Fri, 03 Jan 2020 21:06:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vivint: Relevant Ads is “Value, Pure and Simple.” Mon, 28 Oct 2013 07:58:09 +0000 Relevant Ads client Vivint sees improved local search visibility.

Vivint - a Relevant Ads client.Vivint started by knocking on doors. Beginning with home security systems in Utah, Vivint expanded as they grew, adding energy management, home automation and most recently, solar energy to the services they offer. Today, with over five thousand employees nationwide, Vivint still knocks on doors in the neighborhood, but they also make use of online marketing.

When the decision was made to start an online marketing campaign, the first question was how to do it in a cost-effective manner for the best return on investment. Vivint wanted to focus on SEO, including local search, as a complementary piece to paid search and other lead generation methods, but there simply was no way the small, in-house marketing team could create the multiple online listings required for each of the 700 technicians scattered across 48 states.

Relevant Ads client Vivint

Relevant Ads offered a value proposition too good to pass up. After only a few months, Vivint has seen over 75% of their listings ranking at the top of the local search results pages in all of the major search engines.

“Relevant Ads has come through with flying colors,” says Brandon Christiansen, Search Marketing Manager. “We could not have managed this campaign without tripling the size of our in-house team, not to mention the expertise and training involved. Plus, Relevant Ads gives us a level of reporting and analytics we can’t find anywhere else. It’s value, pure and simple.”

Relevant Ads gets Vivint locations top Google map listing.

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New Review and Price Filter for Google Local Carousel Tue, 08 Oct 2013 22:04:42 +0000 Recently we noticed a new filter on search results pages where a Google local carousel is displayed:

Google Local Carousel image.

Now that you can filter Google local search results by price and rating, the value of being ranked first has gone down. Combine that with eye tracking studies done with Google carousel, and I can’t help but ask: is traditional local search ranking on its death bed?

Google Carousel image.


Not only does this mean that Google native reviews are more important, it means that pricing can also play a huge factor in filtering reviews (much like on Yelp). Combine this with Google repositioning Zagat as a Yelp competitor and it looks like the big G is doubling down on moving into local discovery, albeit in a way that is very fragmented and increasingly confusing for business owners.

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Upcoming Webinar: The Complicated World of Local Search Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:11:35 +0000 Dan Leibson - SEO Manager


Relevant Ads’ SEO Manager, Dan Leibson will be giving an upcoming webinar about The Complicated World of Local Search. This webinar is being sponsored by SEMPO. Dan has worked in the web marketing space for over five years. He will be sharing his knowledge of local search on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. (PDT).
Agenda items include:

  • The rapid growth of local search
  • Dealing with an increasingly fragmented local search ecosystem
  • Addressing all the parts of this fragmented ecosystem to leverage the full value that the increase in local search brings
  • Developing a research/process methodology that is necessary to stay ahead in the rapidly changing and fragmented ecosystem

Benefits of attending:

The local web ecosystem is fragmented across local search, local organic search, and mobile.


These topics are broken down further by complicated local search ranking factors, mobile operating systems, and apps that are critical to local discovery.

It is becoming more important to optimize all these local search channels in order to properly leverage the value of the new hyperlocal web. Because these areas aren’t as mature as the PPC or traditional SEO space and because of the rapidly changing nature of popular mediums, it is critical to implement internal processes in order to stay ahead of all the changes.

There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation for those who are interested in delving further into these topics. Attendees can also ask questions during the webinar by tweeting @DanLeibson, #WorldofLocalSearch.

How to sign up:

The webinar is free for SEMPO members, and $15.00 for non-members. Register for this event here.

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Mitel 2013 Business Partner Conference Recap Mon, 08 Jul 2013 21:46:04 +0000 Mitel LogoRelevant Ads joined the 30 vendors and 450 dealers who attended the Mitel Business Partner Conference (BPC) at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida from June 25th to 27th. Mitel is a global provider of business communications and collaboration software and services. The conference provided an opportunity for attendees to network, collaborate, and become more familiar with the company’s solutions.

