Bro-Sis Photography Marketing Update – Our Marketing Package Title, Facebook Ads, and a New Newsletter

September 11, 2008

Every time I post regarding the Bro-Sis photography marketing project, I think there’s nothing to say. It turns out there is quite a bit, especially since it’s been awhile. We’ve both been busy with other priorities.

First, we do have a description and an almost-finished title for those who will be attending our speaking engagements. Tentatively, we’re shooting for January 1 to be ready. Here’s a fun little email exchange we had this morning regarding the title:

Heather: “How To Make the Internet Your Marketing Bitch”. What do you think?

Me: I honestly absolutely love that title.

Heather: As much as I love the name, I think we’ll have to tone it down a bit for certain audiences. Any ideas?

Me: How about “How To Make the Interwebz Your Marketing Biznatch”? I find that “biznatch” is a more polite way of saying “bitch”.

Heather: Did Danielle (our niece) teach you that?

So, we need to change the word “bitch” to something that relates to photography and results. Any suggestions? Feel free to reply!

Heather’s also decided to start running Facebook CPC ads. Originally, she’s going to target married Madison females ages 24 and up and will set a daily cap. It looks like this will go out to around 1500 Facebook users.

This may be a broad demographic. If she’s reaching her daily cap too early, she’s ready to use tags to target mothers, children, and religious interests which apparently knocks this down to around 80 Facebook users. We’ll keep you posted of the results.

Heather also sent out a Constant Contact email to current clients with new information regarding the Tin Shed pictoblog, the Tin Shed Facebook page, her new Web site, as well as a notes about her infant son Carver and the Operation Smile campaign. The newsletter was sent out today and already half of them were opened.

Today, she also filled out a “local information” document I sent to her to fully display her in many local profile sites including Google and Yahoo Local, and different Internet Yellow Pages. So, I’ll be pretty busy submitting the listings. ūüôā

In the meantime, check out her consulting blog. Turns out that Mazomanie, WI (where her studio is) hit the big time.

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A New and an Updated Blog

May 29, 2008 and the Palore Blog

Neither the Web site or blog is brand new, but Palore has done some pretty cool things lately. Almost a year ago, I had a phone conversation with their CEO Hanan Lifshitz and wrote about their cool icons you can use while searching on different local search portals like Google Maps, including kosher, green, kid-friendly, and wifi destinations. You can then send this information to places like your email or cell phone SMS.

Since then, I’ve seen Palore come up in a few Google Alerts and press releases, but admittedly have not looked into them in great detail.

Maybe I should have. It looks like they’ve gone from the cool icons to providing data extraction services for local businesses and data aggregates. I’m guessing the businesses could be anything from local shops to national chains. From their site…

We scrape hundreds of sites (with numbers growing every day) and aggregate information on millions of businesses in the US. This information includes many data attributes on local businesses that can enrich the content of local search sites, help establish the site as a good source of local content for search engines (improve SEO), and enhance user-experience.

I don’t know much more than what’s on their site, but hopefully I’ll speak with either Noa or Hanan from Palore in the future to learn more. They are more than welcome to comment with more input as well.

They’re keeping the Palore Blog updated quite nicely as well. A recent post helps analyze online advertising for small businesses and uses attorneys as an example. I can’t help but to grin when I notice that the personal injury field has a higher percentage of Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) advertisers. Some past co-workers of mine in Eagan will also probably grin too if they see the post. ūüôā

One thing to note, Greg Sterling from Screenwerk is on Palore’s advisory board. For those who don’t know, Greg is basically the leading and accepted expert analyst when it comes to local search marketing.

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Local Search and Dominating the Results

May 22, 2008

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve received a few different inquiries regarding Google and local search. One was how to show up in Google Maps results, one was how to show up in the natural results for local searches, and one was how to appear above the fold for localized Google AdWords campaigns.

Why not achieve all three of them, plus some “piggy back” SEO?

The last SES conference I’ve been to was in San Jose close to two years ago, but Atlanta-based Stacy Williams from Prominent Placement gave a great example on how a local company can dominate results. To this day, it holds true.

There’s some dominance!

To many search marketers, this isn’t anything new. To local business owners, this may be. Google separates their natural, local, and paid listings. There’s no reason a local business can’t do the same.

