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Stop playing cat & mouse with your customers!

Part 2: Where people are looking to find local businesses

Online or off? Google? Local directories? Facebook? Where?

Last week I showed you some data that revealed where people were looking online to find local businesses. That was part 1 of this series on where people are looking for local businesses.

That report was published in October, 2011. The same research firm released some other numbers back in March. I’m not sure what they say is much different, but I think the chart is clearer, so I wanted to share this with you as well.

ONLINE sources people check BEFORE visiting a local business or restaurant

Part 1: How are people looking for local businesses? Will yours get found?

Harris Interactive in its new study sponsored by CityGrid Media posted some interesting statistics that are important for you, a local business owner, to know. Here’s what they discovered.

Searching for a local business at home

To no surprise, online search and review sites are where most people go to find local information – 60% of them to be exact in this study of 1000 adults – when they were at home. In the under 35 segment, this increased to 85%! Again, no surprise.

And finally, only 8% said they go to merchants’ websites first before searching. That last metric is a little confusing to me especially since most people have to search to find a website to go to, but regardless of how or why that happens, there is still a crystal clear takeaway from these metrics.

Get your local BizBuzz on

A Primer on Optimizing a Local Business in Google

[2014 Addendum: The advice in this post is still relevant even though Google Places has now become Google Plus Local.]

Until I get my ebook done which will be full of the best advice from all the best local search experts in the world, here are some slides I prepared for my local  SEO/Google Places presentation to help you optimize your Google Place page and to get it to rise to the top.

Many changes have occurred since it was written, thanks to Google’s fickle nature, but most everything here is still relevant.

Enjoy and then return later for that promised Local SEO ebook.

New research showing which of the Google Places gets the most clicks

Not number 1? Don’t despair. There are things you can do.

Where you are in Google Places matters, as we would expect, but if you’re not on the top, there are things you can do to get your fair share of the clicks, thanks to this great study from “Mediative” that is revealed in their white paper called “Eye Tracking and Click Mapping Google Places.”

Their study involved 12 participants who came to Mediative’s eye-tracking research lab in Toronto, Canada and 90 online from whom Mediative tracked actual clicks.

The question they were asked was: “If you are in [city] looking for a tatoo artist. Where would you click next?” They repeated the test for 3 cities to compare different actions that might occur as a result of the different query results that would appear.

No need to fake address in Google Places. Just move instead.

Being close to city center isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Or is it?

Recently, I set up a client in Google Places and he quickly rose to the first page. But the other day he suddenly disappeared as did several others. Clearly Google had changed its algorithm because I had done nothing to the listing or his website. On top of that, for some reason Google decided that only three Google Place results (the ones with the little red pin) deserved to be on the first page.

Why, I wondered, would Google only show 3 when there is room for 10?

Contact Us

Kat & Mouse Co.
(408) 647-2327
1777 Hamilton Ave., Ste. 2310
San Jose, CA 95125
(Just a hop and skip away from Los Gatos,
Campbell and Cupertino)

In Santa Cruz? Call…

(831) 419-9854
We'll meet you at our Santa Cruz office, aka
"The Abbey" coffee shop on High St.

The worst day of my life is the day I told my competitor about Kat & Mouse.

D. Fulton

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