Relevant Ads BPC Raffle Winner 1                    Relevant Ads Raffle Prize Winner 2

As a Mitel approved vendor, Relevant Ads provides Mitel dealers with high rankings for relevant keywords (e.g., office phone systems, digital phone solutions, virtualization) in their industry. “I like that the agenda allowed for time to network with the Mitel executive team and individual dealers. We were able to draw a lot of attention to our booth by giving out some great raffle prizes. Relevant Ads’ introduction at the 2013 Mitel BPC was a complete success,” says Andre Haynes, Director of Sales at Relevant Ads.

David at 2013 Mitel BPC                        Relevant Ads Booth at 2013 Mitel BPC
Some notable agenda items included the several product introduction breakout sessions and a book signing by speaker Kerry Bodine, Vice President and Principal Analyst from Forrester’s customer experience research practice. Topics discussed during the different sessions included competitive selling strategies and how to win with virtualization.

During one of the general sessions, Mitel also announced their commitment to the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) marketing strategy. The ZMOT strategy centers around the idea that shoppers are taking advantage of the many resources available to them, to become more active in product and service research before they decide to purchase. If a company can “zero in” on those decision-making moments, marketing efforts can become more effective in their execution.

Rich McBee and Jeremy Auestad

The Relevant Ads’ marketing team shares a similar commitment to the ZMOT strategy. Relevant Ads’ Enterprise Account Manager David Olivieri comments, “By utilizing the local search products and services our company provides, clients are continually being able to capitalize on those zero moments of truth. Forming a business partnership and a personal relationship with a brand like Mitel has increased the exposure of Relevant Ads to the United States and Canada. We look forward to working with all of the Value Added Resellers under their umbrella for years to come.”

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Rich Snippets, Microdata and Fri, 29 Mar 2013 16:15:08 +0000 Do you use microdata in your HTML? If you don’t you are missing out. In addition to helping lay the groundwork for semantic search (link to previous semantic search article), offers ways for you to get rich snippets. A rich snippet is a way that search engines display your meta data on a SERP. There are numerous types of markup language to get rich snippets, however,Google has specifically expressed a preference for the standard.

You have probably seen rich snippets without even realizing what they were or how they function. One of the most common types of rich snippets is the video snippet. It shows a video thumbnail directly in search results and allows you to play the video without even going to the page. In case you haven’t seen one, they look like this:

Video Rich Snippet

Another common type of snippet is an authorship snippet. Those are the ones that show an authors picture in a SERP along with a byline. They look like this:

Authorship Rich Snippet

[As an aside, if you haven’t read anything by Seth Godin I highly suggest reading Tribes.]

Getting back to business, both of these types of rich snippets help convey meaning to searchers above and beyond normal search results. In fact, Cyrus Shepherd, formally of SEOmoz, did a test to see how much a Google+ picture could impact the CTR he got when having an Authorship rich snippet. He found he could get a 35% increase in free, organic search traffic by optimizing his rich snippets. I’m not going to go into to much detail on how to setup authorship as the topic has been written about extensively. If you want some insight above and beyond a how to check out this excellent post by Mike Arnesen on why you should care about Authorship and the forthcoming AuthorRank. The most important thing to know, you will be leaving money on the table if you don’t take advantage of this.

Think Like Google, Act Like A Marketer

This result shows how rich snippets and microdata provide a better user experianceLet’s start at the end. The bottom line with microdata and semantic markup is that it helps search engines understand web content and provide better results to their customers (the searchers.) You should give both what they want, especially since it helps them deliver a better user experience. While there is no concrete data right now showing that using microdata will have a direct positive impact on you rankings, it makes logical sense. It helps search engines better understand a sites content and provides better results to users than it should have a positive impact on SERPs. This good tactic to implement to not only drive better results right now, but lay the ground work for the future. Also, I think its important to remember that there is a certain amount of vanity in having high rankings. Yes rankings are important, but they are a top of funnel metric. If users don’t click through when you show up on SERPs then your high rankings don’t matter. Just look at the rich SERP results that get displayed with microdata and the data showing their higher click through rates. Don’t ever lose focus on the main objective: getting users from a SERP onto your site and than converting (in whatever way that means for you.)

