Local Searches Could Be As High As 50% Of All Searches

Local Searches Could Be As High As 50% Of All Searches

Noted internet marketing guru Greg Sterling recently wrote an article where based off of data from Google and comScore, he’s calculating that people that search for something locally could make up close to half of all searches on search engines.

This is huge to grasp.

For any small business that doesn’t actively market themselves on the internet because they think that the search engines are for big, nationwide companies, half of all people searching on the search engines are looking for LOCAL businesses.

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Voice Search Not There Yet

Voice Search Not There Yet

There have been some in the internet marketing industry making a big deal about how voice search is the future of our business. (aka Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, OK Google, etc.)

I think it has a ways to go though.

Search engines on computers and cell phones offer the benefit of choice. You can look at various websites and click on those you want to.

Voice search is limited in the sense that it doesn’t offer choice.

There are some industries where voice search can be more successful, like when customers have zero loyalty to a brand. Like taxi cabs. I would think most people could be Ok with asking Siri for a cab and talking to a random company. Or someone that wants to be surprised by calling a mystery restaurant.

But a lot of small businesses charge a decent amount of money for their products and services where consumers will want to do their research.

If there was a way voice search could offer the choice, then I think it’s use could get more wide spread.

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27% Of Keywords Searched For Are In Question Format

27% Of Keywords Searched For Are In Question Format

According to study done by Blue Nile, 27% of keywords searched for in 2015 are done in the form of a question.

So in other words keywords like “average price of limo service” or “moving service near me”.

I’ve noticed the past few years, more and more, study after study is showing searchers getting more specific with what keywords they’re searching for.

And sure, in the auto repair industry, “auto repair” does get searched for more than any other individual keyword. But it’s not getting searched for as much as it once did.

Because there’s been a dramatic rise in how many people will search “brake repair” or “affordable auto repair” or “discount ford auto repair”.

I’ve been saying the same thing to our small business clients: there is a TON of opportunity targeting these specific keywords.

The rest of the search engine optimization industry hasn’t caught up yet. So it’s likely your small business competitors aren’t caught up either.

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Google: In 2015, Link Building Can Do More Harm Than Good

Google: In 2015, Link Building Can Do More Harm Than Good

For years, search engine optimization companies used link building tactics Google wasn’t happy about to produce better rankings.

But since 2012, Google has slowly but surely wiped out nearly every effective link building technique.

And one Google spokesman has even gone as far to say that trying to do link building can do more harm than good.

And of course, Google could just be trying to scare people into not doing it anymore, but the past year or so, the SEO industry has formed a consensus to focus on content instead of link building.

The reasons are that Google is now confident in knowing if people are trying to game the link building system. So if you try it and Google catches you, Google might remove you from their search engine for a period of time, aka a Google penalty.

It couldn’t be any more clear that in 2015, the way to get better SEO rankings is through content.

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Majority Of Online Viewers Would Rather Watch Ads Than Pay To Watch

Majority Of Online Viewers Would Rather Watch Ads Than Pay To Watch

The last few years, the advertising industry has been paying close attention to consumers preferences on how to pay to watch video on the internet.

Would people prefer to watch a quick ad before their video plays like on YouTube? Or would people prefer to pay like they do on Netflix or Amazon Prime?

A recent study suggests that people would rather watch a quick ad.

Which is great news for businesses considering how it’s still very possible in the next 5-10 years that people will cancel their cable and dish TV service to just watch TV through the internet.

The opportunities for small businesses to advertise for TV watchers will be plentiful!

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THIS IS WHY UBER IS SHADY

THIS IS WHY UBER IS SHADY

Normally, I keep my articles on the topics of internet marketing, but because we at Customwave have so many taxi and airport transportation clients, I felt that it’s relevant to write about Uber.

Right now, Uber is severely hurting the taxi industry. Why?

Because of the way Uber hires independent contractors as drivers, they don’t have to pay for the same insurance, permits and other business costs that virtually all taxi companies pay for.

Some people have said that Uber’s rise has come about because of superior technology and the ease of mobile payments, but at the end of the day (and especially in this economy), it comes down to price.

With lower costs, Uber’s prices under cut the other taxi companies.

And Uber’s background checks on the drivers they work with is questionable too. The San Francisco Chronicle details a couple incidents that have happened and how the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles are stepping in for a joint investigation.

To make matters even worse, CNN did a story on how Uber allegedly has hired other independent contractors to sabotage competitors similar to them. CNN reports that these contractors make calls to rival airport transportation companies and cancel them at the last minute. CNN’s numbers say this has been done at least 5,600 times.

My message to taxi companies is hang in there. Uber is not going to be able to get away with what they’re doing forever.

The government is going to have to step in, but not to save the taxi industry. They’re going to step in because if Uber continues to get away with not paying for insurance, permits and other stuff, what’s stopping all the other taxi companies from operating the same way?

That’s why Uber eventually will be forced to play by the rules everyone else does.

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By 2018, Internet Advertising Revenue Will Surpass TV Advertising Revenue

By 2018, Internet Advertising Revenue Will Surpass TV Advertising Revenue

If I can point to one thing to show off how important website advertising is and will become, it’s this eMarketer study forecasting that by 2018 digital or internet advertising revenue will surpass TV advertising revenue.

So what can we learn from this?

The goal of the vast majority of TV advertisers is branding and to build awareness. Internet website advertising can achieve the exact same thing, but the cost is tons lower and people are realizing how much of a bigger bang for a buck they get advertising on websites versus TV.

Why is this the case?

