• Ten Local Business Review Sites Influencing Your New Customers

    Every business –restaurants, doctors, law firms, dry cleaners and other brick (click) and mortar businesses – wins and loses new customers every day before the potential customer even sets foot out the door. Their decision to do you business with your company is often made without ever engaging with your company directly. Some customers may even form opinions about your business without ever stepping a foot in your store. This is because online review sites make it easy for potential customers to look up businesses and compare ratings, all without ever leaving their home. And with so many businesses to choose from, being number one on Google is almost never the only deciding credibility or trust factor. When marketing your business these days, you’re dealing with an educated consumer who does their research on review sites and does not really care what you have to say about your business. They care what others have to say. When friends and family aren’t readily available to ask for recommendations, where else can people turn but the local online community? Welcome to the new word-of-mouth (mouse) marketing. Looking To Online Reviews When faced with too many choices, others will rely on the “social…

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  • How SoLoMo Is Revolutionizing Digital Marketing

    Have you heard the term “SoLoMo” yet?  If you’re a marketer who hasn’t, you soon will, because SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile – is fundamentally changing the way marketing, public relations, and social media work. It’s not that social media, local targeting, or mobile communications are brand new, of course. But when you put all three together, it’s a combination that’s revolutionizing digital marketing. For the first time, you can target and communicate with your target audience in new ways because technology has caught up with the way people behave when they’re ready to make buying decisions. Marketers have always known that the proverbial Holy Grail of small and mid-size business marketing was to identify consumers who are (a) close to the business, (b) in a narrowly defined demographic group most likely to buy from the business, and (c) ready to make a buying decision. For generations, that meant direct mail – by zip code – targeted at expectant moms, parents of teenagers, or other broad, poorly defined groups. There were other ways to market to people of course, but it wasn’t easy. Until now. Like it or not, the smartphone is becoming a kind of digital database that constantly…

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  • Does Yelp’s New Partnership Spell Trouble for Google’s Dominance?

    For most of recent tech history, Google has been king. It dominates U.S. search engine market share, with 66% as of January 2012.  Its web browser, Google Chrome, recently overtook the ubiquitous Internet Explorer to take the lead with nearly 33% of the market share, and Google’s Android mobile OS leads all other smartphones. But with recent partnerships with companies such as Apple, Yelp may be on its way to topple Google from its throne – at least as far as local search and SEO are concerned. Since Apple released the iPhone 4S last year, Yelp has been providing much of the content for Siri, the phone’s much-hyped voice recognizing “personal assistant”. Though the local search experience with Siri is imperfect, and Yelp’s branding in the system was kept to a minimum, it seems that Apple and Yelp have bigger plans in the works: namely, teaming up to bring Yelp’s check-ins and local business listings to the new and highly anticipated Apple Maps, an application to be included in the upcoming iOS 6 that will be replacing Google as the default location tool for iPhones. Though the Apple Maps application is still in development, it’s been reported that users will…

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