Rich Snippets have Gone Global

Rich Snippets aren’t just for Google searches either. The standard is backed by the four biggest players in search (Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex). Google’s rich snippets are still far an away the best, which is unsurprising considering they are still the best search engine by miles. Just take a look at Bing’s snippets and judge for yourself.

bing seth godin authorship rich snippet

Tackling Microdata Implementation

Recently refreshed its Local Business standard which gives local business owners a robust way to pass rich semantic microdata about their business directly to search engines and thus prospective customers. I will be writing more about this in a future post. They also offer clear representations of what microdata markup looks like when added to basic HTML.

If this seems daunting, don’t worry. There are plenty of resources to make the processes easier. Google offers a extensive set of tutorials and walkthroughs related to rich snippets. It also offers a rich snippet testing tool to trouble shoot your structured data markup. Be very careful when using Google’s testing tool, as it is prone to make mistakes when validating your markup. You might also want to try the Live Microdata tool. With some trial and error you will have rich microdata in no time. also offers its own tutorial. Just keep playing around with it until you get the hang of it. Since the internet is moving faster and faster toward rich semantic markup it will be a valuable skill to have for your clients or your business.

If you are a local search professional or local business, have you used any type of microdata to enhance your company’s (or client’s) presence online? What were the results?

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Closing out vs Claiming Listings Wed, 20 Mar 2013 16:32:29 +0000 What to do with duplicate listings on third party directoriesLegacy dupes. What to do with previously owned listings that you see ranking? The listing has the same address, but a different business name and phone, tempting you to claim it. You often see business listings with outdated or erroneous data, duplicates created by users, or split listing caused by acquisitions.  Should you claim these listings that once belonged to someone else and revamp all the data or close out these once-owned listings and create new listings for your business – starting fresh and new? This article provides information so you can choose the most promising tactic that will allow your business to perform better online.

Since there are a number of business directories, being flexible, versatile and cross-trained on how they all operate is keen. Don’t forget that a business’ listing should focus on immediacy, accuracy, and consistency: immediate exposure, accurate NAP, and the accurate NAP displaying consistently across desired directories.

Go Right or Go Left?

Familiarize yourself with directories like YellowBook, Manta, Yelp, and Get Fave. They all work differently. Most require you to register. Many allow for communal edits. Few require you to phone verify a listing before you can take it under your ownership. Ask yourself: “Does this directory take a while to update when I submit my changes? Or will my edits take effect immediately?” For a quick boost to your visibility, claim the listing when you’re permitted to. This is the best action since you then have complete ownership and thus will be able to modify and enhance the listing to your liking.

It may take several weeks for changes to appear in a directory

If you know that City Search requires an exhaustive amount of time for your NAP edits to display live, delaying your business information from being displayed, create a fresh listing and close out the one you were initially trying to claim. That way, you have your new listing out there, awaiting attention, and the listing you close out is pending – this increases visibility for your listing and improves chances for the competing listing to be removed. If Super Pages offers an option to claim an older business’ listing that previously was located at your current business address – without a phone verification and a payment – claim the listing, then re-brand it with your keywords and content. On top of that, you will acquire the current history and traffic for that listing. As a business owner, you want the impressions and traffic of an existing listing so you don’t have to start from the bottom up: awaiting first page ranking and obsessively tracking your analytics for page clicks starting from zero.

Combat Negative Reviews, Positively!

When claiming an existing listing, you will also acquire the reviews. Yep, even the bad ones! Relax! Negative reviews appear as a threat, preventing you from claiming that listing, but  it is always best to acknowledge and address the community regarding bad reviews about your business, instead of ignoring them. Additionally, bad reviews won’t hurt your ranking. The more your company reputation is talked about – good or bad – the more involved and busy your business is with local search. Because after all, how will those reviews be read by consumers if the listing isn’t ranking due to inconsistencies and inaccuracies?

Google Places displays your reviews with your business listing

This review is hilarious, especially the ending

These work-around tactics and loop holes can help get your business better visibility, even if operating on free basic listings. The only thing that may stand between you and your business’ exposure may be the lack of knowledge about specific directory guidelines. Be involved. Stay current, subjective, and updated with your listings and their competing dupes and local listing bliss will soon be yours.

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