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    Don't Drink and Drive or Drive and QR code..... Here's some Marketing FAIL... Read and Enjoy

    Last updated 4 years ago

    In Chicago people are Driving and QR Code scanning.  Stop it!  Also ignore those BAY commercials that tell you to hold up the phone to the radio.... the link below has the whole story

     

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/mount_prospect/ct-talk-distracting-billboard-1220-20121220,0,7833673.story

    Hate it or Love it here's 5 steps to Updating your Business on Apple Maps

    Last updated 4 years ago

    5 Steps to Getting Your Business Found on Apple Maps

    LAST UPDATED 3 DAYS AGO

    There are five major sources across the Web that help generate Apple Maps business listings. In order to optimize your listing for Apple Maps, you will need to claim and optimize your business listings on the following directories: YelpLocalezeTomTom (Tele Atlas)InfoUSA, and Acxiom.Today, 48% of smartphone subscribers own an iPhone. And, since mobile searches are quickly reaching those of PC searches, it’s increasingly important that you show up in local mobile search. This includes Apple Maps, which is now the standard map service for iOS devices. But how do you ensure your business not only shows up when consumers search there, but that they are seeing updated and relevant information about your business? We’ve outlined five easy steps to optimizing your local business listings so that consumers can find your business on Apple Maps.

    Each of these business listings is free to claim, but will require some basic verification and optimization. But, making sure your business is present and verified on each of these directories will ensure that you show up in Apple Maps search results. Without verifying and optimizing these listings, only users that are specifically searching for your business name on Apple Maps will be able to find your listing.

    The true art in each of these profiles comes from the keyword optimization you can achieve with a bit of copywriting moxie. To help you out with this process, here are some general optimization tips that you can apply not only at the Apple Maps directories, but also across your Web presence to enhance visibility.

    When filling out your profiles on local directories, provide as much information as possible, or as much information that is allowed by that particular directory. Simple things, like the type of payment methods you accept, may seem unimportant at first, but could still affect whether or not you show up in a particular search query.

    For example, users may type in phrases into the Apple Maps search feature that are related to your accepted payment methods, such as “Furniture Store that Accepts Visa.” This kind of information can help your overall ranking within Apple Maps and your business may be featured above those that do not include payment information on their profiles.

    In addition to filling out your profiles completely, make sure all the basic business details listed on your profile is the same across all five directories. This basic information includes your business name, address, phone number, and website address.

    By keeping this information identical, the links that drive people to your website will act like votes for the search engines, and boost your organic search listings results. This means that your business will likely see a boost on search engines by coordinating your Web presence and ensuring uniformity across your directory listings.

    When choosing your business categories, select or add relevant category tags that consumers search for most. Several of these directories have specific categories that you can choose from, but a majority of them also allow for free-form category listings, meaning your word choice is very important.

    A few great ways to look for business categories are to first use the predefined listing options from directories like Yelp. Also, look to your competitors to see how they have categorized their listings. Finally, check Google for suggestions using Your Google Analytics "Queries Report". This report shows you specific searches that brought users to your site. Using these popular search terms in your category listings can help to ensure these same types of users can find you in Apple Maps.

    In addition, tap into your experience as a consumer. The end result of selecting your business categories is to ensure that you put on your consumer hat and think through what you, as a consumer, would search for to find a business like yours. Ensuring that you make your categories as keyword-friendly as possible will enable you to capture these mobile searches in Apple Maps more effectively.

    Remember: just because searchers are using a mobile device, it does not mean their searches will be less specific than they would be on a PC. In fact, consumers who use methods like voice search to conduct a search use phrases that are only slightly shorter than those they use when searching from a computer.

    Each of these directories allows you to upload at least one image, so you want to provide some sort of visual representation of your business (a logo at the very least) so that the top portion of the Apple Maps listing is not reflecting the dropped pin when a user views the detailed listings. The more photos you provide, the more credible and appealing your listing will look to potential customers.

    Once you have built and optimized your business listings, you want to ensure that you have built some sort of online review structure into the mix, especially on Yelp. Apple ranks the search listings within the Apple Maps application based on Yelp reviews, making your online reputation an important part of getting found on Apple Maps.

    However, many great reviews on Yelp get filtered. As a result, follow the Yelp Review Guidelines to help keep your reviews visible on your Yelp page. Yelp’s guidelines focus around three key points:

    • Experience - When you ask a happy customer for a review, make sure they do not just list general statements about how happy they are with your service. Instead, ask them to list the person(s) they dealt with, what types of services / products they purchased, and Accuracy - With this particular focus, Yelp just wants to ensure that your reviews are not only thorough and unique, but that the story being published is indeed true.
    • Review Updates - Encourage consumers to update their reviews and make sure they reflect any new experiences with your business. And, you should also respond to the reviews you receive in the proper way. 

