This is basically genius. I’d love to see other innovative uses of Foursquare like this:
Foursquare has just added a nifty new feature that’s a must-have for any local business that tries to be smart about its advertising: The “Add to My Foursquare” button.
This button makes it very easy for website visitors to become actual store visitors. I’m looking at it as a sort of opt-in geospecific remarketing campaign. Did you follow that? Allow me to explain.
The average website visitor checks out your website, may or may not be interested, and even if she is interested, may or may not actually pay you a visit. With the average campaign conversion rate in the single digits these days, the sad reality is that even an engaged user has a better than average chance of totally forgetting about you as soon as she clicks away from your site.
Remarketing is marketing to site visitors who have already left. Google now allows you to target them with ads that follow them around on the content network until they return to your site and convert into a sale. These campaigns usually have incredibly high conversion rates, but they’re pay per click, and only really relevant to online-only businesses with a clear conversion process (like a shopping cart).
Enter the Foursquare button. A simple click, and your business is saved in her To-Do list. The next time she checks in at that hair salon across the street from you, she’ll get a pop-up on her phone reminding her that she wanted to check out your all natural fruit smoothie bar. And as long as she’s in the area, why not?
Bottom Line: Installing this button is a no-brainer for any retail location with an online presence. Expect a high conversion rate from anyone who clicks this button.
Note to Foursquare: How about some analytics to go with this button? I’d love to see some data tracking on who clicked the button, and how long it takes for them to actually come visit the location.
Reputation Management is the next big thing in the SEO world. If you’re an individual, you want to “own” all ten spots on the SERP for your name. If you’re a company, you want to own all ten spots for your brand, as well as any specific products or services you provide.
Here’s a neat trick to help you get the #1 spot for a search for your name or brand followed by your city (if you have a name that’s more generic than mine –Menachem Pritzker – people searching for you are likely to qualify their search with a geographic qualifier, John Doe NY, for example). Create a place page for you yourself, or your company (obviously, this is a no brainer for a retail establishment, but my point is that it’s also a useful trick for non-location specific businesses).
Here’s me in Miami (though I don’t live there anymore, I still list my parents’ home as my official US residence).
Here’s my wife’s editing business, run out of our home in Jerusalem. Obviously, nobody’s going to search for “Pritzker Editorial Jerusalem” unless they already know who we are, so we won’t get any additional business like this, but it establishes us as a reputable business if anyone checks up on us.
Big news this week coming from Facebook: Checkins! The checkin wars have officially begun. Google Places will probably have something similar as well. It’s only a matter of time before checkins become a huge factor in local search ranking. Let’s see who comes out ahead, but for now, there’s going to be another required verification stop for any business owner – the list just keeps growing longer…
If you haven’t already, claim your business on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Foursquare, Yelp, and now Facebook.
Mike Blumenthal has been doing some great work today exploring the different test SERPs layouts that Google is testing out. If you’re just joining the conversation now, here’s what the new layout looks like (Thanks for the screenshots Mike):
Basically, what Google is doing here is meshing the organic results with the local results. While Google used to simply stick their 7 most relevant local results at the top, above the 10 organic results, Google is now giving those local listings much more screen real estate, pushing the bottom seven organic results off the page and onto the next page. As many industry watchers are saying, this is bad news for the IYPs.
A few interesting things to notice here: For the first time, Google is actually altering the organic results. If you showed up organically at #1 for “NY plumber,” and you ALSO had a local business result in the top 7, you lose your organic result.
There seem to be a massive amount of paid ads on the page. In one screenshot, I counted 3 on top and eight down the side. I’ve never seen 11 sponsored links on one page before (I’m no expert on this – correct me if I’m wrong here).
Bearing in mind that this is just a test SERPs page, and Google may or may not decide to implement it for the mainstream searchers, it does give us a nice insight as to where Google is headed with Local Search. They definitely seem more confident now in the accuracy of the Google Maps results, and feel that providing business listings from maps is the correct (most relevant) answer to a business+location query.