Earlier this year, I was surprised to find this post on Indoor Google Maps was quite popular.
Maybe it was because lots of people weren’t aware of Indoor Google Maps. Maybe it was because we’re all quite nosy, fans of MTV Cribs and the old British favourite, Changing Rooms.
Well, I thought I’d collect some of the coolest examples of Google Business Photos, the indoor equivalent of Google Street View.
These are the weirdest, most wonderful and beautiful 360 degree interactive tours. They appear in Google searches, Google Maps, and Google+ Local.
Anyone can use Google Business Photos (and be successful with them) apart from legal establishments and museums (this imagery is supported through Google Art Project). Admittedly a few of my examples aren’t businesses.
Econsultancy London even got involved (though we’ve recently upped sticks).
So heck, why travel, why leave the house when you can experience all this from your desktop? Enjoy!
The growth and ubiquity of the smartphone means that local SEO is more important than ever, and some of the techniques for improving rankings are very simple, and free.
Our new Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practice Guide contains detailed advice on improving your local search visibility.
Here are some dos and don'ts for local SEO, taken from the new guide...
With the growth of mobile, and the increasing use of local factors by Google in desktop searches, ranking for searches in their locality is ever more important for businesses.
This is something that can benefit businesses small and large, and some of the techniques for improving rankings are very simple, and cost nothing.
For example, just creating a Google + Local listing for your business will greatly improve your search visibility, especially if your local competitors haven't figured this out yet.
Here, I've outlined why local search is so important, and asked a couple of search experts for their tips...
At a time when plenty of major corporations are still struggling to come up with an effective mobile strategy it’s no surprise that small businesses may find the mobile space a bit daunting.
Where does a small business begin when embarking on a mobile strategy? Do they opt for an app or a mobile site? And how much does it all cost?
At Brighton SEO last week Distilled’s Bridget Randolph tried to answer all these questions and give small businesses a helping hand with their mobile strategies.
Mobile is often cited as the glue that holds together the multichannel experience as the technology is able to bridge the gap between in-store and online channels.
And it tends to be the retailers that were quick to embrace mobile technologies – such as local search or a mobile optimised site - that have continued to thrive and stay in tune with consumer behaviours.
For example, the new Econsultancy Multichannel Retail Survey shows that 44% of smartphone owners have used their mobile to find details about a retailer (e.g. nearest outlet or opening times), up from 32% in 2012.
But as we’ve previously seen, many businesses are failing to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the increase in mobile search.
Local search is becoming increasingly important as consumers look to find information about the products and services near to them.
For example, 81% of UK smartphone internet users have looked for local information with their devices, and these people are just as likely to purchase in your store as online.
There’s an extremely valuable amount of traffic available for local queries, so if you are a local business it becomes extremely important to deliver your messaging to these searchers.
Google has focused heavily on improving its local search results experience, and queries that trigger a local results page have increased in number, so that the location no longer needs to be part of the search query.
Google integrates data from Google+ to its map listings, so the easiest way to make sure your business is appearing on a map search is to ensure your Google+ business page is set up and using the correct address.
Here are five examples of PPC ads using location to enhance listings and (hopefully) increase CTR...
Once again we round up six of the best infographics we've seen this week.
The topics include how brands use Twitter, local search, internet security, the biggest moments in social media in 2012, and the state of viewable impressions.
Google+ Local, formerly Google Places, is a valuable resource for any retailer looking to use the web to drive offline sales.
In a nutshell, it allows businesses to create a listing (via a Google+ page) which will appear next to relevant, especially local, search results.
As more people use smartphones to search for local businesses, a well optimised Google+ Local listing is an essential.
This is something I covered in our recent How the Internet can Save the High Street report.
Here's why offline businesses should be creating a listing...
Google recently introduced Business Photos, which uses the same tech as Street View, and allows shops, restaurants and other businesses to provide virtual tours of their premises.
These tours are then shown in Google Maps and local results, providing offline businesses with an opportunity to drive footfall into their locations.
I'll look at how business can use these photos to drive footfall, and improve CTR, while I've also been asking Charles Mansfield-Osborne of StreetVisit, one of Google's 'Trusted Photographers', about the scheme.
Last week, Google announced that it would be changing the placement of PPC ads on some of its search results pages, moving them from the right hand side to the bottom of the page.
According to Google's blog post, moving the ads to the bottom means they 'fit better into the user's flow', and that this new placement improved average CTR.
I've been asking PPC professionals about what these changes mean...