     

    Aside from following these guidelines, ask your customers to fill out complete profiles (or use Facebook to create their account) that include profile photos, locations, and other indications that they are in fact real people to keep these reviews from being filtered.

    By following these five steps, you’ll be on your way to a solid mobile search presence within Apple Maps.

    Have you claimed and optimized your listings on these directories so that your business shows up on Apple Maps? 

    About the Authors

    Eric Myers is a Dallas-Based Campaign Consultant that works with small business clients and manages campaign performance for a dedicated sales team. Eric is a lover of all things technological, entertaining, and random.

    Ashley Stalnaker is a Web Presence Professional and guest blogger for ReachLocal who specializes in SEO, as well as social media and content marketing.

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    5 Holiday Marketing Mistakes That Could Keep You Off the "Nice" List

    Last updated 4 years ago

    The holiday season is a favorite for many people, and for small business owners like you, this busy time of year can either be an amazing boost to your business or a big headache. But with some simple holiday marketing strategies to showcase your holiday promotions, you can attract the right audience and reach consumers who are searching online for products and services like yours. In order to make sure your local business is prepared to take advantage of the great opportunities this holiday season, here are five holiday marketing mistakes you should avoid and tips to keep you on the “Nice” list with consumers this year. 

    The holidays are a great time to give your online brand some sparkle and shine. When it comes to building a Web presence, your image is an important factor. So, don’t be a Scrooge – add some holiday twinkle to your social media pages, landing pages, blog, emails, newsletters, videos, or any other content potential customers may see to show them that you are excited about the holidays. By adding engaging images or videos of holiday decorations or activities around your office to your website, blog, and social profiles, you can drive engagement and take your Web presence from fall to holiday festive!

    Consumers are in a bargain-hunting mode during the holiday seasons, so give them a reason to choose your holiday deals over your competitors. Create offers that are enticing and that generate excitement beyond the typical “Tuesday special.” By offering big deals, like “Buy one, get one free!” or major discounts on certain items, you can set your business apart from local competitors. A great way to determine unbeatable offers is to research what your competitors are offering during the holidays. Also, consider what would get your attention as a consumer, and what kind of offers you would redeem. 

    Consumers shouldn’t have to search for your holiday promotions, and you should want to show them off! Making your holiday offers hard to find is one marketing mistake that can easily cost you business, as more than half of consumers this year will use coupons to make holiday-related purchases. To ensure that consumers can easily access your holiday offer, you should create a designated landing page on your website that highlights your specials, highlight a callout on your website homepage that drives visitors to your holiday promotions page, and promote your offers on your social media profiles. It’s also important to give clear information about your offers, so provide as much detail as possible about where and how consumers can redeem your holiday specials, as well as any restrictions, limitations, or expiration dates, so that they know exactly what they will be getting.

    You’ve gone the extra mile to create great holiday deals for consumers, so don’t make the mistake of leaving your online advertising in the cold. You should amp up your online advertising during the holidays to get more exposure and to generate more return from your holiday deals. Holiday-related display ads, paid search ads, and Facebook ads are a few ways to share your offers with consumers looking for products and services like yours. Plus, by measuring and tracking the performance of these online ads, you can determine what tactics work best and optimize your campaigns to get better ROI. 

    The holidays are also known as the “giving season,” so take this time to give back to your communityand generate brand awareness and customer loyalty. For instance, by collaborating with an organization like Toys for Tots or a local shelter and volunteering your business as a designated drop-off spot for toys, winter coats, and non-perishable canned foods, you can build awareness of your business while giving back to your community. Or, you can participate in timely events that matter to you. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, you could work with the American Red Cross or other organizations to help with relief efforts. One way to raise funds is by publicizing that proceeds of each sale will go to organization to provide aid to those in need. Another donation idea is to match a percentage of each dollar customers donate. There are several creative ways to inspire others to give during the holiday season, so find what works for your business and become an example of generosity! 

    As a business owner, you know what kind of holiday offers work best for your current customers while attracting new ones to your business. And, by incorporating these holiday marketing tips, you can make the most of the holiday season.

    Are you making any of these holiday marketing mistakes? What else are you doing during the holiday season to promote your special offers? Let us know in a comment!

     

    About the Author

    Jillian Chopin is a Senior Web Presence Professional for ReachCast. Leading a team of WPP’s who focus on cosmetic and medical campaigns, Jillian is passionate about her career and about serving as a Web presence expert and “go-to-girl” for her clients.

     

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