to return to your website and take action.

Retargeting is great in that it follows up with your website customers automatically. 98 percent of your web traffic leaves without doing anything, but with retargeting, you get a much higher return rate. In a study from comScore, sites with retargeting got a 726 percent lift in site visitation after four weeks of ad exposure.

website traffic lift from retargeting

Retargeting also reflects positively on your branded search. Branded search is when someone searches for your business, such as “Moe’s Pizza,” instead of searching a broad category like “Pizza Seattle.” Branded searches are important because it means more and more people know about your business. In the same study, comScore noted that after four weeks of ad exposure, branded search increased 1,046 percent.

retargeting effects on branded search

This means that even if the retargeting ads themselves don’t have a high click-through rate, searchers are still looking for those businesses more often than ones they aren’t retargeted for.

After conducting its study, comScore concluded: “In building the model of branding effectiveness, one strategy clearly outperformed the rest – retargeting. This strategy works well in every scenario and should be considered for both direct response and longer term branding objectives.”

For more information on retargeting, contact us today for a free consultation, or ask a question in the comments.


Mobile Search Increased 269% Y-O-Y in Q4

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the emergence and importance of mobile advertising, but I’m afraid we’re going to talk about it a little more. According to a new report from IgnitionOne, mobile search advertising spend grew 269 percent year-over-year during the last quarter.

That’s an outrageous amount, and really showcases the increasing importance that is being placed on mobile. Over the same period, mobile ad impressions also increased by 317 percent, and CPC decreased by 8.6 percent. Meaning marketers were serving more impressions at a lower cost than ever before.

Things were all good on the desktop front as well, as desktop search grew 22.4 percent year-over-year in quarter four. There were also increase in impressions (20%), clicks (34%) and CTR (12%).

Overall, the search market is still growing, especially in mobile. If you want some more background on what makes up a mobile marketing campaign, and why it’s important, check out some of our previous blog posts.

If you have more questions about mobile, let us know in the comments. Or, contact us today for a free mobile consultation.


Get the Most Out of Google Places and Business Directories

When users search in Google, the Google Places listings are becoming more and more prevalent. With more and more businesses expanding their online presence, it’s becoming increasingly important to appear in the first page of listings. How do you do that? Just follow these quick, easy steps.

1. Fill out your Google Places listing
We know, we know, this seems like a no brainer, but we mean you have to fill it out completely. Google will rank your business higher if you have more complete business information.

2. Use appropriate keywords throughout the Google Places listing
Making sure to use keywords appropriate to your business throughout your Google Places listing will ensure that you appear in the most relevant searches. Don’t pack your listing too full of keywords, however, as Google might become suspicious and lower your ranking.

Google places search listing


3. Verify your listing
In Google Places, you have the option to verify your listing. This is a must, because it lets Google know that you actually own the business that you’re updating. You can either verify through a postcard or phone call.

4. Make your listing stand out
Put in photos and videos of your business so users can see exactly what your storefront looks like, and give them a reason to choose you over the other guys.

5. Put your listing in as many directories as possible
Google checks to see where else your business is listed, so be sure to include your business in as many directories as possible. However, this can be extremely time-consuming, so I would suggest using a service such as Local AdsUpNow that automatically submits your business to thousands of directories, which gives your listing a higher rank.

Just follow these easy steps and you’ll be on your way to a better Google Places rank. For more information about directory submission services, check out Local AdsUpNow and sign-up to request more information.


The Car-buying Mobile Revolution

Mobile is transforming everything from shopping to searching. According to wireless statistics, wireless users logged 1.15 trillion minutes on mobile devices in the first half of 2011. That’s more than 6 billion minutes of usage every day.

Car Dealership Mobile App
More and more car dealerships are developing mobile apps

One place mobile is changing the world is in car sales. A recent survey noted that 78 percent of people who are planning to buy a vehicle during the next 12 months will use a mobile device at some point in the purchase process.

If you’re a car dealer and you don’t have a mobile campaign, well, you now have a reason to get one. You can’t alienate such a large percentage of your car shoppers by not having a mobile strategy.

Here are some more stats: 44 percent of mobile car buyers use their phones to compare prices at different dealerships, 32 percent will use them to locate a dealership and 23 percent will use them to contact a dealership.

Those are numbers that you can’t ignore. Mobile is the way of the future, and you need to start adapting your business to the wants of the mobile user.

That means mobile landing pages, mobile ads, mobile SEM, QR codes, SMS campaigns and more. Tailoring to as many different users as possible will ensure none of your customers fall through the cracks.

Call us today and see how we can help you with your mobile strategy.  We’ll get you started on the path to digital marketing success.


Small Businesses Moving Aggressively to Online Marketing

Digital marketing is continuing to grow compared to traditional forms of advertising among small and medium-sized companies (SMBs).

According to BIA/Kelsey, digital spending for US SMBs is expected to reach $16.6 billion annually by 2016.

That means 70 percent of SMB marketing budgets will be spent on digital. In 2010, SMBs spent 52 percent of their budgets on traditional marketing and advertising, but that number will shrink to 30 percent in 2015.

