Posts by Mary Bowling

Local Search Guru

Planet Ocean's Local Search Expert, Mary Bowling, first learned SEO from The Unfair Advantage e-book in 2003 and has immersed herself in all phases of Search Marketing for all types and sizes of businesses. Using her background in entrepreneurship, Mary developed specialized expertise in marketing brick and mortar businesses online. She is recognized throughout the industry as an expert in Local Search and speaks frequently on the topic at industry conferences, such as Search Marketing Expo and Online Marketing Summit.

Mary has been teaching others the ins and outs of Local Search since 2006 and spends a lot of her time breaking down local search for our members writing articles, blog posts and even presenting in our Local Search Professional Training Course Series.

What’s New in Local Search for May 2013

Posted on May 02, 2013 - 10:40 AM

Here is the May 2013 installment of 'What's New in Local Search'. It's been another busy month so I won't waste your time and am just going to dive right in.

  • Google announces a new integrated dashboard for managing Places and Plus together in one place. Unfortunately, most of us don't yet have access to it, yet. Read this post on Google+ Local-What's Really Changed to learn more.

  • Foursquare announces that it will set its data free to third parties that wish to use it for ad targeting. Foursquare seems to be like the guys who sold picks and shovels ...

Google+Local - What’s Really Changed?

Posted on Apr 19, 2013 - 01:01 PM

In early April, the big news in Local Search was the announcement from Google about the new dashboard upgrade. The buzz about it spread rapidly and we were all excited about it, but what has really changed?

The more I look at what you can do now compared to what you could do before April 2nd when the announcement was made, the more I'm inclined to say that for most of us the answer is not much.

Perhaps, we should have taken a clue from Google's announcement on blogspot:

"Today, we're introducing an upgrade to the look and feel of Google Places for Business th...

What’s New In Local Search For April 2013

Posted on Apr 09, 2013 - 12:17 PM

Here is the April 2013 installment of 'What's New in Local Search'. It's been another busy month so I won't waste your time and am just going to dive right in.

  • There are some things that are good for those managing the new AdWords enhanced campaigns for local businesses even though there are plenty of things not to like about. The best of these is the ability to adjust your bids by geographic area, allowing you to pay more or less for a click depending on its value to you in each market where you sell. These campaign-level bidding adjustments may not give you as tight control as setting up individual campaigns for each region, it is a good way to get started if you have many ge...

What’s New in Local Search for March 2013?

Posted on Mar 05, 2013 - 10:00 AM

Here is the March 2013 installment of 'What's New in Local Search'. It's been another busy month so I won't waste your time and am just going to dive right in.

  • Google spent the past year aggressively pushing to get everyone to set up mobile-only campaigns in addition to their regular campaigns on AdWords. It told us we needed different keyword research, different ads and different bidding strategies. Now, Google announces that mobile-only campaigns are going away. As of June, advertisers are being forced to advertise across all devices whether they want to or not.

    This will help some businesses that have not yet made any effort to use mobile advertising, but wil...

Data Providers are Quickly Becoming the Go-To Source for Local Data in 2013

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 - 10:09 AM

The established Business Data Providers have always played a huge role in Local Search. However, their value and impact seems to have dramatically increased for anyone looking to rank within Local Search because of a number of factors that have all become a reality

  • Smartphone usage has exploded and is predicted to continue to rise at an astounding rate. Statistics tell us that 1 in every 3 Mobile Searches is Local in nature. More and more people are searching for things nearby them every day, so data about those establishments, is extremely valuable to mappers and mobile app developers.
  • Google's API costs have increased, spurring those thirsting for loca...

What’s New in Local Search February 2013

Posted on Feb 12, 2013 - 10:00 AM

Here is the February 2013 installment of 'What's New in Local Search'. It's been another busy month so I won't waste your time and am just going to dive right in.

  • Foursquare has almost removed the ability to be anonymous, but not really. It's going to show your first and last name, but it is possible to go by a false first and last name. At least Foursquare does insure that you've actually visited the place by checking, though. Watch for this trend in all the spaces that enable ratings and reviews. There's just too much suspect review content out there and consumers know it. They are seeking others' opinions in places that publish the most trusted reviews, like whi...

Finding the Best Citation Sources for YOUR Business

Posted on Jan 23, 2013 - 11:00 AM

Every business that wants to rank in the Google Local Packs has to be concerned about citations. They are a critical way to help you to gain trust from Google by reinforcing your NAP data (business Name, full street Address, local Phone number).

The best citations for your business also will help you to send signals to the Search Engines about your relevance to your particular niche, such plumber, lawyer, office supply store, wedding gown retailer, Chinese restaurant, etc. And citations from powerful sites within and/or about your geographical area will also boost your location prominence, or popularity within your own town.

It's important to remember that some citation sites, ...

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