Google Map Maker Shutting Down, Local Guides Taking its Place

Posted by Mila Hose on Nov 14, 2016 8:35:37 AM

Google announced this week that its Map Maker tool will be retired in March 2017. Map Maker, which was released in 2008, has served as a crowdsourced tool for updating listings data on Google Maps and Google Earth. Up until now, anyone has been able to add or update information such as business listings, NAP data, roads, and naturalistic features such as parks and beaches using Map Maker. Changes are currently verified by Google, and then updated accordingly.

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Topics: Local SEO, Google Maps

Boosting Your Holiday Marketing Strategy: Strategies For Bridging Online to Offline

Posted by Mila Hose on Nov 4, 2016 10:57:47 AM

Today’s customers operate across many different channels, switching between devices and making split-second decisions based on relevant, timely and personal content. Previously, we have covered how local listings accuracy and mobile optimization are crucial to holiday marketing success. Additionally, it is important to be chosen in a customer’s moment of need by utilizing advertising strategies to bridge online to offline this holiday.

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Topics: Local SEO, Local Advertising, Holiday Marketing

Brand Battles in Depth: Looking at Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts

Posted by Damian Rollison on Oct 24, 2016 9:40:41 AM

In the most recent Brand Battle published by Street Fight, Brandify pitted two national brands against each other to measure the effectiveness of their online presence. In this Brand Battle analysis, Brandify’s Director of Product, Damien Rollison, breaks down the components of Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts for a clearer view of just what Brand Battles are measuring and how they relate to data-driven local marketing strategies as a whole.

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Topics: Local Marketing, Local SEO

Can Apple Maps Catch Up to Google Maps with iOS 10?

Posted by Mila Hose on Oct 19, 2016 11:27:06 AM

When Apple Maps launched back in September, 2012 with the release of iOS 6, it was considered inferior to Google Maps by many users. Over the following years, Apple Maps has struggled to catch up to Google, but with the release of iOS 10, it seems like Apple Maps is reaching a point where it is worthy of competing with Google Maps. While Google may still hold users’ favor, Apple has recently made some significant changes to its UI and functionality that are worth considering. Here are three Apple Maps upgrades that could make it the go-to for iOS users and make it an essential to your location data distribution strategy.  

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Topics: Local SEO, Apple, Google Maps

5 Ways Google’s Possum Algorithm Focuses on the Local User Experience

Posted by Mila Hose on Sep 29, 2016 12:29:28 PM

Google’s recent algorithm update, referred to as “Possum” by local SEO experts, has had many marketers wondering why they suddenly lost their local search rankings. However, as Joy Hawkins reported, it is unlikely that brands have been penalized in the local search results, but rather, the new algorithm update has caused a major shift that is forcing some brands out of the local 3-pack for keywords for which they were previously ranking.  

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Topics: Google, Local SEO, Local Listings

5 Ways Marketers Can Harness the Power of Voice Search

Posted by Mila Hose on Sep 15, 2016 11:05:07 AM

With 20% of all mobile queries coming from voice search and 41% of adults performing voice searches daily, this method of search is quickly hitting mass mobile user adoption. Voice search and local queries are intertwined, with voice search queries on mobile devices frequently showing local intent and 70% of those who bought in a store checking mobile first. If brands are on track to meet  ComScore’s prediction that 50% of all searches will be made by voice by 2020, marketers must adopt strategies to optimize for voice search.

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Topics: Local SEO, Artificial Intelligence

Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Reviews from the Web

Posted by Mila Hose on Sep 12, 2016 11:30:21 AM

Recently, Google has made quite a few changes to local review guidelines. Last month, Google exposure with reviews to other customers. With nearly 90% of consumers stating that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, user-generated content has never been more important. Recently, Google launched Critic Reviews, which allow any publisher to apply to have their “critic reviews” displayed for a local business. Following critic reviews, Google made some updates to the guidelines for using schema markup reviews, advising that only reviews produced directly from a brand’s own site can utilize review markup. Now, Google has introduced Reviews from the Web, which pulls consumer reviews from third-party sites to the knowledge panel on a desktop and presented directly under NAP information on a smartphone.     

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Topics: Google, Local SEO, Reviews

Live from #BrandifyIt2016: Local in the Post-Digital World

Posted by Mila Hose on Aug 26, 2016 9:51:58 AM

Digital technology infiltrates every aspect of our daily lives; we use it as customers, professionals and as general human beings. We now live in a post-digital world where customers expect immediacy, personalization and follow-through. The post-digital world puts increased pressure on marketers. Today’s customers have been empowered by technology and it has led them to become entitled.

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Topics: Local Marketing, Local SEO

Three Key Takeaways from #BrandifyIt2016 : Day 1

Posted by Mila Hose on Aug 25, 2016 4:57:28 PM

It’s been a jam-packed day, full of fun activities, industry leading speakers and great brand networking. Throughout today’s events, there have been a few core concepts that have seemed to pervade both breakout sessions and seminars alike. These themes are crucial to understanding local marketing and implementing effective strategies to get your brand found when it matters the most. So, to recap on the day’s events, here are three key takeaways from day one of the 2016 Brandify Summit.   

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Topics: Data Quality, Local SEO, Online Reviews

Live from #BrandifyIt2016: The Changing Face of Local Search

Posted by Mila Hose on Aug 25, 2016 11:02:08 AM


As  a big-name brand, it can be easy to feel invincible, but small, local competitors can beat enterprise brands who are failing to optimize for the local experience. The combination of personalized, local business have the potential to consume the market share for bigger brands over time. One area in which big brands are severely deficient is review moderation. Listening to your customers and responding to reviews helps build brand awareness, resolve customer issues and increase engagement, but this is one aspect of local optimization that big brands fail to achieve. Phil Rozek of the Local Visibility System discusses how big brands can master review moderation, with Mindy Weinstein of Market Mindshift and Kyle Eggleston of Walgreens, as panelists and Greg Sterling of the Local Search Association as moderator.    

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Topics: Multi-location Business, Local SEO, Reviews