Regarding “piggy back” SEO, this comes down to both local (Maps) and natural listings. By having profiles in places like and can only help. Google Local helps legitimize your profile and Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) results often appear toward the top in the natural results.

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The New Phone Books are Here! The New Phone Books are Here!

May 7, 2008



Just like last year, too bad they’ll still be sitting there in two months. For those who wish to recycle your phone books, does have a slick tool to find out where you can do so.

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Back to Local Search Basics: Google and Yahoo Local

January 12, 2008

Minneapolis Businesses

This post may be part-one of a series, but I’ve received a few email inquries lately regarding local search, mostly questions on how to benefit from¬†Google Maps and Yahoo Local listings.

It’s in good¬†timing. Andrew Goodman from provides a great post regarding the status and possible decline of pure-play local search sites¬†outside of search engines like Google.

So, who are the winners in local search? I’m hoping Ahmed from Tech Soapbox and iBegin reads this because he may¬†have input. ūüėČ

The winner could easily be you, the local business owner. The basics of local search can arguably be narrowed down to Google Maps and Yahoo Local and much of it doesn’t cost you anything but your time. Here are some basic tips to benefit from these opportunities:

1) First, make sure you have a free Gmail and Yahoo email account.

2)¬†From there, sign in to¬†Google’s Local Business Center and Yahoo’s Add a Business page.

3) Provide accurate information regarding products or services provided, payment methods, hours of operation, and more (there are easy field forms for most of these).


Hours of Operations, Payment Methods Accepted

4) They both allow you to upload and display photos. Hint – sometimes just a simple business logo does wonders.

Random Example:

Business Logo for Google Maps

5) They both allow you to describe your business in up to “x” characters.

Keyword stuffing = bad and silly looking. Accurate information = good and builds trust.

6) They both allow user reviews for your business. Embrace it. It can create an online version of Word-of-Mouth marketing.


Tracy’s Saloon

7) Don’t provide fake user reviews. Users are smart and will easily sniff it out, and they¬†will make a point to not¬†buy from you. This happens all too often.

8 ) Read number 7 again. ūüėČ

9) Make sure any industry portals or Internet yellow pages display your current and accurate addresses and other information. Local search engines may use this in their own listings.

That’s it for the basics. More to come soon on some of the points listed above.

Jan. 23 Update: Revised and updated post now up at Search Engine Guide.

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Google Trends and Internet Yellow Pages

September 24, 2007

I ran across a good Search Engine Land article today regarding Google Trends and the Yellow Pages. It gives some detailed insights and charts on how¬†consumers have used search engines to find different Yellow Pages whether it’s by brand or by search.

It’s my opinion that Google’s (and the other top search engines) innovations in local search combined with increasing inclusion of business listing data in the search engine results pages (“SERPs”) is causing users’ behavior to change.

I absolutely agree, and this isn’t a bad thing for the Yellow Pages. Without their concrete data, satisfaction from these search engine results would be sporadic at best. Internet Yellow Pages have created and maintained relationships with search engines¬†(or vice-versa) since at least 2004 but probably earlier.

To the favorite commentor KC, notice I didn’t mention anything of the print books? Feel free to give your input. ūüėČ

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The Kelsey Group & Search Engine Strategies (SES) Combine for the Interactive Local Media 2007 (ILM:07) Event

July 31, 2007

Interactive Local Media - 2007 
Local Search panels have increased in both quality and quantity at the SES events over the years. This year’s¬†SMX Local event is poised to have a really good turnout, too.

One local search event I’ve always wanted to go to is the Interactive Local Media (ILM) conference, put on by¬†the Kelsey Group. Well, this fall they’re teaming up with Search Engine Stratagies (SES) to present ILM:07.

In the search marketing world, ILM isn’t talked about nearly as much as SES or SMX,¬†maybe because it involves a broader spectrum. You have Internet Yellow Pages¬†reps touting stats, online newspaper execs wanting to boost their online presence, mainstream companies wanting to find out what, exactly, interactive local media has to offer, and even a few search marketers. It can take local search to a higher level. Here’s a list of 2006 attendees.

I see local user reviews being a hot topic (and debate).