Digital marketing includes mobile, social, online directories, online display, retargeting, search, and more.

Neal Polachek, president of BIA/Kelsey, said SMBs are using digital practices to engage their customers for longer periods of time.

“With the advent of daily deals to drive customer acquisition, SMBs are now increasingly focused on leveraging technological solutions to engage, grow and retain a higher percentage of their customers,” said Polachek. “As this trend accelerates, these SMBs will turn to outside providers to harness simple tools, which will enable them to maximize the long-term value of each new customer they acquire.”

Marketing Spend by SMBs

Some of the other Key takeaways from the report are as follows:

  • Overall, U.S. SMB spending on media, marketing and business solutions will grow from $22.4 billion in 2010 to $40.2 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent.
  • SMB spending on traditional advertising will be essentially flat during the forecast period, experiencing a 0.6 percent CAGR, from $11.8 billion in 2010 to $12.1 billion in 2015.
  • SMB spending on digital/online media will grow from $5.4 billion in 2010 to $16.6 billion in 2015 (24.9 percent CAGR).
  • SMBs will also increase spending on performance-based commerce and transaction platforms, from $1.7 billion in 2010 to $4.6 billion in 2015 (21.5 percent CAGR).
  • Spending by SMBs on customer retention business solutions will grow from $3.5 billion in 2010 to $6.9 billion in 2015 (14.6 percent CAGR).

As you can see, digital marketing and advertising are becoming increasingly important. There’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t have your own digital marketing campaign. Contact us today to learn more.


Infographic on the importance of SMS messaging

So we’ve already explained to you the importance of doing a Text Campaign for your business, but texting has a broader reach than use in mobile marketing. As the number one data service in the world, it is helping developing countries buy and sell things easier and safer.

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Some Stats about Texting

OMG! News flash! Texting is huge!

If I told you that you need to start an SMS campaign for your business, would you believe me? You might disagree. You might say “No, texting is just a fad,” or “No one uses texting to stay in contact with their customers.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but you’re mistaken. Texting today is more important than email.

Texting is the most used data service in the world. Yup, that’s right. It’s used more than email, telephone calls and mail. There are more texts sent per year than there are people in the world. Texting is a huge communication medium, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Not sure what an SMS campaign is? Check out our post on SMS Basics

Since 2009, voice minute usage on cell phones decreased 12 percent, but texting rose 40 percent. Texting is the way your customers interact with each other, so shouldn’t you interact with them in a way that they’re familiar with?

Phone use by gender

A this point you might be thinking “Sure, young people text, but they have no money. I want to market to customers over 35.” Well I have good news; the older generations are the fastest growing segments for sending and receiving text messages. In fact, adults ages 35-55 send and receive on average 1,143 messages per month.

Text Messaging is Increasing

Text campaigns are an easy way to send specials and deals to your customer base, helping you increase your presence and increase mindshare.

At AdsUpNow, we make SMS campaigns easy and rewarding. Contact us today and we’ll get started on a custom-made texting campaign that is sure to connect you with your customers and bring increased revenue to your business.


What is an SMS Campaign and Why Do I Want One?

What is an SMS Campaign?

I’m glad you asked. An SMS campaign is a form of marketing that allows you to interact with your customers via text. It’s similar to an email campaign, but is faster and easier to create since it requires no creative other than an initial campaign to get your customers’ numbers, and your 160 character message.

What happens is this:

  1. We set up your SMS shortcode and keyword. For example, if you owned a pizza place it might be PIZZA at 96000. This is basically your business’ texting phone number. That way, if your customer texts PIZZA to 96000, they’ll be included in your texting database, and be eligible for future promotions.
  2. We create a campaign to get your customers to sign up for text alerts. We might say “Text PIZZA to 96000 and receive exclusive discounts!” This way, you can use your existing advertising to market your SMS campaign, increasing the number of sign-ups.
  3. We send out updates. We’ll manage your entire customer base and send out the message for you. All you have to do is think of the promotion you want to do.

Why do I want one?

Someone probably told you 15 years ago that you need to be collecting email addresses of your customers so you can communicate with your client base. You might not have listened. Now, I’m here to tell you that getting your customer’s phone numbers is arguably more important than getting email addresses.

SMS campaigns have extremely high open and opt-in rates, and help you reach a broad customers base. Not everyone has a smartphone, but virtually everyone has a phone with texting capabilities.

SMS campaign opt-in numbers

Also, SMS Messages have a 95 percent open rate, compared to just 11 percent for email marketing messages. This means you can be sure your message doesn’t get lost or ignored.

Our phone is the most intimate form of technology we have. It’s always with us, allowing you to offer the right deal to the right person at the right time. SMS campaigns are an easy way to increase communication and develop a strategy to reach more customers than you ever have before.

Still not convinced? Check out our posts here and here for more stats about the importance and relevance of doing an SMS campaign.

Contact us today and we’ll give you a free consultation for an SMS campaign of your own.