The simplistic answer is that website advertising has tons more inventory than TV. By inventory, I mean places to advertise on.

I know there’s tons of TV channels out there. 1,000. Maybe 2,000 tops for the average household that has cable or dish TV.

But think of how many websites there are on the internet. Yeah, a lot more.

And with so, so, so much supply and only a bit of demand, it equals very low cost.

Small business owners especially have a giant opportunity to brand their companies and build awareness in the local like never before. I highly recommend people take advantage of it.

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For My Fellow Marketers: What To Spend Your Reading Time On

For My Fellow Marketers: What To Spend Your Reading Time On

For marketers trying to learn internet marketing, there’s a lot of junk out there. By junk, I mean worthless internet marketing content.

There’s a lot of theories out there that don’t hold up in reality.

There’s a lot of dated and obsolete techniques that don’t work anymore in 2014.

There’s a lot of worthless information that doesn’t bring any value to the table.

It seems like a lot of writers write their articles and their article has no point, it’s just they have a job to do and have to write something. Because there’s not big news every single weekday.

So as a marketer that’s trying to learn about internet marketing, one of the big keys to growing is knowing which articles have actual fruit in them and won’t waste your time.

How can you discern which articles have fruit and which ones don’t?

For me, I don’t read content that claims to have a one size fits all solution. I stay away from content that guarantees something. I stay away from content that claims something is easy. I stay away from content where people are trying to lure you in to sell you a whitepaper. Because the purpose of their content is to sell you something.

I tend to read articles talking about new marketing techniques or how a specific marketing technique can be effective.

And if you’re a beginner, reading lots and lots and lots of “how to” articles can be good in getting a consensus on what most people do and what most don’t.

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Do Potential Customers Actually Trust Online Reviews?

Do Potential Customers Actually Trust Online Reviews?

It’s cloudy at best.

Brightlocal recently put out a study trumpeting that “88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations”.

However, when you look at the actual poll, it’s not as clean cut. It’s not like 88% said, yes I trust online reviews.

In the BrightLocal poll, 32% said they trusted online review if there were multiple positive reviews for the same business. So what happens if a business has only 1 or 2 positive reviews?

Then 30% said they trusted online reviews if they “believed the reviews were authentic”. Ok, soooo, that’s pretty subjective. Unfortunately, there’s no follow up question to these same people asking by percentage, how many online reviews in general are authentic.

Then 26% of people say they believe online reviews for some businesses, but no for others. Lol, that’s hardly a vote of confidence for online reviews.

Then 13% said outright, they do not believe online reviews.

So obviously, there’s lots of fine print caveats to this poll.

My take is that online reviews are not here for the long haul. In a few years, word will get around more and more to the mainstream how many positive reviews and negative reviews are fake and how easy it is to game the system.

I’m under the belief that online reviews will be replaced by “local gurus”. In other words, bloggers that write about various local businesses. They’re already starting to pop up. And I’ve seen studies showing consumers trust individual local experts more than review sites. I think this is the direction we’re heading in.

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Why Do You Need A Marketing Company To Help You Get On Google? (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

Why Do You Need A Marketing Company To Help You Get On Google? (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

Why can’t you just do it yourself?

It would take a little work, but you could probably figure out how to pay Google to be advertised. But advertising on Google is different from most advertising platforms.

Most advertising platforms, you pay for say a full page ad in a magazine. And then whomever calls, calls. And you get what you get.

But Google is different because their pricing is auction based. What does that mean? It means the price per click is determined by what your competitors are bidding and willing to pay, per click.

The #1 reason why you need to hire a marketing company for advertising on Google is because if you don’t know how to target within Google, you’ll get a lot of junk calls and it’ll be hard to make money off the Google advertising. In other words, instead of making a profit off the Google advertising, you’d lose your money.

What is a junk call? A junk call is when someone calls you up asking you for a product or service you don’t have, don’t do and or don’t want to do. Or the person calling is too far away for you to help them out.

Most of your competition has hired marketing companies to do advertising on Google for them. Which means that they’re probably able to do the targeting better and getting better quality calls than you if you were doing it yourself. What does this mean?

With less junk calls and more quality calls, it means they’re likely getting more customers and making more money than you-doing-it-yourself. Why does this matter?

Because when your competition is making money from doing good targeting, they don’t mind spending more per click. Because even if the cost goes slightly up, theyre likely still making money.

But if you-doing-it-yourself is not making money and your cost goes up, it makes it even harder for you to profit off Google advertising.

What is targeting? It’s making sure the quality score and click through rates are as high as possible to drive down the actual cost per click. It’s making sure your business is advertising on the right platform. It’s making sure your business is advertised in the right cities and not advertised in the wrong cities. It’s making sure we have the right negative keywords to weed out the junk (our negative keyword lists are usually around 500). It’s making sure the right delivery method is chosen based on your business’ budget. It’s making sure to use the mobile bid adjuster if necessary. It’s making sure the call extension is set up correctly. It’s making sure to set frequency capping if needed. And the list goes on.

I definitely believe most small business owners can figure out how to pay Google for advertising, get clicks to their website. And even get calls. But calls aren’t good enough. Business owners spend money advertising because the goal is to get customers and in order to get customers, you have to get the right calls and have the right targeting.

If the targeting is done correctly, 80% of your calls should be quality and 20% junk. If half of your calls are junk, it’s going to be tough to make money. Meaning that you might get a customer or two, but it won’t be enough with the cost being so high.

Not knowing how to target within Google and getting too many junk calls is why most small businesses need a marketing company to make sure they’re getting quality calls that will lead to customers.

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