What really intrigues me is conversations with so many different industries, getting different viewpoints, and absorbing so much information that you can come back to make your own decisions on what would work for your own company or clients. That, and being able to chat with the Kelsey Group folks.

I might be saving my pennies for this one.

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Flowers from Minneapolis/St. Paul… or Somewhere

March 29, 2007

Sean McGinnis pointed me to a couple of really good posts last night – one regarding out-of-state call centers posing as¬†Chicago florists, and then Matt McGee’s take on it labeled appropriately, when local search isn’t really local.

So, why not see how¬†Minneapolis/St. Paul¬†fares? I did a quick Yahoo Local check for florists in Minneapolis. Luckily, it passed the test – kinda’. The listings are all local, but the sponsored ads on the top and bottom are all “serving your area” national florist call centers.

Update: Please see the comments in this post. Cathy, who runs Florist Blogs caught some things that I did not and gives really good insight about it.

I suppose ad money is ad money, but it doesn’t ensure trust. I was hoping to see the¬†Vanderbloom result¬†closer to¬†the top. They’re right down the street, they have a good buzz about them, and a local merchant gets the local dollar.

Yahoo did better than though. That page is… busy, and as an added bonus they serve up some local pay-per-call ads, “serving your area”. If you search for anything mortgage¬†or real estate related, you’ll get the same type of results. Looking at it closer, I’m¬†actually really surprised on how irrelevant and loud all those ads are!

Looky what I found though!!


I absolutely forgot that the same thing happened before the “Interweb”.

Soon… going… to… recycling… bin

The book has since been disposed of properly ūüôā

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iBegin – This is Good… Really Good

March 15, 2007


I’m still wading through all of this, and am pretty floored. From trading a few emails with founder Ahmed Farooq a week or so ago, my first words were “this is freaking amazing!”.

Nonetheless, enter iBegin Source¬†–¬†a new local business data portal, where you can purchase business data nationally, by State, at a fraction of the cost of what data aggregators charge, it’s updated daily, it’s accurate, it’s user-editable to help ensure accuracy (think Wiki), and even includes geo-coding.

iBegin Geotargeting

To put it in perspective, you can purchase a Minnesota business list for a thousand bucks, sort how you choose, it’s constantly updated, and you don’t have to re-up every year.

There are a few other things they have going that’s more related to local search, and it’s equally impressive. I’m guessing it’s ok to mention it, but I’m going to wait until I hear it’s ok to do so.

For more info, there’s a really good interview with Ahmed on the Blumenthals blog.

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Moving Toward Local Search

March 13, 2007

Ok, deceptive and cheezy title. My bad. This post is actually about moving companies and local search marketing… but I couldn’t think of a cool title.

I came across an Adage article a few hours ago titled Marketers, Web Bigs Rush to Crack Local-Search Code¬†(subscription may be required). It certainly doesn’t crack any code (they don’t exist – really), but it’s an interesting article regarding an Eden Prairie-based moving company and their balance between print Yellow Pages and local search.

It made me think of what I’d look for if needing a moving company. I’d definitely like to see a Web site, especially one that has some form of online shipment tracking. I’d also like to see exactly where they’re located, business info, hours of operations, and if online consumers say¬†nice things about them.

So… might as well Google up a search for Minneapolis movers.

One-Box results for ‚ÄúMinneapolis¬†movers‚ÄĚ

The now prevalent one-box results were decent enough from a proximity standpoint, but I was left a little lost. One site¬†really wasn’t local, and the other results didn’t have much more information than their address and phone number. The first result did have a nice 3rd party “Yahoo Local” testimonial¬†though.

What can these businesses do? Aside from adding your business info to Google and Yahoo local, if you’re in Minneapolis, Dex Online is the default local Internet Yellow Pages provider. Having a free¬†updated profile can help. Search engines like Google pull this data for their local search results. There are paid options as well.

SuperPages, a national IYP who’s¬†profiles¬†also appear in local search results have the business profile option, too. They lay it out to be very easy.

This is just a start, but one nice thing for these is that businesses themselves can go in and enter their own information at low or no cost Рno Internet marketing experience required.

Something else to note is that some businesses are savvy enough to also incorporate localized SEO and geo-targeted PPC campaigns. The natural, paid, and local algorithms are completely separate from each other. This can allow a business to own a lot of real estate in search result pages.

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